Ikuro Teshima

Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10)

No matter how lowly or poor, true Christians are always protected by angels and guided by souls in heaven. The closer I feel to Christ spiritually, the more I realize this fact. Christ sends many angels and divine beings from heaven to protect us. On earth He guides us through prayers and love of our friends and forerunners of faith.

This spiritual guidance resembles how a child grows up and matures with the help of his mother or caregivers. Once our spiritual eye is opened, we will clearly see that not only angels but also the spirits of saints in heaven are making a strenuous efforts to help us. Even though we may have been blind until now, how astonished we shall be when we discover this.

While praying on a mountain, Jesus Christ was transfigured; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became dazzling white. Then behold, Moses and Elijah appeared amidst the clouds of glory and spoke of His exodus which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. It is said that Peter, John, and James were greatly surprised at the sight and fell on their faces. (Matthew 17:3, Luke 9:30)

That was the first time His disciples realized how closely Christ guided them spiritually along with the spirits of Moses and Elijah and other great forerunners. This mysterious experience must have been a great shock to them.

Angels protect humans, but it does not mean that all angels serve any people at random; a specific angel protects a specific person in a unique and personal relationship. It is like a master and disciple relationship in which a master devotes his heart and soul to a youth under his care. An angel becomes a guardian angel for a soul whom he receives and commits his life to love, guide, and fully protect. A guardian angel accompanies even the smallest being. The Lord Jesus said that when an evil man tries to persecute someone, his guardian angel will cry to God, the Father, "Oh, God!" so he will receive divine punishment instead.

We understand this very well when we raise a baby. A baby sometimes comes close to falling from a height and makes our hearts pound. Yet mysteriously, a baby doesn't get hurt. We cannot but think that some being is surely protecting the little one.

When Martin Luther was a student, he was in the mountains while traveling with his friends during a summer vacation. There, they encountered a terrible lightning storm. He cried to his guardian angel, "Oh, St. Anna!" and was narrowly saved.

In times of danger, I often ask, "Oh my guardian angel, please work for me! I will listen to you attentively and act accordingly."

Likewise, in heaven the spirits of our pious forerunners, friends, and family members are watching over their loved ones and inspiring them. Since it is beyond our imagination, we do not realize this as long as we are spiritually blind. Fortunately, I have received such aid from heaven, so I never believe that I was saved by my own faith and power.

Instead, I think that many unnoticed and hidden prayers from both heaven and earth must have guided and inspired me up to this point. The spirits of the forerunners as well as the angels in heaven deeply sympathize with us and help us; they pity us in trials and pertinently assist and liberate us from the trials all the more because they too went through trials once on earth. I believe in communion with saints in heaven and cannot help being thankful for their work of love.

Hearing my story, some people may be taken aback, saying, "So the people with the original gospel faith worships angels. Do they believe in polytheism?" I do not worship angels. I am saying, "Angels exist." I often seek help from angels in the same way I seek support from my respected friends and mentors on earth. Angels are also a creation of God. We must not worship them, but respect them. Paul taught, "Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind and not holding fast to the Head" (Colossians 2:18-19).

In the spiritual realm, the hosts of heaven are encamped. On earth angelic personalities are actively doing works of love to help us even today. We wish to model ourselves after angels and take part in their work.

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
(Psalm 91:9-11)

(1960)