"Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13: 1 & 2; King James Bible Version).
We've all heard or read stories of angels. They exist in religious writings, in fictional stories, and, sometimes, in modern day experiences. One of the most common views of angels is that they are celestial beings, (usually disguised as everyday people) who have been sent, from God, into this human experience to accomplish a holy mission. More specifically, they are thought to be celestial messengers from God, who guard or guide humans in need of divine help.
Others don't look for an angel to appear in the flesh; but rather feel that angels are a more symbolic reference to the divine thoughts of inspiration that come to anyone and everyone, when needed, from within our innate, spiritual consciousness. These divine thoughts come to us from within our deeper, seemingly dormant consciousness, which is sometimes called, the Christ Consciousness, meaning the same 'mind' or spiritual knowing that was in Christ Jesus.
To many Bible scholars, this latter view can be a bit confusing, since some biblical stories of angels, do make more than one reference to visitations from angels, in the flesh, who have appeared to someone and given the divine message needed. Also, in Hebrews, Chapter 13 of the Bible, (quotation shown at top of this article) a specific caution is given concerning any 'strangers' we humanly meet because a stranger just might have been an angel, sent to us from God, even though we didn't recognize such a possibility, at the time.
Through my long years of spiritual study, I've come to an expanded view of angels that I'd like to share. This view does not negate any of the commonly held opinions about what angels actually are. It merely adds another dimension to the view of angels that might not limit the divine Intelligence as to how they appear in our lives.
To begin this expanded view of angels, we first need to recognize the two, conflicting categories of thoughts which come to our consciousness every day. In the first category, we accept the thoughts of our lives as material beings, who are on our own, cut off from God and the divine, spiritual realm of eternal life and harmony that once benefited us. This category of thoughts follows the notion that material existence is the 'be all and end all' of our reality. In the materialistic belief of the greater reality, we are thought to be 'on our own', battling with the evil of this dimension because God is somewhere else, in a spiritual realm called Heaven. The mental state dominated by this view is often called, 'the carnal mind'. It believes what the five physical senses perceive and report, and little else.
The second category of thought rises above the fleshly identity, and physical view of reality, from physics (material realm) to metaphysics (spiritual realm) It reaches above the sod, so to speak, into the unseen realm of Spirit, God. This type of thinking is based more upon accepting a meta-physical, (rather than physical) sense of all things and identities, despite human appearances of finite form. It recognizes a God of Spirit, in a more personal-relationship way, finding God and the kingdom of God within the consciousness (the universal Christ Consciousness) of each and every individual. It views humanity as still God's own spiritual children, existing in a greater, invisible, spiritual dimension, which exists right where the physical universe seems to be the true substance of reality, but is not.
From the earliest biblical writings, metaphysical principles can be found in the Bible and throughout enlightened individuals in almost every culture. In today's world, for example, the term, the "Christ Consciousness" can be found in the teachings of various religions such as, Christian Science, founded by Mary Baker Eddy; Unity, founded by Charles Fillmore with his wife, Myrtle; and The Infinite Way, founded by Joel Goldsmith. I'm sure that some of these metaphysical principles are found in many other religions, as well.
My expanded view of angels arises from this second category of thought and belief. It arises from the belief that when Christ Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you," he wasn't kidding. (See Luke 17:21; New King James Bible Version). The kingdom of God is in our deep, conscious knowing. It is in this innate knowing because, as spiritual, rather than material beings, we have never been disconnected from our God-source at all. Just as the sunbeam cannot be disconnected from its Sun-source, we cannot be separated (and were never separated in the past) from our God-source—Spirit. In other words, we are still in Spirit's realm, despite all appearances to the contrary. The material experience, as the ultimate reality, is a state of self-deception.
In our own, real and true, inner spiritual consciousness, our actual link with God exists—and living within this link, we already live within God's universe and spiritual Law, rather than a material universe governed by physical law. In other words, we actually live and have our very being in the Infinite Intelligence that is God. Within this 'kingdom' dwelling within our spiritual consciousness, we are at one with the God-Source, forever.
