One beautiful 🌙 moonlit night, grandpa 😤 went for a walk with his precious granddaughter 🙋. The stars ❄❄❄❄ were magnificent, as grandpa began to name them much to her amazement. Granddaughter said this to her grandpa,
“IF THE BOTTOM SIDE OF HEAVEN IS THIS BEAUTIFUL, WE CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE HOW BEAUTIFUL THE TOP SIDE OF HEAVEN IS.”
She was so right, out of the mouths of babes indeed! Children in their childlike faith sense things adults in their sophisticated wisdom can’t.
It is impossible to TOP WHAT THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN SEE! Matthew 28:10 tells us this,
“THEIR ANGELS ALWAYS BEHOLD THE FACE OF GOD.”
TOP THAT! Revelation 21:23 tells us this,
“THE CITY (THE NEW JERUSALEM) DOES NOT NEED THE SUN 🌞 OR THE MOON 🌙 TO SHINE ON IT, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ILLUMINES IT, AND THE LAMB 🐑 IS THE LAMP.”
That is what the ANGELS CONSTANTLY BEHOLD. On the Mt. of Transfiguration, the FACE OF JESUS SHONE BRIGHTER THAN THE NOON DAY SUN🌕! You and I cannot look straight up into the sun less it burn out our eyeballs. We will need new eyes 👀 to look at what the ANGELS LOOK AT CONSTANTLY! It is the SHEKINAH GLORY OF GOD! For now, no man has seen God in His full glory and lived to tell about it.
An elder in my church ⛪ died and went to Heaven! What He saw defied description or explanation. The LIGHT THAT HE SAW WAS LIKE NOTHING IN HIS EARTHLY LIFE. That was the first thing he told me when he came back to life on earth! The LIGHT WAS COMING FROM THE FACE OF GOD – IT WAS LIGHT FOR WHICH HE COULD FIND NO WORDS! Magnificent! Mesmerizing! Marvelous! Words failed him! As he spoke of it, wonder filled his eyes!
It was as if he had been RAPTURED TWICE – RAPTURED UP INTO HEAVEN – THEN SWALLOWED BY THE RAPTUROUS LIGHT FROM THE FACE OF GOD!
There is a striking Scripture in Ecclesiastes 1:8 where we read these intriguing words:
“THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING.”
Let’s get real here! The eye of all the senses is the most captivating, the most comprehensive, and the most satisfying! But the wiseman gets real as usual in his unsettling realism. Down here on earth, no matter what the eyes 👀 see, they eventually lose interest and want to see something else! They are not long satisfied! I think that explains his 700 wives, and 300 concubines.
We all are like spoiled children going from one toy to the next! Attention span on earth is so limited!
I am reminded of the breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains 🗻 from our hotel window! I spoke to the motel manager before we left, and commented on the spectacular sight that He has before him! His response was,
“OH, IT WILL BE THERE TOMORROW!”
In other words,
“HEY, YOU GET USED TO IT, I HARDLY NOTICE IT ANYMORE!”
NOT SO WITH THE FACE OF GOD THAT FIXATES THE ANGELS IN CONSTANT RAPTURE! That sight not only fills their eyes, it swallows them! Put it this way,
“IN HEAVEN THEY NOT ONLY SEE, BUT ARE FILLED WITH SEEING!”
YET ,YET, YET, the ANGELS OF GOD ARE not sent into great jubilation by what they see, BUT BY WHAT THEY HEAR – WHEN JESUS TELLS THEM THAT DICK HALL IN McKINNEY, TEXAS HAS TURNED FROM
Satan to JESUS, from SIN 🔳 TO RIGHTEOUSNESS 🔲!
One can only imagine it:
SUDDENLY JESUS INTERRUPTS THE ANGELS AS THEY CRY “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” AROUND THE THRONE OF GOD. THE ANGELIC HOSTS ARE BROUGHT TO RAPT ATTENTION BY THEIR MASTER! THERE IS A HEAVENLY ALERT 🔊 AS THE LORD JESUS ANNOUNCES THE NAME OF THE NEWEST SINNER TURNED SAINT TO HIS FATHER AND THE HOLY ANGELS. HEAVENLY REJOICING ERUPTS OVER THE ECSTASY OF THE LOST BEING FOUND, AND THE DEAD BEING MADE ALIVE! THE PRODICAL SON HAS COME HOME AND THERE IS NO ROOM FOR THE 😡 POUTING ELDER SON IN HEAVEN.
One would think that what happens down here would be a footnote ↪ at best, when in fact IT BECOMES THE HEADLINE 🌟 ON HEAVEN’S NEWS.
MEANWHILE, Screwtape is scolding his JUNIOR TEMPTER WORMWOOD for losing another soul to the enemy. Ole Screwtape is always getting on Wormwood for not corrupting the souls of men quickly and effectively enough. Heaven’s rejoicing is hell’s wretching, and,
“ANGELIC ECSTACY BECOMES THE DEMON’S AGONY!”
Billy Bray was a Cornish miner 👷 in the early 1800s. He lived the life of a drunkard and a profligate, and was a crude rude miner from the depths of the earth.
In 1823 Billy Bray, a son of Satan, became a son of God. Billy confessed his sins to Jesus, and Jesus cleansed him from all his sins with His precious blood, and made him a new creation! Billy the disciple of Christ became known to people and they referred to him as GOD’S GLAD MAN 😇. He overflowed with the JOY OF SALVATION!
One day he was working in the POTATO FIELD that he had planted. The devil came to him and told him that God really did not love him, and furthermore if God really loved him, He would not have given him such puny potatoes. The devil never stops trying to get the Christian back! Never! He is the sorest loser in the universe!
Billy, GOD’S GLAD MAN, spoke back to the devil and said,
“DEVIL, YOU NEVER HAD A BETTER SERVANT THAN ME, AND YOU NEVER GAVE ME A THING. BUT JESUS HAS GIVEN ME MORE THAN I COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED! LIFE WITH YOU IS HELL ON EARTH. HEAVEN WITHOUT JESUS WOULD BE HELL, AND HELL WITH JESUS WOULD BE HEAVEN!”
Satan had Billy as HIS BAD BOY😵, but Jesus made him GOD’S GLAD BOY😌! OLE SLEWFOOT WILL NEVER GET HIM BACK! THE GLAD ALWAYS OVERPOWERS THE BAD!
3. But why are the HEAVENLY HOSTS THE HEAVENLY CENTER OF HEAVEN’S JOY OVER THE SINNER’S RESCUE?
I’m not so sure that the ANGELS themselves fully understand either. They must have a holy wonder at it all.
We read about the angels in Jesus’ words in Matthew 34:36,
“THE ANGELS ARE IGNORANT OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.”
They do not know anymore about the when of the JUDGMENT DAY than we do! They behold the FACE OF GOD, but like us their knowledge and understanding is limited. They know Him Who alone knows all things, and they see Him Who alone sees all things.
The Apostle Peter tells us in I Peter 1:12 about the MYSTERIES OF CHRIST’S INCARNATION AND MAN’S SALVATION,
“THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO THEM!”
Where it states that THEY DESIRE TO LOOK INTO THE MYSTERIES OF THE GOSPEL, the Greek original literally means,
“STOOP DOWN TO LOOK INTO WITH SEARCHING INQUISITIVE MIND.”
They strongly want to know! That is the great indicator of not only being the ANGELS OF GOD, but also of being the CHILDREN OF GOD! THEY WANT TO KNOW GOD BETTER! We recall the words of the of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10,
“OH THAT I MIGHT KNOW HIM, AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS…. ”
OH OH OH that I might know HIM!!! That is the longing of LOVERS! –
“GETTING TO KNOW YOU, GETTING TO KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU!”
Satan and his devils don’t want to know God! They wish God did not exist! The only thing they want to know is UNTRUTH, and the truth they do know they TWIST INTO LIES! In fact, those who serve the cause and agenda of Satan,
“LIE LIKE THE DEVIL 🔱 !”
You see, the ANGELS ARE AT THE CENTER OF HEAVEN’S CELEBRATION, AND ARE THE FIRST TO BE TOLD THE SINNER’S REPENTANCE BECAUSE THEY HAVE:
“PRIMARY STATUS IN THE SALVATION OF THE LOST.”
They have always been in the FRONT LINE and the CUTTING EDGE of GOD’S WORK OF REDEMPTION!
-It was The ANGEL GABRIEL who announced the HOLY SPIRIT CONCEPTION of Jesus to the VIRGIN MARY in Luke 1:30-31,
“AND THE ANGEL SAID UNTO HER, FEAR NOT MARY, FOR THOU 💆 HAST FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD.”
“AND BEHOLD YOU SHALL CONCEIVE IN YOUR WOMB, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME JESUS.”
What a DARING EXTRAVAGANT PROPHECY from the angel! A pregnant virgin! No artificial insemination then! When he spoke those words, it was more than a PROPHECY, it was a DIVINE MIRACLE IMPERATIVE!
Did Gabriel fully understand what he was saying to this tender virgin? Probably not, as the ANGELS are trying to understand it to this day! Did he at all grasp that to be the Savior of the world, the BABE would have to be:
-HUMAN to die for humans,
-SINLESS to die for sinners,
-DIVINE to triumph over sin, death, and hell?
“IT ALL WAS LIKE THE SON SHINING THROUGH A CLOUD ⛅! ”
But launch the TRUE ARK OF OUR SALVATION GABRIEL DID! It mind you was an ANGEL who christened the SHIP “JESUS!”
-It was the ANGELS who stood all over the Judean hillsides at the birth of Jesus, and heralded His arrival in Luke 2:14 with the words,
“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN!”
It was HEAVEN’S TABERNACLE CHOIR! The HILLS WERE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC 🎶! The baby Jesus was welcomed to earth by, mind you, a GREAT COMPANY OF THE HEAVENLY HOSTS! No dress rehearsal needed, and it was the most awesome anthem the world has ever heard before or since!
-It was an ANGEL WHO WARNED JOSEPH TO RUN FOR THE CHILD’S LIFE!
We read this amazing account in Matthew 2:13,
“AND THE ANGEL APPEARED UNTO JOSEPH IN A DREAM AND SAID, ‘GET UP, TAKE THE CHILD AND HIS MOTHER AND ESCAPE TO EGYPT AND STAY THERE UNTIL I TELL YOU, FOR HEROD WILL SEARCH FOR THE CHILD 👶 TO KILL 🔱 HIM.”
Angels can appear as men (anthropomorphisms), they can appear in visions, and they can appear in dreams. And in the history of redemption they appear centrally and constantly!
Did the angel that warned Joseph realize fully that it was not time for Jesus to die? Did he understand that the child’s premature death would have nullified our salvation!
How, say ye? You see, JESUS HAD TO OBEY IN TWO WAYS:
-First, His ACTIVE OBEDIENCE! That is to say, He had to live a life of obedience for our disobedience! At every stage – childhood, adolescense, adulthood! He had to fulfill OBEDIENCE for every time we disobeyed our parents, told a lie, lusted for flesh, or coveted our neighbor’s belongings. He never sinned His whole life long! One sin in His life, then His death would have been worthless!
He could not die as a child or an adolescent and actively fulfill our salvation. Here:
“HE HAD TO DO WHAT WE DIDN’T.”
-Second, His PASSIVE OBEDIENCE! He had to accept the punishment of our sins upon the cross! Here the full wrath of God comes crashing upon Him, and His blood must be drained fully from Him so that we can be fully cleansed! Here:
“HE HAD TO UNDO WHAT WE DID.”
Did the angels understand all that? Probably not! I believe the ANGELS are still learning, just like us! When it comes to the mystery of the Gospel, they are like us! We first wade in with our toes, then our feet, then over our ankles, then up to our knees, and on and on! Ever learning more and more of the glories of God’s GRACE throughout eternity! The wonder of the old, old story is inexhaustible!
The celebration of Jesus, whether on earth or in Heaven, cannot be told without the angels in the forefront:
-In the announcement of Jesus!
-In the birth of Jesus!
-In the strengthening of Jesus!
-In the protection of Jesus!
-In the resurrection of Jesus!
-In the ascension of Jesus!
-In the judgment day with Jesus!
There they are on earth, and there they are in Heaven prominently and centrally.
Psalm 91:11 tells us that:
“GOD APPOINTS HIS ANGELS TO BE IN CHARGE OVER US, TO KEEP US IN ALL OUR WAYS.”
Much more powerful than us, the ANGELS OF HEAVEN are on mission below to protect the children of God from the devil himself! Satan, the Prince of the Power of the Air, like a bird of prey swoops down to snatch us away and destroy us! Our HEAVENLY BODY GUARDS are on duty day and night to keep us safe against hellish terrorists.
Wherever we are, there they are! They warn us – DON’T GO THERE 🚷! Yes, they speak, we just don’t recognize them! They warn us🚩, they stop us ❌, they direct us 👉, they watch over us like a mother hen over her chicks!
From birth to death, from womb to Heaven, the ANGELS OF HEAVEN ARE THE FIRST PROTECTORS, AND WHEN WE ARE WOUNDED BY OUR OWN WILLFULLNESS, THEY ARE HEAVEN’S FIRST RESPONDERS! We are their whole life and reason for being! To get to us, the devil has to go through them!
No wonder they are the first to joyfully know of our rebirth into the Kingdom of God! We are everything to them 🎯! AMEN!