The Angel Craze in America: What’s Going On? – Program 4
| September 7, 2013 |
|By: Dr. John Weldon, Dave Hunt; ©1996|
|Throughout the Bible, and in more recent times, there have been stories of Angels sent by God to protect or deliver His people. So can we assume any angelic contact is from God?|
Angels: Messengers and Warriors for God
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. One of the most unique men who ever lived was a man by the name of John Paton, a missionary to the New Hebrides. In his biography he tells a story about some angelic care that he received in his lifetime. He said that one night cannibals surrounded his house and were frantically dancing up and down in the jungle, desiring to kill him and his wife. John and his wife got on their knees, realizing there was no way they could protect themselves against these wild cannibals and they prayed. Soon after that, the attackers all vanished into the jungle. They were gone.
- In his biography John Paton writes that a year later the chief of the tribe became a Christian, and John asked him, “What happened that night about a year ago when your natives surrounded our little lean-to there on the sand and near the beach? Why is it that all of a sudden they left?”
- This is what the chief said: “Well, it’s because of all those men you had with you that we left.”
- John said, “There were no men; just my wife and myself.”
- But the chief told him that they had seen big men standing guard, hundreds of men in shining clothes with swords in their hands totally circling his home. Did God dispatch a legion of angels to protect His servants? It seems He did, and it wouldn’t be the first time.
- Second Kings 6, tells us a very interesting account about how God protected the prophet Elisha. The Scripture states: “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.” The servant asked Elisha in a worried tone of voice, “Oh, my Lord, what shall we do?”
- And Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid… those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
- You can imagine the response of the servant, “We do?”
- “And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’”
- Do you know what he saw? The text says, “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” [2 Kings 6:14-17] Now that’s what you call an invisible army, wouldn’t you?
- Maybe this is why Psalm 34:7 states, “The angel of the Lord encamps round those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” God can, and has sent His angels to protect His people. It seems sometimes God even gives a glimpse of His mighty angels to the people that are being protected. Maybe that’s why angels are talked about in the records of every culture that has ever existed down through history. In fact, it’s true even here in America today. Listen as Dr. John Weldon talks about the incredible popularity of angels in our own country today:
- Weldon: Angels are incredibly popular in our culture today, with an estimated 200 million Americans alone believing that they exist. We find that books on angels have been on the bestseller lists. At one point, half of all the books on a bestseller list were about angels. There are hundreds of books in print about angels right now. So many people are fascinated with the subject and many are actually attempting to contact the angels. There are many people in our culture today who claim that we can contact the angels and they will give us great wisdom, lead us to God, help us with our problems, etc., kind of like become a friendly spiritual advisor.
- The concern in all this is that the Bible warns us that there are good angels and evil angels and that not all angels that claim to be good are good. Some of them are, in fact, evil. The Bible explicitly states in 2 Corinthians 11 that “Satan masquerades as an angel of light… and his servants… as ministers of righteousness.” [2 Cor. 11:14-15] If we look at what some of these angels teach on the subject of salvation or on the subject of God – and really, there’s no two more important subjects: we have to have a proper knowledge of who God is and we have to know how to be saved – we find that the angels deny the nature of God and they deny the biblical way of salvation. Jesus Himself said, “This is eternal life: to know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:3] And it’s very clear the Bible teaches that salvation comes by personal faith in Jesus Christ as the one who atoned for our sins on the cross.
- Ankerberg: Now, did you know that it is claimed that angels have actually given information to the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, to Jose Silva of Silva Mind Control, and to those having near death experiences? But how can someone tell whether the information given them is given by good angels sent from God or bad angels serving Satan? To begin, Dr. John Weldon talks about the information given to the Jehovah’s Witness leaders. Listen:
- Weldon: Now, many people have probably heard of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. They are an example of one of the many cults that claims that they were influenced by angels in their development and actually in their Bible translation. For example, here is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They claim that this is the most accurately translated Bible there is. I’m quoting from the “Foreword” on page 5. It says, “The translators who have a fear and love of the divine Author of the Holy Scriptures feel especially a responsibility toward Him to transmit His thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible.”
- Now, it’s interesting that in the proceedings of a court transcript we find the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witness organization claiming that angels of various ranks controlled the Witnesses who produced this translation. I’m reading right now from the book Apostles of Denial, by Edmond Gruss, a professor and former Jehovah’s Witness. He is quoting from the actual transcript: “According to the Scottish Daily Express, November 24, 1954, Franz [this is the head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses] testified that he and N. H. Knorr head the secret translation committee of seven;” that Franz and Knorr, not the committee, have the last word; that he [Franz] is the head of the Society’s publicity department; and that “translations and interpretations emanate from God in this way. They are invisibly communicated to the publicity department. This is accomplished by angels of different ranks who control Witnesses.”
