“Seen by Angels”

In this series of posts we’re examining the six great truths about Jesus that Paul proclaims in First Timothy 3:16, “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: / He who was revealed in the flesh, / Was vindicated in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Proclaimed among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up to glory.”

Today the focus is on Jesus’ being “seen by angels.” Please see the post “Angels: Who Are They?” (December 1, 2017) and the original post in this series (December 12, 2017).

Above/Below/Above

The angels saw Jesus in two dramatically different settings. First, they had worshiped and served Him before He left heaven to become human. Then they served Him during His earthly pilgrimage. And they see Him now, enthroned in glory!

For the angels who had seen Him only in His resplendent heavenly glory, how strange it must have seemed to see their Lord in a lowly human body!

Peter describes the salvation Jesus came to bring us as “things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12).

Angels announced His birth to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-15).

After His victory over Satan’s temptations in the wilderness, “. . . angels came and began to minister to Him” (Matthew 4:11).

At His tomb “an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.” Then to the women who had come to anoint Jesus’ body, the angel announced His resurrection (Matthew 28:2-7).

What peals of praise!

Throughout Jesus’ earthly experience no doubt the angels were constantly keeping watch over Him with ever-attentive concern and care, prepared at any moment to go on any mission the Father might send them to serve the Son.

Imagine their thunderous praise after Jesus returned to heaven, having completed His redemptive work!

“Then I looked,” John wrote, “and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing’” (Revelation 5:11-12).

Amen and Amen!

Jesus glorified-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Angels: Who Are They?

Powerful beings

Probably more is said and sung about angels in the month of December than any other time of year. Numerous books have been written about these celestial beings. Each book must be judged on its own merits and carefully compared with the Scriptures.

In spite of how Clarence the angel is depicted in the popular classic It’s a Wonderful Life, angels are not the spirits of the dead striving to “earn their wings.”

We know the names of only two angels in the Bible: Gabriel (Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:8-38) and the archangel Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7).

But of course the Bible speaks of countless unnamed angels, including the passage which refers to the number of angels around God’s throne as “myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11).

“Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!” (Psalm 103:20-21).

In the Bible angels delivered messages from God—in fact, the word angel means messenger. They also powerfully wage war against the forces of evil, and they serve God’s people.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).

But not divine

But the same chapter makes it very clear: Jesus the Son of God is far superior to angels. It is sinful to worship angels (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9).

While angelology can be a profitable study, we must never lose our focus on the One whom the angels serve.

Angels have a highly important place, but it was Jesus whom “God highly exalted . . . and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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“Open My Eyes”

What we can’t see

With the Aramean army surrounding them, Elisha’s servant cried, “What shall we do?”

“Do not fear,” Elisha assured him, “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Then “the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:14-17).

Believers today cannot now see the wonderful things being done for them behind the veil (Hebrews 1:14; 4:14-16; 7:25; 12:22-24).

What we can see

But we can say with the psalmist, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law” (Psalm 119:18).

Because Christ’s new covenant far surpasses the old, we have greater wonders available to us than the psalmist had under the law.

“Open my eyes . . . .”

eye-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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