It had been the usual Christmas –day rush, and June was dead tired. But company had gone now, dishes were done, and she could unwind.
June’s mother, however, was staying over for a time. Her mother was an agnostic—not antagonistic to Christianity but definitely not a believer.
June said, “Mom, I’ll take you down to Christmas Tree Lane after a while, but I just have to rest a few minutes.” Soon she fell asleep.
June was a very sound sleeper. The next thing she knew, a voice seemed to shake her awake. “Get up! Your mother is trying to kill herself!”
The voice was so urgent that June stood up instantly. But she was bewildered. She was not aware that her mother was depressed at all, and she simply refused to believe what the voice had said. Certain that her mother was just resting in her bedroom, she tapped lightly on the closed door and called. A voice from inside, sounding like someone almost asleep, answered, “What?”
Here was the proof, she thought, that her mother was all right. Yet there was something not quite right about the voice from the bedroom. She opened the door, only to find the room empty!
Now she was frightened. But she still couldn’t believe that her mother was trying to take her own life. Then the voice that spoke to her originally said, “She’s in the garage with the motor running!”
June walked into the kitchen, still hesitating,. And the voice said, “You better hurry, or it will be too late!”
At that she rushed to the garage and found her mother already unconscious. When she revived she was unhappy that her suicide attempt had not succeeded. But June was able to convince her that her life had been spared for a purpose. Several years later she accepted Christ and was baptized.
Here is an unusual incident, involving as it does two different voices. June believes that the voice from the bedroom was that of an evil angel who wanted her mother to die without making her decision for Christ. It illustrates well the determination of evil angels both to deceive and destroy.
With so many instances with angel intervention fresh in our minds, it would be easy to forget that not all angels are spending their time in helping and protecting us. It would be easy to forget that there is a war on—a controversy between Christ and Satan that is fast escalating to it final climax. And angels are involved—two kinds of angels!
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9
What does this mean to us? It means that in the invisible world about us there are billions of loyal angels assigned to help and protect us—and billions of rebel angels, fallen angels, angels turned demons, who are dead set to destroy us if they can!
So how can you tell one from the other? If you should meet an angel, how could you know whether he is a loyal angel or a rebel angel, a good angel or a bad angel? How could you know whether or not to believe what he tells you? By his appearance? Certainly not. For the apostle Paul says, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14,15
So a being appearing as an angel of light may be only a masquerading demon, trying to deceive you. How are you going to keep from being fooled?
Keep in mind that angels, both kinds of angels, also appear in human form. And angels, both kinds can work miracles. Both are supernatural. Both are highly intelligent. Bad angels can do everything that good angels can—except God places certain restriction on the rebel angels.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles.” Revelation 16:14
Fallen angels can work miracles too. So if a being, with or without wings, looking like an angel or looking like a man, does something supernatural, works a miracles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one of God’s angels is around. Jumping effortlessly over a wall, or suddenly disappearing, or leaving no tracks, or having perfectly clean shoes after walking through the mud. Or being surrounded by a brilliant light, or telling you something that no human being could know—none of these things mean that his credential are necessarily in order!
Does this mean, then, that we are simply at the mercy of these rebel angels that are all around us? No it doesn’t. God has given us a test, a way to identify an impostor. Said the prophet Isaiah, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20
We can recognize an impostor by his words. No man, no angel who tells us anything contrary to God’s written Word is here on God’s business!
We can also recognize an impostor by his works, by what he does. Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20
M. L. Lloyd