OUR PERSONAL ANGEL
The Scriptures are clear as to the role of the Angels at Creation in response to the commandment of the Almighty:
“By the Word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psa. 33:6).
Yahweh gave the command, and the Angels obeyed. He said: “let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). “He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (cp. Psa. 33:9). So it was that the Angels (Hebrew: Elohim—see Psa. 8:5) were the agents through which the Almighty accomplished His Will in creating the Heavens and Earth. So it is that we read in Genesis chapter 1: “In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
But after the 6 days of Creation, the Angels still have a creative role to play, for during the 6 millennial days of the New Creation, their working in human affairs is essential for the development of those called out for the Name of the Lord. As we read in Hebrews, they are “all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14). We, who have been called out from the world to become Sons of the Living God are the “heirs of salvation” if we remain faithful. So, the Word of Yahweh is clear: the angels are our ministers! Their purpose is to ensure the outworking of God’s Will both in world affairs but also in us as individuals. The Angels have the charge of ministering to us, and our needs.
Right from the beginning, the Angels have been intimately involved with Human Affairs. Genesis 1:26 reads: “and Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. The reference to “our” in this place shows this point. We are made after the physical and moral likeness of the Elohim. Again following the sin of the first human pair “Yahweh Elohim said, behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”. So by disobeying the command of God, man knew good and evil in an experimental sense, and became like the Angels.
In his book “Elpis Israel,” Brother John Thomas suggests that the implication of this is that the Angels themselves had been part of a mortal creation, and had also fallen from grace, causing them to “know good and evil” – in the same way as Adam and his wife— and therefore had been saved by a Divinely instituted way of redemption. In this way, they were intimately involved with man’s beginnings: he was both made in their likeness (yet physically “a little lower than the Angels” Psa 8:5), and like them, he fell, and experienced both good and evil.
Against this, Psalm 104:4 states that Yahweh “maketh his Angels spirits …”, which would imply that they were made as immortal messengers to fulfil the purpose of God without a previous probationary period.
Interestingly, bro Thomas changed his position by the time he came to write “Phanerosis”, saying:
“to what orb or planet of the universe they are indigenous, is not revealed: but as they are not ab-original to an earth-born race, they are not sovereign here, but only, as Paul says, “public official spirits, sent forth for service on account of those thereafter to inherit salvation. (Heb. 1:14)” (Phanerosis, page 73).
But be that as it may, The Angels were given the charge of ministering to those who took hold of the Almighty’s Plan of Redemption, keeping them in the way (cp. Exo. 23:20), bringing them through the trials of life (Gen. 48:16), that they might also attain to immortality, being made equal to them (Lu. 19:36) when restored to the friendship of the Deity.
As we have seen from Hebrews 1:10, the Angels are our ministers. That is, each saint has his/her own personal angel, which ministers to him/her. This is not merely a fanciful fairy story taught to children as the world would have us believe, but it is clear Scriptural teaching. Consider these words of Messiah:
“take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven, their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Mat. 18:10).
The disciples who become as children before their Father have their own angels. We must not despise one of these little ones, for their Angel stands in the presence of God in heaven.
The Lord had his own Angel, spoken of in the book of Revelation:
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John (Rev. 1:1).
It is evident that the Apostles believed that they each had an Angel. When Peter was released from prison, he came to Mary’s house, and knocked on the gate. A young damsel “when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, it is his Angel” (Acts 12:14-15). Thus, not believing that Peter had been released, in seeking for an explanation, they said “it is his Angel”.
But, it might be argued, If we each have an Angel ministering to us, how is it that we experience problems, and difficulties in our lives? The answer to this lies in the inspired record of Jacob’s life. His life abounds with illustrations of the Angelic Presence, and recognising the work of his Angel, he said: “the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads” (Gen. 48:16). Jacob was a man who went through many troubles, but recognised that it was his Angel that brought him through, and redeemed him from them all.
Similarly we are told that “the Angel of Yahweh encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psa. 34:7). Notice this point: the Angel will not prevent the trouble from coming. It is necessary for us to be tried and tested, so that our characters might be moulded to fit us for immortality:
“For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons … but if ye be without chastisement whereof all are partakers, then are ye illegitimate and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8).
If we are the sons of God, we will be chastised. We will experience evil. The same Psalm which speaks of the Angelic presence also states: “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Yahweh delivereth him out of them all” (Psa. 34:19). In all of our suffering and travail, we have the Divine Assurance that we are not alone. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tried) above that ye are able, but will with the temptation (trial) also make a way to escape that ye might be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). His Angel, our Minister will stand with us, and provide a way to escape. He will be with us, and “deliver us from all evil”. That delivery does not mean absence from evil but involves support through the painful experience.
From the time that we become “heirs of Salvation”, we are give an Angelic minister to keep us from falling, and “deliver us from all evil”. What a comforting thought that is! Our Father will never leave us, nor forsake us, not for a moment, as our unseen ministers operates silently for our benefit. But let us beware! If we really believed the Angel was there, watching us, would we do some of the things we do? The Angel will keep us from falling if we trust in God for all things—but he does not remove our free-will. If we choose to stray from the path, the Angel will not stop us, and we will suffer the consequences of our own folly.
Only in the Kingdom will we fully appreciate the ministrations of our Angel. But until that time comes, let us be thankful to our Father that we are not left alone in this spiritually benighted age, and apply ourselves to the word of Truth, that we might learn to do His Will, and work with the Angel who watches over us, that we might ultimately enter into our Lord’s Rest.