Angels appear as humans
then vanish --
Introduction. Numerous reputable people have told me, most unsolicited, of experiences with angels they either had personally or knew about. In most cases, the angels appeared to provide help in some distressful situation. However, several of the incidents, including the ones below, are particularly interesting for two reasons: (1) they contain a message (literally, the word "angel" means "messenger") and, (2) the incidents were brought to my personal attention under unusual circumstances, making me think God sent them my way. In each case, the angel delivered basically the same startling announcement of the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why me? Why did these stories come to me? My only guess is because I have the inclination to pursue them, to write about them, and to tell you about them. In God's great love, it may all be just for you.
Caution. It is important to stress that any mystical experience, even messages from angels, must be carefully judged against God's Holy Word, the Bible. New Agers and other non-Christians claim angelic revelations while rejecting the cross of Christ which paid the price for our spiritual blessings and access to heavenly things. They are deceived and usually involved with demonic spirits. A pertinent fact about the experiences below is that they came to me after I had already concluded their general message from the Scriptures. Therefore, they were confirming messages. Nevertheless, judge them for yourselves. (Note: I was not able to confirm # 1.)
Encounter # 1 (Not confirmed)
This is one of the incidents reported to me that I was never able to actually confirm after hours of frustrating attempts and many long-distance telephone calls.. It reportedly happened in the Atlanta, Georgia area, on I-285 near "Spaghetti Junction." I traced the incident from a friend in California California to a United Airlines pilot in Chicago, then to at least 15 others in Atlanta, including a medical doctor. Each person with whom I have talked has seemed highly credible, although I could never trace it to the source.
A lady passed a hitchhiker on the expressway, giving no thought to stopping. But she heard a voice say, "Pick him up." She did not stop, but continued on. But she again heard the voice: "I told you to pick him up." She now felt compelled to go back. She turned off the expressway, then got back on via an access road. She thought it would be unlikely that the person would still be there, but if he was, she would pick him up. To her surprise, the man was still there, so she stopped. He got into the car. They chatted for a few moments, then after a brief pause, the stranger said, "Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon?" On hearing that, the woman glanced toward the stranger -- but he was not there. He had suddenly and unexplainably vanished!
Encounter # 2 (Confirmed)
While in the process of investigating the above incident, I learned of this next amazing one from another person in California, although it took place in Tennessee. It happened just past midnight on March 26, 1993, to Vincent Tan, an analytical chemist who works in Chattanooga. I spent weeks personally tracing this incident and have confirmed it with two reputable Christian leaders, his pastor and, finally, even Vincent himself. The following is a precisely recorded account: Vincent was born Tan Ban Soon in Singapore of Chinese, Buddhist parents. A few years ago as a young boy in Singapore, he was in the library reading a book on nuclear physics and discovered an offer for a Bible course stuck between some pages. He ordered the course and later became a Christian. He came to the U.S. to attend a Christian college, then gave himself the western name of Vincent. After four years, he graduated with a major in science. He has been very active in his church and in sharing his faith.
On the night of Thursday, March 25, 1993, Vincent was working late in his laboratory to complete tests due on Friday. During the evening he moved his car close to the front door of the building, since there had recently been criminal activity in the area. From time to time he looked out the window into the almost empty parking lot to check on his car. At 1:30 a.m. he finished working in his lab. As he was preparing to lock the door, he saw a person standing by the passenger side of his car. Vincent assumed the man was trying to steal his car. He noted that the stranger was of medium build with clean-cut, straight hair and had on a T-shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.
Unsure what to do, he went back into the lab and prayed, "Lord, help me to do what I have to do. Do I have to use chi-sao?" Chi-sao (pronounced "chee'-sow-o") is a form of martial art in which Vincent is proficient. To be extra safe, he looked around the lab and picked up an 18-inch metal rod, held it behind him and stuck his head out the door. He said, "Hi, can I help you?"
Now Vincent was really startled. No one, not even his best friend in this country, was familiar with chi-sao, nor did anyone even know that he knew it. Also, there was no way the stranger could have seen the rod behind his back. Vincent later reflected that the stranger had used terminology ("primary and secondary school") of Singapore and not the U.S., and that name of his school back in Singapore was St. Gabriel. The stranger was saying that his name was Gabriel!
Puzzled, and not wanting to go back into the lab, Vincent laid the metal rod down by the front door and headed to his home outside of Chattanooga. When he came back to work later that morning, he wondered if he had dreamed the whole experience. As a scientist, he wanted to prove whether it had really happened. When he got to the building, he found the metal rod lying by the door just where he had left it. He knew he had not been dreaming. Upon entering the lab, the first thing he did was to lock himself in the rest room and kneel in prayer. "Show me what to do, Lord. I know what I remember. If I'm supposed to share it, I must believe it myself," Vincent pleaded. He then sat down at his computer and recorded every word said and everything that had happened.
