Tag Archives: Elisha the prophet

I’ve Gazed Upon The Face of God

GoodNews_cvr-500x706I have good news for you. It turns out the bad news we’ve been hearing about marriage the past 30 years is a myth. We’ve been told, for example, that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and that the divorce rate of those inside the church is the same as those outside the church. Isn’t that right? And yet, according to a new book by social researchers, Shaunti Feldhahn and Tally Whitehead, who’ve been conducting a scientific study of the subject for the last 8 years, it turns out that 72% of everyone who is married today is still married to their first spouse, and the chances of your current marriage succeeding increase by 25% to 50% if you go to church together. Hence, its title – The Good News About Marriage, for it means that getting married is one of the best decisions you can make in life!

Think of what you gain when you marry. The Bible says the two become one, which means a second person is added to the equation with strengths you don’t have and completing you in a way no friend could. For example, when I married Cheryl, I gained a better half who is kinder and more sensitive than I with years of experience as a pastor’s daughter, which I didn’t know I’d need at the time.  I didn’t plan to be a pastor. But God had other plans and gave me the ideal wife not only to be my partner in ministry, but an expert money manager who’s stretched every cent of the modest salary I’ve earned as a pastor, kept us out of debt, is the best mother our girls could have, and a beautiful companion who has filled my life with joy the last 40 years. I got the whole package when I married her.

hope-of-glory-dolores-develdePerhaps you’re wondering where I’m going with this. The reason I’m emphasizing the benefits of marriage is because that’s the picture the Bible paints of our relationship with Christ. It likens it to marriage calling Jesus our Heavenly Bridegroom and the Church His Bride. And just as in marriage, the moment we are united to Him by faith, we gain what was previously lacking in us. In fact, in His case, He gives us everything we need and more! We share His glory, we receive His grace, and we meet God for the first time in our lives.  For “we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:20-21) That’s our outline, then, if you’ll open your Bible to John 1:14-18 — just 5 verses, but 5 eternally important verses!

And like every verse in John’s Gospel, they’re intended to accomplish his goal as stated in John 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Read the passage.  Then we’ll see what it means.  “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”’ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”  The question we want to answer, then, is: What are the benefits of meeting Jesus?

  1. You Share His Glory.

The last two weeks our study has focused on the Word or Logos, which in Greek philosophy was the principle on which all of creation rests; to the Jew, on the other hand, it was the revelation of God contained in the Holy Scriptures, both of which are true in part. But here John reveals something new and surprising. The Word is not an impersonal force or a writing; it is a Person, the Eternal Son of God who, according to verse 14, “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

2To understand what he means, notice 3 key words with me. The first is “flesh” referring to the very weakest aspect of our personality. This is the part of humanity of which Jesus warned, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Paul added, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing.” So how could God possibly become a man? As the Greeks said, the body is too corrupt and God is too holy for the two of them to come together.

By the way, many who call themselves Christians believe the same thing, that Jesus couldn’t possibly have had the same kind of body as ours. He must have had a perfect body like Adam before he sinned. But that isn’t true. In order to take our place as our Savior and sympathize with us as our Great High Priest, Jesus had to be like us in every way—except one. He was without sin.

I mention that because sometimes you’ll read in one of those books by someone who claims to have visited heaven that Jesus appeared to them as a bright light leading them through a tunnel to heaven. That’s nonsense! John says the Word became flesh, at which point Deity and humanity were forever fused together in One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man. His humanity never diminishes His Deity nor does His Deity ever overpower His humanity. He is now and forever 100% God and 100% man.

celestial-christ-print-8x10-2042915That means when you see Jesus in heaven, He’ll look exactly like He did when He appeared to His disciples following His resurrection. He’ll have a real human body you can see and feel and hug—a body which is fully human and yet glorified and without sin—just like the bodies you and I will one day enjoy.

The second word to is “dwelt.” “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The word is skenoo which means “to pitch a tent or set up a tabernacle.” What does that bring to mind? John is alluding to the Tabernacle in the wilderness where God first dwelt with His people. And yet, like many other objects and events in the Old Testament, the Tabernacle with all its offerings and furnishings was intended to be a type of Christ to come who dwells, not in a tabernacle made by hands, but in a resurrected and glorified body.

