Angels, Angels, Everywhere/Part 3

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By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©2004
Are all angels good? Do all angels give messages that are in line with what God tells us in the Bible? The authors note several instances of angelic messages which are contradictory to the Bible!

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Other Angels

Are Popular Angels Active in Cults? What Are Some False Christian Approaches to Angels?

Most people would be surprised to know that literally scores of modern cults and new religions were instituted and/or nurtured by “angelic” contact. Consider a few examples. As we documented thoroughly in Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mormonism, no religion is more anti-Christian than the Mormon faith. Yet who was it that led Mormon founder Joseph Smith to the al­leged “gold plates” from which the Book of Mormon was occultly translated but the “angel Moroni”?[1] Mormon history is replete with angelic guidance, direction, and revelation.

As we documented in The Facts on the Jehovah’s Witnesses “angels” have played a major role in the Jehovah’s Witness religion and even in the terribly biased translation of their bible, The New World Translation.

The noted seventeenth century medium, Emanuel Swedenborg, also routinely contacted angels and eventually formed another pervasively anti-Christian sect, The Church of the New Jerusalem, sometimes termed the New Church or Swedenborgian faith. Swedenborg’s angels were with him constantly, whispering, teaching, impressing thoughts and ideas into his mind.[2]

Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy (a combination of theosophy and Gnostic Chris­tianity), is another illustration of an extremely anti-Christian sect begun with the help of angels. Steiner, heavily influenced by Swedenborg, contacted the dead and other spirits, including angels, whom he described in detail in his writings and lectures. He taught that every person had a guard­ian angel throughout their many incarnations on earth.[3]

Jose Silva is the founder of the eight-million member Silva Mind Control religion. Its purpose is to allow people to contact “inner advisors” for information and guidance. SMC was started when Silva contacted an “angel” during astral projection who proceeded to give him the principles of Silva Mind Control.[4]

Other examples could be given, including the Self Realization Fellowship founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and the Unity School of Christianity founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore.[5]

But obviously, the angels who helped begin or influenced such anti-Christian religious systems could not have been the good angels since the revelations they gave are as anti-biblical as can be found. Any perusal of the literature of these groups, especially their theological literature, proves this. Yet all these religions actually either claim to be Christian or to not be contrary to the Christian faith. As a result, they have confused some Christians who have accepted such teachings.

But there are many other ways in which deceiving spirits have infiltrated the Church. The dra­matic increase in the number of books advocating angel contact was begun many years ago with the late Rev. Roland Buck’s Angels on Assignment. Characteristically, however, this text had little to do with the holy angels. The content of Rev. Buck’s book and an examination of the history behind it, including the fact of changing the “angels’” original statements to make them consistent with biblical teaching, indicate that Rev. Buck was not a participant in godly angelic revelation, but a spiritistic deception. Regardless of Rev. Buck’s and publishers Charles and Frances Hunter’s evident sincer­ity in publishing the book, the “angels” teachings’ have, as always, revealed their true nature.[6]

One issue of The Christian Parapsychologist was devoted entirely to angels. It included five articles—one each by a psychic, a Swedenborgian, a nature mystic, an anthroposophist and a Jungian. In “Some Thoughts About Angels”, J. Dover Wellman, vicar of Emmanuel Church and author of A Priest’s Psychic Diary, says the following. In common with Mormonism and Swedenborgianism, he lumps virtually all spirits into the category of deceased humans and encour­ages various occult methods to contact “angels”:

I believe spiritual entities are all around us…. In this matter of our realizing the presence of the angels, the initiative always lies with them as superior beings…. Jesus Christ was, I believe, one of these pre-existent angelic beings…. His purpose in dwelling on earth was to inform us of our own potentiality as beings who could be restored to “angelhood”….

When the state of trance frees our spirit-soul from our body-soul, we act as pure spirit. Our extra-sensory perceptions function more efficiently, making known to us that which is otherwise hidden…. We are ourselves then approaching the level of the life of the angels…. In this condition… our communion with them would be enhanced and their influence upon us much increased.[7]

Brian Kingslake is a minister of the New Church based on the spiritistic revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg. He is the author of Swedenborg Explores the Spiritual Dimension. In his article, “A Heaven of Angels From the Human Race,” he accepts the common mediumistic and Swedenborgian teaching that, “all the millions of spirits inhabiting the spiritual world—angels and devils alike—are human beings who once inhabited this earth, or some other earth in the material universe” and he proceeds to argue that God’s alleged purpose is to “form a heaven of angels from the human race.”[8]

Dorothy Maclean is a New Age leader and co-founder of the spiritistic Findhorn Community in Scotland as well as the author of several books on how to contact angels and other spirits. In “An­gels Today,” she discusses her personal experience with angels as follows, “I found that I could not make contact with these angels until I myself was in a state of consciousness similar to theirs…. To them we had magnificent divine potentials…. We were gods in the making…. They await our choice to let our lives be guided by our intuitions, by our angelic awareness, that we may cooperate with them…”[9]

