Recently I was asked the following question;
If angels could appear in dreams or in plain sight, and deliver messages in Biblical days, could they still do that today?
The short answer would be YES, if it is God’s will.
However, I am not a person of short answers – ha, ha, ha – so here goes….
I’m not sure whether it is as common today as it was back then, or whether it’s more a case of most people don’t experience angels like that. There are still angel sightings; there have been books written about people’s experiences with angels, or what they believed were angels. But just as in Biblical days, they don’t happen to everyone….or even to most people. It seems as if it happened much more back then than now, because in such a widely read book like the Bible, it’s mentioned repeatedly…it’s fallen into the category of common knowledge. How many people, even with the most limited knowledge of the Bible, still know that an angel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus? But the Bible, by way of being an account and guide for us of what God wants us to know on order to seek and accept Him, tells us of the events and happenings of only some people…only a handful in comparison to how many people there still would have been in the world at that time. And, like today, not all of them would have encountered angels, or anything supernatural.
I absolutely believe angel sightings still happen today, but I don’t think we’re made aware of it as much now, for whatever reason….too many other modern-day distractions perhaps, or the fear of mocking and disbelief. Think about it, how many people in your own life would even believe you if you tried to tell them you saw an angel? And having said that, I can tell you (whether it is believed or not) I’ve experienced what I believe was angel presence several times. I didn’t see an angel but I was pulled back from stepping off a curb years ago in
just as a car I didn’t even see came around the corner. It would have hit me, but something pulled me back, and I was alone! No one was with me, no one was even nearby. There have been other things, like the sensation of someone sitting on the end of my bed, and the hindsight realisation of protectiveness over different stages of my life. Sydney
The Bible tells us that God uses His angels in His service, and they act with the sole function to do His will.
Bruce Marchiano writes in his book THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS; “If anyone believes the Holy Spirit does supernatural things in our natural world, it’s me; but for the most part, for whatever reason, as much as I’d love to be swimming in a sea of experiences, they just don’t seem to come my way.” A lot of people could say the same thing, then and now!
The strongest thinking for me on this is that God wants us - especially when there is more than 2000 years of verbal, visual, and written evidence about Him and His will for us - to believe through free-will and desire, rather than only because something as supernatural and miraculous as an angel’s appearance leaves the truth undeniable. Almost everybody would believe if an angel appeared and said so! For a little while, at least, and if they did would it be for the right reasons??? But how many would believe without that? How many did back then???
The same applies, sadly, for many when it comes to believing in Jesus Christ. I know many in my life and immediate vicinity who are baulking their commitment based on a need for concrete answers and proof, who cannot (or will not!!) surrender to faith alone. Jesus says in John 20:29 – “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
In the Christianity Explained short study, one of the frequently asked questions is along these same lines – it specifically asks about why when Jesus performed a miracle He often said not to tell anyone, and this can apply to queries regarding angel visitations also, I think – and the answer given is this; Jesus did not want to become like a side-show with people coming to see signs and wonders. He rejected such people (Mark 8:11-13, John 4:48). If people would not respond to the preaching of the
calling for repentance and faith (Mark 1:15), miracles alone would not convince them. Miracles (and angels) attract people, and it is possible that Jesus saw that the curious crowd would hamper His ministry, which is just what happened (Mark 1:45). Kingdom of God
The truth of this is unmistakable. People will easily follow what they can see, but not so easily what they cannot. I spoke to two friends a few days ago about the fact that people were created to love, to have a passion for something, and in turn to worship. For most Christians it is understood and believed that the focus of our worship is, and should be, God! But for other non-Christians this inbuilt desire extends even so far as to the creation of new religions and belief networks, possibly driven by an intense human need to stand out and be individual, and to a degree retain their control over their own being. Whether it be God or some other focus, people will seek out something! And when something aside from God is settled upon as their belief system, it is often for two primary reasons; a lack of understanding about Who God truly is, or the free-will choice to reject God.
Before I started listening to God, ten years ago, I was deep into angels. I read every book I could get my hands on, especially those written by Doreen Virtue. I had the angel cards – a form of tarot, if we’re honest about it! I had the figurines – which amounted to a shrine, I am ashamed to admit! In hindsight I can see that the focus of my need to worship something was angels and not God. Praise be to God that He was persistent in His desire for me, and relentless in revealing the error in my ways! But my mistakes of the past mean I can sit here now and ask - knowing that angels do exist, that they are diligently about the will of God, but they are not to be worshipped – Who or what is the focus of our worship, love, devotion, and obedience? Do we believe because we have surrendered to faith, or do we believe based only on what we have seen with our eyes, or had unequivocally proven to us? Do we serve and honour and glorify God because we HAVE TO, or because we WANT TO???
Hugs – Jeanne.