Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Truth About Angels: Fact or Fiction Pt. 2

. . . Continuing from last time: Here are some more facts about what angels ARE and ARE NOT. As we address today's bullet points, there are a few details that we need to understand:

  • First, angels ARE NOT all identical. They have varying abilities and strengths, and there are also various "rankings" among angels. It is important to understand that some angels are stronger than others, and some have been given specific positions of leadership among their fellow angels.
  • Second, there ARE only two angels which the Bible actually names for us: One is Gabriel, who appears as a messenger in Daniel 8:16-18, Daniel 9:21, and Luke 1:19,26,28. The other is Michael the Archangel, mentioned in Daniel 10:13,21, Daniel 12:1, Jude 1:9, and Revelation 12:7. Michael, by definition, is the lead angel; he is the archangel; there can not be more than one archangel. 
Now that we have that under our belt...
  • Angels (and Cherubim and Seraphim) ARE NOT the only spiritual creatures that exist and interact with us. Angels were given free will, just as humans were, and one angel in particular began a rebellion in heaven which resulted in a great separation among God's created beings. His name was Lucifer, which means Light-bearer. We know him now as Satan, among other names and titles. His job in heaven was worship director. Picture yourself in his position, standing facing the masses of angels, hands raised, God behind you, and every single one of these angels is singing and worshipping, shouting praise and acclamation to God, but in your direction! Have you ever had someone wave at you and you jump up and smile, waving back, only to realize they were actually waving at the person behind you? No? Just me? Well, the only difference is Lucifer knew exactly where that praise was directed, but from his perspective, it was easy to imagine that it was actually being directed at him. And that seed of a thought turned into a sin that is at the root of all other sin in this world: PRIDE! Lucifer believed that he deserved that praise, that he was just as worthy, if not more so, as God was, and he wanted it for himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). This rebellion resulted in his being cast out of heaven, along with 1/3 of heaven's angels who chose to follow him instead of the God who created them, and sent to a place which God created for NO OTHER PURPOSE than to house these wicked creatures: hell (Matthew 25:41). Satan is still immensely powerful, and though he can do nothing that God does not allow, he has been given dominion over this earth for a time, and his fallen angels, or demons as we might call them, are busily at work. These "powers of the air" (Ephesians 2:2) are engaged in a very real battle (if you need proof, take a look at the account of one angel who was sent to deliver a message to Daniel and was detained in battle for 21 days with a very powerful demon, resorting eventually to seeking aid from the most powerful angel of all, Michael the Archangel [Daniel 10:12-13, 20-21]), and they will use every means available to them to pull as many people as possible along with them. If you are a follower of Christ, they know that your soul belongs to God. But that will not stop them from waging war on it nonetheless, making sure that at the very least, you are not an effective soldier for the kingdom of heaven, either lulling you into an apathetic sleep or even inciting you to disobedience and rebellion against your heavenly Father. Please hear me, beloved, these creatures are ruthless and relentless, and the only thing they love more than someone who willingly pursues evil is someone who apathetically denies or ignores their existence in the first place, because they know that you cannot fight something you do not acknowledge. The Bible tells us that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). But in order to resist Satan and his demons, we MUST be aware of and acknowledge their existence and their capabilities and learn to distinguish their deeds from those of true angels who seek to guard and protect us. So how do we tell them apart?...
Quite frankly, that can be a very difficult task to the untrained soul. Christian or not, we must learn to distinguish between these two forces of good and evil by educating ourselves with the only reliable source of information we possess, our sword, the Word of God. We are told very clearly in Scripture that Satan and his demons have the power to appear as angels of LIGHT (2 Corinthians 11:14)! Evil rarely appears as blatantly evil. 

For the majority of us, these battles will be subtle. It will be a whisper in the ear, a tugging on the heart that threatens to pull us away from God, a thought planted in the mind that cultivates a desire to serve our own desires above those of God, much like Lucifer. A thought that says, "You deserve time to yourself. You don't have time to teach that class at church. You aren't 'called' to do all that crazy Bible-thumping nonsense; that's for the pastors and teachers. You can't really be expected to use the Bible as a literal daily guideline for how to live your life; it's so old and out of touch with 'the real world.'" Or better yet, "You have to do everything at church. It's your job to make sure it all gets done. If you don't do it, no one else will. You're the glue that holds it all together. Your family can wait; they don't really need you at home." If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy!

