My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
APPEARANCES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Michael, the most glorious and radiant chief-commander of the bodiless powers, and the other Archangels, and Angels, have performed numerous benevolent deeds and rendered great assistance to the race of man.
APPEARANCES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
In the New Testament, the Archangel Gabriel announces the birth of Saint John the Baptist to his father, the righteous Priest Zacharias. This Archangel also announced the nativity of the Christ, Jesus, to the Holy Virgin Mary. He also appeared to the Righteous Joseph in a dream and told him not to fear to take Mary his wife and that she shall bring for a Son Whom he was to name Jesus. An Angel also appeared to Joseph to take the Child and His Mother into Egypt. While Joseph was in Egypt, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, telling him to return to Israel. At the nativity of Christ, an Angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, announcing the newborn Babe. Then a multitude of the heavenly host was praising God and saying, "Glory to God in highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men." The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. Angels ministered to Jesus after the temptation in the mount. In Gethsemane, an Angel from heaven appeared to Jesus, strengthening Him. An Angel rolled away the stone from Christ’s tomb and announced the resurrection to the women. As the disciples looked on, a cloud took Jesus up from under at His ascension, and two men or Angels stood by them in white raiment, saying, "Men, Galilaeans, why do you stand looking into the heaven? This Jesus, the One Who was taken up from you into the heaven, so shall He come in the manner you beheld Him going into the heaven."
The Apostles were arrested, but an Angel of the Lord during the night opened the doors of the prison and led them out, telling them to take a stand in the Temple and to be speaking to the people all the words of this life. An Angel spoke to the Apostle Philip that he might baptize the Ethiopian eunuch. Cornelius was visited by an Angel. When Peter was seized and put in prison, an Angel stood by him. The Apostle’s chains fell off, and the Angel led him out to safety. An Angel smote Herod, and he was eaten by worms and expired. Before the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked, an Angel of the Lord stood by him.
The Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) is filled with accounts of the Angels. The book opens declaring a revelation of Jesus Christ having been sent forth by HIs Angel. Then we are told that "the seven stars are the Angels of the seven Churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven Churches." The seven Angels of the seven Churches of Asia are discussed from Rev. 1:20-3:22. In Revelation 5:2, we read of a strong Angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals of it? Saint John says, "I saw four Angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth."
There are numerous appearances mentioned in the Book of Revelation by Saint John the Evangelist.
THE ANGELS AND THE SECOND COMING
The Angels shall be ministers of Christ at the resurrection of the dead. Their participation and ministrations are strongly attested by the New Testament. In the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Jesus announces that "they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and great glory. All He shall send forth His Angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect form the four winds, from the uttermost parts of the heavens unto their extremities. Saint Paul writes: "We say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we the living, the ones remaining over until the coming of the Lord, in no wise shall precede those who fell asleep. For the Lord, Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with a voice of an Archangel, and with a trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we the living, the ones remaining over, shall be carried off together with them in clouds to a meeting of the Lord in the air, and so shall we always be with the Lord. The reapers who separate the wheat from the darnel are Angels, sent by the Son of Man. "Therefore even as the darnel is gathered together and burned completely, thus it shall be in the consummation of this age. The Son of Man shall send forth His Angels, and they shall gather together out of His Kingdom all the stumbling blocks, and those doing lawlessness, and they cast them into the furnace of the fire. Then shall be there the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth. Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. The one who hath ears to hear, let him hear." The Angels shall also be present at the Final or Last Judgment, even as it is written: "Whenever the Son of Man should come in His glory, and all the holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His Glory. And before Him shall be gathered all the nations; and He shall separate them from one another, even as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the young kids. And indeed He shall set the sheep on His right, but the young kids on the left. Then shall the King say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Thus, the Angels shall be present and participate in the eschatological events. They shall minister at the resurrection of the dead, the gathering of the elect, and the separation of the righteous from the wicked. (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George