The Angels of Revelation

An Interview with Nathan Jones

By Dr. David R. Reagan

The Angels of Revelation

[read in Lamplighter (pdf)]

(Note: Nathan E. Jones serves as an evangelist with Lamb & Lion Ministries and is the co-host of the television program Christ in Prophecy. This article is an interview that Dr. David Reagan conducted with Nathan about his newest book, The Mighty Angels of Revelation.)

1. What led you to write a book about angels?

The impetus for writing the book came about due to a devastating car wreck that my parents barely survived. They were hit head-on by another vehicle, with the force of impact so powerful that their searing-hot engine was pushed through the firewall, pinning my mother to her seat. One side of her body became a painful collection of broken bones, lacerations and burn marks. She would end up needing major reconstructive surgery on various internal organs, and though she survived, she struggled to walk normally again.

My father, on the other hand, suffered from a body length bruise and three cracked ribs, but praise God, nothing more. He managed to crawl out of his window in the hopes of getting to the other side of the vehicle in order to help my mother out. But, he’d suffered a concussion, which quickly caused him to pass out in the middle of the road.

After a few moments, he awoke in a semi-conscious haze, and through the pain of his wounds, he felt, more than heard, the deepthroated sound that, as a motorcycle enthusiast, he instantly recognized as a Harley-Davidson. Through one swelling eye he viewed a gigantic, chromed wheel visibly inch up and stop right next to his head. The sound of a motor abruptly cutting off was replaced by the clack of steel-toed boots upon the roadway. Sky and ground traded places as he was lifted off the hot tarmac and gently laid onto the cool softness of the grassy roadside.

The biker, all clad in bandanas and a black leather jacket emblazoned with the words “Heaven’s Angels,” rose and approached the totaled car. The nails-on-chalkboard sound of metal being sheered from metal echoed off the hillsides as the passenger door was ripped asunder. The biker next checked on the other crumpled vehicle, then began directing traffic away from the scene of the accident.

By then my father had passed out once more, and when he awoke the next time his gurney was being loaded into a waiting ambulance. After asking if everybody from both cars had survived, which praise God they had, he asked the paramedic to thank the biker for him. The problem, though, was that nobody but he could recollect the biker ever having been there. Their rescuer had mysteriously disappeared without a trace! My father was the only survivor who could remember the biker and so insisted they must have been rescued, not by a mere man, but by an actual angel sent from God.

When I received the dreadful call that my parents had almost died in a car accident and heard my father’s story about the biker angel, I admit I was skeptical at first. After all, I’d spent years in classrooms earning a Bible degree. I had followed that up with some seminary courses, and was even working full-time in ministry as an evangelist. I’d taken whole classes in the doctrine of Angelology. And yet, here I was doubting that angels could be as active in our modern-day affairs as they clearly were in both the Old and New Testaments.

After all, there are nearly 300 different instances where the Bible describes fantastic encounters between God’s celestial beings and His earthly creations. I certainly believed the accounts of angels from the Word of God, but still had doubts about their activities today because neither me nor anybody I’d ever known had knowingly encountered an angel.

I soon felt driven to learn all I could about God’s mighty angels. I expressed my interest to my old friend, Vic Batista, who at the time was the pastor of a Calvary Chapel Church in Florida. He and I have been the co-hosts of his ongoing radio and podcast program, “The Truth Will Set You Free.” Vic is from the Dominican Republic and was saved out of the Catholic Church. The Catholic churches of Latin America are steeped in the errant worship of angels, and so he had developed a healthy respect for the doctrine of Angelology.

Time magazine cover for December 27, 1993.

Time magazine cover for December 27, 1993.

Vic challenged me with a study idea he believed would help me in my new quest to learn more about God’s mighty angels. He told me that the book of Revelation is THE place to go to learn about angels. After all, he pointed out, the book of Revelation, with its whopping 72 instances of angels, demons, and entire groups of angels and demons, stands out from the other 65 books of the Bible as the most prolific source in all of the world for the study of Angelology.

Vic had me hooked! And so, I accepted his Revelation challenge. We then spent a year teaching Angelology through a verse-by-verse study of the book of Revelation, and blogged it on “The Christ in Prophecy Journal” (https://christinprophecyblog.org). I finally took all that we had learned and incorporated it into my new book, The Mighty Angels of Revelation.

2. What roles do angels play in the book of Revelation?

The word “angel,” malak in the original Hebrew and angeloi in the Greek, actually means “messenger.” Certainly, angels perform other duties in their service to God Almighty — guardians, rescuers, warriors, worshipers, evangelists, enforcers, servants and even executioners — but they are actually named after their primary duty as God’s messengers. Angels often act as intermediaries between God and Man. And, that’s what we find these celestial beings doing all throughout the book of Revelation.

