Messengers of Light

Scripture: Daniel 9:20-21, Hebrews 2:7, Genesis 3:24
Light travels at incredible speeds, but the Bible speaks of beings that travel much faster than that--angels. This broadcast looks at what the Bible says about these messengers from heaven. They protect God's people and they communicate messages from heaven to us.
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Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. It takes light eight minutes to travel from the sun to us, 93,000,000 miles. Light from the nearest star traveling at that immense speed, takes four and one half years to reach the earth.

Think of it another way, light can travel around the world seven and a half times in just one second.

I can hear someone say, "My, that is faster than anybody has ever traveled or ever will be able to travel." But wait a minute, friends. Is that really true? Now I know that no human being ever passed through space that fast, but did you know that visitors have come from outer space to this earth in much less time than that. They have traveled even faster than a ray of light. Now don't go away before I can explain that statement, it's really true. Angels can travel faster than light and they are beings from another world and they have visited this world over and over again. We're going to prove all those statements during the next few minutes but let me read about the speed of angels first, in Daniel 9:20, 21. The prophet Daniel is speaking.

"And, whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation."

Daniel had been praying for a little over two minutes when the angel Gabriel appeared in answer to his prayer. And Gabriel says that he was asked to fly swiftly from heaven to Daniel.

What comfort this should bring to God's children, to know that the angels of heaven can outdistance the speed of light itself, in rushing to the aid of one of God's humble children. Why don't we trust God more?

But who are these speedy messengers of light that visit this earth in answer to men's prayers? This subject of angels has been grossly misunderstood and distorted.

There are some who believe that when good people die, especially saintly mothers or little children, that they become angels. If you believe that, you are going to be amazed at what the Bible says about it. This idea is far from the truth of it. To begin with angels are a created order of beings, higher than that of men. When Adam and Eve were created they were made a lower order of beings than were the angels. I read from Hebrews 2:7, "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels." Here it gives us the clue to the whole study, and that is, that angels are a higher form of life than man. In another place it says that Christ took on Himself the form of man and became a little lower than the angels. He was willing to become lower than the angels that He might redeem man.

Hebrews 2:9 tells us this: "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." That is to say: When Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, when He took upon His divinity, humanity, when He took our flesh, He was made lower than the angels. We need to recognize that in God's creation there are various levels of creatures, and humans are not the highest order.

Angels were created by God in the vast eternity of the past, we don't know just when, and they certainly possess powers that no member of the human family can demonstrate. And no human being has ever been or ever will be an angel. They came into existence before Adam and Eve were created, and long before the first man died God posted angels to guard the gates of the Garden of Eden, Here's the account of it in Genesis 3:24. "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Adam and Eve were living at this time, and there had been no deaths in the human family yet there are angels, Cherubims, here. God placed them to guard the way of the Tree of Life, lest sinful Adam and Eve should eat of it and live forever. Job has something to say about that: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? " Job 38: 4,7. The morning stars are angels, and they were here at the creation of the earth. So our departed friends are not angels.

Zechariah 1:9, 10, and onward gives a remarkable picture of the organization of heavenly beings in carrying forward God's word in the earth. "Then said I, 0 my Lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth." The whole interest of the family of angels in heaven is the redemption and salvation of man.

You may be surprised at this, but God is taking better care of you than you realize, God has multiple millions of good angels in heaven, angels who excel in strength, and who are of kindly-intent toward the people of earth. Psalm 34:7 says, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." You would be surprised if you only knew how many times you had been delivered, from danger both spiritual and physical. I can think of several times when my guardian angel saved me from death. That's pretty wonderful isn't it? That God would take so much interest in us that He would commission an angel to come from heaven to this earth to look out for us.

When Peter was in prison God sent His angel to bring him out. "The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought him forth." The Lord did this more than once. There was a time when the church was praying for Peter, and God sent his angel and woke Peter up, who was sleeping between two guards. He was chained to each guard, and the angel caused the shackles to fall off. He told Peter to put his shoes on, and his coat. Then the angel and Peter walked out of the prison, the doors and gates opening before them. When they reached the street the angel left Peter, and Peter made his way to the house where the church was praying for His release. This was a wonderful deliverance, especially for Peter, for Herod planned to kill him the next day.

When Daniel was thrown in the lions den, he said, "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lion's mouth, that they have not hurt me." Daniel 6:22. Angels have performed many services to men during the history of this sinful world. When Jesus was here they often ministered to Him. Matthew 4:11 says, "Behold, angels came and ministered unto him." And Luke 22:43 tells us this: "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him." This was during His terrible ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane.

How many angels are there in heaven? Just two or three, or more? Well, there are so many that we don't know how many, but millions upon millions of them. Revelation 5:11 gives us some little idea: "I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Now ten thousand times ten thousand would be one hundred million. And besides that there are thousands of thousands. So you can just about put that down as an uncountable multitude. And since the entrance of the sin problem on this earth, their work, their job, has been to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. Hebrews 1:14 tells us, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation." Now I'm sure you reckon yourself to be an heir of salvation. And if you are, you have a protecting angel with you. But be sure you live according to the standard of God's Word so that you do not grieve him away. Be sure you don't go where your angel won't go with you.

Then I read to you in Matthew 18:10, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven." Here Jesus plainly states that every little child has a guardian angel who is his representative before God. Genesis 48:16, "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads: and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." Jacob was growing old and when he was blessing the children, he referred to "the angel which redeemed me from all evil." His guardian Angel had protected him, and now he left his children in the care of the guardian angels.

I love this Bible picture of angels as men of power. Psalm 103:20, "Bless the Lord ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word." This pictures the angels, not just as some one that protects the children, but as powerful beings which excel in strength. If there is a controversy with an opposing power, the angels will excel. The angels of the Lord are never equaled as long as we are obedient to God's Word. But as soon as we stop keeping God's commandments, we are on Satan's ground and under his power. The angels' power to protect us is gone, but Satan's evil angels can never conquer an angel of the Lord.

Daniel was placed in that den with hungry lions. They turned the lions in and they didn't even taste of Daniel. The next day Daniel said the Lord sent His angel to close the mouths of the lions. A modern Hebrew 'scholar' says, "That may be, but they were probably old lions and had lost all their teeth." How people will try to do away with God and the inspiration of His Word! But if the scoffing scholar would go to the Bible, he would find that the next day they threw in the men who had accused Daniel, and you find that they didn't have any trouble with their teeth that day. Today God is just as willing to deliver as He was back then.

When you hear people arguing that this world is so small in comparison with the rest of God's universe, how can God care about the individual details of our little lives, just remind them that God has given every individual an angel to watch by his side all the time. That angel lives your life with you. You are his charge and he cares for you and his whole desire is that you might be an heir of salvation; that you might accept the sacrifice that Jesus was willing to make for you. I find great comfort in Revelation 12:4 which shows that there are twice as many of the Lord's angels as there are of Satan's. The odds are two to one for you in your struggle against Satan and his tempting angels.

Some say, "The idea of angels is all right, but if it could be just a little bit more real." That is what Elisha thought one time when he was with his servant, and they were surrounded by armies. The place is still pointed out to you when you visit that part of Palestine. The servant was so frightened and said, "How shall we escape?" Why Elisha answered him, "Let's pray." And Elisha prayed that God would open the young man's eyes and when his eyes were opened what did he see? 2 Kings 6:17, "And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." I ask you, friends, were those chariots of fire more real after he saw them than before? No. Even though he couldn't see them, they were there. The pity is that he didn't have the faith of Elisha. Elisha couldn't see them either, but he had faith that when God said He would protect His children, He would do it. And when the young man's eyes were opened he saw them.

This room is full of angels. It is an actual fact that angels are by our sides. If I didn't believe that, I couldn't kneel down and pray. I could never preach another sermon. There are angels in the room even though we can't see them. This room is full of music. It is full of a lot of other noises. If you don't think so just bring a little radio and plug it in, and hear what is in this room. You could get 40 or 50 different stations if you had a good radio; you would find that the air is full of music. Is it real? Very. Just because we can't hear it now doesn't mean that it isn't here. If we could just carry that thought in our minds when we are in danger, in the time of fear; if we could put on heavenly glasses, we would see the angels as real beings that excel in strength.

According to Hebrews 13:2, angels have appeared many times to members of the human family, but were not recognized. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Angels have sometimes appeared as men. Strangers come to some homes appearing like ordinary men; the apostle warns us to be careful and entertain them, as we would a heavenly being, for some people without realizing it have entertained angels unawares.

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