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Declaring the Break of Dawn

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 12:00 am

Declaring the Break of Dawn

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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December 10, 2021 12:00 am

Some people today are skeptical of angels; others are a bit too infatuated with them. All in all, few people seem to have a clue who they really are and what their purpose is. Angels are very important to the Gospel, however, and that's why Luke speaks of them often in his account. Let's see what he has to say about them.

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As has been heard over 17. He will go as a forerunner before him in the spirit and power of Elijah. Get a quote from Malachi to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Gabriel is telling Zacharias that he and Elizabeth raised the prophet of God who is the answer to the prophecy of Malachi (the people we don't know much about them and we don't understand God's purpose for them explore one of those purposes. Today when God wanted to communicate with people he would sometimes send an angel named Gabriel to deliver that message. One of those times was to a man named Zacharias today on wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Davies looks at that encounter were going to focus our attention to the Christmas story with this series called the gospel according to Gabriel. Now, your Stephen, it is impossible to explore the birth of Christ without encountering one angelic visitation after another. An angel will announce the birth of John the baptizer. An angel will deliver the news to Mary of her conception and angel will assure Joseph that Mary is conceived of the Holy Spirit and angel deliver the news of Christ's birth to shepherds and angels will chant their praise to God and an angel will warn Joseph to flee to Egypt with his newborn son and wife angels are literally scurrying all around the seams. These early scenes carrying out the details of God's redemptive plan so that all goes according to the divine script. There are those who don't believe in the activity of angels are that they for some reason have ceased believe that they are engaged in ways that we perhaps would be amazed to see you pulled off the volume from my shelf entitled all the angels of the Bible and I thought it was interesting to read the preface, which I had not read before by Herbert Lockyer the preface to his work gave an interesting personal account that he recorded he was in Kenya Africa preaching on the tour and on one occasion, spoke at the missionary school outside of Nairobi in the audience was native tribesmen who would end up accepting Christ as his personal Savior there in the school's chapel that afternoon. After the service he came up and talked to Dr. Lockyer and told him what led him to attend the service earlier several months earlier, he and other tribesmen, young warriors had decided to invade the school compound with its mission station in school for missionary children of these ruthless warriors that made a pact together to climb the hill up the school and capture and kill the children as they made their way up the hill under the cover of darkness. Suddenly he reported men dressed in white robes surrounded the school in the hands of each man was a sword that seemed to be on fire. The staff all agreed as they heard the story, there was no other explanation. I personally had the opportunity as many of you did some time ago to hear the accounts of missionary Steve St. preached here, son of the martyr missionary Nate St. was killed along with Jim Elliott and other men who had gone to deliver the gospel of the candy and Steve told us that moments after killing the five missionaries had come to deliver the gospel.

These native men saw hazy figures above the tree line singing music that they had never heard before many months later, it was after Steve's aunt and Elizabeth Elliott returned, I think even with one of their children to deliver the gospel and try again risking their own lives that they by the grace of God were able to convert many of these tribesmen to Christ in and day was.

It was months later that some of these tribesmen sat listening to one of the missionaries, a record player.

That's a machine that plays music recorded on round plastic things.

The natives said they recognize the music they had heard it that day on the sandy beach coming from the figures hovering above the tree line, no doubt to Steve and the others was the singing of angels are many in our world who are skeptical of the existence and Ministry of angels. Obviously you can overdo it. You look for an angel under every bush and you can give credit to them when all credit belongs to God. You can be either enamored with them or you can ignore them and you can even deny their existence. One Puritan theologian in the early 1600s by the name of John Owen wrote that to ignore the Angels is the height of ingratitude, he penned these words in his commentary on the book of Hebrews we we should search after what may be known of them.

God hath neither appointed nor revealed them for nothing.

He expects a revenue of praise and glory for it and how can we bless him for it. When we know nothing of angels let us. Bless God I say for the ministry of angels as I reread these gospel texts describing what we call the Christmas account. It occurred to me that to deny the existence of angels would be to deny the central declaration of the gospel of Christmas.

God uses them to play a significant role. I read recently. One well respected author who made the statement that angels cannot preach the gospel only Christians can and I would have to disagree. In fact, the very first appearance in the New Testament of the Greek word translated the gospel or the good news comes from the lips of an angel. It will be an angel who delivers the gospel to shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem as he declares don't be afraid, for I am bringing you what good news literally on going on the gospel I'm delivering to you the gospel.

It is of great joy which shall be for all the people, for today the city of David is born for you Savior, who is Christ the Lord course. He is joined in by the innumerable hosts of heaven. One particular angel stands out above all the rest. One particular agent of God plays a unique role in the incarnation accounts of Christ's birth, and all those events surrounding he will be the angel who will appear delivering startling news, so I want to do with you today annex lords. They just dig back into these texts and pull out the rich truth is deliver to mankind through this particular leading angel was part of the fabric of the gospel of Christmas. His name is Gabriel, would you turn to the Christmas account by Luke in chapter 1.

Gabriel's first appearance inside the magnificent temple of Herod. Look at verse five in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of a by job and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, that is a descendent of Aaron and her name was Elizabeth.