In fact, one of the things we learned when we studied the Feast of Tabernacles is that most Bible scholars agree that Jesus was probably not born on December 25, when most of the world celebrates His birth, because it’s unlikely that the shepherds would have been out in the fields keeping watch over their sheep with snow on the ground. Instead, given the fact that John the Baptist was born 6 months before Jesus during the Feast of Passover, it’s likely that He was born in October during the Feast of Tabernacles. Which would be fitting, wouldn’t it? For the Light of the World to be conceived at Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and pitch His tent with us during the Feast of Tabernacles!

3But the most important word is “glory.” “We beheld His glory.” Again, the first time His glory was revealed was as a blazing fire hovering over the Tabernacle called the shekinah glory. Shekinah simply means “His presence,” which is so glorious that no one could enter the Tabernacle until it subsided. That, John says, is what he saw in Jesus. “We saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The most obvious time is when he, Peter, and James were with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. Suddenly His body was transformed before them, and “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light,” so that they all fell down before Him in fear. In fact, it was so glorious that Peter was still talking about it 30 years later in his letter to the churches. “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales,” he says, “when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of His majesty…when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”

the-transfigurationBut it wasn’t only on that occasion. It was something they witnessed on a daily basis. For example, on the next page Jesus will perform His first miracle by turning the water into wine, and John will say, “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” Nor was it only in His miracles that they saw His glory. They also saw it every day in His words, His wisdom, His teaching, and the brilliant manner in which He answered the perplexing questions they perpetually asked Him. To quote the temple guards who returned to the priests empty-handed, having failed to arrest Him as they were sent to do, “No man ever spoke like this man!”

But it was seen most clearly in His kindness and compassion. This week I read the story of a pioneer in the treatment of catatonic schizophrenia, one of the most severe forms of mental illness. Day after day patients would lie curled up in the fetal position on their beds, neither moving, speaking, or acknowledging anyone else existed, until a new doctor moved onto their ward. There he set up his cot and lived among them. Sometimes he’d even take off his jacket, crawl into bed, and gently wrap his arms around them. That one wordless expression of love was often enough to bring one of them back to the world of the living.

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So in Christ, God moved into our world and dwelt among us, even dying on a cross to pay for our sins.  And in that also, John says, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” And that can’t help but change you!

In the case of Moses, the skin of his face glowed with the glory of God whenever he met with the Lord in His Tabernacle. So he would cover his face with a veil, so that the people wouldn’t be afraid to come near to him.

mosesfacemountain-632 But in our case the change is far greater. In fact, one day the Bible says it’s going to change us forever. 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him just as He is.” But we are not to wait until then for the change to take place. If we love Him, we’re to let His glory begin changing us even now. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Picture1What do you get when you meet Jesus, then? You share His glory, a glory that He has shared with the Father since before time began.

  1. You Receive His Grace.

Verse 14 continues, “And we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” And he adds in verse 16, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

Here we come to the most beautiful word in the New Testament—charis. In Modern Greek it means “charming.” Can you think of anyone like that? We have several people in our fellowship like that. Marty is a very charming woman. That’s why we like to have her welcome us to our meetings. Herman is also a very charming man. That is why so many attend his small group.

Disney-princes-make-hot-cover-models-like-Prince-Charming-GQBut the word in the New Testament is even more beautiful. It means “grace, favor, and undeserved kindness.”  Think, for example, of someone who’s earned your anger, but instead of retaliating, you’re kind to them. That’s grace.

I can think of one time when I was very gracious. Our daughter Heidi was 6 years old at the time. She and Becca were up early – about 6:30 in the morning. It was my day off, so I was sleeping in. But the girls knew it was OK to get up and watch TV, as long as it was our approved list. All of a sudden, boom! I heard a crash from the other room. Running to see what it was, I found the television set in the middle of the floor with its head smashed in. Heidi was frantic, not knowing what to do. She just kept saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Daddy,” sure she was going to get punished. She’d tried to turn the television set on its stand so they could see it better and accidentally knocked it onto the floor. But I couldn’t punish her for that. Instead I hugged her and said, “Don’t worry about it, Honey! You’re more important to me than a TV set. I’m just glad you’re OK.”

Heidi 4But she did worry because later in the day as we were riding together in the car, she turned to me and asked me, “How much is a new TV set, Daddy—about $4?” That’s how much she had saved in her piggy bank. “No,” I said. “Probably more like $400.” “Oh,” she gulped.” “But you don’t need to worry about that, Honey.” I said. “It isn’t your job to pay for things like that. It’s my job as your daddy.” At that she took a deep breath, sighed, and began to relax. She also snuggled up to me and said, “I love you, Daddy.” And I said to her, “I love you, Heidi.”

