One of the things on the list of 120 events that were on the parchment that dad brought back with him from the throne room was a ministry in the Philippines. God miraculously worked this ministry out without my father pulling a single string trying to help God out. The complete story of the Mission Philippines is told in Angels on Assignment.
I want to share a part of the story that is very special to me, because it shows the great love and compassion my father had for people.
When he arrived in the Philippines, he found that his time there had been very tightly scheduled. On the Monday after he arrived he met with one medical doctor, a college professor, and two pilots. They had just returned from Mindanao where there is a tribe which had been discovered just a year and a half previously. They were far back in the jungles, and while this group had been there, the professor was able to put together some type of a communication bridge to them. Daddy explained to them that God had sent him to the Philippines, and they said, "We came here for a rest, but we don't need it. Let's go back tomorrow. We want to take you down there because God is in this."
Daddy really got excited until he realized that it was impossible for him to go because of his heavy schedule. That night he tossed and turned in his bed. It was hot and sticky in that place, and very difficult to sleep. Besides that, he kept thinking that he had really muffed it in allowing his schedule to be so tight. He pulled the sheets up in a big old knot, as he wrestled with this problem. About two o'clock in the morning, he finally went to sleep.
(I love this part!) About four in the morning, the light came on in his room, and he opened his eyes. Sitting on the other bed in the room were Gabriel and Chrioni. Daddy was so sleepy he said, "How did you find me here?"
Gabriel told dad that God wanted him to mingle with these people so they could get a good grip on this message and take it back to their area. This made daddy feel better, and then Gabriel said, "The reason we have come is that God has sensed the concern in your heart about your schedule. He wants us to tell you not to be concerned about your schedule, because it is so ordered and arranged that every person who meets with you has been personally selected by God to hear what you have to say.
This really relieved the pressure for my dad and he began to walk the streets and mingle with the people during the day, knowing that he was right in the middle of where God had placed him.
He saw a lady in the marketplace who was crying and crying, and thru an interpreter, who just happened to start walking with him, asked her what was the matter. She said, that it was not important. Daddy told her that anything that was important to her was important to God. The he prayed for her. As she lifted her head, it looked like the sun had come out in her face. She said, "Are you Jesus?" Daddy told her, "No, but I am His representative!"
He told me about a little old lady who was carrying a heavy load. He had been told that in this culture men never carry loads for the women, but daddy just couldn't stand to see her struggling along, so he took her heavy bundle and carried it for her. Word began to get around about this man who cared so much about people, and soon, everywhere daddy went, as he walked thru the streets of the city, people followed him. He would stop and simply share with them the Good News. Many people were healed as they stood listening to him. Blind eyes were opened, deaf ears could hear, and the lame walked.
Before he left the city in the Philippines, the mayor of the city honored him with a special medallion.
It didn't surprise me, after he told me these beautiful stories of God's care in the Philippines that when he went to minister in Alaska Gabriel also found him there.
The following is the thrilling account of his Alaska encounter, in his own words, as he told it to our congregation.
"Early in the morning in Ketchikan, I heard the familiar voice of Gabriel. He told me not to get up, but to just go ahead and lie there. I'm sure he knew I really needed the rest. I hadn't slept over three hours any night while I was in Alaska, because of the tremendous surge of interest by the people, as we shared together following the services. The presence of God would be so close each morning I would get up in the early hours to just worship Him.
"The pastor's wife in Ketchikan was an Indian lady. She had seemed very happy as we visited around the table and in the home, but Gabriel said, 'I want you to bring a message to this pastor's wife. Tell her she is very special to God. She has a poor image of herself. She thinks she's worthless. She thinks that she's not accepted like she ought to be, because of her race, but tell her God loves her, and God has put her right where she belongs. Tell her she is special!'
"I could hardly wait to give her this message, but she didn't get up before I had to leave to catch my plane that morning. So, I told her husband. He told me that his wife needed this more than anything. I would have loved to have been a little mouse in the corner when he told her how God felt about her!" (Sharon's note: Two years later while I was compiling this book, I called this pastor's wife to hear in her own words her reaction to this personal message from God. She told me she had been going thru a tremendous crisis time in her life ... she really needed to know at that time God cared for her personally.)
