DO WE HAVE GUARDIAN ANGELS?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Christian people frequently talk about “guardian angels.” These spirit beings supposedly keep us safe. Popular “Christian” songs refer to angels watching over us. Sometimes, angels are said to appear to relay God’s messages to us. Others say that we can pray for angels to intervene and heal our sick bodies. Some are silly enough to suggest that their guardian angels move vehicles out of the way so they can get a nice parking space close to the store building! What are we to believe? Friends, we need to allow God’s Spirit to take His Word and teach us, rather than letting some church tradition or human philosophy guide us concerning spiritual matters. To the Bible rightly divided—that is what we need to believe!
There is no question that angels exist. The Bible makes reference to them over 250 times. There is no question that God sends angels to aid believers. Here are some more of the well known verses that talk about them:
- “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7).
- “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12).
- “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
- “And they said unto her, Thou art mad [crazy]. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel” (Acts 12:15).
- “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13-14).
Throughout the Old Testament, angels protected and guided the nation Israel (Exodus 23:20,23; Exodus 33:2; Judges 6:11,12; 2 Kings 19:35; et al.). There are scores of verses that speak of “guardian angels.” But do we have guardian angels today, in our Dispensation of Grace?
Angels ministered to Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43). Angels rescued the imprisoned apostles (Acts 5:18-26) and delivered the Apostle Peter from prison (Acts 12:1-11). Yet, when we come to our Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13), God uses an earthquake—not an angel—to free him from prison (Acts 16:23-28). Why? Notice what Paul writes about angels today. They should not be worshipped (Colossians 2:18) and that, if a supposed “angel” appears to us today, it would do so only to deceive by preaching to us a false gospel (Galatians 1:8; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14). But, Paul’s epistles are silent about guardian angels in our Dispensation of Grace. This is why right division (2 Timothy 2:15), dispensational Bible study, is so important. We are not guaranteed physical protection with angels like God promised Israel, but we Christians have some better: we have eternal spiritual protection because the indwelling Holy Spirit is guarding our souls (Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; cf. Romans 8:35-39). Think of all the Christians who died in automobile accidents, shootings, stabbings, executions—where were their guardian angels? They did not have any, friend! Save yourself from the disappointment, believing in something that God is not doing today. If we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as our personal Saviour, no matter what happens to our physical bodies, our souls are in Jesus Christ and they will go to heaven.
Furthermore, Paul writes that, while angels have no ministry to us today, we have a ministry to them! The angels are curious about what God is doing, so they learn this by watching us, the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 5:21). Smile, they are watching! (For more info, see our study linked at the end of this article.)
By the way, as mentioned earlier, Hebrews 1:14 is a common “proof text” for guardian angels in our dispensation. However, this verse has a context, and it is the book of Hebrews—this is speaking of future Israel. Again, Paul’s epistles are clear. We do not need angels today—they need us.