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

Biodata of Robert Chaen Founder of Robren Mega EMall, Robren Services, ChangeU, CEO-Celebrity Whisperer, Asia’s #1 Change Expert, and the Father of Asian FireWalking ​ Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and change expert.  He is famously known as the "CEO-Celebrity Whisperer”. Through 1-on-1 coaching, CEOs & celebrities whisper their issues and secrets to Robert, and Robert whispers back the best success secrets about business strategies, change tools, office politics & staff issues, and personal branding. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, , 300+ MSC CEOs in S.E. Asia's Silicon Valley, etc. He is the EKing of EMalls, the Founder of Robren Mega EMall, the World’s First Parallel Universe EMall Chian, with 100 City Mega EMalls opening in 2021-2023 (fb.com/MegaEMalls). ​He 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. He has interviewed PM Tun Dr Mahathir, Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia), Siti Nurhaliza, and other CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Influencers. 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). If Robert can coach you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be the best. 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 skeptics.  Due to an ongoing paranormal encounter of the Angelic kind, he has been an Angel Whisperer 25 minutes before his late wife Brenda José crossed over on 23rd December 2013. Since then she has been sending him countless afterlife signs and he has written many articles and an EBook on his whisperings about The Afterlife and beyond from Angel Brenda. Updated: 2nd August 2020.

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