Angels - The Facts and the Fictions
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D.
Read the accompanying Newsletter for October 2000
The first thing that the mature Christian should know about angels (and this includes ALL angels Ė both those who are considered "good" and those reckoned to be "bad") is the scriptural teaching that God often charges His angels with folly and wrongdoing (Job 4:18). There is not an angel in existence within the totality of the universe who is perfect in his or her character and that does not do at times things that represent folly and wrongdoing. No one of Godís human children should ever consider that ALL angels are indiscriminately equal in character and righteousness and that they ALL are equal in the roles that they are designed by God to play in the workings of things on earth and in the heavens. Indeed, one must remember that even Satan the Devil is an angel who appears as an "angel of light" (Satan mimics pure and unadulterated "righteousness") (II Corinthians 11:14,15). Yes, Satan the Devil on the surface appears as an angel of light (NOT as the world portrays him as being red all over with a pitchfork in his hand and wicked smile on his face). As a matter of fact, Satan is one of the most glorious of spiritual beings in the universe and he is most willing to show this characteristic to any who seek him. Yes, Satan loves to show his gloriousness to mankind and to others, but God classifies him at the same time as a "murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44).
But before we get carried away, let us be careful not to single out Satan the Devil for discussion at this preliminary article. Let us face the facts. There is NOT a single angel (even the highest of the archangels) who can claim to be perfect in his character and being in absolute and thorough obedience to God and to Christ Jesus. Just as the apostle Paul made it clear that we humans are all tainted with sin ("For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Ė Romans 3:23), the same criteria for judgment on the part of God equally applies to the angels. Simply put, some angels may be glorious when God uses them for specific purposes (both in conducting natural phenomena on earth and in activating and sustaining with power and direction the workings of the universe or in helping to spare Godís people from time to time when God directs them, or even when God uses them to cause chaos and disorder), they are no substitute for God, our Heavenly Father and Christ Jesus our Elder Brother. Each of us humans has only ONE MEDIATOR between us and our heavenly Father, and that person is Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:4-6), and ONLY Jesus Christ! Do not be misled into believing that you can improve your quality of life or gain in any essential spiritual knowledge by relying on angels (who are much lower in rank and authority than Christ or the Father) to buttress your quest for awareness and righteousness.
As for us who understand the truth (especially those who realize the mature teachings of "the Mystery" that were recorded by the apostle Paul in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians), we have NO angels that mediate between us who are Christians. We have Christ Jesus himself (I Timothy 2:4-6). It is actually a sin for any of us to petition an angel for any help whatever in our times of need. This is NOT what they have been created to do or how they are to function in our lives. True, God can send one angel (or a legion) to help each one of us in our hour of need, but the mature Christian (such as we are) should let God and Christ Jesus be the ones who do the dispatching. We should never initiate such encounters. If we do, we more often than not will be engaging an angel that may not have the credentials from God and Christ that you might think. Just because an angel appears to you does not mean that the angel is from God (or represents God and His teachings).
The truth is, angels have caused more harm on earth than they have good, and in the age just on the horizon to us (which God speaks of in the Holy Scriptures as the Time of the End), they will play an effective role of evil and wrongdoing that even you who have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit would be on the verge of believing those angels in their false teachings. Believe me, those false angels are going to look very good in their demeanor towards humans on this earth. Already we are seeing a flurry of activity in the media in which (through television programs and books that the general public like and adore) the angelic community is being displayed as almost always righteous and benign. This teaching is about as far from the truth as anyone can get who understands the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
In this Introduction to the subject of "angels," I want to give you the Number One doctrine of the world that false angels (demons and familiar spirits) thrive on with those who are easiest to deceive. If you DO NOT subscribe to this particular False Doctrine, most of the evil angels will stay away from you and never attempt to contact you with their shenanigans. But IF you ACCEPT this particular doctrine (and many mainline institutional Christians do), you are the very one (or ones) that the evil angels will try to influence the most. That false doctrine is that all humans are alive and function because each has an Immortality of the Soul (or Spirit). Now, the Bible teaches in no uncertain terms that mankind does NOT HAVE an "Immortal Soul" residing in each of them. The fact is, the Holy Scriptures state that "the soul that sinneth shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). When a person dies, the soul "dies" with the person. The "spirit" that was given by God to keep the person alive returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7, note that this is "Godís spirit" that returns, NOT manís spirit). When this happens, the persons become unconscious and unknowledgeable of anything living that is happening around them (Ecclesiastes 9:5; Psalm 6:5; 146:4). Furthermore, the New Testament teaches that a person (even a Christian) must die and wait until the resurrection of the dead that occurs at Christís Second Advent before anyone can be brought back to life (I Corinthians 15:35-58). And even though the apostle Paul said that at his death he would (as far as his consciousness was concerned) be in the presence of Jesus immediately after his death experience (Philippians 1:19-24), the apostle was aware that the actual event (of coming back to life) would occur at Christís advent in what he later in Philippians called "the out-resurrection of the dead" (Philippians 3:11, see Greek). Paul said that his crown of reward would be given to him "at that day" in the future when Christ returns with the saints [certain angels] at the Second Advent (II Timothy 4:6-8). Do not be misled into believing the popular concept (but totally wrong teaching) that one goes right on living after one dies (that is, with a new spiritual type of "soulish" or "spirit-endowed" existence). That is simply NOT TRUE! When you or anyone dies in this earth, that human is as dead as doornail or as a piece of rock. True, God keeps a record of all the events you have experienced in this life and He stores it up on what might be called His spiritual "cassette tape," but in no circumstances is there the slightest consciousness involved in the matter. All conscious activity ceases at oneís death. Only with the resurrection from the dead at Christís second advent will we Christians come back to a spiritual life (or any kind of life). That is a fact that all Christians should NEVER depart from believing. Many angels, however, would like you to believe otherwise, and notable among them is Satan the Devil.
The truth is: all those humans who have died (beginning with Adam and Eve and through all subsequent ages that have succeeded up to now Ė and including all the prophets and apostles of God) are STILL IN THEIR GRAVES awaiting their resurrections from the dead that will occur at the Second Advent of Christ (First Thessalonians 4:13-18). No Christian or righteous person "goes immediately to heaven" at death. It is worth repeating that they lose their consciousness and will not be given life again until God returns His spirit (NOT "their" spirit) and places that spiritual "life-giving force" into their resurrected bodies thereby restoring life to them. Angels who are mischievous or harmful (and there are many) DO NOT WANT people believing this truth. This is why they can mimic members of your families or other friends who have recently (or remotely) died and say that they are now living once again in a new spiritual form. Those angels are liars. This is the first key to remember, and never forget when dealing with any angel. If that angel manifests itself to you or others and states that it is a "dead person" (such as Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus) and that person has already gone to heaven and is still alive and in the presence of God, THAT ANGEL THAT TEACHES THAT DOCTRINE IS A LIAR. The very first thing that Satan the Devil told Eve (and soon afterwards Adam as recorded in the Book of Genesis) was the falsehood that a human would not die IF the human sinned. Satan told Eve and then Adam that they would continue to live even though God said "in that day ye shall die." Satan was a liar, and so are all the other angels who still maintain such nonsensical teaching.
So, after Adam and Eve took of the fruit of the tree, they did not in fact die "in that day" (that is, in that twenty-four hour day in which they sinned). We read later, however, in subsequent literature that I will disclose in my book on the angels, that God meant within "his day of a thousand years." So, what happened to Adam and Eve? They did die. Where are Adam and Eve now? They are dead in their graves and awaiting their resurrections from the dead. Where are Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Baptist, the apostles Peter, John and Paul, and all Christians who have died since the first century (and who are dying each day on earth today)? They are ALL in their graves in an unconscious state and they are ALL awaiting the resurrection of the dead (not of the living) that will happen at the Second Advent.
So, the first and primary lesson that all people should understand in dealing with the subject of angels is the fact that ALL the dead humans who have died since Adam are still in their graves in an unconscious state (with the sole exception of Jesus Christ who was resurrected to spiritual life some three days after his crucifixion and is now in heaven with the Father). Remember this prime doctrine. All humans are MORTAL, and this includes their souls and the spirits that God allows them to have. It is the central truth that will allow you to understand abundantly the role of angels in our human affairs. No human who has ever lived has an "Immortal Soul" that never dies. That "Immortal Soul" teaching is a lie! The dead are dead and are NOT alive.
In conclusion I want to offer an explanation, but not an apology. I want to explain to you that I am thoroughly aware that I have over-emphasized and re-stated time and again in this article almost to ad nauseam (and in other works that I have written) that the dead are dead and that NO ONE has yet ascended into heaven (John 3:13) until the resurrection from the dead at the Second Advent of Christ. And, as I said, I offer no apology. Why? Because the subject is SO IMPORTANT in understanding even the basic teachings of the Holy Scriptures on almost all important matters involving salvation and what are roles will be (both now and after the time of our resurrections). So, remember. The dead are very dead. Let no angel or spirit being try to convince you otherwise. The Bible is clear on this issue, so stand firm in it.
Ernest L. Martin
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