Monday, February 17, 2014

Do Angels Visit Us Now?

Angels are God’s special agents. The Bible uses various terms for angels – ‘spirits’ (Hebrews 1: 14), ‘sons of God’ (Job 1: 6, 2: 1), ‘holy ones’ (Psalm 89: 5,7), ‘watchers’ (Daniel 4:13, 17, 23), ‘powers’ (Ephesians 1: 21), and ‘thrones,’ ‘dominions,’ ‘principalities,’ ‘authorities’ (Colossians 1: 16).

Angels, although obviously inferior to God, are superior to man (Psalm 8: 5, Hebrews 2: 7). Angels serve mankind, especially children (Psalm 91: 11-12; Matthew 18: 10; cf. Acts 5: 19, 12: 15).

However, I do not subscribe to the belief that there are individual guardian angels (one angel for every person), for the Bible does not offer any convincing support to this notion.

The Bible cites various angelic visitations (2 Kings 6: 15-17; Luke 1: 11; Acts 12 et al.). Angels have appeared in their original form or in human form (Genesis 18: 2; Joshua 5: 13-14; Mark 16: 5 et al.).

If angels appeared to people during the Old and the New Testament days, we can reasonably expect angelic visitations now, unless there is a divine prohibition for angelic visitations.

When this subject is discussed, some would vouch for angelic visitations alongside which there are others who would ridicule the belief of such supernatural occurrences. This is a given. But skeptics cannot alter the truth.

Searching for ‘angel encounters’ or ‘angel visitations’ in Google, yields several occurrences of angelic visits. While it may be hard to believe everything we read, the fact remains that such supernatural visits are indeed possible.

Why? Since the Bible says so. Moreover, credible sources have experienced angelic visitations.

J.P Moreland, a very well respected Christian philosopher and theologian, is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He explains his angelic encounter in this video. Please take a moment to watch this clip. 

I would not have ventured into writing this blog if I did not have an angelic visitation. But I do believe that I encountered an angel once.

The incident occurred in Mumbai in 2003. I was en route to Hong Kong. The domestic flight from Coimbatore to Mumbai was inordinately delayed, due to which I had only half hour to board my international flight.

But the International airport at Mumbai was a half hour ride by a cab or a bus in moderate traffic (the same time span in which I was to board my flight!). And there I was stranded at the domestic airport during the peak evening traffic hours.

I was informed that the airport shuttle would take me from the domestic to the International airport. But as soon as I got out of baggage clearance I was told that the airport shuttle was scheduled to leave 15 minutes later.

If I were to wait for the airport shuttle, I was sure to miss my international flight.

Time assurances in India aren’t necessarily sacrosanct. I didn’t want to wait for the airport shuttle. I was perplexed and angry.

Just then an auto rickshaw driver approached and assured me that he would take me to the international airport in 15 minutes flat.

I had no other option but to believe him. So I accepted his offer. But he had a word of caution for me! He cautioned me to hold on to the metal rod that was behind his seat. As a compelled passenger, I held on to that metal rod as if my life depended on it.

The next fifteen minutes was probably the most exciting fifteen minutes of my life! Although the auto rickshaw was thundering and weaving through heavy traffic at a very high speed, I felt rather safe!

To cut the long story short, the auto rickshaw driver took me safely to the International airport and I was the last passenger to board my flight.

The airport authorities wondered how I reached the international airport from the domestic in 15 minutes. They knew about the very late arrival of my domestic flight, and they knew the impossibility of the situation to reach the international airport at that time of the day.   

It is customary of the auto rickshaw drivers to extract large sum of money from their helpless passengers. But this man was radical. He took the exact amount his meter reading displayed. 

My friends who were familiar with the Mumbai traffic refused to believe this incident, for they said that it was impossible to cover the distance between the domestic and international airport during the peak evening traffic in 15 minutes.

But this was an unexplainable reality in my life. And even to this moment, I believe the auto rickshaw driver was an angel in human form. Else it was impossible to board the international flight, especially when it was unwilling to wait for one passenger and was scheduled for an on-time take off.

