Angels and War

This chapter has been removed from the future book, The Fallen Ones (it will not be included), so I publish it here for general reading:

It may come as a surprise to many people, but angels actually engage in human-like warfare. I am not speaking of war in the heavenly realm, though there is evidence of that, I am speaking of war here on earth. Angels will kill human soldiers during warfare, in order to make sure that the side they want to win, does in fact win. Throughout history there are eyewitness reports that support the belief that angels engage in literal warfare. We will read a few such stories in this chapter.

Jewish legend also tells of angels who hurled arrows, great hailstones, and fire and brimstone at Pharaoh’s forces during the Hebrews’ flight from Egypt. (Gaebelein, What the Bible Says About Angels, page 45)

The angel Gabriel appeared several times to Pastor Roland Buck in Boise, Idaho in the late 1970s and one of the things which Gabriel told Roland was that when the Egyptians were racing toward the Hebrews that many angels were attacking them by pulling off the wheels from the chariots and throwing lightning bolts at them. (When I first read his book, Angels on Assignment, in the mid-1980s I actually did not believe it. When I started re-reading it as part of the research for this book, I expect to be speaking against the book, but I am older and wiser, and I now believe it.)

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant so he could see what Elisha could see, and he saw thousands of horses and chariots and angels waiting to engage in battle. And just one angel killed 185,000 Assyrians soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35). I believe that this angel did not merely wave his hand and 185,000 soldiers dropped dead, though he could have done it that way, I believe he actually killed them with a sword. (And don’t you know that it was Messiah himself, theologians tell us! Where were the thousands upon thousands of angels? They were busy playing harps, so Messiah had to do it!) But his victory came only after the Assyrians had already captured the rest of the cities of the nation, and killed many Israelites. Jerusalem was surrounded and about to be defeated. Then King Hezekiah pleaded with God, and God answered. He should have pleaded much sooner.

Later, an angel killed King Herod because he did not give glory to God but took it for himself:

Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give God the glory. And he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:23)

In this case, it is clear that he was stricken with an illness that killed him, likely within days.

In A.D. 433 the Germanic Goths invaded Gaul (France). St. Albin was then archbishop of the city of Embrun. He prayed to St. Marcellinus for protection. The Goths had laid siege to the city, and eventually reached the immediate fortifications. The Goths were defeated by the intervention of a legion of angels who fought them, turning their weapons back upon them, and throwing them from the walls of the city. This was seen by the Gauls and the Goths. (

In 451 Attila the Hun approached Rome to attack it. Thereupon, Pope Leo went to Attila to plead that he leave them and not attack. To everyone’s astonishment, Attila withdrew his army. When asked why he replied, “While pope Leo was speaking, I distinctly saw two shining beings of venerable aspect, and manifestly not of this earth, standing by his side. They had flaming swords in their hands, and menaced me with death if I refused to withdraw my army.” (Damasus, Lives of the Popes of the Middle Ages)

In 1429, France was in a state of despair, there was a famine, a breakdown in law and order with roaming bands of robbers, and Charles was likely to abandon his claim to the throne. To make matters worse, it was during the hundred years war with England and the military was in such a state of hopelessness that 1600 English troops defeated 4,000 French soldiers. In response to the crisis, clergy traveled throughout the county and urged the people to pray for God’s help.

Little did they know that God had already prepared a peasant girl to save the nation. Joan of Arc (c. 1412 – 30 May 1431) said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria from the age of 13, who told her to wage war along with the armies of Charles VII (who had not yet officially become king), against the English. At the age of 16, she went to a nearby town and asked the army commander to take her to the French Royal Court at Chinon. She was turned away, but returned the next January and insisted on joining the king, that she was their only help.

“Although I would rather have remained spinning [wool] at my mother’s side . . . yet must I go and must I do this thing, for my Lord wills that I do so.” (Pernoud, Régine. Joan of Arc By Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 35.)

She was 17 when she first met with Charles VII in 1429. To make a long story short:

When the Dauphin Charles granted Joan’s urgent request to be equipped for war and placed at the head of his army, his decision must have been based in large part on the knowledge that every orthodox, every rational option had been tried and had failed. Only a regime in the final straits of desperation would pay any heed to an illiterate farm girl who said that the voice of God was instructing her to take charge of her country’s army and lead it to victory. (Richey, Stephen W. Joan of Arc: A Military Appreciation.)

Yet, once Charles VII became king, rather than wage war, he negotiated with the English and disbanded his army, while the English still held much of France. So, Joan gathered a group of fighting men under her command and waged war directly with the English with “sudden, repeated, and decisive victories” (Ibid). She was captured by the English in May of 1430, and burned at the stake as a heretic one year later.

