We are learning how angels spoke in the Bible as a way to know how they might speak today, if they speak to humans now. Many Christians claim that angels speak to them, so it is something we should investigate.
The English word ‘angel’ is a transliteration of the Greek word aggelos, which means ‘messenger.’ Those angels we call ‘good’ carry messages from God, while angels we call ‘bad’ carry messages from Satan (e.g. 1 Timothy 4:1, “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons”)
In the last part of our study we learned how God used angels to carry out His judgment on disobedient people in the past. We now turn to how God will use angels to carry out His judgment on disobedient people and bad angels in the future.
[Podcast version available at the end of this post.]
Angels of Future Destruction
In Matthew 13 we see Jesus explaining to His disciples the meaning of the parables He had been telling the crowds. The parables were about the Kingdom of Heaven –
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you understood all these things?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.”Matthew 13:47-51
Many angels will be involved in future judgment and destruction on earth. Here are some examples:
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” Revelation 7:1
“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets … Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound! hen the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them … Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm … Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’ And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.’ Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 8:2, 5-13; 9:1-6, 13-9; 11:15-19
Here are three other future examples of what angels will proclaim to people on earth during the time of God’s judgment. In light of the purpose of this series, watch for both the words and the tone of the angels. We’ve seen what angels have said in the past and we’re now looking at what angels will say in the future. What angels delivering God’s messages would say to people now should be consistent with these examples –
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”Revelation 14:6-11
We also know that there are angels who will demonstrate superior power over Satan and his angels. Here are a couple of examples –
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:7-12
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3
When Satan’s Angels Speak
You may be wondering what Satan’s angels say when they speak. We have seen in past studies what Satan said to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Here’s the conversations Satan had with God in the Book of Job –
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”Job 1:6-12
As Satan told God that he had been “going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it,” we are reminded of what the Apostle Peter told us about Satan’s activities on earth – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”Job 2:1-7
We also know what God said to Satan in Zechariah 3 –
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him.’ And to him He said, ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.’ And I said, ‘Let them put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.”Zechariah 3:1-5
There may be a reference to Satan in the portion of Isaiah that focuses on the fall of the king of Babylon. Isaiah prophesied against someone named ‘Lucifer,’ who may have been the supernatural power behind Babylon’s king –
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”Isaiah 14:12-15
Lucifer’s pride fits with what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3 –
“(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”1 Timothy 3:5-7
We find something similar in the Book of Ezekiel where Satan may have been the supernatural power behind the king of Tyre. The first part of Ezekiel 28 appears to be a prophecy against a human being. However, the second part of Ezekiel 28 appears to be a prophecy against a supernatural being. Possibly Satan?
“Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. ‘You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. ‘By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. ‘Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. ‘You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.”Ezekiel 28:11-19
It is difficult to understand why Ezekiel would refer to the human king of Tyre as being full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, in Eden, wearing every precious stone as covering, being ‘the anointed cherub who covers,’ on the holy mountain of God, walking back and forth in the midst of fiery stones, being perfect in his ways from the day he was created until iniquity was found in him, if the prophecy wasn’t pointing to the supernatural power behind the human king. The power behind every evil king throughout history has been Satan.
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9
“They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:9-10
We don’t have many examples in the New Testament. One reason is that Jesus would not allow demons to speak (Mark 1:34). However, we have a couple of examples of what they said when Jesus confronted them –
“When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, ‘What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?’ Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, ‘If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.’ And He said to them, ‘Go.’ So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.”Matthew 8:28-32
Notice that the demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God; they admitted that Jesus was going to torment them at a future time; and they begged Jesus to permit them to go into a herd of swine after He cast them out of the possessed men.
Here’s how Mark’s Gospel describes demons talking with Jesus –
“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.’ For He said to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit!’ Then He asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, ‘Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.’ And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.”Mark 5:1-13
We do learn something interesting in the New Testament about a disagreement between Satan and Michael the archangel concerning the body of Moses. We don’t know what Satan said, but we do know what Michael said –
“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!”Jude 1:9
That wasn’t the only time Michael and Satan had disputed with each other –
“Then he said to me, ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”Daniel 10:12-14
Daniel’s reference to Michael as ‘one of the chief princes’ may mean that ‘the prince of the kingdom of Persia’ could refer to Satan as the supernatural power behind that kingdom. Also, how could a human prince have withstood one of the chief angels of God for 21 days?
