"The Sword of Gilead." An Avenging Angel revealed to Eddie Russell in 1990
will be explained later.
we ever think of the angels at all it would probably be around
Christmas time when Hymns and Carols seem full of their presence. In
many homes, shopping centres and city malls around the world you will
find a Christmas tree topped by a star or by a plastic angel. But how
often do we consider these magnificent creatures at other times of the
year? At this special time of year even non-believers get caught up with
the warmth of love and friendship and somehow we know that there is
something more going on than plastic angels and booze. None-the-less,
it's a pity that the angelic is a subject that is rarely talked about,
thought of or taught in Catholic circles in recent times and yet there
is a wealth of spiritual assistance available to every Christian in the
Body of Christ who are surrounded at all times by a great cloud of
|Sadly there are some strange notions regarding the angels, and perhaps this article will help you to clear that up.|
However, in spite of this, the angelic has become very popular in recent years with the advent of the New Age Movement. Its adherents often use Christian terminology such as "Guardian Angels" to describe consultation with the dead or evil spirits. The angels they are referring to, were until recent years, called "Spirit Guides" or "Familiar Spirits" and are clearly demonic, pagan and occult in origin. In an attempt to clear up this confusion for Christians is the reason for this article. I hope that it will spread some light on the reality and truth of God's Holy Angels whose role is to minister to God and His people.
These angels whom the Bible calls "Ministering Spirits" (Heb.1:14) have many varying different roles and functions to assist the Christian here on the earth. Not only do they minister to God before the Throne day and night but they also convey God's messages to His people. Some have specific roles and are created to perform specific tasks such as the Guardian Angels of countries, territories and individuals. Although this subject is too vast to enter into here, perhaps this short article will allow you to study the subject further.
The Luciferic Rebellion and The War in Heaven.
The Bible only mentions the names of four angels from the countless millions that have been created. They are, Gabrielle, whose name means, "God is Mighty", Michael, whose name means, "Like God", Raphael, whose name means, "God Heals", and Lucifer, whose name means, "Light Bearer". All of them were created good!
It was Lucifer who rebelled against God and who through pride, coveted the Throne of God and the worship that belonged to God alone. This resulted in a mighty war in Heaven. Lucifer, along with one third of the angelic host was defeated by the Archangel Michael and was cast down from Heaven to the earth where he became known as "Satan", a name which literally means; "Adversary" as well as "Devil", which means, "Accuser of the brethren."Let us examine more closely this angelic war and its outcome.
In Revelations chapter 12 we find the event. A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
*And there was war in heaven.* Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelations 12 1-17)
Chapter 7 to 9, *And there was war in heaven* refers to the events prior to the creation of Adam. We find this in Genesis 2: 9, where God warns about two trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Cast down before the creation of Adam, Lucifer, referred to as the serpent is already on the earth. The two trees with either eternal life or eternal death were there before the creation of Adam, and so God did not tempt Adam with the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil as many might think, but simply warned Adam of the danger and consequence already present.
Later in Luke 10: 17 - 20, the seventy-two disciples return from a mission with joy and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Jesus referred to the war in heaven because he was there. Jesus is the Word Incarnate; the Word that created all things, including Lucifer and it is against Jesus, the Word; truth, that Lucifer rebelled, and that war continues to this very day.
Again, in Revelations 22: 1-6, we find the end of the story regarding the triumph of the Tree of Life and its consequence for us if we accept Jesus. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."
Scripture also refers to Lucifer by many other names all of which describe his "fallen nature." These names are, "Beelzebub", "Prince of Darkness", "King of Tyre", "Father of Lies". "Day Star", "The Thief", "god of this world" (cosmos: Gr. world system) but, never Lucifer again. He is no longer entitled to that name which described his original nature and ministry. Perhaps this would be a good time to put Satan in his proper place and perspective because in these days he is being worshipped as a god by many people around the world.
|It becomes clear; Satan is not an equal and opposite of God as claimed by many!|
Just like all the other angels he was created by God and therefore by definition, he is not God. Satan is a creature and therefore he is subject to God like all else in heaven and earth and he has no more rights or power than God allows.
Popular (New Age) thought adopts the concept of Yin and Yang and believe this to be perfect balance and harmony. However, it is self evident that this is erroneous thinking; even the law of physics testifies to this in that darkness is merely and absence of light, and therefore, unlike light dispelling darkness, darkness cannot enter light nor extinguish it. The only outcome of the war between good and evil in this thinking is perpetual war due to the neutralizing of this equality. Hence there will never be peace with a Yin and Yang concept or any other New Age or occult philosophy, but, it does keep us entertained and Hollywood in business.
The beginning chapters of the Book of Job show the true inequality very clearly (Job 1:6-12 - Job 2:1-7) and even though Satan has the effrontery to enter God's presence with the other angels (sons) he does so to "accuse" God's people. However, you will notice that Satan can do no more than God allows him to do. "And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not lay a hand upon his person" (Job 1:12) and of course Satan did not because he could not!
These are comforting thoughts when we are faced with such evils as we see in the world today, but because of the "New Covenant" in the Blood of Christ each Christian is given authority by God over all the "works" of the adversary. In fact we are "commissioned" by God to "announce" the Good News of the Kingdom, and to bring the captives out of darkness into His wonderful light and so in Mark 16:17, we read, "In my name (Jesus) they will expel demons."
The authority that the Father gave to Jesus is now transferred to His Church. Unfortunately, just like all the good angels, the evil ones and the Devil himself have also been relegated to the area of myth by many Christians whilst the non-believers are very much aware of his reality.Satan worship is on the increase.
Hiding in myth is a good trick if he can get away with it. It suits his purpose when the only ones who do not believe that he exists are the only ones who can dislodge him from his strongholds. His "new look" is called the "New Age." This is just new packaging for a very old thing: Sorcery. It's selling well at the moment and it has even got through to Christians who have lowered their defences against a subtle sales pitch aimed at a spiritual void.
One of the most nefarious examples today is the message of Marilyn Manson's "Anti Christ Superstar." This album solicits acceptance of Manson as a saviour. It calls young people to kill their parents and whoever else they see as their enemy and then kill themselves. According to Manson, this is how they get saved and set free.
In addition, The Church of Satan is well established under law in the USA and possibly elsewhere too. Television proliferates these beliefs through such programmes as Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural and many other witchcraft programmes that are very popular with our youth.We are able to call on the angelic to assist us when we need help.Along with the Word of God, the Power, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit working on our behalf, we also have countless millions of angels at our disposal in the same way that Jesus did when he was arrested in Gethsemane.... "do you not suppose that I can call on my Father to provide at a moment's notice more than twelve legions of angels" (Mat 26:53).
Psalm 91 is worth reading and studying because it refers to the protection the Father provides for all His children who find themselves in dangerous circumstances. It informs us that by remaining in a close relationship with God. He promises to rescue us from: the snare of the Fowler, the destroying pestilence, the terror by night, the arrow by day, and from plagues, the wicked, evil, and affliction.
Then, in verse 11, it says, "for to His angels He has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways." And again in verse 13, it says: "you shall tread upon the asp and the viper; you shall trample down the lion and the dragon." Notice that it says, "you will". It is "we" who do it! By what power? By the power of God, of course. That is "our" authority and, let's face it, "if God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31) It stands to reason that if God is for us everything that is of God is for us too. We are never alone as much as we may think that we are. God's angels are ever present to help us in all that we do.
Angels are countless in number. (Rev.5:11)"Their cavalry troops whose count I heard were two hundred million in number." (Rev 9:16) Angels are immortal Celestial Spirits created by God. They are created to represent Him and to guard His interests (Ps.148: 5-6). Angels were created before God created the world (Job.1:6,).
Angels do not have corporal bodies but they can manifest themselves in human form. An example of this is seen in the account of Lot regarding Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19, Acts.10:30, Tobit 12:11-22).
I recommend that you read the whole book of Tobit where you will see the wonderful deeds of the Archangel Raphael on his behalf. Raphael is one of the seven spirits before the Throne of God. He seems to be the angel who protects the family. In this account, you will see how he saves Raguel from the wicked demon, Asmodeus (Arabic: "the destroyer") who has killed seven of her husbands before they could consummate the marriage and how he heals Tobit of his blindness and helps Tobit's son Tobias to successfully marry Raguel. Then in the ending chapters he reveals a truth about his angelic nature.(Although non Catholics do not accept this book as Canon of Scripture, the book of Tobit is a magnificent insight into the role of Angels that was richly expressed in Hebrew Angelology and belief. The Catholic Church accepts Tobit as part of the Canon of Scripture).
Occasionally angels will appear in all their celestial beauty and glory (Matt 28:3, Dan.10:5-6). In Daniel 10: 12-14, and verses 20-21, you will see Gabrielle and Michael in their role of bringing an answer to prayer and how they deal with the demonic angel of the kingdom of Persia.Angels do not marry.
They are pure spirit beings and are referred to as a 'company' rather than a 'race'. They are always referred to in the masculine gender. (Matt.22:30, Luke 20: 34-36). St. Thomas Aguinas tells us that because angels are referred to as a company and not a race they cannot procreate; they are pure spirit beings with no need of a body or its attributes. In wahtever body they might have appeared are only apparant bodies for our comfort when encountering them.
Angels have different functions.