Because of her trial and retrial after her death, there exists much eye-witness testimony by people who knew her while she was growing up, or fought with her in battle. These documents still exist. These firsthand testimonies show that Joan had a dynamic personality and confidence which allowed her to whip-up the morale of the French to a high level so they could engage in battle and win, whereas they had previously been beaten down with despair. At the same time, her presence on the battlefield caused doubt and fear among the English. Even though she was captured, the French were able to become victorious. Which means that she accomplished her mission.

Joan is reported to have said of angels, “I saw them with my bodily eyes as clearly as I see you. And when they departed, I used to weep and wish that they would take me with them.” (Gaebelein, What the Bible Says About Angels, page 22)

Why would God want the French to win a war against the English? The book of Daniel says:

. . . the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He wills. (4:32)

So this tells me that God did not want England to rule France, but wanted the French to be a separate nation. It did not necessarily mean that he approved of the French rulers more than the English, or somehow was with the French people over the English. Not at all. This also means God did not necessarily approve of the French church over the English church, as both were ruled by the Roman Catholic Church during that period. God merely wanted France to be France, and not under the thumb of the English, the way Ireland and Wales have been.

In the mid-16th century, the Asian tribe of Badagars were a warlike people and were intent on killing a local missionary, Francis Xavier, and wiping out all Christians in the towns of Trauancor and Comorinum. Xavier went alone to confront them. The advancing army came to a stop, “spellbound” by what they saw. The leaders of the army claimed that a giant figure stood beside Xavier with lightning in his eyes. So the army retreated. (Lewis, Angels A to Z, page 68) (A Dictionary of Miracles, Imitative, Realistic, and Dogmatic: with Illustrations, Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, 1894, page 391)

It was in 1900. Menacing groups of rebels were gathering outside the walls of Peking. They were called “Boxers,” a near translation of their own Chinese title meaning “Rightous, Harmonious, First.” Encouraged by dowager Empress Tz’u Tsi, they were revolting against the government of China because they believed it was adversely influenced by foreigners.

“Death to the foreigners” was their bloodthirsty battle cry. Christian missionaries were tacitly exempt from this fate in recognition of their unselfish service. But such special consideration was not always to be depended upon. So, many missionaries, including the family of Reverend Chauncey Goodrich (Congregational missionary to China, 1865-1925) among them, had fled to the Methodist Missionary Compound in Peking. Each man among them took his turn watching by the compound.

Chinese servants of the Goodrich family who went into the compound with them said that Boxer revolutionists were afraid to attack the mission compounds, because of a prevalent belief among them that “shen” (spirits, genii, gods) were on the side of the missionaries and would appear to protect them.

Tensions grew and by June 20th, the missionaries and their families left the compound and marched into the British Legation for greater protection. Chinese employers of the British Embassy also said that the Boxers certainly would not attack the missionaries.

But local authorities insisted that every precaution be taken and, from June 20th to August I4th, only government soldiers and marines were allowed on the Peking wall to keep lookout for enemy movements.

But once the missionaries were no longer seen on the walls, the number of Boxer attacks increased.

It was during an attack by a superior force that the defenders noticed strangely illogical behavior among the attacking insurrectionists. With more than adequate forces, they had fought their way to within seconds of their objective when they abruptly halted and began to point upward.

The whole attacking force, seemingly filled with consternation, suddenly turned and fled. Some were captured, and when asked why they were running, they replied in obvious terror:

“We saw the walls suddenly swarming with angels in white.

Everyone began shouting that the ‘shen’ (the gods) had come down to fight for the foreigners and our cause was lost.”

(Adapted from Knights Masterbook of New Illustrations by Walter B, Knight (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956). With additions from letters of missionary’s family.) (Carter, Hand on the Helm, page 157-158)

Arch Whitehouse in his book, Heroes and Legends of World War I, says that after the battle of Mons, during the retreat, some Coldstream Guards got lost in the area of the Mormal Forest and dug-in to survive as best they could. Then a tall slim female angel wearing a white flowing gown approached the men and led the Guardsmen across an open field to a hidden, sunken road which they followed and allowed them to escape. (Whitehouse A., Heroes and Legends of World War I, Doubleday & Co., New York, 1964)

There were likely many praying Christians among those men, with praying relatives back home, so an angel was sent to save the whole group! But can angels be female? A. C. Gaebelein said that a servant girl of John Wesley said she had seen a female angel:

