Sermon given 28 January 2012

Another Reality - the World of Angels

by Ian Henderson

(PLAY FROM START)

For those of you who would like a title, the title today of this sermon will be 'Another Reality.' Now, I am not going to talk about one of these 'pie in the sky' evolutionist's ideas or multi-realities and so on; but a very real 'reality' and it is the world of angels. Now, I am going to be using comments from 'The Correspondence Course ’ and for those of you who would like to study more later on, lesson 14 is the one to go to.

But in‘Mystery of the Ages’, Mr Armstrong asked the question, why angels? And he says here:

"He intended angels to have a vital part in the final creation of the endless universe!

"(But God may not have then fully revealed this awesome potential to the angels, for one third of them set out to take it from him by force, without first qualifying.)

"For this far-reaching purpose, God established his GOVERNMENT on earth over them. The administration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over this globe was delegated to the super archangel – the great cherub Lucifer." ‘Mystery of the Ages

And then he adds:

"There were only two other beings of this extremely high rank of cherub, Michael and Gabriel." ‘Mystery of the Ages

Now the Correspondence Course makes a comment there:

"The Bible indicates that two-thirds of the angels remained loyal to God. These countless millions of created beings are His servants in helping to carry out His plan for mankind, as well as performing other responsibilities. Let's see what God's Word tells us about them." The Correspondence Course

So first of all let's look at the position of angels within God's Government. Comments from the Correspondence Course:

"In Hebrews chapters one and two, the apostle Paul speaks about the difference between man and angels. [We are] plainly told that 'the world to come' – the Millennium and thereafter – will not be ruled by angels...

"Angels were not, and never can be, begotten and BORN of God! No angel can ever become a literal part of the DIVINE FAMILY OF GOD!"

"Angels, higher than man is now, were created to be God's servants, messengers, and representatives in the administration of His universe-ruling government. Now, in relation to man, angels are commissioned to minister to and serve the spirit-begotten children of God who are His spiritual heirs.

"To illustrate the primary activity of God's angels today, we might consider the status of the young son of a wealthy man. While still a child, he may be under the care of an adult servant or guardian designated by his father. The servant is older, farther advanced in knowledge, much more developed physically and mentally – but far lower potentially. For when the son is mature, he will inherit his father's wealth and power. Therefore the servant, older and more mature, is only a servant 'ministering' to the young 'heir.' Likewise, angels are ministering to spirit-begotten humans today." The Correspondence Course

Now two-thirds of the angels have remained faithful, there must be some kind of reward for those angels. God always works that way. So let's go back to one scripture here, Isaiah 65:17; this is a scripture that you should have a big – however you colour your Bible, marked very, very well. It is the start of a reverse prophecy. If you start reading here on you will notice the prophecy goes backwards in time. Isaiah 65:17:

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." (Isaiah 65:17)

The 7000-year plan, as we have mentioned before, this whole 7000 years with all the things that happen, will not even come to mind. So, what is up front?

As Mr Armstrong says at the end of ‘Mystery of the Ages’:

"...then we come to THE BEGINNING."

Because that is the real beginning. So what about those angels? What sort of reward are they going to have? What sort of position are they going to have? What sort of reality is then going to exist? For their loyalty they surely will be rewarded.

How many angels are there? If you want to turn to Revelation 5:11, we get an interesting scripture. Keep in mind when you read Revelation that poor old John as a very old man, living in the kind of world that he lived, was given the vision of our time today. And it must have literally left him completely stunned. And of course on top of that he is involved with all of the throne of God and seeing the angels and so on there. So it must have been a pretty awe-inspiring experience:

"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;" (Revelation 5:11)

That is interesting because in Daniel 7:10, Daniel makes the comment:

"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands [which is a million] ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Daniel 7:10)

So that is 100 million! So that is a minimum. There could be an awful lot more. So there are a lot of angels. You can actually make a note of Hebrews 12:22, I will just read it to save time:

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels," (Hebrews 12:22)

Cherubim (PLAY FROM 06:05)

Now in the Bible are described various types of angels whose appearance and function differ. So we will start now with I Thessalonians 4:16 and we will look at Cherubim:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel [the cherubim are called archangels], and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (I Thessalonians 4:16)

Now there appear to be three – originally three, and we will go into that in a minute. In Revelation 12:7, we then read of another of the cherubs. Not little babies with bows and arrows that adorn Catholic sculptures and so forth. I think this being is somewhat more powerful:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not..." (Revelation 12:7-8)

This is right at the end of the age. So it seems that Michael there is fighting a tremendous battle against the being that used to be called Lucifer, Satan the devil. There seems to be a protection element with all these angelic beings. If you go right back to the beginning, Genesis 3:24. We are going to be looking at a lot of scriptures that talk about angels to try and get a picture of who and what they are and what they do, because they are very, very real:

