Has it ever occurred to you just how soon Jesus is returning for His people? It is literally on top of us, folks! That is what makes our behavior, our attitudes, our sensitivity to hear His voice and to respond of such a critical nature.
As faith-filled believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a commission in front of us. That commission incorporates more than "Jesus saves"; it means we live our lives functioning in the grace, the love, the power and the authority to demonstrate the gift that Jesus makes available to the world around us. It means we'd better have a whole lot more than just words. We'd better be showing who and what we are as Christians by healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers and casting out demons.
Well, that wasn't the way I expected to start this Coffee Break, but it's what the Holy Spirit has been pouring into me, and I simply felt the need to say that to you before we get on with our discussion today.
Anyway, Good Morning! The Blessing of the Lord be upon you!
My French Press is full and running over. That means it's time to pour a cup. Got yours yet?
This topic of angelology is a sensitive one for many believers today. Although technically the word, "angelology," means the study of angels, for lots of Christians it represents the worship of angels. As any believer knows, we don't worship angels. At least we'd better not. They're simply ministering spirits sent by God to do our bidding as heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
I quoted one verse from Psalm 103:20 in our last Coffee Break that I realized needed some clarification. That's the verse where David sings, "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his Word."
When we speak of having the ability to command angels, it is important to remember that they only respond "to the voice of His Word." The Hebrew word translated "voice" is kole: which is better rendered sound. It's the same word that occurs in Genesis 3:8 where we are told, "And they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the Garden in the cool of the day."
So what is this "sound of the Lord" or "the sound of His Word" that angels listen and respond to? Put very simply, it is the Word which God has spoken to us by His Spirit (that's the rhema) and commanded us in His written Word (that's the logos). The spoken Word to us is confirmed by what He has previously said and is written in Scripture. The sound of the Lord is the Word of the Lord which we speak, the same Word they've already heard and know, that they respond to and obey.
The angels have already heard His Word. They were designed to function in, through, by and with His Word for our benefit!
So many folks today get hot and bothered over the very idea that modern-day apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers receive visitations from angels and then speak and teach what they are told. I see some of the Christian writers and columnists in their opinion columns saying, "This is heresy! They're supposed to preach the Gospel."
Have you ever considered that word, Gospel? In the original Greek text, the word is euangelion -- actually written euaggelion, but pronounced yoo - ang - ghel' - ee - on. It literally translates as: the announcement or declaration of news brought by angels; angelic tidings; hence, good news from God brought by His messengers.
If the Gospel is angelic tidings from God, why are so many people being stirred by the fact that angels continue to show up with messages from God? It's not like they're delivering some piece of information or tidings or news from God that contradicts what He's already said!
When Roland Buck first began to share his experiences of angelic visitations nearly 30 years ago and said that the angels told him who they were, I scratched my head. I knew that Michael and Gabriel were archangels whose names were mentioned in Scripture, but some of these other names didn't compute with me. That left me with then considering what they were saying and comparing what they were saying to what God has already said in His written Word.
When I found no conflict and there was no check in my spirit from the Holy Spirit, the only conclusion left was that they were the genuine article.
Bob Jones frequently talks about his experiences with angels, and shares their names. One of the angels he has spoken of recently told him that his name was "Winds of Change," and that wherever he was sent, he was empowered to bring change in the spiritual environment so that folks could and would hear and respond to what God is saying. That, folks, is an angel who conducts warfare on our behalf, defeating demonic powers who oppress God's people and blind them to the truth.
This is not unlike what Daniel experienced when he was
fasting and praying and seeking an answer from God concerning a vision he'd
just had. The angel of the Lord appears to him on the 21st day of the
fast and says to him, "Fear not,
Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine
heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy
God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of
Get it? This angel -- we don't have his name in this
case -- was sent by the Lord to bring an answer to Daniel. He wound up
doing battle with demonic powers -- in this instance, the prince of
This is the picture that the apostle Paul draws in Ephesians 6:12 where he says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
I won't take the time today to render this from the Greek
text, but no picture could be clearer. The battles we fight are not
against people, but against demonic powers who
function through individuals, opposing everything of the
Let's address this canard that the fearful and unbelieving often use -- and I used this illustration in the first part of this discussion -- Better be careful! You know how easy it is to get deceived. Never know when they might actually be demons coming as "angels of light."
First of all, contrary to popular opinion it is not easy to get deceived. OK, let me qualify that. It is not easy for anyone walking and living in the Spirit to be deceived. But let's take the two examples in Paul's letters where he speaks of this.
