Well greetings friends. This is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow! And as I was saying in the previous broadcast there is some good news today.
Now what do angels have to do with you, with you personally? You've heard about angels, I don't think you ever saw one. But who are angels? What are they? Why are they?
We've been going through it in the Bible in the last few broadcasts, because this subject of angels is something scientists can't tell you anything about. It's something that, either we believe the revelation of the Bible, we believe that the Bible is a divine revelation of knowledge from God Almighty, the Creator, who knows and who reveals some things to man that otherwise we could never know or understand. Knowledge that is otherwise totally inaccessible. And we either believe that, or else we throw up our hands in ignorance, and say we don't know, because there is no other way to know anything about angels.
And I've been going into this to some extent, because I'm quite sure that most of you have never heard much about angels. You've heard about them a little bit, but not to explain about them. I doubt if you ever heard a sermon about angels expounding and explaining what they are, and why they are, and where they came from, and how they happened, and all about them. I doubt if you've ever read a book, or an article about them.
We're almost through, we've been going through it in a number of programs. Now we've seen that angels are always happy. They're pictured as glorifying God, as joyous, as full of faith, as always shouting praises to God, and as happy, because they are servants of God.
I've explained, and let me just say once again that both the Hebrew and the Greek words for 'angel' translated into English mean 'messenger' or 'agent.' And that these angels are a part of the Government of God. That God rules the universe from His high heaven. He created all force, energy, every power, and He sustains the universe by His power. And He operates every power and force, and controls from which the whole universe is governed, is God's own heaven.
And that is the actual seat of headquarters of the angels, although they can be dispatched from there. They are messengers, they are servants, they are superhuman. They are spirit beings, they are not made of matter. Each is a separately created spirit being. Angels do not have sex, they're not male and female, they don't reproduce. Each angel has been separately and individually created. They are invisible to human eyes unless manifested by a special process. They are immortal. They are spirits, subordinate beings, subordinate to God and yet they are superhuman. And they have knowledge and powers far above that of man.
Now we were seeing, I think here in the preceding program for instance in the first chapter of Hebrews, let's turn back to that again. That's about where we were anyway, and although I was in one verse here, and I want to review a few others that I have explained in previous programs in this first chapter of Hebrews. First it starts out talking about God, and how He has revealed knowledge to us in times of old by the prophets, and then it says;
"...in these last days [meaning the days when the apostle Paul wrote it 1900 years ago]...by his Son, who [it says] is the heir of all things, by whom...he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of [God's] glory,...the express image of his person, and [that He] upholds the entire universe [sustains it], by his own power [that is even Christ, because all power has been given to Him in heaven and in earth],...has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than [the angels]. And being made [now] so much better than the angels... [now notice that in verse 4], Being made so much better than the angels... [He's higher than angels, in authority over them. And it says a little later here in verse 6] and let the angels of God worship him." (Hebrews 1:2-4,6 paraphrased)
So He is God, and very God, and even the angels worship Him.
Lower Than Angels But now we learn over here in verse seven, well it's speaking of man, but it also refers to Christ here, because other scriptures refer to that;
"He was made a little lower than the angels..." (Hebrews 2:7 paraphrased)
Christ as a human being, born of the virgin Mary, was made lower than the angels. But now, by a resurrection of the dead, is made a Son of God, and therefore, very God. And is exalted into the highest position in the universe, has been given all power, and is God, as well as the Father is God. And there you find a family relationship, the Father and the Son, and angels are their servants created by them and serving them.
Now we read here; "...unto which of the angels [saith] he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And [then] again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" (Hebrews 1:5)
God has never said that about an angel. Angels are created servants. They are spirit beings, they're immortal, they have superhuman powers, they have knowledge considerably greater than that of any normal human being. We don't see them, you can't taste them, or feel them, or hear them. They're spirit. Man is not made of spirit, man is mortal. Man is made lower than the angels. But the angels are spirits, they are greater than we are now.
But we are the heirs of God. Now, unto the Son, Christ, who was mortal and human, but is now immortal and very God. Well He was God and man even in His human life here, because He was born of the virgin Mary, and God was His only Father. But, nevertheless, He was also human but now He is God.
