Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered March 1, 2003 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Entertaining Strangers

Hebrew 13:2

If you were an angel what would be your occupation? If I were to read your resume, what would you put on there?

But there is more...

I want to speak with you about angels today. I was reading about angels and found out a whole lot about angels. Did you know that some angels are morticians? I mean, who buried Moses? Who prepared his body and buried him? The angels did that. Special angels guarded the tomb of Jesus. They stood there at the cemetery, and when it was time for Him to come out they rolled that stone away and one of the angels sat on it to keep it from moving. He just sat right down on that stone. I believe that angels probably mark the exact location of the grave of every saint. Your grandmother, your lost relative; that grave is marked. Why is that? Because those graves are the ones that are slated for the special resurrection. They are going to be raised and restored back life on resurrection morning.

Angels are Teachers. I don't know if they're certified, but I'll bet they are. They taught Adam and Eve about the history of Satan's fall and the fall of the evil angels. They were eye witnesses to that. And angels are cooks. They know how to cook. How do we know that? Well, you've eaten angel-food cake, so you know they cook. Well, Elijah was actually awakened by an angel and he saw a beautiful cake that an angel had baked. I Kings 19:5-8. Elijah got strength from the angel food. And he gained strength from it.

Angels in 2 Kings 19 are Executioner's. Remember one night one angel came ad destroyed 185,000 people. Angels are executioners.

Angels are mechanics. Mrs. White tells us in the Story of Redemption, p. 124 that the angels remove the wheels from Pharaoh's chariots when they were down there in the Red Sea.

Angels are Jewelers. Come over here to 1 Corinthians 9. Who do you suppose makes all those crowns we are going to wear when we all get to heaven? 1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Jesus says in Revelation 3:11, "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown." We are going to have crowns. And who makes those crown? Do we have to make them ourselves? The angels do that.

Of course we know that angels are musicians. They have great choirs and they play harps. If you look at Luke 2:13 you find out that they were there at Jesus' birth. They know how to sing. They know how to play instruments. In fact, I expect that Satan almost repented at some of the great angelic choirs that he had the privilege of hearing. Unfortunately he did not repent.

Angels are army captains. Really! I was reading about the battles in the Civil War. There was a battle in Manassas, Virginia. The North and the South were preparing to clash. Both were losing men on every side and suddenly a heavenly angel descended and waved his hand backward. Instantly there was confusion in the ranks of the North. They thought there was a retreat going on. And so they started retreating.

Angels have loud voices. How loud are the voices of angels? It says in Revelation 14 that the three angels gave messages to the world. The first angel called out in a loud voice. He had the everlasting gospel to give to the world. And he said in a loud voice, "Fear God..." The third angel followed and said in a loud voice, "If anybody worships the beast..." These angels have loud voices. Just how loud is the voice of one angel? You may have missed this. But come back here to Genesis 21 in your Bible. This is interesting. One voice of one angel was heard over what distance? Genesis 21:17. Remember the story of Hagar? God hear the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid." Now, do you see what is happening here? Hagar heard the angel talking all the way from heaven. This verse says the angel was in heaven. Hagar as down here in this world. Hagar could hear the voice of one angel all the way from heaven to this world. That's a loud voice. I don't think my voice could be heard very well from that distance. They can be heard for millions of miles... Hagar heard an angel talk and where was the angel? He was still up there in heaven. So you can see that angels have loud voices.

Many folk today have weird ideas about angels. You can go to most any bookstore: Barnes and Nobel, Books-a-Million, Dalton you can buy books that many of the books, hundreds of the books teach that angels are the spirits of people who have died, that they're the spirits of dead people, even if they were good or bad. Is that true? Are angels the spirits of dead people? That can't be the case. Look at Genesis 3 in your Bible. Genesis 3:24 New Living Translation, which I'm using right now in my personal devotions. After banishing Adam and Eve from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. When did this happen? After Adam and Eve died? No, before they died. While they were still alive there were angels, weren't there. Before there was anybody there were angels. You can see that angels cannot be spirits from the dead because they existed before the first person ever died.

A small four-year-old girl named Mary was told that the noise of the thunder of a thunderstorm was the noise of the angels making their beds. I don't know why we parents tell children this type of stuff, do you? The next morning she said, "I didn't mind the thunder at all. I was okay. But what really made me upset was the angels could not make up their minds whether they wanted the lights on or off.

Angels are real beings. And actually if you come to Hebrews 2 in your Bible, you will see that they were created just like the human race was created. Look at Hebrew 2:5-7. I'll read it from the New Living Translation. And furthermore, the future world we are talking about will not be controlled by angels. For somewhere in the Scriptures (Psalm 8:4-6) it says, "What is man that you should think of him, and the son of man that you should care for him? For a little while you made him lower than the angels, and you crowned him with glory and honor." So an angel is slightly above us. We are made slightly lower than the angels. They were made, they were created and so are we. We are created.

Now you can take the Mormon book, The book of Doctrine and Covenants Chapter 132 and verse 16. It teaches right there on that page that some angels are actually people who were never married in a Mormon temple (an unapproved marriage). That's what some of the angels...when these people die, they will never be Gods on other worlds, like they believe, but they believe they will be lowered to only being angels. That's interesting.

