by C. Parker Thomas

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the November-December 1968 issue of the Midnight Cry Messenger.)

Because of the continued interest and inquiry about angels we are writing this second article, hoping it will be of some help.

In addition to some who have asked us to send the angel to them, many have questions they want answered. Most of the questions people want an answer to are personal problems. Some are interested in doctrine and some want to know about other ministries.

Some seem to think that an angel should be able to answer all questions and clear up all mysteries. Such is not the case. Angels are not God. They do not know all things. And they can only answer such questions as the Lord permits.

As ministering spirits they have ministries even as men who are still in the flesh. You can rest assured they are careful to wait on their ministries even as men should do. They are very careful to not move out of their God appointed place.

Spirits of Just Men
I am convinced that many of the angelic visits in and out of the Bible are actually justified men who have passed into eternity. We know Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the mount. Matt. 17:3. We also know the two angels of Rev. 18:10 and 22:8-9 were men.

In addition to these Bible accounts of visits by men from beyond the veil, there are literally thousands of testimonies of departed friends or loved ones appearing to those still in the flesh. We also have the account of saints who rose from their graves and appeared to many. Matt. 27:51-53.

As previously pointed out, Bible references to angels does not necessarily mean they are created celestial beings of an angelic order. The word angel (Heb. Mal-Ak; Gr. Angelos) means messenger and is applied to both angelic beings and men. As pointed out in the May-June edition of the M.C.M., it is sometimes applied to men in the flesh as well as men in spirit form.

Since beginning our study of the subject of angels we have come to the conclusion that many of the appearances of angels in the Old and New Testament could very well be men. The angel Gabriel is called “the man Gabriel” in Dan. 9:21.

The Lord appearing to Abraham in the plains of Mamre came in the person of three men. Gen. 18. Later on, two of these men were said to be angels when they took Lot out of Sodom before destroying it. Gen. 19:1, 19:10.

Mark 16:15 also refers to the heavenly messenger at the tomb of Jesus as a young man clothed in a long white garment. We know from the visitation we have been experiencing that those who died as old men appear as young men about thirty years old.

It seems that man in spirit form was classified or put in the same category as an angel by believers in the early church. When Peter was delivered from prison by an angel, the believers who were praying for him couldn’t actually believe he was set free. When told by Rhoda that he was at the gate they thought she was mad or it was Peter’s angel (spirit). Acts 12:7-15. They may have thought Peter had been put to death and this appearance was his spirit.

But the great truth we must never lose sight of is that all true messengers of the Lord — whether apostle, prophet, angel, man in the flesh or out of the flesh — are simply vessels of Almighty God. God alone must be worshipped, sought in prayer and believed on.

Have Ministries
It is my conviction that angels’ ministries are according to their own talent and calling. Those messengers who are actually the spirits of just men made perfect are simply continuing their ministry from beyond the veil.

In fact we were told by the angel Aaron that they were sent to us because of our type ministry. Eleazar said he was sent to strengthen us and help us in prayer. Time and again, Eleazar told us to seek the Lord and do what he told us.

On his first visit he just stood and looked from person to person as we prayed. For our benefit the Lord let Esther see (in the Spirit) how Eleazar helped us in prayer. From his eyes ran a beam of light, with words in it which poured into our minds as we prayed. From this we learned that inspiration in prayer can come to us through the instrumentality of an angel.

On Eleazar’s third visit to us, another strange thing took place. On this occasion, he had a silver tray in his hands containing five beautiful crowns. While we prayed he went to each of us and placed one of these crowns on our heads. Then with a small silver pitcher in his hand he went from person to person pouring a golden colored liquid on our heads. Coming to Esther last he said, “Pray each day and each night and thou shalt receive more spiritual crowns and have more holy Spirit anointing oil.”

Since that experience we were truly amazed to learn that Eleazar’s name means “God’s helper.” We also discovered that Eleazar’s job as priest was to look after the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the anointing oil and the oversight of the tabernacle. Num. 4:16.

We have always known that the Old Testament was types and shadows of a true and heavenly order of things. But it never occurred to us that those who were faithful in their ministry of the types and shadows would in eternity minister the things that pertain to the true tabernacle.

A few weeks ago at the Sunday night’s service, Esther suddenly looked toward the front of the church and there were nine men all dressed in the robes of the high priests standing in line across the front of the church. Behind these nine men was a large group of angels.

Being in the same realm as they were in by the anointing, Esther began talking to them as they looked at her and smiled. Asking them their names they replied one by one: Ahimeleck, Ithamar, Ezra, Aaron, Eleazar, Ahitub, Abiathar, Zadok, and Eli.

Eleazar alone was known to Esther since he was the only one who had ever manifested himself to her. Other than Eleazar and Aaron’s names the others were unknown to her. Writing their names down on a piece of paper as they gave them to her, she later pronounced every one of them perfectly.

