Of Swords & Angels…

In Scot McKnight’s book The Hum of Angels, he gives a powerful challenge for us to tune into the spirit realm and recognize there is plenty going on that we don’t see or hear.  With some spiritual awareness, however, we can begin to start hearing the hum, or the presence, of angels.  His is one of several books on my desk right now that I have been studying to help me in my Sunday morning presentation The Whisper of War.  I love that there is SO MUCH material in the Bible about angels and spirit beings that I haven’t paid a lot of attention to over the decades.  There is a ton of information that is clear and understandable, but there is also a ton of differing interpretations about what is written and, as always, what is not written.  There is so much of our cultural mind-set about angels that is just simply wrong.  There is nothing in the Bible about children who die becoming angels.  While angels can fly, when needed, they don’t have wings or wear long white robes.  Yes, cherubs and seraphs had wings, at times, they seem to be a very special class of spirit beings that may or may not fit the definition of angel.  An angel is a spirit being that is sent on a mission.  That is what the word means in both Greek and Hebrew.  That is one of the interesting things about my study.  Angels are just part of the population of the spirit realm.  As Scot says, “…angels are but one type of heavenly being that are God-saturated and worshiping beings.” (p.33)  He believes cherubs and seraphs are “other supernatural beings.” (p.32)  There are heavenly creatures that we have very little information about, but…we’ve felt that way about the Holy Spirit all  our lives.  There is a reason why God doesn’t give us more insight into the spirit realm.  I my opinion, it’s because it is beyond our ability to comprehend.

These is nothing in the Bible that indicates that humans die and become angels.  Several of these study books are clear to point that out.  I just would simply add, there is nothing that says it doesn’t happen either.  If there are several types of angels, based on rolls and missions from God, doesn’t it seem reasonable that angels that have to interact with mankind should have experience doing it?  In The Judas Sword, agents/angels who are needed for human interaction work, are drafted from deceased humans.  In my fictional realm, they are chosen because there is a need – in other words it’s not automatic for all deceased people – and because they have two primary qualities necessary to do the job.  Those two qualities are integrity and courage.  It’s assumed they are good people who have been seekers of God.  They must be trained and prepared for their work, and they must know how to use all the tools available to them, and they must learn how to fight Dark Agents who would destroy their work and defeat their mission.

Someone has already asked my why I have them fighting with swords?  Granted, it is probably more a guy-thing than a girl-thing, as far as story, plot, and adventure go, but a sword is timeless.  Just think about the fact that the first angel we read about in the Bible is swinging a sword! (Genesis 3:24)  Talk about timeless, that was long before swords were invented!  What was it made of?  What was it’s shape and style?  As long as you’re thinking about timeless, why not have him holding an M-16?  It took centuries for swords to evolve from bone and stone, through bronze, iron, and steel – and yet we always have a mental picture (or artwork) of that spirit-being swinging an Excalibur type sword from the eleventh or twelfth century AD.  In my book they use rapier swords which are even newer.

Yes, it’s a little mind-boggling to think about spirit beings having sword fights right now in spirit realms we can’t see.  I makes a lot more sense to me than believing in a red-suited clown who carries a pitchfork and has a long pointy tail, or having two cartoon characters on either shoulder whispering in my ear to be good or be bad.  Faith is about what you can’t see, but it’s also about recognizing – like that old hymn – “This world is not my home.”  There is a spirit realm we all long for.