Angels of Promise, Angels of Judgment - Part 2
It has never been a vital issue for the Christian believer to understand or knowingly engage the angelic realm. Charismatics seem to put much more emphasis on these sort of things than the scriptures do. We can be perfectly content in feasting on the Gospel alone. And yet, scriptures are full of angelic interaction, and so it is rightly a topic that is available for us to enjoy and explore! In the same way, the angels and saints make up the Cloud of Witnesses who are always surrounding us (often unbeknown), which should encourage us that we are never alone, and this reality infuses us with greater confidence and endurance in life. Angels are constantly interacting with our lives in unseen ways and even release tangible impartations and minister the breakthrough Christ has purchsed for us. It can bolster our faith just to know that angels are watching our back!
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Heb. 12:1).
Right now, believers seem to be more aware of the angelic interacting in our affairs more than ever before. There are a great variety of tasks and assignments they perform. There are angels that function in each flow of God’s sevenfold Spirit (Isa. 11:1), including angels of revelation, angels of might, angels of wisdom, angels of knowledge, angels of counsel, angels of the fear of the Lord, and the Angel of the Lord. There are healing angels that show up on the occasional basis, as well as those assigned to permanently work with healing ministries (we have often been aware of these in our own ministry). We have even been aware of little bartender angels, playful fat “Friar Tuck” sorts that minister the wine and joy of Heaven. Angels are playful and childlike. Jesus Himself said that the angels of little children always see the face of His Father in heaven. In fact, there are far too many types of angelic hosts to list in one brief article: finance angels, Glory angels, angels of sovereignty, etc. There are angels that minister certain virtues and angels assigned to certain geographical regions. A lot of people teach about angels strictly from anecdotal experience. But scripture alone shows us many types and functions of the angelic.
Interestingly, there are angels assigned to specific types of miracles that require an override of the laws of physics. Angels are specifically assigned to enable supernatural abilities such as walking through walls, floating, glowing with luminescence, and other extraordinary acts as recorded in the lives of the saints both past and present. Angels can often materialize or create material objects, as they appeared to Abraham and Lot even eating physical food. Many of us have seen angel feathers left behind in meetings, or as they swirl down from the ceiling at times of visitation. But angels can also bring food and other objects. In the life of Roland Buck (see his book Angels on Assignment), angels brought him food and drink at times that effected supernatural outcomes. For instance, after one of these angelic meals, Roland once lost five pounds a day until he dropped to a normal weight size. Our friends Gary and Sarah Morgan recently shared an encounter wherein angels came in and ate communion bread that was left out!
Stories of angels are without number in the history of God’s church. He operates regularly in the affairs of man through his angelic delegates.
Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word (Psalm 103:20).
We are in a time of great transition across the body of Christ, and this is why stories of angelic activity are becoming so commonplace. I believe that transition has everything to do with the church finally waking up the Gospel and the reality of our inheritance and adoption. Angels are sent at times of major transition, just as they were when Jesus was born. Not only was the high-ranking angel Gabriel dispatched to announce the birth of Christ (Luke 1:26-33), but an entire heavenly host appeared as well (Luke 2:13). This is not to mention the angel that appeared to Zechariah, the three angelic encounters of Joseph and all the other supernatural activity at that time.
When angels manifest in such a materialized nature, from spirit to substance, we can be sure that we are on the brink of serious times. In Genesis 19 when the angels came to Lot, they appeared in materialized form. “He made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate” (Gen. 19:3). When angels enter this realm to such a degree – so materialized that they can even eat with you – judgment is at the door. Heaven is manifesting so clearly in the earth to such a degree that great shaking is at hand. In this particular story, Sodom and Gomorrah were burned to the ground. We know that ultimately, the judgments of God are not "against" us, but they are "for" us. He is not coming to level cities in this day, but to set them ablaze with His love ... removing every obstacle to that love.
