Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Angels have a specific ministry in the life of the Christian. They are dispatched from heaven to assist us, to encourage us, to minister to us, sometimes to protect us. They're sort of like God's secret agents. Pastor Greg Lorre says, angels are real.
The Bible says so. And there may be an angel or two near you right now. Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit eternal life. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace how sweet the sound. Again you hear only angels are singing.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Angels unfortunately suffer from a good deal of bad press, fake news, inaccurate reporting. They're not plump little babies sitting on clouds playing harps.
They don't have two wings and a glowing halo. And not all angels are the good guys. What's the truth about these heavenly beings? Pastor Greg Lorre has the answer today on A New Beginning from the only reliable source, a book inspired by God, the creator of angels, the Bible.
This is the day, the day when life begins. You know right now all around us is a supernatural world. It's an invisible world. And around us right now are thousands of mysterious created beings called angels. Most of them are holy.
I'm sorry to say some of them are not. Some of them are fallen. But you find what the Bible says about angels in both the Old and the New Testament. In fact the Bible mentions angels nearly 300 times.
And there's so many misconceptions about angels. Let me just say first off the job of an angel is to kind of work undercover. I like to compare angels to Navy Seals. You know Navy Seals are that elite force that we dispatch in certain situations to take care of business.
They go and do things all the time and we often don't hear about what they did. They just get the job done. That's sort of a good description of angels. They get the job done for God. They're not there to draw attention to themselves.
They're not there to have us have extended conversations with them. Though it's possible you have spoken with an angel. And I'll tell you why I believe that in a few moments. But you probably weren't aware of it if you were speaking with an angel. I would suggest to you there are times when angels have spoken to you.
But you probably didn't know it was an angel. But they're very interesting creatures. Sort of working behind the scenes.
Working undercover. They're sort of like God's secret agents. But there's a lot of misconceptions as I said. For starters people think that that when we die we might become an angel. You know I've heard it said when someone dies well God must have needed another angel in heaven. Well God doesn't need any more angels in heaven. And more to the point people don't become angels when they die. Angels are created beings.
They're a group all unto themselves. When we die we receive a new body and and so forth. But we have no connection to angels. And I hate to break this to you girls. But in every appearance of an angel on earth it was a guy not a girl.
Now I know that is hard for some people to believe. Because we use the term angel sometimes in a feminine way. Like she's as pretty as an angel.
Right? We don't generally say he's as handsome as an angel. But actually all of the appearances of angels are appearing as men in the Bible. And so these are amazing created beings that are there working constantly in our life. It would appear from scripture that they are eternal. It would seem as though they never die.
Speaking of those who have died and gone to heaven Jesus said in Luke chapter 20, neither can they die anymore for they are equal to the angels. Now angels have a specific ministry in the life of the Christian. They are dispatched from heaven to assist us. To encourage us. To minister to us. Sometimes to protect us.
Occasionally to speak to us. Hebrews 1.14 says, angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit eternal life. There are many instances in scripture where angels intervened. And angels spoke to Philip and told him to go to the desert. And he went. And a man came to faith from Ethiopia. And then we have the story of Peter who was taken to prison.
And he was going to be executed because James had already been put to death by King Herod. And the church prayed. And an angel was dispatched to wake Peter up and get him out of jail. So an angel was sent as an answer to prayer. There is a story in the book of Genesis where God was speaking to Jacob to show him the world of angelic activity.
And Jacob had a dream. And in his dream or vision he saw a stairway or a ladder of angels going up and down the stairway or up and down the escalator if you will. Just angels constantly at work moving between heaven and earth doing the work of God. And as I already said it is entirely possible you have met an angel. You say, well how would that be? Well Hebrews 13 says, don't forget to entertain strangers for in doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. So you know you might say, well how would I know? You probably wouldn't know. Maybe you will know when you get to heaven. And you will be walking around and some angel walks up to you and says, hey thanks for getting me that burger.
What? Hey you got me that burger. Have we met?