"That morning, Gabriel also told me the name of a man God would use in a way of spreading these truths in areas I would never be able to touch. God prepares people long before they ever know Him. Gabriel did not say whether this man knew God or not, he just gave me his name, John Sandor. I wrote it down on my checkbook.
"Later when I got on the place to fly home, I was really interested to see who would sit by me on the plane, just in case it might be the right one. So when a man came and sat down, I thought, "I wonder if this could be the guy." I was a little disappointed when he pulled out some papers, and I saw a name written quite large on them, and it wasn't John Sandor. I decided, however, that since he was sitting here God must have a reason, so I would tell him about the Lord anyway.
"I asked him, 'Would you be amazed or would it throw you if somebody told you that angels are appearing in the world today?' I went on to tell him the reason I was in Alaska was to bring the message that the angels had given me to share. He put his paper down, and listened very carefully to what I had to say. I told him how the Lord had given me names of several people ahead of time, and then I had met them on airplanes. He said, 'That's really amazing!'
"He then told me that he was in forestry for Alaska, and that he knew the ins and outs and the little nooks and crannies of Alaska.
"We talked for a long time. I told him I also had the name of a man that I was going to meet sometime soon, who God was going to use in a very special way. He told me that this had been a very stimulating conversation. He asked me my name and I told him. Then he told me his name ... John Sandor. When I let him know that his name was the one God had given me, he was really surprised. He told me that he never thought God would be interested like this in him."
(Sharon's note: I decided to try to give John Sandor a call. Sure enough, he was in forestry in Juneau, Alaska, and he remembered this meeting with my dad very well. He told me that it was very strange, because he doesn't talk with fellow passengers, as he is usually engrossed in paperwork. He told me when he told my father his name, he acted like he recognized it. This seemed odd to John, because his name is not a common one. Then my dad shared with him that God had given him his name thru an angelic messenger, and there was more to their meeting than appeared on the surface. John Sandor told me this encounter with the supernatural had given him a strong reinforcement of God's care for the individual and that he could communicate with Him on a personal level.)
"Gabriel then began to share with me some further illumination about this message he had been bringing, and why the sacrifice of Jesus was so important.
"I hadn't realized before how closely associated to the sacrifice of Christ, was the function and ministry of Gabriel. I knew from the Scriptures he had previously given me, that he had been at Golgotha when Jesus died.
"He built upon the point again, telling me the tremendous need that people have of hearing the message: God has taken care of everything, and all their sins are covered.
"He then went into a description of the people in the Old Testament, as given by Paul in Hebrews 10:1-14. He was speaking about the sacrifice for the atonement that had to be made year after year. In those sacrifices, there was a remembrance made of sin every year.
"Gabriel then reminded me of when he stood before Zacharias in Luke 1. This was an example of the critical hour that took place when the sacrifice for the year had come to an end, and the next one was going to be made.
"During the time between the sacrifices, when the covering had expired, the people of Israel stood naked, hopeless, and helpless before the eyes of the eternal God. All the charges against them were under review by God. He saw their sins and their guilt as they were reviewed from year to year, and another year of probation had to be arranged.
Leviticus 23:27, 28 "Remember that the Day of Atonement is to be celebrated on the ninth day after the Festival of Trumpets. On that day you must humble yourselves, gather for a sacred assembly, and present offerings to the LORD by fire. 28 Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement will be made for you before the LORD your God, and payment will be made for your sins."
"Then Gabriel told me that he was present at every sacrifice for the atonement thru the years, standing in the presence of God, whose position was above the altar in the Holy of Holies. Because Gabriel dwells in the presence of God, when God moved into the Holy of Holies, Gabriel moved with Him. He was unseen until he appeared to Zacharias in Luke 1:8-12,19:
1:8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the Lord's presence. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying. 11 Zechariah was in the sanctuary when an angel of the Lord appeared, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was overwhelmed with fear. 13 But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice with you at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or hard liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will persuade many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah, the prophet of old. He will precede the coming of the Lord, preparing the people for his arrival. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will change disobedient minds to accept godly wisdom." 18 Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I know this will happen? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years." 19 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!.
"Gabriel said that the priest was offering up the incense, and the whole community was standing and trembling on the outside. Their acceptance by God was based on the observance of certain rules. They were making themselves acceptable during this interim period, when the covering had ceased, and before God accepted the new sacrifice. All the people were praying outside because if something would have happened and the priest had not thrown in the incense he would have died, as there was no covering.
Leviticus 16:12,13 - 12 he will fill an incense burner with burning coals from the altar that stands before the LORD. Then, after filling both his hands with fragrant incense, he will carry the burner and incense behind the inner curtain. 13 There in the LORD's presence, he will put the incense on the burning coals so that a cloud of incense will rise over the Ark's cover, the place of atonement, that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. If he follows these instructions, he will not die.
Although he had prepared himself and made himself as perfect as he could possibly be made, he still could not perform his priestly duties without the covering. As the priest fulfilled this obligation, the cloud arose from the incense and covered him, and God could again smile because the sins were covered for another year. He smelled the sweet savor, and the stroke of His wrath struck the incense instead of the priest.
"God said to Gabriel, 'Gabriel, you can now appear in full view to Zacharias.' Zacharias looked and saw, standing at the right end of that altar, this giant angel. It scared him like it scared me. Gabriel didn't just walk in and stand there. He was present at every sacrifice thru the centuries.
"Zacharias saw him and was troubled, fell, and fear came upon him, but the angel said unto him, 'Fear not, Zacharias, thy prayer is heard. I am Gabriel that stands in the presence of God, and I am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.' Every time Gabriel has appeared with a message throughout the Word, it has been with a message of 'good tidings.' And God is allowing him to be seen now, and it is still a message of 'good tidings.' The message is, 'The covering is complete!'
"The festival of atonement in the Old Testament was a reminder that Israel's probation had expired, and that their covering must be renewed. For this reason, man was given certain guidelines based on complete obedience so that they would earn a reprieve during the time of exposure.
"What God wants to say to people now, thru His divine messenger is this ... the sad thing that has happened in the lives of so many believers, is the feeling they are living, so to speak, in the hour between the sacrifices. And their acceptance by God is still based on what they are able to earn by the completeness of their achievement. Therefore, they are living in constant fear of making a mistake in the eyes of God.
"God said in Hebrews 10:12-14, thru His servant, Paul, 'This Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.' The word sanctified means the sharing of His life. He has perfected forever those who share His life.
"I would like to share with you what Gabriel gave me about Jesus' sacrifice. 'As the fire of God's judgment struck Him, who was the sacrifice by the offering of himself, a cloud ascended that covered all time and space. It was carried on the wings of grace until it stretched backward across the ages to the beginning of man erasing all of those charges that kept coming up every year. It spread outward from Calvary across all ages to the end of time, completing a plan that was formed in God's heart before the world began, of making man acceptable in His sight.'
"Then Gabriel reminded me in a little postscript about those who sin and remove themselves from the covering thru open rebellion and idolatry in their rejection of God as their leader and king. Hebrews 10:16 "This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them." Those people place themselves in the same position under the blazing eye of God - open and exposed - as those Israelites were so long ago, during the interim period between the sacrifices. These people may look for other ways to try to produce their own acceptance thru works, but there is no other way than to say, 'Jesus, I must accept the sacrifice that you made. I repent, and I am sorry for trying to go my own way. I come back!' Then the cloud will cover them, and they can be at peace again.
"This is the message that God wants the world to hear today. He wants people to know that the sacrifice is complete, and the covering is still there. It went out both directions thru all the world, and then it moved thru time until it reached our day. It will move on, continuing to cover those who have placed their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, until the end of time. Jesus made one sacrifice for sin forever. This is a message of hope for all people who want to live for God."
Next: Face to Face (Pastor Buck meets Jesus)