By the way, you know the only thing I regret looking back on that? That I wasn’t gracious in a thousand other ways was well. Because that’s the greatest gift you can give another person and the best way to show them that Christ is real. For it’s in Him, John says that grace and truth have been “realized.”

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t grace in the Old Testament. There had to be or no one would have been saved. But “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” as did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the other Old Testament saints. But the most prominent thing about the law was its strict judgment and warnings of death. Whereas Jesus is “full of grace and truth…and of His fullness,” John adds, “We have all received.” Isn’t that true? Wasn’t He gracious to you even before you began to follow Him? Oh, now you know to ask Him and trust Him for your daily bread. But He has always been good to you, every day of your life!

5Notice also how much grace is available to you! John says: “Of His fullness we have all received;” which means it’s infinite, for according to Colossians 2:9, “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” so that whatever belongs to the Father, belongs to Him, for He and the Father are One. Furthermore, John says what we have received “grace upon grace” meaning that the supply is unlimited and unending. You ask for grace in time of need, He gives it to you, and more grace instantly fills the vacuum like the widow’s oil in the days of Elisha that kept flowing as long as she had vessels to hold it. It’s grace after grace after grace without end. That’s why the Lord could say to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you,” and why He urges us to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. “His love has no limits. His grace has no measure. His power no boundary known unto men, for out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.”

Notice one more thing before we move on. Notice that He is full of grace and truth. Why does John mention that? Because you can’t have one without the other! To receive His saving grace, you have to believe the truth about Him—that He is the eternal Son of God who was in the beginning with God and shares the very essence of God with the Father. For as gracious as He is, He can’t give you His saving grace unless you’re willing to believe the truth about Him! But once you do, amazingly gracious things happen to you.

As we learned last week, whoever receives Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, which means all your sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven forever, your name is written in heaven, and an everlasting home is reserved for you in God’s kingdom. Talk about grace. That’s the summit of grace! How it works, no one fully understands. But that it works, I know for sure because I’ve received it, and that’s something no one can take away from me. So if you’ve never asked for it before, ask Jesus to give you the faith to believe in Him this very moment, and His promise is, “He who comes to Me, I will never, no never cast out.” (John 6:37)

DrawMeClose2_Soft_Edge You share His glory. You receive His grace, and—

  1. You See God the Father.

Verse 18 says, “No one has seen God at any time.” That phrase is emphatic. “No one has ever, at any time seen God.” But is that true? Moses, for example, saw the afterglow of God’s glory as He passed by, but he didn’t see His face. In fact, there’s some question as to whether or not the face of God the Father can ever be seen. For, as Jesus said to the woman at the well, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” 1 Timothy 6:16 adds, He “alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

Perhaps you’re worrying and disappointed about that. Does that mean, then, that you and I will never see God? No. John clarifies it here. He says, “No one has seen God at any time,” but then he immediately adds, “The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Phillip worried about that, you’ll remember. Having heard Jesus say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me,” he begged Him, “Show us the Father, and it is enough for us!” Jesus replied, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?’” To see Jesus, then, is to gaze on the face of God and behold the most glorious sight human eyes can see.

Jesus-Face-Paintings-01But you say, “I don’t understand! How can Jesus reveal God to us?”  There are two reasons: 1) He is the Son of God who is forever “in the bosom of the Father.” That’s a Hebrew expression referring to a son who is especially close to and loved by his father. Think of Isaac, the son of Abraham, whom he loved with all his heart. That same phrase is later used to describe the Apostle John, Jesus’ closest friend who leaned upon his bosom at the Last Supper.  But here it’s used of Jesus of whom the Father declared from heaven two times during His ministry on earth (first at His baptism and later on the Mount of Transfiguration), “This is My Son the Beloved One, in whom I am well pleased,” for everything Jesus did and said was a perfect reflection of who His Father is and was.

But even more important is the second reason John gives. He is “the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father.” You may notice in the margin of your Bible that some of the more recent manuscripts read, “Only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father.” And if they’re correct, that no poses no problem for us, for in Hebrew thought, a son shared all of his father’s attributes, meaning that just as God the Father is all-powerful, eternal, all-knowing, and every-present, so is Jesus the Son, for He and the Father are and forever have been two Persons sharing the One Divine Essence.

