The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil spirits, are plainly revealed in the Scriptures, and inseparably interwoven with human history. There is a growing tendency to disbelief in the existence of evil spirits, while the holy angels that “minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” [Hebrews 1:14], are regarded by many as the spirits of the dead. But the Scriptures not only teach the existence of angels, both good and evil, but present unquestionable proof that these are not the disembodied spirits of dead men.
Before the creation of man, angels were in existence; for when the foundations of the earth were laid, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” [Job 38:7]. After the fall of man, angels were sent to guard the tree of life (Genesis 3:24), and this before a human being had died. Angels are in nature superior to men; for the psalmist says that man was made “a little lower than the angels” [Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7].
In all ages, God has wrought through holy angels for the succour and deliverance of His people. Celestial beings have taken an active part in the affairs of men. They have appeared clothed in garments that shone as the lightning; they have come as men, in the garb of wayfarers. Angels have appeared in human form to men of God. They have rested, as if weary, under the oaks at noon. They have accepted the hospitalities of human homes. They have acted as guides to benighted travellers. They have, with their own hands, kindled the fires of the altar. They have opened prison doors, and set free the servants of the Lord. Clothed with the panoply of heaven, they came to roll away the stone from the Saviour’s tomb.
In the form of men, angels are often in the assemblies of the righteous, and they visit the assemblies of the wicked, as they went to Sodom to make a record of their deeds, to determine whether they have passed the boundary of God’s forbearance. The Lord delights in mercy; and for the sake of a few who really serve Him, He restrains calamities, and prolongs the tranquility of multitudes. Little do sinners against God realize that they are indebted for their own lives to the faithful few whom they delight to ridicule and oppress.
Angels have defeated purposes and arrested evils that would have greatly retarded the work of God, and would have caused great suffering to His people. In the hour of peril and distress, “the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” [Psalm 34:7].
The Bible Echo, September 23, 1895