. . . clothed in white, “glistening like silver” and “unspeakably musical,” who foretold to her certain events which came to pass. Upon questioning her about her experience, Wesley said that he was “soon convinced that she was not only sincere, but deep in grace; and therefore incapable of deceit.” Wesley was troubled, though, that the girl identified the angel as female, but excused her by saying that “from the face, the voice, and the apparel, she might easily mistake him for a female . . .” (What the Bible Says About Angels, page 70)

But some people who won’t believe anything not clearly stated in the Bible, as though the Bible could contain everything. They say that there are no female angels mentioned in the Bible, therefore they do not exist. It is true that the Bible does not say that female angels exist, but it also DOES NOT say that they do not exist. To make the claim that because they are not stated to exist in the Bible means they cannot exist, is dumb, and just plain faulty reasoning that sadly does exist. Since there have been many honest reports of female angels, it was no mistake.

Another angel-battle occurred in July 1918, near Bethune, France. The Germans saw what appeared to be cavalry approaching from a distance so they began shelling in that direction and let loose much machine gun fire, but no rider fell and they kept coming. As they got closer the Germans charged toward them, then suddenly retreated in panic. German prisoners of war later told the story that the cavalry that charged them was dressed all in white, and the leader had golden hair and carrying a sword. (Lewis, Angels A to Z, page 69)

“Alley Oop” might have been the name of this bomber. But Captain Paul Helander had a multitude of good reasons for calling his shining new B-24 Liberator “The Good Shepherd.”

At first the fellows couldn’t understand why Paul didn’t choose a more glamorous name for his plane, which led his squadron in flights from England over enemy territory. But when “The Good Shepherd” continued to fly unscathed over targets like Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg, the boys began to think his place led a charmed life.

For twenty missions “The Good Shepherd” came and went, flying serenely through flack-studded skies and enemy fighters.

“Then came our toughest assignment,” said Helander. “We were up at 3 a.m. Our target was Berlin . . . in daylight. High over Berlin our ‘Good Shepherd’ received a direct hit.”

Captain Helander, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and other medals, then related how he was seriously wounded, how the co-pilot brought the plane home, and how he awoke in a British hospital the next day. None of the other crew members was hurt.

Weeks later both Helander and “The Good Shepherd” had been patched up. But a new crew had been assigned to the plane. As Helander and his men watched their faithful ship take off, little did they realize they would never see it again. Over Munich that day “The Good Shepherd” had its last flight. It was shot down, and no information concerning the crew’s safety was ever received.

The secret of “The Good Shepherd’s” charmed life while Helander was at the controls was simple. One night, Paul Helander at the age of ten gave his life over to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Paul had learned with the Psalmist that “the Lord is my Shepherd . . . He leadth me.” In all of life’s sunshine and sorrow Paul had in his Saviour a real Friend, a Counsellor, a Guide.

Each time before the big bomber left for a mission Paul would huddle with the crew of “The Good Shepherd” and they would pray for help and guidance. A prayer of thanksgiving was offered as the plane reached its base.

“On the last flight of “The Good Shepherd”, said Paul thoughtfully, “I watched the fellows climb into the plane. They did not know the Lord, and they left on that mission without prayer. That is why I believe they never returned.” (Dennis, These Live On, page 18-19. The stories from this book originally appeared in numerous other publications shortly after WW2.)

If they made numerous missions and were never shot down, and it was in answer to prayer, how exactly did that happen? I believe that several angels went with them on every flight and deflected anti-aircraft fire and bullets from hitting them.

For weeks Chaplain Johnson had been planning this mission. Serving his men on an island in the South Pacific, he was anxious to observe the exact dangers faced by his men during combat.

Now that the CO had granted permission. Johnson began to prepare in the early hours of the morning to take part in a bombing raid over a group of Jap occupied islands several hundred miles away.

The mission was a complete success with only little enemy opposition. The full squadron of planes directed their course homeward. After covering a short distance, the plane in which Johnson was flying began to lose altitude. The engines seemed to fade out.

The God of heaven, however, was navigating and piloting this plane and had provided an island below on which to land. A safe landing was made near the beachhead on one side of the island. The fliers learned later that the Japs were just one-half mile in each direction, yet their landing had not been discovered.

After a thorough examination of the engines, the staff sergeant very slowly came to Johnson and said, “Chaplain, for many months now you have been preaching to us fellows about the great needs of praying and believing God to answer in times of great distress and trouble. You have told us that God answers prayer and that He does it right away. Well, sir, now is your chance to prove what you have been preaching. We’re out of gas . . . home base several hundred miles away . . . and almost surrounded by Japs.”

