2016-06-03
Find Out: My question is very simple actually but your answer may be a rather difficult one to give. I've read all your articles and I do not agree entirely. However, being of Native American Heritage, I have a different perspective then I would imagine you do. I recently saw your reply in an article and this is a small portion of it: "Yes, you do have an angel, but no, Perry is not your guardian angel. You see, dogs never become angels when they die. God made every angel, and from the beginning of time they have always been an angel. They have never been anything else." After reading that and you have repeatedly told people this, I want to know: How do YOU know? Are you God? Did you get a vision? How do you feel assured that you alone are correct in that statement regarding angels and God? I respectfully await your reply.

--Julie Gasper


My answer is very simple actually. No, I am not God. And no, I have not had a vision. I do answer questions with assurance but not because I think that I and I alone know the facts about angels. This column is written from the perspective of what is taught in the Bible and millions (though not all Christians) share the views I express. You will note that at the end of each column, Beliefnet identifies that I am writing as a Christian pastor.

Beliefnet also features articles written by authors from other traditions and viewpoints. “The Big Book of Angels,” compiled by Beliefnet, has chapters written by contributors from many traditions and world religions.

Here is a brief summary of the biblical teachings about angels. The theological term is Angelology. My answers are based on this framework. Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament (Chafer, “Systematic Theology,” II, 3). Hence, there is ample information available in the scripture that allows us to build a foundation for our knowledge on angelic beings.

  • In the scripture when angels appear in human form, it is only a momentary appearance for those who need to see them.
  • The holy angels are sent by God to do his will both in heaven and on earth.
  • Angels are still active in our world today, but their roles and ministries are always consistent with what is found in the Bible.
  • Angels are spirit beings. Each angel has been created directly by God as an angel (Psalm 148: 2-5).
  • Angels are personal spirits. They have personal wills and the ability to make choices (Hebrews 1:6). The holy angels always choose to carry out God’s purposes.
  • Angels are extremely powerful beings. They are stronger than man, (Psalm 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11) but only God is all powerful.
  • Angels have great knowledge and wisdom, but only God knows everything. They are greater than man in knowledge. (2 Samuel 14:20; Matthew 24:36).
  • An angel can only be in one place at a time. They not omnipresent (Daniel 9:21-23, 10:10-14).
Dr. John Bechtle has made the following list of what angels do.

  • Worshipping and praising - This is the main activity portrayed in heaven (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4-5).
  • Revealing - Angels serve as messengers to communicate God's will to men. They helped reveal the law to Moses (Acts 7:52-53) and were carriers of much of the material in Daniel, and Revelation.
  • Guiding - Angels gave instructions to Joseph about the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1-2), to the women at the tomb (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20), to Philip (Acts 8:26), and to Cornelius (Acts 10:1-8).
  • Providing - God has used angels to provide physical needs such as food for Hagar (Genesis 21:17-20), Elijah (1 Kings 19:6), and Christ after His temptation (Matthew 4:11).
  • Protecting - Angels keep God's people out of physical danger, as in the cases of Daniel and the lions and his three friends in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3 and 6).
  • Delivering - They get God's people out of danger once they're in it. Angels released the apostles from prison in Acts 5 and repeated the process for Peter in Acts 12.
  • Strengthening and encouraging - Angels strengthened Jesus after His temptation (Matt 4:11), encouraged the apostles to keep preaching after releasing them from prison (Acts 5:19-20), and told Paul that everyone on his ship would survive the impending shipwreck (Acts 27:23-25).
  • Answering prayer - God often uses angels as His means of answering the prayers of His people (Daniel 9:20-24; 10:10-12; Acts 12:1-17).
  • Caring for believers at the moment of death - In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, we read that angels carried the spirit of Lazarus to “Abraham's bosom” when he died (Luke 16:22).

I started collecting angels 10 years ago. I am just a lady on disability, so I only pay $1.00-$20.00 per angel. They are glass, wood, cloth, photo, or ceramic. My collection has increased from 1 to almost 500 in number. What is the largest personal angel collection that you know of?

--Angelstar


Angels are wonderful things to collect and you are off to a good start. My wife Marilynn is an angel collector and her collection has grown to a few thousand, from the weather vein on the roof to the handle of the toilet flusher. Our friends Joyce and Lowell Berg of Beloit, Wisconsin hold the record with over 12,000 in their collection. In 2001 the Berg Angel Collection was verified and documented by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the world’s largest. When their collection became too large for their house, the community worked together to begin an angel museum in the historic building that had been the St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Beloit. The museum is the only one of its kind in America and possibly the world. When Oprah Winfrey remarked on TV that she had not seen a black angel figurine, viewers sent her hundreds. The Angel Museum displays 600 black angels donated by Oprah Winfrey, special donations from other angel collectors, and angels donated in memory or in honor of loved ones.

Before Lucifer fell and became Satan, did he have the power to create? Did Lucifer create music or did God create it and Satan changed it?

--Barbara


No, Lucifer did not have the power to create. The Bible is clear that all things were created by God in Christ (John 1:3). Music is something made. It is not a creation, as in things created out of nothing, like the heavens and the earth. The Bible attributes the beginning of music in this way, in Genesis 1:21, “His brother’s name was Jubal; he is the father of all who play on the harp and flute.”

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