Question:

Can you tell me why Christians today cannot see angels as the apostles did? I realize that only those baptized with the Holy Spirit (the apostles and those they laid their hands on and Cornelius and his household) were able to perform miracles, but Acts 5:19-20 and Acts 12:7-8 show angels talking to some of the apostles.

Thank you.

Answer:

It is common to look at the events recorded in the Bible and conclude from the few events that there must have been more similar events that were not recorded. The problem is that it is a conclusion based on a lack of evidence. We see two visitations of angels in Acts to protect people critical to the development of Christianity. Then there was the visitation to Philip to have him teach an Ethiopian in Acts 8. We see another visitation to Cornelius to push the teaching of Gentiles in Acts 10. In Acts 12, an angel strikes down Herod. And in Acts 23, an angel comes to give Paul encouragement. Were there more? We don't know but notice that the visitations were not limited to just the apostles.

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2).

How do you know that angels have not been seen since? It is possible that angels have been seen and just not recognized as angels. I often wonder if the things we consider strange coincidences might not be due to the interference of God's messengers at times. I can't prove it one way or the other.

What I do know is that God said angels perform tasks on behalf of God's people. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). This doesn't require direct communication or observation.

Response:

Thank you. That makes sense.

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