What would you have done?

Chaplain Johnson knew Christ as a Friend and Companion and had seen God answer prayer when offered in the Name of His Son. He knew how to talk direct to heaven.

Johnson began to pray. As he prayed, he began to lay hold of the promises of the Scriptures, and he began to believe that God would work a miracle in their behalf.

All afternoon Johnson was on his knees. As the sun was setting, a ship was sighted on the horizon. It seemed to be heading in toward the island, but it passed and gradually faded away. Night came, and the crew improvised bunks on the ground. Johnson continue to pray.

About 2 a.m. the staff sergeant was strangely roused. Walking to the water’s edge, he there discovered a metal flat which had drifted upon the beach—a barge on which were fifty barrels of high octane gasoline.

Within a few hours the crew reached their home base safely. A careful investigation revealed the skipper of a U.S. tanker, finding his ship in sub-infested waters, had removed his gasoline cargo to remove the danger of a torpedo hit. Barrels of this gasoline were placed on barges and put adrift some 600 miles from where Johnson and the plane crew had been forced down. God had navigated one of these barges through wind and current and beached it only fifty steps from the stranded men. God does perform miracles. He does answer prayer. (Dennis, These Live On, page 48-49)

I can just see an angel flying slowly above the water as he pushes the small barge of gasoline through the water toward its desired destination. But the angel most assuredly had a smile on his face and did not consider it drudgery or a menial job.

Each surging wave pounded over the deck of the small ship, stretching and straining every timber. Sailors struggled from place to place by clinging tenaciously to the slightest handhold.

Suddenly, a mountainous wave engulfed the small vessel, throwing the ship into a dangerous lurch. A cry for help, a violent stream of blasphemous oaths, and a gurgle which faded into the roar of the next wave. “Man overboard!” But rescue was impossible, hopelessly so, in such a heavy sea.

Far away, in Philadelphia, lived the sailor’s mother, a Christian mother. In the dark of the night she awoke thinking of her son, who had shipped months before on a small cargo ship. She was impressed that he was in danger. Even though she did not understand her awakening, after praying for perhaps two or three hours, she felt in her heart that God had answered.

For days afterward she wondered why she had been awakened in the dead of night. Somehow she could no longer feel the need to pray for her boy; rather, she daily praised God for something that she knew He had done for her son.

One day, several weeks later, her front door burst open. “Mother, I’m saved!” Soon he was telling her his story.

He told how a few weeks before his ship had been tossed and beaten in mid-Atlantic by a terrific storm, and he had been carried overboard. Even though a powerful swimmer, he only went deeper. As he was sinking, the awful thought came to his mind, “I’m lost forever.” Suddenly he remembered a hymn that he had often heard in his boyhood days:

There is life in a look at the Crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee,
Then look, sinner, look unto Him and be saved,
Unto Him who was nailed to the tree.

He cried in the agony of his heart, “O God, I look, I look to Jesus.” Then he was carried to the top of the waves and lost consciousness.

Hours later, when the storm had ceased and the battered ship was again out of danger, the sailors came forward to clear the deck. There they found him lying unconscious, crowded up against a bulwark. One wave had carried him over, and another had brought him aboard the ship again. His first words when he finally regained consciousness were, “Thank God, I’m saved.”

When he had finished his story, his mother, with moist eyes, told how God had awakened her in the darkness of that very night, to pray for him. Together they rejoiced in God’s answer in saving his life and his soul. (Dennis, These Live On, page 52-53)

There are many old books full of miracle stories which are no longer in print, yet many used copies are still available at various websites.

It was the morning of Sept. 1st, 1940 in the underground operations of the 11th Group Fighter Command of the Royal Air Force. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his military advisors discussed their next move after previous retreat to Dunkirk. Intelligence reports from indicated an invasion of England by Hitler’s forces was being prepared.

The British had already lost hundreds of planes in the war, and few were readily available. Then suddenly the alert came, 40 planes were reported approaching England from one direction, 60 more from another direction, with more than 80 from another direction.

The Royal Air Force sent up 25 squadrons of planes of the 11th Fighter Command, and tensions rose in the underground command center. Reinforcements were requested from the north, but only 3 squadrons were available.

“What other resources have we?” Churchill asked.
“None, Sir,” was the reply. The room was silent.
“The odds were great; our margin small; the stakes infinite,” Churchill wrote later. [1]

Then unexplainably the war pieces on the wall map were moved eastward. The entire Nazi air flotilla had turned back. Having lost 185 of their aircraft, they retreated. Miraculously, against all probability, the Royal Air Force had won the battle!

