Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

Angels and Demons | A Deeper Look at Angels

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2023 3:00 am

Angels and Demons | A Deeper Look at Angels

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2061 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


November 8, 2023 3:00 am

The sum total of what many people know about angels came from a movie . . . or a TV show . . . or a book . . . or social media. But whether it came from a screenplay or a novel, it was fiction. Someone made it up. And it may have left real angels rolling on the floor laughing. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to the authoritative source on angels. We’ll read the words of the Creator of angels with Scripture. It’s from the series called “Timeless.”

Listen on harvest.org

---

Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org .

A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Angels sort of work behind the scenes. You might call them God's secret agents.

We don't see them or hear them, but sometimes we're affected by what they do. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings insight on angels. They're doing the work of God all the time, and that's why we're told in Hebrews 13 to, don't forget to entertain strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing them. The sum total of what many people know about angels came from a movie, or a TV show, or a book, or social media.

But whether it came from a screenplay or a novel, it was fiction. Someone made it up, and it may have left real angels rolling on the floor laughing. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to the authoritative source on angels. We'll read the words of the Creator of angels, our text in God's Word.

It's from the series called Timeless. You know, right now at this moment, all around us, there is a supernatural world. A very real world. It's as real as the physical world. It's the world of God and Satan. It's the world of angels and demons. In fact, there's a story in the Bible about the prophet Elisha, with his servant Gehazi, and the enemy armies were closing in on them, and Gehazi was getting really frightened, and he said to Elisha, Master, wake up.

What are we going to do? And Elisha, wiping the sleep from his eyes, said this prayer, Lord, open his eyes. And then he said, because those that are with us are more than those that are with them.

And then that servant had his spiritual eyes open, and he saw the mountain full of horses with chariots of fire all around Elisha. What happened was, that man had his eyes open to the supernatural world. If we could see this invisible world right now, frankly, it might just freak us out a little bit.

But it's there. And I'm praying that God will open our eyes to understand how this unseen world interfaces with the world that we are all living in right now. How angels are at work in our lives, and what the agenda of demons are in our lives as well. How many angels are there?

Well, I think you can't really count them. The Bible says there's thousands and thousands of them. Most angels are holy. Some angels are fallen.

You find them in the Old and New Testament alike. They're mentioned directly or indirectly in the Bible 300 times. Now, there's a lot of misconceptions about angels.

We don't understand what the role actually is. Sometimes you hear of people talking to angels, or praying to angels, and this is never encouraged in scripture. Angels sort of work behind the scenes. You might call them God's secret agents. Angels are like Navy Seals, you know.

We don't know a lot of what the Navy Seals do. We just know they go out there, and they take care of business without a lot of fanfare. Angels are the same.

They're doing the work of God behind the scenes. We frankly don't know how many times an angel may have stopped us, gotten us out of a tight situation, protected us from harm, maybe even spoken directly to us. I was speaking with my granddaughters a while ago, and they asked me the question, Papa, what do angels look like? And I said, well, girls, angels appear in the Bible as men, and they were very upset by this.

They said, Papa, that's not fair. And it's funny because we tend to think of angels as feminine. And a lot of times in art, you see angels as women, when in reality, every time an angel appears in the Bible, they appear as a man in masculine form.

So it's quite different than people often think. In fact, we read over in Luke 24, for after Jesus rose, two men in clothes that shone like lightning stood beside them. So angels are created beings made by God. I bring this up because sometimes when people die, we'll say, well, they've become an angel now, or God needed another angel in heaven. No, people don't become angels. Angels are angels created by God. In fact, it appears that they're eternal and they never die. Speaking of those who've gone into heaven, Jesus said in Luke 20, neither can they die anymore for they're equal to the angels.

So that's interesting. Now they have a special work that they do specifically in the life of the Christian. The Bible says of angels that they're ministering spirits sent to serve those that are heirs of salvation. And the Bible is just full of stories of where angels got involved in the lives of people. Now, I'm going to give you seven takeaway truths about angels and demons.

So if you're taking notes, here's point number one. Sometimes angels deliver us from difficult situations. Sometimes angels deliver us from difficult situations. In Acts chapter five, we read of angels busting the apostles out of jail saying, go tell the people all about this new life. Then later on in the book of Acts, in Acts chapter 12, Herod was in control and he had James executed and he put Peter in prison and the church began to pray for God to deliver Peter and the Lord dispatched an angel to get him out. And what's interesting is Peter was so deep in his sleep, the angel had to whack him to wake him up.

