The Angel Craze in America: What’s Going On? – Program 2

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By: Dr. John Weldon, Dave Hunt; ©1996
Walk into any bookstore and you’ll likely find a book that purports to have messages received from angels. Is there a common theme to these messages?

The Message of Angels

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. When was the last time you went into your local bookstore, either secular or Christian? If it has been within the last two years, I’m sure you’ve noticed the tremendous number of books written about angels. And notice some of the titles: One Hundred Ways to Attract the Angels, Send Me Your Guardian Angel, Ask Your Angels, Angels for Your Children, Creating With the Angels, The Angels’ Guide to Spiritual Growth, and Answers From the Angels. These books show that people are seeking to communicate with the angels in quite a personal and intimate way. People are looking for angels to become their personal friends, or guidance counselor, even their spiritual advisors. But why should we trust the information that these books are giving to us about angels? I asked Dr. John Weldon to answer this question. Here’s what he said:
Weldon: There are different ways in which people claim to get information about angels today. One is through the occult; for example, the “Angelic Messenger Cards” is a form of divination where people can use the cards in this set in order to meditate upon them and supposedly by following the instructions, they will contact an angel that will become their spirit guide in essence. Other people find out information on angels by some of the books they find at the bookstores; and other people find out information on angels from the particular religion they belong to.
Personally, we believe that the most authoritative source of information on angels is the Scriptures, the Bible; because only the Bible really has solid evidence that it is the Word of God. Jesus Christ Himself, who was the only person to resurrect from the dead, claimed that the Bible was the Word of God. Speaking of the Old Testament He said, “Thy word is truth.” [John 17:17] And He pre-authenticated the New Testament when He said that the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth. [John 16:13] So when we speak about angels, we’re speaking about angels from a biblical perspective and we have the authority that the Bible is the Word of God and what it says about angels is true. We don’t have that authority when we get information from the world of the occult or from different religions that deny what the Bible teaches about angels.
Ankerberg: Next, now let me ask this, do you think that everyone has a guardian angel? Do you think that you personally have a guardian angel? I asked Dave Hunt to answer these questions from the Bible. Here is his answer. Listen:
Hunt: From the Word of God I don’t believe that everyone has a guardian angel. As the Word of God says, they are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.” [Heb. 1:14] So all those who will receive Christ, who will believe the gospel, I believe there is a guardian angel watching over and protecting them. Now, the reason, of course, that you don’t see these angels hovering about is because they’re spirit beings. We don’t know exactly what they’re doing. They’re certainly not at our bidding, and most of the time we wouldn’t be aware of their activity. They’re doing what God wants them to do.
Now, you have sources of information, unfortunately, out there, some of the most popular books about angel stories, and I have one of them here, There’s an Angel on Your Shoulder by Kelsey Tyler. It doesn’t give me great confidence, because pretty much a disclaimer here in the beginning of the book, “A Note to the Reader,” she says, “It is not the intention of this book to prove the validity of these angel encounters. Instead, they’ve been written for your pleasure to evaluate and take at face value.” Well, how do I take something at face value that I can’t evaluate? She goes on and says, “It is my prayer that you the reader will gain from these stories a deeper assurance of your personal faith and a comfort in knowing that God is near, sometimes closer than you might ever imagine.” My faith is not based upon angel stories that someone may have even made up or imagined. My faith is in the Word of God and we have to go by what the Bible tells us.
Ankerberg: Now, according to the Bible, the angels have different ranks, different positions of authority, different jobs to do. Now, specifically the Bible says the first rank of the angels is the archangel. The word archangel actually implies the rank of “first” among the angels. And apparently the angel called Michael is in authority over all the other angels including the thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities in the spiritual world that are described in Scripture. Nowhere does the Bible speak of archangels in the plural. For example, the term “archangel” occurs only twice in the New Testament and in both instances it is used in the singular and is preceded by the definite article “the,” the archangel. Some scholars conclude from this that the term is restricted to a single archangel, Michael. But other scholars say this does not necessarily limit the class of archangel to just Michael. The article may be one of identification, indicating Michael is just one of the archangels, yet one of the best known archangels. Or, the article may suggest limitation; in this case Michael would be the only archangel in existence. I personally think there could be others of the same class or rank of archangel, since Michael is described as one of the chief princes in Daniel 10:13, implying that there are other chief princes or archangels in existence. Regardless of whether there is one or more archangels, Michael is undeniably the prominent archangel. According to Revelation 12:7, other angels are led by him.