In “The Hierarchies Regained,” anthroposophical student Evelyn Capel, a minister in Rudolph Steiner’s so-called “Christian Community” and author of The Tenth Hierarchy, further encourages the interaction of “angels” and humanity along occult lines.[10]

Finally, in “Angels and Archetypes” Christopher Bryant, a priest in the Society of St. John the Evangelist and long time student of occult psychologist Carl Jung, observes, “It is probable that all unknowingly we benefit by the ministry of angels who do their work in the unconscious levels of the mind which are in touch with the psychic world.”[11]

There are many other examples. The popular late Christian preacher, William Branham, claimed to speak for God. But throughout his life he was guided by lying spirits (his “angels”) who would whisper to him and, apparently, occultly “heal” many people each year. Despite his vast influence in Pentecostalism, he was a false prophet who denied the true nature of God. For example, he once said, “Trinitarianism [belief in the Trinity] is of the devil! I say that [with the authority of] THUS SAITH THE LORD.”[12]

The Rev. Edward W. Oldring is the author of I Work With Angels and I Walk and Talk With Angels. The “angels” supposedly appeared to him in order to assist him in “preparing many [Chris­tian] people…to work with God’s angels…and to…cooperate with…the angels.”[13] Thus, he teaches, “There is a spiritualism [contact with spirits] that is ordained of God…It is part of God’s plan…”[14] However, the angels that speak to him blatantly give false interpretations of the Bible and therefore could not possibly be the godly angels.[15]

Consider a final, more in-depth illustration. G. Don Gilmore is the minister of Plymouth Congre­gational Church in Spokane, Washington, and host of the daily radio program “Perspective on Living.” He has authored Angels, Angels Everywhere, a book on alleged angelic contact. We have selected Gilmore’s text because the author is an educated clergyman who speaks to Christians, and because his book is not only an illustration of the potential disguising of spiritism but also of the normalizing and internalizing or “psychologizing” of spiritistic experience. Since Gilmore rejects biblical authority, it is not surprising that he accepts things religious in general as reflecting true spirituality and/or as being godly. Thus, nearly every ancient and modern tradition of alleged angelic contact is accepted as a “viable and acceptable way of experiencing the diversity of God’s commu­nication with us.”[16]

For Gilmore, “angel contact” may encompass a wide range of phenomena. For example, it includes the occult concept of “thought forms”—spiritual manifestations allegedly constructed men­tally from psychic energy. Thus:

I believe that angels are forms, images, and expressions through which the essences and energy forces of God can be transmitted and that, since there are an infinite number of these forms, the greatest service anyone can pay the angelic host is never consciously to limit the ways angels might appear to us.[17]

Of course, at this point, the doors have swung open to accepting virtually all forms of supernatural occult phenomena. Every religious/spiritistic manifestation today claims to be associated with “divine” energy or the “energy forces of God.” In fact, Gilmore claims that “God’s energy” is not only behind the traditional angelic manifestations in various world religions—but much more as well.

One of Gilmore’s principal concerns is the development of what he terms “angel consciousness.” This is basically a euphemism for psychic development, “higher consciousness” and/or spirit pos­session. The book Angel Wisdom tells us, “Angel Wisdom is designed to help you tune in to your ‘angel consciousness’…the consciousness that we are divine…. By accepting ‘angel conscious­ness,’ you are accepting the responsibility of being a healer…. Regardless of your situation, the angels are present to help you initiate healing.”[18] In other words, “angel consciousness” allows one to become a psychic healer, which, characteristically, requires spirit influence or possession.[19]

Thus, one aspect of developing angel consciousness includes a closer association with the spirit world:

You will meet angel guides on the [angel-guided spirit] journeys…. These guides are available if you want to make up your own self-love and soul-evolvement council, for the advancement and expression of your purpose for being here on earth. This counsel will be on hand, at all times, to guide you in decisions and creative choices and will always be sending you messages of love …. The angel guides are guardians of a particular universal energy system to tap into. Positive energy systems in the universe are guarded by the angels.[20]

Thus “angel consciousness” simply involves an altered state of consciousness and/or openness to the psychic realm which is then interpreted as involvement with divine energies and powers. One develops “angel consciousness” by means of, e.g., creative visualization, which supposedly opens the doors to “the moving streams of unlimited energy.”[21]

As Pastor Gilmore states:

The “angel-consciousness” is something that can be developed. The question is, how to do it? How does one make an angel contact? More comprehensively, how do you develop an angel-consciousness?…. It is the process of stretching the muscles of the creative imagination to facilitate a flow of power. It requires time and attention. Most of all, it requires a thorough-going preparation. Angel forms of the past were not produced out of haphazard sloppy thought. They were developed gradually in the creative consciousness…. [William] Blake made a powerful point on this score: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” So let the doors represent the total apparatus for developing angel consciousness.[22]

Because God’s essential “energy forms” are allegedly everywhere, we are told it is the Christian’s responsibility to establish contact with them for spiritual growth. As in occult magic this may even involve the manipulation of “divine” energies for a variety of purposes. Further, the mod­ern “angel phenomenon” is constantly changing and “subject to an evolving human conscious­ness.”[23] In other words, as man’s spiritual consciousness expands, the manifestations of divine consciousness via angelic forms accommodate themselves accordingly. So what is finally excluded from “angel consciousness”?

