What do you think will be the likelihood of you ever meeting an angel in this life?

I think, that although it is not impossible, it is not very likely.

At least it’s not very likely that you would KNOW that you’ve met an angel.

But did the Apostles know that there was an angel who visited them that night and that he was the cause of their release them from prison?

Could he have come in the form of a prison guard, and they didn’t know that he was an angel?

That is a possibility, but since the scripture doesn’t say,

I think that he must have come in the glorious form of an angel, and the apostles knew it was an angel.

Did Mary and Joseph know that they had been visited by an angel?

They not only knew that, but they were even told his name: Gabriel.

Did Gideon know that it was an angel of the Lord who commissioned him to deliver Israel from Midian?

When they first began to talk Gideon did not know, but he came to realize it later.

When Paul begins the practical section of the Book of Hebrews in chapter 13, he says:

“Let brotherly love continue.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

He doesn’t tell us specifically, who entertained angels unawares,

But the word “entertained” helps to lead a lot of commentaries to suggest that it was Abraham & Lot.

Genesis 18:1-2 says, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him.”

Abraham then prepared a meal and refreshed the Lord and what we think were His angels.

And then in the next chapter those two angels delivered Lot from Sodom before its destruction.

When they first arrived, hospitable Lot invited them off the streets and into his house to feed them.

It is debatable whether or not Lot initially knew that those were angels.

So I ask again, do you think that you’ve ever been visited by an angel?

Second question: SHOULD WE LISTEN to what angels have to say?

We should definitely listen, but we are obligated to take what they say with a grain of salt.

How do we know that they are telling us the truth?

Well, of course, the angels of God always tell the truth, right? Amen!

But can we be sure that the angel standing before us is one of the angels of the Lord?

Our first mother was visited by an angel who came in the form of a serpent,

He lied to her, and she was too dense to realize that it was a lie.

And thus our whole race was led down the broad road that leads to destruction.

Paul exhorted the Christians in Corinth to watch out for false teachers – He said,

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Just because a man claims to a minister of the Gospel of Christ, doesn’t mean that is actually true.

And just because there is a glorious supernatural being standing at the foot of the bed claiming to be an angel of the Lord, doesn’t mean that he is whom he claims to be.

We are commanded to try the spirits in I John 4.

That means that the message which is being given to you, preached to you or put into your dreams

That message needs to be put to the test and assayed to determine whether or not its genuine.

We need to learn from Eve that the instrument used to run the test should not be our natural mind.

We test the spirits by comparing their message with the eternal Word of God.

And that should frighten the daylights out of us, especially parents, because so many of us know so little of the Word of God.

There is a lot of very interesting theology lurking behind the words of these four verses.

Tonight I plan to come back and make a few comments on some of them,

But this morning I want us to focus our attention on what the angel said to the Apostles:

“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

Not only do we have a reiteration of the commission that they had been given earlier,

But there seems to me to be a commentary on it as well.

Do we have here an angelic definition of Bible Christianity?

It is accurate?

Should we believe what this angel says?

Whomever this angel was, he called Christianity – very simply – “this life.”

Is “life” an accurate description of what we possess in Christ Jesus?

Is “life” the need of the lost people of Jerusalem, Judea and the uttermost parts of the earth?


Bible Christianity, by whatever name or description you want to give it, is all about LIFE.

And this should make it a subject very, very interesting to human beings.

Since the very days of Nimrod, we as a race have been looking for the fountain of life.

The Lord had to put angels at the gate of the Garden of Eden, “lest man put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.”

Part of man’s desire to usurp the position of the Lord, is that he might enjoy eternal existence.

But from the time of the very first man, we’ve had a problem.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:

For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

And Adam did eat the fruit of that tree, and not only did his spirit immediately die, but his body began the slower process of dying as well.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression” – Romans 5:12-14.

Even though you and I have never committed the same sin as Adam, we are nevertheless sinners.

