Special News from Angels

Special News from Angels

Perry Duggar |

God communicated His plan to save the world through various people, through various means, including angels.

Special News from Angels
Christmas Messengers – Message 1
Perry Duggar
December 4, 2022

I. Introduction: Christmas series entitled, Christmas Messengers.

  • Psalm 130:20-21; Luke 1:19; Revelation 14:6

A. Today’s message is entitled, Special News from Angels.

  1. Theme verse: Luke 1:19 (NLT)— Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! … God … sent me to bring you this good news!
  2. The English word “Angel” is translated fromHebrew malʾâk and Greek aggĕlŏs, both of which mean, a messenger. [Referred to in the Bible more than 300 times.]
  3. That first Christmas, angels delivered God’s dispatches, explaining His plan, providing guidance and direction, as well as protection, to various people through varied means.
  4. Psalm 103:20–21 (NLT)—20 Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out His plans, listening for each of His commands. 21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve Him and do His will! [Not their own will, nor ours!]
  5. They are created, spirit beings, usually invisible, inhabiting an unseen dimension, they can reveal themselves and sometimes appear as human, but not born human. (Hebrews 13:2)
  6. They serve and worship God (Revelation 22:8–9); and serve God’s people (Hebrews 1:14).
  7. Angels communicate from God to people, not from people to God (not our mediators).

B. Messages from angels… (Luke 1:5-38; 2:8-20)

1. Arrived from a divine source. (Luke 1:5-13,19, 23-31. C/R: John 14:26; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 22:6)

  1. Luke 1:5-7 (NLT)— 5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. … [Which would have suggested to people of that time that they lacked God’s favor.]
  2. This was a dark time in Israel; Romans occupied the land and oppressed the Jews.
  3. There had been no prophetic word from God for 400 years; He was silent!
  4. The last time God had spoken directly to Israel was the prophesy of Malachi (Malachi 3:1;4:5-6), which promised the coming of Elijah who would prepare the way for the Messiah.
  5. Luke 1:11-13 (NLT)— 11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. [Serving in God’s Presence but not expecting the supernatural.] 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.”…
  6. The angel said God heard Zechariah’s prayer, he would have a son, though he and his wife had been unable to have children and now they were too old to have them naturally.
  7. Luke 1:19 (NLT)— Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me to bring you this good news!” …
  8. This message could only be true if it came from God because angels do not possess the power to create life, to heal, to reverse physical disabilities, but God does!
  9. Luke 1:24-25 (NLT)— 24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” [Only God could have accomplished this!]
  10. Six months later, Gabriel was sent to speak to a young woman named Mary.
  11. Luke 1:26-31 (NLT)— 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged [betrothed] to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed [startled, troubled] , Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus.”
  12. Imagine the impact of this announcement on this young woman, likely 15-17 years old (possibly as young as 12-13) because betrothal often occurred soon after puberty.
  13. She was not married and never been intimate with a man, so she would have been surprised, confused, perhaps shocked and offended! [Not mentioned Jesus’ identity yet.]
  14. APP.: Have you ever received a message from a divine source?
  15. We still receive supernatural messages from God—perhaps from an angel, but more often a word from the Spirit directly (John 14:26) or through the Bible, or even advice of a friend.

The angel’s message…

2. Announced Jesus’ arrival. (Luke 1:13b-17, 31-33; 2:8-12. C/R: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5)

  1. To Zechariah: Luke 1:14-17(NLT)—[When John arrives] 14 “You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. [controlled only by Spirit] 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
  2. John would be the forerunner of the Messiah; would fulfill Elijah’s return! (Malachi 3:1;4:5-6)
  3. Filled with the Holy Spirit from before his birth, John would lead the people to repentance toward God, preparing them for the Messiah’s arrival!
  4. Six months later, Gabriel confirmed the Messiah’s coming to teenaged Mary.
  5. Luke 1:31-33 (NLT)— 31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. 33 And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” [Provide Jesus’ human nature and physical body.]
  6. Imagine how she felt hearing this announcement—not only would she have a son, but He would be the Messiah, the Son of God, the descendent of David and ruler over Israel!
  7. Mary was not from the upper class, she was likely uneducated, possibly illiterate, but as a Hebrew she would certainly know about the expected, longed-for coming of the Messiah!
  8. Nine months later, an angel (perhaps Gabriel) announced the Savior’s birth to shepherds.
  9. Luke 2:8–12 (NLT)— 8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified [angel’s appearance, light] , 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
  10. These men weren’t religious and certainly weren’t righteous; they weren’t allowed inside the Temple, their work made them ceremonially unclean.
  11. They were mistrusted, regarded as thieves and liars, not even allowed to testify in court.
  12. Yet an angel of the Lord appeared to them, announcing the birth of the Savior!
  13. APP.: Has the birth of the Savior been announced to you supernaturally by the Spirit?

The angel’s message…

3. Acquired a response. (Luke 1:18-22,34-38; 2:13-20. C/R: Matthew 6:10; Romans 6:13; 1 John 2:17)

  1. Luke 1:18 (NLT)— Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? [a sign?] I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” [not convinced]
  2. Luke 1:19-22 (NLT)— 19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
  3. Zechariah doubted the Word of God spoken through Gabriel, so he was given a sign—but not like he wanted—being unable to speak and likely also unable to hear (see v. 62).
  4. His own personal, physical limitations and past experiences caused him to doubt God.
  5. Let’s look at Mary’s response: Luke 1:34 (NLT)— Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” [Was she expressing a lack of faith like Zechariah?]
  6. Zechariah doubted; he questioned the truth of the angel’s word and asked for a sign.
  7. Mary demonstrated faith; she believed the angel’s words but asked how it would happen.
  8. Luke 1:35 (NLT)— The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. [This created questions, so he offered evidence of God’s power.]
  9. Luke 1:36-37 (NLT)— 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” [Provided encouragement.]
  10. Luke 1:38 (NLT)— 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.”
  11. This angel’s announcement, a great blessing from God, also represented a great threat to the plans she had for her life: Would anyone believe her? Would her betrothed still marry her? Would she be viewed as immoral and shunned, rejected, punished, stoned?
  12. Despite her apprehension and unanswered questions, Mary accepted God’s assignment.
  13. Let’s see the shepherd’s response: Luke 2:13-15 (NLT)— 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” [They wondered about their reception by the Messiah’s parents, but they went!]
  14. APP.: How did you respond to messages from God from the Spirit, the Bible or an angel?
  15. Like Zechariah, did you doubt because God’s promise was not within your own power?
  16. Like Mary, did you believe, though you couldn’t understand how it would happen?
  17. Like the shepherds, did you seek the Savior, knowing you’re not good enough to be accepted? (You aren’t, neither am I; that’s the grace of God, seen clearly at Christmas!)

Care volunteers at front and in Care Connection room across concourse.

Gift cards for Greenville County Foster Care/Kinship Care: $25 from Amazon, Walmart, or Target. Turn in to mailbox by Ministry Spotlight desk in concourse.

Information is online at brookwoodchurch.org/christmasoutreach.

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