Angels On Assignment (Ch. 13, pages 173-185)
This is a day of renewed spiritual activity! Strange things are happening! People are being awakened! Enemies of Christ are leaving the enemy camp and are moving over to God's side. New voices are being heard proclaiming the Good News. What we are seeing is evidence that an army from heaven is on the move!
I have heard many testimonies of people who were completely away from God; friends have talked to them, members of the family have talked to them, and others have prayed for them, but they stubbornly resisted God. They would appear to be the least likely ones to come to Jesus, but in God's great plan and purpose he sent word through a divine emissary which turned them around. It's happening in the sports world, the business world, the entertainment world, and the political world! People are turning to God and finding him real. The angelic hosts of heaven are on the move!
The whole study of angels is beautiful! The thirteenth chapter of Judges points out an exciting truth about them. "And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not."
In God's plan book, he had destined these forty years, but during this time, he prepared a family through which he could bring deliverance to the people.
"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, you are barren, and bare not; but you will conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray you, and drink not wine or strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing; For, lo you will conceive, and bear a son; and no razor will come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came to me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible; but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name; But he said to me, Behold, you will conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine or strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing; for the child will be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. Then Manoah entreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which you did send come again to us, and teach us what we should do unto the child that will be born. And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. And the woman made haste, and ran, and showed her husband, and said to him, Behold, the man has appeared unto me, that came to me the other day. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said to him, Are you the man that spoke unto the woman? And he said, I am. And Manoah said, Now let your words come to pass (Webmaster's note: this is faith in action [opposite of unbelief]: let your words come to pass). How will we order the child, and how will we do to him? And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said to the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe. And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, I pray you, let us detain you, until we will made ready a kid for you. And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, Though you detain me, I will not eat of your bread; and if you will offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, What is your name, that when your sayings come to pass we may do you honor? And the angel of the Lord said to him, Why do you ask my name, seeing it is a secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord; and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground" (Judges 13:1-20).
This is a beautiful story with truths which are up-to-date and pertinent for us today. God saw to it that the message brought by the angel came to pass.
Angels can take on the appearance of a person, but their image is not necessary for their presence to be there. In this story, the angel appeared so that he could be seen with the natural eyes.
The Bible tells us that the angels are God's messengers and they do his bidding. He gives the signals and calls out the orders to them. For this reason, when Manoah prayed, he said, "God, send the angel." This lesson plainly shows that we are not to pray to angels, nor can we command them to do anything! It also shows that the angel stayed quite some time with them and carried on conversation, even teaching them.
Angels are never to be worshiped. They are so ordained and created that there is no place in their entire being for praise or honor. They are called the hosts of the Lord, and their purpose is to serve the eternal God.
There are many beautiful passages throughout the Bible which relate stories of angels. Because Chrioni had been a part of many of these events, he told me some of these stories, and it made them come alive!
In Joshua 5:13,14, the children of Israel had just crossed over the Jordan and were ready to invade the promised land. Joshua went out ad saw a man with a sword in his hand and asked him if he was for the Israelites or for their adversaries.
If an angel were to tell believers today what he told Joshua, they would probably be depressed, because this angel said, "Wrong on both counts! I'm not with your enemies, and I'm not part of your army. I'm part of another army, and I have come with orders from God. Standing all around me and behind me in great and mighty columns, are myriad's of angels. You can't see them, Joshua, but there is a host of them, and I'm the captain!"
Because someone asked me if this scripture was referring to Jesus as an angel, I asked Chrioni and he said it was not, because he (Chrioni) was there as the captain of the host of the Lord. When Joshua fell on his face to worship, Chrioni told him to take off his shoes; "for the place whereon you stand is holy" (Joshua 5:15). This is the identical thing the angel of the Lord said to Moses from the burning bush! (Exodus 3:4-5).
Chrioni said that God, in his great plan, had it all mapped out. Jericho was the first city they came to, and with a great victory for God here, the other kings and armies would fear the Israelites and know that God was on their side when they saw a great miracle, so God sent Chrioni with a band of angels and with his orders for Jericho. God knew exactly how the city was going to be conquered!
If we could somehow reach back into time and take a look at God's battle plans for this angelic army, they would probably read something like this: "The children of Israel are our allies. They are going to march around those walls seven days, and the last day they will go around seven times. I have already given them their orders, so we are going to have to coordinate those with what we do here. The priests are to blow their trumpets and the people are to shout at a given signal. When you hear their shout, PUSH THE WALLS DOWN!"
Chrioni told me the angels took their positions on top of those walls, waiting for the shout! Israel didn't even know what was going on, but God did, and the angels did! They waited, and when they heard the shout, every angel who was there pushed with all his might and strength, and the great big thick walls went DOWN into the ground! Those walls were thick enough to build a house on, and if they had tipped over, or had been pushed over, there still would have been a wall, because they were about as thick as they were high! God said to the angels, "Push them down." And the Bible tells us that the walls went down "flat" (Joshua 6:20). They didn't even have to pick their way through cracks and rubble because the walls were pushed DOWN into the ground!