Since no one in the entire congregation was familiar with the Biblical record of these characters, we had to look them up. Imagine our surprise to learn that every single one of them were lineal descendants of Aaron, and all were high priests during their earthly life.

We know beyond a shadow of doubt the child had no knowledge of these men and could not have possibly imagined such a thing. This took place before a large congregation during our regular Sunday night service. Perhaps this is what Paul was talking about when he spoke of being compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. Heb. 12:1.

A Difference
We believe there is a difference in the ministry of those redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and the celestial beings who were created angels.

Although God’s kingdom beyond the veil is well organized with all of heaven’s host gladly cooperating with each other, there is a divine order they observe.

It is my belief that it is the spirits of just men made perfect who actually minister the things of Christ to his body the Church. After all, they are part of the same body even though they have passed beyond the veil.

I also believe we will continue to make spiritual progress when we leave this life. Those who fail to apply themselves in this life will not suddenly become mature sons of God at death. This being true, someone must be teaching and ministering to those who leave this life spiritually immature. Death is not going to change our calling or spiritual stature. It is my belief that our gift and calling is for eternity. Our great eternal God looked beyond this little earthly span of our life when he made us.

Vessels of Holy Spirit
On another occasion when our girls were praying together, Ezra appeared in their midst and was seen by Deanna Kay Williams, one of our teenage seers. Walking over to one of the girls who was bound, Ezra laid his hand on her head and immediately she was set free and began weeping and praising God with complete freedom.

This also happened to Esther one night in the church services. Experiencing a lack of freedom in the praise and worship services, Esther looked up and saw Eleazar striding toward her. Laying his hands on her head he spoke and said “Satan loose her” and immediately she was set free and began weeping and praising God.

Time and again angels have been seen to lay their hands upon people when we laid our hands upon them in prayer. Invariably the person is set free when this happens. Truly, we have come to believe that angels are indeed ministering spirits. Heb. 1:14.

Even as the Holy Spirit ministers through man to man in the earth realm, He also ministers to us through angels or redeemed man from beyond the veil. However we must never forget that man or angels ministering to man are mere vessels through which the Lord meets the needs of his people. The power and the glory belongs to the Lord.

Not Something New
The visitation or presence of angels is not a new or unusual thing if we believe the Word of God. In I Cor. 11:10, Paul says the woman ought to have power (authority) on her head because of the presence of angels.

Heb. 13:2 says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Psalms 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

It is my conviction that angels have always been in attendance where God’s people are in the earth. On occasion the Lord has pulled back the veil and let mortal man see them. Gen. 28:10-17. II Kings 6:15-17. Though we have not always been allowed to see them, angels have always ascended and descended upon those who feared the Lord. John 1:51.

Coming of Christ
The present manifestation of angels is connected with the second coming of Christ and the Day of the Lord. They are sent to help us overcome Satan and get ready for the coming Bridegroom. It is the time of the great showdown between the two kingdoms. Dan. 12:1. Rev. 12:7-12. Notice how angels are connected with the coming of Christ in the following scriptures. Matt. 13:38-41, 24:30-31. Rev. 19:11-16.

Angels make their appearance in various ways. They may come during times of prayer, earnest seeking of God, or times of stress and great need. They may appear to simple saints as well as notable persons. Sometimes they just walk through a wall or appear standing nearby. The angel’s presence invariably is discerned before he is seen. His presence may be known by a certain sound or discerned by the anointing.

Though it is likely to be an awesome experience the first time an angel appears to anyone, angels do not appear in such a way as to alarm or frighten the person. They know we are human and try to reassure us.

Esther, whom the Lord uses as a seer in our group, knows the angel is present by the anointing. She suddenly becomes aware of the angel’s presence and begins to look and listen as though she is expecting him to appear any second.

In every sense otherwise, she is perfectly normal and acts very much like a person would in the natural realm who anticipates the approach of some earthly friend. While thus waiting expectantly, Eleazar usually just walks through the wall, looks at Esther and smiles.

Judy becomes aware of Aaron’s approach or presence by the tinkling bells around his high priest’s garments. To begin with, she would look out her bedroom window and could see Aaron coming in the distance beyond the lake.

Appearing as a light in the distance, he would come closer before she could see it was actually a man with light emanating from his person. Upon reaching the house he would simply walk through the wall and stand smiling at her.

At other times when Aaron has appeared, when Judy with others are in prayer, she simply hears his bells and knows he is present. Looking around the room expectantly she will see him standing nearby graciously smiling as usual.

By the anointing, the person seeing the angel actually enters, temporarily, the realm the angel is in. Able to see and hear the angel, the person more or less leaves the realm of the natural which temporarily seems far away.