Actually angels are real created beings a who were made by God a step higher than we are. A third of them went bad. Tow thirds remained loyal to God. Job 38:7 says at the creation of our world the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy Therefore the angels existed before our world was created. So, they can't be the spirits of the dead.

Have you ever seen an angel? Some people have. Probably we have, but we don't know it. If you come to Hebrews 13 in your Bible, you will read something interesting about angels. Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Unawares! So, you could have met an angel and you didn't know it. Could that be? Absolutely, that could be. My great Grandfather Boyles lived in Hartford City Indiana where I did. One day a stranger came to their home and asked for a glass of water. Grandpa pumped it out for him and gave him a cup of cold water. After the stranger quenched his thirst and handed the empty glass back to my great Grandpa the stranger walked off and disappeared before my Grandpa's very eyes.

Why did God do that to Great Grandpa Boyles? I believe that God reveals Himself to everyone of us. At some point in our life God reveals Himself to us so that we can believe in Him even stronger. He's probably done that for each of you. I've thought that perhaps God was revealing that He was real to my Great Grandpa so as to win his heart. But unfortunately as far as we know Grandpa Boyles never did give his heart to God. He was never baptized. He never went to church every week like his wife did. He had his chance. We all do.

Some of the more familiar work that angels do is over here in Matthew. If you want to come over here to Matthew 18, you can easily see here that one of angel's primary work is to be a guardian angel. Matthew 18:10 KJV, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Their angels, this is in the possessive. What do angels do all day? They behold the face of the Father. That's a pretty good idea, isn't it. "There angels." Each child has a guardian angel. When that child is brought to Jesus, when that child is dedicated to Jesus an angel is appointed to that child to be with her, to be with him throughout the entire life of that individual.

If that is the case, then even Jesus had a guardian angel. Did Jesus have a guardian angel? Well, let's come over here to the last page of the Bible, Revelation 22:16. And here Jesus Himself makes a statement. "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches." Jesus claims to have His own angel. "My angel." His angel. He sent him. What an honor that Jesus had to have His very own angel. And yet you have that same privilege. You have your very own angel.

I was driving down the highway one day and I saw a sign that said: "Angels Retire at 65." I thought about that. I looked at my speedometer. You know, the speed today is 70. I suppose the angels work another 5 years as Highway guardians. Angels never retire. They never sleep.

One of my church Elders, John Stachnik, was driving along a nice country road up in Michigan between South Haven and Alegan. John was driving along on Pullman Road. He had two ladies with him and they were going to visit at the hospital. And they came to an S-curve. As they came to this S-curve, they were driving about fifty miles an hour. John was in the middle, there was a car in front of him and a truck behind him that was loaded and had a loaded tailer. These three vehicles came into this S- curve. As they came around a curve, they motorcycles. There were about twelve motorcycles parked in the middle of the road. They were spread out from one shoulder to the other. The whole road was blocked. They came around there, and John thought, "Well, the only thing I can do is head for the fence. So he jerked the wheel, they headed for the fence, and John and both ladies felt somebody pick up their car and get it steered back in the right direction and they found themselves going fifty miles an hour on down the road.

The truck could not stop and crashed into the car that had been in front of John and into the motorcycles. It was a very tragic terrible wreck. What happened that day? John feels, and I feel, because I stood at that spot that afternoon. I was there standing on that road and I saw where all that had taken place. There was no way it could have happened. And angel, we feel, picked the car up, stopped it from going into the fence, and made it go down the road, saving their lives. That's what happened.

Psalm 34:7. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them. Angels are real.

How often we should thank God for the presence of these special guardian angels who protect our lives. You know, when you get to heaven, you're going to meet your guardian angel. Aren't you? That angel never dies, you're going to be alive, you're going to have eternal life. When some folk get to heaven and meet their personal angel, he will probably say, "Ma'am, Sir you about wore me out!"

I want to read to you from Education, p. 305.2 "Every redeemed one will understand the ministry of angels in his own life. The angel who was his guardian from his earliest moment; the angel who watched his steps, and covered his head in the day of peril; the angel who was with him in the valley of the shadow of death, who marked his resting place, who was the first to greet him in the resurrection morning--what will it be to hold converse with him, and to learn the history of divine interposition in the individual life, of heavenly co-operation in every work for humanity!" You're going to meet your guardian angel. And you are going to learn some harrowing experiences. The angel will say, "Do you remember that time when you were out here on I-75?"

Angels will gather God's saints together at the second coming of Jesus. Matthew 24:31. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

All the Billions of Heavenly Angels will be involved in this task. Matthew 24:31 says that when Jesus comes, He is gong to send His angels, and they are going to have a loud trumpet call, and they're going to go down and gather His elect from the four corners of the earth, from one end of the heaven to the other. So, that means there are lots of angels. There are probably billions of angels. I don't know how many there are.

