Psalm 91: Seeing the Unseen (Angels part 2)

The distinctive of MCA Church’s belief system is our understanding of how to understand the Bible.

Most evangelical Christians believe the Bible to be:

  1. The infallible
  2. Inerrant
  3. Authoritative
  4. Word of God
  5. Only rule of faith and practice.

This is common terminology for most evangelical Christians.  What then is our distinctive in this regard?

We understand New Testament narrative to be revelation of what God can do and does in our world of today.

We do not see any Bible passage stating any of the New Testament ministries have ceased or were limited to a time zone (dispensation).

We understand “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever,” to include the ministries he did, the message He proclaimed and the promises He made.

The hermeneutic of the typical Pentecostal believer is straightforward and simple: the stories in Acts are my stories—stories that were written to serve as models for shaping my life and experience.  Menzies, Robert. Pentecost: This Story is Our Story . Gospel Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

The poetry of Psalm 91 introduces us to God’s angels accomplishing His purposes in the earth.

For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

From our perspective, the poetry of Psalm 91 is valid revelation for our lives today.

“Thus, the Psalm invites readers from diverse contexts to help shape the meaning of the Psalm by contributing their own answers….”  The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms, Brennan Breed, page 298

Consider praying for God to give guidance to the angels on your behalf.

  1. Angels are messengers of God.  “Lord, I pray to receive every message you intend for me, whether by the gifts of the Spirit, the Bible, wise counsel from others or by angelic delivery.”
  2. Angels are involved in the worship of God.  “Lord, I pray to worship you at a much higher level than I do now.  May I learn from the angels a greater capacity for worship.”
  3. Angels are God’s warriors.  “Lord, I pray that you will commission your angels in the unseen war related to my life.  May your angels go to war on my behalf.”
  4. Angels guard the throne of God and His glory.  “Lord, as you increase my personal experience with your glory, may you send your angels to guard both me and your glory.”
  5. Angels “lift you up” so that your walk is steady.  “Lord, I ask you to commission your angels to lift me up so that I walk steady and holy before you.”

Because of the Bible’s strong teaching that its narratives are instructive for today (ALL scripture is God breathed and is PROFITABLE), we consider the angelic ministry in the New Testament to be normative for God’s work in our world today.

“The stories in Acts are our stories.”

Luke’s Book of Acts significantly features angelic ministry in the life of the newly launched church.  We too should expect and anticipate God guiding, providing, protecting and communicating through angels.

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:10-11   Heavenly messengersIn white robesSuddenly stood by themTwo in numberApparently vanished as quickly as they arrivedMessage of Jesus’ return to earth someday
17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy  18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”    Opened locked and secured doorsNavigated the apostles through the prison security systemGave detailed instructions
    15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.  Acts 6:15     30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.  Acts 7:30   35 “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.  Acts 7:35   38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received  living oracles to give to us.  Acts 7:38   53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”  Acts 7:53     There is a look on the human face considered to be like an angel.       An angel standing in a flame of fire         The angelic messenger is a validation of the seriousness of God’s message           Moses’ “living oracles” were given to him by an angel at Mount Sinai       The law of God was considered to be delivered to Israel by angels
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south[d] to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went.  Acts 8:26   Life and ministry direction given by an angel
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”  And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”   A very real visitation in a visionKnowledge of the impact prayer and alms giving rising as a memorial before GodLife direction givenKnowledge of where Simon Peter was lodging
Peter also had a vision but his experience isn’t attributed to angels but to the Lord and the Spirit.  
22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” 23 So he invited them in to be his guests.   The angelic visitation authenticates the guests to Peter and he invites them into his house
27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”   Peter is TOTALLY confident in the message of the vision and the voice of the Lord and the Spirit
30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”   Cornelius still validates his actions, four days later, because of the angel’s ministry.An angelic hint is the quick appearance, “Stood before me.”An angelic hint is the “bright clothing.”An angelic hint is knowing what has been remembered before God.