The angelic beings said nothing; but somehow their grasp seemed familiar. – The Prodigal’s Advocate
I’m thankful for the ministering work of angles but I find it very curious how easily our attention on them can become misguided. People who do not believe in, or follow God are happy to embrace the angelic. Perhaps angels seem safe. In our minds they seem to offer much but require little from us. Somehow, it seems, we possess enough spirituality to readily accept angels, but we falter when we focus our minds on God. It is helpful to undergo a little self-examination to see how many of our concepts about angelic beings are based on the Bible or on myth.
True or False: Angels are cute, cuddly and childlike.
Thanks to renaissance paintings, our brains have been branded with this image of chubby children with wings. I would LOVE to know why these artists depicted angels in this way. It may have been an influence of mythology or to represent innocence, but either way it gives the wrong impression that angles are just cuddly little pushovers.
Revelation 10:1-3: “I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.”
Cute and cuddly? Um, no.
He held a flaming sword in his right hand, and directed a withering gaze upon me. If I had not been so persuaded that descending the steps behind me was impossibly futile, I would have fled from his presence and the magnificence that permeated everything before me. – The Prodigal’s Advocate
True or False: Humans become Angels.
I can close my eyes and see the black and white image of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and hear the catchy phrase, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” There is so much I love about that classic movie, except for the unbiblical and widely believed idea that humans become angles in the afterlife.
According to Hebrews 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
As illustrated by the following excerpts from The Prodigal’s Advocate, angels are created spirits that have many varying appearances.
…their eyes were brightly lit torch points, and their brass-like feet shone; but I saw no evidence of any wings.
There were winged beings in abundance. Some had two wings, some four, and others six. Many of the winged beings flew, but some seemed content to walk on the same surface as me. There were other beings that had human forms, but they were iridescent, many shimmering gold or silver, but other colors, amethyst, topaz, emerald, and more were all present. Many of these iridescent beings carried implements.
Regarding of what we shall be like once we reach heaven, read 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to more than 500 people on different occasions (1 Corinthians 15:6). He had a tangible body which could be touched and consume food, but was not bound by normal rules of nature. He was still Himself, not some other kind of being, yet He was glorified and no trace of sin’s curse was upon Him. We should remember that it is our goal to become more and more like Him until we leave these earthly bodies, and we will be conformed into the likeness of Christ, not an angel. (Romans 8:29).
True or False: I can safely interact with angels even if I don’t believe in the God of the Bible or Jesus.
By nature, angels are servants and messengers of God (Psalm 103:20). They are totally obedient to the commands of God. Those angels who have rebelled against God and do not walk in truth and light, follow Lucifer, also known as Satan. There are no neutral angels just floating around acting independently benevolent. They obey God and stand for His truth and holiness, or they join with the devil and they “prowl around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1Peter 5:8).
There are no neutral angels just floating around acting independently benevolent
Angels are servants of God who also serve men as God directs. As beings created by God, they are meant to reflect some of the nature of God and are privileged to be used by God for His purposes. Angels are among us, but we are never encouraged to seek them out or place too much attention on them. Our focus should be on God even as we are thankful for the many ways He chooses to work.
Adapted from The Prodigal’s Advocate Participant’s Companion by Darlene Melcher