This was an act of the angels. I can visualize Chrioni looking at his orders and noticing a special condition God had made for one little part of this wall. When Rahab protected the two spies sent to observe the promised land, God made a promise to her and assured her that he would protect her and her family. I can just see Chrioni ordering some of his angels to go to that part of the wall and hold it up, while the others pushed down on the rest of the wall!
Someone told me recently that the actual excavation shows the walls were pushed down like an elevator shaft. Think of the pressure the angels put on them! I have also been told that in the archaeological findings of the diggings of old Jericho, there is still evidence of the wall where Rahab's house was. Hallelujah!
This really makes the Bible come alive to know that the angels who helped take care of Jericho are still around and are still working with us under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
God has an eternity full of angels. He is not left without resources, and even though he could do everything himself because he is God, he has angels and people working with him all the time.
The angel of the Lord kept Balaam from cursing Israel! Balaam was tempted to curse Israel for some money, but God told the angel not to let him do it. I can imagine Balaam trying to curse Israel, and every time he started, the angel turned his tongue around, and he blessed them instead. He probably said, "What's the matter with me, am I losing my mind?" Then he would again start to curse, and again it would come out a blessing!
He didn't realize there was a big angel standing there who was putting a different "record" in his mouth, and Israel was blessed! This was so much an order from God that he even made a donkey talk! It really frightened Balaam, and he tried to force the donkey to move, but the donkey was stubborn, so instead he turned around and said, "Balaam, haven't I served you well all these years?"
Why would God ever allow such a story to be put in the Bible? Because it happened! That donkey spoke because of the presence of God's angel, even though he didn't know how to speak!
Here are some scriptures to help us not only know and realize the validity of the fact that angels are with us, but that we might be aware of their presence, and know that we can expect God's help through this army from heaven.
An angel came to Zacharias and Elisabeth with the message that John the Baptist would be born (Luke 1:11-20).
The angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that Jesus, the Son of God, was going to be born to her (Luke 1:26-35). That was God's plan unfolding right on time, as he had prepared, planned, and written down before he ever made earth.
Webmaster's Note: I found this very interesting that these two examples of angelic appearances to Zacharias and Mary are listed in this AoA book in this order, for their responses to an angelic visit are an important contrast between unbelief and faith. Zacharias was given a promise from God that was beyond his comprehension: he was to have a son in his old age (John the Baptist). It was hard to believe, so he asked God to give him confirmation [unbelief]. Apparently an angel speaking to him wasn't a big enough sign! God silenced him for nine months. When God silences the voices of unbelief, it is usually because their words could affect the outcome of a promise. When Zacharias saw God's promise fulfilled and he chose to name his son according to the command, against the wishes of his relatives, God loosed his tongue. Obedience against popular opinion will often reintroduce someone to personal faith. And that's a faith that goes against understanding.
Mary was also given a promise beyond comprehension: she was to give birth to the Son of God. When she couldn't understand, she asked how it was possible since she was a virgin. Understanding a promise from God has never been the prerequisite to it's fulfillment. Ignorance asks for understanding; unbelief asks for proof. She stands apart from Zacharias because while being ignorant she surrendered to the promise. Her cry remains one of the most important expressions the Church can learn in this day - "Be it unto me according to your word."
And so we have a choice: to stand in the shoes of Zacharias and lose our voice, or walk in the ways of Mary and invite God to restore to us the promises we cannot control.
-Taken from Ch. 13 of "When Heaven Invades Earth" by Bill Johnson
He allowed just exactly the right amount of time, so that on a given day everything would be in readiness. Jesus presented himself as a sacrifice on the exact day that God intended for him to do it. It was definitely not something that God decided on just a few years before it happened!
He let Daniel take a look over his shoulder and said, "Daniel, I'm going to show you some of my plans. Israel is going to go into captivity for seventy years. When the seventy years are up, there is going to be a decree go out by a king to rebuild Jerusalem. If you would like to start counting and count 483 years, you will discover a man who hasn't even been born yet."
He told of the march of Alexander the Great, and about the four generals who would be taking over in place of his four sons because God had it planned that way. "But," he said, "At the end of 483 years, Jesus is going to give his life for the world. He is going to die, not for himself, but for the sins of the world!" Exactly on time, Jesus died for the sins of the world!
In everything God does, he is telling us he loves us, that he cares for us, that he wants us, and that he will help us!
An angel warned Joseph. "After they were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up and flee to Egypt with the baby and his mother,' the angel said, ' and stay there until I tell you to return, for King Herod is going to try to kill the child'" (Matthew 2:13 TLB).
After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Word says, "Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by Satan. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. Then Satan tempted him to get food by changing stones into loaves of bread. 'It will prove you are the Son of God,' he said. But Jesus told him, 'No! For the Scriptures tell us that bread won't feed men's souls; obedience to every word of God is what we need.' Then Satan took him to Jerusalem to the roof of the Temple. 'Jump off,' he said, 'and prove you are the Son of God; for the Scriptures declare, "God will send his angels to keep you from harm," ... they will prevent you from smashing on the rocks below.' Jesus retorted, 'It also says not to put the Lord your God to a foolish test!' Next Satan took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. 'I'll give it all to you,' he said, 'If you will only kneel and worship me.' 'Get out of here, Satan,' Jesus told him. 'The Scriptures say, "Worship only the Lord God. Obey only him.'" Then Satan went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus" (Matthew 4:1-11 TLB).
In Luke 22:43 we also read that an angel from heaven came down and strengthened Jesus and ministered to him at the Mount of Olives in his hour of need.
Angels are mentioned throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis 24:7, God sent forth an angel to get a bride for Isaac. This was another part of God's plan. In Exodus 23:20 he sent "an Angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared." He sent his angels to clear the way in the going forth out of Egypt.
In Psalm 34:7, the Holy Spirit had David write these words, "The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them."
Think of Daniel when he was thrown into the lion's den (Daniel 6:22). The king felt sure that Daniel would be eaten up and there would be nothing but scraps down there in the morning. The king didn't sleep that night, because he was tormented about the thoughts of Daniel being eaten by those vicious lions. He thought about the horrible thing he had done by throwing Daniel into the lion's den, so the first thing in the morning, he ran and looked in and cried out, "Oh Daniel, servant of the Living God, was your God, whom you worship continually, able to deliver you from the lions?" "Did he do it?" He really didn't expect an answer back, but he thought he would try anyway. "My God has sent his angel," he said, "to shut the lions' mouths so that they can't touch me" (Daniel 6:20,22 TLB).
The angels of God are mighty! Since they are performing the work of God, they are unlimited in power. If one single angel could do so much, think of what the hosts of heaven that are marching today can do! Think of what they can accomplish. In every case, as the plan of God was unfolding and another chapter was being opened, the angels of God became visible and brought messages, and in our day, people all over the world have had visits from visible angels.
This ought to tell us something. God isn't letting this world run down without his notice and his attention. Another chapter is unfolding! Jesus is about ready to come! Hallelujah! The greatest rescue mission ever accomplished in all of the universe is about ready to take place. He has his angels out working now. They haven't just appeared in rare instances, but reports are being received all over the country that angelic beings are being seen!
I was thrilled when a Christian brother, John Weaver, pastor of Christian Center, Bozeman, Montana, told about how he was visited twice by an angel. When he was visited the first time, the angel gave him instructions. He thought it was a dream and that people would laugh at him, but the angel met him two weeks later while he was driving his car on his way home from a fellowship meeting.
The car was moving, the doors and windows were closed, the front seat beside him was empty, when suddenly this angel sat down beside him. He talked with him a little, reminding him of the assignment God had given him. When Pastor Weaver said he would do what God had told him to, the angel moved out the way he came in, and even though the car was going about 50 miles per hour, he just vanished! If the angel who visited Manoah could step into a flame and disappear, why couldn't an angel step out of a moving car without being hurt!
The Bible tells us that God hasn't changed. The Word says that people have entertained strangers and were not aware that they were angels. You don't always know them when you see them, unless you happen to see them step into a fire and go up in a flame, jump out of a car when it's moving and not hit the ground, or wake you in the middle of the night, but they are around.
Not one of the angels have ever died. They have not decreased in strength, they are still mighty! They have been sent forth to help us, to provide and care for us, and to camp around us. Psalm 91:11 says he has given them charge over us. They come as fast as the command of God or the thought of God. They may appear as an ordinary man of the street, they may appear as a dim, almost invisible figure, or they may appear as distinct a person as you or I. But one thing you can be sure of, you can clearly distinguish the difference between the real angels and your imagination. You don't have to struggle to see them to know they are there. They will make it plain that they are real angels, if that is their mission.
The angels prepare the way for us just as they prepared the way for people in the Bible. God wants us to be aware of the fact that he is not helpless in a corner somewhere, but his angels have been sent forth with the assignment to take care of his people.
"After testifying and preaching in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem ... But as for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, 'Go over to the road that runs from Jerusalem through the Gaza Desert, arriving around noon.'" (Acts 8:25-27 TLB). What was the purpose of the angel telling him to go over there? So he could meet the Ethiopian eunuch and introduce him to Jesus! God is doing the same thing today!
It would be exciting to see what the angels are doing right now in relation to your unsaved loved ones. You might think that nothing in heaven or earth could move them and turn them toward God, but there are angels out there tugging at them and following them along, because God wants them to be his. Angels are on special assignment from God to help you and your friends and relatives find him!
God loves us enough that he has prepared everything that we need for our deliverance and our help. He has sent his Holy Spirit to be with us, to teach us, and watch over us. The angels encamp around us! How can we lose?
Angels are on assignment today! Hallelujah!
Next: He is Coming Again!
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