Angels: God’s Messengers And Spirit Army by Beyond Today (Peter Eddington with Tom Robinson and Scott Ashley)
In the evening portion of the Sabbath day, after I came home from a dinner with some fellow brethren of my congregation, I found this particular booklet waiting for me. When I looked up the title, I saw it as being identical to a sermon given more than a decade ago by a pastor, and lo and behold, the sermon had been given by the same gentleman, including a great deal of shared content. Is it possible that this booklet had been in the works for a dozen years? At any rate, I read the booklet as soon as possible (the next morning) and thought it would be worthwhile to share my own thoughts and observations about this particular booklet. For one, I would like to say that I am pleased to read a booklet about angels, seeing as the subject is of great interest to the world at large  but not a subject that has been discussed very much on an official level within the Church of God as a whole. It is good to see this subject addressed in such a thoughtful manner, laying a sound biblical context for the subject and also giving at least some voice to the author’s personal angel stories.
As a booklet, this particular volume is only about fifty pages long, making it a fairly easy read for most people. In terms of its structure, this booklet is divided into various sections. The first section is an introduction that, like the sermon message given by the author in response to a request by young adults in the Cincinnati East congregation, discusses the popular accounts of angels within society. After that come a discussion of the origin of the spirit realm based on what is given in the Scriptures. A section on the numbers of angels and the meaning of the biblical expression YWHW Sabaoth (or “The Lord Of Hosts”) follows, and then a look at the Bible’s comments on the appearance of angels in various forms. A short biographical sketch of leading angels, namely Michael and Gabriel, is next, along with a discussion of different kinds of angels. From this discussion the author moves to a discussion of the angelic purpose of serving God and mankind as well as some personal encounters of angelic encounters, before the author concludes his discussion.
There is certainly a great deal more that could be said about the subject matter at hand. The book does include a great deal of sidebars that show the art history of how angels are portrayed throughout history as well as a discussion on demonology, another subject of intense contemporary interest. The sidebars demonstrate some impressive research into the history of Renaissance baby angels, the griffons of the Ancient Near East and their biblical origins, as well as the pagan origin of the halo. Overall, therefore, this is a booklet worthy of high praise. It gives a thoughtful and well-researched discussion of an important biblical subject and provides a biblical and personal discussion of the subject that avoids a great deal of speculation and that prompts further questions and implications for future messages and episodes of Beyond Today to address. It also demonstrates a willingness to deal with the concerns of the time and not merely recycle older material as is the case with some. The tone struck is one of thoughtful moderation concerning the accounts of angels given in various books of the Bible. A particularly important aspect of angels is one I will have to muse on in the future, and that is the contrast between the way that demons tend to gab on and on, drawing a great deal of attention to themselves, while angels do their task and deliver their message and then leave, seeking the credit to go to God rather than to themselves. There is much to reflect on here.
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