Angels All Round Us
Are angel’s fictitious? Do they protect us, or is it just wishful thinking? Although we can’t see these protectors, it doesn’t mean they’re a fairy-tale says author Anthony DeStefano.
BY: Corine Gatti
Are angel’s fictitious? Do they protect us, or is it just wishful thinking? Although we can’t see these protectors, it doesn’t mean they’re a fairy-tale.
Anthony DeStefano uses a biblical scope that we are not alone, and the common misconceptions people have of these powerful beings that work on behalf of heaven. There’s a spiritual dimension, protection even in the wake of disaster and heartache. You too can find peace in the midst of the battle.
What are the misconceptions that we have of angels?
I think there are two big misconceptions out there. One is that angels are make-believe; that they’re like fairies or other mythical creatures. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Angels are real. They’re as real as human beings. They don’t have bodies—they’re totally spiritual creatures—but they do exist; they do have lives. As you’re reading these words, an angel is probably somewhere close by to you. Angels are fascinating and powerful, but they most certainly are NOT the stuff of fairytales.
The second big misconception some people have is that after they die, they think they’re going to “turn into” angels. Again, that’s not what any of the major religions teach. People are people, and angels are angels. God created us to be different, and we’ll always be different, even into eternity. Angels are pure spirits, while human beings are both spirit and matter. One day, after we die and experience what Christians call the “Resurrection,” we’re going to have bodies in Heaven—maybe not same kind we have now, but something similar. That’s an important point, because it means that if your mother has died, for instance, someday after the Resurrection, you’re going to be able to see her in the flesh. She’s not going to be a ghost. You’re going to be able to run up to her and kiss her and hug her and feel the warmth of her skin, and hear her voice again. That’s a very consoling thought. Angels can’t do any of that because they’re pure spirits. So while I’m certainly fascinated by angels, I would never want to be one!
2. What has your experience been with angels?
I’m one of those millions of people who haven’t had a whole lot of dramatic, supernatural experiences in their life. I know many believers who have wonderful angel stories—but I’m not one of them. While I’ve always been aware of the presence of angels around me, I can’t point to any one specific instance and say with certitude that “an angel helped me.” Yes there have been times when I have experienced what I consider the “miraculous”—times when I knew God was helping me. And I’m sure angels have been involved in that at different points because of what my Faith tells me and what I know about the mission of angels from Scripture. But I can’t say for sure which experiences they were. And to tell you the truth, that’s one of the reasons why I think my books have been so well received. I know it’s considered more “sensational” when someone makes the claim that they have personally “visited” Heaven or that an angel of the Lord appeared to them in a blaze of light, but I think that, because those things have NOT happened to me, my writing and my arguments and my stories resonate with people more. They just sound more down-to-earth and believable and people relate to that. I really do try to stick to what’s been revealed in Scripture and what traditional Christianity has taught over the course of 2000 years. And the incredible thing is that the traditional teaching about angels is every bit as exciting and interesting as all the subjective stories you read or see on TV. The fascinating thing about angels is that they DO play a big roll in our lives—even when we don’t realize it. One of their “jobs” is to help human beings. And it’s this proximity to us; the fact that they are right here even when we can’t see or feel them, that is so attractive to us.
3. The Bible talks about the war in heaven between Satan and the angels. Are we fighting an invisible war here on earth?
Yes I think we are. People sometimes have a hard time understanding Satan and why he hates human beings so much. And yet, we see the same kind of hatred of God in some human beings, too. When we read the newspaper or watch TV, we see all around us the evidence of people making evil choices—choices against God. Just look at some of the horrible things that go on—the sex crimes perpetrated against children, the senseless and gratuitous killings that take place every day. Evil is real. It’s not imaginary. And human beings indulge in it. Well, if that’s so obviously true for us, then why should it be so hard to understand that certain angels made the same choice to rebel against God? The same choice in favor of evil? The ones who did that are the so-called “fallen angels” or demons. And their leader was Satan.
Now, Satan and his demons hate God and hate everything He stands for. They want to lash out at Him; they want to hurt Him in some way. But they have a problem. What if the Being you hate is almighty? What if the Being you hate is God and can’t be hurt? Well, your only option is to do is the next best thing. You try to hurt that which is made in the image and likeness of God—human beings. Ultimately, the reason why we’re fighting an invisible war here on earth is because Satan and his demons hate God so much that they want to offend him, and the only way they can do that is by hurting us.
4. You talk about the devil’s strategy in your book on trying to deceive man to believe he doesn’t exist. How important is it that we’re aware of this deception?
Oh, very important. It’s been said that if God’s sacred name is “I am Who Am,” then the devil’s name is “I am who am NOT.” Satan would prefer that we don’t believe in his existence, or in the existence of any spiritual realities. That’s the best way of making people atheists, isn’t it? That’s also why I think true cases of demonic possession are very rare today. Yes it can happen, but not so frequently as some people imagine. The reason is that if the devil and his demons went around possessing everyone, people might indeed become frightened, but there would also be a general increase in faith in the spiritual world and in God, Himself. And that’s the last thing the devil wants. It would go totally counter to good diabolical strategy. As C.S. Lewis said in his great book, The Screwtape Letters, the surest road to hell is the one without any sudden bumps or turns—and most importantly, without any signposts. From the devil’s point of view, it’s much smarter for him to stay in the background, quietly tempting people. That’s why the more we are aware of this strategy, the more in-tune we can be to the true source of temptation, and the less likely we will be to rationalize our sinful behavior.