"[And] unto the Son [meaning Christ, the Father, God says], Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom [and then it says]. And, Thou, Lord [speaking of Christ], in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands:" (Hebrews 1:8,10)
But now in verse 13; "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit [thou] on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? [He has never given them that preeminence that has come to Christ. Notice that now, we're right back in the first chapter of Hebrews again where we started a long time ago here, and] Are they not all ministering spirits [now get that - they are ministering spirits], sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14)
So Great Salvation Now what do angels have to do with you? A great deal if you're a Christian. Now let's get into that. They are higher than we, they know more than we, and yet they are sent to minister to us as our servants, and our ministers. Why? Now we go on, and it shows next in the second chapter;
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..." (Hebrews 2:1-3)
Now a third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion, and they are now demons, and they couldn't escape. Therefore, how are we going to escape if we neglect so great salvation? And by the way, my friends, right there, that's one thing many of you are doing. Not that you are deliberately rejecting, not that you are denying, not that you are rebellious against salvation, you're just neglecting it, a lot of you. Just neglect. You let other things sort of come first in your lives. Alright, you'd better think it over. I'm not going to dwell on that, I'm just going to suggest it. For some of you that's the one thing maybe in this whole program you'd better listen to.
Now we come over here into the fifth verse, it says; "...unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come [there it's speaking of the world tomorrow. That's the name of this program, 'The World Tomorrow.' Now unto the angels He has not put into subjection the world to come, or the world tomorrow], whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man..." (Hebrews 2:5-6)
Now here's the question, What is man? Or this isn't trying to define what is he made of, in this particular case. But, what does he amount to, in other words. What significance is there to a man? Of what use is he?
"...What is man that thou art mindful of him?..." (Hebrews 2:5)
Why should God pay any attention to man? Listen, my friends, one man is pretty little compared to the size of this earth. I think I mentioned, not too long ago on this program, how when I was up in these big, modern, super-powered planes. Anyway, I have noticed, as you rise in these planes, men become like little tiny specks, and finally they pass out of existence 'til you can't see them.
When you're way up in the air, an automobile is just a speck, not much more than just the slightest little pencil dot. And a man would be so small that you couldn't quite make him out without some kind of a telescope, or field glasses, or something of the sort. And I have vainly tried, I don't know whether you have, maybe my eyes just didn't catch them, but I have been unable to even see men at that height. I have looked, and I never can see one — maybe there's just nobody there. But men become pretty little when you get farther away from them.
And yet the earth is — you're not far enough away that you see the whole earth as a round ball. You just look down and see it, it looks still flat to you. So man is pretty little. And when you consider that some of these stars we see up in the sky, are thousands, and even I guess a million times bigger than our sun, and the sun is about, what is it, a million times bigger than this earth, I guess or more, you consider that man is pretty little.
And God created all of those things, all of the galaxies, all the Milky Ways, the whole universe, God created. All these forces and powers. We're just learning to harness some of the powers in atomic energy, and now the hydrogen bomb. Man is learning to set loose some terrific powers. But God created those powers — they take our breath. Now how little is a man? A man is pretty small. Why should the Great God who created all these things be concerned about a man? Why should God be mindful of him?
"...or the son of man, that thou [God visits] him?" (Hebrews 2:6)
Speaking of Christ there, visitest him. Christ did visit the earth, and visit man. And come down here, and be made like one of us for the very purpose of death, that He could die to pay the penalty of our transgressions against the Government of God. That He could be the pioneer of our salvation. But what is that salvation? Why should God be mindful of us. Why?
Man's Potential It says in the next verse;
"Thou madest him [man] a little lower than the angels [and Christ was a man, so He was then lower than angels. But we are lower, a little lower than the angels]; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the work of thine hands:" (Hebrews 2:7)
Now notice that: did set man over the work of God's hands!
"Thou has put all things in subjection under his feet..." (Hebrews 2:8)
Now this is not talking just about Christ. This is talking about you and me, at least our potentiality. This is talking about what we can become. This is talking about those who do receive salvation, who do not neglect that so great salvation. God has put all things in subjection under our feet, under man's feet. But it continues though in this eighth verse, the second chapter now of Hebrews;
"...For in that he put all in subjection under him [under man], he [God] left nothing that is not put under him..." (Hebrews 2:8)
Now that's a pretty broad statement — that's a pretty broad statement! Actually right now all power is given to Christ in heaven and in earth. All things are under Christ. He has all power, and yet some things are not completely conquered as yet. But He has the power. All things are not under subjection to Him yet, even Christ, so far as that is concerned. But this is speaking of mankind in general.
Do you know why? Because, my friends, Christ came to make it possible that we could have salvation. Christ came to make it possible that our transgressions could be forgiven, that we could be reconciled to God the Father.
