Title: How to tell a good angel from a bad one
Plot: I consider this question of testing the spirits in light of the rapture
Notes: How do you expect the rapture to happen? Be prepared!
Listen to "How to test angels (open in case of rapture)" on Spreaker.
A message for those who have ever wondered: How would I test for good angels or bad if one appeared to me?
Hey, Welcome Back!
I have been spinning off new channels lately. This podcast belongs to the channel called "The Bible Why Guy," but it's making a guest appearance on my channel called, "The Book Matrix." It was always my intention to create a matrix of channels, so people could go as deep as they like into any subject they like. I read all these books anyway, and I understand that most people like order, and so I figured: this approach makes the most sense. That way I can follow God's spirit any direction he leads, leaving channels behind me like a net designed to catch the most fish.
And so I mention this because listeners of The Bible Why Guy will want to know about the podcast I posted on the Book Matrix called, Is the Coronavirus cover for the Rapture? Don't worry I won't do this in every message. I design my podcasts so you can listen to them in any order, but I view that particular podcast as the precursor to this one. Because should the rapture happen, it would make sense you would need to test the spirits. The devil fights dirty and I don't want you second guessing Christ should he come knocking. And so I come to the question:
Have you ever wondered what you would do if an angel appeared in your house? Or maybe if someone on the street told you they were an angel?
The Bible says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock," but it also says that Jesus will come like a thief in the night. So which is it? Since expectations are everything, I wouldn't want to reject Jesus because I didn't answer the door, or because he snuck up behind me while I was washing dishes. But if you know me very well, being the bachelor that I am, then you know the odds of that are quite low. If I had sponsors, I might take this opportunity for a paper plate ad. Anyway... Scripture is clear, we serve a God who doesn't think like we do.
The Bible warns us that the devil and his agents masquerade as angels of light. And it encourages us to test the spirits and I think that would be our natural instinct anyway. I'm sure we'd all like to think that we would recognize Jesus immediately, but the Jews obviously didn't. And even after the resurrection some of the apostles didn't. And to us a stranger is a stranger. So how do we know that? Some of us fail to test even the stranger people who come into our lives. And I doubt many of us go through life carrying our angel test plans in our back pockets. But maybe we should!
I would hope everyone would be hesitant to go anywhere with anyone claiming to be an angel or Jesus Christ himself because if even strangers are dangerous, then how much more-so are potential fallen angels.?.
Being a former Mormon who converted to Christianity over twenty years ago, I can tell you that the Mormons think it's a good plan to try to shake the angel's hand... Yeah.
They say that if you can shake the angel's hand, then it must be a real one because fallen angels have no substance. Now I have two problems with that suggestion:
- It's a bad idea, period.
Even as a young man, I knew taking this advice put a tremendous amount of trust in my Mormon friends who didn't seem so sure about it themselves. And you better be sure! because this leads to my second concern:
- Finding out during the hand shake, strikes me as bad timing.
The Bible mentions a test: it says the spirit of antichrist will deny the deity of Jesus Christ. So upon seeing an angel, if you were to declare that Jesus is Lord, the angel would be less than enthusiastic about that. And since you are presumably at a safe distance and thanks to me, not shaking hands with said fallen angel, you can command it to leave in the name of Jesus Christ — from a safe distance! Which strikes me as superior planning in every way.
Meaning the tests for God's angels vs. a fallen angels aren't so different from the tests we would use to distinguish a friend from a stranger; or the tests for an honest man or a criminal. Which means that if you are a lousy judge of character because you are failing to test people, then you have no business praying for God to send you an angel who is thousands of years older, wiser and potentially trickier than you are. But if my rapture guess is right, this testing of the spirits discipline warrants our immediate attention.
Now some people would say, "but Tom, Scripture says no man knows the day or the hour not even Jesus, but only the father." And so this idea that the devil might have orchestrated the Coronavirus thing because of the rapture doesn't really make sense. And I commend you because those of you cognizant enough to make such a statement are clearly well versed in your Scripture. However, I am confident the devil has invested a considerable amount of his time narrowing the window down to the month or the year. And he may have two or three such guesses that are years apart. God is after all a God of timing he created times and seasons and prophets and prophecy. So, anyone who has had a few thousand years to think about this and lay out a plan probably has a few educated guesses.