"So he drove out the man [this is after Adam and Eve had sinned and God drove them out of the garden]; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims [cherubims, plural], and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3:24)

So, again they were protecting the garden so that man could not go back in and take of the tree of life. Now it is rather interesting to go back to Exodus 25:18. The cherubim over the Mercy Seat, this is the instructions given at the time of the making of the Mercy Seat:

"And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat [so you had this mercy seat with these two cherubs, one at each end]. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings..." (Exodus 25:18-20)

So these two cherubim were at each side of the Mercy Seat and their wings come right round behind the actual Mercy Seat like protecting it as a covering. And then this Mercy Seat went on top of the ark. Exodus 25:22

"And there I will meet with thee [talking to Moses], and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." (Exodus 25:22)

So we sing that in one of the hymns, "...between the cherubim He sits..." That is where Christ, as He became, spoke to Moses, from between the two cherubs.

Solomon's Temple is the next thing which is interesting. Turn to I Kings 6:23. These beings are very important and God placed great stress on them when they were built. These statues that went into the Temple in a sense. I Kings 6:23:

"And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high [there are several different measures for cubits, if you call the average is 20 inches, you are looking at something which is 15 to 16 feet high].And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub..." (I Kings 6:23-24)

So these cherub were each side of the Mercy Seat so their wingspan and their height was roughly the same, 15 to 16 feet. So it was about 30 feet, these two statues we will call them, covering the Mercy Seat and they were covered in gold. It must have been an absolutely stunning sight. I Kings 6:29:

"And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without." (I Kings 6:29)

There are other scriptures that actually indicate that they were actually on the materials that were hanging up as well. If we go down to Ezekiel 41:18 we learn a little bit more about cherubim. Ezekiel 41:18:

"And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side..." (Ezekiel 41:18-19)

So these beings were quite incredible. Going back to Hebrews 9:3:

"And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year..." (Hebrews 9:3-7)

So the High Priest only went into here once a year, yet look at the trouble that God went to make sure this was made in such a spectacular manner. And this idea of the wings overshadowing the Mercy Seat is indicating protection. So let's look at a few scriptures now and just see. When you put them all together you see what God is actually doing with this whole thing with wings. If you go back to Exodus 19:4, when they are coming out of Egypt, a very interesting scripture:

"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." (Exodus 19:4)

Now they didn't have Jumbo 747's and all the rest of it back then. These people walked, because that was all they could do. And yet Christ says, "...I bare you on eagles' wings..." (Exodus 19:4). What He is saying is, He protected them. If you have ever seen a photograph - I saw one recently, of an eagle on its nest and a chick. The eagle is standing behind the chick and it had its wings all around it and it was quite a spectacular sight.

Just make a note of the following two or three scriptures. I will just read them for you to give you an idea. Ruth 2:12, talking to Ruth it says:

"The [Eternal] recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the [Eternal] God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." (Ruth 2:12)

In other words Ruth had come to realise that it was God who was protecting her and so on. That is why it says, "...under whose wings thou art come to trust." (Ruth 2:12). David writing in Psalm 17:8 says:

"Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings," (Psalm 17:8)

And in Psalm 57:1 he writes again:

"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast." (Psalm 57:1)

And, of course, you can't read anything about wings and covering, without going to Psalm 91:4:

"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (Psalm 91:4)

And even today, I remember some time ago seeing a swan, a beautiful swan in the spring, swimming along with its partner and all of a sudden a little head popped up on the mother's back and then another and eventually there were about five or six little grey heads popping up between the wings. She was protecting her young. And incidentally, the father was making sure that he was well between us and the mother just in case anything decided to go wrong; protecting those young.

Now the Correspondence Course comment is interesting. It says:

"Cherubim are associated with God's throne, either transporting it about, or carrying out important directives from that throne, such as guarding the tree of life after Adam and Eve sinned (Gen. 3:24). Recall that Lucifer, an anointed cherub (Ezek. 28:14), was given great authority to administer God's government over millions of angels on earth before Adam."

