Have a question about angels? Email Bill Webber at angelquestions@beliefnetstaff.com.*

Find Out: My mother died in December in a nursing home after a long struggle with Alzheimer's.

The director of the nursing home told my oldest brother that one of the residents, who had deteriorated to the point of hardly speaking, had said to an aide:

"Those people gotta get out of that room. There's angels in there."

At the time the resident said this, my family had been called into the room with my mother. This was also the time my mother passed away.

I want to believe the story, but is it something that nursing homes say to the family of the deceased as comfort?

No, this is not something that nursing home staff members routinely tell grieving families who have lost loved ones. If a staff person had wanted to make up a comforting message, he or she would have said something like, “Angels were with your mother when she died.”

Were angels in the room? Angels often do appear at the time of death, bringing peace and comfort. It is possible, especially since the resident had Alzheimer’s, that the “angels” were only a result of his dementia. However, I believe that there were angels present in the room and that the resident did see them. The experience was enough to rouse him from his dementia and move him to speak.

Which angel was considered the first Angel of Mercy, and what is he/she like?
--Sandra Newbauer

There are many legends and traditions about Angels of Mercy so it's difficult to say which angel was the first. In some Jewish traditions Uzziel, Rahmiel, Gabriel, and Michael are considered Angels of Mercy. According to the Kabbalah, Zadkiel, the leader of the nine angels who make up the choir of Dominions, is known as the Angel of Mercy.

In the Islamic tradition Munka and Nakir are the Angels of Mercy, although they are not mentioned in the Qur'an. It is believed that when a person dies these angels come to examine the deceased's faithfulness. The Angels of Mercy then escort the soul of believers from their graves to become birds in the trees of paradise. There they will be until the souls are united with their bodies in the resurrection.

Although no one angel is called the Angel of Mercy in the Bible, every good angel is merciful.

Do angels use scary images to wake us up to extreme danger? Many years ago I was married to an alcoholic who was becoming more abusive. I had two small boys, ages two and four. Even though I was afraid my husband would harm me, my fear of being unable to raise my children alone kept me in the marriage. At night when I laid down to sleep, a large spider would suddenly drop down onto me from the ceiling. I would jump up and frantically look for the spider. There never was one.

At first I thought I was dreaming this, but as time went on I knew I was still awake when this happened. I thought I was going crazy. But, in a strange way, this recurring image made me realize how precarious my situation was and I found the courage to get help and get out. I never saw the spider dropping on me again after I left the marriage.

Was my unconscious producing the image at night to warn me of danger? Or were the angels helping me?
--Mary Anne Lide

According to biblical scripture, angels are active in our world influencing individuals and nations. Usually the presence of angels is unseen, and we are unaware of their activities unless they take a form that can be seen. We have little understanding of how an angel influences our thoughts except that an angel always respects our free will. Angels never coerce us.

Dreams do come to us when we are asleep and when we are awake. Most dreams come from our subconscious minds. What you recounted is a typical dream based on your fears. Did God cause your dreams directly or through angels? We do not know. What we do know is that God can cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28) and I can say with assurance that God did that for you through your dreams.

How can angels only be in one place at a time? They are spirits, so wouldn't "place" be irrelevant? Can God be in only one place?

There is one infinite spirit (God) and many finite spirits including angels. God is an infinite spirit and one of his attributes is his omnipresence. There is no place that God is not; God is the only spirit that is everywhere at once.

An angel is like God in many ways but, as a finite spirit, is always less than God. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). The Bible makes it clear that angels can be only in one place at one time. Here are two examples:

The angel in Daniel 10:12-14 said, “I have come in answer to your prayer. But for 21 days the Spirit Prince of the Kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me.”

Job 1:6-8 says, “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan, the accuser, came with them. ‘Where have you came from?’ the Lord asked Satan. And Satan answered the Lord, ‘I have been going back and forth across the earth watching everything that is going on.’”

These verses and more give clear evidence from the Bible that an angel—even Michael and Satan--is only in one place at a time.

I am a South African interested in knowing more about angels. Sometimes when I meditate and I call upon my angels and the Holy Spirit for guidance, my hands become very hot and heavy. Is this a sign that my angels are with me?
- Zamangwe Sibisi

Angels may well be with you during meditation, but it is unlikely they are making your hands hot and heavy as a sign they are with you. This symptom might be a physiological reaction to your meditating. Many studies have shown that when a person meditates the body responds. Meditation can produce specific physiological response patterns that involve various biological systems. In my opinion, this is a more likely explanation for why your hands become hot and heavy during meditation.

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