Question: Suddenly there seems to be a new fad: angel worship. Many books are being written about this growing fascination with angels, telling how to have a guardian angel, how to see and speak with angels and how even to command angels to help or do one’s bidding. Could you address this topic?
Response: While the fad has caught on only recently in the world and church at large, various leaders in the charismatic and positive-confession movements have been teaching how to command angels to do one’s bidding for many years. Angels are mentioned nearly 300 times in the Bible but never in the way they are promoted in these false teachings.
In every instance when we are given insight into the work of angels it is very clear that they are exclusively under God’s command and not subject to man’s direction, desires or prayers. The Bible gives numerous examples of angels intervening in human affairs. However, it is always because God has sent them to accomplish a specific task or purpose.
Not once in the Bible is there any example of a man or woman praying to or calling upon for help, much less commanding, an angel. Nor is there even one example of anyone praying to God to send him an angel for assistance.
The expression “the angel of the Lord” is found nearly 70 times and has been the object of considerable speculation and disagreement. Some believe that this refers to Christ in pre-incarnation appearances, because at times the “angel of the Lord” speaks as though he were God himself (Jgs 2:1;13:17-18; Zec:12:8, etc.) However, that belief hardly fits with the fact that “the angel of the Lord” is active after Christ is born into the world, warning Joseph to take the child Jesus into Egypt (Mt 2:13), rolling away the stone from Christ’s tomb (Mt 28:2), transporting Philip (Acts 8), delivering Peter from prison (Acts 12), etc.
Angels are God’s “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb:1:14). They are “sent forth” by God, not called down to earth by man. Therefore, we are not to concern ourselves with angels. As for the books being written about angels, which are obsessing people with this subject, let us heed Paul’s advice: “Let no man beguile you...[into] worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Col:2:18).