I AM GABRIEL
Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
The words of our title are given in an answer to Zacharias’ question, “Whereby shall I know this?” For until then this messenger was just known as “an angel of the Lord.” Therefore identifying of the sent messenger from the Lord is sure proof of the truth of his words! It is the same with the Lord Jesus Christ! Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. His person and work were all they needed to know and believe his words. They needed no other sign!
The Holy Scriptures should be believed because the Messenger of God is very God Himself! Failure to do so reveals one to be antichrist. 1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
The Lord Jesus gave valued instruction to his disciples about the ministries of the false preachers in his day. Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. And the Apostle Paul also cautioned of this in his writings. Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Any person, or angel, proclaiming himself or herself to be a preacher, but is not sent from the Lord has a curse upon him! Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
The Greek word here in Luke 1:19 translated, “angel” is the very same Greek word in Luke 7:24, & 27 translated, “messenger(s).” Even in the Hebrew language the same holds true. For the Hebrew word translated, “the angel” in Zechariah 1:9 is translated, “messenger” in Ezekiel 23:40, and, “his ambassadors” in Ezekiel 17:15. Therefore we can learn of the gospel minister and his ministry in studying this “angel of the Lord” here in Luke chapter one.
And to whom were the seven letters written as recorded in Revelation chapters two and three? They were all written to “the angel of the church.” And just who were these “angels?” He tells us who these are in the last verse of chapter one, and the first verse of chapter two.
These gospel angels are also said to be stars. Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
The stars are the ministers, or messengers of God, sent forth with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17). Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And these stars are the crowning glory of the Bride – the church! Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
The stars are those lights in the darkness of this world which lead wise men to Jesus! Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
John the Baptist was termed by the Lord Jesus as a shining light! John 5:33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. Those who are used to “turn many to righteousness,” are said to be as stars! Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
And the Lord Jesus Christ, himself is “the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Angels were often used in the Old Testament, and then less and less in the New Testament, after the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
For the Apostle Paul eventually warns of any continued fixation upon the beings of angels, and spends the first two chapters in Hebrews putting them in their rightful place below Christ! Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, (that is, ‘embracing Christ’), from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Hebrews 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
He even clearly instructs that angels were not to have the age of the kingdom of Christ subject to them! Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. That phrase, “the world to come” is a phrase denoting Messiah’s kingdom. Therefore our present age of the kingdom is under the control of the Holy Spirit! Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
After the angel reveals his name, he then reveals his position. I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; We find this phrase also used by Elijah, the prophet. 1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 18:15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.
This phrase cannot mean that they continuously stood in the physical presence of God. For when it was stated, Gabriel was on earth, within the temple speaking to Zachariah. And Elijah never had been anywhere but on the earth! Therefore the term means that whether one is literally in the very presence of the Lord God or not, he stands in a continuous God consciousness. That is, wherever he is, and whatever he does, he is aware of being accountable to God.
God consciousness is a great deterrent to sin. It was all that kept Joseph from sinning with Potiphar’s wife! Genesis 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
This is what the Lord God instructed Abraham. Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Abraham would be able to reach a greater degree of spiritual holiness by have an awareness that he was walking under the eyes of God. Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,… Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
The next thing Gabriel states to Zacharias is that he was sent to speak unto thee. It was a personal word to a specific person. Preaching in our day has a lack of this! Most is like a history lesson, with no convicting ability whatsoever. And mere accumulation of additional religious knowledge causes inner pride! 1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. The love of God in the heart builds up the believer. But knowledge of God, without that love, increases sinful pride. Therefore we have the warnings, of Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear:, and that of Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: So we should be as careful of “how” we hear, as we are “what” we hear!
For hearing of religious truth, no matter how pure, without the determination of putting it into practice, is the formula for self deception! That means you do not realize that you are deceived. For the time one is under the truth, he sees himself as he is before the Lord – like looking in a mirror. But as soon as he leaves the presence of the word, not intending to practice what he has heard, he is deceived into thinking of himself more highly that he should. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But it is not so with the soul who fully intends to make application of the word to his life. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Therefore the gospel is the sword with the two edges. It both fits the soul of the believer, cut free from the entanglements of sin, for a righteous walk. And it cuts asunder the soul of the casual hearer from any lasting benefit, but is left in a far worse condition than before.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The Lord spoke of there being four soils that received the seed of the word. (See Matthew 13:1-23). But the way side, stony ground, and thorny ground hearers did not bring forth any lasting fruit. Only the seed fallen upon the good ground brought forth lasting fruit. But then the time of planting was over. The growing season was ended, with three soils receiving the savour (aroma) of death, but only one soil brought forth any lasting fruit unto eternal life.
But we have One who is “so much better than the angels!” We have the very Son of God for our word! Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Pastor Gene Breed
May 12, 2017