with Jeremy Westcott
24. The Joshua generation will operate with the angels and the heavenly realms.
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” … Joshua said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” (Joshua 5:13-14)
Although we can easily read over a phrase like ‘he lifted up his eyes’, it suggests that Joshua was seeing into a different realm or dimension, not this earthly one. There are at least 283 references to angels in the Bible, and more in the New Testament (176) than the Old (107), which may surprise you. When they appear on the earth, they are often mediators between God and people, bringing a message. In fact the words angelos in Greek and malak in Hebrew both mean ‘messenger’, so it is not surprising that Joshua expected the angel to have a message for him.
Angels have been around a long time. We are created in the image of God as an eternal spirit with the ability to engage the spiritual dimensions, but God actually created the angels before he created man.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,7)
You will find plenty of people who have some experience of the angelic, though many Christians are nervous of interacting with angels. But angels appear in scripture throughout the Old and New Testaments, in a number of different roles and guises, and it would be strange if we did not come across them in the present day.
What are angels?
And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”… Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1:7.14).
So whenever we find winds and flames in scripture, such as at Pentecost, it is very likely angels are around. And everyone has angels assigned to them, even before they are Christians. They are actively involved in our lives, keeping us safe. Sometimes they have to work overtime!
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11)
Ian Clayton offers this list of descriptions, names and titles of angels:
Principalities or rulers (God has territorial spirits, as well as the enemy)
Wickedness in the heavenly places
A third of the angels fell with satan: some of those fallen angels occupy places in the realms of heaven and in the atmosphere of the earth:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12).
…in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2).
A third of them fell. That means God still has twice as many angels as there are fallen ones, who can also operate in those realms. We, too, should be engaging there and bringing light instead of darkness.
These are some characteristics of angels (you can click on the verse links to read the scriptures for yourself):
- Intelligent and wise – 2 Sam 14:20, 19:27, Matt 24:3
- Patient – Numbers 11:22-35
- Meek – 2 Peter 2:11
- Joyful – Luke 15:1-10
- Modest – 1 Cor 11:10
- Holy – Mark 8:38
- Glorious – Luke 9:26
- Immortal – Luke 20:36
- Mighty, Powerful – 1 Thes 1:7-10, Rev 18:1
- Obedient – Psa 103:20, Matt 6:10
- Have wills – Isa 14:12-14
- Created spirit beings – Ezek 28:14-15
- Have spirit bodies – Heb 13:2, Judges 13:6
- Need no rest – Rev 4:8
- Can appear selectively – Num 22:31
- Can ascend and descend – Gen 28:12, John 1:51
- Speak languages – 1 Cor 13:1
- Have limited knowledge – Gen 18:21
You can see all kinds of images of angels and angelic activity on our Pinterest board ‘Angels’.
Angels seem to be described differently depending on the context. Those ministering around the throne of God in heaven or comprising God’s army are called “sons of God,” “holy ones,” and “heavenly host”, with the focus on their status as celestial beings and emphasising the grandeur, power, and acts of God.
In earthly appearances the focus of the text is usually on the message, so the messenger is rarely described in detail. Interestingly I have not found a single description of an earthly appearance that mentions flying or wings. Most appear in human form – we have probably all heard stories of hitchhiker angels, or mysterious strangers who help in some way and then disappear after the event – which is why Hebrews tells us:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2).
Surrounded by an angel army
I have read of missionaries who were told ‘when you first came we were going to attack you and kill you, but you had soldiers guarding you’. This is a modern counterpart of Elisha’s experience:
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened his servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-17).
An opening portal
I asked Urandiel, our church angel, to open the heavens here at Freedom Church. Another time I engaged with Metatron, who gave me a golden key to open people’s eyes, so that they could see what is going on in the room.
Flags and banners, music, light and colours have an effect in this realm. They change atmospheres and things begin to move. At times we lay out flags on the floor and different angelic atmospheres manifest over each of them. We have a portal opening, a landing strip for angels, and we are experiencing their presence as they go up into heaven and down to the earth. Sometimes they join in when we are singing.
God wants to open this up, not just in one local church, but for all of us.
Further articles in this series
Related articles from Freedom ARC
- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
- Transforming The Atmosphere
- Characteristics of the Joshua Generation (#21-25)
Other resources from Freedom ARC
- Inheritance 17-part audio series with slides
(this post is based on Mike’s teaching in session 12)
- Angels (a Freedom ARC Pinterest board)
- Exercises: How To Enter The Spiritual Realm and Interact with God (YouTube video)
- Freedom Apostolic Resources website and Freedom ARC Facebook page
- Arc Angel – on earth as it is in heaven, our curated online newspaper from paper.li
- The Engaging God programme (see below)
Resources from others
- Encountering Angels – Lindy Strong and Bonita Curtis (Podomatic audio podcast from Marketplace Ministries)
- Angels: God’s Servants, My Friends – Charity Kayembe (CWG Ministries – Mark Virkler)
- Understanding Angels series by Ian Clayton
- ANGELS and the Angelic Realms YouTube teaching with Ian Clayton
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