Yeah we've met. Remember that homeless guy that you ran into on this date? And I was hungry and I said, can I get a meal? And you took me in to In-N-Out Burger. And you got me a great burger. Double, double as I recall.
Animal style. Still remember it. Even in heaven. I want to thank you for that. You were an angel?
Yes I was. Because the idea is that when you did it for a stranger somebody that was in need it could have been an angel under cover. So it is possible you have met an angel. It is possible there are angels in the room right now. Now I know they are here in the invisible realm. But it is not entirely outside of the realm of possibility that there could be an angel as a person. So look around. Look around. You never know.
Don't look for feathers or anything like that. But wouldn't it be mind blowing if an angel appeared to us right now? I tell you what if an angel did appear you would be very tempted to worship the angel. That actually happened to the apostle John. An angel appeared. He was so blown away he fell down to worship it. And the angel said, do not worship me.
Worship God. But they are so incredible. They are so awe-inspiring you would be inclined to worship. But imagine if Gabriel or Michael or another angel appeared before us right now. I did hear a story about a time in a church service when the devil himself appeared. So here are people at church and all of a sudden Satan appears on the stage.
People on the stage. People are screaming and freaking out. Climbing over each other to get out of the church. They are climbing out of the windows. Running out the doors. They are terrified. The church is emptied in just seconds.
Except one older man sitting in the second row. The devil says, why aren't you running? Do you know who I am? The man says, I know who you are. And the devil says, I am the devil. I have a lot of power. I could bring a lot of misery into your life.
Why aren't you afraid of me? The old guy said, I have been married to your sister for 46 years. That is a true story.
No it isn't. Just one of those lame preacher jokes right. But I will tell you if an angel of the Lord appeared we would certainly be amazed. Now sometimes the question is asked do we have guardian angels. I don't know the answer to that.
But I think the answer is maybe. I mean I know we have angels involved in our lives. But do we have a specific angel that is assigned to us.
Like that is your job. You watch over that child or you watch over that person. We can't know a certainty but there is an interesting statement where Jesus says in Matthew 18 10, don't look down on these little ones speaking of children. For I tell you their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
Interesting phrase. Their angels in heaven. So that would imply maybe a guardian angel. Going back to the story of Peter when he was sprung from the prison by the angel. He showed up at a house where a bunch of Christians were praying and he knocked on the door.
And they couldn't believe that God had answered their prayers so quickly. And so when someone said, it was actually a lady named Rhoda, she said, Peter is standing at the front door knocking. One of the others said, well it is probably just his angel. And they left him knocking. I mean for me if an angel knocks I am letting him in.
Hey if FedEx knocks I open the door. Wouldn't I open the door for an angel? And so that is a curious thing. But it is interesting that they say maybe it is his angel. So maybe there are guardian angels.
If there are or there are not that is really not that important. You can just be confident of this. You have angels actively involved in your life protecting you. Watching out for you as I said, God's secret agents. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. So many listeners have commented on the help they receive from these daily messages. God's Word ministers to them.
And it often gets them through some of their darkest hours. Pastor Greg, prior to last year my physical body was a mess. After many different medical procedures they transferred me to an assisted living facility. There I shared a room with a very crabby woman who would yell at me for having my radio too loud or my light on. She claimed that she was a Christian but was a very bitter person because of a tragic event that had happened to her son. Well Greg, I was determined that I was going to hear your radio program, a new beginning, even if I had to lay on top of my radio.
And surprisingly one morning my roommate asked me to actually turn my radio up. She said to me, I like that minister and what he's saying. I not only was able to show her that Jesus did exist but I gave her one of your new believers Bibles. Yes, God still works miracles.
As for me, I'm home now and independent. My health is improving and I'm much stronger. God is my hope and it's a joy to be alive. Thank you so much Pastor Greg for letting me share my story. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries. And if you have a story to tell of how these studies have touched your life or that of a family member, I hope you'll contact us today. Drop Pastor Greg an email gregatharvest.org. Again that's gregatharvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is offering insights from his series The Afterlife and the Eternal with insights today based in Genesis 3.
