Does the Bible teach us that angels visit us? Can see them or summon them?
Hebrews 1:14: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
God sends angels “to serve those who will rceieve salvation.”
The Bible also explains how those who are saved have guardian angels, angels sent to protect us and be a help when necessary. These will more often work invisibly behind the scene.
Many teach that we can see angels as Elisha saw the chariots of fire all around him in 2 Kings 6:15-17. "And Elijah prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he might see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. (II Kings 6:17). It is true Elisha saw numerous angels but it was a one time event that never repeated again in his life nor any other prophet throughout the whole Old Testament. Elisha did not pray every time to see angels? And neither he nor Elisha prayed this again. He is the only one who participated in this one of a kind revelation.
This is an unusual one time answer to Elijah’s prayer. The Bible promises to give us all insight (by faith) that there is a real spiritual war going on around us at times. Elisha did not have an experience with the angels but was allowed to see that they were more than the enemy to give him faith in God to face the enemy.
There is no noticeable angelic appearances to man till after Abraham is called. From that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth (Genesis 18; 19; 24:7,40; 28:12; 32:1). Throughout the Old Testament we have one particular angel, called the Angel of the Lord that continues to appear to guide and protect Israel. This continues from Abraham, to Moses through the exodus and to other key figures of faith. This angel is also known as the "angel of his presence" (Isaiah 63:9 see Exodus 23:20,21; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16) and is probably the pre-incarnate Messiah that guides his people.
Hebrews 1:7: “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame a fire: is a quote of Ps.104:4. Who maketh his angels spirits ho) poioon tous autou pneumata. "spirits" can be rendered "winds" (In Hebrew, "spirit and wind" are often synonymous).
This can be better translated as angels that are swift as wind, rapidly doing Gods will, ministering judgment for God. In this passage, angels are the spirit creatures God sends according to the need of their service; in this case, being a “flame of fire” is about judgment.
The Old Testament makes this clear Ps. 21:8-9: “Your hand will find all Your enemies; your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; the LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the FIRE shall devour them.”
Isa. 66:15: “For behold, the LORD will come with FIRE and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.”
This can be supported by how fire is used. Fire is often associated with judgment in the New Testament. When he (Jesus) comes it will be as “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8-10).
Jesus said in Luke 12:49: "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! In other words, he longs to bring the judgment so that a new earth can be produced where only righteousness dwells.
John 15:6: “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” Jesus is speaking about branches not connected with him that did not produce fruit. For we are appointed to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, 30, 60, 100 fold.
In the tribulation period those who take the mark “shall be tormented with fire” (Revelation 14:10).
Numerous judgments in the Tribulation are sent by God through his angels Revelation 8:5-7 “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” This corresponds to Acts 2:19 – Joel 2-3 which takes place before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
Angels were also active in the beginning of the New Testament period with those who were connected with the Messiah. When we read the New Testament record it looks like they appear frequently but they do not. It is mostly over a span of 30 years.
In Lk.1:11 the New Testament introduces us to an angelic visitation to Zechariah, because his wife would give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah, John. 6 months later (Luke 1:26-38) Gabriel appears to Mary with the news that she would conceive and give birth to a son, telling her "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason the holy child to be born will be called the Son of God."
Angels are also appear to the shepherds in the field announcing the birth of the Messiah Lk.2:9. In Mt.1:20 Joseph is warned in a dream to flee. At least one to two years later while in Egypt Joseph is again visited in a dream is told to leave Egypt to Israel because its now safe (Mt.2:19).
There were very only a few appearances of angels in Jesus’ life. “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:11). Lk.22:43 an angel was sent by God to strengthen Jesus in Gethsemane at his suffering. Angels also appear at His tomb to roll the stone away when he resurrected (Mt.28:2, 5) and they appear when He is taken to heaven at his ascension by the Father.
Angels appear a few times to the apostles and to others that would be lead into contact with the apostles. Acts 10:3-7: “an angel of God In a vision came to "Cornelius!"
In the ministry of the apostles we have in Acts 5:19; 6:15 “an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out-three times. Acts 12:5-11 Peter was in prison, the church was praying for him God sent an angel to bust him out.
The angels give instruction, but there are no long conversations or frequent repeated visits. Acts 8:2: “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza”
The angels are sent to comfort and minister, to protect the saints (Hebrews 2:16), especially the apostles who were the leaders to the church in its infancy. Paul recounts “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' (Acts 27:23-25)
What about entertaining angels? Hebrews 13:1-2: “Let brotherly love continue Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
This passage does not necessarily mean angels are constantly among us, for it can also be translated to mean messengers, as in human those who bring the gospel from place to place (the context is about caring for brethren). But if it does include angelic beings, it implies that they do not make themselves known to us on purpose.
Hebrews 2:5-8 “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him."
The Him the Scripture speaks of is Jesus. And Hebrews is proving that Jesus is not another angel but is greater than all the angels. 1 Peter 3:22: “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”
Angels are subject to the God- man Jesus Christ, not to man. We cannot summon them or order them to do our bidding even if it is something God wants to be done. Only God orders the angels, they are under his jurisdiction and control.
There are just a few contacts with angelic beings and they have specific purposes at a specific time because Jesus was among the people.
To come in contact with angelic creatures has to be discerned for if they are not sent by God to have as mission as angels do, then they are fallen angels with the purpose to deceive.