Doreen June Baldwin

Is Nana an Angel?

IS NANA AN ANGEL
Rev. Kevin Airrington
March 15, 2012

Doreen June BaldwinRecently, my beloved mother, Doreen June Baldwin went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She joined her Mother, Rose Hemphill, her Father, Glen Hemphill, her brother Emory Hemphill her brother-in-law Melvin Peterson and others that went before her.  2 Timothy 4:6-8 reminds us that Jesus Christ Himself placed her crown of righteousness upon her head.  On earth, she was a believer in Jesus Christ and there is no question that, “…absent from the body present from the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 5:8, that Mom is indeed in Heaven…she took her last breath on earth on March 3rd, 2012 and her very next breath was in Heaven.  It was her 72nd birthday.  I cannot think of a more glorious birthday present than to have a homecoming like that!

My niece posted an article on Facebook shortly after, that frankly many adults have asked or assumed. The Post went something like this: “My Nana passed away, she is an angel.”  It is possible that you or I have heard it asked something like this, “Do people who have died become angels?”  I realize that many books and movies portray people changing into angels or vice versa (usually as part of the plot of a comedy — John Travolta —Michael —the smell of cookie dough comes to mind :)).   A movie or a book is hardly a source of information you would want to use when seriously considering a topic like this one.  Sadly, many people, including many genuine, well-meaning Christians will do just that — use a movie that is intended for entertainment as their source of information.  You better not be doing this Pastor!

Therefore, I have written this essay to clarify these two points:

  • Angels and people are different.
  • What happens to people’s bodies when they die?

You are welcome to disagree with me; however, that does not make your point of view Biblical or “Christian”.  In fact, you are welcome to believe anything; you can even believe that the large rock in your back yard is a god, but don’t expect me not to laugh at you and don’t expect me to accept you as part of a global Christian family that worships the risen Jesus Christ.  But, I will still be your neighbor and share my garden tomatoes with you (unless you don’t like them, in that case, we can throw them at each other) and have weekend barbecues with you…go to each other’s kid’s ball games — you get the idea.  Just because we have different belief systems does not mean we cannot be friends.  Unless you are a complete whack job…in that case you stay on your side of the zoo! 🙂 

ANGLES AND PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT

 The Scripture speaks about the creation of angels; therefore, they have not existed from all eternity (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2, 5). Colossians 1:16-17 explains:

Colossians 1:16-17

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

The Bible also tells us that the angels witnessed the laying of the foundations of the earth.  Job 38:4-7, “all the sons of God shouted for joy” when He laid the foundations of the earth.  This places the creation of the angels in early first week.  By breaking down Psalm 104 we can see that the angels were created on the second day of the creation week.  See my article; “When did God create the angels.” (http://airrington.com/?p=1384)

The Bible describes some angels as having the appearance of “men” or having “human form”, the Bible makes it obvious that angles are not people.  Further, nowhere in the Bible does it say that one member of creation changes into another.  Some of you will want to argue evolution at this point and I am more than happy to discuss evolution, day age theory, the gap theory, or any other fairy – tale you want to discuss but I want to focus on the truth of the Bible and that of angels in this essay.  (I have written and or stolen [author noted J] many essays on creation & evolution.  Search my site for Creation and see what you can find. http://airrington.com/?s=creation

Matthew 22:30 tells us that angels do not marry nor do they reproduce and in Hebrews 12:22-23 we are told that when we get to the heavenly Jerusalem we will be met by an innumerable company of angels and the spirits of righteous men—two groups of beings.

Angels are a company or association, not a race descended from a common ancestor.  We are called “sons of men” but angels are never referred to in the Bible as “sons of angels”.

In Genesis 1:26-27 only people were created in God’s image. We must be very special to God.  We alone are created in His image.  We alone did God send His Only Son to die upon a cross and be tortured for the redemption of mankind.   God cursed the ground for our sake. (Genesis 3:17)  We alone can be forgiven.

All people sin and only some angel’s sin.  Only people can be forgiven.  Christ came to die for the sins of humanity, not of angels. Those humans who have trusted Christ as their Savior will eventually judge angels.  The angels that have sinned await their judgment:

Matthew 25:41

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

elievers are a new creation in Christ. Consequently, we share His exalted position.

Ephesians 2:6

 “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

he final state of redeemed humans is far above angels – believers will be conformed to the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29

 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

The ones who have believed in Jesus will eventually judge angels.