Let's continue. So the title of this message is Angels and Demons. So this is what kind of perplexes us is where in the heck did demons come from? Why do we even have to have demons? Well they're out there for sure and to simplify it a demon is a fallen angel. God did not create demons as we know them today.
He created angels but he gave to these angelic creatures a free will and an ability to choose and as hard as it is to believe one third of the angels followed a high-ranking angel known as Lucifer the son of the morning in a rebellion. Lucifer is also known as Satan and the devil. So before I address where demons came from let me just talk about where the devil came from. Now if I were to ask you where did the devil come from most of you would probably say hell. The devil came from hell.
Actually that's not true. Now let me tell you where the devil really came from. The devil came from heaven.
That's right. Now he wasn't the devil in heaven. He was as I mentioned Lucifer this beautiful angel. Maybe an archangel if not certainly a high-ranking angel on the level of maybe a Gabriel.
I don't think a Michael but certainly a high-ranking angel. But he rebelled against God. In fact it's described in vivid detail over in Ezekiel 28 where it is said of Lucifer, you were the model of perfection full of wisdom and full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden the garden of God. You were anointed as a guardian cherub for I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God. You walked among the fiery stones.
I don't know what the fiery stones are but he walked among them. You were blameless from the day you were created. Listen till wickedness was found in you and through your widespread trade you were filled with violence and you sinned and I drove you in disgrace from the mountain of God and I expelled you oh guardian cherub from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth and made you a spectacle before kings.
Wow. So what happened to Lucifer? Wickedness was found in him. It's also spoken of in Isaiah 14 the fall of Satan.
Lucifer allowed his perfection to be the cause of his corruption. He wanted the number one job. Satan says in Isaiah 14 again I will be like God.
I will be like the most high. He wanted the top job and so the Lord said you're out of here and so he lost that position he once held and one third of the angels followed him. Instead of wanting to worship God he himself wanted to be worshipped. You know it's interesting that it says he was filled with violence. You know this is so insane these shootings and you know we always want to find the motive. Oh first of all those in the political world want to find out is he a Republican or is he a Democrat.
And they make it all a political discussion. Or what race was he? Was he why was he black?
Was he Hispanic? But no they missed the big issue. There's a spiritual dynamic going on and we forget the fact that there's evil in the world today. And there's a devil who's full of wickedness and full of violence that inspires people to take the lives of other people. That's what I mean when I say we're in a spiritual battle. I sent out a tweet and I said let's pray for everyone who is in office right now whether you put them there or not. I got liberals and conservatives mad at me.
What is wrong with you people? And so I think the thing that we don't realize is this is a spiritual world and we get caught up into the political fights and caught up into these other little things and we forget we're children of the most high and our kingdom is in heaven. And we're ambassadors of the kingdom of God.
And we need to remember that. And so we'll talk about that more next time in our message on spiritual warfare. But anyway so the devil. Yes he is no longer in that exalted position in heaven but this might surprise you. He has a backstage pass into the presence of God.
You say well how do you know that? Because we read about it multiple times in scripture. In the book of Job is the account of the angels of the Lord presenting themselves before the Lord. So here's all the angels and guess who shows up? Lucifer is there. And the Lord says so what have you been up to? Oh says the devil I've been going back and forth across the earth watching everything that's going on.
And what an interesting description. He's just like roaming around. He's looking for trouble right? What what havoc can I wreck? What misery can I bring?
What life can I potentially destroy? That's why the Bible describes him as a roaring lion walking about seeking whom he may devour. That's him. You know and that's what a lion is like.
They're hunting for prey. The devil never takes a vacation. Wouldn't it be nice if he did? Wouldn't it be great if we could announce hey we just found out Satan's taking August off. No devil in August. You know I think even if Satan took August off we would still get ourselves into trouble. Don't you think?
I think so. But the devil doesn't take a month off. The devil doesn't take a week off. He doesn't take a day off. He doesn't take an hour off.
