I'm going to speak a little bit more on the message I started last Sunday, "Angels on Assignment." I asked God to not only help us to know and realize the validity, the fact that angels are with us, and that we might be aware of their presence and know that we can expect God's help through this army of heaven.
This is a day of renewed spiritual activity. Strange things are happening. People are being awakened. Enemies of Christ are leaving the enemy's camp and are moving over to God's side. New voices are being heard proclaiming the good news. Do you know that what you're seeing is the evidence of an army from heaven that's on the move? I've heard so many testimonies from people who are completely away from God. Friends and members of the family have talked with them, but they were stubborn, and it looked like they would be the last ones to come to Jesus. But in God's great plan and purpose, He had planned to send divine power, a divine emissary and their lives have turned around. It's happening in all areas of life. It's happening in the athletic world, the sports world, it's happening in the business world and the entertainment world and the political world. It's happening. People are turning to God and finding Him real. And this is all evidence that the hosts of heaven are on the move at God's command.
If you'd like to turn to Judges 13 beginning with the first verse. There's a real beautiful truth that we want to share with you. "Then the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord and the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years. And there was a man of Zora, the family of the Danites whose name was Manoa. And his wife was barren and bear not." You see in God's plan book there, He had destined these 40 years, and when the 40 years were over God had some other things in mind planned for them and He had prepared a family through which he could bring a deliverer to the people. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman and said to her, "Look now you are barren and bear not but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore beware I pray thee and drink not wine or strong drink, nor drink any unclean thing. For lo you shall conceive and bear a son and no razor shall come upon his head for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines." Then the woman came and told her husband saying, "A man of God came unto me and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God. Very terrible but I asked him not where he was from neither did he tell me his name. But he said to me that I will bear a son and I am not to drink any wine or strong drink, nor am I to eat any unclean thing for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb until the day of his death. Then Manoa entreated the Lord and said, "O my Lord, let the man of God which you sent to us come again to us and teach us what we shall do unto the child which shall be born." And God listened to the voice of Manoa and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field. But her husband was not with her. And the woman made haste and ran and told her husband that the man who came to her the other day was here. And Manoa arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said unto him, "are you the man who spoke unto the woman?" And he said, "I am." And Manoa said, "Now let your words come to pass, how shall we order the child and how shall we do unto him?" And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoa of all that I said unto the woman let her be aware. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine neither let her drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing. All that I have commanded her let her observe. And Manoa said unto the angel of the Lord, "I pray thee, let us detain thee until we shall have made ready a kid for thee." And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoa, "Though thou detain me I will not eat of your bread and if you offer a burnt offering you must offer it unto the Lord." For Manoa didn't know that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoa said unto the angel of the Lord, "what is your name so that when these sayings come to pass we may do thee honor?" And the angel of the Lord said unto him, "why do you ask what my name is, seeing that it is secret?" So Manoa took a kid with a meat offering and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord and the angel did an amazing thing. And Manoa and his wife looked on for it came to pass that when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoa and his wife looked on and fell on their faces to the ground.
This is a beautiful story with some truths that are so up to date and important for us today. I would say one of the most misunderstood subjects among people is the subject of angels. I have actually heard people knowing that angels were around commanding angels to do this and this and this. You see angels could take on an appearance of a person. But there image or appearance is not necessary for there presence to be there. They're already here. But this angel appeared so that it could be seen with the natural eyes. And the angel taught a lesson here that God wants us to learn and know in connection to angels. And that is we are not to pray to angels. The Word tells us that angels do God's bidding. There His messengers. He gives the signals; He calls out the orders to them. And for this reason when Manoa prayed and asked God to send the angel, then God answered his prayer and sent the angel. Another thing about angels; they are not to be worshipped. And so this angel said, "don't give me any honor at all." Because the angels are so ordained and created that there is no place in their entire being for praise or honor. Their only purpose is that they might serve the eternal God. They are called the host of the Lord. And as this angel, the message that he brought, God saw to it that it came to pass.
