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. This example from this Jehovah Witness’s website is just one among many on the internet revealing the new angel craze or the Third Wave.
Theologian Robert Lightner documents the connection between angelmania and the New Age Movement.
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.
1. The first wave was in Bible times when angels appeared to a few individuals like the prophets.
2. The second wave came in the Dark Ages when angels appeared to outstanding leaders.
3. The third wave is our present day when angels appear to ordinary people.
Today, angelmania has assigned powers, abilities, and activities to angels that far exceed what the Bible teaches. Third wave belief in guardian angels is far beyond one on one coverage:
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. Others believe angels are assigned to wild beasts.
4. 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 knew 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 his way so he could go to sleep on his favorite spot in the room”. Now that is very convincing empirical evidence! I’m a believer! Just kidding!
5. Angels watch over plants and trees.
6. 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 some tenets of New Age theology which shows how conducive it is to believe in the New Age and angelmania.
1. God and creation are one. Therefore you are God and don’t need the real God. Angels will suffice.
2. Revelation is special and continuous. The Bible is not authoritative. Therefore what angels say is relevant and revelatory.
3. Jesus is a man who evolved into a godlike being. Therefore he can’t save you from your sins, if you have any.
4. Humanity’s crises are all the result of people’s ignorance of their own divinity. Our depravity is not because of sin but ignorance and angels are available with revelation to help us overcome this need.
5. Through various techniques an altered state of consciousness can be produced in individuals, resulting in a perceived change of reality.
6. The “transformation” of each individual is the basis for the transformation of the entire world . Salvation is not individual but global. 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 (Robert Lightner. Nashville: Word Publishing. Angels, Satan, and Demons. pages 17, 18, 49).
What does the Word of God teach about Guardian Angels? Does each believer have a personal, invisible, angelic bodyguard 24/7/365 or is this just part of the angle craze?
Let’s examine some Scriptures used to defend the belief in personal guardian angels
1. Psalm 91:11 is thought to teach each believer has one assigned guardian angel.
This Psalm is praise to God who protects individual believers. Repeatedly the Psalmist is praising “the most High” as “my refuge and my fortress” in verses 1-10. In 91:11, the Psalmist says that God will provide many “angels” not just one guardian angel “charge over you” i.e., each individual believer. God can send a multitude of angels to our aid if necessary (2 Kings 6:13-17).
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) (Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology.Grand Rapids: Zondervan,1994, page 400.)
In my next post we will look at the more popular verses (Mt 18:10, Acts 12:15) used to teach guardian angels for individual believers.