The Law of Prominence in establishing these angels’ identities March 7, 2008Posted by mercedescoleen in God.
Tags: About Angels, Angels, Angels at Work, Angels of God, Archangel Gabriel, Archangel Michael, God, Heaven, The Archangels
We’ve been exploring the scriptures in order to discover the identities of the two angels revealed in Moses’ and Solomon’s tabernacle and Zechariah’s vision?
We know already that Chief Prince Gabriel is one of these based on His response to Zecharias in Luke 1: 19: “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…”
Based on THE LAW OF PROMINENCE, I want to establish that Chief Prince Michael is the other angel represented in this manner in scriptures. Using this Law of Prominence, we see that there are only TWO angels whose names are revealed in scriptures. They are Chief Prince Gabriel and Chief Prince Michael. Is this important? Yes. There is purpose related to this divine revelation since scriptures teach us that God has an innumerable company of angels (Heb 12: 22). Furthermore, angels appeared repeatedly to people in scriptures and generally remained unnamed.
1. THE LAW OF PROMINENCE REVEALED IN ZACHARIAS’ EXPERIENCE
a. The angel revealed His identity in order to establish the priority of the message
Chief Prince Gabriel came to announce the birth of John to Zacharias and Elizabeth. He revealed His name, designation and importance when He said, “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…”
Why did He do so? This was an important, high level diplomatic mission (if I may say so) related to an event that would change history and fulfill prophecy made to Abraham and the Jews. John the Baptist played a key role in these historical events since he was prophetically revealed to be the voice of One crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord (Isa 40: 3).
Please note something of significance that was just drawn to me out of Priest Zacharias’ experience. He was a holy man, on his course of duty, burning incense as part of his role, when Chief Prince Gabriel appeared to him. Additionally, the people were outside praying to God (LK 1: 6-10). We must also pay attention to the scriptures which teach us that Priest Zacharias and his wife were righteous people (Lk 1: 6). The conditions and the timing were therefore ideal for God to appear. Revelation 8: 3 and 4 teach us that in the tabernacle in heaven, the incense would carry the prayers of the people to God.
A righteous life and sacrifices of praise are ideal conditions for entering the Presence of God (Ps 100: 4) and for inviting Him into ours (Ps 22: 3).
b. Secondly, the writer did not identify the angel.
Since angels generally appeared to Jews without naming themselves, as in Manoah’s experience (Judges 13), Luke initially reported that an angelof the Lord appeared to the priest. Priest Zacharias was troubled as the appearance of an angel in the worship (visibly) was unknown to him (Lk 1: 11).
c. Thirdly, the angel took up one of the positions that He normally held in heaven
It is not accidental that the angel stood “on the right side of the altar of incense” (Lk 1: 11). He was confirming the message about His identity – “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…” (Lk 1: 19). He revealed to us that God delighted in the praises of the people and that God does reveal Himself under these conditions.
2. CONTRAST – THE LAW OF PROMINENCE IN MANOAH’S EXPERIENCE
An angel of the Lord appeared to first to Manoah’s wife in order to announce the birth of Samson and his role in the deliverance of Israel. Unbelieving her message, Manoah asked God to send back the messenger so that he could confirm the message. Not knowing that he was an angel, Manoah asked him to remain so that they could offer a sacrifice of thanks to God:
And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.
And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? (Judges 13: 16-18).
We must pay attention to the fact that the angel said that his name was secret to them and also that he did not give it to Manoah’s wife when he first appeared to her (Judges 13: 6). The angel may have minimized the importance of his name because it was not critical to the message. Secondly, any honor given must be given to God who sent him and not to the angel himself.
More on the Law of Prominence in establishing the angels’ identities in upcoming posts. Blessings.