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Angels are created, spiritual beings endowed with immortality and attendant upon God. They may be described as heavenly guardians, warriers, ministering spirits or messengers. Traditionally there are nine orders of spiritual beings, as seraphims, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtures, powers, principalities, archangels and angels.
Fallen angels, one-third of all angels, often are described as devils or demons, chief of which is Lucifer, a former archangel, son of the morning, or Satan, known in the Hebrew as Abaddon or in Greek as Apollyon. which means "destroyer". Other descriptions of Satan include prince of darkness, adversary, accuser, deceiver, dragon, liar, leviathan, murderer, serpent, tormentor and god of this world.

Remaining archangels, or chief angels are known to be Gabriel and Michael, who with the remaining trustworthy two thirds of all angels serve and are loyal to God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ, known as The WORD, through Whom all the universe(s) were created.

In the closing days of this age angels have become prominent, with frequently cited appearances as they present briefly to assist humans in times of great need, even as they were described in the Bible as having been evident throughout Biblical times. New Age religionists frequently refer to "angels" as their guides, although these false angels were previously known as "spiritual guides" or demons. Demons, as evil spiritual beings, have the ability to "possess" or inhabit the souls of human beings and thereafter derive satisfaction from forcing their human possessees to behave and speak in a destructive fashion. They relinquish their habitation only when a stronger spiritual force, the Holy Spirit, prevails through human intervention.

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Angels are Warriors

Angels are Protectors

Angels are Messengers

Angels are Sent as a Result of Prayer

Angels are not to be Worshipped

Counterfeit Angels


Supporting Scriptures

Angels are Warriors

The scriptures tell of warring angels who fight spiritual battles for us and who overcome the efforts of Satan's demons to keep God's blessings from us. Daniel 10:12-14 describes a conflict in heaven between Michael, the Jew's patron angel, and the patron angel of Persia. Daniel had been fasting before God for three weeks, seeking understanding about the future. The passage's speaker, possibly Gabriel, came to deliver a message regarding the future to Daniel and explained that he had been detained for twenty-one days by the "prince of the kingdom of Persia" until Michael, a warring Archangel came to relieve him. Gabriel states that he must return to continue the fight, and he expects to be involved with the patron angel of Greece (a devil) also. That those evil demonic forces tried to withstand him suggests that they did not want Daniel to be told the things which were to befall the Jews in days yet to come.

When the chief priests and elders of Jerusalem came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, his disciples were ready to attack. One even drew his sword and the cut off the ear of the high priest's slave. Jesus admonished him, saying that He could pray to God to send 12 legions (72,000) of angels to rescue Him Matthew 26:47-54 . But doing so would prevent the scriptures from being fulfilled. His destiny was to be the sacrificial Lamb for our sins, and it was therefore necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for our souls' salvation; redemption from the curse of sin. Redemption from sin is possible solely through the shedding of sinless blood, which only Jesus has ever possessed.

During the wilderness wanderings of the Children of Israel, God led them with a fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day. He commanded Moses to travel onward to the land that had been promised them and promised that He would send angels to fight for them Exodus 33:2 . Without divine intervention and the activity of warring angels, they could never have hoped to attain their goal of the promised land.

Without the intervention of God's angels today to fight our spiritual battles (see Counterfeit Angels ) for us we can never hope to attain our goal of our promised land as Children of God--Heaven.

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Angels are Protectors

The scriptures tell us that we can expect angels to intervene in our affairs, to help us when we need help. Paul, in Hebrews 1:14 , says angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who will inherit salvation. Those who will inherit salvation are the blood-bought, redeemed children of God who rest their faith in Jesus Christ and His salvation provided by His sacrifice at Calvary for our sins.

