The Voice of The Spirit


The Angels As Representatives Of Divinity

Although the angels are not divine beings, on many occasions they have been sent by God with messages for humanity. Humans, faced with such holy and majestic beings, exhibit similar symptoms of astonishment, reverence, and feelings of unworthiness. VOTS 42.2

The Bible describes numerous visits of angels to earth. At the moment, however, we are particularly interested in analyzing the presence of angels sent with messages from God to His servants, the prophets. VOTS 42.3

Daniel’s experience in the Old Testament and the apostle John’s in the New Testament are particularly illustrative. Daniel never got over his astonishment at seeing the angel Gabriel at his side. From the prophet’s description, it seems that this encounter was not part of a vision, but a real presence: “And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, ‘Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.’ As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. ‘Son of man,’ he said to me, ‘understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.’ While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.... While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding’” (Daniel 8:16-18; 9:21, 22). VOTS 42.4

The astonishment and subsequent reaction of the prophet Daniel are easily understood. The presence of a celestial being is not common. The arrival of an angelic being flying in the heavens and materializing at the side of God’s servant, even when appearing in human form, produces an emotional impact difficult for even the prophet himself to explain. Daniel apparently faints when faced with the angelic presence (Daniel 8:18; 10:8-20). VOTS 43.1

The case of the apostle John is similar. When recording his visions, the apostle seems to behave calmly in telling us that they are “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him.... And he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” (Revelation 1:1). In reality, however, when the encounter took place with the angel, the servant of God experienced such an emotional shock that his natural reaction was to prostrate himself to worship the celestial messenger by his side (Revelation 19:10; 22:8, 9). VOTS 43.2

Ellen White also experienced the presence of angels in her prophetic ministry. On several occasions she referred to the celestial representative who visited her, calling him “my Instructor.” Here are some of her testimonies: VOTS 44.1

I have received your letter, in which you inquire what is meant by the words “I,” “We,” and so on, in my testimonies. In my work, I am connected with my helpers, and I am also connected and in close touch with my Instructor and other heavenly intelligences. Those who are called of God should be in touch with him through the operation of his Holy Spirit, that they may be taught by him. 9 VOTS 44.2

[While sailing from Australia to the United States] I was visited by the angel of the Lord on the boat, and instruction was given me, which I do not yet dare to speak. I will sometime give the whole history of my experience on the boat. It is so solemn, so sacred a matter that I do not feel like talking about it. 10 VOTS 44.3

Terrible as was the representation that passed before me, that which impressed itself most vividly upon my mind was the instruction given me in connection with it. The angel that stood by my side declared that God’s supreme rulership, and the sacredness of His law, must be revealed to those who persistently refuse to render obedience to the King of kings. Those who choose to remain disloyal, must be visited in mercy with judgments, in order that, if possible, they may be aroused to a realization of the sinfulness of their course. 11 VOTS 44.4

The presence of an angelic being with an important, solemn, or urgent message, reconfirms the faith of God’s servants of the heavenly origin of that message, and it offers the individuals to whom it is directed additional proof of its importance. VOTS 45.1