Friday, January 28, 2011

Angel Sightings???

Question by one person posed to me about an angel sighting:

Q. [unedited] "do angels have marks or identifying marks on them and if they do what is the purpose. a friend said an angel visited his church and told him that he can to see if they had idols and for the church to listen the pastor because doing God's will."

In answering this question I am understanding you to ask-
1) What do angels look like? Are there any outward signs a person could tell if they were looking at an angel?
2) What do angels do on Earth?
3) Is my friend telling the truth when he said an angel spoke to him at church and made a comment to him about the angel's mission at that church and a message about the pastor?

Angels are a great mystery in the Bible as their secretive work at times is revealed rarely in scripture. There are 283 references in the Bible concerning angels. Only a few give reference to their appearance. These appearances in scripture do not match our modern imagination. No baby angels like in the toilet paper adds or female angels are recorded in scripture. In Zechariah 5:9 in a vision the prophet sees in a vision "two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens." [NASB] These beings in Zechariah's vision are not identified as angels.
An order of angels names Seraphim are described in a heavenly vision by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6:2 [NASB] "Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."
In the New Testament all reports of angels are described as humans, especially the ones ministering on Earth. An Angel at the empty tomb, who rolled away the stone of the tomb our savior laid in, is described in Matthew 28:2-3 [NASB] "2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow." So New Testament description of an appearance of an angel is the angels appearance was "like lightning" and "clothing as white as snow." This is a very interesting description due to the lack of snow in Israel.

In the Ryrie Study Bible, Charles Ryrie, in the Doctrine of Angels is listed a description of the ministry of angels to believers. Angels minister by giving aid to believers (Hebrews 1:14), they are involved in answering prayer (Acts 12:7), they observe Christian experiences (1 Corinthians 4:9, 1 Timothy 5:21), encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23-24), are interested in evangelism (Luke 15:10, Acts 8:26), and care for the righteous at death (Luke 16:22, Jude 9).

You seem to be asking if your friend is giving you a truthful account of an angelic encounter. It is possible your friend was deceived? Is it possible that your friend is claiming an angelic encounter to receive attention? Or, is this a truthful witness concerning an angelic encounter? Due to the pattern of New Testament angelic ministry the information given does not seem legitimate. Angels are ministering spirits and a special order of creation. It does not match that an angel was at church to chit chat and gossip. That's what members are for. In all seriousness dubious angel sightings are a great cause of alarm of an individual's or a church's character and integrity.

No comments:

Post a Comment