I don’t think I’ve ever written about this one before, but something a friend has said to me has inspired me to write about this. After all, God is on the move, right? So let’s give him the glory for all things.
First, let’s do a bit of background work. In the New Testament Scriptures, there are many examples of angels appearing to man. For example, an angel appeared to both Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and Zacharias (Luke 1:11-20), the father of John the Baptist. Not just one, but many angels appeared to the shepherds in the field, to announce the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:8-15). Jesus himself was strengthened by an angel, in the garden of Gethsemane, prior to his arrest and eventual crucifixion (Luke 22:43). And I’ve only ventured to quote from a few examples that come to mind from the book of Luke, here. The list goes on an on.
The day I saw angels — literally, with my own eyes — and not one, but a number of them (perhaps 15 or 20 or more) — was on my thirtieth birthday, June 23, 1992, around 1:00 in the morning. My friend had told me, “You’ve got to come to my back yard and see what God is doing!” My friend was Iain Spiers — the same one that God used in the truly supernatural salvation of a man named Emmanuel, the same one that God had used to bring John Wimber to Ottawa back in 1991, and the same one that God had used to bring Mother Theresa to Ottawa before that.
I had attended that (John Wimber) conference back in 1991 as a visitor to Ottawa. A friend of mine “fell under the influence” of God at that meeting, and prophesied to me like he has never done before (or since, thank God!), “God is telling me that he has a wife for you!” And I didn’t know it, but, at the time, my “wife to be” was only a few miles away in that same city! I had no idea that I was even to be married at all at that time but we were married within about a year of that prophesy, and it certainly was God’s will, for that, too, was accompanied by many signs and wonders.
Now my friend was telling me, “You’ve got to come to my backyard to see what God is doing!” So, I went. So did a friend of ours. In fact, I went back on a few occasions — so awesome were the events. On one of those occasions, I began to wonder, “Could this be of the devil?” So I tested the spirits, like the Bible says we should. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.” (1 John 4:4). Why would God put this in his Bible? Because, it is sometimes easy to get deceived. Because, if we’re not careful, Satan can transform himself into an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). So I tested the spirits, to see if they were of God or not.
I said, “Lord, I’m not sure if this is you or not. If it is really you, and you are “in” this, then I would like you to show me. But, Lord, if it is not you, then I command whatever it is that is trying to imitate you, and deceive me, to go away from here.” And just as soon as I said that, I was completely overwhelmed with a thick, rich, presence. It was a presence that left you rather speechless, for it was God descending upon you, as in a cloud. It was a sweet presence, an overwhelming presence, a distinct, thick, rich, and pleasant presence. It was awesome. It was like God was saying, “Helloooo there! It’s Meeeeeee!”
Now you have to understand that, when my friend Iain said, “Come to my backyard,” he meant, “Come to my backyard and beyond!” For his backyard led directly to a giant field, the size, I suppose, of a soccer field. The first time he took us out there, he said, “Look at the cloud above my house. As we walk towards the center of the field, watch the cloud above us!” So we walked. And the cloud — true words and not a lie — went with us! The cloud was perhaps 100 feet over our heads at all times. It was clear skies, but that cloud followed us! It followed us right to the center of the mound where we were headed.
On one such occasion, we did a little “Jericho march” around the little mound. Now I simply felt led to do it — that is the only reason. It was just one of those “faith things” that people do. So I began the march. I suppose the Lord in unison spoke to the others about it too, for, if I remember correctly, they were doing the march, too! Now this is how the march was performed (according to Scripture): 6 times around the mound, and, on the 7th time, 7 times around the mound! Now that is the very same pattern that the Israelites used prior to God felling the wall of Jericho. Now remember, this is not a formula for success. During the time of the falling of the walls of Jericho, this was God’s command. At this particular time I had no reason to believe that God was calling me to do this, except to say that I felt utterly filled with the Spirit! So I did it.
Now as I walked around the mound those 13 times, I was praying, out loud, “Lord, send your angels!” And that was my repeated prayer. I suppose you could say, “That was the closest thing in my heart at the time, and that is why I prayed that prayer. I believe that I was inspired to pray that prayer, because when I was done, we all looked up into the sky, and the first thing we saw were perhaps 15 to 20 (or more) celestial beings in the sky. Now this is what they looked like (you have to realize they were not that close, but they were clearly celestial beings):
They appeared as exceedingly distinct, vertically upright, paired, brightly lit (white) objects in an otherwise dark sky — a totally supernatural phenomena at about 1:00 in the morning. Proportionally, they were about ten to fifteen times higher than they were wide. I assume that the pairs were “pairs of wings” but it could, I suppose, just as easily have been “pairs of angels” — remember, they were several miles away from us: we were not permitted to get a “close up” — nor did God reveal any information to us through these angels, apart from the fact that these angels were there.
Now again, in this same field, at about the same time, we also observed a most fantastic, supernatural, brightly lit WHITE “rainbow-like structure” cover a large portion of the night-time sky. The rainbow structure resembled, in fact, a quick sketch of a “dove” that you might draw with your pencil, if you wanted to quickly draw a dove — and it spanned, perhaps, 5 or 10 miles in the sky. In other words, it was like two giant arcs that joined together in the middle. Now, from roughly the center of this white rainbow — at the point at which the two giant arcs touched one another in the sky — emerged what you could call a “beam” that extended towards the earth! The beam, itself, must have extended at least one or two miles. We watched it with our own eyes, as the beam clearly began to extend starting from the center of the white rainbow! It was absolutely awesome! We were now looking at three giant white streaks in the sky! Two that formed an arc, that looked like a dove. The other, was pretty much straight, and formed a “ladder” of sorts, descending to the earth.
This scenario lasted about 15 or 20 minutes (similar to the appearance of the angels). Then, the whole thing disappeared (essentially, it collapsed into itself). One could only imagine that, through this experience, God was “sending his angels” to the earth as they descended the “white ladder” and “landed”. That, to me, at least, is the imagery that was clearly depicted. Now, interestingly, about a year and a half later — in January of 1994 — revival broke out in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 4 hours from the spot that we were standing that night! And the earth has never been the same, for about 3 million people have now visited that church (recently declared to be the city of Toronto’s number one tourist attraction!) and people everywhere are taking back to their cities around the whole earth the message of God’s healing love. The church is called, “The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship”.
You may have heard about this church. Some might people might have said to you, “It is of the devil.” And yet others might have said to you, “It is of God”. Well, that’s the way it was in Jesus’s day, too, so nothing has changed. Some said, “He is of the devil.” And others said, “He is of God.” The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Church may not be perfect, but I would say, before you go condemning it based on what clever theological arguments others have devised against it, why you don’t check it out for yourself and see if the claims are true or false? For you just might be surprised. God might just pour out his blessing up you, such that you are not able to contain it!