We also know that Michael and his angels will one day fight against Satan and his angels and cast them out of Heaven –
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”Revelation 12:7-9
When Angels Speak Example – “Archangel Michael Testimony”
Did You Notice?
- Brother’s girlfriend prayed to Michael the Archangel? Does the Bible tell us to pray to angels? Which book of the Bible contains that reference?
- What happens in the Bible when Michael approaches people? Which people does he approach and for what purpose? Which book of the Bible contains that reference?
- What do you think about the description of Michael’s face, hair, clothing? Where in the Bible do we find that description of Michael? Which book of the Bible contains that reference?
- Michael allegedly told Christopher that he was ‘lost.’ What does ‘lost’ mean in the context of Christopher’s testimony? Lost because of sin or that he had lost his way in the battle between good and evil? Which would be in line with New Testament teaching? Biblical examples?
- Did Michael tell Christopher about Jesus Christ? Did Michael present the Gospel of Christ? Did Michael tell Christopher how to be saved? Did Christopher ever mention Jesus’ name in his testimony? Did Christopher mention sin in his testimony? Did Christopher mention that Jesus died for sin according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scriptures? If so, where in the testimony did Christopher mention Jesus and the basics of the Gospel?
- Did Michael ever quote from the Bible during his testimony? Where? Which verse(s) did he quote or mention?
- Michael allegedly said that … was ‘a bit lost’ and needed to get back on the side of good in the battle between good and evil. Where in the Bible are we told we are ‘a bit lost’ and need to get back on the side of good in the battle between good and evil? Which book of the Bible contains that reference?
- Michael allegedly told … that he was St. Christopher? … wonders if he might be the reincarnation of St. Christopher? Where in the Bible are we told that we might be the reincarnation of a dead person? Which book of the Bible contains that reference?
- Christopher said he didn’t ask the angel his name and the angel didn’t mention his name. So, how did Christopher know the angel was Michael the archangel?
- Do you think an angelic being from God would tell a lost person that they have nothing to worry about when they neglect to preach sin, repentance, belief and confession? If you do, where in the Bible do you find that? Which book specifically?
- What kind of supernatural being do you think would tell someone they are lost, but will be okay without ever mentioning God or Jesus Christ?
- Christopher said that since his ‘experience’ he has helped friends come to ‘the faith’ or ‘a faith.’ What does that mean? What ‘faith’ is he referencing?
- Do you believe Christopher’s ‘testimony’ is Christian in the sense of what the Bible teaches about salvation? If so, why do you believe that? Please defend using the Bible rather than an emotional experience.
The Bible is quite clear about what it means to be ‘lost’ and in need of ‘salvation.’ It is our contention that any salvation experience other than what we find in the Apostle Paul’s writings would not be legitimate. Do you agree? If not, why not?
“… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”Romans 10:9-10
In case you think I’m being rough on Christopher, please understand that my motivation is simply this:
” Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:29-31
Love for God and love for neighbor. That’s the motivation. When we hear false testimonies, we should be greatly disturbed and should respond by speaking the truth in love. False testimonies contain false teachings and the Bible is clear about how Christians should respond to false teaching.
Christopher’s testimony is not true. I’m not questioning whether he had an encounter with a supernatural being. What I am questioning is who was that being? Supernatural beings are all around us, but there is someone who is above every one of them and in Him we place our trust for salvation, wisdom, revelation, knowledge and understanding.
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”Ephesians 1:15-23
We must be vigilant at all times and remember these words of the apostles:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:7-9
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13
We are now ready to look at what Christians claim they are hearing from angels today. Christopher’s testimony is a beginning. We will be able to compare what we’ve learned from the Bible to see if what they’re hearing is true and if they are hearing from God’s angels or Satan’s angels. That will be in the next part of our study, When Angels Speak.
And Jesus Said (Part Six) – Faith & Self Defense
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.