"The best description of cherubim is found in the book of Ezekiel. In chapters one, nine and ten, we read of cherubim transporting God's throne. They are large, powerful, and described as four-faced creatures with four wings." The Correspondence Course

Seraphim (PLAY FROM 16:23)

There is another rank of powerful angel that we are told about and it is only mentioned once in the whole Bible by name. If you turn to Isaiah 6:1, we come to the seraphims. Some of these men of God certainly were given some tremendous insight into how things were in the spirit world.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the [Eternal] sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." (Isaiah 6:1-2)

It is hard to try to imagine something like this and again the Correspondence Course comment is:

"The seraphim bear a general resemblance to the human figure and have six wings, whereas the four 'beasts,' or, better translated, 'living creatures,' are described as having the combined features of cherubim and seraphim. No description of the 24 elders is given in the Bible except for the fact they are dressed in white clothing, each having a golden crown on his head." (Correspondence Course - Lesson 14)

Now you see that in Revelation 4:4. As you can see, to find out about angels we end up going from one end of the Bible to the other. You just imagine what was going through John's mind when he was seeing all this. It must have been quite startling:

"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. [Verse 6] And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts [or four living creatures] full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within..." (Revelation 4:4, 6-8)

Now, that sounds a little bit like the seraphim. So that is what we know about the general top levels of government, shall we say, within the angelic world.

The Three Named Angels (PLAY FROM 19:05)

Let's have a look now at some named individuals, because we are only given three. We will start with Lucifer, of course. I don't want to spend much time with Lucifer because we spend a lot of time going over his life and problems and so forth; and we don't look at the other angels which is what I really want to do today. But we can't leave him out. He seems to have been the pinnacle of God's creation when it comes to angels. Ezekiel 28:12 says:

"Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created [created beings], till [lawlessness] iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:12-15)

And it is always very interesting if you think about it. Here is a great being who is absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful. He has all the knowledge, he has everything going for him, and yet he rebelled. Now, it is interesting, Hebrews 11:6, talking about God:

"...he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

Those who obey Him; surely this must apply to angels as well as us? Because God is the same. He deals with everybody very fairly. The question is, did Satan not believe God? Was he miffed because he was given the job of preparing the earth for mankind who would end up as sons of God in authority over the angelic host? And he thought he was so big and so powerful and so strong and with a third of the angels behind him, that he could go up and take over God's throne. Well, we will know the answer in the very near future!

Now, the other name we had was Gabriel which according to all the books that tell us these things, means 'man of God' (Strong's H1403). If you go to Daniel 8:16 we start to get into some very interesting territory, shall we say. Daniel 8:16:

"And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." (Daniel 8:16)

So this is very interesting here. Again, Daniel is in the presence of an angel, and some very interesting things come out of this. Just turn over to Daniel 9:21; just to show you because we have this picture of Gabriel as a cherub. We have looked at the description of him as he is in the spirit. But he also is able to manifest himself as a man:

"Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." (Daniel 9:21-22)

Now, it is a very interesting situation we have here, because as you probably remember the story Daniel set himself to pray and to fast and he did this for 21 days, three solid weeks. And this brings into play the third named archangel, Michael, which means 'who is like God' according to Strong's H4317. In Daniel 10:13 we have here a fascinating account of the angelic world. He was explaining to Daniel why he had been delayed:

"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia [note "...Michael the archangel..." (Jude 1:9) identifies Michael as an archangel]. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days." (Daniel 10:13-14)

It is interesting that Mr Armstrong was just talking about that in the broadcast there. (The True Gospel - part 6). Down to Dan 10:19:

"And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." (Daniel 10:19-21)

No one stands with me against them except Michael your Prince. What is going on here? Because the prince of Grecia hadn't come until some time later. Going down the statue that Mr Armstrong mentioned in the broadcast, the prince of Grecia comes down several hundred years later. So this is an ongoing situation. And the Correspondence Course makes a comment:

"Gabriel [was] sent to give the prophet Daniel understanding of visions, and even to fight spiritual battles with powerful fallen angels ('princes') of the Devil in order that God's will be carried out among the governments of men." The Correspondence Course

And it gives Daniel 8, 9 and 10, if you want to read those three chapters. It gives you an insight as to what is going on.

"From these accounts in Daniel and elsewhere in the Bible, we can gather that the spirit world is teeming with activity! God works (John 5:17) and His righteous angelic servants are busy helping to carry out His will for mankind. [At the same time, of course] Satan and his demons are just as busy trying to thwart, tear down, and destroy the plan of God." The Correspondence Course

As an inset ‘Mystery of the Ages’ says:

Michael is the archangel specifically assigned to protect and minister to the 12 tribes of Israel (Dan. 12:1; 10:2-13, 21) and to the true Church of God today (Rev. 12:7)." ‘Mystery of the Ages

Since we are in Daniel, let's turn over to Daniel 12:1:

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book [of life]." (Daniel 12:1)

These angels are vital to the future of mankind. They are vital to the building of the family of God. An interesting little snippet if you go to Jude, all one page of it. Jude 1:9:

"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (Jude 1:9)

What went on there? We don't know. If you go back and study what happened, we know that Moses made the mistake, God then stepped in and said, “Right because you have done this and not given the glory and honour to Me, you will not go into the Promised Land. But you will go up the mountain, you will look over the valley, you will see the land, but you will not go in. There you will die.”

