They are everywhere, ready to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 1:14 tells us that, “all angels are serving spirits sent to help those who will receive salvation.” Although you and I don’t see them most of the time, if we are observant, we will notice how certain things just seem to work out as God sends His ministering spirits to help us in our time of need.
I am looking forward when I get to heaven to discover how many angels that we actually had stay with us at the New Life Evangelistic Center, as shelter was provided for the homeless. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Don’t forget to welcome strangers (the homeless) into your home. By doing this, some people have had angels visit them and they didn’t know it.” Examples of this can be found in Genesis 18:1-8, when the angels visited Abraham, and Genesis 19:1-3 when they visited Lot.
When it comes to the study of the angels in our midst we find that the Bible is the primary source book. In the Bible we learn that there are 234 specific passages about good angels and 278 references to the “Lord of hosts” or the Lord of the angelic armies of heaven. Thirty-nine books of the Bible, nineteen in the Old Testament and twenty in the New Testament refer to angels. Angels appear from Genesis 3:24 to Rev. 22:16.
As I speak how Angels are everywhere, I think of the day of the great eclipse, August 21, 2017. I was gathered with the New Life staff at Lucas Park, along with over 100 hundred homeless people. It was then that I saw a bright light in the sky shining down on those gathered there. The time was approximately 1:30 pm. With my eclipse glasses on I could see the eclipse of the sun, but when I took those glasses off and looked up, I saw this bright light that did not show up in the glasses. Other homeless people receiving bus tickets at the time saw the same bright light. Some thought it was a reflection off the moon. Of course, it wasn’t, because the moon was covering the sun. One homeless man declared, “its God!” I believe it was a legion of angels sent by God to show us how important it was that we continue to help the angels, who come to us as homeless people.
The angels come as strangers in need of love and hospitality into the lives of those who will receive salvation. They do this as those receiving salvation continue to demonstrate the love of the homeless Jesus in a very practical and useful way.
Sodom’s sins included a disrespect for guests, inhospitality to strangers, resulting in angels being treated unjustly. All strangers and homeless individuals must be welcomed and treated with the hospitality that the angels of God deserve. The very presence of homeless and hurting men, women and children in our midst is a time of testing our humanity or inhumanity to those that not only the angels but Jesus identifies with.
The angels by taking the form of hurting human beings are testing the very foundations of our religious proclamations. Are we hypocritical babbling brooks or fountains and springs of life, hope, and healing? To refuse shelter to the homeless is to refuse not only shelter to the angels but to Jesus Christ Himself, who said in Mathew 25, “As often as you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me”.
Just like angels came as strangers to Abraham bearing the gift of the promise of Isaac, which was Abraham’s hope for the future, they also come to us. Their presence challenges us to be delivered from the intoxication of the cheap grace and truly accept Jesus Christ as our Risen Lord and Savior.
As angels did for Abraham and Lot, Jesus is saying these angels can either bring salvation or judgement. In Matt. 25: 31-46 Jesus declares that what we do to the “least” of our brothers and sisters is a criterion for judgement in this life and the next. It will reveal whether we are sheep or goats, children of the living, welcoming God, or the inhumane forces that are intoxicated by their fears of the stranger.
Both by day and by night God hears the cries of the hurting and homeless. In response to such cries He sends out His divine angels, as well as His human agents with angelic qualities to answer these calls for help.
I believe God sent an angel to Glenna as she sat, homeless on the curb of a street, thinking how she would commit suicide in her state of despair. A caring woman, who was God’s agent of love at the moment, saw Glenna in her state of desperation and homelessness. That person stopped and talked to Glenna, fed her, and brought her to the New Life Evangelistic Center where she received the help she needed.
God hears the cries of His children, just like He heard that of Hagar’s child when he cried out in desperation “Then God heard the boy’s cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy’s cries from where you laid him. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants!’ Then God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well. She immediately filled her water container and gave the boy a drink” (Gen. 21:17-19).
The needs among the poor and homeless at New Life Evangelistic Center continue day after day. The attacks from those who want the homeless and hurting out of sight and out of mind are often relentless. As these attacks take place I know that “the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them” (Psalm34:7).
You and I need God daily to open our eyes to the angels in our midst, as he did for the servant of Elisha in 2 Kings 6:15-17. “And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas my master! What shall we do? So Elisha answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us, are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw. And behold, the mountains were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
My first encounter with the angels was on a cold winter night when I was at Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As I was coming around a curve on an icy road, the car I was driving started to spin out of control. When it was about to go over an embankment I cried out, “Dear God, if you save me I will read your Word every day.”
Just as soon as these words were said, the car came out of the skid and it did not crash. It was nothing short of miraculous. I knew that at that moment angels had taken control of that car and prevented a terrible accident.
The angels who have been sent by God to care for those who are to receive salvation, keep appearing as homeless strangers so that the ones receiving salvation will not commit the sacrilege of ignoring the least of these. This is part of the work of our guardian angels, who desire to protect us from becoming hollow shells of religiosity that are indifferent to the needs of the hurting and homeless.
“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands” (Psalm 91:11, 12). Guardian angels are working to lift us up daily into the hands of God from the diabolical clutches of extreme materialism. They appear as strangers giving us opportunities to let the love of Christ flow through us into the lives of the homeless, prisoners and the suffering.
The guardian angel God has given you protects not only your body but with the direction of the Holy Spirit, your mind and soul as well. Your guardian angel has been personally selected by God to be at your side, to protect you from the dangers that would destroy your ability to “let your light so shine before men and women that they might see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”.
Thomas Aquinas believed each of us had a guardian angel. Pope John the twenty third would tell parents that they should “teach their children they are never alone, that they have an angel at their side.”