Bear in mind that not every messenger mentioned in Revelation is a celestial being. The Apostle John, for example, “who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw,” performed his scribal duty to the Seven Churches and the Church universal, but was a mere man. Another messenger mentioned is the “Angel of the Lord,” the pre-incarnate name of Jesus Christ, who is clearly divine and not a created angelic being. We also encounter the “Seven Spirits,” a name representative of the Holy Spirit. We even take a hard look at the 24 Elders in God’s throne room and conclude that none of them are angels, but they were all messengers.

The word “Revelation” derives from the Greek word apokalypsis. It is used 18 times in the Bible, and it is where we get our English word “apocalypse.” In the Greek, the word means “to unveil.” And that’s just what the book of Revelation does — it unveils the shrouded activities of God and His mighty angels. When reading Revelation, you will marvel at how Jesus Christ utilizes His faithful helpers to dole out His Apocalypse — His wrath — during the 21 judgments of the Tribulation.

Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation present the angels who guard and protect, such as the Angels of the Seven Churches. Then, in chapters 4 and 5, the scene moves to God’s throne room in Heaven where we witness some of the more extraordinary of all of God’s mighty angels. The multi-faced and multi-winged Seraphim sing unceasing praises to the One on the throne. The Cherubim transport God’s throne across the heavens. The multitudes of Choir Angels sing God’s praises.

Back on Earth, chapters 6 through 19 present the Servant Angels, such as the Branding Angel, who marks the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the Four Wind Angels who control the weather, performing God’s divine will. The angels who enact God’s judgment, such as the Seven Trumpet Judgment Angels and the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels, deliver God’s wrath upon a rebellious world. The Executioner Angels, such as the Stone Angel who crushes the Antichrist’s capital flat and the Jailer Angel who locks Satan into the Bottomless Pit for a thousand years, carry out God’s judgments.

In the aftermath of the Tribulation, described in chapter 20, the Lamb of God sets up His throne over all of the Earth, and we are introduced to other angels such as the Good News Angel and the Guardians of the Twelve Gates who aid in ushering in the Eternal State of chapters 21 and 22. I could name many, many other angels and groups of angels busy at work in almost every paragraph in the book of Revelation, for there are so many.

The Mighty Angels of Revelation

“The Mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10” by British artist, William Blake (1757-1827).

3. Are demons for real, and if so, are they fallen angels?

Absolutely real! When we arrive at the Great Sign as described in Revelation 12, we are introduced to the villains of the Tribulation. That’s where we encounter the Red Dragon, a symbol of the lord of the demons himself — Satan. Too many people today have come to the conclusion that there is really no such thing as the Devil. They think he’s just a symbol for evil, or a force of nature. But, the Bible makes it crystal clear that Satan is a very real being.

The evil entity we call Satan today was once a good angel known as Lucifer long ago. He actually existed for the purpose of glorifying God. He was created extra special, imbued with great wisdom and sculpted perfectly in beauty. Lucifer was given a great honor, having been anointed to serve in the illustrious role as guardian over God’s throne.

Day and night Lucifer led the hosts of Heaven in singing the Almighty’s praises with his “timbrels and pipes.” But, it wasn’t too long before this superior chief among the angels believed someone as special as he should also get a share of the attention. Lucifer’s heart became lifted up in pride, and in his avarice, he committed the very first sin — he coveted God’s authority and position. The angel once considered perfect in all his ways was found to have iniquity seething in his heart. Where once beauty and brightness defined Lucifer’s virtues, now the blackness of greed and the lust for power corrupted his every thought.

Like all of God’s sentient creatures, Lucifer enjoyed free will, and so he could have chosen to repent before his Creator, but he instead plotted to usurp his Liege. Lucifer convinced other angels with the likely promise that if they joined him in overthrowing God they themselves would become gods and so be worshiped by mankind. Sin is like a virus, spreading and infecting others very quickly, and it wasn’t too long before a staggering third of the angels plotted alongside Lucifer.

Lucifer, as one of the “chief princes” along with the Archangel Michael, makes him one of the most powerful beings ever created; and yet, his power is nothing compared to the Creator. Therefore, Lucifer had zero chance of successfully pulling off his coup. He and his scheming co-conspirators easily lost out to the Almighty and His loyal angels. Banned from their celestial abode, the insurgents fell to the earth like falling stars. In their fall, the rebellious angels transformed into demons, and Lucifer became known as the Devil or Satan.

Revelation 12 also describes how Satan will lead his armies back to Heaven at the midpoint of the Tribulation in yet another attempt to overthrow God. But, he will again fail miserably, and he will then be permanently and forever locked out of God’s abode. At that point God will allow the Red Dragon to muster his demonic hordes — Abaddon and the Locust Demons, the Four Horsemen of the Euphrates, the Chimera and the Frog Demons — who become judgments upon all of wicked humanity. Even in rebellion, Satan and the demons play a role in Christ’s inevitable victory.