Angels have different functions and are created for specific tasks and they have various levels of authority which include: "Thrones", "Dominions", "Seraphim", "Cherubim", "Angels", "Archangels", and "Guardian Angels" (Col. 1:16, Jude 9.). Guardian Angels are given to children when they are born and are there to minister to them throughout their life (Matt. 18; 10).
Angelic worship.Angels worship before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night (Ps. 148: 2, Tobit 12:15, Heb. 1:6, Rev. 4: 5-8). The angels celebrate before the Throne of God every time a sinner repents and turns to God. (Luke 15; 10,) Just think how much Heaven will rejoice when we really get moving with Evangelisation!
Angels escort Christians to heaven when they die (Luke 16:22)The angels record our deeds, good and bad, in a book that will be opened at the final Judgement (Mal.3:16, Rev.20:12). Angels have the authority to execute God's Judgement on Cities, Nations and People (Eccl. 5:6, Ezek. 9:1-6, Ps. 33:4-6, Kings 19:35, Acts 12:23).
Angels are Messengers of God not ascended masters.
Angels are messengers of God to His people (Zech. 1: 9, 13-14, 19 Luke 1:11-20, Luke. 1:26-38) and it is this encounter that dominates our Christmas celebration. However, appearances of the angels are usually brief and formal. They are aimed at improving our relationship with the Lord rather than attracting attention to themselves (Revelation 22: 8-9)
We will judge the Angels.
Until we enter the fullness of our redemption the angels enjoy a superior position to us, but they will then serve under us as the Bride of Christ when we become the elite of all God's creation (Rev. 21: 9-14, 2Tim.2:12). We will even judge the angels (1Cor.6:3).
However, because angels are so magnificent, people have fallen into the sin of angel-worship. To us they may seem like God Himself, but to God they are as far away from His perfection as your dog is to you. We must always remember that the angels, good and bad, are creatures, they are not gods. Saint Thomas Aquinas points out that the angels are not supernatural simply because the condition of an angel as a created being is natural to his state. God and God alone is the only supernatural being. So the Bible warns us not to worship angels (Col. 1:18, - Rev. 19: 10). No holy angel of God will accept homage or worship from humans. If one ever does, it is a clear sign that it is a demon in disguise.
God's Holy Angels are ever present to help us.It is comforting to know whom and what you have working on your side. Angels and Christians are partners and allies in the spiritual warfare in which we find ourselves. They assist us to dislodge Satan from his stronghold in the world. When Intercessors come together and prayer prevails it brings powerful angels to aid and assist us to hinder the workings of Satan (Hebrews 1:4, Daniel 10:12-13).
We must not confuse the works of the angels with the role of the Holy Spirit.
The role of the angels and the role of the Holy Spirit are very different even though they are companion roles in our lives by assisting us to build the Church and in establishing the Kingdom of God where we live. The difference lies in that the role of the angels is to administer material affairs. The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the mind of God and to make Jesus known. Matthew 4:11 shows this distinction clearly; Jesus was "led" by the Spirit, "taught" by the Spirit, and "filled" with the Spirit, but He was "defended" and 'fed' by the angels.
Angels are also territorial spirits and are assigned to particular earthly territories.
The Archangel Michael is the Guardian Angel of Israel (and ours too). The Bible shows us that cities are under angelic guardianship (Dan. 12:1, Ezek. 9:1, Acts.16:9, Acts.10:30). When we read Revelations Chapters 2 and 3, we can see this clearly: "To the presiding spirit of the Church in Ephesus". The "presiding spirit" = literally; angels. (NAB footnotes). Angels were thought of as being in charge of whole communities and individuals alike. (Matt. 18:10, Acts 12:15)."Only God is home for the love of the angels, just as he is for us. The angels must make their way home, for love's fire is the Divine Flame, or there is no warmth." (St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica / Hebrews. 1:7).
It was love's flame that warmed the heart of a young virgin when the Archangel Gabrielle came to announce the good news that a saviour was to be born. It is Gabrielle that God sends to announce "Good News."
Every major proclamation of God was announced by Gabrielle and considering that Mary would have been well acquainted with the angelic tradition of her faith such as we have looked at here. It's not so surprising that she was a little afraid when she was confronted with such a being as Gabrielle although her fear was that of respect rather than that born of a lack of faith. It was her faith to say yes that brought about the greatest miracle of God in all of history, past, present and future.
When the time came for the Saviour to enter into the world, angels appeared to shepherds and proclaimed the "good news" of a Saviour born. The Glory of God shone around them with an angelic multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and peace to those on whom His favour rests" (Luke.2:9-14). The Shepherds saw that Glory on that first Christmas night and Mary treasured these things in her heart (Luke 2:19).