Like the idea or not, accept the doctrine or not,

The Bible teaches that when Adam sinned, he became a sinner.

And this sin nature he passed on to his children and grand-children – even to you.

Or to put it another way, when Adam sinned you became a sinner with him.

Sin is the reason that people die,

And it doesn’t matter whether some people appear to be bigger sinners than others,

“We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God,”

And “the wages of sin is death.”

Ah, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The angel told the Apostles to get back to the Temple and tell the people there about life.

They didn’t need philosophy, because philosophy is nothing without life.

They didn’t need more theology necessarily, unless it lead them to the gates of life.

They didn’t need more prophets, unless those prophets were talking about the Prince of Life.

And they didn’t need the Jewish priests any more, since the Prince of Life is the only priest that sinners will ever need.

That angel knew that the people of Jerusalem, as well as you and me, need life.

And Bible Christianity is all about SUPERNATURAL LIFE.

I mean that it stands in contradestinction to natural life.

As I’ve already suggested, natural life naturally leads to a natural death.

And unfortunately, natural sinners are already under the condemnation of an even worse kind of death – spiritual death.

If we can find a solution to spiritual death, natural death will be taken care of as well.

Bible Christianity is all about supernatural life, and as a result, the elimination of spiritual death.

I didn’t read all of this chapter, because it doesn’t all pertain to my subject this morning.

But the apostles are going to be arranged before the Sanhedrin again.

And one of the men on that council might have been Nicodemus.

In John 7, Nicodemus tried to defend the Lord before this same bunch of men.

He may have been removed from office, or may still be there to try to help the disciples here as well.

In either case, he learned about life, from the lips of the Prince of Life Himself.

In John 3 the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Why is it necessary that Nicodemus must be born again?

Because he was in a state of death – of non-life – spiritually speaking.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

This angel was exhorting the apostles to get out there and preach life, because the people who were in the temple were for the most part spiritually dead.

Just like us, they had physical life, breath in their lungs, blood in their veins & thoughts in their heads.

And just like us, they were in the House of God, thinking that they were serving the most High God.

But perhaps, like some of us, they didn’t realize their true condition.

Nicodemus was shocked that the Saviour would tell him that he needed to be born again.

And so would the vast majority of church-going Americans on this second Lord’s Day of 2004.

The angel was telling the disciples to get back out there and preach supernatural life.

Physical life is almost useless in the light of spiritual death.

The life to which this angel referred was an HEAVENLY LIFE.

One of the mistakes, easily made when it comes to evangelism, is making it sinner-centered.

Nicodemus, you are dead in trespasses and sins“ye must be born again.”

The evangelist may tell his hearer that the wrath of God stands against him.

He may tell the sinner that he is in imminent peril.

There may be talk about the eternality of Hell and the blessedness of Heaven.

There is essentially nothing wrong with this kind of language.

Unfortunately, there is an important ingredient missing:

Salvation is not primarily about the sinner; it’s about the Lord.

When the Lord Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life,

And that they might have it more abundantly,”

He was not talking about being happier, healthier, wealthier and worldlier.

He was talking about spiritual things and heavenly things which come through fellowship with God.

When God first created man, it was not for the sake man that He created.

It wasn’t that Jehovah needed man’s company or that it was necessary that He hear words of praise.

God created this universe and man in it in order to bring more glory to Himself.

And it’s sinful, self-aggrandizement to think that God is glorified only when we praise Him.

This would sound horribly egotistical if it were spoken about some man, but it is not when said about the Lord:

God created man and God saves men, for His own glory.

When God first created man, the Bible reveals that it was His intention

To meet with Adam fellowship there in the Garden at the close of the newly created days.

But then Adam sinned and broke the privilege of that fellowship.

The gospel brings about a restoration of that fellowship by way of the new birth.

One of these days, probably in the very near future, Christ Jesus will come back to earth to gather together his people.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

And what do you suppose we will do during that “and so shall we ever be with the Lord?”