While much of the spiritual warfare we encounter is subtle, there are certainly times that it can be much more overt. For those moments, here are some important distinguishing factors that you can use for yourself or to help educate your friends and family who may be in danger of falling victim to these conniving creatures.
  • A real angel of God will NEVER leave you feeling anxious, fearful or confused. Satan and his demons are masters of deceit (John 8:44). True angels of God are sent to communicate God's messages. They are not sent to confuse you, "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33) Any message that an angel conveys WILL NOT contradict, add to, or subtract from God's word, the Bible. Jesus Christ gave us the LAST revelation from God. He has NO NEW INFORMATION to give us. The supposed "angels" that appeared to the false prophets found in religions such as Mormonism and Islam were NOT messengers of God and the religions that have resulted are NOT to be accepted as truth!
  • A real angel of God will NEVER tell you that they are the spirit of a dead relative, friend or ancestor. As mentioned before, people do not become angels when they die. And their souls do not remain in a state of limbo between heaven and hell. Upon death, a soul is IMMEDIATELY in either heaven or hell. There is no such thing as purgatory. A choice to reject or accept Christ must be made in this life, and another chance after death will never be given (Hebrews 9:27). Souls of dead people DO NOT haunt or linger. I absolutely believe that when people say they have been in a haunted house or some other haunted place, they are telling the truth as they understand it. There very well may be spirits in that place, but if there are, they are demons, plain and simple; they ARE NOT the souls of deceased people. Demons are capable of impersonating people and appearing to us to be our long-deceased great aunt Ruth. Whether the experience is frightening, such as a believed "haunting", or pleasant, such as a tearful "reunion", facilitated by a human "medium" between the living and the "dead", it is ALWAYS a demon! We DO NOT have contact with the dead. If you or someone you know has been contacted by a spirit of a human being, it is actually a demon that you or your friend is speaking with. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS PRACTICE OR ANYTHING RELATED TO IT! This is extremely serious business and we are to have NO PART in it!
  • In that same vein, a true angel of God will NEVER tell you that they are your spirit guide, or any other such related term. The ONLY "spirit guide" we have or need is the Holy Spirit. He guides us and directs us in all our ways. Only God knows the future. Those who consider themselves psychics, palm readers or mediums may actually be able to do some seemingly amazing things. But we must remember that any "power" they have comes from one of two sources, either God or Satan, and God does not look favorably on such practices (Deuteronomy 18:10, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Micah 5:12, Revelation 21:8). These people, whether they understand it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not, are in league with the devil himself and have invited Satan and his demons into their lives. You open that same door to the enemy when you participate in any way, shape or form in these same practices, whether it be overtly or, I believe, even subtly through seemingly harmless outlets such as horoscopes, Ouija boards, Halloween, and other entertainment media which shall remain unnamed, that glorifies witchcraft and entices children to just "have fun" with it; it's all just pretend anyways, right? The same is true of other religions which are based on similar practices, such as Native American spirit guides. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you cannot be demon possessed, but you absolutely can be demonically oppressed, meaning that a demon cannot dwell within you, but they can attach themselves to you and wreak havoc in your life both physically and spiritually. Even a dabble in some of these outlets will open a door and give the enemy a foothold that you do not want him to have in your life. At the very least, it will serve as a distraction, an unholy "hobby" that directs your mind and your heart towards the things that bring Satan pleasure rather than the things that bring God pleasure.
I say these things not to frighten you. God tells us that he "has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7) There are certain things I wish we never had to talk about. But just as you teach your child about the dangers of this world, such as people who would wish to harm them, we MUST educate ourselves on the spiritual dangers that exist so that we are prepared and are equipped to resist them when that opposition comes. And believe me, loved ones, it absolutely will! But there is hope! Not only do we have Jesus, our mediator and savior, but we have his angels, whom he commands to come to our aid! In the next post, we'll take a look at just what these creatures are capable of...

*For further study, I suggest you take a listen to these sermons by Pastor J. Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix: Angels Among Us: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.


  1. WOW! It's something I needed to hear, lately I feel like I've been being told "o Hope, you are putting too much emphasis on the spiritual world, what happens in the spiritual world in no way affects you and your life." It brings me to think of the NT where it says it is not a battle of me but of spiritualites, crazy! I keep thinking of how you sent me that encouragement on askin GOd to have angels help us as well as the spirit and what huge battles have been victoried over since then, and that was just a week or so ago! Thanks Tarrah! I am learning a lot!

  2. So glad to hear it, Hope. Thanks for the encouragement as well!