Fallen Angels

•June 7, 2014 • 2 Comments

A third of the angels fell from Heaven. They were cast down with Lucifer.

Lucifer held the rank of “anointed cherub,” and according to what God said of him, he was originally something very special, “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” Ezekiel 28:12. Because of his beauty and splendour, his heart became full of pride. So much so that he had ideas of usurping the throne of God. Filled with this arrogance and rebellion, God cast him out and down to Sheol, the abode of the dead.

It was not only Lucifer that rebelled, angels did too. When Michael won the battle with Satan in heaven, “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Revelation 12:9. Revelation 12:4 reveals that “one third” of the heavenly host were cast out with Lucifer. Satan and his fallen angels.

So we know that not all angels are good. And we know that these fallen angels are in chains and in darkness and will face God’s judgment 2 Peter 2:4. But we also know that they are our spiritual opponents here and now Ephesians 6:12.

Having worked in a Christian setting, I have heard many stories of people who have experienced unnerving supernatural presences. Sometimes in a particular room at home, sometimes when they wake from sleep, and sometimes in nightmares. I remember one person describing a sensation of being physically overpowered and held down in his bed one night by a dark kind of presence. In his terror, he knew to cry out to God. When he did, God intervened. The dark presence instantly left him, as did the physical sensation of being held down. The spiritual climate in the room changed and there was peace. He since became a Christian.

When I was very young, a lovely Christian woman I knew said something to me which I’ve never forgot. She said, “If ever you are in a situation of danger, whatever it is, call upon the Name of Jesus. If it’s all you can do, just call out His Name. There is power in it.” She is right. There is power in Jesus’ Name. Evil spiritual beings are terrified of Him and are subject to Him (Mark 5:6-8). Jesus is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion” Ephesians 1:20.

In acknowledging the existence of fallen angels (and/or demonic presences) we should not be afraid of them, in Christ. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him (Jesus) who loved us” Romans 8:37. And He says to us, “Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” Luke 9:19.

Scripture says that God has given His angels charge over us Psalm 91:11, tomorrow’s post will look at this verse, and at the question – do we have a Guardian Angel?

© Article by Birgit Whelan Copyright 2014

 

The Archangels

•June 6, 2014 • 4 Comments

Michael defeating Satan ~ Saint-Michel, Paris, by Birgit Whelan 2

Scripture reveals a hierarchy in heaven. There are not only angels, but also archangels, cherubim and seraphim. There are principalities, powers and dominions. Jesus even spoke of “legions of angels” Matthew 26:53 which gives us some idea that angels are grouped in an organised kind of way.  Over angels are the archangels. While Scripture only mentions two archangels by name – Michael and Gabriel, the Jewish Rabbinical tradition also mentions Raphael and Uriel which I’ve also included here.

There is something that interested me about each of the names which is that each ends with the syllable el which means God, so each of the archangels refer to or point to God in some way in their name. Each also has a particular role in God’s Kingdom:

Michael – His name means ‘Who is like God.’ Michael appears in Daniel, Jude and Revelation. He is a warrior angel, the mighty commander of those angels who do warfare for God against evil. The ultimate example is where Michael fights against Satan in the great battle in Revelation 12, and Satan is cast out of heaven. The photo above is a stunning sculpture depicting this from a visit to St Michel in Paris.

Gabriel – His name means ‘Strength of God.’ Gabriel “stands in the presence of God” Luke 1:19 and has a major role in both Testaments. Gabriel is an angel of annunciation – he appears as God’s trusted and chief messenger, conveying God’s purposes to His people. It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary and announced that she was highly favoured and blessed among women, and that she would be Jesus’ mother in Luke 1.

Raphael – His name means ‘Healing of God.’ Raphael does not actually appear in the Bible but rather in the ancient Jewish texts. Here, Raphael appears as an angel of mercy and is attributed with a role of ministering God’s healing to those who are sick or suffering. Raphael is thought by some to have been one of the three who visited Abraham after his circumcision In Genesis 18. Also, some people evidently think it was Raphael who was the angel at the pool of Bethesda in John 5, stirring up the water so that people could be healed.

Uriel – His name means ‘Fire of God’ or ‘God is Light.’ Uriel, like Raphael, does not appear Scripturally and is identified only on the basis of Jewish Rabbinical tradition. There is also a beautiful stained glass depiction of him at Canterbury Cathedral, where he holds a fiery sphere seemingly symbolising his name. Some Christians believe that one of the cherubim that God placed at the east of the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were driven out, was Uriel – ‘So He drove out the man and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life’ Genesis 3:24.

While studying for this topic, the role of the seraphim of the heavenly hierarchy also really impacted me. The seraphim are mentioned only once in Scripture, in Isaiah 6. The account describes them as worshipping God continuously, calling out to each other in antiphonal praise, and attesting to God’s holiness, majesty and glory, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory’ Isaiah 6:3.  

Tomorrow’s post will cover the angels that rebelled against God ~ Fallen Angels.

© Article and Photo by Birgit Whelan Copyright 2014

 

All About Angels

•June 5, 2014 • 3 Comments

Angel ~ Psalm 91.11.

Next week on Monday 9 June, Richard and I will be discussing the topic of ‘Angels’ on To the Point. On the programme, I mention that I will re-post a series which I originally published here in 2008 all about angels, in case anyone would like to follow up on some of the themes that we cover during the show. So over the next five days, there will be articles here on the themes of guardian angels, the archangels, and on fallen angels (which we ran out of time to talk about unfortunately), as well as more general information here today about what angels are, what they do, and should we pray to them? which has been done as a kind of question and answer. The last article in the series is called ‘An encounter with an Angel’. This is a testimony which a lovely viewer of Revelation TV shared with me back in 2007 for a programme that we were doing about this topic back at that time, and which she kindly allowed me to share on my blog.