And so getting back to the matter of testing spirits, it turns out there are many tests. Because even angels can't deny who they are. What I mean when I say that: is that while they might put on a good show, wear a good costume, and do a good magic trick, and maybe even put on a false show of loyalty when the name Jesus is uttered to deceive us. Deep down inside we are who we are. And that statement applies to angels and demons just like it applies to humans and criminals.
If the deliverance ministry has taught me anything about demons, it's that their favorite move is to sew pride. Because let's face it, it's a slam dunk! We all like to be flattered even if we shouldn't. And it impairs our good judgement and clear thinking. It has the ability to forge an immediate bond of friendship between strangers. And so it's the first thing they do.
Therefore, while a real angel would encourage you. For example, he might say "take heart, I know this is a tough battle, but you have support. God, the father of all, will be your shield!" While he would sew comfort that emphasizes God's ability to save and protect you, it is unlikely he would praise you for your greatness. Because imagine being in the presence of God the father and holy angels constantly and then meeting the likes of you and me! The contrast would be... disappointing.
I have often said that I suspect God strengthened the forehead of my guardian angel because I would imagine he does this a lot. <the noise was me smacking my forehead>
Odds are good, the last thing an angel would think in the presence of any human is, "that guy or girl is awesome!" Certainly there are exceptions, God praised Job for his blamelessness... But to my discredit, dwelling on my goodness doesn't last quite so long as I wish it would. Any lists I might pretend to make are woefully... well, I just thank Jesus for imputing his righteousness to me. I will cling to that and dispense with any delusions of grandeur like to entertain.
However, a false angel would flatter you. He would tell you how great and unique you are; how incredible you have done. The value of the calling that you have to the world. He would build you up in your pride congratulating you for overcoming incredible obstacles against all odds. Instead of "How great thou art" for those of you who know the song, the fallen angel might say, "How great you art..." And then he might suggest you do something less than honorable in the name of serving your God. He might remind you that Abraham sacrificed Isaac on the altar and that was him following through on the unpopular and Scripturally defiant command to murder his own son, and so he might therefore then coax you into doing something as a show of your incredible faith, trusting that God will stop you if it's bad. But discerning the spirits is our job and doing it when they are invisible is considerably harder then doing it when visible.
The angel may or may not try to stop you from kneeling and worshipping him depending on if he thinks you're testing him. And no, I'm not implying I've met an angel in person. And honestly I don't think I'd want to. But if we really think the rapture is coming, we do need to be ready for that moment. And so we need legitimate tests. The idea of falling down and worshipping to see if he stops you doesn't strike me as a good one. but it's not my favorite. Because the Bible says "worship God and him only." It does not say, "Worship God and him only unless you're testing a stranger angel to see if they are deceiving you." I wouldn't want to explain to God why I bowed to worship a fallen angel even if it was only just a test.
However, the Bible describes men reflexively dropping to their knees to worship when confronted with angels, and so if you should happen to do this by instinct, and by accident, just know that it's a bad sign if the angel doesn't correct you for doing it. Meaning, lets assume you bowed or knelt and worshipped and then later discovered this angel wasn't God himself. That should be sufficient information to command him to leave in the name of Jesus Christ right now immediately.
I do keep using the word him when referring to angels because nowhere in Scripture does it say that angels ever took on the appearance of females. Though I know that demons have. And so I personally would view a female angel as a warning sign. I am trying to be helpful. To be clear: angels are shapeshifters because we know they take on human form. And there are other examples given in Scripture also. And so it's not an impossibility that you might meet a female angel, but I would expect her to be in human form rather than in the default angelic appearance based on what I've studied. But since I'm wandering off into hypothesis now, let's just bring this back home:
Remember that you can find the full transcript for this podcast on my website, which in this case is thebiblewhyguy.com, just search for this message and click on the full transcript button. If you get confused, I will have links to each of my websites to each of my other websites. Since this channel is new and therefore more limited in distribution than the book matrix, you might want to bookmark the website. I've put the link in the description of this podcast.
The reason you might want to do that is because I have documented the test plan I'm about to suggest (in no particular or rigid order) reducing the effort required in taking notes. Step 1 when you are inevitably confronted by an angel, because you are just that awesome, is:
- If you reflexively knelt to worship and were not corrected, then listen carefully to see if this angel later claims to be God.
