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When Angels Speak to Us

Mark Finley
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The appearances of angels at the birth of Christ provide the backdrop for this encouraging, soul stirring presentation. An angel encourages Joseph in his perplexity, an angel strengthens Mary in her distress, an angel guides the shepherds and an angel warns Joseph of Herod’s plan to destroy Jesus. Each of these stories have one major thing in common. They reveal that God provides all of heaven’s resources to strengthen and support is in our times of need. Heaven and earth are not that far apart. God sends angels to encourage our hearts, provide direction for our future, protect us in danger and to beat back the forces of hell to enable us to be victorious in temptation. All of the resources of heaven are available to us so we can live the most abundant life possible. Christ has come. The Holy Spirit is present and angels wing their way from the heavenly realms to support and strengthen us. Now that’s reason to rejoice. In the sermon, pastor Mark Finley answers question such as: Are angels among us? What do angels do? Do angels protect us? Do angels talk to us?

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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • December 21, 2019
    1:00 PM
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Father in heaven thank you for the opportunity of opening your word every Sabbath we look forward to that time we can come the preaching hour to gain strength the nourishment for the next week so bless our souls we pray and fill our hearts in Christ's name man 497-9985 my wife and I had the opportunity of teaching for Andrews University in the city of Chicago where I taught at the Lake Union soling Institute later it became the North American division evangelism Institute and while we were there we very often held evangelistic meetings in the city of Chicago I think I held over 1214 evangelist meetings there and so would teach during the day and go out and visit people in the afternoon or evening on one occasion a mother was coming to our evangelistic meetings and she was praying for her son her son was in his twenty's he was not a 7th Day Adventist he had been coming to our meetings and had accepted the message of Bible truth but there was one challenge that he had he was smoking and he couldn't seem to give up smoking so his mother came to me and she said Pastor Mark. I know you've helped hundreds thousands of people quit smoking should you go this it my son and help him so we went out to visit the boy and I sat down and began to read the promises of God's word and pointed out to him that is long as he looked at his weakness and didn't claim the promises it would be difficult for him to overcome I asked him Do you really want to overcome smoking Yes Pastor I do do you believe smoking is not in harmony with God's Will Yes Pastor that's what I believe and so we talked about the promises of God And so I said to him Look if you really want to quit when do you believe God's going to give you power well when I ask him Are you going to ask him today yes pastor when I asked him today do you believe is going to deliver you today yes pastor I believe that all right go get all your cigarettes so he went and got he only had one pack of cigarettes in the house so he went and got this pack of cigarettes put it down on the floor and we knelt to pray well as I prayed I prayed that God would give that young man a victory and I didn't think very much of it I put my hands on the cigarettes and kind of unconsciously picked them up and put them in my pocket. I was driving back to teach for Andrew's my students with his cigarettes in my pocket now that's another story for another day of what happened but before I got back to my office he had called his mother and my secretary told me this when I walked into my office he said he called his mother and said Mother mother you're not going to leave it God worked a miracle pastor Finley prayed and the Lord sent an angel down and took my cigarettes away. I never had the heart to tell him what actually happened a lot of people have confusing thoughts about angels and although angels are prevalent throughout the Bible their idea about angels is quite fuzzy quite hazy they don't have a clear picture of the role and function of angels in scripture but when you look at Angels in the Bible the 1st mention of angels of course is at the gates of the Garden of Eden when God sent 2 angels with flaming swords to protect that garden from human beings going back in then we find angels appearing to Abraham and Sarah and to reveal that they are going to have a child in their old age we find angels coming into Minoa. To instruct Minoa and his wife about how to raise their child they came to concerned parents we find angels coming to a lot to a cinema out of sinful Sodom we find danger coming to Daniel and bringing him a prophetic message Angel's shutting the mouth of lions in the Lion's Den we find a new guiding. And directing Ravens to feed him and remember the story of the light show when he's trapped in the city and God since angels to surround that city in fiery chariots to put a wall of protection we find angels in the New Testament they are to deliver