Can you picture uniformed angels patrolling streets of gold on celestial motorcycles? Or the angel police investigating reports of domestic violence in one of the heavenly homes? Certainly not. Heaven is a place where there is no crime, no sorrow, and no tears.
The Bible gives no evidence that angels are a part of any local police force. God leaves that to humans. Could there be any exceptions to this rule? Yes, it is possible. Many times God sends his angels to help on earth in special circumstances. As in the Bible, most often angels look like ordinary people. In many accounts that people have shared with me, angels appear in a form that is most helpful to a person. For example, when you're in a dangerous environment, an angel may appear as a police officer to scare off potential bad guys or to perform helpful services, such as give directions or change a flat tire. Often these "police officers" leave clues that they are angels: A sudden appearance followed by a sudden disappearance after completing a task or if inquiries are made at local police stations, no one recollects seeing or knowing the police officer.
Angels do have a connection with the law. The angels played a part in giving the law to Moses (Deuteronomy 33:2, Acts 7:38, 53) and promoting justice throughout the universe.
Are there warrior angels who guard and protect us in difficult situations? I have been in some dangerous situations in which near miracles occurred.
Yes, there are warrior angels. The term "heavenly host" found throughout the Bible actually refers to God's army. From time to time scripture gives us an indication of how angels participate in heavenly warfare. Warrior angels either act alone or in groups on earthly assignments. Here's one example:
John Patton and his wife were pioneer missionaries to the New Hebrides Islands. One night their house was completely surrounded by tribal soldiers—with torches and spears—who had come to kill them and burn down their house. The Pattons prayed through the terror-filled night and were surprised when the tribe silently left in the morning. A full year later the chief became a Christian. John Patton asked him, "What had you planned to do that night?" The chief replied, "We came to kill you and burn everything you had."
"What kept you from doing it?" the missionary asked.
"We were afraid because of all those men who were guarding your house." the chief replied.
"But there were no men," Patton replied. "We were alone, my wife and I."
"No, no," the chief insisted. "There were many men around your house. Big men. Giants. They were awesome. They had no torches, but they glowed with a strange light, and each had a sword in his hand. Who were they?"
Instinctively the missionary knew. He and his wife had prayed for protection, and God had sent his angels. The missionary also recognized that this was a teachable moment for the new convert. "Let me explain what you saw," Patton said as he opened his Bible to 2 Kings, Chapter 6. He read the account of when King Aram sent his army to capture the prophet Elisha. During the night Aram's army surrounded the Prophet Elisha's house. In the morning, Elisha's helper was fearful and asked, "What will we do?" Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Are there such things as "earth-bound" angels? People who have been to the other side and lived to tell about it? --Trev C.
There are people who have had out-of-the body experiences. Some of these people say they have been to the other side of heaven. Experts give different opinions about these experiences. Whether a person has died or had a near-death experience and lived to tell about it, one thing is clear: They are still humans.