In his second letter to the Ekklesia in Corinth, Paul first makes it clear that he has manifested and demonstrated the Word of God when he writes, "But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things." (Here's a funny thing! He describes himself as being rude in speech -- the Greek word for rude is: idiotes -- idiotic!)
Then he says, "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (II Corinthians 11:6, 12-15)
First of all, Paul's reference to Satan's "ministers being transformed into ministers of righteousness" is not a reference to angels, but rather he speaks of those who pretend to be commissioned of the Lord (the Greek word is pseudapostolos [a term from the Greek theater] -- pretend apostles, those who pretend that they've been sent by the Lord). He refers to Satan as being the one who transforms himself into an angel of light.
Put that in its proper perspective. Isaiah () refers to Satan as Lucifer. The name, Lucifer, actually derives from the Latin -- a language not even in existence in Isaiah's time -- and is a contraction of two Latin words: lux or lucis (meaning: light), and ferre (meaning: to bear). Lucifer, therefore, in its Latin context means: one who bears light, or light-bearer. But this word -- or name -- has an entirely different connotation.
The English word, lucid, comes from lucis and means: of bright or clear understanding; and the word ferre is the root to our word, ferry (meaning to bear, to carry, to transport). That's your lesson in Latin for the day. Hehehehehehe...........
The word in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 14, however, is not Lucifer, but heylel. That word comes from halal -- a word most often translated for praise, boisterous -- almost foolish -- dancing, to be colorfully bright and to give light or luminance in the midst of praise or worship. Both terms are musical in origin and usage.
The "angel of light," therefore, is a messenger who attempts to teach, to illuminate, to communicate and give understanding through music. The "light" that Satan transforms himself into is musical in nature. I don't know of a better illustration or description of the corruption of music in the world today. I'm not going there today, but it takes no great rocket science to understand that much of what we call "music" today -- even in the body of Christ -- is accurately described by Isaiah in the previous verse (11) as "the noise of thy viols."
Now, lets get to the next
reference where Paul is writing to the Ekklesia in
Then Paul clarifies what he means by "another gospel." "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Are you getting the picture? Paul makes clear the fact that this "other gospel" -- even if preached by an angel -- is man-pleasing. It is flesh-pleasing. It does not present Jesus Christ as "The Way, The Truth and The Life." It provides "other paths to God" through teaching which is not the angelic tidings or news that God sent through Jesus Christ. It refutes what Jesus said when He stated, "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Any "gospel" which does not preach salvation (the Greek term is sozo: deliverance, healing, safety, salvation, wholeness and prosperity) through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone is not the Gospel that the apostle Paul refers to. Any "gospel" which shortchanges the whole truth of the Kingdom that Jesus presented and paid for on our behalf and suggests that a portion of what Jesus paid for is neither relevant for today nor available to us is demonic.
Any "gospel" which says that miracles are not for today, that healing is not for today, that speaking in tongues died out with the apostles, that God wants his people to live meager, poverty-stricken existences instead of the abundant life that Jesus provides; any teaching that sells Jesus short is demonic.
Understand? We're talking about any teaching which either takes away from what God has already said, or adds to in the sense of requiring people to take some additional steps in order to be "saved," or to receive what God has already provided through Jesus Christ.
Go back again to what Paul wrote: "There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
The allegation that the angelic visitations many believers are receiving today are spurious, or that they are actually demons coming as "angels of light" really is pretty far-fetched. While there certainly are instances of demons -- or more likely, Satan himself -- coming as an angel of light, there are no Holy Spirit-filled believers (and I accentuate Holy-Spirit filled) who would buy into those doctrines.
Perhaps the most obvious instance of Satan coming as an angel of light in more modern times would be the case of the spurious angel, Moroni (the name alone ought to give a clue as to his origin), coming to Joseph Smith and promoting a fistful of screwball doctrines which take away from the divinity of Jesus Christ, the price He paid for us on the Cross, and the call to a personal and intimate love-relationship with Jesus Christ.
Angelology -- in its most obvious usage -- would be the promoting of an angel with a message that either supersedes or subverts the Gospel of Jesus Christ with other spurious teachings. Having conversations with angels -- such as those we've already talked about -- doesn't even come close to "angelology" or the promoting of "another gospel."
There's a whole lot more I could say on this topic, and maybe we'll come back to it at some later time, but I wanted to touch on some of the current accusations that are floating concerning the move of God that is taking place now.
Faith causes the intellect to see, the heart to hear, and the will to respond. Faith is not a substitute: it is the very substance of that which we hope for and expect. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22)
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