He's always at work. If he's beaten he rises again. If he can't come in the front door he'll come in the back door. If he can't climb down through the roof he'll tunnel up through the floor.
He'll find a way to get in. And he's looking for vulnerability. He's looking for someone he can grab. You know going back to lions you know usually the easiest way for the lion to get their lunch or dinner is when they watch that little herb of antelope or whatever it is they're chasing after and there's always the lagger right. There's a group. They're all moving.
And then there's one guy you know 20 feet behind. Lion says it looks like lunch to me. You want to know something surprising though? More people are killed in Africa by hippos than lions.
Yeah that's true. Lions kill some but oh hippos kill way more. And the funny thing about a hippo is they don't even look threatening. You know why I played hungry hippo they're so cute. You know you go on the jungle cruise ride in Disneyland and there they are with the little ears and they do that in real life.
Little ears turn around like that and then you know you think how dangerous are they? They're very dangerous and did you know they're really fast on land? I know this because I went to Africa years ago and we stayed in a tent at camp and they took us to our tent and they warned us about the hippos that come out at night. I'm thinking hippos.
Are you serious? I should be scared of hippos. He goes oh yeah. They move fast and they attack people. So I bring that up because the Bible does not say that your adversary the devil is like a hippo running around okay.
Says he's like a lion. But the point I'm making is sometimes I think oh yeah watch out for the lions and the devil can come to you in many ways. Sometimes they'll come in all of his depravity and wickedness and perversion and other times they'll come to you as an angel of light but always with the purpose of deceiving or misleading you. And he has a well organized network of demon powers doing his bidding and those are his demons. We read numerous passages that refer to Satan and his minions. Not those minions.
These minions. Matthew 12 24 speaks of Beelzebub which is another name for the devil. The prince of the demons. Then in Matthew 25 41 the devil and his angels.
Revelation 12 7 the dragon. Another phrase for the devil and his angels. And of course hell is the future dwelling place of the devil and his angels. Now it seems to me that the purpose or objective of demons is twofold. Number one it is to hinder the purposes of God. And number two it is to extend the power of Satan. Again the purpose of demons i.e. fallen angels is twofold.
They want to hinder God's purpose in your life and they want to extend the power of the devil. So I know that kind of is scary when we talk about things like this. And it's true that one third of the angels followed Lucifer but it's also true that two thirds of the angels are on our side. And more importantly God is on our side so we're on the winning side.
But there's a battle still. Pastor Greg Laurie with a close look at the world of angels and demons today on A New Beginning. And there's more to come in this message. You know Pastor Greg those of us who've shared our faith often have a need for some kind of resource to help follow up with people who've come to Christ. We don't want to just walk away and say well have a nice day hope it works out for you. Yes exactly. You have a resource we could have on hand for those moments when we want to follow up with someone we've shared with. That's very true Dave.
You could keep them in your car if you're a lady you could keep it in your purse if you're a guy it would even fit in your back pocket right. So this is called The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. This has been one of the best received resources we've ever offered. It's basically a pocket-sized version of Christianity 101. I mean you literally could put it in your back pocket you can keep it in your purse you can keep it in your car and what a great resource it is to give out to a believer no matter how far along in the life they are or if they're just starting out. It's especially effective for a new Christian. I talk about things like discovering the will of God, how to resist temptation, how to share your faith, how to grow spiritually through prayer and fellowship, how to study the Bible and a whole lot more.
Yet it's written in a very straightforward simple way and you can read it in one sitting. So I'm encouraging you to get your own copy of The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. Keep a bunch of extras on hand I'm sure you're going to find them useful. Oh yeah absolutely what a great tool for your own personal ministry efforts.
It'll even encourage you in your own faith. We'd like to send this your way to thank you for partnering with us so that these daily studies can continue. We depend on listener support.
It's the only way we can bring you these programs. There are no churches or large organizations paying all our expenses. So get in touch today with your donation and be sure to ask for The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here 24-7 to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514.
Or just go online to harvest.org. Well next time, more insight on angels and demons and an important warning from Pastor Greg about the devil and his strategies. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
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