Exactly how the Royal Air Force had won against unbelievable odds may never be fully explained, but British Intelligence officers received information from three different members of Hitler’s forces. One was a pilot captured after his crippled plane was drowned in England.

“Why did your formation retreat when only two planes were attacking you?” the intelligence officers asked the prisoner.
“Two!” exclaimed the pilot. “There were hundreds!” [2]

The prisoner was dismissed and the British intelligence officers exchanged puzzled glances. Then a Luftwaffe officer, captured later, asked them, “Where did you get all the planes you threw into the battle over Britain?” The British interrogators masked their surprise. [2]

There had not been a sky full of Royal Air Force planes! Only a few tired pilots, having made their 3rd to 7th mission that day had met that group of bombers. The answer came when a captured Nazi Intelligence officer exclaimed;

“With the striking of your Big Ben clock each evening at nine,” the Nazi told the British Intelligence officer, “you used a secret weapon which we did not understand. It was very powerful and we could find no countermeasure against it.” [3]

Every evening at 9 p.m. the entire British Commonwealth stopped for a “Silent Moment of Prayer.” This prayer movement was started by industrialist W. Tudor Pole who had fought in WWI.

1] Albert La Fay, “Be Ye Men Of Valor,” National Geographic, 08/1965.}
2] Sharing Magazine, 02/1961, San Diego, California.
3] Round The World At Nine O’clock (London: Big Ben Council).
Hand on the Helm, Katherine Pollard Carter, Whitaker House, 1977, page 3-6.

Just imagine, being an angel and flying a fighter plane in WWII while shooting down enemy planes! As exciting as it would have been for a human, I am sure it was even more exciting for the angels, because the angels experienced no fear, only thrills!

A former missionary to China and Tibet, H. A. Baker, relates the account of an American who spent many years in China who could speak both Japanese and Chinese. Some Japanese men of their air force told him how they were sent to attack a certain town in China during WW2. They were in the lead plane and as they neared the town a white cloud covered it. “As his plane neared the cloud he saw a group of angels.” His plane was hit by turbulence and became difficult to control. He repeatedly tried to steer the plane toward the town but the turbulence made it impossible so he went around the town and the other planes followed. But that was one side of the story.

This same American was able to learn that the town was occupied by many Christians who had been praying hard because they were made aware of an impending attack. The Christians did not see the angels, but they did see the planes approach and go around. (Heaven and The Angels, page 132-133)

A letter appeared in Christian Home, a weekly newspaper in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and later reprinted in Weekly Unity, of Kansas City, MO, March 10, 1946. A woman wrote and recounted the miracle her son had during WW2:

My son who is a real Christian boy, is now somewhere in the Pacific war zone. Many months before he left our shores he and I memorized and repeated over and over again that wonderful 91st Psalm. We agreed together that the promises it contained applied to us. We stood upon them in faith, believing and made a covenant with God.

We agreed that, no matter where “Son” might be, at prayer time we would repeat again those verses. It was a sort of tie, binding our hearts and minds no matter how many thousands of miles might lie between us. A few days ago I received a letter from my boy which to me is evidence beyond all possible doubt that God’s promises are real and operative. An excerpt from the letter reads as follows:

“Our convoy was under heavy attack from both air and submarines. Antiaircraft guns chattered incessantly and the crash of heavy guns was deafening.

“Every battle station was manned and operating. One submarine was sighted off our starboard and within firing range. Momentarily we expected to see the wake of a torpedo headed our way, and it was not long in coming. It was a tense moment and I knew that many of the fellows on deck with me were praying.

Suddenly I remembered our covenant with God and the 01st Psalm. I began to say it over again. I know you too must have been praying, for before our very eyes God wrought a miracle. When the torpedo was a short distance from our vessel it seemed as though something went wrong with its mechanism, for it swerved sharply in its course and passed to our stern and disappeared.

Shortly after that a second torpedo was fired by the sub and again its wake showed that it was aimed directly at us. I kept on reciting those verses. Somehow I was not afraid for I knew that god was able. This time, at about the same distance from our vessel, the torpedo seemed to go crazy. It spun in the water, took a sharp angle to its right and passed by the bow of the ship. That’s the last we heard from the submarine. As for the attack by air, we suffered not a hit nor a scratch.” (Weekly Unity, page 6)

This next story is from a Russian fighting the Germans who invaded in WW2:

In 1941, when I was 22, I was sent to the front. I was a signalman. I took part in the Leningrad defense. The Nazis were trying to take the city, which was surrounded. Trying to take the city at any cost, they sent an avalanche of fire on us. My battle friends were dying one after another. And then, during one of the bombings, when the barrage swooped on the city and, it seemed, that the end of the world had come, a real miracle happened. The night sky was suddenly illuminated with pink light, and the image of the Savior appeared on the rosy sky. All the soldiers in the dugout, without any mutual agreement, fell on their knees from the suddenness of it, and started to pray… The image of the Savior disappeared. The sky became normal, but the hell on earth stopped. And we could not regain our senses for a long time… I started to believe in God from that moment. With this faith, I survived the entire war and, after the Victory, returned home without a wound. The image of Christ remained in my memory forever. (Contemporary Cases of Miraculous Help. Translated from Russian by Tatiana Pavlova and Natalia Semyanko.)

One seaman, fighting against the Nazis at the Baltic Sea, found himself in the ice-cold water. He swam, tiring out. The cold waves were submerging him. His clothes were wet. His arms and legs grew numb, became uncontrollable. Where could he swim? Where was north? South? The fog was like an impenetrable wall. His heart beat at top speed.

He had exploded the enemy’s ships, now they exploded his launch. Nobody survived. He would die, too. He had to face the truth: those were the last moments of his life. Even if any ship passed by, he wouldn’t be noticed: there was impenetrable fog. He was far from shore. The cold was piercing. It was getting harder and harder to breathe. There was nothing to hope for, except a miracle. But all his life he thought, — and he was so taught at the Moscow University, by very intelligent professors, — that miracles did not exist, that there was no God, that all that was a lie and the invention of illiterate fools or swindlers.

In those moments he remembered his dearly beloved grandmother, who had said just the opposite when he was a child: ‘Just say — Our Father. Call God your Father… And can the Father leave His child in trouble?’

And the seaman, hardly recollecting the words of the prayer, gathered his last strength, whispered: ‘Our Father Who art in the Heavens! Hallowed be Thy name…’

Before the seaman even finished the prayer, the dense fog suddenly dissipated, revealing a Soviet ship which was in that region accidentally. They noticed the seaman and took him aboard. This rescue from inevitable death, particularly after he had read the prayer, appeared to the seaman to be so miraculous, that he believed in God. (Contemporary Cases of Miraculous Help. Translated from Russian by Tatiana Pavlova and Natalia Semyanko.)

I did not believe in God. When it came time to join the army, my mother, frequently going to church and praying for me, gave me a piece of paper, with a prayer written on it, and said: ‘My son, let it always be with you.’ Later, I found out that the 90th Psalm was written on the piece of paper. I was assigned to the paratroopers. One is not allowed to have superfluous things in their pockets in the army, so I sewed the prayer into the lining of my uniform jacket, near the left shoulder.

I was making my first parachute jump. I shall never forget that moment when, having fallen down to the air abyss, I pulled the ring and… the parachute did not open.

I pulled the ring of the spare parachute — it did not open either. The ground was approaching fast.

In those few seconds I could not, naturally, take out my mother’s prayer and read it. Therefore I only slapped the place where it was, and cried: ‘Lord, rescue me!’

In reply, I heard the flapping of the opening parachute.

Everything would come later: the inquiries of officers and friends, my mother’s joy and tears, but even before I reached the ground, I promised myself that I would enter the seminary.

Later, upon graduating from the seminary, I joined a monastery, now I am a hieromonk. (Contemporary Cases of Miraculous Help. Translated from Russian by Tatiana Pavlova and Natalia Semyanko.)

This next story would have been widely published had it occurred in Europe or anywhere in the West, but was not published because it happened in Communist USSR during WW2. But the account was recorded and discovered years later in the archives:

In world history there are events, which remain forever in the memory of mankind, they make up the golden fund of the history of nations and kingdoms. The brilliant victory of our nation in the Stalingrad battle belongs to their number. It surpassed all previous armed battles in its scope, force and consequences. The Stalingrad battle became the turning point of the entire Second World War.

Researchers analyzed mainly the correlation of techniques, human reserves, combat training and level of morale of both the Soviet and Hitler armies. However, behind the frames of scientific monographs there was something beyond the limits of human knowledge, therefore carefully hidden in confidential folders of special repositories in the state archives.