There are many beautiful passages bringing out stories about the angels through the Word. I think of Ex. 14:19. The Word speaks of the angel of God that came as a protector. Let me give you several scriptures. Judges 7:12-20. Joshua 5:13-14. At this point the children of Israel were ready to cross over to the Promised Land. Joshua went out and he saw a man with a sword in his hands. And he saw that he was a warrior. Joshua addressed this man and said are you with us or are you with our enemies over here. And if an angel were to tell believers today what that angel told Joshua they would feel so bad. They would say God isn't on our side because this angel said wrong on both counts. "I'm not with your enemies and I'm not part of your army." I'm part of another army. I have come with orders from God. And you can't see them Joshua but standing close to us all around are myriads of angels. There is a host of them. The Lord's host is here and I'm the captain of the Lord's host. You see God in His great planning had everything all mapped out. He knew just exactly how He was going to get Jericho conquered. Jericho was a city with high walls. It was the first one they came to. And with this going down the other lands that they were going to conquer would fear and the kings of those lands would quake if they could see the great miracle that God was on their side. So God sent this captain down with some orders. If you could somehow pull those orders inside of his coat pocket and take a look at them, they would say: the children of Israel are going to march around those walls 7 days. They are your allies, host; those people are your allies. Now they're going to march around seven days and the last day they're going to march around 7 times. Now we're going to have to do here so in these orders, when you hear them, I've already given them their orders, they are to shout at a given signal. Now in order to correlate things angels, when you hear their shout, push the wall down. So the angels took their positions on top of those walls. Hovered around real close. Israel didn't even know what was going on. The angels did. God did. And they waited and at that given sound when God said for Moses to shout. And as they gave that shout of victory every angel there with all their might and strength. And great big thick walls that were big enough to build a house on. If they would have tipped over they still would have been a wall because they were as thick as they were high. So it wouldn't have done much good to tip them over. So God said to the angels "push them down." And the Bible tells us that the walls fell down flat. They didn't even have to pick their way through cracks. All of these people that were gathered around the wall just went in because the walls were down. This was an act of those angels. But this captain of the host in looking at his orders, he said there's something of a special order for one little part of this wall. And as the angel looked at that he said it seems like there's somebody there that God has made a deal with. And so you two angels get over there and when everybody else pushes the wall down you hold the wall up in that spot because that's where Rahab lives and God made a promise that the wall won't go down where you are. You'll be spared. I've been told in the archeological findings, the diggings of old Jericho there's still evidence where Rahab's house was. God has a host. God isn't left without resources. Well He could do everything because He's God. But He has a host working with Him besides those who are working with Him here on this earth.
In Numbers 22:22-27 the angel of the Lord kept Balaam from cursing Israel. Israel wanted to go on record as being an enemy of God and curse Israel for some money. God said angel don't let him do it. And Balaam tried to curse and every time he started to curse the angel twisted up his tongue and he blessed them. He said what's a matter with me, I'm losing my mind. And he'd try again. And he'd get some of the big long curses all rolled up in his tongue and he would say them and again it would be a blessing. He didn't realize there was a big angel standing there putting a different record in his mouth to play and Israel was blessed. This was so much an order of God that God even made a mule talk and scared the daylights out of Balaam. He tried to force that mule to move. Mules are stubborn anyway as you all know but not very many of them talk. Some of them laugh. But this mule turned around and he said, "Balaam haven't I served you well all of these years?" Why would God ever allow such a story to be printed in the Bible? You know why He did? Because it happened, that mule spoke. But that mule didn't know how to speak. The angel had to stick a little recording in that mules mouth to play at the right time. It was because of the presence of God's angel that this took place. They are great in might and power. And they are still here to hinder that person who willfully says, "I'm going to throw my life away, I'm going to destroy this thing." That person that has had prayers going up for them, I want you to know you're going to have a harder time fighting God in going your own way than what you think. God will let you do it. But I want you to know that if you find things going kind of rough for you, don't look now but there are some big angels there. God has given angels some orders, and He's said, "Take charge." God doesn't mind if we talk about angels a little bit. Because when we talk about angels were talking about God's great plan and what He does and the ways and means that He takes care of His plan.
