God’s angelic protection for us
One of my favorite memories of my dad goes back to when I was just 5-6 years old. I had heard some fighting on the street in front of our house and someone had been stabbed -- so I lay there in bed, I cried out for my dad – Pastor Shields in the Philippines – and he came and sat with me in my bed. He assured me of his own presence, but also told me that GOD was with us and had protective powerful angels all around our home and in my bedroom too, even if I couldn’t see them. He prayed, we hugged, and I slept like a baby after that. I’m convinced we have our own guardian angel. Certainly scriptures hint of that, saying children have their own angel (Matthew 18:10).
Note: I see this “blog” as a study guide. I won’t write out all the scriptures but will refer to them and hope you will look them up in your own Bible. I think you’ll find yourself encouraged by this little study about angelic protection.
What and who are angels? Before mankind was created, God created angels – millions and millions of them – to serve him (Revelation 5:11). Remember all things, including the angels, were created by God through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9), fulfilling God the Father’s plans. This is also evident in other well-known scriptures like John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-4 and many more. Angels are neither male nor female and do not marry (Luke 20:34-36) but are powerful, intelligent and awesome spirit beings (Hebrews 1:7).
Yes, there definitely, absolutely, is a spirit world made up of very holy spirit beings and very evil demonic spirit beings. The Bible is full of examples of angelic appearances and protection. No doubt MOST of the time we’re not even aware of angelic protection. Other times it is obvious.
Click on “Continue reading” to learn what angels are, are there good and bad angels, what do they look like in their spirit form, who was “the Angel of the LORD”, and do we have our own “guardian angel”?
Almost 300 scriptures refer to angels, in fact. Add the references to cherubim, seraphim, the 4 living creatures around God’s throne and the 24 elders around his throne – and you have many more scriptures. Yes, angels are real and God’s holy angels are wonderful. A caution though: some people start to pray to angels or worship angels, and that is clearly forbidden in scripture. We are to worship God and him alone. God’s angels stopped anyone from worshiping them.
Revelation 19:10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Revelation 22:8-9 “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
Angels can appear in different forms. Not all angels have wings. Sometimes when appearing to us, they appear to be just ordinary people. At other times, when God wants us to know we’ve been visited by an angel, they reveal their glory, shining like lightning in bright white garments—but usually you may not even know you’re talking to an angel. I’m sure many times they have appeared to God’s children incognito as either a man or woman. Hebrews 13:2 says we might sometimes be unwittingly entertaining angels when we’re kind to people. Lot saw 2 men come into Sodom and invited them into his home – and it turned out they were angels who appeared as regular people (Genesis 19:1-2). In their spirit form some may appear as an eagle, or a man, or a lion (see Revelation 4:7). I believe I’ve conversed with an angel who was in a restaurant uniform as a Hispanic woman. I’ll tell the story some other time. The white chargers or horses upon which Christ and the armies in heaven will ride when Christ returns are most likely powerful spirit beings – or angels which appear as white horses (Rev. 19:11-14).
Some angels have wings, some do not. Some have 4 wings – called a cherub, or the plural is cherubim. Some have 6 wings and are called seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-2). The “four living creatures” around God’s throne (Revelation 4:8) also have six wings. Some are powerful wise “elders” – like the 24 of them around God’s throne. Some are called the 4 living creatures (or living beasts KJV), with a face on each side of their head (Ezekiel 10:14). The Living Creatures of Rev. 4:8 however, seem to each have their own unique face. Read all of Ezekiel 10 if you want a fascinating read about cherubim. They have the face of a man, ox, eagle and lion. Imagine meeting one of them in a dark alley?!!
Certainly give ZERO credence to the Renaissance paintings of “cherubs” as chubby naked little boys with little wings. Nothing could be further from the truth.
About a third of the angels – many millions of them -- were swayed to the evil side by their leader who became Satan, the Adversary. His name prior to that was not Lucifer (a very bad Latin version of his Hebrew name Heylel, referring to light.) So even to this day, Satan tries to present himself as a good angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). His fallen angels are now what we call demons. Check out my other blog showing how “Lucifer” is not Satan’s former name even though our English Bibles give that name in English. I also have several recent sermons all about Satan and his demons.
The rest of the angels – the good angels – worship God in heaven and are obedient to his will. Nehemiah 9:6 says all the host of heaven worship God. When God calls the angels to meetings, they all come before him – as we’re shown in Job 1:6 and 2:1. Satan is shown in that passage as also coming to present himself. I doubt that Satan can just come and go at will before God’s presence, but certainly we know the good angels do come and go before God.
As powerful and awe-inspiring as angels are, if you ever meet one in power and glory, we will probably be like Daniel and just faint in fear. (Daniel 8:27, 15-18). Even tough Roman guards shook in fear and became “as dead men”( Matthew 28:1-4) in the presence of a brightly shining angel.
Angels can fly very, very quickly, as Daniel found out (Daniel 9:20-21).
Do you realize there are protective angels sent to be with, protect and even comfort God’s children – you and me and others? Are you conscious of them? Can you at least “see them” in your mind’s eye?
Remember Elisha one time asked God to reveal his angelic protection to his ministerial assistant who was scared to death of the enemy soldiers outside the city walls. You can read that story yourself in 2 Kings 6:16-18. Please read it. When his eyes were opened, Elisha’s servant saw angels with flaming chariots of fire circling the city above.
Sometimes I wish I could see angels too. But believe me – most of us would be scared almost to death the first few times we’d see angels, especially if we saw them in their glory. Look at the angel who appeared after Christ’s resurrection! His brilliant-like-lightning appearance made even tough Roman guards shake for fear! (Matthew 28:1-4). But on the other hand, I know without a doubt that I have talked to and visited with – yes, angels. That’s for another story. The book of Hebrews even tells us to be hospitable to strangers, for who’s to say if you’re in fact entertaining angels. See Hebrews 13:2.
So take heart. The good angels are sent as “ministering spirits” to serve us – “for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:13-14). Right now we are “lower than the angels” but when it’s all said and done, they will serve us in God’s kingdom and we will also, in fact, judge them (1 Cor. 6:3).
There is one exception to worshiping someone called an “angel” -- “The Angel of the LORD”. He was the one who came to us later as “the Word” and as the Son of God, and was worthy of worship, of course. Remember “angel” means “messenger”. So quite often in scripture we see the Messenger sent from God the Father was in fact the Word of God, who was God with God (John 1:1-3). So of course in those instances the Angel of the LORD (YHVH) allowed worship. In fact, Hebrews 1:6-8 has God the Father commanding the angels to worship the Son, whom we know as Jesus the Christ, or Yeshua the Messiah. Hebrews 1:8 and John 1:1-3 call him “God” as well. Since he is also part of the one God with his Father, of course Jesus allowed himself to be worshipped while on earth and we can and should worship him now.
NOTE: when scripture speaks of “AN angel of the Lord” – that is different from “THE angel of the Lord”. Usually “THE angel of the LORD” refers to the one who became Christ, with a few exceptions, which you can determine by context. All good angels are “AN angel” of God.
Examples of worshiping “the Angel of the LORD”:
** Hagar also had an encounter with this Angel of YHVH (the LORD) in Genesis 16:7-14. You should study it. Notice scripture records that she later understood this “Angel” (Messenger) she spoke to, to be “the LORD” (v. 13).
**Exodus 3:1-15. Moses and the burning bush and the LORD who speaks to him and speaks as God (Ex. 3:4, 5-7, 11, 13-14). But in Stephen’s recounting of this passage that clearly references GOD as the speaker—Stephen calls this Being “Angel of the Lord” in Acts 7:30-34. Read it carefully. And yet clearly this is a Being also being referred to as “God”. Again, remember “angel” means Messenger and yes, often times the Word of God was also God the Father’s “Messenger” or “Word of the LORD” (YHVH).
** Judges 2:1-6. Please read this passage very, very carefully. Someone called “The Angel of the LORD” speaks as God himself and reveals himself visibly – as he often did. Read it for yourself. But no one has EVER seen God the Father (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12; John 6:46).
** Judges 6:11-19, notice how this Angel of the LORD talking to Gideon is then referenced in verse 14 as “the LORD”.
**Judges 13 – whole chapter, when he appears to the parents of the promised son Samson. Notice verses 22-23 – where Manoah and his wife equate the Angel of the Lord with “the LORD” who had just spoken to them and had accepted their offering.
I have several sermons showing that the name “YHVH” is used clearly at times of just God the Father (such as Psalm 110:1) and at other times YHVH has to refer to Yeshua, the Christ – especially in those scriptures where YHVH (the LORD) APPEARS visibly to mankind. IN those times of manifestations, that can’t be the Father, for nobody has seen the Father.
Let’s move on to regular angels again.
God sometimes sent angels to convey messages to people – as he did to Daniel and Mary the mother of Jesus or Yeshua, for example. I’m SURE we’ll see that happen again to God’s children. God also sent angels to protect his people. Sometimes they made themselves visible to the enemies of God’s children, to frighten away the foe.
Let’s look at a few examples of angels helping and protecting God’s children.
*** Daniel in the lions’ den says that an angel was sent to close the lions’ mouths (Daniel 6:22, 27).
*** Yeshua, the Son of God himself, was encouraged and served by angels after he finished the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, after fasting 40 days. Matthew 4:11-13. Also, in the Garden of Gethsemane, after he prayed 3 times, we’re told that an angel appeared and comforted and encouraged Yeshua (Luke 22:42-43).
*** Yeshua (Jesus) said not to despise little ones, children, because “in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). That seems pretty clear to me that our children have their own guardian angels.
*** Paul had an angel appear to him on one of his sailing trips with encouraging news, that though their ship would be allowed to run aground, no lives would be lost. (Acts 27:13-32, note especially verse 23).
***There’s another story in Acts 12. I love this story. It’s so inspiring. Peter, imprisoned after Herod had arrested and beheaded James the apostle, had an angel come and save him. It’s interesting to me that this happens after the local believers were praying fervently for Peter. Please read it. It has some humorous spots too. But here we see Peter slated to be beheaded and yet was peacefully sound asleep, chained to 2 guards plus there were many more guards outside the prison. You need to read the story as it is so inspiring.
My point is simple: yes, there are powerful, holy, spirit beings called angels, who are sent to protect us, encourage us, guide us, and lead us – usually unseen, but they’re there. I hope you’ll be much more aware of their presence now even though you don’t see them.