TRICKED BY AN ANGEL
1 Kings 13:1-26 (text v. 18); Gal. 1:8

    In 1 Kings 13 we have the tragic account of a young prophet who was TRICKED BY AN ANGEL. This unnamed prophet preached against the false altar of Jeroboam (vs. 2-3), wrought a work of healing on this wicked king (vs. 4-6), and demonstrated fidelity to the Word of God (vs. 7-10). God commanded this man of God, "Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel" (vs. 9-10). 
    This command by the word of the Lord was clear. However, along the way he met an older prophet who invited him to join him for dinner (vs. 11-15). The young prophet refused saying, "I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest" (vs. 16-17). 
    However, this older prophet told him, "I'm also a prophet like you. God sent an angel to tell me that he revised what the Lord told you, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him" (v. 18). He was TRICKED BY AN ANGEL. This young prophet was deceived and disobeyed the word of the Lord. He went home with the old prophet and had dinner. Later that evening the young prophet became the dinner of a roaring lion that met him by the way (vs. 19-24). 
    When God says something, He isn't going to send any angel to revise what He has said. Paul wrote to the Galatians, "But though we, or AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8).
    Americans have been touched by the  ANGEL CRAZE– Angels are big business. "Angelmania" everywhere–

  • Angelic jewelry and figurines (mostly depicted as females or babies with wings and halos); 
  • Books about angels; paintings of angels (usually in serene settings, never lift-ing their hand to judge mankind); 
  • One of the top Gospel songs for 1998 was a song titled "Angels in the Room." 
  • Popular movies like "Angels in the Outfield." 
    One of the most popular movies this year was "City of Angels." It is about "an angel" who becomes a human in order to have sexual relations with a woman. This is nothing new: The same thing occurred in Genesis 6. Jude verses 6-7 speak of this occurrence– "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation... giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh." 
    The popular television series Touched by an Angel, promotes another gos-pel that denies our need for the cross. The show's producer portrays angels as nonjudgmental beings coming from a source of love. This definition translates into episodes where homosexuals are relieved from any requirement to repent and are resur-rected to new life after death without the need for Christ.
    Actress Della Reese, who plays Tess in the show, is the founder of a church called Understanding the Principles of Better Living which promotes the idea that human beings are one with God, one with all people, and one with all life.
    The publisher of Angel Times Magazine points out, "Angels are a common denominator among the religions of the world and help to unite people spiritually."
    Alma Daniels, author of Ask Your Angels, claims today's angels have be-come more accessible and willing to work with hu-mans at a conscious level. To contact an angel, you simply go inside yourself, ask for what you need, and then sit back and wait. "It will come," says Sophy Bumbam, author of two best-selling angel books.
    Paul warns, "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels..." (Col. 2:18). The periodical Newsday reported, North American interest in angels is developing into an interest in the devil. Books about Satan, and the dark sides of angels, are the "hot button" in book publishing, said Phyllis Tickle of Publishers Weekly. 

I. The FACT of Angels – 
    A. Angels are REAL– Over 300 direct references to angels in the Bible.
    B. Angels were created by God in the dateless past (Col. 1:16).
    C. Angels are ministering spirits (Heb. 1:7), and invisible (2 Kings 6:13-17). However, they can take human form (Heb. 13:2– Lot had no idea that the two "men" who met him at the gate of Sodom were angels. He washed their feet, and fed them.)
    D. Angels are powerful (Ps. 103:20)
    E. Angels are innumerable (Heb. 12:22)
    F. Angels are always referred to in the masculine gender. There is not one female angel in the whole Bible.
    G. Angels are inferior to God, but superior to man. However, in the kingdom, man will judge angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

