Tuesday, March 18, 2008

72,000 Angels

DAY 17 in our 21-Day Daniel Fast! We are ALMOST there gang. Great victories have been won. We as a church family have done this together, and not only SURVIVED, but THRIVED. Someone told me last night how much they are struggling KNOWING this is the last few days. I believe the struggle will intensify for many of us because the enemy does not want us to finish the task before us. We must PRESS ON. Yesterday we began to look at the last week of Jesus' life here on earth, before He died on the cross. He came to earth to fulfill God's plan and purpose, however, the enemy tempted Him in ways that we will never truly understand. Simon Peter felt like he needed to defend Jesus, so he grabbed a sword and swung it. After you read today's blog, you will understand why Jesus didn't need Peter to defend Him. As you read today, please remember all of the power and resources that Jesus has available to you, to help you make it through your battle. Once again, as I will do all week, I would like to use some thoughts from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek."

How much strength do you think one angel possesses? Today I'd like for us to consider the full impact of Jesus' words in Matthew 26:53, where He said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?"

Let's look at three questions:

It is important to know the answers to these questions, because the answers reveal the full might that was available to Jesus had He requested supernatural help in the Garden of Gethsemane. Actually, when we take into account the power that was already demonstrated in the Garden and then add the potential assistance and impact of twelve legions of angels, it becomes obvious that there was no human force on earth strong enough to take Jesus against His will. The only way He was going to be taken was if He allowed Himself to be taken! This is why He later told Pilate, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" (John 19:11).

Let's begin with our first question: What is a "legion"? The word "legion" is a military term that was taken from the Roman army. A legion denoted a group of at least 6,000 Roman soldiers, although the total number could be higher. This means that anytime we read about a legion of anything, we can know it always refers to at least 6,000 of something.

An amazing example of this is found in Mark 5:9, where the Bible tells us that the demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes had a legion of demons. That means this man had an infestation of at least 6,000 demons residing inside him!

Let's now contemplate the second question: How many angels would there be in twelve legions?
Since the word "legion" refers to at least 6,000, it means a legion of angels would be at least 6,000 angels. However, Jesus said the Father would give Him "more than" twelve legions of angels if He requested it. Because it would be pure speculation to try to figure out how many "more than" twelve legions would be, let's just stick with the figure of twelve legions to see how many angels that entails.

One legion is 6,000 angels, so if you simply multiply that number by twelve, you'll discover that twelve legions of angels would include a minimum of 72,000 angels. But Jesus said the Father would give Him more than twelve legions of angels; therefore, you can conclude that there were potentially many additional thousands of angels available to Jesus the night He was arrested!

Finally, let's look at our third question: What would be the combined strength in this number of angels? Angels are powerful! In fact, Isaiah 37:36 records that a single angel obliterated 185,000 men in one night. So if a single angel had that kind of power, how much combined strength would there be in twelve legions of angels?

Since a single angel was able to obliterate 185,000 men in one night, it would mean the combined strength in a legion of 6,000 angels would be enough to destroy 1,110,000,000 men (that is, one billion, one hundred ten million men) — and that's just the combined power in one legion of angels!

Now let's multiply this same number 185,000 by twelve legions, or at least 72,000 angels, which was the number of angels Jesus said was available to Him on the night of His arrest. When we do, we find that there was enough combined strength at Jesus' disposal to have annihilated at least 13,320,000,000 men (that is, thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men) — which is more than twice the number of people living on the earth right now!

Jesus didn't need Peter's little sword that night. Had He chosen to do so, Jesus could have summoned 72,000 magnificent, mighty, dazzling, glorious, overwhelmingly powerful angels to the Garden to obliterate the Roman soldiers and the temple police who had come to arrest Him. In fact, the combined strength in twelve legions of angels could have wiped out the entire human race! But Jesus didn't call on the supernatural help that was available to Him. Why? Because He knew it was time for Him to voluntarily lay down His life for the sin of the human race.

Learn a lesson from Jesus and from the apostle Peter. Jesus didn't need Peter's undersized, insignificant sword to deal with His situation. What good would a single sword have been against all the troops assembled in the Garden that night anyway? Peter's actions were a perfect example of how the flesh tries in vain to solve its own problems but cannot. Jesus had all the power that was required to conquer those troops.

As you face your own challenges in life, always keep in mind that Jesus has the power to fix any problem you'll ever come across. Before you jump in and make things worse by taking matters into your own hands, remember the story of Peter! The next time you're tempted to "grab a sword and start swinging," take a few minutes to remind yourself that Jesus can handle the problem without your intervention. Before you do anything else, pray and ask the Lord what you are supposed to do. Then after you receive your answer and follow His instructions, just watch His supernatural power swing into action to solve the dilemma you are facing!

What a mighty God we serve. I pray that you will have a Word-filled day today. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's "Through the Bible in a Year" Bible reading: 2 Kings 8:16 – 2 Kings 10:36

This week's memory verse to "HIDE IN MY HEART": Romans 10:9-10

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.



3 comments:

PASTOR ERIC said...

PASTOR, GREAT WORD TODAY AND YESTERDAY!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT, THE PART ABOUT " GRAB A SWORD AND START SWINGING. IT IS SO EASY TO JUST TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION OURSELVES. I KNOW FROM PAST EXPERIENCES THAT THE TIME THAT I TRIED TO FIX SOMETHING FIRST WITHOUT PRAYING ABOUT IT MADE THINGS WORST. IT USUALLY BACKFIRED, COST ME, OR MADE ME FEEL WORST ABOUT THE WHOLE SITUATION. THERE ARE JUST SOMETHINGS THAT MUST BE HANDLE THROUGH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. THAT HE WILL WORK THROUGH HIS DIVINE PLAN. OUR FAITH IN GOD, THROUGH CHRIST, GUARANTEES HIS PRESENCE IS WITH US ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE. IN HIM WE WILL FIND THE COURAGE TO FACE WHATEVER LIFE BRINGS, THE GUIDANCE TO NAVIGATE THE STORM, AND THE STRENGTH TO GO ON.

Treasure Seeker said...

Wow!
This really puts "battling in the flesh" as opposed to "warring in the spirit" in perspective!

Thanks for such an awesome word of truth!

love you much!
dorinda

Anonymous said...

I needed this today Pastor. I am struggling with some of the things that "I" thought would happen during this fast. Jeff's work has not picked up - he hasn't worked in 2 weeks, I mean how much more can we take....BUT GOD, right! He has provided so much already and I needed to be reminded to stop taking matters into my own hands (that would be me "thinking" too much)and let God have it all AGAIN. I don't know what God has in store for us but I have to remain faithful to this fast in order to have done my part. I have been able to see other things come to past that has been on my list of things to pray for, so that alone should be what I set my sights on, not what hasn't come to past....YET! God is ALWAYS on time!!! Thank you, Tanya