I find that a humorous story. And then as Peter finally realized what's happening, the doors open up automatically in the prison and he walks out free because God delivered him through angels. Probably one of the best known angelic stories is found in the book of Daniel when Daniel was thrown into the lion's den because he would not obey the decree of King Darius to not pray. A law was passed that no one could pray but Daniel disobeyed the law because of this he was sent to a den of lions but the Bible tells us God sent his angel to protect Daniel. And it's good reminder that if government ever passes a law that contradicts God's law, we go with what the Bible says not with what government says, right? In the book of Acts we had government authorities telling the apostles to no longer preach. They said stop, you're forbidden. And after that the apostles preached like never before saying we must obey God and not man. Also we know number two angels stop us and other times they prompt us. In the book of Acts there's a story of the Lord prompting Philip.

Simply saying go to the desert. The angel did not give a detailed blueprint to Philip. He did not tell him what was going to happen next.

Of course you remember this story. There was a man visiting from Ethiopia. A foreign dignitary that was seeking God.

And the Lord directed Philip to engage him. But the angel told him to go. So there may have been times when an angel has actually said something to you and you didn't even know it was an angel.

You thought it was your own thoughts. But it may have been one of these mysterious messengers doing God's work in your life. One of the most well-known stories of angels is in the story of Balaam and his donkey. And this by the way is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Because you recall Balaam was sort of a prophet for hire. In fact you could spell his description a prophet.

P-R-O-F-I-T. He was a prophet for profit. And so the enemies of Israel came to him and hired him to curse the Jewish people.

And he agreed to do this. And as he was on his way to do what God did not want him to do the Lord intervened. And actually as he was riding his donkey the donkey suddenly stopped. And then Balaam was beating his donkey trying to get it to move forward. And the donkey then rubbed up against the wall crushing the leg of Balaam. And then he kept beating him and finally the donkey just collapsed. And then the Bible tells us that the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey. This is why it's such a funny story. And the donkey actually says why are you beating me? Haven't I been a good donkey?

Now that's amazing. But what's more amazing is when I'm missing a beat Balaam said in response because you're not doing what I told you to do. And then suddenly an angel of the Lord appears with a sword drawn. And Balaam suddenly realizes that this was God trying to stop him from doing the wrong thing. And the angel rebuked him for beating his donkey.

That donkey had more sense than the prophet had. So you may not be aware of the presence of angels but they're doing the work of God all the time. And that's why we're told in Hebrews 13 to don't forget to entertain strangers for in doing so some have entertained angels without knowing it. So you may have met an angel. You may be sitting next to an angel. An angel can take on bodily form. So look around.

I don't know. I don't think you'll see any feathers or angel food cake crumbs as little reminders. But they're around us doing the work of God. If an angel were to appear to us right now we would be tempted to worship it.

Because he would be so glorious. So amazing. So incredible. In fact that actually happened to the apostle John. He saw an angel and fell down and began to worship it in a revelation 22a of the angel said do not worship me worship God. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

the soundtrack which is really great. Thank you Pastor Greg. Do you have a story to tell? If so would you email Pastor Greg and let him know? Send it to Greg at harvest dot org. That's Greg at harvest dot org. Well Pastor Greg is presenting a fascinating study of angels and demons today.

It's a message from his new series called timeless. Now sometimes the question is asked do we have guardian angels? And I think the answer is maybe. I think some of us have maybe worn out a few guardian angels.

I don't know. I think it's entirely possible that children have guardian angels. Because in Matthew 18 10 Jesus says don't look down on one of these little ones for I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my father in heaven.

That's interesting. Their angels in heaven not just the angels in heaven. So that implies that maybe they have personalized angels that are assigned to watch over the little ones. But then there's an interesting story going back to Acts 12. After Peter was released from prison he showed up at the door of a home where Christians were praying no doubt for his deliverance.

A lady named Rhoda answered the door and there stands before her an answer to a prayer. And it's Peter and she shuts the door in his face. And then goes back and tells the apostles who are probably praying for his deliverance at that very moment that Peter's standing at the front door and one of them says well it's just his angel.

Which I find weird. Okay so does that imply Peter had a guardian angel number one and number two. If I had an angel standing at my front door knocking I would probably let him in wouldn't you?

So though and then they finally realized that it was Peter and God had answered their prayers. Okay so the title of this message is angels and demons. Now let's shift gears and talk about demons. Where in the heck did demons come from?

And why do they even exist? Simple answer demons are fallen angels. The Bible tells the story of Lucifer who was once a high ranking angel later to become known as Satan and the devil leading a rebellion against God. And one third of the angels went with him. So one third of the angels which number in the thousands are now what we would call fallen angels or demons doing the bidding of Lucifer. The bad news is one third defected. The good news is two thirds are still on our side.

So that's good to know right. But where did the devil come from? Well as I said he was once this high ranking beautiful angel. Some think he might have even been an archangel. There's only three angels named in the Bible.