That night, March 26, 1993, in a dream Vincent relived the whole experience, seeing himself, and word for word hearing the whole conversation. He awoke at about 3:30 a.m. and wrote down every word in the dream and the description of the stranger. What he wrote from the dream confirmed every detail he had written earlier. Also, a week after the experience, he learned that his mother had received needed surgery and was recuperating nicely -- and that the medical decision about her improved condition came a week earlier at about the very same hour as he was talking with Gabriel!
On July 29, 1993 I asked Vincent what effect this experience has had on him. He said he believes more strongly now that we should be ready every day for the Lord's coming, and not worry about which day He will come. He said the experience has intensified his dedication, causing him to spend more devotional time than before, wanting to know more about God and be closer to Him. For some time, even before that experience, Vincent said he had been asking God, "Am I ready, right now?" Now, more meaningfully than ever, this writer is asking that same question.
Encounter # 3: Vincent's second (confirmed)
I recently confirmed personally with Vincent that he has had another encounter, this time with an unnamed angel, on Thursday, December 23, 1993. Like the above, the following is an accurate record of exactly what happened and words exchanged.
Two Significant Prior Events. There are two events that have a bearing on this one. First, in July, 1993, Vincent had a dream. He saw himself standing at the door of a big room. He saw many candles, but not all of them were lit. He asked himself in the dream why the unlit candles. Then he heard a sad voice behind him saying, "If only all of them were lit." He turned around but didn't see anyone. A week later he had the exact same dream. Vincent shared the dreams in his Bible study and said he hoped someday the Lord would show him the meaning of the dreams.
Second, three months later in October, 1993 a stranded motorist waved Vincent down and asked him to jump start his car. Vincent stopped but did not have a cable. However, Vincent asked the man if he believed in God. The man asked what could God do. Vincent told him he believed that God could help in any situation such as this if we ask Him. So Vincent prayed out loud for God's help. After he prayed Vincent noticed a coat hanger on the road.
Somehow, he figured out a way to break the coat hanger in two and use one part to connect the positive terminals and the other part to touch the two auto bodies together as ground. The man's car started. He looked at Vincent and said, "You sure have a powerful God!" Vincent said, "I sure do. All we have to do is believe in Him." The man said, "I'll have to think about that," and left. Two days later, Vincent got a jumper cable for his truck.
The December 23, 1993 Experience. Shortly after 11 p.m.,
December 23, 1993, Vincent was in his truck returning home from visiting a friend near Chattanooga. About four miles away from the friend's home, he saw a truck alongside the road with its hood up and with an old man, estimated at about age 75, standing in front of it. Vincent was always wary of stopping for strangers, and believed one must really be led of the Lord in order to do so. He felt he should stop. He walked up to the man and asked if anything was wrong, to which the man replied that he a dead battery. Vincent asked if he could help in any way. The man asked that Vincent go get his jumper cable out of the truck. Vincent was surprised that he said this, as if knowing that Vincent had a jumper cable, especially since he had only recently obtained one. Vincent himself had forgotten that he had the cable, but when the old man told him about it he remembered. It was very dark and Vincent had to use his flashlight to see to connect his end of the cable. Then he turned around to discover that the man had already connected his end, even in the dark and with no flashlight. That seemed impossible, and startled Vincent.
Vincent said, "I need to do something first." The man looked at him and said, "I did it already." Vincent said, "Did what?" The man said, "I placed the bricks by your tires. That's what you want, isn't it?" The man had no way of knowing that Vincent had two bricks in his truck or that he wanted to block his tires with them because he didn't trust his hand brake and because the gear would have to be in neutral to start the other truck. Vincent checked and discovered that the man had placed the bricks behind the exact same tires that Vincent wanted. At this point, Vincent was convinced that this was not a natural person. And after the experience in March, Vincent had decided that if the Lord ever gave him the privilege of another encounter with an angel, he had many questions he wanted to ask. But he had a sudden feeling come over him and some force caused his mouth to be kept shut. He was not able to say anything except to respond to whatever the old man wanted or said.
Vincent was now ready to start the truck, and the old man said, "Can we wait in your truck and have my truck charged up?"
Vincent agreed and they sat in his truck. The old man spoke first and said, "Can we pray? God can work miracles -- even start a car with a coat hanger." (The previous incident with the coat hanger job was a car and not a truck!) At this, Vincent said to himself that this stranger must be an angel!