I could tell you reams of stories of angelic interaction. But it is the simple revelation of the Gospel - that God was in Christ reconciling the cosmos to Himself - that is truly more mesmerizing than the most brilliant celestial beings. Yet angels do serve to help remind us of that realm, and of His amazing Gospel. Like the book of Acts, the church is stepping back into a realm where angelic interaction is not spooky or bizarre, but rather commonplace and ordinary.
Everywhere we travel these days, angels are coming into the meetings, pulling on people’s arms and legs, physically spinning them around and ultimately, launching them into destiny. Angels are likewise being assigned to us in many ways regarding Kingdom power, in order to affect specific miracles such as bilocation, levitation and the like, to enable the knowledge of His Glory to spread throughout the earth. Although we are only seeing the first fruits of such interaction, we can be sure that the angels at hand are connected to realizing the promised inheritance of the saints. When the angels appear, the salvation, healing and deliverance Christ has accomplished for us is about to be seen.
I do not believe it is imperative that we focus on the realm of the angelic. But at the same time, our willful ignorance of the angelic already in our midst is also not healthy. How self-sufficient are our assumptions to think we do not need angelic assistance. Whenever someone speaks of them from a pulpit, someone inevitably trims the discussion, saying “All we need is Jesus. Don’t focus on angels.” Of course we focus on Jesus, but maybe Jesus Himself is sending some angelic assistance that we've ignored! While the angelic is not our primary focus, it is not wrong to discuss them. Some are afraid to mention angels for fear of the church idolizing them. We talk about human beings all the time in church. Most pastors have probably told more stories about their dogs from the pulpit than about personal angelic encounters. If the fear is idolatry, then I think we are more prone to worship people and dogs before we would worship angels, which we scarcely believe exist!
Likewise, we would never go as far as to reject assistance from fellow humans. But our rejection of angelic assistance is more a sin of omission than commission. Although few believers would reject an outright materialized angelic visitation, the truth is that all of us reject angelic assistance everyday by not allowing ourselve to be aware of their realm. Instead of waiting for angels to come into our world, we should see that the Lord has already brought us into theirs. When we walk in the Spirit, with our spirit eyes open in the seer realm, we are aware of angelic activity whether in the grocery store, a gas station, our workplace or wherever we may be. And when we are aware of angelic activity and we can see what Heaven is doing, we can then begin to partner with them. Do some people become weirdos by constantly striving to see angels? Of course. But I am not talking about strife. It doesn't take any "work" to open your natural eyes. You don't even think about it. We don't consider "seeing" to be a work. Neither is our spiritual sight a "work" ... it is simply about having a different perspective on life.
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some [you] have unwittingly entertained angels" (Hebrews 13:2)
We often overlook direct interaction with angels without knowing it. Probably because we don't perceive how much God loves us and chooses to serve us through His angelic hosts. We don't always recognize angelic work because we never really know how they're going to look. Faith/trust keeps us in a simple state of awakened readiness. But angels are also good at surprising us. Jacob did not expect what was coming when the heavens opened and angels began ascending and descending in Bethel (Gen. 28:10-15). Twenty years later, the Lord drew Jacob back to that very place.
Staying in the place of divine intimacy keeps us awake to the realm of the Spirit. God is after our heart, and our awakened hearts are always expectantly looking at what He has prepared for us. When we fail to remember God in the busyness of life, we must often make a pilgrimage back to the place where we last saw Him.
God is calling us back to the place of enjoying our union with Him. Back to the place of promise and back to the Secret Place where we He has been all along. It is an inner place of abiding, where He is closer than the air you breathe. Don’t wait for a lightning bolt or an angel to walk through your front door. You are in union with Him. As we feast on Him in the reality of the Gospel, it is a no-brainer that we should be begin likewise to experience the ministry of His heavenly hosts. We need not look far for encounter. He has woven our humanity into His deity in the incarnation. We have been grafted forever into habitation with the Lord.