Angels are vital beings in God's kingdom. They are His ministering servants. The Bible tells us that they worship before His throne in heaven, having direct access to His presence. They are His messengers. They are His warriors, doing battle against the armies of Satan. At God's command, they watch over us and protect us.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns to earth, He will come "in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26). Jesus also said, "Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9). Obviously, then, angels are key creatures in God's design of the universe.

My quarrel here is not with angels - I wouldn't dare quarrel with angels! - but with beings who claim to be angels and are not, and with angels who claim to speak for God, but who in reality lost that right countless years ago!

The Bible tells us to "test the spirits" in order to be certain that they come from God (see 1 John 4:1-3). Certainly God also expects us to "test the angels."

I do believe that God's angels are watching over us every minute of the day, doing their best to keep us from harm. But I also believe they reveal their true identity to us only when it is absolutely necessary for them to do so. Most of the time they stay in the background, silent and invisible. Other times we may encounter them and not even know that we were in their presence.

That's why the book of Hebrews says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (13:2).

IN SUMMARY
God's angels:

  • are His warriors and His messengers, and as such, they will never tell you anything that is contrary to His Word as contained in the Bible;

  • are never willing to accept the praise or worship of human beings;

  • always seek to bring glory to God and His Son, Jesus Christ;

  • rejoice whenever a sinner comes into God's kingdom through the only means possible - faith in Christ;

  • understand that we are all powerless apart from God;

  • are ministering spirits who walk alongside the faithful, ministering to and encouraging those who strive to live for God;

  • come to us to lead us to God.

Satan's angels:

  • are his warriors and his messengers, and as such they often claim to be bringing "new and better truths" to replace or update what is contained in the Bible;

  • readily accept and even invite human praise and worship;

  • deny or downplay Christ's divinity;

  • say that there are many paths to peace with God;

  • tell us that we have the power within us to become like God;

  • are anxious to "get inside us" to take control;

  • come to us to lead us away from God.

One final note. When people of the Bible encountered angels, they were struck with terror and fear. When practitioners of the occult meet their angels, they are often filled with warm fuzzies. What's the mix-up?

Excerpted by permission from The Dark Side of the Supernatural, copyright 1999 by Bill Myers & David Wimbish. All rights reserved. Published by Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minn., www.bethanyhouse.com, 1-800-328-6109.

Bill Myers is the author of more than 50 books that bring Christian insight into the world of the supernatural. He is the co-creator of "McGee and Me." David Wimbish is the author or co-writer of more than 20 books and has more than 25 years' experience as a reporter, television writer, and creative supervisor in a national advertising firm.

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