Q: Dear Pastor,
I think I'm having encounters with angels. What do I do?
A: Angels are glorious beings who encounter us all the time. Few of us are sensitive enough to spot them. Fewer still are people who, while having an encounter, will recognize the occasion and take full advantage of it. You are a deeply sensitive person if you've felt their presence, seen them or interacted with them in any way.
First off, the Bible makes it very clear that we are not to worship angels or be overly-focused on them. In fact, the angel talking to the Apostle John in that passage of scripture says, "Don't worship me! I'm a fellow servant of God just like you. Worship God only!" Revelation 22:9, NASB. This does not mean angels are like us; that we are similar beings who exist on the same spiritual plain as they do. No, angels exist in a higher realm with God and are empowered uniquely to perform his commands all over the universe. Christians are like the angels only in that they are fellow servants of God. As Christians deepen their relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit's power gives them the desire to serve him more. The more we relate to God, the more effective we become; standing as "fellow servants" alongside the angels, yet slightly beneath them in power. When was the last time you lifted off the earth and flew? Exactly.
Now that we understand angels in terms of their existence, let me explain them further: Angels come in two types, good and bad. Satan owns one-third of their population; those who left heaven with him when he was thrown down to earth. Revelation 12. These fallen angels serve Satan as their god and are called "demons." Our guys (the good ones) out-number them three to one, but we still deal with demons on a regular basis. An aside: the Bible is clear that there is no such thing as a UFO or an extra-terrestrial being flying around. They are angels at work; either good or bad. Most people who have experienced so-called alien abduction were definitely dealing with demonic beings. (I'll discuss this in another column.)
I'll make a guess that your encounters with angels occur when you are half-asleep or in a dream-state? When you look at them directly, they aren't there, right?
But you know something is there, in your peripheral vision. These are classic earmarks of an angelic encounter. Our human mind (our will) is so strong, that for most of us, we must be asleep or in a near-unconscious state in order to open up our spiritual senses so we can see them. God has asked angels to encounter us at times, so they choose the best approach. As we become more aware of them, we may train our minds to welcome God's divine hosts in any state, waking or sleeping. But it takes a deep trust in Christ to do so — heavenly beings can be highly overwhelming to encounter to say the least.
Throughout scripture, angelic visitations begin with an angel appearing to a person then quickly commanding, "Do not be afraid!" or "Fear not!" They are powerful so they usually show up with a disclaimer. We often tremble in their presence as the essence of the environment they live in splashes all over us. If you are not sensing fear in your angelic encounters, I would encourage you to speak to them. They've obviously made themselves approachable and may have a message for you.
Angelic beings perform many tasks for God, but one of their chief duties is delivering messages. Ask them why they are there. They may be waiting for you to ask!
Do not be afraid of the idea that demonic angels are real, as is Satan. This is a spiritual fact. Satan's angels also visit us, so it's important to know their tactics, too. The Apostle Paul's letter to the Corinthian Church (2 Corinthians 11:14) explains that Satan can disguise himself as an "angel of light." It makes sense, then, that while in the presence of a supernatural entity we should question the spirits. The Bible gives us ample tools to use when we are confronted with them, the main one being the name of Jesus. No darkness can occupy the same spiritual space as that name since the mention of the Savior destroys every ounce of their power. Use the name of Jesus Christ as you speak with them and you will know for sure who and what they are.
I admire your courage to discuss your visitations with me. Yet I must say, "Congratulations!" God may have a message for you.
-- Adrienne Greene pastors a small community of faith in West Harrison, IN. Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Please send your inquiries to: <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a> or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030.