Thursday, July 9, 2009

Do Angels Speak God's Message Today...

Last night in Q&A the following question arose – “Do angels still come to earth and deliver God’s message to men?” Feeling spontaneous, I polled the audience through uplifted hand as to how many would answer the question in the affirmative. I was shocked when over 80% of those in attendance lifted their hand. To this end, further elaboration on this question is definitely needed.

First let me get our minds thinking along the same lines by asking a few questions. Are we talking Angel Gabriel type messages such as the one delivered to Mary in Luke’s gospel? Are we talking about the numerous references to the “Angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament intersecting the lives of men? Or are we talking about an angelic messenger appearing to a man/woman today to deliver God’s special message just for them? Regardless of the question, the answer to all of the above is an emphatic “NO!” Angels do not come to earth today to deliver God’s message (meaning revelation) to men at all in any context.

I know for some of you this is totally contrary to your opinion. I can hear it now, “Pastor, if God spoke through a donkey couldn’t he speak through an angel today?” He could, but tell me the last time you heard a donkey speak when you weren’t watching Winnie the Pooh on television. God does not speak His message through angels today for several reasons –

1. God spoke finally and definitively through His Son Jesus. Yes, God used a multitude of means to speak to mankind prior to Jesus coming to earth – even a donkey – but God communicated finally through the person of Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God. Hebrews 1:1-2 confirms this in saying, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.” Could there be a clearer word that God spoke finally and definitively through Jesus? I think not. God’s Word is clear.

2. God’s revelation of Himself to man is complete in Jesus Christ. There will be no further revelation from God to disclose who He is to mankind. John 1:18 tells us that Jesus came to exegete God for human understanding because Jesus “has made Him known.” Never will an angel come and declare an additional message to man to assist in understanding who God is; it is simply unnecessary. Jesus, having done that masterfully well, stated in John 14:9 “whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.”

3. God’s written Word is the full disclosure of Jesus Christ to man. This means that you will not learn the attributes and characteristics of God without time spent studying, analyzing, praying and obeying God’s written Word. God provided 66 books of Holy Scripture through inspired human instruments to unveil Himself to mankind. There will be no more revelation from God to man. The canon of Scriptures is closed. It is the complete written authority by which we learn about God. The only way to learn more about God than what is provided in His Word is to stand before Him in heaven and see face to face what “now we see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor. 13:12).

4. God protects His Church from heresy through the closed canon of Scripture. The 66 books of the Bible is all the revelation any Christian will ever receive. It is also all the revelation any Christian will ever need. In His omniscience, God knows the ease in which His followers are led astray by every wind of false doctrine. He also knows Satan, the enemy, is cunning and will “disguise himself as an angel of light” (1 Cor. 11:14) in order to deceive and destroy. To this end, no Christian should ever seek after, pray for, desire, or listen to any extra-biblical message from an angel. Destructive heresy and cults are the outcome when Satan is allowed to convince someone of a special word they have received from God through His angel. The cult of Mormonism began on September 21, 1823 when an angel named Moroni began visiting Joseph Smith and shared with him a new gospel found on golden plates. This new gospel is a false gospel that has ensnared millions, leading them boldly to a Christ-less eternity in hell. Galatians 1:6-9 denounces this and brings it all together: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

There you have it - sound theology over personal opinion. My opinion regarding what I think about something in God's Word is of infinitely less importance than the truth God's Word actually teaches.

Does God use angels today as ministering spirits? Sure He does; Scripture confirms this in numerous places. Do angels still come to earth and deliver God's message to men? Not hardly.