Revelation 20 provides the final details of Satan’s last attempt to overthrow God during the Millennial Kingdom. The story will end joyously with Satan’s and the demons’ inevitable failure and eternal sentence to the Lake of Fire.

4. What are some of the most common or surprising misconceptions about angels?

When it comes to angels, I find most people really (really, really, really) do not understand angels very well. We each come at the subject with wildly different preconceptions. Angels, in truth, are not a bunch of blond, curly-haired dudes sporting white togas who sit around on clouds singing old hymns to God all day long. Actually, angels are very, very far from that children’s book imagery.

Most have ideas like I once had when I leaned heavily upon the classically illustrated children’s books from my parent’s generation. They depicted these celestial beings as Caucasian men with curly blond hair, sporting two feathery white wings. They usually had a golden metal halo floating above their heads. They possessed tall and stoic demeanors, and were always clad in white robes of the ancient Roman toga fashion.

Likewise, whereas I grew up believing all angels to be of this description, I also pictured demons as they are popularly characterized as red-clad, goateed charlatans possessing long, pointy tails and carrying three-pronged pitchforks. As comic as this imagery is grim, I soon discovered that the true appearance of demons is far worse!

The more I studied The Mighty Angels of Revelation, the more I learned that angels come in many different shapes and sizes. They are far from stereotypical, nor are they uniform in appearance. While many can and do appear as humans, others exist as actual forces of nature, such as the Angel of the Waters, and still some are animalistic in appearance, such as the Vulture Angel. Some have wings, but not all, which is a surprise to many people. Some are even large enough to step across the seas. And, some even appear to be made of fire!

Angels in their true forms appear nothing like what we tend to imagine. They are so wondrous that even John lost his head twice and was about to worship them. Fortunately, despite all of their massive power, the angels are incredibly humble and only seek worship to flow to God alone. Their abject humility was the most surprising thing I discovered about them.

The Jailer Angel

The “Jailer Angel” sent by God at the end of the Tribulation to imprison Satan for a thousand years. Illustration by Pat Marvenko Smith.

5. Do you believe there is an active ministry of angels today?

After studying angels in-depth, I have to conclude that God continues to utilize His angelic forces in today’s affairs. After all, why would God use them in both the Old and New Testaments, and again so prolifically in the future, and yet give them all a lunch break during the Church Age? Some theologians do claim that since Christians receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, angels have become superfluous in this age. But that runs counter to what the Bible says about them and to the teaching of many notable Christians.

Who, for example, can argue with famed preacher Charles H. Spurgeon? He taught: “Ministering spirits are abroad, protecting the princes of the blood royal. They cannot be discerned by any of our senses, but they are perceptible by faith, and they have been made perceptible to holy men of old in vision.”

Or, consider what the late, famed mega-evangelist, Billy Graham had to say. He revealed something very personal about his own life in his classic book on angels titled, Angels: God’s Secret Agents. He wrote: “I believe in angels because the Bible says there are angels; and I believe the Bible to be the true Word of God. I also believe in angels because I have sensed their presence in my life on special occasions.”

I’ll never forget the day when my esteemed Missions professor brought in yet another guest to our classroom, this time from serving in the Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea. The look on our guest’s face still haunts me to this day. Our spiritually sleepy class of Westerners awoke and listened wide-eyed as the missionary explained his team’s spiritual battles with local shamans (witch-doctors) who kept their villagers in terror.

One possessed woman he prayed over thrashed around her bed convulsively. To his horror, he actually watched the tormented woman being dragged off her bed as if by invisible hands as she clawed madly to stay on the mattress. Once removed, she was then thrown around the room like a screaming rabbit cornered by a pack of dogs. Our classes’ modern First World mindset, which disbelieves that demons are actively present in the affairs of mankind today, was certainly upended that day.

So, yes, I believe the evidence strongly and prolifically supports the fact that God continues to utilize both angels and even demons in the affairs of mankind, all to His own end.

The Wind Angel

This is one of 12 full page illustrations of angels drawn especially for Nathan’s book by Christian artist, Shalis Stevens.

6. How is your book laid out? And, why did you include twelve imagined stories and twelve full-page illustrations of angels?

I divided The Mighty Angels of Revelation based on the thematic sections found in the book of Revelation. The ten sections include:

  • The Seven Churches (Revelation 1-3)
  • The Throne Room (Revelation 4-5)
  • The Seal Judgments (Revelation 6-8:6)
  • The Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 8-11)
  • The Tribulation Villains (Revelation 12-14)
  • The Bowl Judgments (Revelation 15-16)
  • Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17-18)
  • The Second Coming (Revelation 19)
  • The Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20)
  • The Eternal State (Revelation 21-22:5).

