Angel Stories by Jonathan Nixon
“It is through Jesus, not angels, that we are saved from sin and reconciled with the Father. It is through Him that our lives are made new. We may marvel at the things angels know, the places they can be, the feats they can accomplish that are beyond our limited human ability. But what excites angels? Luke 15:10 says ‘there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’ ” James Goll
“The angels want you to turn toward heaven. They want you to accept Jesus as your Lord. When you become an heir of salvation, the angels of heaven are commissioned by God Himself to guard, protect, assist, and bless you with all that heaven has planned for you.” Jonathan Nixon
When I write reviews on books I like to write more than whether I like it or don’t like it. I prefer to explain what I like and why I like or dislike something. Readers should know enough of my perspective to understand my viewpoint and why I said what I said. The readers can then decide if they align with my perspective and would agree or disagree with me. It is not persuasive writing, just simply giving my opinion on a book with enough information that a reader can make an informed choice.
In reviewing this book on angel stories, I feel I need to give more information on my worldview than I normally do. I look at the world from a Christian worldview. That means I look at it through the Bible lens. The Bible says that once we have accepted Christ as God’s gift of salvation, our hearts are transformed and we become a new creation. We still have to live with our bodies and an old mindset, even with the culture we live in, so the transformation doesn’t always show itself immediately or easily. But God keeps working on us. The purpose of a body of believers who gather (as the church) is to help us grow and mature in our relationship with God. In other words, church is for imperfect but growing people.
God teaches in the Bible that His people are like a body. It is comprised of believers all over the world, with Christ Jesus as its head. That means there is a lot of room for cultural differences within the body of Christ in living our daily lives and worshiping God once the foundation is laid. Cultural differences not only refer to different nationalities, but also differences in regional history, lifestyles and preferences.
One of the first things I noticed about the stories in this book is that they were written by people like you and me. They are not intellectuals writing a thesis. All the stories were written in the vernacular. They may have been lightly edited, but have retained their down home feel. It’s about people who share some remarkable experiences and sometimes their interpretation of the events.
Angel Stories has two different types of stories about angels. The first kind was more of what I expected to read–stories of mysterious appearances that are difficult to explain from a human perspective. One person shared how a stranger somehow directed her to where she parked her car in a huge lot at an international airport. Another story told of a stranger who restored missing airline tickets in a foreign country. I always enjoy angelic stories like this.
The second type of story in this book are what I call teaching stories. They relate some unusual experiences but also teach a concept. There are more teaching stories than traditional stories. In addition, these stories are immersed in a culture that uses such phrases as: In the glory; Angelic encounters; issuing or declaring a decree; receiving a revelation or revelatory moments; falling under the power of God; ministering, teaming with, partnering with or interacting with angels; going into the heavenly realm or glory realm or connecting to the glory, or releasing the glory realm; releasing signs, wonders and miracles; speaking the word of knowledge; releasing supernatural favor; seeing in the spiritual realm; releasing or receiving a prophetic word; opening our spiritual senses; mass deliverance; and calling down His kingdom. For the most part, I am a little unfamiliar with this culture so the above phrases made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I believe persons who connect with an experiential and emotional writing style will enjoy this book more than those who prefer an intellectual study of angels. However, I am certain many readers will enjoy the experiences shared by the book’s writers.
The reason I have spent time here qualifying my viewpoint is to establish a foundation, first and foremost. The foundation is salvation through Jesus Christ. When the foundation is firmly established in teaching books like this, then I look at whether the foundation is being built upon using good material. I search to see if growth is encouraged through sound teaching from the Bible. Are readers urged to practice what they are taught? Are people led to maturity in their faith in the Lord, and in their walk with the Holy Spirit? Are they shown how to reach out to others in love? And finally, I observe to see if they are taught to be obedient to God in fulfilling His directive to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ “unto the ends of the world.” Additionally, I look to see if the truth is being diluted or if believers are being distracted by something that could be good on its own merit but may be misused, overemphasized or under-emphasized.
Laying cultural differences aside, my only reservation about the stories in this book is that they may encourage some readers to be distracted by angels to the point of neglecting the need for salvation through Jesus Christ and spiritual growth toward maturity through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from Charisma House Book Group through their reader program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”