- But if we examine the New World Translation we find that it is a very biased translation. For example, in Matthew 25:46 the Jehovah’s Witnesses translation reads, “And these [speaking of the evil, the wicked] will depart into everlasting cutting off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.” Now, the Greek word there, kolasin, you can look in any Greek dictionary and it means punishment. Jehovah’s Witnesses, because of their theology, do not believe in eternal punishment. They believe in annihilation, so they actually mistranslate this passage.
- In John 1:1 they translate it, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was a God.” They do that in order to deny the deity of Christ because they do not believe that Christ is God. An accurate translation of John 1:1 is, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” And then a few verses later, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” [v. 14] So we know that the Word that was God was actually Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear that Jesus is God.
- Now, in Titus 2:13, as one more illustration of how the Jehovah’s Witnesses mistranslate the Bible through their angelic inspiration, it says, “While we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of (the) Savior of us, Christ Jesus.” This verse separates God and Jesus Christ, whereas the proper translation of that verse very clearly says that Jesus Christ is God: “While we wait for the glorious manifestation of the great God and Savior of us, Christ Jesus.” Here they have violated what is known as the Granville-Sharp rule of Greek grammar. It has no exceptions in New Testament Koine Greek. Just as in John 1:1 they have violated another rule of Greek grammar called Colwell’s rule. So very clearly, the angels that allegedly controlled the Jehovah’s Witnesses to produce this translation were not good angels, but, in fact, evil angels.
- Ankerberg: Next, a few years ago I received a letter from Jose Silva of Silva Mind Control. He wanted to come on our program and talk about his Silva Mind Control course, information that Jose Silva received from two angel counselors he calls “spiritual advisors.” Dave Hunt, also a guest on that program, recalls what else we found out in that program. Listen:
- Hunt: The Silva Method, formerly called Silva Mind Control, that was developed by Jose Silva, is a prime example of the power that comes from the spirit dimension. You have miraculous healings. You have the ability to diagnose people within 80 percent accuracy of the medical records, people that you’ve never even heard of, much less seen. And if you can’t do it when you graduate, they’ll give you your money back.
- Now, Jose Silva teaches you to make contact with two spirit beings, one male and one female. And it is through these entities – they could be angels; they could be other beings – but it’s through these spirit beings that this power is manifest. And furthermore, Jose Silva himself tells us that it was through these beings that he learned these techniques, that he had always had these guides with him. And they taught him to go out of his body. And he used to go out of his body and there he saw a yogi sitting in yoga position and so forth who said that he was his guide to guide him into this new dimension of blessing for the human race. So here we have an example of false teaching, power manifest from the spirit dimension. It comes through so-called angelic beings or spirit guides, whatever you want to call them, and it leads you away from Jesus Christ. It leads you to a false hope of salvation. It leads you into a false belief in a power that is not of God. I find it rather interesting that recently Pope John Paul II gave a special Vatican award to Jose Silva who is a Roman Catholic and who finds nothing incompatible between his occult, demonic teachings and his Roman Catholic faith.
- Ankerberg: Dr. John Weldon was another of my guests in our television series with Jose Silva. He adds this about the content of Jose Silva’s Silva Mind Control course, and then Dave Hunt responds to Jose’s claim that the blood of Jesus Christ saves no one. Listen:
- Weldon: I’d like to bounce off something that Dave said. Even though Jose Silva believes that he is doing the work of God and that Jesus Christ is on his side and that the Pope has apparently given his blessing to the Silva Mind Control Method, and even though there’s 8, maybe 9 or 10 million people around the world that have taken this method, what we find in his personal theology is characteristic for people that are contacting evil angels.
- In Jose Silva’s book, The Mystery to the Keys of the Kingdom, this is what he says about the atonement of Jesus Christ. Now, he’s talking about how a person is saved. “Just thinking about Jesus is not going to do it, nor allowing Him to enter your heart or to be cleansed by His blood in hopes you will be saved. Jesus never said being cleansed with my blood will save you, and He never said, if you let me enter into your heart, you will be saved. The ones who are saying this are the Sunday preachers. You wonder how they can promise that the blood of a person killed nineteen centuries ago could cleanse you, or how you can be born again without having died first. Another thing the Sunday preachers have kept on saying for centuries is that Jesus is coming back again. I venture to say no.” And so we find the characteristic denial of clear biblical teaching by those who claim to be in contact with spirits and angels.