II. The FUNCTION of Angels.
    A. Angels are primarily "messengers." The Hebrew word "angel" has a root meaning "to dispatch as a deputy with a message." The Greek word means "to bring tidings; a messenger, envoy, one who is sent." Since we now have God's completed revelation written in the King James Bi-ble, there is no longer a need for angel’s communicating any message to us in this dispensation of grace. What could any angel say to us that we don’t already have written in the KJV? However, in the tribulation period, angels will resume their messenger duties (cf. Rev. 14:6). 
    B. Angels worship God (Heb. 1:6).
    C. Angels serve God (Ps. 103:20; Rev. 22:9).
    D. Angels execute judgment upon the wicked. This is how angels are por-trayed most often in the Scriptures– On Sodom; On Israel (because of David’s sin); On Sennacherib’s armies; On Herod (in Acts 12); Upon the inhabitants of the earth during the tribulation.
    E. Angels are particularly active during dispensational transitions.

  1. They were active in the creation of heaven and earth (Job. 38:4-7).
  2. Cherubims guarded the tree of life at the conclusion of the dispensa-tion of Innocence (Gen. 3:24).
  3. Angelic beings left their habitation to co-habitate with men at the con-clusion of Conscience (Gen. 6).
  4. Abraham was guided by an angel when he left Er for the land of Canaan at the commencement of the dispensation of Promise (Gen. 24:6-7).
  5. Angels attended the giving of the Law (Gal. 3:19).
  6. Angels announced the birth of the Christ (Luke 2)
  7. Angels announced the resurrection of Christ (Mt. 28:1-6)
  8. Angels were very active during the Apostolic Age in the Book of Acts.
  9. Angels will be present at the Rapture and extremely active during the Tribulation period. There are 76 references to angels in Revelation!
  10. Angels will assist in setting up the Kingdom (Mt. 25:31).

F. Holy angels are mainly associated in their work with Israel (Dan. 12:1). 
  1. An angel lead Israel out of the land of Egypt (Ex. 14:19).
  2. Angels were present when God gave the law to Israel at Mt. Sinai (Ps. 68:17 cf. Gal. 3:19).
  3. Angels assisted Israel in the conquest of the promised land (Ex. 23:20).
  4. Angels protected Israel from the armies of Sennacherib (Isa. 37:36)
  5. Angels protected the prophet Daniel in the lion’s den (Dan. 6:22).
  6. An angel announced the birth of John the Baptist who came to mani-fest the Messiah to Israel (Luke 1:11-14).
  7. An angel announced the birth of the Messiah of Israel (Luke 1:26-31).
  8. The book of Revelation (which deals almost entirely with Israel in the Tribulation) has more references to an-gels (76) than any other book in the Bible. The book of Zechariah (which relates to the coming Mes-siah to Israel) has the second greatest number of references (20) to angels. 
 G. Angels are sent to minister to "them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14). These are tribulation Jews. Today salvation is not an inheritance. 
   There is no indication in the New Testament that angels have any direct ministry to the church. People often site Psalm 34:7 that says, "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." However, for the New Testament saint, this is not necessary since we have the whole armor of God, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and can stand in the power of His might! Why did God give us armor if we have angels protecting us? There is no direct ministry of angels to the church today.
   We hear stories of how some have supposedly entertained "angels." If this were true, how do they know it was an angel they entertained. Hebrews 13:2 says if someone did entertain an angel, they would no be aware of it! 

III. The FALL of Angels – Some angels are called "evil angels" (Ps. 78:49). The Bible calls them "devils." Where did these evil angels come from?
    A. Satan was originally Lucifer, the anointed cherub. He fell and became "the devil" when he was lifted up in pride and sought to exalt his throne above the throne of God– That is, he desired to be worshipped like God. Satan still desires worshippers. One of his temptations posed to Christ was for Jesus to worship him (Mt. 4:9). During the tribulation period, almost the whole world will worship him– "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? ...And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb..." (Rev. 13:4, 8).
    B. All angels were originally created "holy." God cannot create something that is sinful. Some angels chose not to obey God and sinned. Peter re-fers to "the angels that sinned" (2 Pet. 2:4). Jude mentions "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation..." (Jude 6).
    C. Jesus referred to hell as "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mt. 25:41). Evidently, Satan's angels are the angels which chose to follow Lucifer in his quest for the worship that belonged to God.

