“Do I Have A Guardian Angel?” #ChurchOfTheUndead
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IN THIS EPISODE: People take deep comfort from the idea that angels guard their steps and protect them from harm, or that their angel wards off the advances of the Devil. But is it wise to put our hope in such protection? And does each of us have a guardian angel?
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CORRESPONDING “WEIRD DARKNESS” EPISODE…
“Real Life Encounters With Angels”: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6877
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One of the fascinating things about studying angelology is the stories people tell about angelic encounters.
A few years ago, author John Gilhooly received a call from a man claiming Michael the Archangel visited him at home. The man had been plagued with demonic attacks, which subsided to some extent after his encounter with Michael. He even claimed to have video evidence of the angel. Another woman told John that she encountered an angel in a shop window of a downtown department store. He didn’t say anything to her, she said, but the visit reminded her that God loved her.
The Christian shelves of major bookstores abound with similar tales—there’s even a series of Christian-living books about angels that have appeared in the form of dogs! (Okaaaay… I’ve heard all dogs go to heaven, but I don’t think they become angels when they get there. I don’t think that’s how it works.) Some Christian writers attempt to make spiritual powers and territorial spirits the major theme of the whole Bible. Somehow it makes the whole enterprise seem more vivid, cinematic, and exciting, like reading a supernatural novel as opposed to a love letter from God.
People take deep comfort from the idea that angels guard their steps and protect them from harm, or that their angel wards off the advances of the Devil. But is it wise to put our hope in such protection? And does each of us have a guardian angel?
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Hello, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar from the Weird Darkness podcast; welcome to the Church of the Undead.
This podcast is for anybody like me who loves creepy stuff – stories about ghosts, unsolved mysteries, unexplained disappearances, true crime, aliens, cryptids, etc. At the same time, I also love God and sometimes my love for Him and my love for the macabre interact or even collide – that’s why I created the “Church of the Undead” podcast. This is also a place I can share episodes not related to “Weird Darkness” which are relevant to those who suffer with depression, and/or those who enjoy macabre subject matter and also love (or are curious about) God and want to learn/worship with other “Weirdos in Christ”.
Full disclosure – I’m not a pastor. I’m just a guy who gave his life to Christ in 1989 and has tried to “walk the walk” every since – stumbling more often than I’d like to admit. While you might have come here to learn, this podcast will be a learning experience for me as well, as I study and try to find answers to share with you. And as an imperfect being, sometimes I’m going to get it wrong. While I will do my best to bring truth, some interpretation is going to leak in as well, it is inevitable. So please don’t take what I say as gospel; dig into God’s word yourself for confirmation as well as revelation.
That being said, welcome to the Church of the Undead.
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Today’s episode of Weird Darkness, July 13th, 2020, is titled: “REAL LIFE ENCOUNTERS WITH ANGELS”. If you’ve not yet heard it, I’ll place a link to it in the show notes. If you have listened to it, you know it touched a lot on personal stories of those who believed they had encounters with real angels. In fact, many of the stories used the term “guardian angel”, or “my angel” when telling the stories. Is that the way it works though? Is there one particular angel whose God-given assignment is serving and protecting me—just me, alone? My own personal invisible bodyguard?
One of the most common beliefs about angels is that each of us has a guardian angel. But the Bible does not explicitly state this. According to biblical scholar and teacher Dr. David Jeremiah, whom I have learned a lot from over the past thirty years, there are just two verses in the Bible that indicate there might (I repeat “might”) be guardian angels in the world today.
- The first is Matthew 18:10 = Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
Because “little ones” refers to believers, as opposed to children, some take this verse to indicate that each believer has an angel in heaven assigned to them. Even if that interpretation is correct, though, the text tells us nothing about what these angels do. It certainly doesn’t confirm the speculation that they follow us around to protect us. Besides, how can they be by our side if they are viewing God’s face in heaven? (Martin Luther says it’s because they have really long arms. I’m not sure if he meant that seriously or not.)
- And the second verse is Acts 12:13-15 = And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”
Now, those are the only two passages that I’m aware of that allude to the idea of actual, personal guardian angels. But we cannot be sure either way. We can, however, take comfort in the fact that God sends HIS angels to watch over us and help us in times of need.
- Psalm 91:11-12 = For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
- Matthew 13:41 = The Son of Man (Jesus) will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness.
The book of Daniel is especially exciting, as an angel saves Daniel while he’s in a den of hungry lions.
- Daniel 6:22 = “My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”
Earlier in the book of Daniel we hear of three men thrown into a blazing hot furnace. The heat was so intense that those working outside of the furnace to keep it hot, fainted dead from the heat – but the three men inside the furnace were completely unharmed – and a fourth individual was seen in the furnace with them:
- Daniel 3:28 = Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.
And perhaps you’ve even come across an angel and didn’t even know it – during a time you weren’t in peril, or did not know you were in need of their assistance. One of my favorite verses about angels is:
- Hebrews 13:2 = Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
Some Christians have taken great comfort in the idea that an angel is close by to guide or protect. The Bible doesn’t encourage us to look for such things though, to seek out angels, or to attempt to commune with them. In fact, the whole idea of Hebrews 13:2, where we could unwittingly entertain angels and be unaware of doing so, that shows the humility of the angels themselves – they do not want to be glorified or exalted – they are only there to do God’s will in His time. It is God alone who deserves all the glory and praise if you feel you were somehow (excuse the phrase) “touched by an angel.” We are never to pray to angels, but to pray to God to send them. There’s a big difference. Praying to angels is akin to worshipping them – and worshipping anything or anyone other than God is a big no-no. John, the author of the book of Revelation, learned that first hand.
- Revelation 22:8-9 = I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”
While the thought of guardian angels is fascinating – it can also be dangerous if we’re not careful. It makes angels themselves a source of comfort and solace in our hearts. One feels special that an angel has been assigned to them. One feels important and significant and, what’s more, safe and protected. But that’s putting one created being under another created being for spiritual protection. But the created can never protect us like the Creator can. We should never look to angels to preserve us, but to God. Anything less is superstitious at best and blasphemous at worst.
While we can’t know with absolute certainty whether or not each believer has a special, personal guardian angel; it shouldn’t matter – because we DO know that God’s angels care about us and that they can intervene in our lives as they are called by God to do so —and that’s a wonderful thought! That’s more than enough if you ask me. I don’t need a personal angel following behind me at all times if I know the God of all creation, the One who created the heavens and the earth – and the angels as well – has command over those angels and can tell one or many to come to my aid or protect me against the evil one – or protect me from myself (which is probably more likely the case). The psalmist writes that all the angels rally for the protection of one saint. That’s not the dead religious person version of a saint that has to be voted on by a church body – this saint protected by the angels is YOU. It’s ME. WE are the saints if we believe and trust in Christ.
- Psalm 34:4-7 = I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
While the angels themselves are real, we shouldn’t become too preoccupied with them – and as I said before, we should never worship them. Only God is worthy of our worship, and only Christ saves us. Trust Jesus alone as your Savior, for, as it says in Acts 4:12 = “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
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I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me, and until next time, Jesus loves you and so do I.