If that translation bothers you, don’t let it. Because what the oldest and most reliable manuscripts say is “the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father.” You see just as bird begets bird, lion begets lion, and man begets man, what God begets is God. So that Paul could say without hesitation, “He is the image of the invisible God,” and “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form!” In other words, when you see the face of Jesus one day in heaven, what you’ll be gazing at will be the face of God Himself, the most glorious sight human eyes can see, and that will change you immediately and forever!

1So let me ask you as I draw this study to a close, would you like to share God’s glory, be a recipient of His grace, and gaze upon His glorious face? Then meet Jesus, the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father. How? You don’t get it by trying harder to believe or do good works. It comes to you as a gift of His grace. “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God not works, lest anyone should boast.” So stop trying and start trusting. Call out to Him in helpless childlike faith. Little children are helpless to care for themselves, aren’t they? So are you when it comes to God’s glory and grace. So call out to Him with me right now in helpless childlike faith, and His promise is: “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

(To listen to or download the audio version of this message, click Audio. To download or read the written version, click Written.)

ANGELS: GOD’S SECRET AGENTS

John G. Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides Islands, a chain of islands 1200 miles east of Australia and known today as Vanuatu.  “Survivor” fans will remember that one of its seasons was filled on Vanuatu.  Paton and his wife Mary arrived on the island of Tanna on November 5, 1858.  At that time the natives on Tanna were cannibals.  In his diary Paton records the dangers this posed for him and his family.  One of the most terrifying experiences took place early on, shortly after their ship deposited them on the beach all by themselves.

2Paton and his wife quickly built a cabin in which to live.  But the natives made it clear that they did not want the missionaries on their island.  So one night they surrounded their home intending to burn it to the ground with them inside.  With no one to turn to but the Lord Himself, the two missionaries fell to their knees and spent the entire night praying for God’s protection.  When daylight dawned, they peeked out the window and were amazed.  Not a single cannibal was in sight! They had all returned to their village.

One year later, by God’s grace, Paton led the chief of the tribe to commit his life to Jesus Christ.  Still curious about that night, Paton took the opportunity to ask him. “What kept you from burning our cabin to the ground?”  “It was the men with you!” the chief explained.  “What men?” Paton asked.  “We didn’t have anyone with us.”  “Oh, yes, you did!” the chief argued. “We saw hundreds of big men in shining garments with swords standing guard in front of your home. That is why we didn’t attack. We were afraid for our lives?”  I wonder. Who were those big men in shining garments standing guard around Paton and his wife?

melanesia-melanesia-new-hebrides-sacred-drums-antique-print-1900-117871-pBefore you answer, let me remind you what Gehazi saw.  He and his master, Elisha the prophet, were surrounded by the Syrian army, and Gehazi was certain that they were about to die.  So how what did Elisha do to comfort him? He said in 2 Kings 6:16, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  And then he prayed, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.”  So the Lord opened the eyes of his servant and “Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

3One more example: this time from the Battle of Britain. In the early days of World War II, Hitler and the German high command ordered the Luftwaffe with its fighters and bombers to cross the English Channel and destroy the British military infrastructure. They bombed their railroads, their airfields, their factories, their shipping centers. But by the grace of God, the Royal Air Force managed to survive that 3-month long battle, making the Battle of Britain the first great turning-point in the War for the Allies.

How did they do it? Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding gave his explanation at a celebration in his honor at the end of the war. He described his pitifully small complement of men and how rarely they slept. Yet they kept on flying. He told about pilots who were also hit and left incapacitated. Some of them were even killed. Yet their planes kept on flying and fighting! In fact, he said in some cases, airmen in nearby planes saw figures still operating the controls even after the pilots had died. Who kept those planes aloft and helped the British win that crucial battle? Dowding was convinced that God has sent His holy angels to fly those planes and stop the advance of Hitler’s forces.

4Is that possible!  Not only is it possible; it has been the reality many, many times even when we haven’t been able to see them with our eyes.  God’s angels are at work guarding and guiding those of us who love Christ.  Hebrews 1:14 calls them “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.”  Or as Billy Graham put it in the title of one of his books, they are “God’s secret agents” sent to help His children in time of need.

That’s my topic as we come to Daniel chapter 10. Daniel has been helped by angels several times in this book.  So before we come to the end of his prophecy (and there are just 3 chapters remaining), I want to address the topic of angels from a Biblical position, because there is a great deal of confusion about angels in the world around us, and I do not want any of us to be led astray.  For that reason, let me explain 3 important facts that each one of us needs to understand about angels.  In this post I will address the reality of angels.  Then in the next two posts, I will focus on the nature and ministry of angels.