While I was working in the State Archive of the Russian Federation I found a document, unique in its way: it was the report of the representative of the Council on the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church Comrade Hodchenko to the then-chairman of the Council G.G. Karpov. In it, a regular atheist, an opponent of religion, informed the higher bosses about things which contradicted his own ideas and beliefs. The representative reported no more no less a Miracle, which a whole military unit that had come to the Ukraine from the Stalingrad front had witnessed…

After the shattering defeat near Moscow, the German command was counting on delivering the main blow to a southern region, in order to break through Rostov to Stalingrad and the Northern Caucasus, and from there to the Caspian Sea and north along the Volga River. Therefore the defense of Stalingrad appeared to be the major strategic task to the Soviet leadership. In the middle of July, 1942, the army of general Chujkov was sent to the Stalingrad region, which took on the major brunt of the struggle against the enemy, whose force was made up of 26 divisions.

In September of 1942, the fascists prepared for the last, “decisive” storming of the fortress on the Volga. By that time, the greater part of the city was already in their hands. There were heavy street battles for every district, house, for each meter of the Volga grounds throughout the month. On November 11 the Nazis made their next attempt to storm the city. Our armies found themselves divided into three parts. But during the most critical moment of the battle, the soldiers of one part of the celebrated army saw something that made them shudder: a Sign appeared in the autumn night sky of Stalingrad, indicating the rescue of the city, the army and the swift victory of the Soviet armies.

Unfortunately, in the report of the representative, it does not say what exactly the soldiers saw in the Stalingrad sky. It can only be assumed, that the Stalingrad sign and the appearance of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Stalingrad (the miraculous icon was among our armies on the right bank of Volga, and moliebens and panikhidas were constantly served in front of it) are somehow connected. In any case, the Stalingrad sign clearly showed, that God’s help does not abandon the Russian people in the most critical moments of its history. The further succession of events — the encirclement of the enemy and counterattack of the Soviet army — served as the best proof of that.

After all that happened, the legendary commander, subsequently the celebrated marshal, Chujkov, could be seen in Orthodox churches. The hero of the Stalingrad battle stood in church; put candles before the icons… Certainly, he remembered the night before the battle and the marvelous Face of the Mother of God, which had appeared in the clarified autumn sky! (Contemporary Cases of Miraculous Help. Translated from Russian by Tatiana Pavlova and Natalia Semyanko.)

These stories show that miracles and angelic intervention happens to all Christians, not just Protestants or Catholics, as well as those who are going to become Christians. And the fact that some miracles included the icons of Mary has no bearing on it, as it does not mean that God endorses icon worship or Mary worship, it merely means that Russian Orthodox Church was the dominate Christian church in that region, and using a sign of Mary in the sky was the best way to show the people a Christian sign, which meant only that God was with the Christians and was going to give victory because of the prayers of the Christians, and also proof of the reality of Christianity. It was not an endorsement of Russian Orthodoxy over Protestantism, or any other branch of Christianity.

And you can be sure that there was a legion of angels fighting to make sure that the Russians won the battle, because God did not want the Germans to win. It does not mean he was with the Communist government of the USSR, it just means he was against the Germans.

It was a hot and humid morning when the crew of a U.S. gun-boat got ready for their mission during the US Vietnam War. Stephen R. Fortner was manning the machinegun on the lead boat of the convoy, but when it came time to leave, the boat’s engine would not start. It would not even turn-over, no sound at all; dead. So the lieutenant in charge went to another boat, and the convoy headed out. Just as the last boat left, Stephen’s boat started, and they headed out as the last boat.

But somewhere along the river the Vietcong opened fire upon them from both sides of the river, and the lead boat sustained heavy damage. All of the sailors on that boat were killed except the lieutenant who was hit in the neck and paralyzed. But the last boat did not receive any significant fire. This is one of the ways in which Stephan’s life was saved, due to his mother’s many prayers for his safety during the war.

Even though there was no angel seen, and the miracle was not huge, an angel no doubt was there to stop the engines; the Holy Spirit is not busy all around the world doing stuff like that, it is God’s workers, the angels. (A Personal testimony.)

Towards the end of World War II, while the Russian army was advancing against the Germans at Danzig, in present-day Poland, the children were sent to live in a building that also served as their temporary schoolhouse. This building survived the bombardment and was known as “the island of peace.”

They had prayer each evening at the school. During one prayer service, a boy who did not have any religious background began saying to one of the nurses, “It came up to here on them,” while he tapped his breastbone. The nurse asked the boy to explain; he had seen very tall men glowing with light, standing around inside the building. And “they were so tall the gutters on the roof came up to their chests.” (Lewis, Angels A to Z, 69)

Why are angels almost always much taller than humans if they merely take on the shape of humans? I find that very strange, and it makes me believe that it is a falsehood that they merely take on the shape of humans. Our spirits retain the exact same appearance when we die, which means in heaven we would have human-like appearance but angels would be flying around as just orbs of light? No, I do not believe it.