Thus, God is not separated from us, nor have we ever been cut off from God's spiritual realm. (This is important in our quest for angels.) But this realm cannot be accessed through any of the five, physical senses. It is within our deeper conscious remembrance. (See my September 2010 article entitled, "A Spiritual View of Emanation"). And it is in this divine, forever connection, that my expanded view of angels emerges.
Because the knowing of God flows through every single one of us from within, the divine Intelligence is able to communicate with us directly through divine thoughts, when we are receptive; BUT, when we are not receptive to what our divine Source is trying to let us know, God is able to reach any or all others, through the universal Christ Consciousness, to bring to us the divine message of spiritual truth that delivers us from whatever threatens us.
In other words, the divine Intelligence (that we're all connected to from within) is fully able to commission someone else, to come into contact with us and say certain things, or instruct us on something, that God has put into their more receptive human consciousness. God is always with us, in the invisible kingdom of Spirit, wherever we go. We are never alone in our being, however much the physical manifestation of a fleshly self seems to make it so.
I've watched this scenario of ordinary people coming to another's aid, (almost miraculously) many times in our human experience. Just the right person came along for someone needing help, or a stranger bumped into them, possibly, in the grocery store, and told them the specific message, warning or words they needed to hear. This means that God is able to commission ordinary people, through divine impulse or thoughts, to become a ministering angel for us, at any time in our human experience. Probably, there have even been times when each of us has played the part of an angel without ever realizing that we had blessed someone else in such a way.
As I've witnessed, usually the stranger, who becomes our messenger from God, is someone quite ordinary. The divine Intelligence doesn't frighten us with too seemingly super-natural events, unless we can handle it mentally. Everything God does for Its children comes about in a gentle and harmless way. Many of the individuals in the biblical stories, who experienced rather dramatic things, (like Moses' parting the Red Sea) had grown, mentally and spiritually beyond the norm, to be able to handle such things with mental balance or without a false sense of egoistic power.
So, there's my expanded-angel view: I think God cannot be limited in any way, shape or form. Angels can exist any way, and how, the divine Spirit decides—so I don't think we can rule out the possibility of ordinary-people angels, as being assigned by God, with a particular mission to bless someone in the human experience (when they didn't sense Spirit's loving presence and control over all, when they needed it.) This has shown me that I should absolutely not look down on anyone; for, every stranger I meet could bless me, or I could bless them—if the divine intention is for it to happen. Because of our divine link (the universal Christ Consciousness within) God is perfectly able to work through ordinary people (maybe even disreputable-looking people) to become divine messengers for someone in need.
When we realize that Christ Jesus was showing us our own divine, conscious link to God, then we also discover that this sacred consciousness has been revealed to humanity throughout history. These metaphysical principles are not new to humanity, and the realm of Spirit, God, has been studied and approached by most religion seekers around the world. The Bible reports: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24; King James Bible Version)..
So, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, my expanded angel theory does not negate any other opinion on the subject of angels. I don't limit the divine Spirit of God to bring about whatever angelic message, or being, is required, for any given person, place, or thing. The universal Christ Consciousness is always alive and well within each of us, even when we don't realize its presence is with us. When receptive to the divine thoughts that come to us from this higher consciousness, we don't need a lot of help from others in receiving a certain message.
But for those times when I'm not so receptive to the spiritual 'voice' within, I'm not proud.—the divine Spirit (God) can commission anyone It likes, to contact me. I just love the fact that there ARE angels to help us, one way or another, when we need spiritual help.
Concerning the subject of 'strangers' we meet, Jesus showed his followers, once in a parable: "…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me".' (Matthew 25:40; New King James Bible Version). I think he means that, in their true, spiritual identities, 'the least of these' (human strangers or neighbors) are certainly our spiritual equals in the invisible, but ever-present, kingdom of God. For, in our true, and greater reality, we are all Spirit's own children, whole, free, and equally loved.