They're Gabriel, they're Michael, and Lucifer. Which means the son of the morning. But according to Isaiah 14 Satan became lifted up with pride. He effectively wanted the top job. He wanted to be as God.

So the Lord rejected him from that position. He wants hell. We think the devil comes from hell. The reality is the devil comes from heaven. But he rebelled against God and ultimately he is headed to hell. Sometimes we sort of envision the devil ruling from some throne in hell and that's not true at all.

He's not there yet. But he's headed there because Jesus said hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. And so here is the devil now with this well organized network of demonic powers.

His minions, not those kinds of minions, that do his bidding and do his work. Back in the book of Job there's a story of the angels appearing before the Lord and Satan appearing with them. And the Lord sees Lucifer and says, where have you been? And Lucifer says, well I've been going back and forth across the earth watching everything that's going on. And the Bible describes Satan as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

Think of a lion that's hungry and is ready to pounce on its prey. He never takes a vacation. He never takes a day off.

He never takes an hour off. If he is beaten he rises again. If he can't get in the front door he'll come in the back door.

And if that doesn't work he'll come to the roof or climb up through the floor as an uninvited guest. On our little anniversary trip that we just took we went to Italy, which was very nice. Italian food is so good, especially in Italy. And so we were going to this hotel and someone was driving us there. And they somehow got confused and took us to the wrong property. And so they pull up to this place and I get out of the car and the front door is open and I walk in and I thought, wow this looks a lot like someone's house. And I said, hello. And some Italian guy comes out and he says, what are you doing? This is my house. I said, oh sorry, sorry.

Arrivederci Roma. And I'm trying to get out of there. You know I had walked into his house uninvited. Fortunately he was a nice guy.

But the point is is that I wasn't invited into his home but I went in anyway. And this is what the devil's looking for. He's looking for a foothold, a way to get into our life. And he doesn't give up.

He's looking for someone who's vulnerable. I watched a video the other day of some antelopes in Africa that were fighting. And they were so busy fighting with each other.

They did not see the lion and the tall grass creeping up in their direction. And suddenly he burst out of the grass and grabbed one of them and had antelope for lunch. And that reminds me a little bit of us. Sometimes we're so busy fighting with each other we forget who the real enemy is. And it's the devil.

And one of the ways he attacks, one of the ways he attacks is through division. Yes Satan can be like a lion. But he can also be like a hippo. Now hippos are such interesting creatures.

They almost look cartoony don't they? I don't know if you've ever seen a hippo in real life. But when I was a kid my only reference for hippos was the jungle cruise at Disneyland right.

And their little ears would turn and they'd come out of the water and the guy would shoot him with this fake gun. But I was in Africa a number of years ago and I actually saw hippos in the wild. And I was shocked to discover that hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. They're actually pretty fast on land.

They can move quicker than you would think. And I read this story of a man in South Africa who actually had a hippo as a pet. He adopted it when it was five month old calf and he named it Humphrey. Humphrey the hippo. So they did a little news article on him and he was talking about how wonderful Humphrey was as a pet. He said he's like a son to me.

He's just like a human. He said people think you can only have relationships with dogs or cats or domestic animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.

Mmm. Famous last words. I think you can probably imagine how that story turned out.

Humphrey got a little bit bigger and turned on his owner and killed him. So it's a reminder don't have hippos as pets. Number one. And don't make deals with the devil.

C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Screwtape Letters. And it's sort of Lewis's attempt to try to get into the mind of the devil and the demons and their strategies. He was a very creative writer. And here's what he wrote in The Screwtape Letters.

And I quote. There's a legend about Satan and his imps, meaning his demons, planning the strategy for attacking the world. That's hearing the message of salvation.

One of the demons says to the devil I've got the plan master. When I get on earth and take charge of people's thinking I'll tell them there's no heaven. The devil responds they'll never believe that. The book of truth is full of messages and the hope of heaven through sins forgiven. They won't believe that.

They know there's a glory still in the future. On the other side of the room another demon says I've got the plan. I'll tell them there's no hell. No good the devil says.

Jesus while he was on earth talked more of hell than he did of heaven. They'll know in their hearts that is wrong. And then finally Lewis writes one brilliant little imp stood up in the back and said I know the answer. I'll tell them there's no hurry. C.S. Lewis concludes and that's the one Satan chose.

Interesting. There's no hurry. And that's what the devil says to people. There's no hurry man. Come on live your life. Have fun. Sow your wild oats.

Do what you want to do with whoever you want to do it with. Enjoy every pleasure this world offers. But the Holy Spirit says to us to come to Christ now. The devil says tomorrow. But the Holy Spirit says today is the day of salvation. Such important insight from Pastor Greg Laurie today on A New Beginning. Today is the day of salvation. Pastor Greg if someone isn't sure of their salvation let's help them take care of that right now.

