Angels Myth or Reality?
Angels can be protectors, messengers, or harbingers of death. Who, or What, are the spiritual beings know to us as Angels.
Spiritual beings exist in almost every major religion in the world. For most religions in the western and near east, the spiritual beings, or Angels, work for God. Some people believe that Angels are guardians and protectors. The western religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism, believe that the universe is divided into Heaven, Earth, and Hell. Angels Myth or Reality?
Heaven, Hell, and Earth
To the western religions, Angels live in Heaven, Earth is the home of Humans, and Demons occupy Hell. However, Angels and Demons seem to move about freely amongst the humans while humans are stuck on Earth until they die. Angels Myth or Reality?
In the Gospel of Luke, an Angel announces the birth of Jesus to Shepherds. Then a great company of heavenly host appears with the angel to announce the Glory of God. Jesus tells his followers that if called upon twelve legions of Angels would come to him.
In Islam, the Archangel Gabriel dictates the Qur’an to Mohammed and fifteen hundred years before the Iranian Angel Vohu-Manah revealed God’s message to Zoroaster. In Judaism, Angels are messengers, teachers, healers, warriors, and even destroyers, such as the Angel God send to destroy the Assyrian army that was besieging Jerusalem.
That Angels work for God is an assumption in all of the western religions. The fallen Angels that rebel against God abide in hell with their Satan. In the Bible, Revelation details the fight between the forces of Good and their demonic rivals. Angels Myth or Reality?
In the Company of Angels
Throughout all ages, witnesses tell of meeting Angels. Such stories abound in the Old Testament and encounters continue in the modern era. A quick search on Google returned over 2.170.000.000 hits for the term Angel encounters. Many witnesses attest to the healing power of Angels, to receiving protection from harm and evil, and the feeling of overwhelming love when in the presence of Angels.
In 1994, 72% of Americans said they believed in Angels, by 2004 the percentage increased to 78%. During the same period, the belief in the Devil increased from 50% to 70%. To those that claim to have witnessed an Angel, or been in the presence of an Angel, the results usually are life changing. Joseph Smith conversed with the Angel Moroni and formed modern day Mormonism.
The Hierarchy of Angels
According to the Celestial Hierarchies by Dionysius and the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas there are nine celestial orders orbiting the Throne of Glory. The angelic orders exist in three triads.
The highest triad consists of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. The middle triad contains the Dominations, Virtues, and Powers. The lowest triad is composed of Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
Perhaps the Archangels are the beings who are most familiar to humans. The Archangels are God’s messengers and carry his divine decrees. Christians and Jews name seven Archangels and in Islam, there are four Archangels. The Archangels in common between the Judeo-Christians and Muslims are Michael and Gabriel.
Michael’s name means, “Who is as God,” and in Jewish tradition it is Michael who appears to Moses in the midst of the burning bush. Michael is the Angel charged with fighting Satan in Revelation. Gabriel, as mentioned earlier, is the Angel who recited the Qur’an to Mohammed. In Christianity, Gabriel is the Angel of the Annunciation, Resurrection, Mercy, Revelation, and Death. Muslims and Christians disagree over the gender of the Angel Gabriel with Gabriel considered female by the Christians
Saviors or Harbingers of Destruction
Throughout the Bible Angels carryout the will of God, be it good tidings to men or destruction of entire armies. Tradition says that God assigns a Guardian Angel to every human at birth. For non-believers Angels are mythical leftovers from a bygone age. However, for believers and the faithful, Angels are real, and do the bidding of God.
Godwin, Michael. Angels, An Endangered Species. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990