The second class of angels described in Scripture are the cherubim. These are depicted in Scripture as powerful, majestic angelic creatures who surround God’s throne and defend His holiness.
Weldon: I think one of the false ideas today concerning angels is that angels are really human beings who have died; in other words, that we all become angels after death. And, of course, what this does is it opens people up to contacting people or contacting the dead, which Scripturally is forbidden. God says that we are not to have anything to do with spiritism or contacting the dead. [Deut. 18:9-14] Another false idea concerning angels is that merely because they are an angel they have to be good. In other words, they have to be “of God.” And, of course, if the Bible is correct, that perhaps as much as one-third of the angels fell and are now morally corrupt entities, then it’s possible to have an evil angel. In fact, when we look at most of the literature published on angels today, we find that these things are evil angels, because they deny what Scripture has taught. Many of the books today actually claim to have been written by angels through occult methods such as automatic writing or trance dictation, and yet the revelations they give deny what the Bible teaches about God, about Jesus, about salvation. So clearly, there is the concept of an evil angel and that’s why people need to be very wary if they’re contacting angels to “test the spirits” [1 John 4:1] to see whether or not it is a good or an evil angel. It can be very dangerous to contact the wrong kind of entity.
Ankerberg: Now, along this same line, Dave Hunt comments on how the popular angel books in our world today claim they have no real basis for the information they are giving you. If this is so, then Christians should realize this and not believe what these books say. Listen:
Hunt: There is no definitive literature in the secular world about angels. You have anecdotal stories. And many of these books, for example, I have A Book of Angels, by Sophy Burnham here to show you the uncertainty about it. It says, “It seems angels take whatever form the visited person is willing to accept; sometimes no form at all.” Another book here, Angels of Mercy; the author says, “What one person calls an angel another will call, for example, the guiding presence of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, or God, or goddess, or the spirit of the beloved one who has died,” and so forth. So that opens the door for almost anything by angels. But some of the great delusions are that an angel is non-judgmental. An angel always affirms you. An angel may even be your true higher self. An angel will teach you that you are God. An angel will be at your bidding and so forth. It really turns people away from God, the God of the Bible, to whose will we must bow and whom we must obey. And it opens the door for a whole realm of the occult, of magic, of spirit guides and communication with beings that will, in fact, lie to us.
Ankerberg: Now, when we say the word “angel,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Most likely, it’s a shining, white-clothed figure with wings. Also, it goes without saying that you probably think every angel is good. But what if an angel could fall, that is, to become evil? If that were possible, wouldn’t you agree that would be a fearful thing? How could we cope with such a great being using his great intelligence and his great power against us? I asked Dr. John Weldon to comment on this possibility. Listen:
Weldon: The Bible is very clear that there are evil angels. The evil angels rebelled with Satan and were cast out of heaven. Some of them are currently kept in eternal bonds, while others are free to roam. How did the angels get so evil? Well, because they followed the one that rebelled against God and followed his lead, that is, the devil. And today they are completely corrupt. In other words, they really hate God and they hate Jesus Christ and they hate people. In our Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs we listed about 60 different characteristics or powers of the evil angels, so they really are something to be reckoned with.
