Category Archives: Angels in the Bible

Angels and Demons in the Bible: Bound and Loosed

Philip Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck (Flemish, 1537 - 1612 ), The Apostles Delivered from Prison by an Angel, , engraving

Philip Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck (Flemish, 1537 – 1612 ), The Apostles Delivered from Prison by an Angel, , engraving

I’ve been meditating on some verses in Matthew.  Jesus is setting up Peter as the head of His new church.  It’s a huge moment.  He gives Peter, and by extension the members of His entire church, the keys to the kingdom.

Matthew 16:18-19

‘And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

Keys represent authority and Jesus made a point of transferring that authority before He left earth.  We’ve already seen the apostles casting out demons in Jesus’ name and by His authority (Acts 8:7).  Now Jesus mentions Hell, and He tells Peter that the demons there cannot win against the church.  So what is being bound and what is being loosed here?  I think that Jesus, in this passage, gave us authority to bind demons and loose angels.

This same phrase comes up again in Matthew 18:18 where Jesus is talking to all the disciples.  He brings it up in the midst of a discussion about forgiveness of fellow Christians. So He is definitely referring to binding sins on earth that have already been bound in heaven and forgiving sins on earth that have already been forgiven in heaven.  But I think we can also apply this verse to binding demons and loosing angels. Demons are often manifestations of sin. And angels are often manifestations of grace.

There are other biblical references to binding that are tied up with sin and demons.

Isaiah 58:6

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

Wickedness (including sin and evil spirits) can bind us and hold us in bondage for years, if not a lifetime.  But Jesus sets us free from that.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has annointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

In Acts 12:7-11, God sends an angel to free Peter from prison. So angels can be freeing agents while demons can bind us.  But Jesus gave us authority to bind those demons and loose the freeing angels into our lives.  So let’s use it.  The next time you’re feeling angry or oppressed, try calling on Jesus’ authority to bind the demons that are disturbing you.  Bind them and send them to hell.  Then try calling forth God’s grace by asking for angels to be loosed into your presence.  Surround yourself with the manifestations of God’s love and protection.  He gave us the keys to the kingdom.  Let’s use them.

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Angels Under the Terebinth Tree

Pistacia terebinthus

Pistacia terebinthus

I kinda want a terebinth tree.  All sorts of wonderful things happen under and around them in the Bible.

In Genesis 18:1-2

“Then the Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him;”

In Judges 6:11

“the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor’!”

Of course, it takes more than a terebinth tree to get a visitation from the Lord or His angels.  But it might help.

Angels in the Bible: Guest Post, Sort of

Daily Beast logo

Candida Moss wrote a really nice piece for the Daily Beast about the supposed angel priest who showed up at the site of a car wreck.  (I wrote about the angel priest here.)

Moss’ story goes on to talk about the modern cultural perception of friendly, pretty angels who are at our beckon.  She explains that angels can be terribly frightening when encountered by humans.  And she reminds us that they are part of God’s army with the power to destroy people, demons, and cities.  You can read her article here.

Did You Hear the One About the Angel Priest?

Did you read the news story about the mysterious priest who appeared to pray at the scene of a car accident with the victim trapped inside her car?  You can read the full story here.  It seems like he could have been an angel who showed up at an opportune moment to help a Christian girl survive a car wreck on her way to church.  It reminds me of this passage in

Acts 27:23

“For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you’.”

 

Men Cannot Become Angels

Angel with the Cross sculpture by Bernini

Angel with the Cross sculpture by Bernini

When I see questions on Ask.com and Yahoo answers about how people can become angels, I give my forehead a smack.  I’m tired of smacking my forehead.  It hurts.  So let me just say that people cannot become angels and angels cannot become people.  I know, it would make a sweet movie, but that’s just not how God designed things.  Jesus says in

John 3:6

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Angels in the Bible: Personal Bodyguards

Tobias and the Angel, c. 1475, oil and tempera on panel, by Filippino Lippi

Tobias and the Angel, c. 1475, oil and tempera on panel, by Filippino Lippi

Psalm 91:11

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways, In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

This is really good news because I totally hate stubbing my toe.  I remember one time, when I was young, I tripped while running.  I should have totally face-planted.  Instead I landed very softly on the ground, face forward, stomach down.  I swear my guardian angel was underneath me, absorbing that blow.

Angels in the Bible: They Are Better Than Us

Angel medallion sculpture by Lukeman

Angel medallion sculpture by Lukeman

Psalm 8:4-5

“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.”

I feel honored to have been created only a little lower than the angels.  I think at times, however, I can pull myself down to waaaaay lower than the angels.