Peter from prison and guide Peter to Cornelius and Cornelius to Peter angels all through the Bible you find the angel that comes down and delivers Paul and causes that great earthquake but more than any other place in the Pi book you find angels in the story of the birth of Christ an angel comes to Joseph an angel comes to Mary an angel comes to the shepherds shepherds an angel comes to Joseph again and in those 4 stories we find vital truths about angels and vital lessons for our lives today the reason we read scripture is not simply to fill our heads with information but to gain spiritual jams in our own walk so let's go to each of these 4 stories in scripture each of these 4. Scenarios and they reveal that we are not alone in our struggles they reveal that we're not alone in our difficulties they reveal that we're not alone in life's challenges that we're not alone in raising our children we're not alone we get on a car to go on a holiday trip we're not alone when we are in the decision making process of life we are not alone on life's journey Angel stories in the Bible more than anything else are to reveal to us that all the resources of heaven are of they will to God's people and we're not alone in the journey of life heaven has provided us with all the resources necessary to live in abundant joyful life with all the resources necessary in the battle for evil in all the resources necessary to be victorious over the evil one before we go to the the narrative of these 4 stories in Christ some 103 Verse 20 take your Bible Psalm 103 verse 20. God has provided for us heavenly angels remember in the Book of Revelation how many of the angels were evil that were cast out of heaven how many About one 3rd of them are right so what that means he is the good angels outnumber the bad angels 2 to one the majority of angels who remain y.l. to Christ and they are a vailable to us in the journey of life some 103 and you're looking there at verse 20 Let's read it together bless you is a jewels that excel in strength that do His commandments harkening under the voice of his word notice bless the Lord who is angels that excel in stray the angels of God Xcel in straight they are Heaven's resources in the battle between Christ and Satan now as I mentioned there is no place in the Bible that demonstrates the might of the power the wisdom of angels then in the nativity c So we 1st go to the story of Joseph there are 4 appearances something jewels in the scene of the birth of Christ and they come in this order they 1st appear to Joseph when he is about ready to make a critical decision in his life Joseph is about ready to print divorce and the word divorce is used in the Bible I'm going to talk to you a little bit about marriage in the New Testament but he's about ready to put away or do force this young woman marry that he's be true to what if he would have done that what if Joseph would have walked away. Would Jesus have been brought up without an earthly father what if Joseph being a just man would have done what he thought was right he was in the verge of making decisions point number one about angels they beat back the forces of hell so that you and I can think clearly to make the best possible decision for Christ we're going our Bibles to Matthew Chapter one Verse 18 to 20 and we're to take a look at this 1st angelic visitor gate glean the lessons that we can learn for our lives today tomorrow and throughout the Christian journey Matthew Chapter one we're looking at verse 18 now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this why it's when as his mother Mary was a spouse to Joseph the nother word for a spouse there is b. troth to Joseph I should explain to you a little bit about the New Testament marriage in the New Testament. When a young woman was 12 or 13 years old her parents made a decision to have her in gauged to a young man it was a good engagement came at about 12 or 13 the 12 or 13 year old had nothing to do with the decision because a decision so important should not be left in the hands of a 12 or 13 year old so the parents made the decision they were engaged by the time they came typically to their mid teens they were then b. trough b. trough a was different in Biblical times to engagement b. troth a was a legal contract that the young man and young woman had the choice in at that point so they were b. trough together in this legal contract when the legal contract took place it was as formal as marriage is today except for those teenagers did not enter into the special intimate relationship in marriage but it was necessary for the male who was be troth to that female to provide for her financially it was a Later on approximately a year or so later when the marriage took puts So the scene that we read here is not in Gauge men but it's be troth though which is a legal contract that had taken place where Joseph was actually support supporting Mary at the point now we look here in verse 18 now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise one as his mother Mary was a spouse betrothed to Joseph before they came together that's before they were formally united in marriage she was found with child of the Holy Ghost Now this is incredibly a serious thing. Joseph has 2 choices here the 1st choice she is pregnant and they're not married so