Your guardian angel is constantly at your side to guide you, protect you and preserve your soul. St. Jerome was quoted as saying, “How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from birth an angel commissioned to guard it.”
As our guardian angel guards our souls and keeps them from being possessed by our possessions we will love and assist those that society considers dysfunctional and unproductive. With the help of the angels we will move into the city’s depersonalized waste land and open our hearts and churches to those in need.
I know from personal experience at New Life Evangelistic Center that when we take literally, Hebrews 13: 1-3 and create a community of homeless people we will make enemies. These enemies will do everything they can to stop love and hospitality to the homeless, hurting and those that are and were imprisoned. We should not be surprised when the ones who want the homeless out of sight and out of mind, try to destroy us like they did Joan of Arc and so many others. Like Joan of Arc who was guided by Michael the Archangel to become a great warrior we also can receive direction from our angel in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.
Zechariah was told by an angel, “Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John” (Luke 1:13). Later an angel told the Roman commander Cornelius, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God” (Acts 10:4).
Not only do angels minister to believers by communicating God’s answers to prayer as well as directly helping them we also see in Revelations that angels help bring our prayers directly into the presence of God. In Rev. 8:4 we read, “The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” It is a fact God hears and answers our prayers and in the process many times uses angels.
It needs to be clearly stated that we are not to pray to nor worship the angels. They are as Hebrews 1:14 states, “ministering spirits sent to serve those who are inheriting salvation.” When John in the book of Revelations was about to worship an angel we read the following, “When I heard this, I fell at his feet to worship him, But he said to me, ‘Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus, Worship God!” (Rev. 19:10).
The night after Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den King Darius came to discover what happened to Daniel. This is how Daniel responds when asked how he was. “My God sent His angel and shut the lion’s mouth, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O King, I have done no wrong before you” (Dan. 6:22).
When was the last time you asked God to send an angel to help you in your time of need? After all, doesn’t Psalm 34:7 say, “the angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”
God desires to send His angels to comfort and encourage us during difficult times. How we must be willing to accept their help at such times as Hagar did in Gen. 16:7—10a. “Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going? She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai. The Angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.’ I will multiply your descendants exceedingly….’”
John Geiger in his book, “The Third Man Factor” shares an incident of when one felt an angel’s help saved his life.
“The pioneer American naturalist John Muir, in October 1872, found himself stranded halfway up a cliff face on Mount Ritter in the Sierra, Nevada. His arms were spread out and he was unable to move up or down: ‘My doom appeared fixed. I must fall. There would be a moment of bewilderment, and then a lifeless tumble down the one general precipice to the glacier below.’ Then, very suddenly, he was possessed by a new power. Whatever it was, it ‘came forward and assumed control. Had I been borne aloft upon wings; my deliverance could not have been more complete.’ “That day Muir, who later was to help found the Sierra Club, became the first person to reach the summit of Mount Ritter. He had no idea what happened to him, but offered as one possible explanation, a guardian angel.”
How we need God to open our eyes as He did the servant of Elisha to the gift of angels. In 2 Kings 6, we see the gift of angels that are ready to help us in our time of need. “And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Since most believers may never physically see an angel here on earth, it is important we have our spiritual eyes open so we can discern when they are present. Such discerning must be done in the light of the Bible which warns us by declaring, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses (acknowledges) that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).
Many consider Dr. Doreen Virtue to be an authority on angels. She has written Divine Guidance and other books on angels. The fact is she is a new ager who does not believer that Jesus has come in the flesh and is truly the Son of God. John Geiger who I have quoted in this message is one who does an excellent job of sighting individual angel activity. Still he cannot in his book The Third Man Factor come to intellectually accept angels as described in the Scriptures. Instead he defies all logic in an attempt to explain away the supernatural by stating, “an angel switch exists in the brain – but the fact that it is a brain response to extreme and unusual environments doesn’t take away from the experience itself. “Such an explanation defies logic because how does a “brain switch” save individuals in the impossible situations.”
The Bible is the ultimate source for explaining what angels are like:
• They are spiritual beings not flesh and blood (see Ps. 104:4 and Heb. 1:7)
• Angels are immortal (Luke 20:35—36)
• They are not subject to physical limitations (Acts 5:17-23, Acts 12:5-11)
• Angels are holy (Matt. 5:31, Mark 8:38, Acts 10:22, Is 6:1-3)
• Angels are intelligent beings, but not omnipresent (Matt.24:36, 1 Peter 1:12)
• Angels have superhuman powers but are not omnipotent (2 Thess. 1:6, 7, Matt. 24:37)
• There are large numbers of angels (Heb.12:22, 1 Kings 22:19, Ps 103:20, 21).
There is so much more taught in the Bible about angels. For that reason, I want to encourage you to get a Bible concordance and look up the word angel and the Scriptures it sites. Remember you are not alone. Call upon the Lord God in the midst of your troubles. With Jesus as your Lord and Savior expect Him to heard your prayers and send the necessary angels to help you in your time of need.
I remember that evening when I was approaching the southern edge of Dallas. The sun was about to set, when suddenly in front of me, there were large concrete blocks that must have fallen off some truck that had been traveling down the highway. Not having time to swerve I found myself and the small Prius I was driving going right over the top of one of those blocks that stood two feet high. If it had not been for the angels that literally lifted the car over that concrete block, the damage would have much more than just the scraping off a small part of the bottom protective shield under the engine. As a result of this angelic help I was able to continue my trip to Missouri.
How we need to thank God daily for the angels which He sends to help us in our time of need. Most of the time we may not even recognize their presence, but they are there as just one more gift that our heavenly Father sends us in our time of need.
Yours in Christ Service,