DO you believe you have a personal guardian angel? Many people think they do. For that matter, a certain woman in western Canada is said to have a special gift involving angels. If you give her your full name along with $200, she claims that she will put you in touch with your guardian angel. First, she meditates by focusing on the flame of a candle. Next, she has a vision in which your angel gives her a message to pass on to you. As a bonus, the woman provides a sketch of what your angel looks like.
New Age authors Alma Daniel, Timothy Wyllie, and Andrew Ramar, in their book Ask Your Angel, believe that angelic activity has been in three waves. The first wave was in Bible times when angels appeared to a few individuals like the prophets. The second wave came in the Dark Ages when angels appeared to outstanding leaders and the third wave is our present day when angels appear to ordinary people (Robert Lightner. Angels, Satan, and Demons. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998, 18).
Today, angelmania has assigned powers, abilities, and activities to angels that far exceed what the Bible teaches. Such as:
1. The twelve Zodiac signs are said to have angelic governors who watch over the months of the year.
2. Guardian angels are assigned to the planets.
Gustav Davidson in A Dictionary of Angels states that Guardian angels are assigned to the planets in our solar system. Eight guardian angels and their planets are mentioned.
1) Rahatiel is the chief angel of the planets
2) Raphael is over the sun
3) Gabriel is over the moon
4) Michael is over Mercury
5) Aniel is over Venus
6) Samel is over Mars
7) Zadkiel is over Jupiter
8) Kafziel is over Saturn.
3. Some believe there are angels for each day of the week and each hour of the day.
4. Others believe angels are assigned to wild beasts.
5. Even birds are under angelic supervision. Arael is the angel over birds. The dove has its own angel, Alphun.
In a New Age book on Angels, A Book of Angels, author Sophy Burnham writes about a woman who reported that she was visited by four angels one night as she contemplated all the things she still needed to do before she died. She said she know the angels were there in the room with her because her golden retriever saw them. And she said she knew that because the dog nosed one of the angels out of this way so he could go to sleep on his favorite spot in the room (Robert Lightner, Angels, page 49).
6. Angels watch over plants and trees.
7. Angels guard the seasons of the year and weather.
The influence of the New Age Movement on angelology can be read in the titles of New Age books on angels: Where Angels Walk by Joan Webster Anderson, Ask Your Angels, A Book of Angels, Guardian of Hope, by Terry Lynn Taylor, Angels of Mercy, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Angels within Us, John Randolph Price.
What is the New Age Movement?
The New Age movement is old Hinduism. Hinduism teaches pantheism which is the belief that everyone and everything is part of God. Here are eight points of New Age theology:
1. God and creation are one.
2. Revelation is special and continuous. The Bible is not authoritative.
3. Humanity is one with God.
4. Jesus is a man who evolved into a godlike being.
5. Humanity’s crises are all the result of people’s ignorance of their own divinity.
6. Humanity, therefore, needs a complete transformation in which each person is made aware of his oneness with God.
7. Through various techniques an altered state of consciousness can be produced in individuals, resulting in a perceived change of reality.
8. The “transformation” of each individual is the basis for the transformation of the entire world (Angels, Satan, and Demons, page 17).
New Age teaching comes from angelic instruction. The angel, Abigrael, is acknowledged as the teacher for much of what is taught in Ask Your Angels. In much New Age thinking, angels replace God and the messages of the angels replace the Bible.
What does the Word of God teach about Guardian Angels?
Angels still minister today but not necessarily the same as they did while the Bible was being written (Heb. 1:14). Angels delivered messages to believers, as with Daniel in Dan. 9:21-27. But angels do not deliver messages today because God’s revelation is complete. Angels broke apostles out of jail in Acts 5 and 12. But do angels deliver innocent people found guilty of murder from the electric chair or lethal injection? Why are most of the angelic sightings with angels who speak happy messages or always deliver from danger? In the Bible, angels mete out judgment (Isa. 37:36-38; 2nd Sam. 24:15-16).
Sophy Burnham, in her book Angel Letters, gives many testimonies from people claiming firsthand contact with and ministry from their guardian angels. Their angels warned them of imminent danger, helped them change a tire, healed the sick, and brought peace to the dying. People from various religious faiths and some with none give their testimonies. Guardian angels, they say, are nonjudgmental; they just live and care for those to whom they are assigned” (Lightner, page 168).
Scriptures that advocate of guardian angels
Some use Mt. 18:10 to teach that each child has only one guardian angel assigned at birth. This was the view of Thomas Aquinas in his The Summa Theologica. Question 113 addresses the guardianship of the good angels and Article 5 asks whether an angel is appointed to guard a man from his birth?
As long as the child is in the mother’s womb it is not entirely separate, but by reason of a certain intimate tie, is still part of her: just as the fruit while hanging on the tree is part of the tree. And therefore it can be said with some degree of probability, that the angel who guards the mother guards the child while in the womb. But at its birth, when it becomes separate from the mother, an angel guardian is appointed to it; as Jerome, above quoted, says.
Still others believe that angels in general protect infants and children rather than one or several angels assigned to individuals of Jesus’ teaching in Mt. 18:10. In their helpful book on angels, Boa and Bowman, address this view:
Are these guardian angels? Well, if they are, they seem to be in the wrong place, because Jesus says they are ‘in heaven,’ not on earth shadowing their earthly charges. Moreover, instead of watching the children, Jesus says these angels ‘continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven’ (Kenneth Boa, Robert Bowman, Sense & Nonsense Abut Angels & Demons, page 78).
Wayne Grudem sees the protection of angels more like zone defense in basketball rather than man to man. Elsewhere in the Bible, we read that not just one, but many angels accompanied, protected, and provided for believers. Elisha was surrounded by many horses and chariots of fire (2 Kgs 6:17; Lk. 16:22).
Another possibility, for some, is that “angel” in Mt. 18:10 and Acts 12:15 means not an angelic being but the “spirit” of the person who has died (2 Cor. 5:8). Erickson, in his theology, refutes this view.
The reply to Rhoda reflects the Jewish tradition that a guardian angel resembles the person to whom it is assigned. But a report indicating that certain disciples believed in guardian angels does not invest the belief with authority. Some Christians still had mistaken or confused beliefs on various subjects. In absence of definite didactic material, we must conclude that there is insufficient evidence for the concept of guardian angels (Erickson, vol. 1, page 445).
David Jeremiah, in What The Bible Says About Angels (page 188), summarizes my thoughts: “But if this is disappointing news to you, and you’re dismayed to think there may not be a specific angel responsible for your protection, you need not jump up in fear to check the locks on your doors and windows. There’s plenty of evidence that God himself is looking out for you.”