IV. The FRAUD of Angels. 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 warns us of "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF is transformed into AN ANGEL OF LIGHT" (2 Cor. 11:14). 
    Most of what is being portrayed on television, movies and books regarding angels is not biblical and very danger-ous; perhaps deadly. It is important that we recognize these seductive coun-ter-feits as deceiving spirits that can assume any form or personality pleasing to hu-man subjects. Christians cannot be one with those who compromise God's Word and follow other gods. Feel-good affirmations can't heal the pain of sin and sepa-ration. Freedom comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.
    The foundation of the Mormon Church is a so-called angelic visit to Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith wrote of a visitation by some "angel" named Moroni. Supposedly Moroni told Smith of some hidden golden plates that contained the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. From these so-called golden plates came the Book of Mormon. It did NOT contain the everlasting Gospel. It contained ANOTHER GOSPEL, that Paul warned about in Galatians 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." If Joseph Smith were a Bible believer, he would not have been TRICKED BY AN ANGEL! 

ILLUSTRATION:
    Evangelist ED DEVRIES, President of The School of Biblical & Theological Studies relates the following account illustrating the dangers of the "angel craze."
    In November of 1996 I began sharing the gospel with my father-in-law (Ray) more intently than I had in the past. On our first visit he was very receptive and asked that I would come back over the weekend to tell him more. Then, on the weekend, when I ar-rived, he did not seem very interested in what I had to say. 
    To make a long story a little shorter, be-tween Tuesday and Friday he had bought and read Alma Daniel’s book "Ask Your An-gel" and no longer needed religion to "find God." But the story only gets worse.
    The end of the next week, while working in the office, I receive a call from my mother-in-law wanting to know where Ray was. I told her I did not know. She was worried because he left his wallet, his watch, his wedding ring, etc. It appeared that all he took was his drivers license and the car key (leaving behind house keys).
    So being the good son-in-law preacher that I am I go back to their house and try to comfort her. When he had not come home by morning she asked if I would play around with his computer to see if I could find a clue about where he could have gone.
    I found business files, spreadsheets, invoices, contract proposals, etc. Then, I found his diary that he had started the day he bought the Angel book. Everything the book said to do worked for Ray. On night one, he was talking to angels. He described the an-gels, their beauty, etc. 
    Then he began to chronicle his conversations with the angels. The angels told him that although "salvation" was a good thing for many people that he did not need it and would one day mature out of it and find the "rest of God," etc. Then, they took him to some places around the world that he described in vivid detail. These trips continued for several nights as did the instruction from the Angels on how to work some business deals.
    Finally, he records that the angels told him that if he wanted to get away from the stress of his business and life that he could come to heaven. They told him where to go in the woods and what to do. 
    How did it end up? Well lets just say that the angels showed him how to get several mil-lion dollars in debt within one week. 
    After police were contacted, his body was found in the woods. The contents of his pockets were a drivers license and a receipt from Ace Hardware (for rope). He tied a rope to a strong branch that hung over a stream, tied a noose on the other end, put the noose around his neck, and jumped into the stream. Sheriff’s Dept. investigators say that he tied a perfect hangman's noose. The detective said "I have seen a lot of hangings. This was the best tied noose I had ever seen. This man knew exactly what he wanted to do and ex-actly how to do it."
    I fear that the angels did not take him to heaven. Instead, an "angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14) pointed him to hell. A week later I preached his funeral. There were several dignitaries, politicians, police, and friends / relatives. A few made professions of faith. But Ray was dead. Killed by the "angel craze."

1. If you are not saved, trust Christ and be saved today. Believe the TRUE GOSPEL that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
2. Beware of Satanic deception and the "angel craze." Try the spirits with the Word of God (1 John 4:1-2).
3. Study the Word of God, so you will not be TRICKED BY AN ANGEL.

Sermon by Pastor Al Hughes, 
Port Orchard  WA