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Unseen Friends

The Bible says that there are angels who help us. These angels are our unseen friends. The writer of Hebrews, referring to angels, asked the rhetorical question, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (1:14). The answer is yes. And they are normally invisible because they are spirits. They do not have physical bodies. Therefore, they can move quickly from the spirit world to our physical world to help us.

In the Bible, angels sometimes appear in the form of men as they did to Abraham (Genesis 18), and to the followers of Jesus at the tomb from which He had risen (Mark 16:5; John 20:12). The writer of Hebrews encouraged us to be hospitable to strangers because “some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

Do angels still appear in human form to help us? On the basis of our own experience, most of us would not be able to give a conclusive answer. But many of us have heard Christians tell of experiences in which they saw an angel in human form. I recently heard a missionary tell how a man suddenly appeared when she was in a dangerous situation, guided her, and then disappeared. She thinks he may have been an angel.

Angels appeared in this manner in the past. It’s possible they’re doing so today. We cannot prove or disprove the accounts of angels appearing to our contemporaries in human form. But if they are accurate, we must recognize that such appearances have always been the exception, not the rule. God can and will look after each one of us individually. He certainly has enough angels available if He chooses to use them to protect or help us. Myriads of these heavenly beings are our friends and stand ready to be our helpers and protectors.

Perhaps it is safe to say that they usually help and protect us without becoming visible. Consider the story of Elisha and his servant recorded in 2 Kings 6. The servant was frightened when he saw a large enemy army surrounding the city of Dothan where they were staying. He didn’t know that God had placed an army of angels between these human soldiers and the inhabitants of the city. But when Elisha offered the petition, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17), the servant saw the angelic host.

Our angel friends may be unseen, but according to the Bible they are all around us. God uses them as His servants to protect and help “those who are to inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

—Condensed from What Can We Learn From Angels?, available at