- Ankerberg: Now, I want to turn to another area where angels are speaking to people, the area of near-death experiences. More than 18 million Americans have reported having them. Dr. Weldon comments on this phenomenon where angels appear to people. Listen:
- Weldon: I think as our culture goes increasingly into the occult we find that doors to the world of the occult are opened in novel ways. One additional way in which people are contacting angels and spirits is through the phenomenon known as a “near-death experience.” Not all of these are occult, but many of them are. It’s interesting that all of the leading researchers in near-death experiences, such as Raymond Moody, the father of NDEs, Cherie Sutherland, who did her doctoral dissertation on the subject, and many others have all concluded that many of the people, perhaps most of the people, who have NDEs move away from traditional religious doctrine. They have an experience with a being of light or an angel who communicates things to them telepathically and the experience itself and the messages communicated together tend to move people away from Christian doctrine. For example, quoting from our booklet, The Facts on Near Death Experiences, Raymond Moody says this: “They tend to abandon religious doctrine purely for the sake of doctrine.”
- Cherie Sutherland, in her book Reborn in the Light, says this, “Over 50 percent of the NDEers were affiliated with Protestant or Catholic churches before the NDE, but only 14 percent continued after the NDE.”
- P.M.H. Atwater, who has had three NDE experiences herself, in her book Coming Back to Life, says that, “Of the survivors in my research, two-thirds either cast aside religious affiliations or were never involved to begin with.” And that “popular choices of those who came back are metaphysical and New Age churches or Eastern systems, mysticism, or practices such as shamanism.”
- Now, perhaps you know someone who has had a near-death experience. Perhaps it was a relative or friend, or perhaps you’ve had one yourself. You saw the “being of light” or what you thought were angels or the great light that enveloped you or entered you, and you came to believe in certain things or your friends have come to believe in certain things. What people who have had this experience come to believe in are things like panentheism; that there is no hell; a doctrine of universalism – that all people go to heaven whether or not they believe in Jesus. For example, Atwater herself realized after her three NDEs that “God is all that is.” Another NDEer explained, “I was God and God was me.” They come to believe in pantheism, that everything is God. Biblically that’s not true. And whether it’s an angel or a spirit of light that gives this sensation or this perception, it’s a lie. They also come to believe in reincarnation, that we have many lifetimes to live beyond this one and there are many opportunities for salvation; that we will all finally merge into the one God who exists. And so clearly we see that the revelations communicated in many of these NDEs are not biblical. And this is one more illustration of how angels, actually evil angels, are influencing people to adopt beliefs that are not biblical.
- Ankerberg: Finally, Dave Hunt tells us an interesting fact, that is, the message delivered by evil angels is very consistent. It’s one of the tip-offs that the Bible gives to us to identify evil angels, demons.
- Hunt: One of the great evidences, both that something real is happening and that the identity of these beings is evil is in the message they teach. It’s very consistent. The channelers will tell you, all around the world a consistent message comes through. What is that message? It’s amazing that it conforms exactly to the ambitions of Satan and the lies of Satan. For example, Satan wanted to be God. I’m reading here from a book, The Angels Within Us, by John Randolph Price. Well, it’s just incredible. He says, “It’s my intention to do everything I can to free you to be all that you were created to be, the master of the angelic realm, the shining one, whose light appears before each gate.” The “shining one,” of course, is Lucifer. That’s the name of Satan. He goes on and he says, “Start with the first and greatest commandment which is to love your Lord Self with every particle of feeling you have and then to love every one else as that Self.” So we have “self” in the place of God.
- Second Thessalonians 2:4 says of the Antichrist that “he will sit in the temple of God, declaring that he is God.” And, of course, our innermost being is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. And this is the New Age teaching, “Look within yourself. You’re not separated from God by sin. You’re separated from your higher self by ignorance of who you are. You don’t need to receive Christ into your heart. What you need to do is look within for the salvation that’s already there.” There’s no such thing as sin. For example, earlier in the book John Randolph Price says, “Working with the angels can be a wonderful adventure in co-creation. So let’s begin the healing process now by first forgiving yourself for all your miscreations. Actually, it really wasn’t you who miscreated. It was a false belief or thought form called ‘ego.’” So now we’re delivered from sin and the consequences of sin, according to these angels, not by acknowledging that we’re evil, not by acknowledging that we deserve God’s judgment and being forgiven by receiving the penalty of that having been paid by Jesus Christ, but we’re delivered by recognizing we really are not sinners. It really wasn’t our fault. It’s okay.
- So you get a message that is a doctrine of devils that undercuts everything the Bible teaches, denies who God is, denies who Jesus Christ is, denies the redemptive work of Christ upon the cross, teaches a false gospel, and Paul warns, this is the ultimate goal of these entities: to lead people from God to be entrapped by Satan and by self and by a delusion that they themselves are God and ultimately end up separated from the true God forever.