Ever seen an angel? Ever had visitations from angels? Do you understand the realm of angels or the purpose they serve for God's people?
That's where we're going today. I want to deal with the real, the fake, and the allegations of demonic activity coming in the form of angels.
Before we get started, however, better grab that good cup of dark-roasted coffee -- made in a French Press, preferably -- along with some yummies. You know what they are, right? That's those maple-covered things about six or seven inches long. Hehehehehe........ Careful, now! Not too many.
Writing to the Hebrews, the apostle Paul opens his discourse with a comparison between the Lord Jesus Christ and angels, and us (Hebrews 1):
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
I don't have time in today's Coffee Break to deal with the reason Paul began his open letter to the Jews with this comparison other than to note that throughout history, they were extremely familiar with the appearance of angels as the messengers of God. Eight times in the Psalms, David makes reference to the angels, the angelic realm, their purposes, and our ability to command them.
Twice he commands them prophetically as he sings, (1) "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word; (2) "Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure." (Psalm 103:20, 21)
Again in Psalm 148:2, David sings, "Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts."
Maybe you've never stopped to consider his phraseology, but David is commanding the angels to Bless the Lord, to praise Him. In so doing, he makes clear the fact that when a person is in right standing with God, they have both power and authority over angels. That power and authority to command them, however, are limited to our speaking of His Word. In Psalm 103:20, David says that they "listen and obey the sound (our English translations improperly render the Hebrew kole as "voice" when it is better translated "sound") of His Word."
Again, David tells us that the angels are God's ministers whose function is to "do His pleasure."
The apostle Paul, therefore, in his letter writes, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of soteria: salvation, healing, health, safety, deliverance, prosperity, wholeness?"
Get it? Angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those whose heritage and inheritance is Kingdom living. The Greek text of Hebrews reads like this: "Are they not all ministering spirits, being sent forth for service on account of those being about to inherit salvation, healing, etc.?"
One of the problems we have in the body of Christ today is that because the realm of the supernatural has been educated out of God's people, there is a great deal of fear and superstition when it comes to talking about the angelic realm. We've become too educated, too smart to think about angels.
Start talking about them, and fear rises quickly. Better be careful! You know how easy it is to get deceived. Never know when they might actually be demons coming as "angels of light."
Folks, it's time for us to get our heads on straight. We need to stop giving Satan credit where credit isn't due. Is he a deceiver? Yup. Can he fool people? The answer is a qualified "yes." The qualification is that if you are not walking in the Spirit, if you are not filled with the Spirit, if you are not functioning in the Gifts of the Spirit, if you are not manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit, sure, you are ripe for deception.
I've yet to meet a Spirit-filled person whose "discerner" was so broken and out of commission they couldn't tell the difference between the angel of the Lord and the counterfeit. "Spirit-filled" denotes someone who is just that: filled up to the full with the Holy Spirit! If a person is Spirit-filled, what kind of screwy logic assumes that the Holy Spirit doesn't know when a counterfeit is there, and that the Holy Spirit very effectively communicates that to the individual in whom He dwells?
It really is nothing less than ignorance and fear that keeps God's people from functioning in the authority and power they have access to. Ignorance and fear also -- by process of spiritual logic -- mean that the person living in ignorance and fear is NOT filled with the Spirit. There is no fear in love. There is no love in fear. And being Spirit-filled means that you exhibit and live in and operate in love -- God's love!
I grew up with angels. That may sound funny, so let me explain; and I'll preface what I'm about to say by stating unequivocally that I've never carried on conversations with angels, and I don't worship them.
Although my mother told me that these events actually began when I was perhaps two years old, my first conscious memory begins at age four when I awoke early one morning to see angels in my bedroom. My first reaction as a four-year-old was fear. Better believe it! I yanked the covers over my head, and then gradually peaked out to see if they were still there. They were.
Over the weeks and months and years that followed, it was a regular occurrence. Sometimes I would awaken and see the wall of my bedroom gone and a stairway leading into Heaven with angels ascending and descending. Sometimes there were myriads of angels. Other times, it might just be one standing by my bed.
Because it was such a regular event, it became the frequent topic of our family breakfast conversations and my mother took great pains to show me each and every event in Scripture where the angel of the Lord appeared to someone. The one thing that developed out of these recurring visitations was that I came to realize that angels were my constant companions. There was a sense of peace and safety that stayed with me constantly.
As previously noted, I never had any conversations with any of them, and it never occurred to me to begin one. They never spoke to me either. They were just there. I knew they were there even when I couldn't see them.
I can't even begin to number the times this happened to me other than to say that it was a regular and consistent occurrence throughout a period of three years culminating in an event that took place when I was seven years old. That was the morning I awoke, and instead of seeing angels in my room, it was the Lord Jesus Christ standing at the foot of my bed.
His presence was striking, and it ministered instant peace. This event signaled a change in the way the Lord would begin dealing with me from that point forward, and it was at this moment that Jesus began to lay out for me His plan and purpose for my life. I'll not go into all of that here since it would take this discussion off-track, but suffice it to say that the visible appearance of angels was minimized from that day on.
That's not to say that I don't still see them. I do from time to time. They seem to appear the most regularly when we are in the midst of praise and worship, and their appearance is visible to the naked eye. We also get to hear them sing with us and play some extraordinary instruments. But that's another topic.
Bob Jones has a singular reputation in the body of Christ as a prophet. He has had some of the most extraordinary experiences with angels I've ever heard of. They are also among the strangest. Sometimes I don't know quite what to make of his experiences -- particularly when he describes some of his conversations with them and tells us what their names are -- and yet once you get past the concept of them telling him their names, everything else has clear backing in Scripture.
His experiences are not without precedent, however.
I remember one of my Dad's friends, Roland Buck, who was a pastor in
I was reviewing his book and chuckled when I realized that
back in the early 1980's when Buck was sharing his experiences and
conversations with the angels from his pulpit, folks got as angry and upset
with him as they have with Todd Bentley. One man took his religious
fervor and animosity against Roland Buck's messages to the point that he bashed
in the sign in front of the church in
Another piece of humor cropped up when I realized that Roland Buck was using what has become Todd Bentley's trademark expression, "Bam," when he laid hands on folks to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That was 28 years ago.
Funny, isn't it, how people become so upset and angry when folks begin to minister "outside the box" of traditional and "accepted" behavior. It really is time for God's people to wake up! It's time for them to realize that angelic visitations are the norm -- not the exception -- in God's economy. Those visitations are designed to produce a message that will shake people up, rouse them from their religious stupor, and awaken them to prepare for the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wow! We've hardly scratched the surface on this topic. Guess we'll stop for now and pick it up here in our next Coffee Break.
Faith causes the intellect to see, the heart to hear, and the will to respond. Faith is not a substitute: it is the very substance of that which we hope for and expect. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22)
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