1 Corinthians 6:3

 “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

The Bible describes several meetings of people with angels on Earth. Further, the Bible shows us that people and angels also exist together in heaven at the same time. Our primary source of such information comes from the book of Revelation, at the very end of the Bible. The Book of Revelation chapter 4-7 is a lengthy passage showing that angels are not the only creation in Heaven. Those that appear in this single passage include the following:

  • Twenty-four elders (chapter 4, verse 4).
  • Four living creatures (chapter 4, verse 6), whose descriptions are similar to the cherubim by God’s throne in Ezekiel chapter 10.
  • A “strong angel” (chapter 5, verse 2).
  • Jesus Christ (chapter 5, verses 5-10 obviously refers to Jesus).
  • Tens of thousands of angels (chapter 5, verse 11).
  • “The souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (chapter 6, verses 9-11). It is clear that these are human martyrs who died for the cause of Christianity (and also clear that more will be joining them).
  • “A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (chapter 7, verses 9 and 10).

Notice that not everyone is an angel, although everyone is by the throne of God in heaven. Reading this passage, you also discover that although white robes were given to the martyrs (chapter 6, verse 11) that there is no description here (or anywhere else) of anyone being changed into an angel after they go to heaven. People and angels are different here on Earth, and they remain different in heaven.

WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE’S BODIES WHEN THEY DIE?

So, what does happen to people when they die?

Matthew 10:28 talks to us about what happens to our body if we are not saved and we die.  The scripture reads this way, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:28

 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

If on this earth we failed to have a personal relationship with Christ then our physical body will be destroyed in Hell.  Since I have personally seen dead people here on earth, and we know from reading scripture we will get a new body when we die.  In other words, when someone is dead, their body is left here, forever. People that go to hell will experience more than torment…they will experience a physical death repeatedly.  This is also speaking about the eternal separation from Jesus.  It does not mean that we will cease to exist; rather it means that we will exist forever in our sinful state.  We will wish that death will come, but it never will.

Luke, chapter 16 verses 19-31 contains another interesting passage that records what happens to two men who have died.   Just as Heaven is a real place so is Hell.  And, again, you will see that neither man is described as an angel.

1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 35-58 gives us a complete picture of what happens to the bodies of those of us who have gotten right with God.  What is significant about this passage is the fact that it does not tell us that these people turn into angels. It does reveal that people get incorruptible (immortal) bodies.

Similarly, Matthew chapter 17 records a passage often referred to as “The Transfiguration” in verses 1-8. Here, for a short time Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah, who had been “dead” for hundreds of years. Notice that neither Moses nor Elijah is referred to as looking like angels.

God has prepared us for the purpose of being clothed with our heavenly body.

2 Corinthians 5:4-5

 “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”

Although we do not know exactly what our new bodies will be like, we know that they will be like Jesus.  1 John 3:2 that says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

1 John 3:2

 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Either that means like him in his glorified state as per Revelation1:9-18 or like him in his resurrected state that the disciples saw on and after that Resurrection day.  I believe it is the resurrected state, the resurrected state being, about 33 years old.

  • “…he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
  • “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15
  • “…we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection… we shall also live with him.” Romans 6:5-8
  • “…we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:49

Our bodies will be changed instantaneously when we are raised.  1/6,000,000,000th of a second to make a person’s eyeball twinkle: pretty-fast!  This gives a whole new meaning to “last breath here, first breath in Heaven”…she did not suffer… 🙂 Hey Mom, could you pick up a gallon of milk on your way to Heaven.  Well, don’t think I’ll have time.  hehe

1 Corinthians 15:51-53

 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

Each of us will have a unique body as God determines, just as a single seed produces its own unique plant.  We all look different…and it pleases God.   (Think about how much more grandeur a plant is than its seed!  My Heavenly Father loves me…yes, He does…oh yes He does!!! See also Mark 4:30-32, 1 Peter 1:22-23)

1 Corinthians 15:38-43

“But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body…So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:”

Sometimes people ask, why do we have to die?  Why did Nana have to die?  Why did my neighbor have to die? To gain our new body, our current body must die. (See also Philippians 1:21-23)

1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (See also Philippians 1:21-23)

“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”

Our new body will be incorruptible.  Our current body is corruptible.  This ol’ body we have just doesn’t stand up to all the abuses that we put it through.  Many people are often surprised to learn that at one time this body was designed to live forever.  With the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden this body became corruptible.  Before the flood people lived to be hundreds of years old.  The oldest living person was Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).    (See also 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, In context: 1 Corinthians 15:35-58)

1 Corinthians 15:42-44  

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Our new body will be glorified.  Our current body is dishonorable.  It is hard to imagine our glorified bodies in Heaven.  Let me see if I can explain this in a way that will make sense even to me. The you in heaven will be the same you that is here on earth except a much more glorious and beautiful you.  You will be you, except a better you. As Joni Eareckson Tada* puts it, “You will be a peach of a person in Heaven.”  (In context: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38)

 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Our new body will be powerful.  Our current body is weak. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (In context: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38)

Our new body will be spiritual.  Our current bodies are natural. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (IN context 1 Corinthians 15:35-38)

Our new bodies will be from God, eternal and in the heavens.  Paul wants us to be certain that we understand that there is MORE.  More of what?  More to this earthly tent.  There is more to you and I than this earthly body.  The body you currently occupy may be punished by illness, injustice, or age…but your new body will come from God and it will be eternal. Hallelujah!!!

1 Corinthians 5:1-5

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.   For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”

Like Moses and Elijah, our bodies will likely be able to converse with others. (See also Matthew 17:2-3)

Luke 9:28-32

“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.  And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.  And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.  But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.”

We will speak a pure language that we may be able to call on the name of the Lord and serve Him.  In 1 Corinthians 13:12 Paul talks about understanding in part but after the rapture, we will understand in the full.  Many people believe that the pure language that the Bible speaks about is Hebrew.  I know don’t that there is any way for us to know for certain what language we will speak in Heaven, what I do know for certain is that there will be no language barriers and that we will understand each other.

Zephaniah 3:8-9

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”

People who currently have physical disabilities will not have them in their new bodies.  There are no wheelchairs in heaven.  Throughout scripture, we have read that we get a new glorified body.  I am in a wheelchair here on earth.  I believe one day I will walk again and this is something I promised my mom.  My mom will see me walk again; I will just have to keep that promise to her when she sees me in Heaven.

Isaiah 35:3-5

“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.”

We will have no racial or cultural distinctions.

Colossians 3:9-11

“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;   And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”

SUMMARY

In this brief document, I have shown that angels and people are different creatures altogether.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that one member of creation changes into another.  Both people and angels are created beings and they both have similarities, this is true.  But, people and angels also have much dissimilarity as well.  The Bible describes several meetings on earth and in Heaven both with angels and with people.  There is no description here (or anywhere else) of anyone being changed into an angel after they go to heaven. People and angels are different here on Earth, and they remain different in heaven.

The Bible goes into great depth to describe what happens to our resurrected body in Heaven and for those that do not know Christ and spend eternity in Hell and what happens to the body, we leave behind.  In those descriptions at no time does the Bible ever mention the body ever changing into an angel.

CLOSING COMMENTS

Of course, there is one last important issue to consider. Not everyone gets to go to heaven. Although you might not like that idea, the Bible has been proven to be true, in every detail, and it reveals that only those who have gotten right with God will go to heaven. Christianity is not a blind faith.  Christianity is not a club.  It is the only religion that can prove itself, and a main source of that proof is the Bible.  Although it is becoming less common, there are still people who tell others that they follow Christianity “because it feels right” (or use wording like that).  You are not saved because grandma or Uncle Frank was.  Heaven is not guaranteed to any of us unless we know Jesus.  Because we think we are good or we go to church on Sunday does not get you to Heaven.

Maybe you just don’t believe; this is unfortunate since there is a lot of evidence supporting Christianity.

Some of that proof comes from Scientific Evidence, Prophecy (The Messianic Prophecy, Fulfilled Prophecy Dealing with Nations), Textual Evidence, The Proof of People Living at the Time of Christ, and The Proof of Historians.  If you would like more details from any of those, please let me know. Frankly, I would like to get a chance to meet you in heaven one day—and you will probably be looking pretty good in your glorified body, right?  If you have not done so already, please get right with God.

Romans 10:9

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

King James Bible

What must you confess with your mouth?

John 3:16 BELIEVE ACTS 3:19 REPENT REVELATION 3:20 INVITE

There are no magic words…but you can pray something like this and repent of your sins.

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, He was resurrected from the dead, He is alive today, and He hears my prayer.  I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”

If you believe in Jesus and that he died for you and rose from the dead…repented from your sins and invited Him to become part of your life…if you prayed that prayer or one similar and meant it then you are saved and on your way to Heaven should you die or the rapture happen.  Please email me and tell me about what you have just done: kevin@airrington.com.  If you have any questions or need help finding a church I would be happy to help.  For starters; pray every day, read your Bible (I prefer the King James Version), get into a good Bible believing Church where the Word is preached and find/start a good Bible Study.  God, Bless You.

Copyright © 2012, Airrington Ministries, Pastor Kevin R Airrington All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission.  All scripture quoted is from the King James Bible.

Image result for Joni Tada Erickson* Joni Eareckson Tada — is an evangelical Christian, author, radio host, and founder of Joni and Friends, an organization “accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community.”  As a teenager, Tada enjoyed riding horses, hiking, tennis, and swimming. On July 30, 1967, she dove into Chesapeake Bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water. She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down.

She married Ken Tada in 1982. They live in Calabasas, California.

In 2010, Tada announced that she had been diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

For more information about Joni; her books, paintings, her ministry, and her personal life please visit: http://www.joniandfriends.org/.  Her brief bio above was stolen from Wikipedia.

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