Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

 

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.

And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.

But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.

We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.

One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.

Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey  , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam. 

The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.

Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.

Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple. 

There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.

An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.

Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment  to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.

They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day. 

So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me! 

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:1-2

Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.

I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule  you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.

They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped. 

“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.Revelation 22:8,9

I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.

When we think of  all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.

These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!

So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .

Much like the place Hagar  found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.

God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.

And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.

John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.

We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.

There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen? 

That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not  in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.

And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s   firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.

The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.

The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.

Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel  of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.

When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:

Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”

The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark  it was not quite time.

It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.

The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.

Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.

Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”

And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:

2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”

How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone. 

They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from 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.”

When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.

Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”

These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.

Luke 16:22: ” And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died and was buried.”

Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation)  but Lazarus carried by the angels.

Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson

Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the  most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is  my refuge and my fortress: my God in whom I will trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome (deadly) pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust(take refuge); his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (shield).

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in the darkness; nor for the destruction that wastesth (lays waste) at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only wit thine eyes shalt thou behold the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:1-11 

Most familiar passage of scripture there, most know it and if you don’t, what a more fabulous time to learn it! And what a better time of the year, i am just a wee late on this but love should be celebrated every single day!

Not just once a year, but every single day. And I am not talking about carnal love, or the romantic love of a married couple, but the true healing balm that softens even the hardest heart and seals even the deepest spiritual wounds.

The love that is best understood by carefully reading and spiritually dividing his Word an this passage is an excellent place to start.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Wherefore I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifest wisdom of God.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you which is my glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

That he would grant you according to to riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded IN love, may be able to comprehend (understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:2-19 

Part of the lesson the be learned from this scripture is this, the “mystery” of God, that had perplexed humans since the dawn of time, is not quite a mystery after all. Humans have a need to understand, to know, even to believe in something s much more than ourselves.

Love itself testifies to this because we know that love can not die and God created us with that very desire to know to understand something so much greater, but in that we have through time searched for these answers in so many wrong places.

Never understanding the simplicity of the truth, and being human we want to attribute our human thinking and logic to a divine force that can not be reduced to our human mentality.

This is why Jesus came to earth, everything that thought and everything that attributed to God was quite skewed, He wasn’t all about fire and brimstone, punishment and death, and the ability to hand down the sentence of eternal damnation, which all those have their place, but he came here for one reason and one reason only to save us and save us not with punishment and terror but to save us, and to save us with thew most misunderstood yet greatest attribute of His divinity, His LOVE.

I do hope you will join me for the remainder of this series, lord will, we will look at how that love which does truly surpass anything our mortal minds can comprehend, goes so far beyond and yet touches us every single day and just as our customs of angels, roses, and never ending love stories,but the real love story was written by the greatest author of all and that story has no end and that rose never fades and that love never dies or grows cold but lives forever, eternally in a story yet to be told.

And here is your final verse for our intro,

Romans 5:8: “But God commended(demonstrates) his love toward us, in, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Join me next time! Have a blessed week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

 

 

 

“Done Deal”

When Jesus chose to come to earth through the womb of a humble virgin and chose a stable as the destination for his arrival and He chose a poor carpenter as His earthly step-father, it would be to the confusion and confounding of those who awaited the Messiah to be born in splendor, in the finest of palaces with the proverbial golden spoon in His mouth.

And it worked quite nicely, He wanted those who came to Him to come to Him because HE IS not because of who thought THOUGHT Him to be. Only a true King could have such a test to reveal His true servants from those who just wanted His prestige. As we know even after hearing His very words spoken in their own ears, the Pharisees and Jews could still not grasp the thought that the loving, gentle, ORDINARY man could possibly be the Son of the one true God.

Although He did come as ordinary and unpretentious, No matter how it may have appeared we know that HE IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY! I am not so sure that we have moved quite far enough away from those thoughts that also easily sway our minds.

We often ignore that still. small voice because our ears are striving to hear a loud proclamation. Sometimes we are so enamored with the thought of having our worlds rocked that we completely miss the fact that the ground IS already shaking.

We can completely miss what is right in front of us, simply because it does not look like we had pictured it to look. It does not sound exactly as we thought it would and by holding onto to OUR thoughts we can miss out on a lot. Just as He said, His ways ARE higher than our ways and His thoughts ARE higher than are thoughts, it rests on forgetting what we ever thought in the first place and acknowledging His will.

I used this particular passage in a former now non-existent post, but I would like to revisit that SAME thought here, again. This is the amazing story of Peter being arrested, imprisoned, supernaturally  freed and those who WERE praying for his freedom, NOT BELIEVING when he literally showed up on their doorstep! We’ll pick up here:

ACTS 12:4-16: “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (squads of four) of soldiers, to keep him: intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

 Peter was therefore kept in prison: but PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING OF THE CHURCH UNTO GOD FOR HIM. And when Herod would have (was about to) bring him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping BETWEEN two soldiers, BOUND WITH TWO CHAINS and the keepers before the door kept the prison (guards were also at the door).

And, behold, the ANGEL of the Lord came upon him (stood by him), and  A LIGHT SHINED  IN THE PRISON: and he smote Peter on the side, and RAISED HIM UP, saying, Arise up quickly. and HIS CHAINS FEEL OFF FROM HIS HANDS.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put shoes on).  And so he did. And he saith unto him cast thy garment about thee, and FOLLOW ME. And he went out, and followed him: and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel (did not know for sure if it was real) but THOUGHT he saw a vision. 

When they were passed the first and the second ward (guard posts) they came unto the IRON GATE that leadeth into the city; which OPENED TO THEM of his own accord (opened WITHOUT ANY HUMAN HELP): and they went out, and passed through one street; and the angel departed from him.

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod,  and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

And when he had considered the thing, he CAME to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER PRAYING.

And as Peter KNOCKED AT THE DOOR OF THE GATE, a damsel came to hearken (answer the door) named Rhoda. And  when she KNEW Peter’s voice, she opened NOT the gate for gladness (she was so happy that she actually FORGOT to open the door) but RAN IN, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

And THEY SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART MAD (OUT OF YOUR MIND). BUT she CONSTANTLY affirmed that it was even so (true). Then they said it is his angel.  But Peter CONTINUED KNOCKING: and WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THE DOOR, AND SAW HIM, THEY WERE ASTONISHED.”

So much there, here they are praying and praying, seeking and seeking and Rhoda knew that it was Peter, she recognized his voice but she is so happy and overjoyed that she just forgets to open it. When she tells the others they just simply DO NOT BELIEVE it. 

Now again, maybe if God has sent an old dude leaning on a staff, with a long gray flowing beard, shouting terms such as”Hearken, grand prayer warriors…” or sent thunder and lighting to flash as Peter approached, well maybe that was WHAT they thought they should receive as acknowledgment that their prayers had been heard.

But no, they got Rhoda, and what they told her, actually translates to, “YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND” so they are like, ” Well, that is just that crazy Rhoda,, making up stuff, just ignore her….you know she isn’t quite right in the head anyway.”

Cute side note, Rhoda must have not been too crazy, she did, after-all get an honorable mention in the book :)!

But even after all that praying they STILL REFUSED TO BELIEVE, and decided that it was his angel. If it does not make sense to our human minds, we must FIND an explanation for it, right?

Not sure why we do these things. Do we doubt that our prayers will be answered? Do we really believe that it just COULD NOT be THAT simple? When actually, IT IS that simple. Do we feel that we need more grandeur? And do we feel we need that for the glory of God… or is it for us?

Do we just dislike the messenger and feel that we are worthy of a higher, more “spiritual” messenger?

You know, like waiting on a group of herald angels to break down the door and proclaim the answer you have been seeking when actually all that is needed is FOR SOMEONE JUST ANSWER THE DOOR! And acknowledge WHO is standing there! 

We can miss many wonderful events by our own refusal to let God be God and answer AS HE calls and not get so caught up in the delivery or manifestation of these events. Just as His humble arrival to this earth heralded the greatest event of all time.

What if the wise men had decided that the place the star led just didn’t look the part? The humble shepherds NEVER expected to hear an angelic chorus praising the birth of the Saviour… which IS EXACTLY WHY they were allowed to hear it!

Don’t lose out on a done deal just because you refuse to open the door.

From my archives. Original post date 2016.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016