During the Jeunesse Rebellion in the Congo (1963-65), a rebel army advanced on a school where approximately 200 children of missionaries lived. The Christians knew their lives were in great peril and were praying hard. The school only had a fence and a few soldiers for protection, but there were hundreds of rebel soldiers. The rebel soldiers attempted to attack, but then retreated. This occurred numerous times for three days. One of the wounded rebels who was later captured and questioned, said that the reason they could not conquer the compound was because it was defended by hundreds of soldiers dressed in white. (Lewis, Angels A to Z, page 69-70) (The Catholic Southern Front, chapter 9/57, Saint Michael the Archangel and the apparitions and prodigies of other Saints during wartime

These soldiers who were defending the compound were not merely deflecting bullets, but the inference was that the rebels were being shot at, by angels! Why are angels virtually always wearing white? This is not a coincidence. Jesus said several times in the letters to the seven churches of Revelation that we, also, will be wearing white in heaven. The rebel did not say they were white soldiers, he merely said they were dressed in white, and since this was Africa, they could have been black angel-soldiers, because angels do take on normal human appearance at times.

I was born in 1951 and because of a tragic accident, was orphaned at the age of four. My memories of my parents are few, yet the ones that do remain are happy ones. After the accident, I was raised by my grandmother and then shuttled between relatives, when my grandmother became too frail to care for me. One would say that my life was difficult, but in a way it was as complete as God would allow.

I remember going to church on a regular basis when I lived with my grandmother, but once that was over, church became a rarity reserved for Christmas and Easter. I finished school and planned to attend the local college in the fall of 1970, but the U.S. Army had other plans for me. Before I really knew what happened, I had received my draft notice and I was packed and standing in a long line of recruits, heading for a country called Vietnam. So with my orders in hand, I stepped off the plane. There I was, a radio technician ready to serve my country.

Somehow I knew, from the beginning, that I was not going to like Vietnam because it was too loud and much too hot. I shared a small tent with three other men and between my duty, their snoring and the sound of the distant bombing, it was very hard to concentrate and nearly impossible to sleep. Since I was the newest man on the radio team, I was assigned the night watch with a promise of a rotation when another new person arrived. I really did not mind the night watch, for it gave me time to sort out my thoughts and even gave me some time for prayer, especially when the gunfire got too close. All remained fairly routine, until April, 1971.

I remember that the rain started early in April and it continued for several days. I did not mind the rain as the others did, because it seemed that the rain washed away the despair and death of the war. I recall leaving my tent that night and sloshing past several rows of tents that seemed to sag in the darkness. I was just passing the last row of tents, when a flash of light seemed to surround me. At first I thought it was lightning, but it was not like that harsh glare that lightning produces, it was much softer and seemed to be just around me. I tried to run, but it felt like my boots were stuck in the mud. The light changed and that is when I saw the angel.

As the glow started to diminish, a figure of a man stood in front of me. He appeared to be about my age and was wearing a long robe, that was dry. The man started to speak to me, but at first his lips did not move then slowly they became more pronounced. He told me that I would be safe while I was in the war, but that I was to tell the others about God’s angels. I wanted to interrupt and tell him that I knew nothing about angels, but that thought was blocked. Instead my heart and my mind were filled with a series of Biblical references about angels. Then the angel said, “Do God’s work, and the angels will do theirs.” That night, I found a Bible and began to study the references that I had been given.

From those passages, I began to see how angels were a reality of my life and the lives of those around me to this day. Today I am married, have a family and have pursued the career of a minister. Each day, come rain or shine, I thank God for sending His angel to a rain-soaked hillside in Vietnam, to open the heart of a soldier to the warmth and beauty of angels. (Robert Bogrean, Angel Watch, Nov/Dec 1998, page 10)

In the book Heaven is For Real, Colton Burpo went to heaven when he was a child on an operating table (but didn’t die); later his parents gradually found out what he saw he heaven. Colton said he saw a war here on earth in which Jesus and angels will fight with good people against Satan, monsters (demons), and bad people. Colton said his dad (Todd) will be fighting in this war with Jesus, with a sword or a bow and arrow, he did not remember which. Since swords are what angels use in the spirit world to fight the demons, I suspect it is a sword, and means that his dad will likely have gone in the Rapture.

Todd Burpo, is a pastor of a Wesleyan church in Colorado, not among the Charismatics who are apt to promote spiritual experiences or trips to heaven. Angel visits and trips to heaven are not limited to one group, though they are less likely to happen to people without the capacity to believe in such. I guess God does not want to shake their earthly acquired beliefs too much.