The Sunday Morning Tune-up ~ Truth Be Told: “the angel of the Lord”

He Has Risen! What Are We Waiting For?

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. ~ St. Luke 10:17-19

In Matthew 23, Jesus is in the temple, speaking to the multitudes and giving a scathing rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees. The religious leaders were quite self-righteously content, thinking they were doing everything God wanted them to do. But they were woefully wrong and defiantly unaware. They could easily acknowledge the guilt of past generations and recognize the corresponding punishments and how they did not heed the warnings given to them, but they were blind to their own present culpability and what was being said now. Jesus then closed with this lament: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling” (v.37)

Amazingly, the temple in which Jesus is standing was built on the very spot where King David stood confessing his sin after he numbered Israel (2 Chronicles 3:1), covered in sackcloth and ashes along with the elders, having fallen on their faces in intercession, pleading for God’s mercy (1 Chronicles 21). Seventy thousand men were dead, and an angel had been sent to destroy Jerusalem. But seeing the calamity, the Lord was sorry and said to the angel, “It is enough, now relax your hand” (v. 15) David saw the “angel of the Lord” standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then standing between earth and heaven, with His drawn sword in His hand stretched out over Jerusalem (vv. 15-16). So David cries out, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, please let your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued” (1 Chronicles 21:17).

The “angel of the Lord” is, in fact, none other than the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, standing in the very same spot He would stand some 1,000 years later. The angel then invites David to build an altar to the Lord on that very threshing floor. David paid the full price for the land, and there he built and altar to the Lord that the plague may be restrained (v. 22) and upon which to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings.  And he called to the Lord, and He answered him with fire from heaven that came down and consumed the offering (v. 26). Then the Lord commanded the angel to to put his sword back in its sheath (v. 27).

Approximately 1,000 years prior to King David, this is also the very spot where Abraham built an altar upon which to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice in obedience to the Lord, on Mount Moriah, (Genesis 22:1-18; 2 Chronicles 3:1). When Isaac saw they had the fire and the wood, he asked, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (v. 7). The answer Abraham gives is quite astounding: “God will provide for Himself the lamb” (v.8). When he was about to plunge the knife into his own son’s chest, it was the “angel of the Lord” who spoke and told him to stay his hand (vv. 11-12). And behold there was a ram caught in the thicket, which Abraham took and offered in the place of his son and called the name of this place: “The Lord Will Provide (v. 14). The “angel of the Lord” spoke again; “Because you have …not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will multiply your seed…In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (vv. 15-18).

So, as Jesus stands in the temple before the Pharisees, He is standing in the very same spot where He previously stood twice before as “the angel of the Lord.” The first time with Abraham was to witness what the Bible records as the very first act of worship: the offering his son as a sacrifice, and in the place of the son a lamb. The second time to witness a king paying the full price for sin that the nation might be spared from judgement. Each time, a sword is extended, and the hand is stayed—the first because of obedience, the second because of repentance. Here again, in this very place, where the temple was built, Jesus stands as “the angel of the Lord,” and once again with His sword outstretched, not only as the Son, but also the King. And this is also the place where not many days from now He will provide Himself, the Lamb. Only this time, those being confronted do not hear the voice of God, cannot see “the angel of the Lord,” and thus they do not repent; and neither is the hand stayed that holds the sword. ~ From “Judgment of Nations: A Sobering Reality”, The Founders’ Bible

And here we are again…please pray for the church and churchmen who do not hear and cannot see…

“In the New Testament, is it verifiable that Christians can be attacked and oppressed by demons? And He said, “In the last days the church will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. They will begin to listen to demonic doctrines. Christians can be under the influence of Satanic oppression…100% they can!” ~ Pastor Greg Locke,  “Come Out In Jesus Name”

About Chip Murray

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