The old man prayed: "Oh most holy and powerful God in heaven, we know you are coming very, very soon. Help us now in your own time and way. In Jesus' Name. Amen." Vincent said the man's voice was so powerful and assuring that it sent chills through him. After the prayer the man asked Vincent, "Do you believe the Lord is coming soon?" Vincent said yes. Then the man said, "He is coming very, very soon, and we need to be ready now and always." Then he said, "Can I use your Bible?" Vincent agreed, then without any word from Vincent the man reached into the glove compartment for the Bible, already knowing where it was located.
The man asked Vincent, "Do you read your Bible.?" Vincent replied that he tried to read it every day. The man said, "That's very good. It's unfortunate that many do not do that. Having Bible studies is like being in a big room with many candles that are lit." Vincent knew he had God's answer about his dreams six months earlier. The unlit candles meant many people were not spending time studying God's Word! Now Vincent had absolutely no doubt that this was an angel.
It was very dark, but the man took Vincent's King James Bible and, without searching, flipped immediately to the exact page, to Matthew, chapter 24. Then Vincent shined the flashlight on the page as the man read verse 36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." He then jumped down to verse 42: "Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
Then again, as if knowing exactly where the page was, without searching he flipped to John, chapter 14, and read verses 1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Then again, he amazingly flipped directly to Revelation 3, verse 11, and read: "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." With that, the man put the Bible back in the glove compartment. Vincent reflected that all three passages, and everything the man said, was about the Lord's return.
After reading, the man put the Bible back and said, "The truck is ready." He started the truck and Vincent said he would follow him for awhile to make sure everything was okay. The man said, "Thank you very much for your help. By the way, I left a small token for you. It will be enough to fill up your car tomorrow." That was strange, because there was no way for the man to know that Vincent had a car in addition to his truck. Vincent followed him about a mile with the man's tail lights clearly in view, then as they were going around a curve, he suddenly vanished from view. He and his truck just disappeared. Thinking his vision may have been obstructed by trees or something, Vincent even went back the next day during the daylight and retraced everything. There were no trees or anything obstructing his view. There was no human explanation. Also the next day, as he always does on Friday, Vincent took his car to the service station to fill up the tank with gasoline, so it would be full for the weekend. He had forgotten what the man had said about leaving a token "to fill up your car tomorrow." Vincent put $2.32 worth of gas in his car, then tried to round it off to $2.35 or $2.40. But he could only get it up to $2.34 and it stopped. It just would not take more than exactly $2.34.
Vincent then left to visit a friend's house, but remembered that he had left the friend's Christmas gift in his truck, so he went back home. When home, Vincent decided to clean his truck a bit before leaving. While doing so, he found some money on the front seat, passenger's side, underneath his glove. The money consisted of two one-dollar bills, a quarter, a nickel, and four pennies -- exactly $2.34!"
Encounter # 4: Vincent’s third (confirmed)
Vincent had another amazing experience in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 13th 1998. He had been working late in his chemist job again to finish some urgent jobs. He left work at about 1 a.m. When he got outside, he suddenly realized that he had left his keys on his desk, but was not able to get back inside because of the automatic lock on the door. So now he could neither get back inside, nor drive his truck. He prayed that the Lord would unlock his truck, but nothing happened.
He walked across the street to a pay phone but discovered it had been vandalized. He remembered his cellular phone in his backpack and took it out. Vincent then realized he had left the battery at home to be recharged (an old model), and it could not work, of course, without a battery. Nevertheless, he prayed and asked the Lord to allow him to make one call. As soon as he prayed, he noticed the phone miraculously lighting up, and he called a friend to pick him up. The friend agreed to do so.
Vincent then sat down by a doorstep of the lab and waited. A little while later a police car drove up and stopped. The policeman asked, "What are you doing?"
"I'm waiting for a friend," Vincent replied. He told the policeman his situation, about the prayer to open his truck, and the call to his friend.
The policeman replied, "Your friend isn't coming." He noticed Vincent's Bible, and added, "That's a good book to read." Some conversation ensued in which Vincent disclosed his faith and his belief that the Lord is coming "very, very soon."
The policeman replied, "I believe the Lord’s coming is very, very near too."
At that very moment, a call came in over the policeman's radio and he said he had to leave. Before he left, the policeman remarked to Vincent, "Why don't you pray and ask the Lord to open the door to your lab?" Vincent said he watched him leave, while praying silently.
