It is with a certain degree of both excitement and trepidation that I write this letter to you. I am excited because I believe in angelic intervention but have trepidation because I know very little about angels. I have never knowingly seen one but do believe others have and believe the biblical accounts.
Angles are messengers. The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, comes from the Hebrew word “Mal’ak” which means angel or messenger. Malachi was a prophet who promised that God would send His Messenger to prepare the way of the Lord. The Lord would come and set things right and would intervene in the affairs of men (see Daniel 4:17).
God uses many means to intervene, to change things. He uses prophets who announce His word and He sends angels to announce His word or to act on His behalf. I have read accounts of angelic visitations that had some powerful affects upon those who were addressed.
There are numerous accounts of current angelic visitations among Muslims who are turning to Christ in the Middle East. While some may doubt the reality of angels, the impact upon those who are visited is undeniable. Any so-called experience with the supernatural world which produces no dramatic change is dubious. But if the impact is undeniable, then we must give the experience credence. This is the best way to sort out the real from the false, and we need to do that.
Scholars and ordinary people can debate the reality of Jesus’ birth but the impact upon world history is absolute. We date our calendar from His birth. The prophets said that He would be “God with us” and that He would bring righteousness and judgement. He did all of that and more; He gave us salvation.
So, were the experiences of Mary, Zecharias, Elizabeth, Joseph, and the shepherds real? History tells us that they were.
Great events in history are often accompanied by supernatural manifestations, divine interventions. I could give examples, such as the defeat of the Spanish Armada or the escape of the British army at Dunkirk. George Washington attributed success in the Revolutionary War to divine assistance. Most of us could give accounts of God’s intervention in our lives that made a significant impact. Such interventions usually comes at a point of crisis. We hate the crisis, but love the salvation.
It is good to remember Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him.” The entire Psalm should be studied. The world was in crisis when angels visited those in the Christmas Story, and it is now. Will angelic visitations increase once again? Will supernatural events increase? I believe so. As usual, there will be the real and the false. Remember, results will sort it all out, as was the case as the New Covenant unfolded. This is not about mysticism, curiosity, or super spirituality. It is about God’s purpose in the earth; it is His choice, not ours.
ZACHARIAS’ EXPERENCE: LUKE 1:5-25
Zacharias was an ordinary priest doing ordinary duty in the temple. He and his wife were elderly and had no children. Suddenly, an angel appeared, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. Zacharias became afraid and the angel said, “Do not be afraid, your prayers have been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you will call his name, ‘John’”. The angel continued to describe the birth and life of John the Baptist who would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before He was born! John would be the forerunner of the Messiah.
Zacharias doubted, but the angel, who declared himself to be Gabriel, gave him a sign – Zacharias would be mute until the baby would be born. So it was. The angel hit the mute button. But Elizabeth became pregnant and rejoiced. From that moment, the world changed; the Messiah would soon follow. Angelic visitations were just beginning.