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Interacting with Angels - The Book of Revelation
Week 19, 2018
This week we continue with:
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (NKJV).
Here we see the oldest living apostle, who had walked with Jesus longer than anyone else and had been the most intimate with Him, fall at the feet of an angel to worship him! First takeaway: angels are not Gerber babies. They fill everyone who sees them with awe and often with terror. If John did this, how much more could we be prone to it?
It is written that we were made “lower than the angels.” All who have seen angels concur with this. Those who treat them casually—or act like they have authority to order them around—are acting foolishly and dangerously. We should suspect that these have never really seen one. Angels ministered to Jesus when He walked among us as a man, but even He did not order them around, saying instead that His Father would send twelve legions of angels if He asked.
Thankfully, the Lord has kind of “child-proofed” His house so that the immature who act presumptuously in things like ordering angels around are usually spared the consequences of their folly. However, the more mature we are, the more likely we are to bear the consequences, which I have witnessed to be devastating. Angels are sent to minister to the heirs of salvation, but that does not give us authority over them.
We may protest that the Word says that we will judge angels. So it does, but that is in the resurrection. Those who have overcome will not just be resurrected in a state higher than the angels, but as God’s own sons and daughters. However, those who attain to this “higher resurrection” have obviously attained a level of maturity, but as previously stated, even Jesus did not try to order angels around while on earth.
Jesus is far above the angels in authority, and we only have true spiritual authority to the degree that we abide in the King. Our King was never pompous or trivial. The Scriptures give us a clear warning about spiritual imposters in places like
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God (NKJV).
In Scripture, in history, and now, many see angels. I have personally seen many and have not one time been shaken by their appearance. Again, we have the oldest living apostle falling down at the feet of one and starting to worship him! This is no small thing, but as we get closer to the end of this age there will be a closer interchange with angels. We must learn to treat them with due respect, but yet not worship them. How do we keep this balance?
That answer is in the text we quoted from Revelation 19:10-11. We hold fast to the Head, Jesus, in all things. We keep in mind that the true spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, not angels. Angels may bring the message from Him, but it is from Jesus not angels. The true message will testify of Jesus, not angels.
A final note on these verses is that the angel John fell down to worship said that he was a “fellow servant and of your brethren.” For this reason, some scholars believe that this “angel” was actually a fellow saint who had died and now appeared in his resurrected body. Perhaps, but the point is that we acknowledge angels as the awesome beings that they are and the place they have with God and with us, but we only worship God and His Son Jesus.
next week 20