If the Book of Revelation is any indication, as we move into the end times, there will be an increase in angelic activity. Throughout Revelation, we see whole chapters dedicated to angels bringing about the judgements of God (Revelation 7:1; 8:2).
However they were not just bringing in judgment, the Apostle John also saw another angel preaching the Gospel in the mid-heaven:
6 And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; (Revelation 14:6 NASV)
I am not sure exactly what this means, but at the very least such angelic preaching would make people more responsive to the Gospel.
But there is an interesting story on the Christian Broadcasting Network website of a young Jewish woman who became a Christian as a result of angelic activity.
Alyce Merritt grew up in a strict Jewish home that rejected Christian beliefs. She didn’t even know that Jesus was a Jew thinking instead he was Catholic or even Italian.
After graduating high school, Alyce attended college and worked at a small café to help pay the bills.
While at work, a man named Alan started coming into the café telling Alyce about Jesus. She described him as a tall man with “piercing blue eyes.” He carried a large, white, family Bible.
Alan told her that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and over the next few months, he visited her several times at the café.
Alyce even began running into Alan on her days off when she was visiting malls and other locations. At times, she got the odd impression that Alan was actually waiting for her to show up.
During these encounters, Alan told her that “Jesus is the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world, and in Exodus it says without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”
After seven months of this witness, Alyce suddenly had a revelation that Jesus was the Messiah and she needed to believe in Him for salvation. After accepting Christ privately, Alyce never saw Alan again.
He never returned to the cafe and Alyce even deliberately went to the malls hoping to run into him one more time, but he never showed up.
Then one day, she went to visit Christian friends at their home. When she walked into the house, they had a painting on the wall of what was unmistakably Alan. When she asked her friends about the picture, they told her that it was a painting of an angel who had visited their dying friend to deliver a message of healing.
Alyce believes that she had a supernatural encounter with an angel that resulted in her becoming a Christian.
Should that surprise us?
As we read the Book of Acts, we see that the early Christians had several encounters with angels who actively encouraged and established the early church.
Angels were even involved in directing people to preach the gospel. An angel told Philip about the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26) and another angel instructed Cornelius to call for Peter who brought the Gospel and filling of the Holy Spirit to the gentiles (Acts 10).
As we move towards the end times, I believe God will restore the church to the power and community we see in the Book of Acts. Along with this will come increased angelic visitations. As such, we need to heed the warning and advice the Apostle Paul gives on angels:
1. Do not worship
Paul warns us not to worship angels. By giving this warning, it suggests that some early Christians were doing this. We must not overemphasize their importance:
18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (Colossians 2:18 NASV)
Notice how Paul describes the worship of angels as a form of self-abasement, an unnatural spiritual act. They are simply messengers of God sent to help us.
2. Angels are among us
Most of the time, we will not even be aware of the angelic encounters. Paul warns believers to be hospitable because some have actually entertained angels without even knowing it.
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2 NASV)
This suggests that direct angelic encounters that resulted in the early disciples being released from jails are not the norm. Most times, they will be working among us and we will not even be aware of it, such as Alyce who didn’t realize until much later that she may have encountered an angel.
3. Don’t be deceived
Don’t develop an overt interest in angels, because if we do Satan can potentially take advantage of this interest appearing as an angel of light. Such disguises are for one purpose only — deception:
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11: 13-14 NASV)
4. Godly angels are subject to the Word of God
In some instances, Paul warns that angels can even appear with a message that is contrary to the Bible. If this happens, they are not Godly angels, because even angels are subject to the Word of God:
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8 NASV)
I believe there will be increased angelic activity as we move closer to the end times. They will come to encourage us and build the church. They are there to help us fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14 NASV)