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Monday, August 2, 2010

Of Angels and Mortals

“A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

Of Angels and Mortals

"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands ..."
~ Revelation 1:20-2:1 (NKJV)

In the first love letter from Jesus to church, He identifies Himself as seen with His angels (or messengers, represented by stars) and His churches (or assemblies, represented by lampstands).

Contrasts may be made between angels and the church. A lampstand is a light far smaller and lower than a star, as we are to angels. Angels hold mighty power as messengers of Jesus' hand, while He walks among us in fellowship and puts His power within us. An angel holds the key of the abyss, but we've been entrusted as heirs with keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Angels behold the face of God now hidden from our eyes—though we hold God within us.

We shall one day be like angels. Angels cannot be disciples like us.

My notes from a sermon I heard on "Twelve Ordinary Men" mention four levels of discipleship:
Belief – faith in Jesus as Lord
Commitment – answering the call "Follow Me"
Apostleship – being "sent" as ambassadors of God
Martyrdom – death to all personal interests

Such is the privilege in the relationship between disciple and beloved Master.

Lord Jesus, as we trust You and follow You, show us how to represent you and lay down our lives for You.

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Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Interesting that Angels also have a hierarchy within themselves. What do you make of this in contrast to humans in eternity?

  2. Very cool to read this in one place like this. I love the idea that we could entertain angels unaware.

    Happy Monday. Oh, and I'll email you back.
    ~ Wendy

  3. i love Word studies like this. some of the scripture links make me chew a bit more. ...praying for revelation in Revelation along with understanding.

  4. btw...thank you for the archives!!! i'm already a bit behind with this series. there's a post or two that i'm still kicking around.

  5. How blessed we are to have angels among us ... but not us.

  6. Interesting thoughts, Anne. Also, that short synopsis of the sermon you heard really helped with something I've been thinking/praying about. Thanks!

  7. Both in service to the King.

  8. Being part of America culture, I have a love hate relationship with Angels. A few years ago they hung from rear-view mirrors, adorned necklaces, and floated across malls. Angels are very hip. But the Bible, as you researched, has a whole different imagery. Frank Peretti's book...more than anything else...caused me realize that indeed, angels were fighting a war in a whole different estate that I couldnt see

  9. T ~

    I'm not sure about a hierarchy while on the earth. Perhaps it is the one I described above, attained in measure to sacrifice.

    But in the kingdom to come? The Bible is clear that a hierarchy will exist there—notably in the parable of the talents. What I think is so cool is that we are not measured by the fruit we produce, but by the fruit we produce in proportion to the talents entruted to us. Even mentally challenged people who use their gifts to their fullest ability for the Lord are storing up heavenly riches, and will be entrusted with much in God's kingdom, ruling over a great deal. On the other hand, highly gifted people who use their talents for temporal purposes rather than to build up earthly treasure may be the street sweepers of the kingdom.

  10. Wendy ~

    Indeed! Whether we're showing hospitality to an angel, or doing unto Jesus what we do unto the least of our brethren, we should be alert to any opportunity to do good and show compassion, especially to those who are in any manner weaker than ourselves.

  11. Bud ~

    Word studies breathe life into me. When I start picking apart the Word of God, when the Holy Spirit alerts me to related passages, when I see connections between all the Scriptures, it is more satisfying to me than the finest banquet.

    And I'm thrilled to hear that the "back 40" is still fruitful. :D :D :D

  12. Susan ~

    I love the way you put that. I suppose most of us would envy angels. Few consider that they envy us, the children.

  13. Jason ~

    I hope "interesting" means "thought-provoking without being weird." :D

    And those sermon notes? We have some top rate pastors at our church. I'm grateful to be well fed there, and be able to pass it along.

  14. Patty ~

    Yes, serving together. As the church should be, and one day will be, when we finally serve without distraction or personal agenda. *sigh* I look forward to that. ¦ )

  15. David ~

    I understand that love-hate relationship. I think the Lord made angels invisible for good reason, so they're not worshiped. Personally, I have a problem with the effeminate fairies and cherubs which make angels look either sexy or wimpy or both.

    It's been years since I read Peretti's series. What stuck with me most—which I find credible and consistent with Scripture—is the concept of angels being dispatched as the Lord's response to our prayers.

  16. I really enjoyed this post sis, thank you.

  17. Denise ~

    I would have written it just for you. ; )

  18. Anne, yes- interesting in my book means thought-provoking! If I thought it was weird, I would have said nothing. :)

  19. read a book of Peretti's concerning angels and it gave me a lot to think about too. one thought/question comes to mind concerning the angels. (i'm happy for the fact that i'm mortal) angels are also given a choice too....right?

  20. Bud ~

    I don't see a clear answer in the Bible for you about angels having a choice. It appears that perhaps when satan rebelled (in his jealousy of the Son), that a third of the angels followed him—but I'm using more conjecture than fact here. It seems logical that all of them had a choice. And I would also guess that theirs was a once for all choice made at one point in time shortly after creation, or in the process of creation.

    Sorry to be vague, but I try to be careful in not going beyond where I see Scripture being clear.


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