Mysteries of the Kingdom

            in awe of scripture, viewing it through the lens of the kingship of Jesus




GOSPEL OF ANGELS

The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father, David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end of His kingdom."(Luk 1:30-33)

The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a liberator, who is the Anointed Lord."(Luk 2:10-11)

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bring forth a son. You shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who shall liberate His people from their sins."(Mat 1:20-21)

I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory; for the hour of His judgment has come."(Rev 14:6-7)

KINGDOM GOSPEL
    The word "angel" simply means "messenger." Not surprisingly, we find messengers from heaven preaching a gospel message very similar to the gospel which King Jesus and His ambassadors preached. The angels did not preach what we evangelicals usually call the gospel. Which is to say the angels did not preach:

     1. You are a sinner who is guilty before God.
     2. You can not make yourself right with God.
     3. Jesus lived a perfect life and died for you.
     4. God punished Jesus for your sins as a substitute sacrifice.
     5. If you believe #1-4 and stop trusting in your self righteousness and begin trusting in Jesus' substitutionary righteousness, then God will forgive your sins and accept you into heaven when you die.

    The first four of those five points are correct, but they are not preached to outsiders as gospel by Jesus, by His ambassadors, or by the angels. To the contrary, the angels preached a gospel very similar to King Jesus and His ambassadors. King Jesus preached in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near! Repent, and believe in the gospel." His ambassadors preached as in Acts 2:36, "God has made Him both Lord and King, this Jesus whom you crucified," and in Acts 10:42, "He charged us to preach to the people, and to testify that this is He who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead." Neither Jesus nor His ambassadors preached to unbelievers what we have come to call the gospel. Jesus and His ambassadors preached the nearness of God's kingdom with the identification of Jesus as King and Judge.

PSALM TWO GOSPEL
     The angels preached the gospel of Psalm Two. In Luke One, an angel proclaimed to Mary that her son would be the One whom Psalm 2:7 promised as the Son of God and King of Kings. Psalm 2:7 said, "The LORD said to me, 'You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.'" The angel echoed in Luke 1:32 that He "will be called the Son of the Most High." Lest Mary should miss the connection with Psalm 2:6 as king, the angel continued, "The Lord God will give to him the throne of His father David."
     In Luke Two, an angel proclaimed to shepherds that a child born that night would be the One whom Psalm 2:2 and Psalm 2:6 promised as the Anointed and as the King of Kings. Psalm 2:2 says, "the rulers take counsel together, against LORD, and against His anointed..." The angel echoed in Luke 2:22, "For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a liberator, who is the Anointed Lord." Notice the repetition of King David's name as the angels affirmed Jesus as the heir to the throne.
     In Matthew 1:20-21, an angel also used King David's name: "Joseph, you son of David...that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." The angel affirmed Joseph as an heir to the throne of David, just like Mary his very distant cousin. Then the angel affirmed her Son as God's "conceived" or begotten Son just as Psalm Two said, "LORD said to me, 'You are My son. Today I have begotten you.'"

REVELATION GOSPEL
     In Luke Two, the angel called his message "good news" or *evangel* from which we get our word "gospel." Likewise Revelation 14:6 foretells an angel who will have "an eternal gospel to proclaim." We believe in only one gospel (Gal 1:6-7). The gospel comes in many different wordings, but there is only one gospel. Like King Jesus and His ambassadors, the angels preached the gospel as a King's dominion/authority. While the angels in Matthew and Luke attribute to Jesus the authority of the Psalm 2 King, the angel in Revelation 14:7 will preach the authority of God: "Fear God, and give Him glory; for the hour of His judgment has come."
      The authority of King Jesus as God's begotten Son in Matthew and Luke does not contrast with the authority of God in Revelation Fourteen. In Acts chapters ten and seventeen, the King's ambassadors said God had made Jesus the Judge of Earth and that likewise God would judge the world through Him. The authority of God's Son is the authority of God, so the angelic gospel of Revelation 14:7 is the same angelic gospel of Luke chapters one and two.
    Finally, note how the angel in Revelation preached the nearness of God's authority: "the hour of His judgment has come." Likewise Jesus preached in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near!"

CONCLUSION
    Although Jesus occasionally alluded to His atoning death, He never called it gospel. His ambassadors taught atonement to insiders, not outsiders, and scripture never records them as preaching an atonement gospel even remotely similar to our modern one. The ambassadors briefly mentioned forgiveness in Acts while preaching blatantly the authority of Jesus as Anointed King and Judge. The ambassadors explicitly called the gospel "the gospel of the Anointed (King)" and "the gospel of the kingdom." The gospel according to the angels is the same as that of King Jesus and His ambassadors; all preached as gospel the nearness of the kingdom of God in His Son, King Jesus.






                                                    
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"Gospel of Angels" by Matthew Bryan was first published at www.matthewbryan.net on July 13th, 2013. All rights are reserved.