Suddenly I was in the Spirit, standing in heaven as a spectator to something I had no clue about. I was standing among a very large number of angels and no one noticed me for their attention was focused in the distance, to our right, where I could see the Father’s throne. I noticed there was a path through the angels from the throne wide enough for 1 person to walk, with angels packed in on both sides, looking with such eagerness and those closest to the path were kneeling either on both or at least one knee.
I had been in my living room with the Lord, and my angel was also present, in the Spirit, but He was finished teaching me and told me as He left that I could ask my angel a question. So it was just the angel and me suddenly, and the thing on my heart was “How do you feel about me being in charge of you in the ages to come?”
His response was with an almost horrified look on his face: “Oh! It is right! It is proper!” And when I asked why, he responded, “Remember; We know Him as Creator, but you know Him as Savior!” That’s when without warning, I was in heaven…I somehow knew it was at a time long ago but all was silent, and the atmosphere was very solemn and holy, so I dared not speak.
Suddenly out of the pure light of the Father stepped the Son, walking without looking back, down the path between the angels, each one bowing their head and often shoulders bowed in homage as He passed, walking silently on, out of view to my left. It was the moment He emptied Himself to become conceived in Mary.
What remains with me to this day is the solemn atmosphere in heaven when He left, and how I realized the angels didn’t fully understand what was happening before their eyes – they had nothing to compare that with. Suddenly I was back in my living room with my angel’s words still ringing in my heart: “Remember, we know Him as Creator, but you know Him as Savior!”
For the first time since the beginning…
James 1:13 says that God the Father doesn’t tempt/test/try anyone with evil because He cannot be tempted/tested/tried with evil. The reason is very simple – the Father God doesn’t have a physical body with which to be tempted. He has never known what it is to be tired, to be hungry, to have sore muscles, to be rushed by a schedule – the Father can’t relate!
But Jesus – Christ became the man Jesus, and for the first time the Creator could experientially relate to His creation. As Philippians 2:8-11 says, He ‘found Himself fashioned as a man.’
For the first time ever Christ who had appeared as the Word of the Lord to men and women down through the centuries, popping in and out of our world at will but never with a permanent body, is now confined to one place in one time, with all the limitations thereof.
In the womb He was still the Son of God, for Luke 1:41 tells us that when Elizabeth was six months pregnant and the just pregnant Mary visits her, the future John the Baptist leapt in Elizabethe’s womb at the presence of the Lord in Mary and her voice. As a baby He was still the Son of God for Luke chapter 2 regales us with stories of angels, shepherds, an old man and woman worshipping.
By age 12 He asked His parents, “Didn’t you know I would be about the Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
We must understand this: You and I have to renew our minds to the things of God. Young Jesus merely had to fill His (human) mind.
For the first time He was personally limited to one place at one time, to know what it is to be tired, hungry, to control his bladder, to live among people rather than darting in and out of their lives supernaturally.
Hebrews 5:7 speaking of His anguish before the cross says “…He was heard in that He feared”, and v8 tells us “He learned obedience through the things He suffered.” He had to learn obedience for He was before, King of all! This was all new to Him.
What a humbling experience
We can only imagine life 2000 years ago – the closest most of us get today is perhaps camping. Using the bathroom outdoors or in a latrine, cooking over an open fire, grinding grain by hand with a rock, killing an animal, skinning it, and sorting organs and offal from meat. But that was Jesus’ life – to go from Son of God used by the Father to create the universe, to THAT!
As I said, He had to first be humble in heaven, to be lowly in heart and meek, in order to be willing to come to earth to start with.
And then, as Philippians 2: 8 says, “…became obedient all the way to death, even the death of the cross…” Even the death of the most tortuous death the Roman Empire could devise – not just death, but tortured death, and not for Himself, but for mankind. Wow.
Back to Bethlehem – the message of the angels
“Glory to God in the highness; and on earth, peace, good will toward men” is the message from the angels. This has been watered down and misunderstood by advertising agencies and pastors, by children’s Christmas programs and moms and dads everywhere.
We start to understand the intent when we look at who made the statement. “There was suddenly with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will towards men.”
Heavenly host means ‘heavenly army’
We have this image of harmless, maybe cherubic ‘greeting card’ looking angelic helpers gathered around Bethlehem, supporting the messenger angel charged with the task of letting shepherds know the Shepherd-King has been born. ‘Host’ means army – that means this announcement is coming from the Father’s army in heaven with a message for mankind. Peace on earth and good will towards men.
Put yourself in their shoes. Take it to our time and you are camping in a field. You’re sitting around the fire talking about the day, when suddenly an army messenger comes to you, and he is illuminated by an apparent floodlight of such intensity the whole field and area is lit. He tells you not to be afraid for he has good news, but instead you are of course very, very afraid.
Before you can take in the depth of his words, your eyes adjust to see an army of an innumerable number is standing just opposite you. These soldiers are highly equipped, and you know just one of them could wipe you all out. You are at their mercy.
Then they say, ‘God says and we are His army; Peace on earth, good will towards men’. What relief! They have nothing but good will towards you, towards us! Able to destroy us, instead the Father God sends His army with a peace treaty! The proof, the down payment on the treaty is in the form of a baby, lying in a food trough for animals, wrapping in soft material used for underwear…
Paul would later write, “That is to say, God the Father was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not charging their sins to them, and has given to us the service of reconciliation.” II Corinthians 5:19
The Lord Jesus is so humble, so approachable, but He is like that because as He said, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father”. He is just like His Dad. And that is our life long journey called discipleship, being conformed into the image of His dear Son. It is a process, learn to enjoy the process and walk with the Father, include Him in your life by complimenting and giving thanks for little things – a pretty cloud, a well-timed ‘coincidence’, favor received over the course of a day – include the Father and the Lord conversationally, being amazed at the humility of Almighty God.
Amazing Grace! New subject next week, blessings,