She was named after the wife of Aaron and so she and her husband Zacharias descended from that great family dedicated to service of God, so Gabriel, there is your first mark on this is your first assignment God would say that old priest down there will be the very first to hear the news the gospel that the Messiah is on his way before we go any further, let's set the stage for this rather dramatic encounter. The verse that we just read the together told us a lot about the scene.

This is in the days of Herod, which lets us know that this particular priest discerning during the days of a paranoid wicked killer, but Herod was allow a by the Roman Emperor and the Roman Senate was instructed by the Emperor to give him a title he had long wanted to have them so they gave him the title King of the Jews so you can imagine a little bit more how upset Herod would be when the Magi will arrive later and ask him where is he born King of the Jews he killed for less than that. That was his title, which is why he will later order the murder of every little boy under the age of two living in the vicinity of Bethlehem to try to get rid of this rival to his throne.

These are not easy days to be a priest serving God. Notice how Luke describes. Then this faithful priest who is serving in that glorious temple and his wife along with him is described in verse six they were both righteous in the sight of God walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord, but but they had no child. Elizabeth was barren, and they were both now advanced in years that alone was startling news to the Orthodox Jew living in the first century baroness was considered the rebuke of God. In fact, the rabbis taught during these days, the reading of the day that there were seven types of people who could not expect a close walk with God at the top of the list was a Jewish man who had no wife so to be a single man you civilly rule out the possibility of gutter being pleased with you and secondly was a Jewish couple without children. In fact, during the days of Christ baroness was considered valid grounds for divorce. So to live as a faithful couple serving God, no less.

In this era under the covenant of promise regarding children. The inability to have them would have written a volume of pain and despair of tears and and question the fact Elizabeth will describe her barrenness as disgrace.

I can't help but wonder as I reread this text. What I have served God as they did, would you, why do we serve because he is good to us so that he will be good to us, or like these two dear people, in spite of the fact that he didn't seem to be good to live as a faithful couple serving God speaks highly of this one who will be the first to hear the gospel and assist the setting of the scene. Something really startling is about to happen delivers a that happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order.

This division according to the custom of the priestly office.

He was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense caseload out. A minute here to onlooker onlookers. This was just a chance roll of the dice which selected Zacharias out of all the priest to perform this rather sacred and special duty you to understand the during the days of Zacharias. There was an estimated 20,000 priests only at Passover and the feast of Tabernacles.

Did they all come to serve in Jerusalem at the same time for the rest of the year they served in divisions.

There were 24 divisions of anywhere from 800,000 division serving two weeks out of the hear the rest of the year. They went back to their farming and managing whatever businesses they had Zacharias was probably a simple country farmer. He happened on this week. He just so happened to be serving in the division of a by job. There's more out of this division. Those 1000 priests would be given their duties by the casting of lots every morning and evening, there would be a sacrifice made in the temple for the whole nation and unblemished lamb one year old, along with flour and oil and a drink offering of wine before the morning and evening sacrifice was placed on the altar. One priest decided by lot would be given the special privilege either in the morning or in the evening to go into the holy place of the temple just outside the holy of holies, and he had a special job that he was able to do in that sacred place a portion of the table of showbread the golden candlestick and other articles. There was that golden horn, the altar of incense, with live coals were tended throughout the day. It would be the high honor of this priest chosen by lot to pour incense over those live coals so that just as the Lamb outside was being placed on the altar. The sweet smelling aroma would ascend with the offering, as if it were a sweet smelling savor to God. Now the fact remained that there were so many priests, many of them never ever once had the privilege of offering incense in the holy place. In fact, according to historians. If you were chosen by lot to burn incense upon the altar you could only do it one time your entire lifetime. So here you have Zacharias reaching the apex of his life. This is the high moments of his ministry, he will enter the holy place, and while he is inside. Verse 10 tells us that all of the multitude is outside of the court, praying all the priests all the people are jammed there praying while he is inside praying that God will accept with pleasure is offering one more thing.

It was also the privilege of this priest. After offering the incense to finish his task and when he did the come out to the railing where he would deliver a very brief sermon.

It would be is one chance and he would bless the people in the name of their faithful and forgiving God, what a moment that would be so here is Zacharias picture him with with trembling old hands lifting the sensor and standing there and letting the contents spill over the coals in.

Listen as they crack: sizzle and then watches the sweet smelling aroma begins like fog arrives that that moment that he realizes he's not alone. Verse 11, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him standing to the right of the altar of incense and Zacharias was troubled. That's an understatement. When he saw the angel and fear gripped him that later on in the text.

The angel will identify himself as Gabriel, but I want you to stop with me another moment or two here and and be introduced to this uniquely chosen messenger of God.

Zacharias is heard about Gabriel everybody's heard about Gabriel is a rather famous angel they have read the prophecies of Daniel where Daniel describes.

I believe Gabriel in chapter 10. He will describe him with seven descriptions first. When Gabriel appeared to Daniel.