The Psalmist, in Psalm 91:11-12 , declares that God has charged His angels with our protection: "...On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Satan used that scripture against Jesus on the mount of temptation when he urged Jesus to cast himself off the pinnacle of the temple since the angels would save him. Jesus countered with the scripture, "It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God." The warning here is strong: Although God will dispatch us help in times of need, we are not deliberately to challenge God by placing ourselves in jeopardy willfully and in defiance of His word.

Angels were active in the days of the apostles, providing comfort, setting free from prison, and giving direction. The apostles were seized by the high priests and placed in prison to be tried, but Acts 5:17-21 describes how an angel opened the prison doors, brought them out, and told them to go to the temple and speak to the people about Jesus. The apostles obeyed and the great revival continued unabated. This was an amazing example of the intervention of angels in the work of the gospel for the salvation of souls from hell which is the destiny of human souls whose sins are not forgiven and covered with the sinless blood of Jesus.

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Angels are Messengers

Angels are perhaps best known as Messengers from God. There are many accounts in scripture, centered around the birth of Christ and the spread of His Word after His death. The priest, Zechariah, was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who declared that his barren wife, Elizabeth, would soon bear a son Luke 1:11 . This child was John the Baptist, whose mission was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Gabriel was also sent to Mary, to announce that although still a virgin, she would soon bear a son, who would be called Jesus. In the angel's words is the proclamation of the Messiah: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end..therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Luke 1:26-35 "

An angel spoke to the desciple Philip and told him to go to the desert, south from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip obeyed and met an Ethiopian eunuch, who was struggling with a passage of scripture. Philip explained the scripture, which was a prophecy about Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. The Ethiopian believed and was baptized in Jesus' Name Acts 8:26-29 .Many more scriptures tell of God sending angels as messengers to his people, sometimes bringing words of comfort; at other times, words of warning.

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Angels are Sent as a Result of Prayer

In many instances it is evident that angels are sent to intercede for hunans only after others have prayed on their behalf. Abraham, told by God of His plan to destroy the wicked city of Sodom (and Gomorra), pleaded on behalf of the righteous and his nephew Lot: "Will you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, will you destroy the city and the fifty righteous who are in it?" When God promised to spare the city for fifty righteous people, Abraham continued bargaining, eventually obtaining God's promise to spare the city for 10 righteous. God did not find even 10 righteous people in Sodom, but sent two angels to bring Lot and his family out of the city before its sudden and total destruction in a holocaust of fire and brimstone Genesis 19:15 .

In Acts 12:5-8 , Peter was imprisoned and about to be brought before Herod. Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church, and in the middle of the night, an angel awakened Peter, released his chains, and led him out of the prison.

It therefore behooves us as Christians to continue to intercede for others, to beseech God to intervene for all of us in our work for Him and in our daily lives. Only heaven will reveal the many times we have been spared death or injury because of angel intervention as the response of intercessory prayer for one another. When you feel the impulse to pray for others do so at once. You do not know what may be happening at that precise time in their lives. Possibly God may dispatch an angel to help them in a time of desperate need.

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Angels Are Not to be Worshipped

Here it is appropriate to state that humans do not command angels. Angels are God's beings and respond to God's commands. Neither are we to worship angels. Paul's letter to the Colossians was meant to correct the erroneous teachings of some of their teachers, including worship of angels: "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels...Colossians 2:18." We are to worship God only. Paul tells of the misery of men who worship the creature rather than the Creator Romans 2:24-25 . Angels were created to worship God, as we were, but that is as far as the similarity goes. One day, we, the Redeemed from sin through the sacrificial blood of Jesus, will rule with Christ in Heaven, and judge the angels.I Corinthians 6:3 , Romans 8:17

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Counterfeit Angels

Not all angels are of God. Jesus told his disciples that Satan has his angels, also, and God has prepared a place of punishment for them Matthew 25:41 . Paul tells us that the devil himself often appears as an angel of light deceiving those not grounded in God's Word II Corinthians 11:12-15 . There is a mighty battle between good and evil, between God and Satan for the souls of mankind. Scriptures tell of battles fought by warring angels , where satanic angels fight to keep God's work from being performed. We must be able to discern good from evil, right from wrong, satanic spirits from God's spirit. God's angels will never say, do or suggest anything that is contrary to God's Word. Examples of counterfeit angels are those formerly called "spiritual guides" by the #New Age movement, and "angels" described in accounts of people who have undergone near-death experiences. On the other hand, we can be assured that God sends his angels to protect us , and even if we never physically encounter an angel in our lifetime, it is certain that God, as the loving Father of those who believe in God's Son Jesus Christ, has dispatched angels to assist us in our journey through this life.

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Angels and near-death experiences

Satanic spirits posing as angels have been described in accounts of unredeemed, sinful people, in which they uniformly report having passed through a tunnel leading to an area of bright light with a welcoming figure who leads them to believe that all is well and will continue to be well eternally. Those people reportedly have no further fear of death since they claim that beyond death is an existence of great peace and love. Many never believe that they need a Savior for their sins and believe that living a "good" life will assure eternal peace. For the born-again blood-washed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, this freedom from fear of death is legitimate and true. For those whose sins have not been forgiven through the belief in God's perfect sacrifice, eternity will hold nothing but terror and never-ending regrets. Jesus declared that at the close of the age, He will send His angels to gather all unbelievers and "throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth Matthew 13:41-42 ;" these souls are doomed to spend eternity separated from God, tortured by Satan's Counterfeit Angels . This certainly does not sound like a peaceful after-death existence for the unredeemed from sin!

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In these final days of the church age there is an increase in angel activity, even as there was an increase in angel activity preceding Jesus' birth and during His ministry here on earth. The end of the age brings with it an increase in satanic activity. Counteracting that activity is the intervention of God's mighty angelic host. God's angels are warriors and guardians, charged with protecting His redeemed children as they go about their day-to-day tasks. Angels played a role in the preparation for the coming of the Messiah , and will play a role in the end times. It is important to understand that not all reports of angels are necessarily of God; there are counterfeit angels also. We must be able to discern good from evil, right from wrong, satanic angels from God's angels.

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Supporting Scriptures

Scriptures are taken from the New Oxford Annotated Bible

Daniel 10:12-14

"...then he said to me, do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God your words were heard, and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."back to Angels are Warriors

Matthew 26:52-54

"Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?'"back to Angels are Warriors

Hebrews 1:13-14

"But to what angel has He ever said, 'Sit at my right hand, till I make they enemies a stool for they feet'? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"back to Angels are Protectors

Psalm 91:11-12

"For He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."back to Angels are Protectors

Acts 5:17-21

"But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, 'Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.' And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and taught." back to Angels are Protectors

Genesis 19:15

"When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."back to Angels are Sent as a Result of Prayer

II Corinthians 11:13-15

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angle of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds."back to Counterfeit Angels

Romans 2:24-25

"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hears to impurity, to the dishonoring of the their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."back to Counterfeit Angels

Exodus 33:2

"And I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites."back to Angels are Warriors

Luke 1:11

"And the angel answered him, 'I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you , and to bring you this good news.'"back to Angels are Messengers

Acts 8:26-29

"But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join this chariot.'"back to Angels are Messengers

Acts 12:5-8

"So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, 'Get up quickly.' And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, 'Dress yourself and put on your sandals.' And he did so. And he said to him, 'Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.' And he aid to him, 'Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.'"back to Angels are Sent as a Result of Prayer

I Corinthians 6:3

"Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!"

Romans 8:17

"When we cry 'Abba! Father!' it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."back to Angels are not to be Worshipped

Matthew 25:41

"Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, in to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;'"back to Counterfeit Angels

II Corinthians 11:12-15

"And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in the boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness."back to Counterfeit Angels

Matthew 13:41-42

"The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." Back to Angels and near-death experiences

Copyright 1995 by Jean Kincaid, Ph.D. All rights reserved.