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-- © GodSpeak International 2010 --
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Author: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net

Angels and Intercession
2nd Edition

Lesson 11
How Should Believers Interact With Angels?

By Teresa Seputis

A lot of people are confused about angels and what our relationship with them should be. Let me start by saying that we are not supposed to have a personal relationship (e.g., friendship) with angels. Our relationship should be with God, and we should look to Him and not to His angelic servants.

The average believer will probably never have a knowing encounter with an angel. It is pretty rare for a person to see an angel and know that they are seeing one. God may send angels on a person's behalf, and those angels may help the person out numerous times, but the average believer will not be aware of their presence. From what little I know about angels, I get the impression that they prefer to be anonymous and inconspicuous as much as possible. They want to point to God and not to themselves.

Part of the reason that we don't see a lot of angels is because God knows us. He knows that we are still flawed by sin and imperfect in our spiritual development. He knows that many of us will not handle it well if we have direct encounters with angels, so He doesn't give them to us as often as some of us want them. Some people would be temped to worship the angel if one appeared to them. That is a bad thing, because we are only to worship God. Other people might be tempted to try and manipulate or control the angel. Of course, it is not possible to do that, but some people might still try. I think that one of the main reasons that most people don't have a lot of direct encounters with angels is because most of us won't handle those encounters well.

I know that was true of myself for many years. I had read in the bible that the devil and his demons can make themselves appear as angels of light. That scared me and I did not want to be deceived by some demon who went around masquerading as an angel. Some of my prophet friends would tell me about their encounters with angels from time to time. When they did, I used to think to myself, "I hope I don't see one, because I won't know how to tell if it is a real angel or a demonic 'angel of light.'" The idea of seeing an angel scared me, because I was afraid of being deceived by a demon. I think that might be part of the reason that I had to wait so many years before I had my first personal encounter with an angel--because my attitude got in the way.

I did not understand much about angels before God sent one to me, and I had a lot of misconceptions about them. It never occurred to me that angels spent a great deal of time before God's throne, and that they carry God's unmistakable presence and glory with them. I have learned to recognize what God's presence feels like from spending a lot of time with Him (in worship or intimacy prayer), and it is now very easy for me to recognize that same presence of God when an angel carries it. But that wasn't always the case for me. I carried a lot of fear and misconceptions about angels for a long time, and I was quite happy that I had never met one.

I know some people who have the opposite problem that I had. I did not want to meet angels at all. But some of my friends were always hungry to meet angels, and always looking for them. They were so fascinated with angels that they put more emphasis on seeking an encounter with an angel than they did on seeking God. It is not a big surprise that their wrong attitudes made God hesitant to send a real angel to them. Some of them claimed to see angels everywhere, and in all shapes and sizes--but they never actually interacted with any of them. I am not sure I believe they really saw angels. I think some of them might have wanted to see angels so badly that their imagination got the better of them. My friends did not realize that we should not put our focus on the angels, but on the One who sends them to do His bidding.

Commanding Angels

There is a teaching going around in some churches that we (believers) are given angels as personal resources to use in kingdom work, and that part of our commission involves tasking these angels, e.g., requesting or commanding them to do certain things for us.

Angels appear to be co-workers with us in accomplishing God's plans and purposes on the earth. Genesis 28:12 tells us that angels travel between Heaven and earth to accomplish God's purposes. 1 Cor. 6:3 tells us angels will one day be judged by believers, and Hebrews 2:5 tells us that angels will not rule the "world to come." That means that at some future point after we have been perfected, the church will rule over angels. But right now we are not yet perfected and we have not yet been given authority over angels.

At present, we are co-workers with angels in accomplishing God's purposes. We are not above them or below them, but we are separate from them. Angels live in God's realm and get their commands directly from God. We live in another realm that is not able to see and hear God with 100% accuracy. That is why God sometimes uses angels to speak to us, because they can hear Him with 100% clarity and they can convey precisely what He wants to say.

Angels do not command us personally--they never bring their own directions to us, they speak for God. That means that if we disobey an angel's direction, we are not disobeying the angel, we are disobeying God. As far as I can tell, angels have not been given authority over us any more than we have present-day authority over them.

I am not aware of any passage in the Bible where a person commands angels. I am not aware of anything in the Bible that tells us that we can do that. In fact, when Jesus was on earth in His un-glorified human body, He did not command angels. When soldiers came to arrest Him in Gethsemane and Peter drew his sword to protect Jesus, Jesus said, "Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). In short, Jesus said that He wanted angelic help in that situation, He would not command the angels directly, but He would ask His Father to supply them.

Some people teach that angels an underutilized resource that God has made available to the church for accomplishing His proposes and advancing His kingdom. That is true in some respects, but that does not mean that we should ask angels to do certain things for us. There is not a Scriptural precedence for doing that. I think we would do better to make sure that we are doing the piece that God gives us in a way that doesn't interfere with the angels' ability to do their assigned job. I also think that it is a good idea to ask God to release His angels (and other Heavenly resources) to help us do what He has asked us to do.

I would not personally command angels to do this thing or that thing. Instead, I would pray to God and ask Him to send angels to help with what He has asked me to do. In fact, I do that all the time. For example, I speak at churches and conferences a lot. I usually start the service by praying to take authority over the room and to give God complete control of the meeting. I don't have a canned prayer that I pray, I let the Spirit lead me in this prayer each time. There are a lot of times when He prompts me to ask the Father to send angels into the meeting. The prayer takes on different forms, depending on God's agenda for that specific meeting. Here are a few examples of things the Holy Spirit has lead me to pray:

I am a firm believer that God wants to release angels to work with us in accomplishing His purposes. I look for angelic help, and I welcome it, especially when the task seems big or difficult. But I never command angels directly or assign tasks to them. Instead I follow Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it shall be given to you..." That is what I recommend in learning to work together with angels: ask God and let Him make the angelic assignments in response to our prayers.

How Should We Relate To Angels?

So what should our relationship with angels look like? First, it should not be the center of our attention. We should not seek the angelic, we should seek God and focus on Him. Second, we should not try to command them any more than we would try to command someone from another church who was working on a joint project with your church, where each church had their separate pieces towards a larger master plan. Third, I think we should respect angels (just like we respect co-workers from other churches), but we must not elevate them to some level where we worship them.

Rev 19:10 makes it very clear that we are not to worship angels or overly elevate them. John writes, "And I fell at his feet to worship him (the angel who had been speaking to John). But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!'"

We should respect angels and cooperate with them. We should not give an angel more honor (or any less honor) or respect than we would give another anointed human minister.

-- © GodSpeak International 2010 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.net> --

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