Referring to the authority on mysticism, Evelyn Underhill, Gilmore observes, “Evelyn Underhill often speaks about journeying toward the center—which is God—on the conviction that ‘angels and archangels are with us.’ Their energies are certainly with us, but they are not recognized until people give them a symbol, or image body, through which they might operate.”[24] In common with much occultism, Gilmore suggests that we can actually “raise” angels through the powers of our own consciousness much as the occult magician attempts to raise spirits or demons through the circle of power in his ritual. Quoting popular occultist Dion Fortune, angelic contact is interpreted as communion with our “higher self.” Here again we see that “angel contact” is simply another term for psychic development:

Could it be that the highest and best angel form is not external to us but one’s own best and truest self? Dion Fortune once wrote…. “The Holy Guardian Angel, be it remembered, is really our own high self”…. Add to the Outer Self, Self One, the inner body—Intuition, genius, sixth sense, ESP, psychic power, inner knowing—and you might have more angel forms to use in your creative work. The angel-consciousness is a product of careful preparation. Generally speaking, one must develop in this area quietly and purposefully for a long period of time. One needs a slow, integrated discipline of trial and error in order to create adequate forms through which divine energy can move.[25]

In utilizing one particular form of “angel energy,” Gilmore tells readers that personal contact with angels is easy: “You will be amazed at how often you will make contact with the energy essence of the angel form….”[26] He also encourages positive mental affirmations to facilitate the process of angel consciousness and contact, such as: “God and God’s helpers are never far away…. The Light of God surrounds me…. The Power of God protects me…. Wherever I am, God is!”[27]

In conclusion, Gilmore’s “angel” contact encompasses a wide variety of forms of psychic devel­opment, spiritism and occult manifestations. Thus, it could hardly encompass contact with the biblical angels, or involve doing the will of God who prohibits such occult involvement (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).

Notes:

  1. See, “Brief Analysis of the Book of Mormon,” and “Origin of the Book of Mormon” at the beginning of every The Book of Mormon.
  2. Samuel M. Warren, Compiler, A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (NY: Swedenborg Foundation, 1977), Index References to angels, p. 749.
  3. cf., Rudolph Steiner, Rudolph Steiner an Autobiography (Blauvelt, NY: Rudolph Steiner Publications, 1977) and Rudolph Steiner, From Jesus to Christ (London: Rudolph Steiner Press, 1973); Rudolph Steiner, Christianity and Occult Mysteries of Antiquity (Blauvelt, NY: Steinerbooks, 1977), pp. 163-164, 168-172 and his lectures on necro­mancy.
  4. Relayed to John Weldon from Jose Silva.
  5. Angels II: Beyond the Light.
  6. Charles and Francis Hunter, (as told by Roland Buck), Angels on Assignment (Houston, TX: Hunter Books, 1979), pp. 22-24, 52, 29, 77, 81, 116-130, 142; James Bjornstad, “Angels on Assignment” in Institute of Contemporary Christianity Newsletter, January/February 1980, pp. 2-3 (Box A, Oakland, NJ 07436); Christian Research Institute Fact Sheet, “Angels on Assignment” by Leah Grossman and Walter Martin (1979), Box 500, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693, pp. 1-2, 10-12.
  7. J. Dover Wellman, et. al., The Christian Parapsychologist, Vol. 5, No. 7 (Michaelmass, 1984), pp. 220-221.
  8. Ibid., p. 225.
  9. Ibid., pp. 229-232.
  10. Ibid., pp. 232-36.
  11. Ibid., p. 240.
  12. William Branham, Footnotes on the Sands of Time: The Autobiography of William Marrion Branham (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publishers, 1976), p. 606.
  13. Edward W. Oldring, I Work With Angels (Vancouver, B.C.: Note of Joy Books, 1979), pp. 14-15.
  14. Ibid., pp. 126-27.
  15. Ibid., pp. 65, 68.
  16. G. Don Gilmore, Angels, Angels Everywhere (NY: Pilgrim Press, 1981), back cover.
  17. Ibid., p. xi; cf., pp. 164-82.
  18. Taylor and Crain, Introduction, October, 20.
  19. See John Weldon, Zola Levittt, Psychic Healing (Dallas, TX: Zola Levitt Ministries, 1993).
  20. Terry Lynn Taylor, Creating With the Angels: An Angel-Guided Journey into Creativity (Tiburon, CA: H. J. Kramer, 1993), pp. 153-154.
  21. Gilmore, p. 165.
  22. Gilmore, pp. 171-72.
  23. Ibid., p. 164.
  24. Ibid., p. 173.
  25. Ibid., pp. 173, 175-76.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid., p. 182.

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