the 1st choice Joseph has when he discovers that is this the 1st choice is to bring her before the entire community condemn her for being pregnant out of wedlock and have her stone a choice number one the 2nd choice that Joseph has is to go to 2 or 3 of the elders of the church describe what has happened legally break the contract that he's had with her to be married and put her away quietly San turned to Elizabeth South's or somebody else's house in another village so Joseph is a just man and he wants to make the choice that is very best for Mary not to bring her through the public embarrassment next verse then Joseph her husband being a just man not willing to make her a public example sees not going to bring her before the village where stoning is a possibility he is his lover so great was mine did or decided to put her away privately so he made the decision already to put her to violate the legal contract he's going to is going to divorce or legally he is at the point of his life to make one of the most serious decisions of his life. He is at a crossroads in his life in the Bible says but while he thought on these things we meditate ing about have you ever been at the crossroads of your life have you ever made it been a decision making process in your life have you ever been thinking should I sell my house or should night sell my else should I move or shouldn't I move should I should I go into this profession as a young person or shouldn't I should I get married or should I not get married is this a time for me to retire is it not for me the time we all have those crossroads in our life will we come to those decision moments in life notice what Scripture says but while we thought on these things verse 20 behold the angel of the Lord appeared under him in a dream saying Jos of Son of David fear not don't fear in the crossroads of your life don't fear in the decision that you're going to make because heaven will provide light for you don't fear to take Mary by wife for that which is conceived in hers of the Holy Ghost she'll bring forth a son and your colas name Jesus for your save his people from their sins Joseph made an eternal decision because the Spirit of God worked on his heart through the ministry of angels there are angels hovering around as you and I are in the decision making process of life would never you're in that crossroads of life issue are praying God since heavenly angels to beat back the forces of Hill that are in question enshrouding your mind with darkness so that you can make a clear decision for the Kingdom of God promises in the decision making process of life here is guidance take your Bible please in turn to some 32 and verse 8. Here is an incredible lesson for us we're not alone in the decision making process we may not recognize it we may not fully understand it our eyes may not see heavenly beings working in our behalf and our minds may not comprehend what God is doing but this we know His promises are sure his word cannot fail heavenly beings still guide his children some 32 verse 8 some 32 verse eat there is a great controversy in the universe there is an intergalactic struggle in the universe in the forces of darkness the forces of hell in shroud our minds to keep us from making wise intelligent clear decisions but thank God and gel like beings from heaven above their way from worlds of far and they bring light to our Ma And so we can make decisions for eternity some 32 verse 8 God promises I will instruct you in teach you in the way that you shall go guides you with mine it is God instruct us as we pray he sends angels to enlighten our minds he sends the Holy Spirit to inspire our hearts My point is this you may not necessarily see the angels like Joe's but I don't see electricity in this room but I see the result of it you see I don't see radio frequencies but when I turn on my radio hear the radio I don't see television light waves but when I push that little remote hope channel or 3 a.b.n. comes on that's who I think you watch anyway I know it look we may not see comprehend or understand. But God has heavenly beings at your disposal to guide to encourage to strengthen We now turn to the 2nd angel visitor from the 1st angel fish that are we learn that angels are present to guide us in the decision making process what do we were in from the 2nd angel visitor Luke chapter one Luke chapter one the 1st angel visits Joseph the 2nd tain chill visits Mary Luke the 1st chapter we begin with verse 26 the Chapter one we're living now we're looking at verse $26.00 and onward in the 6th month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee name Nazareth to a virgin a spouse be trode to a man whose name was Joseph of the House of David and Mary in the virgins name was Mary and the angel came to her and said Fear not you are highly favored the Lord is with you blessed are you among women the angel explains to Mary that she is with child as she is as she hears the voice of the angel she's absolutely incredibly amazing Now let's try to relive the experience of Mary let's try to let our mind go back she's a teenager and she along with every Jewish woman is living with the expectation she lives with the hope that the Messiah will be born for thousands of years all through the Old Testament Jewish women look forward to the