We were made in the image of God. We have only borne the image of the earthy, as you read in I Corinthians 15 in your New Testament. But we can, and if we are converted, we shall bear the image of the heavenly. And Christ came to reconcile us to God that we might be begotten of God, as sons of God. That we might receive His Holy Spirit and be the very sons of God. And that all things, ultimately, are to be put under our feet. In subjection under our feet, in heaven and in earth, if you can understand it. Listen;
"...For in that he put in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not [all things now at the present that is, we see not, that means, 'yet' and the next word is 'yet.' But now we see not] yet all things put under him." (Hebrews 2:8)
Now some things are in subjection to man. Yes man is even able to more or less harness the power of gravity. We can go against it, and fly in airplanes. We've been able to harness atomic energy. Man has even been able to make a river run backward. The Chicago River, in Chicago, it runs backward believe it or not. They've made it turn round and go the other way. And a lot of things are under subjection to man. Man has really had power and control over animals, and so on. But a lot of things, or all things, are not yet under subjection to man.
Our Pioneer But what do we see now? Here's what we see now.
"...we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels [now there Christ was made a little lower than the angels] for the suffering of death [in other words, so He was mortal so He could die, angels, then can't die. He had to be made lower than angels to die, because angels can't die, if you see that, Now we see Jesus] crowned..." (Hebrews 2:9)
Jesus is now crowned. Get that, and all the power and authority is given to Him. I read you a description of what He looks like now in the preceding program. His eyes are like flames of fire, His face shines like the very sun in its full brightness and strength. Full power of the sun's rays. His feet are like burnished brass. That's the way He is now.
He is "...crowned with glory and with honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him [Christ], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things [because God created all things by Jesus Christ, it became Him now], in bringing many sons unto glory..." (Hebrews 2:9-10)
The angels are not sons, they are created beings. But you and I, if we are converted, become sons of God, and to be brought to glory. The same kind of glory, my friends, that Jesus Christ has. His face shining like the very sun in its full strength, His eyes like flames of fire. All power in heaven and in earth having been given to Him. And He is the pioneer of our salvation. We're to be made like Him. He is the firstborn of many brethren. You and I can be those brethren, if we can wake up and realize it.
"...it became him...[now] in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation [which is Christ, of course, to make Him, or the leader, the pioneer, of our salvation] perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)
And we, my friends, are to be brought into that great estate as Sons of God, in the very family, the very Kingdom of God. Oh, can your mind grasp what a great thing it is? What a tremendous thing salvation really is? You'll be very God! You will have a face that will shine like the sun, your eyes will be like flames of fire. And all things will be put under your feet. Now that hasn't happened to any of you. That's how great, my friends, is our destiny. That's how great salvation. No wonder, then, it says back here; "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..." (Hebrews 2:3)
You read your Bible a little more. Don't just be offended now, don't just turn away. A lot of people get offended when they hear the stark plain truth of the Bible. But I want to tell you there's more in this Bible than you ever dreamed of.
Angels as Servants and Ministers Now my friends, what do angels have to do with us? I wanted to first show you the great destiny and the potentiality of every mortal human being who can be made immortal, who can get in to be born into the very family of God, the thing no angel can.
Why are angels then, our servants? And they are. They're higher than we, they know more than we, they have greater power than we. But they don't have even an infinitesimal portion of the power, of the knowledge, of the importance, or anything else that shall be ours. We are the heirs, the sons of God.
It's just like a man, a multimillionaire, who has many servants. And he hires servants to watch over his young son, maybe a little boy three or four years old. But that little fellow is going to be his heir some day, that little fellow is going to come into the great estate. He isn't as old, he doesn't know as much as the servants that are hired to wait on him. He doesn't have their physical strength, he hasn't grown up yet. But potentially he has a greater future. And so those servants that know more are given to watch over him. To see that some automobile doesn't run over him, to protect him, to teach him, to train him, to help him, to serve him. Because he is going to be the master some day over them.
My friends, that's the way it is with the angels. And God is the great multibillionaire, and then some. God is the Creator and we are potentially His sons. We can be begotten and then born as the very sons of God. And angels are the created beings, who are more powerful than we, who have greater knowledge than we. And their reason, their purpose, their function, at least of the angels that come here to this earth, is to minister to us.
Now I read it to you here; "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them [that] shall be the heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)
I've tried to show you how great that salvation is. We're to be so much greater than the angels.
Now then let's go a little further, let's go back here now, if you'll notice Matthew 4 and verse eleven.
"Then the devil [left Christ], and, behold, the angels came and ministered unto Jesus [after the temptation]." (Matthew 4:11)
That temptation on the mount, when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. The Devil finally took Him up to that exceeding high mountain. And the angels finally came and ministered to Him. And the Devil here had quoted another scripture, that we're going to turn to back in the Psalms just a minute later. Now notice next the fifth chapter of Acts, Acts the fifth chapter and the nineteenth verse;
"But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them [that's Peter and John] and brought them forth, and said [now here they're messengers and they delivered a message], Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." (Acts 5:19-20)
Now there they were ministers. Do you see how they were agents, the servants of God? They are the ministers of God's people. They minister to us in ways that you don't realize.
Angels as Guardians and Messengers And that brings something I'm going to tell you right here. One time when our elder daughter, Beverly, was just a little girl, a baby, and she was, at that time, a little less than three years old. And we were visiting my wife's parents, my wife's father rather, her mother was dead. But we were visiting my wife's father who lived on an Iowa farm. She was in the bedroom, and she had Beverly, when she was a little baby on the bed with her. And Beverly was lying asleep, but over against the wall. And my wife was startled, and she heard a voice like in a dream, only this was audible. It said, "Move Beverly." Well she rolled over and tried to go to sleep again. Of the voice, it was just like something shook her, and she felt something practically taking hold of her. It said, "Move Beverly!" Well she still tried to shake it off and paid no attention. And this time it just thundered at her, "MOVE BEVERLY!" And it startled her so that she turned over in her drowsiness and pulled Beverly over on the other side of her. And the very second that she got her away, a great, massive, heavy picture, one of these great big picture frames, had been hanging on the wall. It fell down on exactly the spot where her head had been, and would have killed her instantly. And she got her away only about one second within the time to save her.
Now would you say that was an angel, or not? There was nothing my wife could see. She heard something in this case, she had to! What would you say that was?
Let me tell you another experience, I had visited some people up in Portland, Oregon. They had come to hear a great woman evangelist, so-called great anyhow, had a great reputation. This man had a very mangled spine, he was twisted and distorted. He went there because this woman claimed to be sort of a healer to heal the sick. And this man went there hoping to be prayed for.
The auditorium was so packed they had to go in the back way. And I did, I couldn't get in the front way, and I found I could get in, back in the wings behind the theatre on the stage, to hear this so-called great woman evangelist. Well after it was over, the people who took this man tried to get to this so-called great evangelist. But she was too busy, and they couldn't get to her. So I helped carry the man back out to the car, and he was so dejected. Well I said, "You know, I believe God. And I can pray. It's God that heals, you don't have to have a great reputation. If you want me to, I'll come out and talk to you."
I went out and talked to them, but I saw that the man, he wanted a miracle, but he didn't want to obey God. He had not given his heart to God; he just wanted to get what he could from God. And you know in the Bible, it says;
"...whatsoever [things] we ask, we receive of him, because we do His commandments [and keep His commandments], and...those things that are pleasing in his sight." (I John 3:22 paraphrased)
This man wouldn't do it. And so I just told him that I could not pray for him until he did. Until he would surrender his heart to God. And I talked with him several times, and it was discouraging. And so I had given it up.
One time I was driving an automobile, and this was in Portland, Oregon. And I was driving the car out a certain main artery. And all of a sudden, I came, I realized I was coming to the street where I should turn off to go down to that man, and to his house. Well, I thought, I just can't do it now. No, I don't want to, it's no use. No, I said, there's no use.
Listen, at the next block, something took hold of my hands, as certain as I am here, and I'm not lying. Something, forcibly, that I could not see, took hold of that steering wheel, or my hands, and turned that steering wheel in off that main artery. Now I had to go right around past this man's house to get back on the main highway again. I felt that was an angel from God telling me to go to that house.
I stopped in the house, told the man what I had found. I had found he had contracted blood poison, and the doctors said he wouldn't live twenty four hours. I said, "Look, I believe that this means God has sent me here to heal you of that, if you want me to, that God will heal you, not that I will. And then if you will surrender to Him, then I will ask Him to heal you of this mangled spine."
The man asked me to do that much. And I prayed for him, and he was instantly healed. Then I came back again, but he never would yield to God. And I never could pray for him for the other, because he would not give his mind, his heart, to God.
Well I could tell you more. Time is up, I wanted to go on and show you other passages of scriptures how the angels watch over your little children, how they're sent as agents and servants to watch over us.
Next in this series: Did Angels Marry Women Before the Flood?