Vincent said, "I had barely finished praying when the lab door miraculously opened. I immediately stood up and turned around towards the door and noticed that someone had pushed the lock bar and opened it from the inside. I held on to the door and turned to look at the police car and noticed he was not to be seen, even though I had taken my eye off him for only a few seconds."
Vincent got his keys and drove away in his truck. He drove by his friend's home and noticed both their vehicles in their driveway. He assumed that they must have gone back to sleep, forgetting him.
Vincent said that he decided to go on home, "believing I may have actually spoken with an angel," he said. The next day he checked with his friend whom he had called and who had promised to pick him up. The friend did not remember anything about the call!
Here we have: (1) a cell phone that miraculously works without a battery, (2) a mysteriously appearing and disappearing policeman who said "I believe the Lord's coming is very, very near," (3) the policeman knew in advance that the friend would not pick Vincent up, (4) after the policeman told him to pray, a door that miraculously opened from the inside even though no one was inside, (5) a friend promised to pick him up but neither he nor his wife remember the telephone call. The whole episode is no doubt supernatural.
Incident # 2 above about "Gabriel" motivated me to review references in the Bible to the angel Gabriel. By name, Gabriel appeared to three people. The first was to the prophet Daniel in about 550 B.C. He gave Daniel a vision of the future, including the timing of Christ's first coming. And similar to the message to Vincent, he said to Daniel, "You are greatly beloved." Later, as recorded in Luke, he appeared to Zechariah, saying these awesome words, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God," as he announced the birth of John the Baptist; then shortly thereafter he appeared to the virgin Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Gabriel's main function in both Old and New Testaments seems to be in connection with announcing the coming of the Son of God to the world.
Angels who appear as humans are not without biblical precedent. For example, two angels came to Sodom to warn Lot before they destroyed the city (Genesis 19). They visited Lot's home, ate with him, and even spent the night! They appeared as such "real people" that Sodom's homosexuals tried to accost them and have sex with them, but the angels struck them blind. The next day, because of its blatant wickedness, God destroyed the city by fire.
Encounter # 5: Vincent's fourth (confirmed):
This may or may not have involved an angel. What is described below could have been either the sovereign hand of God Himself or an angel. However, we do know that God does uses angels to carry out His work so my guess is that an angel was involved. Also, the below incident does not involve prophecy but I am including it because the supernatural nature of it affirms the other prophetic experieces had by Vincent Tan described above.
On Saturday, April 6, 1996, Vincent was awakened at 4:30 a.m. with a burden to pray. He slipped to his knees beside his bed for a few moments, after which he returned to bed and to sleep. He arose later, and at 7 a.m. began his morning prayer time. At 7:30, as he was still praying, the telephone rang. So as not to be disturbed, he decided to let the answering machine take the call.
For some strange reason, the answering machine refused to take the call. The telephone kept ringing, as though demanding to be picked up! Vincent discovered that the answering machine was, indeed, on, but that it was not taking the call. He decided to go ahead and answer it. He also noted that, oddly, his Caller I.D. failed to show the number of the caller.
"Hello," Vincent said. Surprisingly, the other party also said,
"Hello." Again, Vincent said, "Hello." Again, the lady on the other end said, "Hello." Vincent asked, "Do you want to speak to me?"
The lady said, "No."
Vincent then asked, "Then why did you call me?" The lady said, "I didn't call you." Vincent explained that his phone rang and he had answered it. The lady said the same thing happened to her-that her phone rang and she had answered it. Vincent told her his name, and she said her name was Doris, and that she was in Iowa. They both concluded that somehow their lines must have become crossed, causing this freak mishap.
(God had caused two distant telephones-one in Tennessee, and one in Iowa-to ring each other simultaneously, and for the loving and Divine purpose explained below.)
But in another surprise, Doris asked, "Are you the same Vincent who had an experience with an angel?" Vincent said yes. She explained that she and her mother had read about Vincent's story about a year ago in an article I had written. Doris went on to say that six months ago, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and only given six months to live. She said that every day for the past six months her mother had prayed that she would be able to meet or speak with Vincent before she died. In her prayers about this, she had claimed the promises of Jeremiah 32:27, which says, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" and Jeremiah 33:3: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." A few years ago, Vincent had also claimed these same promises.
Doris explained that her mother was near death, and how that very morning, at 3:30 a.m., Iowa time (the exact same as Vincent's prayer at 4:30 a.m., Eastern Time) she was awake and felt led to seek the Lord and remind Him of her mother's request. She asked if Vincent would speak with her mother, to which Vincent agreed.
(As an answer to this dying mother's fervent, daily prayers, God had miraculously allowed her to speak with Vincent!)