birth of the Messiah what she never would have thought in her wildest dreams. Is that she a simple ordinary girl living in a remote village called Nazareth would be bearing the Christ child she lived an ordinary life of a teenage girl she prepared meals she washed clothes she harvested crops she did a pariah t. of household chores like any other teenage girl that day the most exciting thing that had happened in her life was she was now be TROs to the village carpenter Joseph but something dramatic happened that day that changed her life for ever and angel appeared to her and said Mary you will be with child she was thrilled she was frightened she was excited she was all of that to boot to believe that God would choose this simple young woman to believe that God would choose her she shakes with fear and responsibility she was a humble teenager a commoner she had no position no wealth no fame and then the angel calls her highly favored she would sing the songs of heaven to Jesus as she bounced him on her knees she would recites the promises of God to him she would bring his lunch to the carpenter shop of Nazareth she would walk the dusty streets of Galilee and listen to him preach tears would flow from arise as she saw how the priest treated him so cruelly she would weep bitterly at the cross Little did she know what lay before her Mary. A godly humble teenager visited by an Angel impregnated by the Holy Spirit the Mother of God if this story tells us anything it tells us 2 things 1st that God uses humble people to accomplish great things for his King throughout history God is equipped them God is strengthen them God is encourage them to do great things for His Kingdom because he knew that they would give Him glory you may feel very very ordinary this morning you may feel like Mary did I'm not very special at all you may feel that you don't have very many talents or abilities but God loves to choose people just like you he loves to choose common people he loves to choose ordinary people he loves to take young people and do something special with them for his cause he loves to take the elderly. And say I still have a work for you and move powerfully through them he loves to take the middle aged You see Christianity is not a spectator sport and God says to you this morning just like I chose marry a simple hot common girl I'm still in the business of choosing common people I'm still in the business of choosing ordinary people get out of the pew and into the game because I am something special for you to do this year as the old here ends it is the new year dawns and God is saying to you today there's a work for you to do there's a task for you to accomplish the church is not just coming every Sabbath and sitting but rather there is something glorious and large an angels are standing by your side to enable you to do something special for him this year there's somebody God wants you to pray for there's somebody God wants you to study the Bible with there's somebody that God wants you to get involved with to lead them to Christ the story of Mary is the story of God choosing common people to do something for his cause but there's a 2nd thing you look at Luke chapter one verse $37.00 is it a human endeavor for somebody to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit that is not a human endeavor at all notice what the text says read it with me please luke one verse 37 for with God Nothing shall be impossible now let your eyes dropped out of verse 49 a lover verse 49. For he read it together for he that is mighty has done to me great thing and a holy is his name you can say that in your life for he who is what mighty has done for me great things the story of Mary is the story of the God who takes ordinary human beings and does the impossible through them the story of Mary is the story of common ordinary people that God does mighty things through it's the story of the God of the impossible I don't know what challenges you are facing in your life today I don't know what difficulties your face I don't know what mountains you have to climb but I know this God's The God of the impossible God is the God of the impossible it was a few days before Christmas and a pastor in his wife's young pastor his twenty's had taken on a new task in the task they took on was to Pastor. A church in a village that the church was in shambles was one of these churches that it thrived at one point of time but after a while the church began to go down it had pastor after pastor the church didn't grow it was down to just a few people and the church was really ill repair ceilings were cracked plaster was falling off carpeting frayed this young pastor came in all enthused the paint was peeling off and so he and his wife decided look we're going to do something use our own funds they begin painting they spent hours painting trying to fix up the plaster but about a week before the Christmas service that they were promoting for the entire community a storm came through the roof leaked the plaster on the back wall there was this huge piece of plaster in the back wall and it fell off all over the platform great big hole in the back wall now the church looked terrible they cleaned it up but they couldn't fix that big hole in the back wall so they decided they heard there was an auction in town