He was wearing a linen robe highly significant because a road made of linen was the garment worn by the high priest when he entered the holy of holies it was to be clean and perfectly ironed. Daniel also described Gabriel further is having his waist girded with a wide belt made of solid gold would've been rather impressive site. Daniel described the body of Gabriel like the stone barrel the precious stone could be a reference to his body, which seemed hard for, or the color which would be a blue color.

Furthermore, Gabriel's face was described by Daniels having the appearance of lightning.

In other words, it was probably too bright to that shown that to be able look at a very long three years as being in a room with you his body and face are brilliant shades of blue and white whose robe is perfectly tailored wearing a belt made of gold. Daniel goes on further and describes the eyes of Gabriel as if they glowed with fire. Daniel also mentioned the Angels arms and his feet shining as if they were polished.

Ron and finally Gabriel's voice is described like the voice of a multitude which would be along a rumbling low powerful forceful voice in the text says Zacharias was filled with fear. That's the understatement of the Christmas story. I'm shocked he stayed standing or breathing. Here is the one by the way, who appeared to Daniel during the evening sacrifice. I would probably be led to believe easily that it would be the evening sacrifice were Zacharias is also met by Gabriel Daniels response to Gabriel is that he is terrified. In fact, he falls down. Zacharias also was terrified. Daniel will also be rendered speechless.

Zacharias will look for a different reason. But more importantly it is this Gabriel has delivered a message to Daniel describing future messianic time and Gabriel is now delivering a message to Zacharias about the dawning of messianic time. He is announcing ladies and gentlemen that the breaking of the Don Poseidon is going to rise notices words in verse 13 he says don't be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you will give him the name John. Someone suggested Zacharias was in there praying for a son.

I believe he was because of his response to Gabriel. Once Gabriel tells him this. I believe his faithful prayers. A priest there inside the holy place would have been the prayer of redemption and the coming one who would save the people as all faithful priests would be praying is a Zacharias your prayer has been heard. In fact, your son is going to have a special role to play in the coming Messiah.

Look at verse 17 he will go as a forerunner before him in the spirit and power of Elijah getting quotes from Malachi to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Gabriel is telling Zacharias that he and Elizabeth are going to raise the prophet of God who is the answer to the prophecy of Malachi, who will prepare the people for the Messiah. Notice verse 18 and Zacharias said to the angel, how will I know this for certain. In other words, can you give me some proof that God will do this, imagine here Zacharias in the holy place alone, except in Angels in there with his face like lightning is ongoing like bronze.

And he says I need another sign from God to give me some more proof that something unique is going to happen in my life. He says verse 18 of an old man. My wife was beyond childbearing years, just like Abraham and Sarah of old, who didn't believe that God could produce through them before father of the Messiah. Zacharias doesn't believe God will produce through them. The forerunner of the Messiah, the angel in verse 19 answers and says to him, I am Gabriel love that response is a play on words lost of the English reader.

Zacharias emphasizes I am an old man and the angel says I am Gabriel hello wake up and I stand in the presence of God. In other words, not just come from the presence of God to deliver to you the you should know Zacharias nothing is impossible with God. And notice this verse 19. I love this text. I stand in the presence of God and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this and Gilly on this gospel come to give you the good news of God Zacharias you been waiting you in the people all your lives for good news 400 years of silence news is that the silence of God is over you long for the fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy that the sun would rise and fathers would turn their hearts to their families and the people would repent and repair the hearts for the coming not only is God going to do that, but he's chosen you and your wife to have a son who will grow up and with the spirit and power of Elijah prepare the people for the dawning of messianic Revelation. Gabriel says this is the good news. This is the gospel. The first to hear it, but since you don't believe my words you will not be able to speak your own words. Verse 20 behold you you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place.

That is the day when John is born little more than nine months from now verse 62.

If you look over there, it implies that Zacharias could neither speak nor hear because other people are making signs to him were earlier in the chapter verse 22. He is making signs to people. Can you imagine being the spokesman for God. All your life as a priest and now you have the scoop on the most exciting news ever to hit Israel in the last 400 years and you can't tell anybody. I wondered those are read this again. For those of us who can communicate. Can you think of a time and you told someone the gospel. If you told anybody this year.

The good news is the Christ came, but that he's coming again well. Gabriel has accomplished his first mission. He leaves a stunned priest now galaxies don't get home as fast as he can begins to play charades with his wife. Maybe he settles down long enough to write it off. John is born and will stop her, but when John is born later. The birth of his son Zacharias was saying he will pull again from Malachi's prophecy of people say these the sunrise from on high is going to visit us delivering to you the news. Dawn is bringing the gospel is being Gabriel has another message over that will be to marry and will look at that next time you're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. This was part one of a two-part series called the gospel according to Gabriel this lesson is called declaring the break of dawn between now and our next lesson.

We'd like to interact with you individually. 1 Great Way to communicate with us is to send a message through social media that can be a great tool you can use to stay informed and interact with us, so be sure and like our Facebook page so that you'll get updates our ministry is called wisdom international, so look for the wisdom international pain.

We hope to interact with you there, I'm Scott Wiley and for Steven and all of us here. I hope you have a great weekend. As I said will conclude this two-part series Monday at the same time join us here on your

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