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"Angels:- Aliens Among Us?" - By Don Hill

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in angels. Incredible stories of angelical appearances and interventions are coming from many parts of the world. Some who would not go so far as to use the word angel have described encounters with mysterious entities.

Some of the prevalent beliefs about angels come to us from the mysterious world of ancient gnosticism through the open window of the new age movement. Other ideas are the products of over-active but biblically illiterate imaginations. In addition to this, it should be realized that Satan and demons can masquerade as angels of God to deceive us. "...Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; ..." (2 Cor. 11:14-15)

It is our position that the Bible and the Bible alone gives us true dependable information about the nature and the activities of angels. Every report should be examined and evaluated in the light of the Word of God. Paul wrote "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8)

I want to share with you some facts about angels from the Bible and also give you testimonies from people in more recent times which seem to line up with scripture. It is my belief that angels still come and go among us and are sometimes seen (and even interacted with) without being recognized. I also believe they still minister to (serve, and assist) the people of God as they did in Bible days.

What does the Bible say about angels? It includes but is not limited to the following.

1. God created them. "All things were made by him..." (John 1:3)

2. They are spirit beings not flesh and blood. "Bless the LORD, ... ... who maketh his angels spirits..." (Ps. 104: 1 & 4)

3. These spirit creatures are endued with great power. "Bless the LORD, ye his angels that excel in strength..." (Ps. 103:20)

4. Angels have feelings. The Bible shows that they experience emotion. "... there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:10)

5. The number of angels is beyond all comprehension. There is an "innumerable company of angels." (Heb. 12:22)

6. Angels don't just live in heaven. They come to earth and become involved in our lives. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Heb. 1:14)

7. Though they are spirits and are usually invisible, angels sometimes take form and appear to people.

(a) They can appear as glorious bright beings. "...the angel of the LORD descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone fron the door, and sat upon it. And his countenance was like lightening, and his raiment white like snow." (Matt. 28:3)

(b) They can appear as men, so ordinary they could be mistaken for human beings. "Don't forget to be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it." (Heb. 13:2 LB) As did Abraham (Gen. 18), Gideon (Jdg. 6) and Manoah (Jdg. 13) The angels appeared as men, and were mistaken for men: if this was not an on-going possibility and could not happen today why would Heb. 13:2 be in the Bible?

8. Angels can minister strength to our physical bodies. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane "...there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke 22:43) Isn't it interesting that Luke who was a physician (Col. 4:14) mentions this, and the other Gospel writers don't? Naturally it would be of special interest to the doctor: this is not the only place where Luke makes mention of a physical or medical situation that was not included in the other Gospels.

9. Angels also protect us. "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." (Ps. 34:7)

10. Not only do angels protect us, they fight our battles: King Hezekiah had received a letter from the commander of the Assyrian army. He took it into the temple and spread it out before the Lord. The Bible says "...that night...the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and fourscore and five thousand (185,000); and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead and corpses." (2 Kings 19:35)

The question is "Are they still among us?" Could it be that we have seen an angel and didn't recognize it? Have you - have I - ever received help in a time of need through an angelical intervention? I now believe it happens more often than we would ever imagine.

A pastor friend of ours told us this story. He had travelled many miles to preach at a rally. When he arrived at the church, he was so exhausted he didn't think he would get through the sermon. When his time came he walked to the pulpit, read his text, and began to speak. Suddently he saw a man standing at the side of the platform gazing at him. He did not recall seeing the man in the service. "Why is he standing?" he thought. "Why does he not sit down?" But he thought it was best to pay attention to his preaching and ignore the man. Within minutes all tiredness had left his body and he was totally invigorated. After the service he asked the pastor "Who was that man standing at the side of the platform staring at me?" (The man disappeared during the preaching.) The pastor said, "There was no man standing at the platform."

Billy Graham's wife Ruth who is now with the Lord told this story. She was raised in China by missionary parents and knew the facts. A poor Chinese woman was walking with a baby tied to her back and another child by the hand. A mother tiger with two cubs attacked her. The mother tiger's claws had already tore into her arm and shoulder. The woman remembered the teaching of the missionaries. She cried out, "Oh Jesus help me." The tiger suddenly turned and ran away.

Another story comes from the New Hebrides Island. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission headquarters where Rev. John Paton and his wife lived. They were going to set fire to the building and kill the Patons. The missionaries prayed all night. In the morning they were surprised to find the attackers had left. A year later the chief of the tribe was saved. Mr. Paton asked him "What happened the night your people surrounded my house?" The old chief said, "Who were those men you had with you?" Mr. Paton told him, "There were no men. Only my wife and I." "No" the chief argued. "We saw hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords. They circled your building. We could not attack."

Elizabeth Elliot in her book, 'A Slow and Certain Light' tells this story. My father when he was a small boy, was climbing on the upper story of a house that was being built. He walked to the end of a board that was not nailed down at the other end, and it began to tip. He knew he was doomed. But the board began to tip the other way, as though a hand had pushed it down again. He always wondered if it was an angel's hand.

This happened after World War II. Several months after the war, there was a celebration honouring Air Chief Marshal Lord Hugh Dowding. The King and Prime Minister were present, along with a host of British dignitaries. The Air Chief Marshal told about the air battle that saved Britain early in the war. He told how British Pilots were hit and either incapacitated or killed, but their planes kept flying. In fact, in other planes, pilots could see a man still operating the controls. The Air Chief Marshal said that day, in the presence of King George VI, and Prime Minister Churchill, he believed angels had actually flown some of the planes whose pilots were dead in the cockpits.

Here is something more recent. In 1965, we were in Brooklyn, N.Y. holding services in a Black church and staying with one of their ladies who had an apartment. One morning, she told us what had happened during the night before. At three in the morning, she had heard a knock on the door. Nobody was there but there was a fire out in the hall. She used a bucket and water from the sink to put the fire out. Sarah and I saw where the fire had been and the damage was significant. But there was more. The knock on the door had woke her up but it didn't waken the German Shepherd guard dog sleeping just inside the door. Normally it would go absolutely wild if anybody touched the door: when she told us this, we all stood there looking at each other trying to understand what had happened. Suddenly we realized it may have been the hand of an angel that knocked on the door. That knock was only meant for human ears: if the dog had responded, our hostess may have been too frightened to even open the door. And since nobody was there, the dog would serve no useful purpose.

There are people who pray to angels and those who think if they have sufficient faith they can command the angels to do their bidding. This is unscriptural and wrong, wrong, wrong: our Lord Jesus said, "...when ye pray say, our Father who art in heaven, ..." Even Jesus Himself when He was here in the days of His earth walk, did not speak to or command the angels. Why? Because when He became man, He willingly accepted certain human limitations. When He was facing the cross, He said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot pray TO MY FATHER and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53)

When we pray the promises of God, He sometimes dispatches angels to come to us and bring those promises to pass in our lives. David wrote "Bless ye the LORD ye his angels, that do his commandments, harkening unto the voice of His word." (Ps. 103:20) Look closely at this verse. What do the angels harken unto? They harken unto the VOICE of God's Word. Not the BOOK of His Word but the VOICE of His Word. When you claim a promise of the Word of God in prayer by literally quoting it and speaking it audibly in the presence of God, you are giving VOICE to His Word. That promise is not your word, it is the Word of God. Not every need in your life requires angelical intervention. God has many different ways and means of caring for us. But when God knows an angel is the best way of delivering the help you need at that very moment, the promise you are claiming by giving VOICE to it in prayer becomes a COMMAND for the angel to obey. It is not your prayer the angel is harkening unto. He is harkening unto the Word (promise) of God you are giving VOICE unto because it is his mandate to act on God's behalf and bring it to pass in your life.

It is one thing to believe in the ministry of angels, but every truth must have a practical application or it is not worth pursuing. If what you have just read is true, what should these things mean to us? First let me say as a Bible believer, I totally accept as truth all the Word of God says about angels. But when it comes to the present day involvement of angels in our lives, I realize this is heavy stuff and not something everybody is comfortable with. So how should it affect those of us who are ready for it? It will give us a greater boldness to obey God and follow His will for our lives. We will not shrink back from difficult situations or dangerous places when we know God has a work for us to do there, and no matter how many people may oppose us, we will be able to say, "They that are for us are more than they who could possibly be against us."

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