and they were praying God you're the God of the impossible God you can work miracles we know how to fix that hole in the next 2 days because it's December 23rd and December 25 is coming so they went to this option and the auction or resorting or stuff and finally had a chest and he pulled out this very 15 foot long table cloth and the tablecloth was golden in the head white stripes on it ivory stripes and the pastor thought they had nobody's going to want that he bit $6.50 and he bought the tablecloth and he said you know what I'm going to put that table got over that hole of light some candles twinkle off the table cloth and so he did but the table cloth put it over the hole and it was now December 28th. 4th it was going to be Christmas Eve it was in the afternoon 12 o'clock the church you excrete the tablecloth is there and he's went to church about noon to get ready for the service prepare a sermon he saw a lady standing out there. Waiting for the bus bus wasn't coming in 40 to 40 minutes so I went to the lady said look it's cold it's cold out here Come come in come in the church you know come in the church that warm up she came in and sat there and she was an old woman deeply etched lines under face had a German accent and she sat there with this German accent she prayed and she kept looking at that tablecloth looking at the table walked up to it stood at began to cry she said that table cloth is my table cloth I was my husband and I were in Austria we were in the Nazi resistance that tablecloth was a gift my husband gave me in Brussels we fled and this story happened in 190-8949 we fled Austria we knew that we're being hunted by the Nazis so we separated I went on a train one way and he went another way I never saw my husband again he I heard that he was killed in a concentration camp I left went into Switzerland and eventually came to America immigrated to America and she took the tablecloth in her hands crying it's the only only memory of my husband I have she turned the table cloth over and there were her initials embroidered on it in the past said Take it take it she said I can't I want to leave it in your church they prayed together and she left the Christmassy Service came in the pastor preached. It was a powerful service the Spirit of God was there people from the town came in and it all man came in he was a watchmaker in town this woman was his wife they hadn't seen one another for 35 years as his wife and he said after the service he stood looking at that and he walked up to that table cost and he said wait a minute that was a gift I gave my wife years and years ago the pastor said you're not going to believe this your wife was here today she came out to get a job as a governess in a very wealthy home here she lives in a city 30 miles from here let's find out the address they went to the place where she was interviewing for the job to be the governess got in the car and after 3035 years this woman who thought her husband was dead united. I think Heaven is going to be a wonderful place because God is the God of the impossible he is the God that sent an angel to Mary do you think the Angels had fun sending that pastor to get that tablecloth do you think the Angels had fun joyous sending that woman to that church by the bus stop that day you think the Angels had fun leading that may end in it and you think the Angels were there in that glorious moment of reunion beyond what our eyes can see beyond what our ears can hear there are Heaven's resources are working in your behalf from Joseph the scripture speaks to us of angels that guide us in our decision making process from Mary angels speak to us. That God takes the ordinary and does something special with it that he's still the God of the impossible form the shepherds the angel still speak take your Bible please and turn to Luke Chapter 2 verse 8 to 14 Luke Chapter 2 verse 8 to 14 the angel still speak their message is still relevant to Scripture and Luke chapter 2 it was a common ordinary day. The Roosters crowed that morning men get up and stretched and went out to the fields that day to work and the shepherds went out to the field to tend their flocks that night Little did they know that the Spirit of God was going to change their lives as they came encounter with heavenly angels and were led to the living Christ Luke Chapter 2 you're looking there at verse 8. Now there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field keeping watch over the flock by night and lo the angel of the Lord came unto them and glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid and the angel said to them fear not behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which are to all the people when the angel came to Joseph he said Fear not we didn't you came to Mary he said Fear not when the angel came here to the shepherds he says fear not I bring you great tidings of great joy the Christ is for and to day in the challenges of our life the message of Scripture 2000 years comes fear not fear not fear not you have some big decision to make in your life and you're shaking with fear God says fear not you have some challenge in your life God says fear not you have some health challenge that nobody else knows about God says fear not you have some financial challenge God says fear not you have some