A Journal for Bible Teachers

Angels

Angels

The purpose of this article is to bring you a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the holy angels who help us through life’s journey from earth to heaven. We are told in Hebrews 1:14 that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” Angels constantly surround and watch over us. Even before we were born again these heavenly messengers protected us and helped guide us into the ways of God.

In my personal life I well remember, at the tender age of nine, while playing in the garden of my father, an angel appeared to me. He held a trumpet in his hand and made me to understand that God had a purpose for my life.

Angels are Created for Different Tasks

God the Father in His infinite wisdom created multitudes of different angels. Each is to perform specific duties so that various tasks will be accomplished. The Lord showed this to me a few years ago when I was ministering in the Philippines. The Lord visibly appeared to me one morning, surrounded by angels. Those nearest to Him were of smaller stature and I understood that these were angels who cared for children. As the angels were progressively further from the Lord, their height and stature increased immeasurably. By this I understood that their responsibilities were also much greater. In fact, those furthest away were responsible for whole cities and nations.

Then the Lord began to tell me that an angel who had been created to rule over a nation would hardly feel satisfied if he were placed in charge of a child. Likewise, an angel who was created to care for a child would certainly feel inadequate to rule over a city. Every angel has been created for a specific purpose, and by flowing in those particular duties for which each had been created, they are all supremely content and satisfied.

Angels in Rulership

There are both holy angels and fallen angels that rule over countries. We are told that Israel was under angelic rulership in Exodus 23:20-21, and in Daniel 12:1 we can read that Michael is the chief prince who governs the nation of Israel. In Daniel 10:13 we are also told of the princes (referring to angels) over Persia and Greece. I have personally seen and encountered some of these angelic rulers in my travels to other nations. It would appear that according to the importance of the nation, so also is the majesty of the angel who sits in glory upon his throne high in the heavens above that particular country. There are multitudes of angels at their command who help with the administration of the country.

At times some countries lie at the brink of economic collapse. Their situation seems absolutely hopeless because of their incompetent politicians. However, when we see that same country rebound and recover, one cannot help but believe that there has been an angelic intervention sent from God.

In a similar way, angels also govern colleges and centers of learning. When I was a young man desiring to go to a certain college, the Lord showed me the spirit that governed that school. The Lord said to me, “If you go to that school, this is the spirit that is going to be teaching you.” It was an intellectual spirit. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance where you are trained. The governing spiritual powers of that institute will mold and shape you, not only for this life, but also for all eternity.

Several years ago the Lord opened my eyes to see many colleges within a range of several hundred miles from where I was. I saw an angel ruling over each college. Governing each secular college was a fallen angel, while over each Christian college was a glorious angel who varied in size and brightness according to the degree of Gospel light and truth that each college embraced.

Revelation 1:20 also shows us that there is an angelic ruler over each church. This affects the preaching and spiritual depth of the church. In my younger years I was invited to pastor an evangelical church. The former pastor had retired and was a member of the congregation. After I had been in my position for a few weeks he said to me, “When you are in the pulpit, do you feel him?” I knew exactly what he was referring to. When I stood behind the pulpit I was conscious of a godly angel coming up behind me. The experience was so real that I actually felt his garments move my clothes as he approached.

Sadly, I have been in some churches where sin has reigned in the congregation. The people tolerated a certain form of sin, rather than dealing with it, and it allowed a fallen angel to govern these churches. When a church embraces a false doctrine, they are actually embracing the fallen spirit that is behind that false doctrine. Unfortunately, that spirit will eventually govern the church. Therefore it is vital that we not only preach the gospel, but also practice it, so that our spiritual covering comes from the Lord.

Angels also can perform lesser duties of rulership. I was in a certain large American city standing at a major road intersection where traffic was particularly heavy. Suddenly, my spiritual eyes were opened and I saw a very large angel who evidently was responsible for the traffic at the crossroads, as well as every office building in that area.

For just a moment, I could see (as with the eyes of this angel) into every office room in the large complexes of that surrounding area. It was as though all the walls were transparent and everything that was taking place in those offices was open and exposed in the sight of the angel.

Angelic Protection and Guidance

From the earliest times in history there has been a conscious awareness of the angelic protection given to the people of God. In the Book of Genesis alone there are eight such accounts. King David was so conscious of the ministry of the holy angels that he wrote,“The angel of the Lord encamps all around about those that fear him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). Beloved, we are never alone.

In the late 1800’s in England, the members of a church were burdened for the safety of their missionary in China. Twenty of them had a prayer meeting. At the same time, in China, their missionary was traveling on horseback through an area filled with robbers. Seeing the missionary, the robbers were preparing to attack him when they saw that he was surrounded by some 20 horsemen armed with swords! The angels of the prayer warriors had been sent. Yes, multitudes of missionaries have stories to tell concerning angelic intervention.

John Wesley (1703-1791)

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist churches, was a vessel of revival but he also had strong opposition. One time as he was traveling, a crowd came to stop him from entering their town. However, as they approached him, they saw ten horsemen with swords surrounding him. They fled in terror. John Wesley himself was unaware of the presence of these angelic horsemen.

Another time, as John Wesley was traveling, there were two men pursuing him who planned to attack him. Finally he came to an inn where he registered and went upstairs to his room. The two men came in and demanded that the innkeeper tell them which room he was in. After rushing upstairs, they came down just as quickly with a look of terror in their faces. Horrified, they said to the innkeeper, “You did not tell us about his two big friends with wings standing outside his door.”