Her mother was bed-ridden, so Doris decided to put Vincent on the speaker-phone, which took a few moments to set up. Finally, after waiting, Vincent heard the mother's weak but audible voice. The mother thanked Vincent for talking with her, and then asked if he would please personally repeat for her his angel experiences. Vincent patiently took about the next 45 minutes describing to her the incidents in detail. At the end of his description, Vincent heard the mother say weakly, "Praise the Lord. Amen."
This was followed by silence. All was strangely quiet. Vincent waited, thinking that Doris was taking him off the speaker. After a few moments, Doris broke the silence and came back on the regular telephone. "Praise the Lord," she said. "My mother just died."
Vincent now says, "I was so overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I did not know whether to be happy or sad." He says he decided to say goodbye so that Doris could be with her mother. In the shock and emotion of the moment, Vincent didn't think to get Doris' telephone number for follow up. But he says, "I know that the Lord has His reasons for us not getting each other's numbers. Why He would not let her number flash on my (Caller I.D.) screen is still a mystery. Yet I am amazed at His miraculous action in ringing both our phones at the same time. As I ponder over the event, I am grateful to the Lord for His loving kindness. It just encouraged my faith to trust Him even more, knowing that in the fullness of His time, He will answer our prayers."
Vincent added the following, a message I believe not just for me, but for all who read this:
"I hope that this will be an encouragement to you as it has been to me. I know that we will see Doris' mother in heaven when we all will be able to know the answers to our questions. The Lord is coming very, very soon. As we near the final hours, I know that His presence is even evermore with us now....May the Lord continue to bless you....Let us be ready now, for His coming is very, very near."
Encounter # 6: Mother hears voice -- same message (confirmed)
More recently, while perhaps not involving angel, on December 30, 1999, a mother in Maryland, Beth, told me an amazing and confirming testimony. She said, "I would like to share with you an occurrence that happened on December 10, 1999 in the a.m. My 8-year-old was at school and my husband was at work.... I had my 6-month-old son in his swing in front of the television watching Sesame Street. What caught my attention was that the television made the 'shhhh' sound. I turned to look and the screen was snowy as expected with that noise. It's what happened next. The television completely cut off. My child was asleep. No sooner did I think, 'Oh, the cable must have cut off,' did I hear a voice. It said, ‘The lord is coming very, very soon.' I was dumfounded, and then the TV came back to normal and Sesame Street continued."
She went on to describe her reactions and adds that it was three days later on December 13th that she came across my article about Vincent’s angel encounters with the exact same message.
"Needless to say," she concludes, "the messages that your witnesses received were exactly as my message was. I was very shaken.... I wonder why He chose me to relay this message."
Encounter # 7: Angels
discovered singing end-time song
This is a totally different kind of angel incident, but with a similar message and no less powerful. In May, 1995 I received this most electrifying report from a friend who has been a missionary to China for several years. To protect him and his contacts in China, I must not reveal his name. But for you to better understand his credibility, let me explain that I have known him for many years. He is a graduate of a prestigious theological seminary and is a former pastor. My friend is an intelligent and balanced servant of God. He is not given to sensationalism. The following is a summary of his recent report to me.
The whole province of Shandong, in eastern China (population: 57 million), is in the midst of a sweeping revival. For fear of arrest, believers meet secretly in house churches, often by candlelight. At a 1995 meeting in Shandong, everyone was singing "in the Spirit" together (1 Corinthians 14:15), not in their own language, but "as the Spirit gave them utterance," all in harmony but all singing different words. Someone audiotaped the meeting. Later, when they played back the cassette, they were shocked! What they heard was not what had happened there at all -- but the sound of angels singing in Mandarin -- a song they had never heard before, and with a musical accompaniment that had not been there!!! When my friend first heard the tape, before anyone told him what it was, he exclaimed, "Those are angels!!" Actually, there was no other explanation. A Chinese Christian co-worker translated the tape. Below are the actual words sung by the angels! Note that the words express ideas with which these rural Chinese peasants were not familiar. (Original Chinese version follows).
The below was translated by two native Chinese Christians in Beijing who have personal knowledge of the church and the pastor where the incident happened:
While we may never know the day or hour of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Scriptures do clearly indicate that seekers will at least know approximately. And there is overwhelming evidence that the return of the Lord will be soon. According to the four of the encounters and testimonies above, it will be "very, very soon."
Readers are permitted and encouraged to copy and share this article freely with others. May the special presence and peace of the Holy Spirit rest upon each person who reads this article, and may God's angels be with you and watch over you at all times according to Psalms 34:7 and 91:11.