Okay. What would you say to the person who wants to make sure they're right with God? What I would say is he's only a prayer away.

Which means if you will call upon the name of the Lord right now through prayer he will hear your prayer and answer your prayer. Listen if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to know that you go to heaven when you die just pray this prayer right now after me. Just pray Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord as my God and my friend. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Amen. And listen if you have just prayed that prayer and meant those words sincerely we want to welcome you into the family of God and let us help you get started walking each day with the Lord. Pastor Greg wants to send you his New Believers Bible absolutely free along with some other helpful resources. Just let us know you prayed with Pastor Greg and that you want the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or write to us at a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or just go online to harvest.org and click the words know God. Well Pastor Greg we're so excited about your new movie called Fame. So many want to be rich and famous but so many rich and famous people have ruined their lives.

Yeah. Is fame sort of a drug you know people get a little taste of it and they want more and then they can get hooked on the attention and it drags them to unhealthy places. Yes a good example is Chris Farley. Chris Farley was a very successful comedian on Saturday Night Live. Actually Chris's idol was John Belushi and Belushi died of a drug overdose and tragically the same thing happened to Chris Farley. Belushi and Farley both died from a lethal overdose of heroin and cocaine. Neither one of them found the happiness they wanted and they both died at the age of 33 but yet today a whole new generation thinks fame is going to fill that hole in their heart. A lot of them now can go out there and become famous instantly on social media platforms and even get monetized for doing it and they're famous for what?

I don't know what do they even really do but yet they've managed to be known by people and that's the goal for many of them but is that what it's cracked up to be? The answer is no. Let me save you the trouble.

No. The answer is in Christ. Really it's not fame that you want. It's meaning and it's knowing that your life matters.

It's not success as much as its significance and that's found in a relationship with God. So in this movie where I interview Alice Cooper and I interviewed Daryl Strawberry and I talk a little bit about some of these people I've touched on and about the emptiness of their lives. I show that what we're really looking for is Christ. Okay so let me describe the opening scene for you.

It's kind of fun. We shot it at a major movie studio in Hollywood. You know the camera's kind of following me and all this stuff is happening around me and then I tell everyone this is actually a sound stage and that's how I introduce the movie because I'm trying to show that look this appears one way but it's a facade.

It's not real and this is what fame is and this is what life without Christ is. Now you can't see the scene but here's the way it sounds. You get a picture of it. I'm walking down the street opening the film.

Check this out. I'm Greg Laurie and I'm in New York City but I hate traffic and there's always traffic here. People come to New York from all around the world looking for a lot of things. Some are looking for success. Maybe others are looking for significance or maybe if they come here they'll become rich and famous. Speaking of that USA Today did a poll among its young readers Generation Z Millennials and asked them the question what do you want more than anything else in life? Their answer they wanted to become rich and famous. I want you to join me on a journey as we look at the lives of some really famous people and what that fame led to. Is it really all that we think it is or is it a facade? Speaking of facades I'm actually not in New York City at all.

I'm on the back lot of Paramount Studios. These are not people walking down the street. This is my family. This is well fake. It looks good on the outside but on the inside or behind the facades there's really nothing and that's what it's like when you chase after fame and fortune and success and all those things that we're told will make us happy. Well that's a scene from the new movie called Fame and Pastor Greg we also have a book that goes along with the film that actually takes all of these matters and discusses them in more detail. Yes it's called Fame same title written with Marshall Terrell who I've done a number of books with. It's a fantastic book.

It's a pretty quick read. It would be a great book for you to read but I think it would be a fantastic resource to give to someone especially a non-believer. The premise of the book is fame is not the answer. I illustrate that with lots of current and contemporary stories from culture today.

Then I go back to scripture and show what the Bible says about these things and then give the answer in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. So we'll be delighted to send you this brand new book called Fame for your gift of any size to help us continue on here at A New Beginning and then remind you to go see our brand new film Fame. Dave tell them where they can see that.

Yeah you can watch the movie Fame right now at our new Harvest media platform at harvest.org and also other streaming platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Samsung, Amazon Fire and Google Play. And don't forget that important companion book also called Fame. We'll be glad to send a copy of the book your way to thank you for partnering with us so we can continue to bring the gospel through this radio program through books and film and through so many other forms of outreach. And we won't be mentioning this much longer so get in touch with your donation today by calling 1-800-821-3300.

Call anytime 24 7 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time more insight on angels and fallen angels or demons as Pastor Greg continues his series called Timeless Unchanging Truths in a Changing Culture. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-08 05:24:19 / 2023-11-08 05:35:18 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime