Among the billions of starry angels, seven were created as princes to rule principalities. They are the archangels who stand in the presence of Almighty God. They are eternal and are assigned to initiate heaven’s purpose on earth through all the ages of man. They are empowered by the Word of God and they systematically release God’s Word to those people who are specifically chosen to fulfill them. They are flames of fire, the eyes of the Lord, the seven thunders, trumpet sounders, the seven spirits of God. When they come, they bear the name, the angel of the Lord.
Archangels have amazing assignments that span all the seasons of time and space. Two such princes are Michael and Gabriel. They are mentioned by name, five and four times respectively in the Bible. We discover them in Daniel, Luke, Jude and Revelation. Their activity is recorded over a three thousand year period, yet their assignments remain consistent. They are consumed with the three main reasons for their existence.
- They lead vast angelic armies in prophetic worship before the Almighty and the Lamb.
- They guard and protect the people who are assigned to God’s high calling. As such, they overpower demon kings and strengthen those who face their attacks.
- They release the plans of God upon the earth through dreams, visions, visitations, signs and wonders, and the release of revelatory messages so that individuals and nations may complete their tasks for God’s eternal purpose.
Michael is referred to as the prince of the Jewish people, and is commissioned to fight and overthrow Satan at the appointed time. Gabriel, on the other hand, is sent to bring the prophetic message of the end times and to initiate the annunciation of the Christ-child. These two archangels work together, assisting one another as needed. I am convinced that they have often been present in many Bible narratives but have not been mentioned by name.
No doubt they sang for joy as the foundations of the earth were laid and they will rejoice with jubilant worship as the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place. They participate, with the other five princes, in the announcements, trumpet blowing and pouring out of the bowls of wrath in Revelation.
Jesus returns to earth, at the second coming, with the loud shout of an archangel and the trumpet call of God. I am sure that Michael and Gabriel have appeared to many throughout history.
Perhaps one of them closed the door of the ark, participated in the plagues of Egypt, wrestled with Jacob, and visited Abraham, Lot, Gideon, Ezekiel, Isaiah or Sampson. Some of those visitations could also involve the other five archangels whose names remain a mystery to most believers.
One thing is certain; Gabriel the archangel was given the amazing honor of meeting with Zechariah and also with Mary to announce the coming of John the Baptist, and more importantly, the Christ-child. “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.” Lk. 1:26 Gabriel was first sent to Zechariah. “And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside. Then the angel of the Lord [Gabriel] appeared to him, [Zechariah] standing at the right side of the altar of incense.” Lk.1:10-11
Gabriel appeared to Zechariah inside the Holy Place of the temple in Jerusalem. The priest was lighting the incense on the altar of prayer when the answer to his prayer came. He and Elizabeth were unable to have children. Gabriel’s message was more than an answer to their prayer; it was part of God’s eternal plan. He said they would have a child who would bring great joy. The boy would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and become a powerful preacher bringing many in Israel back to the Lord. He would go before the Lord, in the spirit of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous. He would make ready the way of the Lord.
When Zechariah questioned the archangel, Gabriel miraculously took away his ability to speak. “The angel answered, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words…’” Lk. 1:19-20
If you are chosen so that an archangel appears before you, please understand, the visitation is of great importance. The angel has immense power and you will be required to follow through with the message he brings.
MARY IS FAVORED
Six months after visiting Zechariah, Gabriel appeared before Mary; this time, not in Jerusalem, but in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee. “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child…and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end….Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age…For nothing is impossible with God.” Lk. 1:30, 31, 33, 36, 37
Perhaps it is Gabriel who also appeared in the four dreams of Joseph and the dream the Magi had. They are dreams that involved the birth and infancy of Jesus. Gabriel was certainly honored above all the other angelic princes to bring the annunciation to Zechariah and Mary.
Whether angel or human, our greatest honor is to be included in God’s eternal plan. In some way, His plan is always about the Lord Jesus. I do not think that Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph or Gabriel, were chosen randomly, but rather intentionally because of their hearts of honor and service to God. Likewise, your labor to the Lord is not in vain. He sees your life and knows the intents of your heart. He may choose you because of the excellent lives and prayers of your ancestors or because of your own courage and devotion. “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Mt. 22:27 “Therefore humble yourselves, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1Pet. 5:6 NKJ
This Christmas, may you find the favor of God on your life to walk in step with His eternal plan.
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DR. PETER WYNS
Founder & President
Christian for Messiah Ministries
Pastor at Antioch International Church
Instructions in Righteousness is produced by “Christians for Messiah Ministries” (CFM). Dr. Peter Wyns is the President of CFM and the Head Pastor of Antioch International Church. He has served as a pastor for 54 years and ministered in more than 45 nations.
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