The Truth About Angels in the Bible

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The Truth About Angels in the Bible

Last week there was a frenzy about an “angel” (actually a priest) that prayed with a car crash victim in Missouri, but are angels really who you want to help you? Professor Candida Moss on the scary way of angels in the Bible.
Last week a priest appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, at the scene of a car crash in Missouri last week. He prayed with the victim, Katie Lentz, and then vanished without so much as leaving his name. The event sparked a frenzy of religious excitement. Among Christians, speculation grew that this mysterious figure was a guardian angel sent to protect the teenage girl. Bloggers were even hypothesizing about the identity of the angel himself.When it was revealed that the angel was flesh-and-blood priest Father Patrick Dowling, the news was greeted with mild disappointment. A humble and helpful priest who wouldn’t even take the credit for saving the girl’s life wasn’t quite as flashy as the “Miracle on the Highway.”What everyone seemed to agree upon was that if angels exist they are helpful supernatural entities there to shield us from harm.But are they?In the Bible angels are mostly errand boys, the word itself means “messenger.” As God’s intermediaries they give tours of heaven to righteous visionaries like Daniel, deliver messages to God’s chosen ones, and sing eternal praises to God. There are many kinds of angels, from the familiar (the angels, archangels, cherubs) to the strangely inanimate (St. Paul opaquely talks about “thrones, principalities, and powers” which sounds a lot like celestial furniture).

But they have a violent streak.

The first angel mentioned in the Bible is the angel that guards the entrance to the Garden of Eden with a fiery ever-turning sword. Guardian angels are in the Bible, but they’re not there to protect us.

The Eden story isn’t an isolated affair. The Angel of the Lord is always packing heat. More often than not if an angel shows up to an event in the Hebrew Bible it is to harm someone. On one occasion, during the reign of King David, when the Angel of the Lord is about to destroy Jerusalem, God has to tell it to put his sword away. This is small fry for the Archangels. They lead armies into battle and are in training for the final showdown at Armageddon.

They’re not as telegenic as they appear in Lifetime specials, either. Seraphim are large six-winged snakes that fly.

cherub
Cherubs aren’t well-fed babies, they’re winged lions. Hardly the kinds of creatures you want watching over you as you sleep.

And these are the good angels. Some supernatural beings are less obedient than others. In Genesis we learn that the “sons of God” noticed how attractive human women were and took them as wives. Later Jewish interpretations called these angelic beings the “Watchers” and blamed them for teaching humanity the evils of technology. God is so angry at the ensuing wickedness that he sends the flood to wipe almost everyone out. Perhaps the winged snakes weren’t so bad after all.

By the time we get to the New Testament, angels have settled into their roles as messengers and heavenly bouncers. They look like human beings. The two young men who talk to the disciples at the empty tomb of Jesus can be identified as angels only from their dazzling white garments.

They can still be a bit testy though. The Angel Gabriel, best supporting actor of modern nativity plays, is less serene when he announces the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah. When Zechariah protests that he’s getting on a bit, Gabriel replies “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words…you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

That’s how he delivers the good news. As the poet Rilke wrote, “Every angel is terror.”

In the fifteen hundred years since the Bible was put together, angels have been made over into the shoulder-length-haired, white-robed Caucasians that adorn laminated prayer cards. They’ve been identified as supernatural figures who provide assistance in times of trouble.

But, biblically speaking, angels are as likely to be sending a message as delivering one. If you’re looking for spiritual assistance then you should call upon a saint. If you meet an angel you should probably run.

About Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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