How Angels Can Help You
GOD’S Word confirms the existence of angels. It tells us that there are millions of these spirit creatures. Jehovah God’s servant Daniel had a vision of heavenly things about which he wrote: “There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to [God], and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him.”—Daniel 7:10.
Notice that Daniel’s statement does more than tell us that there are many angels. It also indicates that angels minister to God. They are his servants. In harmony with this, the psalmist sang: “Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will.”—Psalm 103:20, 21.
The Bible also explains that angels did not begin their lives as humans on earth. Jehovah created angels in heaven even before he created the earth. When God ‘founded the earth, all the angelic sons of God shouted in applause.’—Job 38:4-7.
Angels are spirit creatures—invisible, powerful, intelligent. In the Bible, the Hebrew word mal·ʼakhʹ and the Greek term agʹge·los are translated “angel” when a spirit creature is indicated. These words occur nearly 400 times in the Bible. Both have the same meaning, that is, “messenger.”
Angels are certainly messengers. You may be familiar with the Bible account about the time when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. He told her that although she was a virgin, she would bear a son who was to be named Jesus. (Luke 1:26-33) An angel also appeared to some shepherds who were in the field. He announced: “There was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11) Similarly, angels delivered messages to Hagar, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Jesus, and others of Bible record.—Genesis 16:7-12; 18:1-5, 10; 19:1-3; 32:24-30; Exodus 3:1, 2; Judges 6:11-22; Luke 22:39-43; Hebrews 13:2.
It is noteworthy that all these messages delivered by angels were in harmony with the outworking of God’s purposes and not necessarily those of the humans involved. Angels appeared as representatives of God, according to his will and timetable. Humans did not summon them.
Should We Call Upon Angels for Help?
Is it proper to call upon angels in times of distress? If so, we would want to know the name of an angel best able to help us. Consequently, some commercial books list the supposed names of many angels, together with their rank, titles, and duties. One book lists what it calls the “celestial top ten,” the “best-known angels in the Western world.” Along with the list comes the advice to close your eyes, repeat the angel’s name slowly several times, take deep breaths, breathe slowly, and “open yourself to possible contact with them.”
In contrast, the Bible gives us the names of only two of God’s faithful angels, Michael and Gabriel. (Daniel 12:1; Luke 1:26) Possibly, the reason for providing these names was to show that each angel is a unique spirit person with a name, not merely some impersonal energy or force.
It is noteworthy that some angels refused to disclose their names to humans. When Jacob asked an angel to reveal his name, he would not do so. (Genesis 32:29) When asked to identify himself, an angel that approached Joshua said only that he was the “prince of the army of Jehovah.” (Joshua 5:14) When Samson’s parents asked an angel for his name, he said: “Just why should you ask about my name, when it is a wonderful one?” (Judges 13:17, 18) By not providing a list of the names of the angels, the Bible safeguards us from giving angels undue honor and worship. As we will see, it also does not instruct us to invoke them.
Calling on God
The Bible tells us all we need to know about affairs in the spirit realm. The apostle Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching . . . that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) If God wanted us to know the names of many angels, he would have revealed these in his Word, the Bible. And if God desired to instruct us in how to contact angels and talk to them in prayer, he would have provided such information in the Scriptures.
Instead, Jesus Christ taught: “When you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret . . . You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.’” (Matthew 6:6, 9) The Scriptural view is this: We are not to call on angels or pray to them, but we should prayerfully approach the Creator of the angels, God himself. His name is no mystery, and there is no need for a visionary to reveal it. Though attempts have been made to obscure the divine name, it appears in the Bible record over 7,000 times. For instance, it was with reference to the heavenly Father that the psalmist sang: “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”—Psalm 83:18.
Jehovah is never too busy to listen to us if we approach him properly in prayer. The Bible gives this assurance: “As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.”—2 Chronicles 16:9.
Angels and Morals
Contrary to what is often portrayed in the media, angels do not judge people. That is fitting, for angels are not authorized to judge humans. Jehovah is “the Judge of all,” though “he has committed all the judging to the Son,” Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 12:23; John 5:22) Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to assume that angels are indifferent about how we live our lives. Jesus said: “Joy arises among the angels of God over one sinner that repents.”—Luke 15:10.
Angels are not mere bystanders, however. In times past, they served as executioners, carrying out the judgments of God. For example, God used angels against the ancient Egyptians. According to Psalm 78:49, “he went sending upon them his burning anger, fury and denunciation and distress, deputations of angels bringing calamity.” Similarly, the Bible reports that in one night a single angel destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.—2 Kings 19:35.
Likewise, in the future, angels will destroy those who by refusing to conform to God’s righteous standards threaten the welfare of others. Jesus will come “with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news.”—2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8.
The Scriptures thus show that God’s faithful angels always do his will by carrying out his instructions and upholding his righteous standards. Clearly, if we want God’s angels to help us, we need to know what God’s will is and earnestly strive to do it.
Do angels care for people and protect them? The apostle Paul asked: “Are they [angels] not all spirits for public service, sent forth to minister for those who are going to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) Clearly, the answer to Paul’s question is yes.
Because of their refusal to bow down before a golden image erected by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, the three Hebrews Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were hurled into a superheated furnace. However, those faithful servants of God were untouched by the fire. When the king looked into the furnace, he saw “four able-bodied men,” and said that “the appearance of the fourth one [was] resembling a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25) Some years later, Daniel found himself in a lions’ pit because of his faithfulness. He too escaped unharmed and declared: “My own God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions.”—Daniel 6:22.
With the establishment of the congregation of Christ’s followers in the first century C.E., angels again appeared, freeing the apostles from prison. (Acts 5:17-24; 12:6-12) And when Paul’s life was imperiled at sea, an angel assured him that he would arrive safely in Rome.—Acts 27:13-24.
Present-day servants of Jehovah God are fully convinced that God’s invisible angelic forces are real and are able to provide protection, as they did for Elisha and his attendant. (2 Kings 6:15-17) Indeed, “the angel of Jehovah is camping all around those fearing him, and he rescues them.”—Psalm 34:7; 91:11.
The Message Angels Carry
While the angels are concerned about the welfare of those who serve Jehovah God, they are also involved in seeing to it that people learn about him and his purpose. The apostle John wrote: “I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and give him glory.’”—Revelation 14:6, 7.
Do you want to know the content of this “everlasting good news”? If so, ask Jehovah’s Witnesses. They will be glad to share it with you.
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An angel in midheaven is declaring everlasting good news. Do you want to learn about it?