Question on Angels

Wayne S. Walker

Question:  “What does the Bible say about angels among us today and
other things that can’t be explained in human language?”

     The Bible does have a lot to say about angels, although there are
still many details about them that we do not know.  The word “angel”
simply means messenger.  Sometimes it can refer to purely human
messengers.  But there are numerous accounts in the Bible where in times
past God has used heavenly beings to reveal a particular message from Him
to certain people on specific occasions, and thus these beings are
commonly called “angels.”
 

    However, the Bible also says that today God has chosen only one
means to reveal His message to mankind.  And that means is the
scriptures.  We read in 2 Timothy 3.16-17, “All scripture is given by
inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be
complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

     This passage is simply saying that the scriptures, or the written
word of God revealed through inspired men, contains everything that we
need to know to please God.  Thus, because we have the completed
scriptures there is just no need for angels to reveal a message to anyone
now.  Hebrews 1.14 does say of angels, “Are they not all ministering
servants sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

      So the Bible says that angels serve as ministering spirits for
those who will inherit salvation.  But exactly what this ministry or
service involves is not said.  Some believe that there are guardian
angels to protect people.  Others claim that angels visit them and speak
to them.  However, since the Bible contains everything that we need to
know to please God, yet it does not actually say that angels would visit
and speak to people today, we have to be leery of such claims.
 

    In Galatians 1.6-9 Paul issued a stern warning to anyone who would
preach something different from the revealed gospel of Christ or to
anyone who would believe such a message, even if it was supposed to be
delivered by an angel.  He wrote, “I marvel that you are turning away so
soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different
gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want
to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But if we, or an angel from heaven,
preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached, let him be
accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches
any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be
accursed.”
 

    Thus, the Bible warns us against supposed messages from angels.
While no one could deny that God has the power to send His heavenly
angels to men on earth today, it would appear from the scriptures that
whatever ministry for the saints that angels are involved in, it is done
in heaven and not directly here on earth.  There is just no passage of
scripture that justifies the common concept of a guardian angel who
watches over and protects each individual.  If it is so, how then can we
explain why accidents happen to even righteous people?  We must learn to
be satisfied with only what the Bible itself says about angels.

     But what about all those things that cannot be explained in human
language?  Certainly, there are events that occur which are not
explainable according to our current level of knowledge, either from
science or the scriptures.  Deuteronomy 29.29 says, “The secret things
belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to
us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this
law.”  The things that are revealed are for us to know; the secret things
belong to God, and that is where we need to leave them!  (from “Search
for Truth,” November, 1996.)

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