May 17, 2006
Angels are messengers of God. They can be spiritual beings such as Daniel describes in Daniel 10:5, 6, with supernatural manifestations.
They can be spiritual beings that seem to appear in a very earthly form as men, such as when Jacob wrestled with the angel. Gen. 32:24 says "a MAN wrestled with him until daybreak." By the end of the wrestling match, Jacob knew that this was no ordinary man. It is not customary to ask a blessing from an adversary with whom you have been wrestling all night. But Jacob knew that he had "seen God face to face."
So which is it? God or man? It was obviously God manifesting as a man, and no doubt Jacob was fooled at first. But when God creates an extension of Himself and manifests as a man, we call this extension an angel.
An angel is created by God speaking a word, while giving that Word form or shape through His imagination. When the word and the image come together, it creates an angel in whom is a particular word that defines his purpose and calling. If that angel-word takes human form, one might say that it is the word made flesh.
Such an angel can take human form, because this is how all things were created in the first place. The smallest particles of "matter" are pieces of spirit and are (or resemble) light, which manifests as a wave until it hits something, at which point it acts like a particle. These biblical atoms (not the "big" atoms of modern science, which can be subdivided) are shaped by the power of love to create all things.
When an angel manifests in a material body as a man, it is simply a matter of commanding those spiritual particles to join together and take shape. That is the easy part; God has done this with all of creation, so He has plenty of practice.
Everyone has been assigned at least one angel, depending upon their calling in life. Their angel is the particular word that has gone out of God's mouth, and it will not return to Him void, or empty, but it will accomplish its purpose (Isaiah 55:11). It may not happen in a person's life time, but it will happen at some point. His word is sent forth in love, and love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8).
Some call their angels "guardian angels," but acting as a guard is only a small portion of their function. Their primary purpose is to manifest themselves in us, to become part of us, so that we ourselves become that particular word made flesh. As we learn to love, we absorb our angel, coming into unity with the particular word and purpose that God has set for us in the body of Christ. This is how we learn to minister to the body and function in our callings.
Through the Passover experience of Justification, we reach the first level in our ascent. Pentecost is the second level. Tabernacles is the third, where we can say that we have fully absorbed the angel, and the word that is in him is now fully in us.
At that point, we become the word made flesh, even as Jesus was the word made flesh (John 1:14). The only difference is that He was the total word, not just a piece of the word. But there is noqualitative difference. The quality of God's word cannot be less than what it is--perfect.
Perhaps we can think in terms of quantity. Jesus Christ was given MORE than we were. As the Firstborn from among the dead (Col. 1:15), He was given pre-eminence or sovereignty over all. But as joint-heirs with Christ, our inheritance is to enjoy the same quality of being as He does and the same quality of immortal life as He does. Unity demands this.
When God created all things, He pronounced it all "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Matter was NOT evil, as men later claimed. Matter was made of spiritual particles formed by love's command. Hence, there is no reason to think that either Jesus Christ or the angels of God must refrain from taking material form. Matter does not taint a spiritual being. In fact, the purpose of the feast of Tabernacles is to restore the unity between God and His creation.
In Acts 12 we read of Peter's deliverance from Herod's prison. Peter was being guarded by four soldiers. While he slept, an angel came and delivered him from prison. He did not indignantly kill the soldiers, as perhaps a vengeful god might have done. The angel simply removed the chains and told Peter, "Get up quickly" (12:7). Peter followed him out of the prison.
Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John and knocked at the door of the gate. A servant-girl named Rhoda answered the knock, but when she saw Peter, she came running back into the house to tell the rest of them. They thought she was hallucinating. But when she insisted it was Peter, they concluded the next best thing--"It is his angel."
Why would they conclude that it was his angel? Do our angels resemble us? I have known people who showed up in various parts of the world without actually being there. One man showed up so many times in Europe in the early 1980's that the police had to draw a composite sketch that was published in a German newspaper. The picture was the exact image of a prophet that I knew in Chicago.
My friend, Ron, who lives in Minnesota not far from me, has had the same experience. His friends became a little upset when he told them that he was in another city at the time he was talking with them! They did not consider that a person really CAN be in more than one place at the same time. Your angel looks like you, because it is becoming you. That is his destiny. He does not live for himself, but for you and through you.
In speaking of angels, Hebrews 1:14 says, "Are they not all ministering [serving] spirits, sent out to render service THROUGH [Greek: dia] those who will inherit salvation?"
The angels minister to the world through us. Hebrews 1:7 quotes Psalm 104:4 saying,
"And of the angels He says, 'Who makes His angels winds [Gr. "spirits"], and His ministers a flame of fire'."
The angels are ministers pictured as wind (or spirit--same word) or "a flame of fire." When God came down upon Mount Sinai, Deut. 33:2, 3 says, "At His right hand went a fiery law. . . all Thy holy ones[or saints] are in Thy hand."
In other words, the fiery law (word of God) is manifested in His saints. Both are said to be in His hand. This is done through the ministry of angels, who are the word given form, and who minister through the saints--as the saints absorb their angels and become the word made flesh.