Throughout the Scriptures we can see that many of the saints were guided by angels. This happened to a missionary lady in Central America who wanted to go to a church but did not know the address. Unexpectedly, a young man came out of a crowd of people and asked in perfect English if he could help her. She told him that she was trying to find a church. “Follow me!” he said, “I know exactly where it is!” He led her through crowds and around the streets until they arrived at the church. As she started to go inside she turned to thank him, only to find that he had disappeared. The Holy Spirit spoke to her that the young man had been an angel.

Another modern-day example of angelic guidance occurred when I was in Switzerland, when the wife of a minister had left her little son playing on the balcony of her apartment. She went into the living room down the hall, but after a few minutes she was conscious of an angel who urged her to return to the balcony. This she did, to find her little son had climbed up and was almost over the wall of that balcony (which was four stories high). She grabbed him just in time. Oh let us rejoice, for the angels are ever present because we are precious in the sight of our Lord!

Angels Bring Judgment

Angels often have a role to play in judgment. Such was the case with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20-21) as well as with Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. In Daniel 4:13-17 we can read how Nebuchadnezzar had received a prior warning in a dream of his judgment by the command of “the holy watchers.”

I once counseled a deacon of a church in Switzerland who had received a similar warning from an angel in a dream. This deacon had a wife who was confined to a mental asylum. He then twisted the Scripture to convince himself that he was free from his wife, and he had started to live with another woman.

In his dream, he was placed in a line of men who were standing in heaven before a throne occupied by an angel. As each one stood before the angel their sinful lives were revealed, and they fell down in agony and were then taken to hell. As the line became shorter, the man in front of the deacon turned around and said, “I do not have to worry, for I have done nothing wrong in my life.” However, when his turn came he fell before the angel as all the others before him, and was also hurled into hell. The dream ended and the deacon found himself awake in his bed on earth.

When I counseled this troubled deacon I said, “The interpretation is clear. You are facing eternal judgment unless you cease from your wicked ways. You are presumptuous in thinking that you are free from your wife and able to live with another woman.” He agreed and said that he would leave her and devote himself to his wife.

The end of this story, however, is tragic. For six months his life changed dramatically. He stopped drinking and left the other woman. But after those six months he reverted to his old life, returned to the woman, and in another six months he died. This church deacon, whom God solemnly warned, had been saved, baptized in water and filled with the Holy Spirit, but he is not in heaven today. He is in hell suffering the pangs of eternal judgment.

Angelic Ministries and the Second Coming

Angels play an important part in the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Angels are mentioned 74 times in the Book of Revelation, more than in any other book of the Bible. We may assume that at the end of this age there will be much angelic activity and that the believers will be very aware of their presence.

When I was a young Christian, I was meditating upon the Second Coming as I was walking along the street near my home in London, England. The bank in which I had my savings was on the opposite side of the street. Suddenly, a very large angel started to descend with alarming swiftness from heaven above, and I understood that he was an angel of the Second Coming. In my ignorance I thought the angel was coming to take me into heaven to be forever with the Lord, not realizing that other events had to be fulfilled first. However, to my amazement, as this large angel drew nearer to the other side of the road, he stopped and placed his hand upon my bank. In an instant the purpose of the vision was communicated to me. I was not going to fulfill God’s purposes, and there would be no Second Coming for me, if I continued to rely upon my money in the bank.

Worship Christ Alone

Let us be conscious of the heavenly angels that are around us all the time. They inspire us. They are our guardians. They lead us. They are entrusted by the Lord Himself for our well-being. Why? Because we are so precious in the Lord’s sight. Because Christ gave His precious blood for us, all around us there are the angels of God. Let us be conscious of them, but let us not become distracted from our love for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul had to warn the believers in his epistle to the Colossians, “Let no man cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels” (Colossians 2:18). The Colossian church fell into this problem because they were seeing angels. At times of revival we are very conscious of angels. The anointing was very heavy upon the Early Church and they were seeing angels, but some were becoming deflected from the worship of Christ.

We want to remember that no true angel will ever receive worship, only false angels. There is no man or angel in heaven or earth who is worthy of worship. God alone is worthy, and all worship must be directed to Him.


About the Author

Dr. Brian J. Bailey is the President of Zion Fellowship International, Zion Ministerial Institute, and Zion University. He is also Senior pastor of Zion Chapel in Waverly, New York. He has traveled to over a 100 countries during his ministry of over fifty years, teaching in Bible colleges and preaching in leadership seminars. He is a prolific author of over 50 Christian books that have been published around the world and translated into many languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and French.

Dr. Bailey hails from London, England and left there on his first missionary trip to France. From there he went to Switzerland and became co-founder of a missions fellowship called “Croisade Missionaire.” It was there he met his wife who was herself on a missionary trip to Europe and North Africa.

After a pastorate in Washington State, the Baileys were invited to be on the faculty of Elim Bible Institute. Later they were invited to New Zealand where they had an extended ministry and participated in the national awakening that the country experienced. In 1973 they served for more than five years with World MAP, a missions organization that conducted leadership training seminars in many nations throughout the world. This led them to travel and minister in many nations. Then the Lord directed them to establish Hebron Missionary Fellowship at Waverly, NY which is now named Zion Fellowship International.

Dr. Bailey received a Doctor of Theology, Th. D. from Hebron Bible College. He received a Ph. D. in Biblical Studies form Vision Christian Bible Seminary. He also received a Doctor of Divinity, D. D. from Canada Christian College.

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