This is also similar to what happens when the seers go into a trance and have a vision. Both seeing and hearing the voice of the Lord or angel, as Peter did in Acts 10:10-17, the seers’ faculties are almost completely possessed as earthly sounds and sights become very dim.

On the occasions when Judy has gone on a trip with Aaron, he holds up both hands and, very much like a policeman directing traffic, he says with his left hand (to her body) “stay” and with his right hand he beckons (her spirit) and says “come.” When this happens, Judy simply moves out of her body and side by side with Aaron she goes on a journey.

Sometimes they seem to travel swiftly and effortlessly just above the trees to some city in the distance. On some of these journeys the distance is very great and they seem to be much higher up as they travel.

Numerous times Judy would see her body as she left or when she came back. On one occasion, when she had a cold and my wife was rubbing her throat and chest, Aaron came and she went on a trip with him. It was quite amusing to Judy who was able to see my wife rubbing her as she took off with Aaron.

Another time when Aaron came and was waiting to take Judy on a trip she called to us and said, “I’ll be back after a while.” Going into her room we took her pulse which was perfectly normal while she seemed to be sleeping soundly.

Most of Esther’s trips to heaven and with Eleazar, when he showed her Satan’s kingdom, took place during the night while she slept. By vision she is usually told that she is going on the trip during the night, and it has never failed. Many times she has the vision during the regular church services and will publicly tell the entire congregation about the vision and her expected trip.

These trips in the spirit have served a real purpose in enlightening and edifying Christ’s body wherever the report of this visitation has gone. Esther’s visits to heaven have brought many tears of hope and joy to God’s people.

There being a subtle attempt by Satan through false teaching to deny the existence of a literal heaven, these experiences of Esther help confirm the scriptural record of such a place. Like Paul the apostle, she cannot tell whether she is in the body or out of the body the experiences are so real. II Cor. 12:1-4.

Through Judy and some of the other seers’ excursions abroad, we have been made to see the reality of Satan’s kingdom like never before. Behind the acts of violence, deeds and words of benighted, unbelieving men, we have been shown the real enemy is the demoniac forces of evil. We believe this visitation is God’s way of teaching and preparing his people to overcome Satan.

In most cases angels leave very much like they come. However, on one occasion Eleazar walked through the wall and took off very much like a rocket going into outer space. But the idea that they have to travel through space as a bird, plane or projectile is wrong.

They come down to the limits of our earthly environment because we, being human, think in terms of space, time and matter. Wherever God is, who fills the universe, an angel can also be in a split second. However, unlike God who is omnipresent, an angel can only be in one place at a time.

It is by the Holy Spirit that an angel who is also spirit can appear anywhere there is a need. On several occasions when Esther went to heaven with Eleazar and he wanted to be in another place, he would simply snap his finger and they would be there. This also happened to Judy when Aaron took her back in time to the cross.

The assumption that you can find out anything you want to know from an angel must be emphasized over and over again as wrong. Angels cannot be used as a crystal ball or Ouija board to answer everybody’s questions. They are not in the fortune telling business. Angels are not God, therefore they do not know everything. And they can only tell those things that the Lord permits them to tell.

I fear that many people who come to us as a result of this visitation erroneously think we can call for the angel and they will come forth and solve all their problems. This is not so. We have no power over these angels. They obey God alone. They only come to us as the Lord wills and directs.

Fact is Aaron just told us that some of our members were seeking visions and them (the angels) instead of our precious Lord. There is absolutely no justification for seeking angels, visions, or religious experiences of any kind. Let us seek God alone who hears and answers prayer and will give us what we need.

He may see fit to send an angel to us, speak to us through a vision, dream, small still voice, or his word, but he alone is the one who we are to seek. I might add that the written word is the primary vessel used by the Holy Spirit to speak to us.

Some people who are anxious to get certain answers from angels are not going to hear from the Lord at all until they are ready for the answers. Often the reason for this is because there is a far greater need in our life than the thing we are concerned about.

God is far more interested in doing a work in us than he is in us doing a work for him. He is more interested in us being something than he is in us doing something. Our deep-seated motives in desiring things from God are often selfish and carnal. To answer some of our prayers the Lord would be working against himself and us. James 4:3.

Many people who seek a word from the Lord only want to hear something that will justify or confirm what they already believe or desire to do. With this type person our angels, visions, and revelations are false if they don’t agree with them.

Because of this we do not encourage people to take long trips to visit with us. If they are not truly led of the Lord in coming, they will be greatly disappointed. God is not going to satisfy vain curiosity seekers nor send his angel forth to answer their questions. If God is not communicating with men in one place, they need to seek his face and find out why.

Beloved this is not to discourage any true seeker of the Lord but simply to let people know we do not have any special access to God. He alone is God and beside him there is none else. Isa. 45:22.

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