challenge in your life God says Do not fear because just like I lead the shepherds to the living Christ in the manger so I lead you to the living Christ the end in the presence of the Living Christ Jesus says to you there is strength there is courage there is hope I love the way it is placed here in the book Christ object lessons page 341 and 342 Listen to this his angels are appointed to watch over us and if we put our self under their guardianship then in every time of danger they will be at our right hand when unconsciously where in danger of exerting a wrong influence the angels will be by our side prompting us to a better course listen to this choosing our words for us old worn I need the angels to choose my words for me somebody to look. The angels will be by our side they'll prompt us to a better course in other words I'm about ready to do something but if you Mom I'm in the presence of the Spirit of God If my life is consecrated to God The angels are with me to guide me in a better course they will choose our words they will influence our actions thus our influence may be a silent unconscious but mighty power in drawing others to Christ the angel say to us today do not fear I will enlighten your mind do not fear I will guide your decisions do not fear I will strengthen you in temptation do not fear I will guide the course of your action angel speak to Joseph in the decision making process angels Guide Mary angels guide the shepherds but angels come one more time in the story Matthew Chapter 2 verse 13 and 14 Matthew 2 verse 13 and 14 angels come one more time in the story 4 times angels appear in the Christmas story they appear to help Joseph in his decision making process they appear to help Mary know that although she is ordinary She has a special task and God can do the impossible they appear again to the shepherds saying Don't fear don't fear we will lead you to the living Christ but in Matthew the 2nd chapter again the Bible says in Matthew Chapter 2 Matthew 2 1st 13 and 14 and when they were departed behold the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in the dream saying arise in take the young child in his mother and flee into Egypt and be though there until Iowa bring the word for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him then he arose and he took the young child his mother by night and they departed to Egypt what's going on here. Herit is pass a decree that all male children be killed an angel appears to Joseph and the angel says to Joseph God has a divine play on and all the angels in hell in all the despotic leaders in the world cannot keep that divine plan from occurring. God had a divine plan for Jesus and all the angels and hell and demonic forces couldn't stop it heavenly angels mighty strange protected Jesus these seem angels from eternity are by our side I love what it says in great kind of earthly page 517 those who follow Christ are safe under his watch angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them the wicked Listen to this the wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed around his people in the battle between good and evil in this intergalactic conflict between Christ and Satan in this great controversy before tween the forces of righteousness in the forces of wickedness Jesus provides us with divine aid in the angels in ways the human mind can never understand in human eyes cannot see and human errors cannot hear angels are among us today to give us guidance in our propensity to give us courage in our confusion to give us hope in our despair to give us protection in our trials rejoice all the resources of heaven are yours rejoice heavenly angels are beside to strengthen to encourage to direct our thoughts to guide our words to bless our umble efforts rejoice were not left alone in temptation with the battle of evil heavenly angels are near they close Lions mows they fed they slew serve acar ribs armies they cause Jericho's walls to crash and tumble they delivered Peter they rescued pole and lost none their power today would you say with me today that in Christ we can rejoice. Angels will guide our decisions angels or reveal that in our human ness God wants to use us angels continue to impress us don't give up gods the God of the impossible angels say to us do not fear do not fear the powers of heaven are greater than the powers of hell and the angels remind us in the Christmas story that God is a divine plan for every life let's pray Father in heaven we thank you that the Scriptures remind us that heaven and earth are not very far apart and we thank you that the Word of God speaks to us about in Gelug beings sent by the Savior Himself are there to encourage to protect and instruct father the human mind cannot understand it and secular intellectuals dismiss it but we recognize that the truth of Angels is a divine reality and that one of the major teachings of the Christmas story is the presence of angels the Father I pray thee that the end visitors that visited this world so long ago. Would visit us on our daily journey back. At that unseen to human eyes. We would sense their influence in our lives and rejoice in Christ's name on. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave to visit w w w audio verse or.

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