Now, a lot of people today who are contacting angels have the exact opposite experience. In other words, the angels that they’re in contact with are very good to them. They are anything but what you would expect from an evil entity. They may protect them. They may give them wisdom. They may say that they’ve been sent from God in order to help them grow spiritually. So how do we know that these are really evil angels? Because in the long run, these entities always betray their real nature. Sooner or later, no matter how good and kind or benevolent they seem at the beginning, they will always start teaching things that are false biblically. They will always lead people away from the true Jesus Christ. They will always lead people away from trust in the Bible. They will always lead people away from the one true God. Now, obviously, no godly angel whom God created to glorify Himself and His Son is going to teach things that aren’t biblical, is going to lead people away from Jesus Christ, is going to lead people away from salvation. But this is precisely what we find in most of the angel books out today and most of the angel contact that is occurring.
Ankerberg: Now, we need to answer the question, will these fallen angels ever be given a second chance? Will they be forgiven by God? Will they be able to become good angels again? Dr. Weldon gives us the biblical answer. Listen:
Weldon: Jesus spoke of Satan and his angels, or the demons. According to Scripture it’s clear that these beings will never be redeemed. In other words, they’re not going to have a second opportunity in order to get back into heaven and this is why they are irretrievably evil. As a matter of fact, when Jesus was on earth, some of the demons that He was casting out of people said things like, “Have you come to torment us before the time?” [Matt. 8:29] They know that their final fate is going to be eternal fire in hell, and that is why they hate people so much. That’s why they hate God and that’s why they hate Christ. Their fall was so complete and so thorough that they are unredeemable.
Ankerberg: Now again, the Bible reveals to us the fearful thought that some of the powerful beings called angels have turned evil and exist to mislead us, to spiritually deceive us. Also keep in mind, these angels are smarter than we are. Remember, Einstein said he had an IQ of 202. What if one angel has an IQ of 10,000? And the popular books as well as the Bible teach that angels are more powerful than we are. How can we defend ourselves? The Bible teaches that fallen angels do masquerade themselves to people as angels of light, [2 Cor. 11:14-15] that is, they cover up what they really are, pretending to be good, in order to deceive us. Dr. John Weldon and Dave Hunt believe that this fearful biblical idea is actually taking place in our society today. Maybe what they are going to describe is even happening to you. I want you to listen carefully:
Weldon: John, when doing research for our book, The Coming Darkness, which was to document that occult and psychic involvement truly is dangerous physically, spiritually and psychologically, I encountered a number of stories in my reading where people had contacted what they thought initially were angels. And these angels did, in fact, seem like they were good, godly, benign entities that were trying to help these people with their problems. In some cases their lives were actually saved; in other cases they would claim that they would attempt to bring them much closer to God through specific techniques. But in all of these cases, the individuals that initially were convinced that these beings were good angels turned out to be evil angels. In other words, the angels at some point turned on them or brought misery into their lives and destruction and these people were convinced that what initially they thought were angels turned out to be demons. In fact, especially if someone were to give their life to Christ, it was at that point that what appeared to be an angel very clearly became a demon.
Hunt: Anyone that may be watching this program who has been involved and you’ve made contact with what you think is an angel, you’ve made contact with what you think is a spirit guide, your higher self, whatever, and I would caution you, you better check it out, what this being really has in mind for you. You may have even begun to suspect that it’s not all that good. You may have even had some frightening experiences. There’s only one hope for you and that is to commit your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, to believe in Him, to trust Him. His power and authority to deliver you – which is not just from an angel but from your sinful self and from sin and the penalty that His law, His justice demands upon sin – is because He is God who came to this earth as a man. He never ceased to be God, will never cease to be man. He is the one and only God Man, and because of who He is, He was able to pay the penalty that His own justice demanded so that you could be forgiven on a righteous basis. There is no forgiveness in Hinduism, in Buddhism, in Islam, for example, because there’s no one to pay the penalty. Jesus Christ alone has paid the penalty. And there’s a righteous basis on which you can be forgiven; and when you recognize that and you acknowledge your need as a sinner to be forgiven and you believe that He died for your sins and paid the penalty that you deserve, then you are delivered from the powers of darkness. And you have His promise of eternal life that you are in His hands and you will never perish and there is no power on earth or in hell or anywhere that can separate you from His love. [Rom. 8:35-39]

 

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