Can Christians command angels?

Marko Joensuu         1 comment
In  the last few months, I have come across numerous articles claiming that Christians can command angels. Usually, these claims are backed up by some stories about angelic encounters. But is there any biblical basis for this claim?

For example, in, Tom Brown writes

“Today, angels wait on us because now we can use the name of Jesus, which is a greater name than angels, to dispatch angels to do their work.” 

Jennifer Eivaz writes

“At the same time, Jesus also gave us the power to ‘loose’ something. What then do we have the power to loose? We have the power to loose angels. We loose the angels the same way we bind demons—by using our words. We are charged with making known the will of God in the presence of the angels (Eph. 3:10). Angels also listen for and obey the word of the Lord (Ps. 103:20). The Word of the Lord comes from Jesus Himself in heaven, or through His church on earth in the form of a prophetic word. Our prophetic words are heard and observed by angels and will put them on assignment.”

Other ministers don’t go quite as far, but they imply that we can somehow affect the angelic coverage and protection over our lives.

Jennifer LeClaire, for example, writes

"Many neglect the angels of transition, and they bypass the help I have sent to transition them into the next stage of their journey. Many ignore the angels of transition and, therefore, fail to enter into the new place I have set aside for them at the appointed time. Many are working in their own strength, struggling in the flesh and failing to embrace the work of My angels on assignment to help them transition into the new thing. Look for the angels in times of transition."

Larry Tomczak writes, “Here's the deal: Are you activating angelic messengers to protect you and your loved ones? While these supernatural, unseen beings operate at God's bidding, we have a role to play to ensure they are with us especially in times of need.” 

This kind of thinking is making its way to the Charismatic mainstream, as Kris Vallotton writes

“It is my personal conviction that one of the essential elements that has ushered in this apostolic age is that the angels no longer recognize the performance-based authority of denominationalism. Paul teaches us that angels recognize true spiritual authority. In fact, it is the angels who answer our prayers and fulfill our prophecies (1 Cor. 11:4, 10)”

Kris Vallotton refers to 1 Corinthians 11:4 and 10 as his proof text. The verse 4 says, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.” The verse 10 says, “For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” 

From this, Kris Vallotton infers that it is angels who answer our prayers or fulfil our prophecies. But we are now in a very dangerous territory, bordering on a heresy, as if it is the angels who answer our prayers, many Christians will soon be praying to angels and not to God. Also, Vallotton implies that the apostles have a spiritual authority to command angels, as angels now "recognize true spiritual authority." 

But Paul says in Colossians 2:18,

“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” 

Vallotton does some very bad Bible reading here. There is nothing in 1 Corinthians 11 that tells us that angels answer our prayers or that their relationship with us would have anything at all to do with our spiritual authority. 

All Paul is saying is to repeat a Jewish belief that angels are present when God is being worshipped. But it also  seems evident that Paul is using irony, as 1 Corinthians makes clear that the Christians in Corinth had fallen in love with angels, attempting to speak in the tongues of angels rather than in the tongues of men.

In my book Supernatural Love: Releasing the Compassion of Jesus Through the Gifts of the Spirit I show how the Christians in Corinth had been influenced by pagan understanding about speaking in tongues, and how the apostle Paul had to correct their understanding. And now he’s reminding the Corinthians that the same angels whose language the Corinthians ached to speak were actually accustomed to order in worship.

Put simply, there is not a singular verse in the Bible that says that Christians could exercise authority over God’s angels, and yet some Charismatic ministers seem to want to create a doctrine around their belief, seeking through the Bible in vain for anything that could possibly support their beliefs, even when these verses clearly give no support whatsoever to them.

Binding and loosing

There is clear evidence that binding in the New Testament refers to casting out demons, although it can also refer to the overall spiritual authority of the early apostles. 

Matthew  12:25-29 says, 

"But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.'" 

When the phrase "binding and loosing" is used this way, the binding refers to binding a demon, so loosing must refer to loosing the human being from the demonic bondage. This must be the case, as the New Testament is full of stories of demon-possessed people being set free through exorcism, which, according to Jesus, can also bind a demon. But there is no singular story of anyone 'loosing' angels.  

Angels and spiritual authority

When Jesus walked on earth, He acknowledged that the angels were under the authority of the Father. 

"But Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?'" (Matthew 26:52-53)

1 Peter 3:21-22 says that after the Resurrection, the angels are now under the command of Jesus.

"... and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him."

And Jesus releases these angels to help us.

"Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)

So, these angels do serve us, but they obey the spiritual authority of God only. When we pray to God, yes, one of the ways He answers our prayers undoubtedly is by sending His angelic army to help us. But these angels still remain under the command of Jesus.

There is no need to worry about activating your angels of 'transition'. There is no need to pray for angels to come to our aid. The only thing we must do is to pray to God and He will help us whichever way He chooses.

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Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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1 comment:

  1. While I agree with the scripture you have presented for your article, can you extrapolate what scripture means then when it says: "Whatever you loose on earth, you loose in heaven..."
    Focusing on the word "whatever", is this not freedom from God to loose whatever we want, providing it is spirit led wisdom?




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