I’m not going to tell you that I know exactly what we shall be doing,

But I know that it will be sweet, wonderful, fulfilling, enriching, exhilarating, and eternal.

We will enjoy the fellowship that Adam didn’t get to enjoy.

He lost that fellowship because he spiritually died the moment that he sinned against God.

But we will enjoy that fellowship the moment that spiritual aspect of eternal life is eternally reinstated.

And in the mean time, there is an enjoyment of the Lord that will not be duplicated even in heaven.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

In the midst of the problems of this world, when we are hurting, when we are lonely, when we are sick,

We can have fellowship with the Saviour through prayer.

We can be blessed and uplifted in ways that will be unnecessary and unparalleled in Heaven.

The angel said, “Get out there and tell the people about the Heavenly life.”

And don’t forget to mention that it is a HOLY LIFE.

What was the name of this angel who rescued the apostles from the common jail?

I have no idea.

What sort of responsibilities had he had throughout the millennia of creation? I don’t know.

Could he have been there to join the angelic choir of Isaiah 6 – the year that King Uzziah died?

Could this angel have joined the seraphim shouting:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory”?

I believe that if we had an opportunity to interview this angel, and asked him about the practical difference between himself and a demon, he say that the difference was HOLINESS.

And if he expressed his opinion about the world of Genesis 2 and Genesis 4, he’d say that the difference was sin – the lack of holiness.

This angel knows what the Bible says about the Antichrist; and if we asked him about the difference between Christ and the Antichrist, he’d say that one of the differences would be holiness.

I’m sure that he would say other things about the life to which he refers in verse 20,

But one of the things that he would mention would once again be “holiness.”

Remember that this chapter begins with the death of Ananias and Sapphira.

The Apostles were listening to this angel,

Because they were in jail as a result of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.

And what was the problem with Ananias and Sapphira?

Those two Christians were trying to live their lives without practicing holiness.

They tried to lie to the Holy Ghost.

One of the characteristics of the Christian life is supposed to be HOLINESS.

I’m talking about a separation unto God because we have the same sin-hating character as the Lord.

Peter later wrote: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Peter basically explains what we mean by “holiness:” be like your Heavenly Father.

Paul said, “Seek peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see God.”

A sin-riddled life is not an option with Christians – to which Ananias was an huge exclamation mark.

The angel knew that this was an holy life which the apostles were preaching.

And he knew that this was an ETERNAL LIFE.

Have you theologians here today, ever asked yourself whether the doctrine of eternal was something that the Old Testament saints had heard or understood?

We know that the Lord Jesus talked about it a great deal.

When the Saviour was talking to Nicodemus he mentioned “eternal life.”

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Later He preached: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

And then in John 10 He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

When the Lord Jesus was talking like this, did the common man understand what He meant, or was this something new that they had to learn from the ground up?

Well, in Luke 10 a certain lawyer tried to trick the Saviour with what he thought was a difficult question:

“Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Obviously, the Saviour wasn’t going to be befuddled by a question like this so He answered the man.

And then in Luke 18 another man asked the same question, but with a little more sincerity.

These people knew about reality of eternal life, whether they understood its source or its real nature..

For example Daniel had spoken of it: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

When the angel exhorted the disciples to get back out there an preach eternal life,

Peter and the others knew exactly what he was talking about.

In John 6, while many of Jesus’ disciples were forsaking Him, He asked His inner core:

“Will ye also go away?”

, “Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Christianity is all about life – the life of Christ – the eternal life of Christ, given by grace to sinners like us.

The message of the Gospel boils down to life versus death.

The need of all people everywhere is eternal life and union with God through the Lord Jesus.

YOU need this life.

Have YOU been born again?

Is the holy life of Christ being echoed in your day-to-day life?

I implore you to bow your knee before the Prince of Life and humbly receive the gift of His grace.