Strmline-AngelShepherds_E1.  The Reality of Angels

When I was a boy, almost no one talked about angels.  I remember asking my parents when I was 6 or 7 years old, “Is there such a thing as the devi? And what about angels? Are they real or not?”  My parents were devoted church members who took us to Sunday School every weekend.  But their answer was: “No. They are simply symbols of the good and bad inside each one of us.”  Because that was the scientific age when if you couldn’t see it, hear it, or feel it, it wasn’t real.  But today we find people at both extremes: those whose faith is still in science as well as those who call themselves spiritual and are in touch with all sorts of spirits.

Where am I on that continuum?  I believe in angels, not because of what I or others have experienced, though I believe that my family and I have been the recipients of angelic help on several occasions .  But there is a danger in seeking an encounter with angels.  Seeking is the key word, by the way. The danger in seeking an encounter with angels is that you could meet the wrong kind of angel who appears as an angel of light and leads you away from the God of the Bible.

angel-of-the-lordI believe in angels first and foremost of all, then, because God’s Word says there are angels.  34 of the 69 books of the Bible mention angels – 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament.  The Lord Jesus spoke with great authority on this subject. For example, when Judas came with the Jewish rulers came to arrest Him, Jesus ordered His disciples to put away their swords, saying to them, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of (72,000) angels?” (Matt. 26:53 NASB)  On two critical occasions, Jesus Himself was also strengthened by angels – once following His temptation by the devil in the wilderness (Matt. 4:11) and again while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).

Gethsemane_Carl_BlochAnd yet, in spite of all that is written about angels in the Bible, the sad fact is how little clear teaching there is about them in the churches.  Ask yourself: When was the last time I heard a message on angels?  Let’s try to rectify that by examining what Daniel has to say about angels in chapter 10 of his prophecy.

As the curtain opens, we see Daniel fasting and praying for his people Israel and mourning over the future trials they are to suffer.  In fact, he has been in prayer for 3 long weeks, when suddenly a special visitor arrives with a  message for him. That, by the way, is what the word “angel” means in both the Old Testament and New Testament. The Hebrew word is malak meaning “messenger.”  The name Malachi (“my angel” or “my messenger”) is derived from it.  The same is true of the Greek word angelos.  It also means “messenger.”

DAN-8-GABEAt first, Daniel says his visitor was “a man.”  But it quickly becomes clear that this is no mere human being standing before him.  Daniel says of him in verses 5-6: “I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl (or yellow serpentine), his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.”

The angel standing before him was glorious.  And yet, as we read on, we find that as impressive as he was, he has been in a great battle with an even stronger spirit, trying to deliver his message to Daniel.  He explains that he tried to come sooner but the Prince of Persia resisted him for 21 days.  Who was he referring to?  A mighty fallen angel who had control over the King of Persia and his realm.  We’ll take a closer look at what that means in our next study.  But the main point here is that angels are real. They think.  They communicate. They express emotion. They may even become visible to our eyes at times. But whether we see them or not, there are angels all around us fighting spiritual battles on our behalf. The reason we cannot see them (I for one am glad we can’t.  I already have enough to discourage me.)  is because our eyes aren’t calibrated to see them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThink about it for a moment. Can your dog hear noises you can’t hear? Can a deer smell odors you can’t smell? Can an owl see things at night that you can’t see? Yes, they can. So why should it surprise us to find that there are spiritual realities we can’t pick up with our five senses?  1 Corinthians 11:10 suggests that there may be angels in this room right now watching us worship!  I say that based on Paul’s statement that our worship should be decent and in order “because of the angels,” implying that angels watch us worship.  We just don’t have eyes to see them.  “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV) One of our girls’ favorite songs growing up was written by Amy Grant who sang:

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(Click this link to listen to Amy Grant’s song – Angels.)

Angels surround us who love Christ, guiding and protecting us.  Balaam, who proved to be a false prophet and more stubborn than his ass, failed to grasp that fact and almost lost his life.  He beat his poor beast to continue on a path God had forbidden him – cursing the nation of Israel – until his donkey spoke up and the prophet’s eyes were opened to the danger before him – a mighty angel about to kill him because of his opposition to the people of God. (Num. 22:33)

(Next time – “The Nature of Angels”)