I hope this series might give an opportunity to go a bit deeper with what we discuss, and be a blessing. Thanks for your interest :).

 

So what exactly are angels? They are spiritual, celestial beings, and they exist on a plane somewhere between God and man.“Angels belong to a uniquely different dimension of creation that we, limited to the natural order, can scarcely comprehend … [God] has given angels higher knowledge, power and mobility than we ….” *

What does ‘angel’ mean? It means ‘messenger.’ In the Old Testament they are called mal’ak in the Hebrew, and in the New Testament – ángelos in Greek. These words mean “a messenger.”

Have they always existed? No, they are created beings. God is their Creator Psalm 148:2;5.

Do angels die? No, angels are immortal, they cannot die Luke 20:36.

Are there ‘male’ angels and ‘female’ angels? As spiritual beings, angels have no gender. This in the sense that angels do not procreate; there’s a verse about this in the Bible that says “in the resurrection [people] neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven” Matthew 22:30. BUT when angels appear in human form in the Bible, they typically appear as males.

Can humans become angels when we die? Angels are an entirely different form of creation to humans. The Bible says that when we die, and we belong to Jesus, then we will receive a new spiritual body as opposed to turning into angels.

Should we worship angels? No, angels are not divine and should not be worshipped. More about this later.

What are some of the things angels do? Two main things that angels do are worship God Revelation 5:11-12 and minister to God’s people. The Bible says that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” Hebrews 1:14. Some of the ways angels do this are by protecting God’s people, bringing messages or guidance from God, carrying God’s people to heaven.

Should we pray to angels or ask them for guidance? Angels are servants of God, not of ours. God may send an angel to offer us guidance at a point in our lives, but we cannot summon God’s angels. Anyway, God made us. He’s the One Who knows us inside out and has all the good plans for us, so why not go straight to Him?

How many angels are there? There masses of angels in existence. According to the Bible, the number is “innumerable” and too many to count! Daniel had a vision where he saw God on His throne surrounded by literally millions of angels – “A river of fire as flowing coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him” Daniel 7:10. If you work that sum out, it numbers more than one hundred million!

Tomorrow’s post is about one special group of these angels ~ ‘The Archangels’

* This programme will air on Monday 9 June at 20:30, and can be viewed in real time online at www.revelationt.com or on Revelation TV (SKY 581).  A repeat will air on Sunday 15 June at 13:30.

*Quote Reference: Graham, B; 1995; Angels: God’s Secret Agents; W Publishing Group; 30.

© Article and Photo by Birgit Whelan Copyright 2014

 
 

Revelation 19:6

•April 30, 2014 • Comments Off on Revelation 19:6

Revelation 196 ~ Birgit Whelan

 
 

Romans 15:13

•April 22, 2014 • Comments Off on Romans 15:13

Romans 1513 ~ Birgit Whelan

 
 
 

Peggy and Christine

•February 7, 2014 • Comments Off on Peggy and Christine

‘In 1949-1951 God used two elderly sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith, in the Lewis Revival in Scotland. Both women were in their eighties. Peggy was blind, and Christine was crippled with arthritis. They couldn’t even leave their little cottage to worship in the village church. But they knew how to pray. God used their prayers to plant seeds of longing in the hearts of men who then began to pray for revival. God sent a great spiritual awakening in response to the earnest prayers of these two obscure women.’

~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Biblical Womanhood in the Home, p.76. 

 

The significance,  the power and the legacy of prayer!

What an Almighty God can do through the humble, faithful, sacrificial prayer of those who love Him.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective ~ James 5:16.

 

My King

•January 5, 2014 • Comments Off on My King
 

 

This is truly awesome! Though I’ve posted this in the past, it is the perfect way to begin this New Year, in adoration and worship to the Lord Jesus, my King.

A very blessed and Happy New Year to you :)

 
 

How Great Thou Art

•December 31, 2013 • Comments Off on How Great Thou Art
 
 

The perfect way to come to the end of the year, in worship of God’s beyond-words greatness :) This is stunning! Blessings on your New Year’s eve …

 
 

Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel he gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Lyrics translated by  Stuart K. Hine, 1949.

 
 

Of God’s Life

•December 28, 2013 • Comments Off on Of God’s Life

 

Summer Meadow in Surrey

 

‘The true ministry is God-touched, God-enabled, and God-made. The Spirit of God is on the preacher in anointing power, the fruit of the Spirit is in his heart, the Spirit of God has vitalised the man and the word; his preaching gives life, gives life as the spring gives life; gives life as the resurrection gives life; gives ardent life as the summer gives ardent life; gives fruitful life as the autumn gives fruitful life. The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.’

~ E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer.

 

Though these words were intended for the preacher, they are words that can also apply to any Christian life. In whatever God has called each of us to, in whatever He ordains for each day, may our lives be ‘God-touched, God-enabled, and God-made.’ May our character reveal a heart that ‘is ever athirst for God,’ and may our interactions with others, and the areas in which we serve, give life ‘as the summer gives ardent life.’

 

Sovereign

•November 9, 2013 • Comments Off on Sovereign

Stockholm - Dusk - Birgit Whelan

 

‘Confidence in the sovereignty of God in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting Him. If there is a single event in all of the universe that can occur outside of God’s sovereign control, then we cannot trust Him. His love may be infinite, but if His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust Him. You may entrust to me your most valuable possessions. I may love you and my aim to honor your trust may be sincere, but if I do not have the power or ability to guard your valuables, you cannot truly entrust them to me.’

~ Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts