Vol.XII No.VI Pg.7
August 1975

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Brother Turner:

Do the scriptures teach that all saints have guardian angels? G.E.


You are urged to look at these proof texts as objectively as possible. Dan. 12:1 is often cited as evidence of a national guardian angel. But Michael is Gods archangel (Ju. 9), and may simply indicate the means by which God delivers His people. God works through His angels (Psm. 34:7; 91:11; Heb. 1:14), and we assume the point to be proven when we use these passages as though they taught we have individual guardian angels.

Heb. 11:14 is in a context of speaking or teaching from God. It shows Christ is superior to angels, hence Christ is the superior messenger. The angels represent the messengers of the past dispensation, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation through Christ. They did this by delivering and administering the Old Covenant (Acts 7:53 Gal. 3:19). In context, note Heb. 2:2 —For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast... etc. There is nothing ere to justify the idea that every saint has a guardian angel.

Acts 12:15 shows that first century Jews thought Peter had a spirit counterpart, but offers no proof that this was so. Other Jews thought ones affliction was the direct result of his, or his parents sin (Jn. 9:2). We can not accept such passages as proof that they rightly understood matters.

Matt. 18:10 is the most definitive all proof texts offered to affirm individual guardian angels, and here everything hinges on a single word — their angels. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

There are angels in indefinite numbers about Gods throne (Rev. 5:11); also seven angels in particular (8:2); and one who offers incense with the prayers of all saints (8:3). Another tells John he is a fellow-servant of Johns, and of his brethren, and of those who keep the sayings of this book (22:8-9). My point is that our or their angels in heaven could refer to angels who minister in the interest of saints as a class, rather than a particular angel assigned as guardian for each particular saint.

Matt. 18:10 clearly teaches us that heaven is concerned about humble children of God — it is akin to saying God cares (1 Pet. 5:7). This may involve individual guardian angels, but I must say I do not find enough evidence to draw that conclusion.

For closing consideration: Can one know when his angel has acted? How? Who is responsible for ones thoughts and actions, the person or the angel? It seems to me the guardian angel concept is conducive to the many errors of subjectivism. One assigns to the angel such influence as suits him; and is drawn away from an objective dependence upon the guidance of Gods Spirit in the written word. Our feelings become our guide, emotions rule, and we become less responsive to truth clearly taught in The Bible.