So, I have begun a relationship with a lovely couple who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. The came proselytizing about a month ago and we struck up a conversation. Super nice people, and I enjoyed our discussion. They, of course, wanted to know if they could leave some Watchtower literature with me.
Normally, when a JW offers me the latest issue of Awake! I politely decline it. I tell them, as kindly as I can, that I have examined their beliefs and have rejected them as unbiblical.
That’s harsh, I know. I do tell them as gently and as kindly as I can, but firmly; for though I do not wish to be harsh, I must be honest. This is not a kid’s game. This is life or death stuff, and they know it. It’s the whole reason they come knocking in the first place – they believe souls are at stake. And they’re not wrong. Souls are at stake – their souls – and somebody has to love them enough to be honest about it and warn them. I don’t know how effective it is – I seriously doubt anybody has left my door and thought, Wow, she thinks what I believe is unbiblical…maybe I better look into that! But it is better than lying to them, blowing them off to get rid of them and leaving them in lost in their deception. Now that would be harsh. Better to confront their unbelief and declare the Gospel to them – for all I know, it may be the only time the actually ever hear it.
But in this case, for whatever reason, I did not decline their offer. I took their magazine and promised to read it and invited them to stop back for a chat the next time they are around.
And I did read it. It was garbage, of course – little bits of truth woven into the lies until the whole thing is practically unrecognizable. The Gospel promise was certainly no where to be found amongst the pages. Sad.
This past Saturday, my new friends came by again. I had been thinking about them just a couple of days prior, wondering if they would come back and what I might say to them if they did. For in truth, I really didn’t know what I would say to them if they asked me about what I had read. Where to start?? Their truth and lies are so tangled up together it’s impossible to tell which thread to pull first…
So when they stopped in Saturday morning, I was not prepared for them – and in fact, it wasn’t really a good time for me, I was still in my pajama bottoms and an old hoodie, cleaning out the dust bunnies from under my bed when they arrived.
My friends chuckled a bit as I arrived to the door. “Did we catch you at a bad time?”
I admitted I was in the middle of some housecleaning, but I had some coffee on if they wanted to join me for a short break.
“No, no, we don’t want to keep you,” they demurred. “We just wanted to see if you had had a chance to read the articles we left with you…?”
“Yes, I did…” I said, and left it hanging. Thankfully they did not ask me what I thought of the articles. I don’t know what I would have said.
But they didn’t push it any further and simply asked if I would be interested in another article to read.
“This one is about God’s angels,” my visitor enthused. “I know you are a spiritual person (her word, not mine) and I thought you might be interested.”
Honestly, I have no desire to read another Watchtower, but I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, so I accepted the tract and thanked them for thinking of me. The tract got folded in half and stuffed it into the pocket of my hoodie.
We chatted for a few more minutes before they made their goodbyes.
“Be sure to stop by again next time you’re around,” I invited. “Maybe you’ll have time to come in for a coffee.”
They agreed that sounded lovely and they were looking forward to it, and then they were off.
I headed back inside to finish off the dust bunnies and I didn’t give a thought to the tract in my pocket until later that afternoon as I prepared to take a shower.
Emptying my pockets before I undressed, my hand came across the tract and I almost tossed it right into the trash without another thought…and then I hesitated.
Though I hadn’t meant it, I had said I would read it. And I had invited them back; surely they would want to discuss it on their next visit.
I’m gonna have to read this, I realized. Shit.
I haven’t read it yet. The article she wanted me to read is on angels, supposedly from a Biblical perspective.
Fair enough. I will take them at their word – I will study what the Bible has to say about angels and then I will read the article to see if what it says lines up with Scripture.
The problem is, I don’t really know all that much about angels. I could really use some help with this, and that’s my purpose for writing .
I know that angels are created beings. I’m less clear on whether they have a corporeal form – in some instances they seem to have human form (Joseph wrestles with an angel, right? and Daniel (I think) sees one “having the form of a man” in a vision), but they are also supposed to be hanging around here, unseen, (or is that something I just picked up from the culture?) so I don’t know.
I know that whenever people do see them, they fall down in abject terror. You do not want to come face-to-face with one of these Messengers of the Lord.
I know that at least three of the angels are named; the fallen one, Lucifer, the “bringer of light”; the archangel Michael, “chief of the angels”; and Gabriel. There is also an angel mentioned in the intertestimental stuff, Raphael – I’m not sure how much weight to give that. Not enough to be dogmatic about it either way.
I know that angels worship God and that angels are not to be worshiped; I know they are messengers; I know that an angel refused to rebuke Satan by his own authority lest he blaspheme God but did so under God’s authority which He was given to wield. I’m fuzzy on how I know this. From Scripture? From something I’ve heard? Probably some of both.
As I’ve been pondering what (I think) I know about angels, I’ve kinda picked up that Michael seems to be associated with the person and work of Christ (for example, John sees Michael slay the dragon) and Gabriel with the person and work of the Holy Spirit (he announces and precedes the coming of the Christ). It makes me wonder…and this is just total speculation, but am I crazy in thinking is Lucifer maybe the Father’s angel?? Again, speculation, and even if it were so, what then would it tell us about God and His angels? Not even sure it matters…maybe that’s just a big empty rabbit hole.
As you can see, I know appalling little about angels, lol, and what I think I do know about them is pretty sketch.
I’m familiar with the most famous appearances angels make in the Scriptures and probably quite a few lesser ones as well, but the truth is, when angels pop up, I hardly ever pay attention to them. I’ve considered them a minor matter – and maybe that’s true in the bigger scheme of things – but as I do a little bit more than merely scratch the surface, interesting stuff starts to emerge. Perhaps the accounts of angels have something to teach us about the nature of the unseen world? At the very least, I should learn something new about the Creation, no?
Now that I have decided that angels are worthy of my study (kidding/not kidding) I’m pumped to do it…but I realize I have no idea where to start.
If you’re so inclined, help a girl out, would ya?
I’m looking for suggestions. Any good places for me to start? Where in the Bible can I find the clearest passages regarding angels? Aside from my crazy speculations, where am I getting it wrong?
Any input/discussion is greatly appreciated!