January 2021: Angels are often depicted as fat little babies with wings that are sent into individual’s lives to give enlightenment, guidance, and protection. Not a very good image for building a person’s confidence in their wisdom and supremacy. As it turns out, however, they are very physically superior spiritual beings that are highly intelligent, very powerful and have specific jobs in the Kingdom.
Angels have ranking in their hierarchy and with that rank goes the job to which they are assigned. According to www.compellingtruth.org/types-of-angels.html there are two basic types of angels mentioned in the Bible, those that serve God and those that have fallen.
Isaiah of the Bible had a vision, and he saw angels. He described them this way, “…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” Isaiah 6:1-3.
It seems this class of angel has the job of guarding the throne, chatting with each other the praises of God, and come equipped with a means of transportation. Assumedly, if they have wings, then they can fly.
Ezekiel 1:5-14 describes these beings in detail. They are explicitly designed for their jobs. Ezekiel described them as having human likeness, four faces and four wings. Their soles were like a calf’s foot, had human-like hands under their wings, their wings touched one another and they sparkled like bronze. They could move forward without turning. One face was like a lion, one like an ox, one an eagle and one a human. Each had two wings and they could move to and fro darting about so quickly, they looked like a flash of lightning. Ezekiel went on to say that when they flew, their wings sounded like many waters.
Genesis 3:24 states that God stationed in the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword and assigned the task to guard the way to the tree of life. It states that the angel could navigate in any direction without turning, making it a well-equipped and capable guard.
Two archangels were mentioned in the Bible by name. One was Michael, and his job was to be a warrior. In Revelation 12:7, it states Michael and his angels were fighting in heaven against an enemy and its angels.
A second archangel mentioned by name was Gabriel. Communication was his line of work. Being the lead angel in that area, he delivered messages from God to humans. He had a message for Zechariah. In Luke 1:19, it states, “And the angel answered him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.’” Who couldn’t use some good news?
On the lower end of the food chain are angels. It appears there are two kinds, the ones that wear the white hats – the good guys – and the ones in the black hats. The Bible is a little vague about this general angel category, but it appears these angels are not referred to by name. Focusing on the good guys, their main job is to minister to God’s people with a variety of errands such as delivering messages from God, executing miracles, and at times facilitating acts of judgment. These angels appear to individuals using a human form. Many times, folks don’t recognize they are dealing with an angel while the interaction is taking place. One Broken Arrow woman had one of those interactions.
On her high school senior trip Terri Dietrich, now the Worship Minister at Abiding Harvest Church, was with her classmates enjoying a Colorado ski trip. She had never skied before and was developing her navigational ability on the bunny slopes. After a full day, Dietrich thought she’d sneak in one more run before having to meet by dark the group on the bus headed for home. Things got dicey when she jumped off the tram at the wrong slope, the black slope. The black slope is for the most advanced skier and is the steepest run on the mountain, a straight drop. With no one around to help, way over her head in skill level, and now at dusk, Dietrich was terrified.
All alone on the steep drop, Dietrich squatted on her skies, then onto the snow, and scooted down the mountain inch by inch on her bottom. The trek downhill didn’t go well due to the near-vertical grade of the incline, and she inadvertently landed in a grove of trees. Stuck, Dietrich started to panic as darkness began to ensue. About that time, a striking male skier skied up behind her and came to a showy halt throwing a spray of snow on her. He asked, “Do you need help?”
“Ye-e-es!” Dietrich replied, clearly shaken.
She explained she got off on the wrong slope, was lost, and now stuck in trees and needed help getting to her bus, or they would leave her behind.
The handsome stranger, whom she assumed was a resort guide, told her she was on the wrong side of the mountain, but he would follow her from behind and guide her back to the proper destination. She fell a time or two along the way, but her now personal chaperon instructed her to lean one way or the other to help keep balance. They were alone for the long slog back, but he encouraged her along the way to keep going, that she could make it.
Finally, they crested a hill, and the next clearing revealed the resort and the pickup location of her classmates. Seeing she had made it back safely, she turned back to her guide to thank him for his help, and there was no one in sight. Later, on her ride back on the bus, she pondered on the puzzling disappearance of her helpful stranger. It was then she concluded that he must have been an angel.
“I knew I was really taken care of just then,” Dietrich said.
Another occurrence of angel interaction was with Dayna Griffith, Abiding Harvest Office Administrator and Treasurer. Griffith was walking through a retail parking lot deep in thought about the tasks of the day when a van drove alongside her with the side door slid open. A woman’s arm was extended with a coin in her hand. The woman said in a coaxing voice, “Here, take it!” Griffith was blinded by the sunlight, so the van looked dark inside, but she could see that this was the only woman inside, and there were several men. Griffith, as a knee-jerk reaction, reached out to receive what was being handed to her. Although she was walking alone, and no one was around her, a voice from behind rang out, “Leave her alone!” When that warning resounded, she saw the men inside the van start to panic and shouted for the driver to speed off.
It wasn’t until Griffith got safely into her car and digested what had just happened when she understood that she was just protected from possible abduction. Upon that realization, she began to shake from fear and the intensity of what she had been spared.
Living in a complex world riddled with riots, natural disasters, violence, and danger at every turn, who wouldn’t want to believe God has heavenly beings in the background of life helping to protect, guide, and direct believers down the proper paths of life?
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