Matthew 25:31 says, When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne. Heaven will be emptied of every single holy angel. Imagine a whole sky full of bright holy angels! Hebrews 12:22 KJV says that there are an Innumerable company of angels. And in Revelation 5:11, it says there will be at least 100 million. This mighty throng of bright beings from outer space throw open the grave of every righteous person and give them eternal life. They reunite the babies with their parents.

And these angels are here for our protection. What a great thing that is. You know, they assist in protection. Daniel tells us that there in Daniel 6:22, My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, Somebody says they didn't eat Daniel because Daniel was all back bone. Well, I don't know.

You know, Adventists are known for there publishing work. We've had publishing houses in Battle Creek, all over the world. We love the press. We love publishing houses. One day in one of our publishing houses in Singapore, an interesting thing happened. You've probably read about this. This is really exciting.

One of our men who had worked in the publishing house for many years had an experience that happened to him. He worked on the paper cutter. This paper cutter was not like the one we have in the McDonald Road Church that only cuts a few papers. This paper cutter weighed several thousand pounds. They could cut large amounts of large sheets of paper at one slash. You' put the paper on the bed of the cutter and get it all lined up just right. Then you'd hit two buttons, one with each hand, and a large plate would come down and hold the paper in place ad then a large knife would come down and cut the hundred sheets of paper. The knife would rise and the plate would lift up and you could get the paper that was trimmed. The presser plat and the knife would always work when the two buttons were pressed. It had never failed to do so in all the years he had been there.

On this particular day, he was about to activate the buttons and he happened to glance down and several sheets of paper on the very top of the stack were slightly out of alignment. And he thought, "Oh dear, those will be ruined if the blade cuts them. So I will straighten them out." In the means time, his hands had already pushed both buttons. Without even thinking, he didn't realize he had done it, he reached down to straighten the paper. He reached in and the plated came down on his hand and held it there while the blade took its turn. But the knife stopped just a hair-breadth from his hand. And then return to its upper position. The pressor plate lifted and freed him. In the middle of the powerful cutting stroke it stopped. He took his arm out and the cutter went on with normal cutting operation. There was no safety bar there. There were no extra switches. It just happened that way. And he stood there. He said, "I can't believe this." And angel stopped that machine in the midst of its powerful downward cutting stroke. Angels are real.

Angels want us to be saved. I used to work at the big IGA Food Warehouse in Fort Wayne Indiana one summer to earn tuition money for College that fall. I was the only Christian in my department. No other Christians were there. And people would just swore until the air was blue. They all smoked. The blew the smoke everywhere. It was one of the worst summers I ever had in my whole life, bad. One day the accountant stopped me in the hall and said, "You are a Christian," and he had a big smirk on his face. He said, "Let me tell you what the Bible says." He said, "You must know the Bible and it says that there will be joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner." He laughed, and then he said, "I am that sinner. I am making the angels happy because I am a sinner. Without people like me there wouldn't be any joy in heaven." He walked off laughing and blowing smoke rings.

I want you to read that text that he quoted. Actually the text is Luke 15. He did not misquote the Bible. Luke 15:1. there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner That's true. But, what's the rest of the story? who repents. He was not making the angels happy. Not at all. In heaven these angels want us to be saved, don't they. They want us to be saved. How often our actions make the angels very sad. Hebrews 1:14, Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? That's what they're here for.

You know, in heaven we will be equal to the Angels. Jesus says in Luke 20:36 KJV, "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels" He says we are going to be equal to the angels when we get to heaven.

Now, here is a statement worth pondering. Let's look this one up in Genesis 1:28 KJV. And God blessed them, This is talking about Adam and Eve. and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." Now, you think about this. Replenish? What does that mean? What does God mean when He says: "Replenish the earth?" Could this mean that Adam and Eve and eventually all humans were created to replenish or repopulate the earth?

The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary says this: "It was God's purpose to repopulate heaven with the human family." Vol. 1, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, p.1082. Re-populate! Now, that's an interesting thought, isn't it.

In Prophets and Kings, p. 589, by EG White, says the Devil speaks of the saints "Are these the people who are to take my place in heaven, and the place of the angels who united with me?" So, what is the truth?

The truth is here that once long ago, heaven was depopulated. Remember when one third of the angels fell? And we were created to repopulate according to these verses. Repopulate the earth- made-new. The new earth will be filled with us. We replace those who fell. Satan was once evicted from heaven, Revelation 12:7- 9. Is it logical to think that God plans to replace this vacancy in heaven with His faithful children. No wonder we will be equal to the angels. We will not be angels of course, but we will replace those who fell. God has awesome plans for each of us.

Let's just make sure we get to heaven! Right? That won't happen unless you make it there, unless you actually arrive in heaven. Do you know who will be saved? God is going to save only a select few: The only ones Christ will save are his own relatives... his children. Do you have to be one of His daughters, or one of His sons? You can be saved, all of us. And how do you become a child of the King? How do you do that?

I appreciate the ministry of these angels in my life. And may they minister to each of us.

Hymn of Praise: #15, My Maker and My King
Scripture: Ephesians 3:20, 21
Hymn of Response: #279, Only Trust Him

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