I think of the angel that came to Zechariah and gave the message that John was to be born. God is so concerned about His unfolding plan and the angels of heaven get excited when they can bring a message concerning that unfolding plan. They came with that message to Zechariah and Elizabeth that John the Baptist would be born. An angel came to Mary and told Mary that Jesus was going to be born. That God's plan was unfolding, that God was on time and as He had written down and prepared and planned before He ever made the earth that He was unfolding that plan. And in order for everything to correlate, God had to allow a little time in developing so that at the given moment everything would be in readiness. And He allowed just exactly the right amount of time so that on the given day everything was in readiness. Jesus, the day that He offered Himself was exactly the day that God intended for Him to do it. It wasn't something that God decided just a few years before it happened. He let Daniel take a look over his shoulder, He said look here Daniel, it's kind of an interesting thing, I'm going to show you some of my plans here. So Daniel was up in that room where God took me that time. And he let him look over His shoulder and he said, "Daniel, Israel is going to go into captivity for 70 years, did you know that?" Now when they're in captivity, when the seventy years are up there's going to be a decree going out by a king and He named him to rebuild Jerusalem. Then if you would like to start counting and count 483 years, a man that hasn't even been born yet. He gave a lot of little things that would happen in there. He gave the march of Alexander the Great. He told about the four generals that would be taking over in place of his four sons. God told all about that because God had a plan for some reason that way. But he said at the end of the 483 years, Jesus is going to give His life for the world. He's going to die, not for Himself but for the sins of the world. And exactly on time Jesus died for the sins of the world.
God cares so much about us. Everything that God does is telling us He loves us, that He cares for us, that He wants us, that He will help us. Here are some other verses to mark down. Luke 1:11-20 and Luke 11:28. Matthew 2:13, Matthew 4:11, Luke 22:43. We read that angels of God came down and strengthened Jesus; ministered to Him. They were present to minister to Him. When He was in the wilderness suffering and being tempted of the devil as He took His stand, God said, I like it, angels here's an order, go down and strengthen Him and let Him know that He's done the right thing. Then at the tomb, as another great plan was fulfilled and Jesus came forth. God said, angels get down there with a special message. There's going to be some people coming to the tomb; they're going to need to know what happened; they have kind of forgotten what they heard; you're going to have to tell them. Then when Jesus went up to heaven, every great event in the unfolding plan of God, there were angels that became visible. And when Jesus went back to heaven here they stood again, two men. All kinds of others were there but only two of them made themselves visible. And they said, "What are you fellows looking up to heaven for? The same Jesus that's going away is coming back in like manner as you have seen Him go." God is on the job and the hosts of heaven are on the job. And when Jesus returns another great part of His unfolding plan will be accomplished. The angels of God are going to be visible. This time not just 2 or 3, but the multitudes upon multitudes; the hosts of heaven. Matthew 25:31 as Jesus returns He will return with the angels of heaven, following in His train. Then Jude 14 and 15, Jude tells us, "The Lord is coming with tens of thousands of His saints and all of the holy angels with Him." Now these angels have definitely been sent. Turn to Hebrews 1:13, he's speaking about the position of angels in the earth and how great God is. He's higher than angels. Verse 14, "but to which of the angels said he at any time sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool." Then he tells them they're not to receive this kind of honor. "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to help you?" You can write your name in here because you're an heir. I want you to underline sent forth. They're on orders from God; they're on assignment from God. You could write the names of your loved ones and many people who are so far from God now. You'd think there could be nothing from heaven or earth to possibly turn them towards God. But there's some angels tagging and following them along. Because God knows those who are His and He knows those who will be. They're sent forth to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation.
The angels led the children of Israel through the wilderness. Ex. 23:20, He sent His angel to lead them. The angel of the Lord is sent to clear the way for God's people. Ex. 33:2. Ps. 34:7. The Spirit had David write these words, the angel of the Lord is sent forth. The angel of the Lord encamps around about them who fear Him. 2 Chronicles 18. One of the prophets of God came to bring a message to some kings that were rallying for battle. And they wanted to find out what God's direction and will was but they were asking everybody else instead of asking God. Well this prophet said I just came, God let me have a vision of something going on in heaven. And I saw God in all of His glory and I saw all of the hosts of heaven standing on the right and left hand. The armies of heaven are there. And they are there and ready to move. God's still in business. In all of these years there hasn't been one angel that has died. They have not decreased in strength. They've been sent forth to help us, care for us, provide, to encamp around about us. Ps. 91:11. He's given them to take charge of us. I think of Daniel when he was thrown into the lions den. The king thought sure Daniel would be eaten up. The king didn't sleep that night. He thought about Daniel and the terrible thing he had done in throwing Daniel to the lions. So the first thing in the morning he ran to the lions den and looked in and he cried out, "Oh Daniel was the King that you serve able to deliver you?" He didn't really expect an answer back but he thought he would try. Daniel said, "Settle down king, I had company in here last night. The angel of the Lord that I serve and the angel of my God came in here with me. And all he had to do was touch the mouths of the lions and they couldn't even open them.