Each of these sections is further broken down into chapters dedicated to covering the bios and activities of each of the 72 angels or groups of angels found in Revelation.

These ten sections are complemented with a foreword by Terry James of the “Rapture Ready” website and an introduction that provides background information to the book of Revelation and the study of Angelology. The book also includes a concluding section, for Revelation 22 ends with the final message of Jesus Christ whereby He promises three times that He will indeed return and claim His inevitable victory, which He will then share with His children. In this section, Vic Batista pours out his heart for the lost, offering the readers an invitation to come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Each of these 12 sections (including the introduction and conclusion) begins with an illustration of an angel in order to help the imagination break those chains of preconception we all have about what angels look like. I couldn’t draw a stick figure if my life depended on it, so I enlisted the talents of Shalis Stevens.

I had written a number of Bible colleges asking if they had any students they’d recommend to take on the project. Once I had gotten a few good candidates, I held a little art contest among my editorial team, and Shalis’ art style clearly fit the direction Vic and I wanted to go. On top of that, we learned that Shalis was not just an art student, but holds a master’s degree in painting and teaches students herself. She’s been able to so vibrantly capture that which is beyond our human imagination, and she’s just been wonderful to work with.

Along with starting each section with an angel illustration, I have also added a few pages of introductory story that revolves around two personages: the Revealing Angel and the Elder. The former serves as the angelic guide to the latter — the Apostle John.

Obviously, all of the introductory stories that begin each section are elaborations on Scripture, imagining scenarios that the text hints at but doesn’t necessarily describe. I ask that the reader take these stories as intended — as imaginative fiction that illustrates the biblical narrative.

I wanted to use these introductory stories to help the reader better connect with the characters in Revelation, for while some angels command a great deal of text, many only garner one mere verse, as the Revealing Angel does in the very first verse. I desired to show the various angels’ diverse backgrounds, their unusual settings, and their varied duties in the devoted service of their Sovereign in ways that would spark the reader’s imagination.

A Trumpet Angel

A Trumpet Angel.
(iStockphoto.com)

7. What is the most important truth you want people to take away from this book?

Revelation contains the largest concentration of angels in the whole Bible. And what a variety! So, our approach to teaching Revelation comes from the many, many different angels’ perspectives. Along this journey we end up teaching the reader both Eschatology and Angelology.

But, here’s the true purpose in writing The Mighty Angels of Revelation. We want the reader to end up glorifying Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus Christ victorious is the total sum and focus of the book of Revelation. The angels are merely window-dressing. The real center, the true hero, is the King of kings.

We hope to excite Christians about Christ’s present majesty and His coming victory as described by the various angels in the book of Revelation, and so bring God the praise He so richly deserves.

So, come, I invite you to travel along with a man called the Elder and his angelic guide as the end times are revealed throughout the book of Revelation in stunning detail. Along the way, you will meet 72 of God’s mighty angels as they proclaim God’s messages of warning and hope to a lost world. Together let us encounter…The Mighty Angels of Revelation!

Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14

Resource

Nathan Jones’ second book has just been published, and it is outstanding. It is the best book about angels I have ever read.

Nathan Jones is pictured above with the illustrator of his book, Shalis Stevens.

Nathan Jones is pictured above with
the illustrator of his book, Shalis Stevens.

A devastating car wreck nearly killed Nathan’s parents. If it were not for a lone biker who stopped at the scene of the accident and administered first aid, some say they would have died before medical help arrived. The problem — only one person could recollect the biker ever having been there. Their rescuer had mysteriously disappeared without a trace! The only survivor who could remember insisted they must have been rescued, not by a mere man, but by an actual angel sent from God.

This jolting event in the life of his family led our ministry’s Internet Evangelist, Nathan Jones, to set off to explore the greatest source in the study of Angelology — the book of Revelation. With its whopping 72 instances of references to angels, Revelation stands apart from all of the other books in the Bible as the most prolific source for learning about these supernatural beings.

The Mighty Angels of Revelation

A special added feature of this book is 12 fantastic full-page drawings of some of the main angels mentioned in the book of Revelation. The drawings are by a very gifted Christian artist named Shalis Stevens.

The book originated out of a series of year-long radio programs which Nathan made together with Vic Batista, a Calvary Chapel pastor in Florida. In fact, it was Vic who originally suggested that Nathan search the book of Revelation for a better understanding of the nature and purpose of angels.

The book sells for $20, including the cost of shipping. You can order it through our website. Or, you can place your order by phone by calling 972-736-3567 Monday thru Friday, 8am to 5pm Central time.

More From This Category