Although I believe in the Bible, this incident reinforced my belief that angels do exist and they do visit us.

But why do the angels visit us? Is there a pattern to their visit? In other words, when do the angels help us?
Even a cursory look at the table below indicates the presence of angels to deliver God’s people from their troubled situations. Therefore, we can reasonably conclude that when God’s people are in distress, God would send HIS angels to deliver and comfort those in need.

People in Bible
Context of Angelic Visitation
Lot and his family
Genesis 19
Genesis 16
Deliverance: Instruction amidst duress
Hagar and her child
Genesis 21
Deliverance: Rescuing Hagar and her child
Exodus 14
Deliverance: Protection
Judges 6
Deliverance: Encouragement
Samson’s mother
Judges 13
Deliverance: Instruction
2 Kings 1
Deliverance: Instruction
1 Kings 19
Deliverance: Encouragement
2 Chronicles 32
Daniel 10
Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, Shepherds,
Birth Announcement
Jesus Christ
Matthew 4: 1; Luke 22: 43
Ministering & Strengthening Jesus Christ
Mary Magdalene & Mary
Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24
Encouragement amidst duress
Apostles in Prison
Acts 5: 19
Acts 8: 26
Acts 10
Acts 12: 7
Acts 27: 23
Deliverance, Encouragement & Instruction

The angels have also visited humans to convey instruction(s) from God. But we need not limit angelic visitations to specific instances such as distress or conveying instructions etc. God can send HIS angels anytime to fulfill HIS holy, pleasing and perfect will. Situations do not limit God.  

Let me add a word of caution here; while there are good angels that are in obedience to God, there are evil angels that rebel against God. While God’s angels would visit to help us, the Satan’s angels could visit to drive us away from God so to destroy us.

Any angelic announcement or intervention that contradicts God’s Word – The Bible, is from the evil angels, and is to be discarded immediately. The Bible is the final authority for mankind.

It is only when we remain in Christ would we have the ability to discern between good and evil (1 Corinthians 12: 10; 1 John 4: 1 - 3). So let us be watchful of these evil forces.

It is significant to observe that deliverance occurs only during distress. In other words, distress is necessary for deliverance. Therefore, while our innate inclination is to pray for a distress free life, let us pray for God’s will for our lives. And who knows, you may even have an encounter with an angel!

When angels do visit us, may we have the discernment to realize and recognize these supernatural occurrences in our life.

Have you had an angelic visitation in your life? If you have encountered angel(s), please do take a moment of your time to post your experience by commenting to this blog. May God bless and protect us from all harms and dangers. Amen. 


Ashish Gorde said...

My mother had an experience and this was documented by Rabbi Rajkumar's mother who had witnessed it. She (that is, my mom( was due for an operation but for some strange reason there was no blood (her group) in the blood bank... just then three men came and donated the blood and left.

Rabbi's mother thought it was a bit strange for these men to just come, donate the blood and go, and so quickly she looked around for them... but they were nowhere.

Raj Richard said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience concerning angelic visitation, Ashish. Isn't it a mighty blessing to know that the Almighty God cares for every single one of HIS creation?

Philip Ittyerah said...

I was starting a Steel Project in Orissa and IDBI had sanctioned a Loan of Rs 355 lakhs providing we brought in Rs 240 lakhs. We had to bring in the money first and IDBI would match it proportionately. To cut a long story short we ran short of Rs 50 lakhs. Then a person came and wanted a share in the Company and bought the shares at a premium and deposited Rs 50 lakhs by DD and gave a cheque for Rs 53 lakhs, which later bounced. The man just disappeared into thin air and we were left with the Rs 50 lakhs he gave us and since he forfeited his shares, we had that too. We did not forfeit his shares and it is still lying in our account! All the above are there for verification by any authorized person! If this was not an angel, I don't know who is!

Raj Richard said...

Thank you very much for sharing your experience about Angels, Bro. Philly. Truly awesome. Just goes to show how God goes beyond the natural to help HIS people. Praise God from whom all blessings flow :)