‘Text by Henrylito D. Tacio
Photos sourced from Wikipedia
Are angels still in business these days? The website, beliefnet.com, thinks so. It has featured several stories that angels are still very much around.
Joyce Woodward was a retired woman in England. She couldn’t help but count her blessings as she watched a huge tree come crashing down on her car – but she wasn’t inside the car when it happened. It was divine intervention that she narrowly escaped death.
She was about to head out for the day when the phone started ringing, taking her away from the car. The tree at the front yard then plummeted, leaving the car a mangled mess.
“It just came down by itself, but it does look rotten at the bottom,” Joyce said. “If I hadn’t had a phone call to deal with, I would have been in the car. I think I have a guardian angel.”
Another incident happened in the United States. A family reunion was held at Green Canyon Hot Springs, and everyone was having a great time. Then, all of a sudden, a 93-pound male mountain lion appeared out of nowhere. Kelsi Butt was walking with her two cousins when the beast leapt out at her and wouldn’t let go.
Kelsi’s mother didn’t know what to do other than to scream at the lion. For some unknown reasons, it worked; the lion let Kelsi go.
They rushed Kelsi to the hospital, who miraculously survived. “We are so blessed she survived this,” a family member was quoted as saying. “There are angels out there watching us.”
The family believed that Kelsi’s guardian angel was there that day – and helped her survive the terrible attack.
“Our guardian angels are around us, ready to help out in any way that they can,” wrote Megan Bailey, the social media specialist and content producer for Beliefnet. “They are here; sent from God, ready to help us when things are looking bleak.”
Are angels for real?
The word “angel” arrives in modern English from old English engel and the Old French angele, according to Wikipedia. Both of these derive from Late Latin angelus (literally “messenger”), which in turn borrowed from Late Greek angelos.
“An angel is a supernatural being in various religions and mythologies,” Wikipedia explains. “Abrahamic religions often depict them as benevolent celestial intermediaries between God and humanity. Other roles include protectors and guides for humans, and servants of God.”
“To get at the essence of angels, start with the traditional religious texts – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim alike,” explains Dimitra Kessenides, author of an article on angels which appeared in Reader’s Digest. “There, angels are real and very present, even at the Creation, according to the Old Testament. They are God’s servants, delivering divine messages and aiding those deemed worthy. To believers, they still play those roles.”
The ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and others all expressed their belief in angels. A.S. Joppie, the author of All About Angels, writes: “The Mohammedans believe in angels. They believe that two angels are assigned to each person. The angel on the right hand records all your good deeds. The angel on your left records all your evil deeds.”
Only two angels are revealed by name in the Hebrew Bible: Michael and Gabriel. Daniel is the first book to refer to individual angels by name, mentioning Gabriel (God’s primary messenger) in Daniel 9:12 and Michael (the holy fighter) in Daniel 10:13.
“These angels are part of Daniel’s apocalyptic visions and are an important part of all apocalyptic literature,” Wikipedia states. In three Biblical books, Michael is depicted as the “Great Prince” or archangel. Gabriel, on the other hand, is shown as presiding over paradise.
“Angels have a much more important place in the Bible than the devil and his demons,” states American evangelist Billy Graham in his popular book on angels. After all, the Bible is chock full of dramatic angelic appearances. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, Elijah, Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, and Peter, along with others, saw angels.
Angels in the Bible are seen in many different roles: climbing ladders, wrestling with people, taming lions, lifting great weights, announcing births, recruiting leaders, warriors in battle, executioners, performing miraculous rescues, and comforting people.
Of all the personalities or supernatural beings talked about in the Bible, it’s the angels who are most constantly depicted as being completely identified with heaven. When the angelic choir had finished their special song for the shepherds at the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ, it said that they “went away into heaven.” It was an angel “from heaven” who came and rolled away from the stone from the tomb of Jesus.
Angels are mentioned in thirty-four books of the Bible for a total of some 273 times (108 times in the Old Testament and 165 in the New Testament). Psalm 68:17 states: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.”
Even in modern times, angels are still very much around.
Six Soviet cosmonauts said they witnessed a most awe-inspiring spectacle in space. They saw a band of glowing angels! According to Weekly World News, cosmonauts Vladimir Solovev, OlegAtkov, and Leonid Kizim said they first saw the “celestial beings” during their 155th day aboard the orbiting “Salyut 7′ space station.
“What we saw,” they said, “were seven giant figures in the form of humans, but with wings and mist-like halos, as in the classic depiction of angels.” Twelve days later, the figures returned and were seen by three other Soviet scientists, including woman cosmonaut Svetlann Savitskaya who said, “They were smiling, as though they shared in a glorious secret.”
“In terms of the Bible, angels are a scary thing,” points out Rev. Dr. Alison Boden, dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. “They can come and scare the wits out of you. They change your life.”
Russell Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, agrees. “In Scripture,” he explains, “angels are fearsome. Today, they’re a New Age substitute for God.” That, he says, is dangerous.
“At no time should an angel or angels be worshiped!” declares Robert Strand, author of 365 Moments to Cherish. “The Bible is very clear that only God is to be worshiped. Second, we are not to pray to angels. You might ask God for help in an emergency, but we are never to pray to angels.”
Have you ever seen an angel? Dr. S.W. Mitchell, a Philadelphia neurologist, thought he had. After one very tiring day, he went to bed early. A few minutes later, he was awakened by a persistent knocking at the door. He got up, opened the door, and saw a little girl, poorly dressed and deeply upset. She told him that her mother was very sick and needed his help. Even though it was a bitterly cold, snowy night, Dr. Mitchell dressed and followed the girl.
He found the mother desperately ill with pneumonia. After treating her, Dr. Mitchell complimented the sick woman on her daughter’s persistence and courage. She was surprised to hear what the doctor told him. “My daughter died a month ago,” she said. “Her shoes and coat are in the closet there.”
Dr. Mitchell went to the closet and opened the door. There hung the very coat worn by the little girl who had been at his front door five hours ago. The coat was warm and dry and could not possibly be out in the wintry night!
Yes, angels exist!