If the angel reveals they are not God (and failed to correct you for worshipping), then it's a fallen one and you should command it to shut up and leave immediately in the name of Jesus Christ. And there is precedent for that by the way! You might know some angels of this nature as Zeus and Poseidon, but that's a podcast for another time. But just because it doesn't say anything in the Bible about an angel who didn't rebuke a man or woman for trying to worship him, that doesn't mean it didn't happen! Again a podcast for another time. In that scenario ignore and forget everything it said and just put the experience out of your mind. No good will come from meditating on the words of a fallen angel. Assume they are smart.
- Wave, do not shake hands and say, "Jesus is Lord!"
And then in addition to listening, watch the angel's reaction. And if you sense a lack of enthusiasm, keep repeating that expression in various ways to see if your words are grinding on him. A true angel of the Lord would enthusiastically agree, and so you know what you're dealing with if they react negatively or half-heartedly. And so if so, tell him to shut up and leave in Jesus' name and don't fear him.
- Be mindful of the emphasis of this angel's words. Is he flattering you? Generally those who flatter us want something from us. God's angels protect us, they serve us because they serve him, and they deliver messages to us from time to time. But since we have the Holy Spirit now, message delivery is usually direct communication with God. Therefore, the most likely reason you would meet an angel of the Lord, is the rapture. And in that case it would be Jesus himself.
- When all else fails call out to Jesus Christ. Name the name, there is power in the name! If you invite Christ into your presence and this angel is on official business, then he will stay and it will become a party. But if he freaks out and takes off, it's because he wasn't authorized to approach you. Being involved in the deliverance ministry, I will warn you that fallen angels and demons behave calm, cool, collected and even aggressive when you invoke the name of Christ, but after this pretense of strength, they turn tail and leave within the space of about one minute. I believe that's because they remain to receive your entire instruction. Because after saying the word depart you might say other words, like where you want them to go and what you want them to do when they get there. And they are obligated to obey your complete instructions given in the name of Christ, because you are using his authority to speak on behalf. And so they are authorized to remain until it's obvious you are done giving instructions.
An angel is less tolerant of sin in our lives than the Holy Spirit is. And thus more likely to bring us real harm if we say or do something wrong. In Scripture angels announced the first coming of Jesus Christ, but Scripture tells us that he will come in the clouds at his second. So I'm not anticipating angels will proclaim his second coming in the same way they did the first.
Really the only reason you might be visited by an angel is either that you prayed and asked for such a visitation, in which case a test plan is definitely in order, or perhaps he may happen to deliver a message or show you a vision, or rapture you into heaven.
So the primary job of your guardian angel is to protect you not to become your friend. It would be unhealthy to have a guardian angel friend. That's a distraction for him from his job as your personal secret service agent. And I would be concerned if anyone had a regular relationship of this kind. Angels are generally engaged in battle, protecting us and doing things in the background. The only time they would ever come to the foreground (in Scripture) is to deliver messages. And thanks to the finished work of Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit for that now. And so we need not wait to hear from God.
However, Scripture does say to be careful how you treat people because you could be entertaining angels unawares. And so I wouldn't be surprised to see myself interacting with angels who were masquerading as humans on the movie screen playback of my life on earth when I arrive in heaven. And likely even Jesus Christ himself in the form of a beggar who asked for favors, or people who frustrated me or drove me crazy to test the merits of my Christianity. That's good storytelling and the Bible says that God is the author and finisher of our faith and so I expect the best parts of my story to emerge from the worst parts of my life.
I don't pretend to have all the answers. And quite honestly if God comes to rapture me I'm gonna keep my mouth shut because I don't want to say anything wrong. While we could argue about how I approached this topic, I was trying to be helpful. Hopefully even those who are further along in their walk than I am learned something because it is my goal with this channel to give everyone at least one revelation, one word of encouragement, and one thing to work on. And so if you noticed that, it wasn't by accident, it was my goal.
I prayed to God he would multiply my followers on my channels and his response amused me. He said, "What do you think you should say if you want followers?" And after a moment of thought it hit me:
"Come, follow me!" Because I follow him. Don't be a follower of Tom, be a follower of Jesus Christ, but always remember that no one should walk alone. Let's do this together!
God bless you! And as always, thank you for listening! And y'all come back now! Ya hear?
Podcasts mentioned on this episode
Listen to "Is the Coronavirus Cover for the Rapture?" on Spreaker.
Angels and Demons Listen to "Angels and Demons - Part 1 [15 Mins]" on Spreaker.
Listen to "Angels and Demons Part 2 [12 Mins]" on Spreaker.