Tag: angels

In the Company of Angels

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-13 NASB).

 

Angels capture our imagination because there is much we do not know about them. We do know that they rejoice over the salvation of every sinner that repents (Luke 15:10); that we may encounter angels on earth without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2); and that they are ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). In eternity, we who are sons and daughters of God will live in the company of angels and together we will all serve God and praise Him forever.

Now we share a common purpose as well – to obey the voice of God and proclaim the good news of what God has done.

Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20 NASB).

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to give Zacharias the good news of the birth of his son John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:19). God also sent Gabriel with a message to Mary that she would bear Jesus, the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:26, 31-32).

When Jesus was born, God announced it to a special group of humble shepherds by sending His angel to announce His birth – then that angel was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14 NASB).

Like the angels, we have good news to share. We can proclaim the good news of salvation and what God has done for us individually, but we can also join with a great host of others whom God has blessed as well.

In the Bible, we find some specific occasions when the daughters of God have added their voices of praise to the unnumbered multitude. The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host (Psalm 68:11 NASB). The Lord  announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng (Psalm 68:11 NIV). Generations before the birth of Christ, the Lord gave the word for women to proclaim the good tidings. This group of His chosen daughters proclaimed the goodness of God as He had rescued His chosen people from bondage in Egypt.  Miriam led the women to sing praises to the Lord after He brought the children of Israel through the mist of the sea on dry land – miraculously saving them from the pursuit of the Egyptians (Exodus 15:20-21). David was reminded of this when he wrote Psalm 68:11.

The Lord provided the message. The women who proclaimed it were a great army (Psalm 68:11 EHV). God has always provided the message for good news. And women love to share good news. They celebrate anticipated births with baby showers and upcoming marriages with wedding showers. They are usually the planners of children’s birthday parties and family holidays. In the U.S., Americans greet each other with “How are you?” Christians often replace the common response of “I’m fine, thank you” with “I’m blessed.”  A man will smile and understand that the response indicates a fellow believer. Ask a man what the Lord has done for him, and he will gladly tell you. You don’t often have to ask a woman. She will sometimes respond with, “I’m blessed as well. Let me tell you what the Lord has done for me today.” She shares why she is blessed. Women love to take any occasion to celebrate the goodness of God with others.

The good news is that no one has to remain in the bondage of sin. As the children of Israel were miraculously led out of Egypt, the miraculous birth of our Savior, His sinless life, His sacrificial death and His resurrection led to our salvation. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 NASB).

And that is something worth proclaiming – by angels, by men and women of all the ages.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12 NASB).

The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it (Psalm 68:11 NKJV).

God gave us the Word. Let’s all be part of the company – the mighty throng – the great host – that proclaim the good tidings. Jesus is the Holy Son of God. Jesus saves.

© Stephanie B. Blake

December 2018

In The Company of Angels

Preparing for the First Christmas: Greetings from Gabriel

Preparing for Christmas is a delightful experience to me. I love getting out the decorations, playing Christmas music, watching favorite Christmas movies, lighting candles reserved for the season, entertaining, preparing special treats that for some reason are only eaten during Christmas time, strolling through stores and malls with special decorations and driving through neighborhoods that have prepared for this most important day.

Most of all, getting ready for Christmas includes the reading of the Christmas story. As a believer, I continue to be amazed and grateful that God would send His Son to live among men so that we might live with Him forever. As God was preparing the world for the first Christmas, He enlisted angels to bring messages to those who would be directly involved.

DSC06772Many people are fascinated by angels, including me. Movies, television programs and books support the idea that good people become angels. That theory can make interesting entertainment, but it is not true. According to scripture, angels are unique creations of God and are spirits sent by God to minister to believers.

Other popular pieces of literature about angels concentrate on their involvement in the lives of people – sometimes detailing rescues and comfort in trying situations. Although it is possible to have encounters with angels, these visitations originate with God, not the angels themselves. Good angels are always on assignment from God. He deserves the credit for any rescue or comfort received at the hands of angels.

Joseph, who was engaged to the virgin Mary, came to understand his special role in the life of Jesus through many visitations of angels. After the birth of Christ, humble shepherds in the field were honored to receive a birth announcement – via special delivery through an angel and accompanied by an angelic choir.

Gabriel is one of two angels whose name we know. We first discover him in the Old Testament where he was sent by God to explain visions to Daniel. His most familiar appearances were in the New Testament as God sent him to prepare the world for the coming of the Christ child. He told Zacharias that God sent him to bring him news of the birth of his son, John the Baptist, whose voice in the wilderness would prepare the way of the Lord. When Gabriel is last mentioned in scripture by name, it was to deliver greetings from God to a young virgin who, because she had found favor with God, would be blessed among women and give birth to the promised Messiah.

“I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God… the angel Gabriel was sent by God…to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary…And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus…The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you, therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:19, 26, 27, 31, 35).