It is interesting that that is exactly what happened. Moses went up the mountain, he got to look over into the Promised Land, and there he died. And it said, “the Eternal buried him.” But obviously there was something going on. You could imagine what would have happened if Moses' body had been recovered; and put into a grave, a monument. People would have turned it into an area of worship and all sorts of things. God did not want that. Moses had to literally just disappear.

Another little episode with the archangel Michael in Revelation 12:6:

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [which is of course the exact time of the Tribulation]. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ [why?]: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:6-10)

Now, I haven't got this in my notes but it is just a thought that struck me. Go back and read the first few chapters of Job and you see there what happens; Satan goes before God and God says in Job 1:8:

"...Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"

You see, Satan couldn't see anything wrong with him but he knew that there must be something there, and he says in Job 1:9:

"Then Satan answered the [Eternal], and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him..." (Job 1:9-10)

Isn't that what we pray for every day? That God will rescue us from Satan? That He will keep a hedge around us? Because if that hedge is removed you get an idea of what can happen. Look what happened to Job. He said you can't kill him. You can only attack what he has got and he took everything off him. Left him there standing as he was. And after that he came back a second time. And the same thing and He said you can't kill him. So he ended up covering him in some sort of dread sore or boil or whatever and he was left on the rubbish dump.

Satan was there all the time, trying to dig, trying to stir up trouble. Does that happen today with us? You know we all make mistakes and Satan goes before Christ and says, "You are going to make this person here – You are going to make him a son of God, like You? You must be crazy. Look what they are doing. Look how they are living." It is just interesting to comment, that is why every day we need to have our minds focused on asking God to actually protect us.

This is the comment again from the Correspondence Course:

"From these accounts in Daniel and elsewhere in the Bible, we can gather that the spirit world is teeming with activity! God works (John 5:17) and His righteous angelic servants are busy helping to carry out His will for mankind. Satan and his demons are just as busy trying to thwart, tear clown, and destroy the plan of God." (Correspondence Course - Lesson 14)

It is an ongoing thing. It is going on right now.

Possible Problem Areas (PLAY FROM 31:56)

We get now into a number of areas, which we don't normally think about because they might not be a problem to us specifically. But they are to some people.

First of all, should we worship angels? This carries a very interesting little point here. If you recall, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11). You know the scripture very well, now if you read Colossians 2:18, it says:

"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind," (Colossians 2:18)

Now in ye old King James language that gets a little bit hard to sort out. So let's look at that in the New King James, Colossians 2:18:

"Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God." (Colossians 2:18-19 NKJV)

And there are people, you can see them on the internet, who claim they have had messages from angels. We don't worship angels. Now to really make this clear, turn to Revelation 19:9. Again the apostle John had a problem in this area because of the sheer – well, can we try to put ourselves into his shoes? Here he is, it is a vision, but it is obviously very, very real to him and he is in the presence of this angel and he is being shown all the dreadful things that are going to happen at the end of the age, in the very near future. He is seeing things that he just can't equate to. His mind must have been totally addled:

"And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:9-10)

And then just a little later in Revelation 22:7; as I said, please understand this man is in a situation the likes of which we just can't really imagine; he is getting all this information that he has got to write down:

"Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." (Revelation 22:7-9)

Whoever this angel was we are not told, but he is pointing John right back to worshipping God. He is telling John that he is a servant just the same as the angel is, and the same as the prophets had been, and they are all servants. So anybody who is involved in the worship of angels is in line to blow their reward according to Colossians 2:18. It is one way of losing out. They are servants, they are made for a specific purpose.

I Corinthians 6:1 This will give us some idea as to what is up front. A problem that existed in the Church back then, and has existed in the Church at the end of the age and people still haven't learnt the lesson:

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another [in the Church, I might add], go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (I Corinthians 6:1-3)

Now when you read, "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:18). Do we equate that to the angelic world? Those angels are going to have to be judged. They are going to have to be judged and we are going to be involved in that judging. And how do we judge them? Well, we judge them as to how did they follow the Government of God's directive to them. Did they carry out what they were told to carry out? We know that Gabriel went to Daniel and he told Daniel exactly what Christ had told him to tell him. We know that these angels that are dealing with John did exactly what God wanted them to do. They are loyal, they are faithful and there will be a reward.

Now when I was preparing this - you have got to look at the other side of the coin of course, and I just jotted in my notes, demons appear to be angels that have 'had their wings clipped'. Then I thought, well yes, angels don't tend to have wings do they? Only the top ones like the seraphim and so forth.

You see, demons seem to have lost something. They seem to have lost something because as we will see just now, true angels of God can manifest themselves and look like humans. All of us have probably walked past one, we have probably had one talking to us and we have never even known it has happened.

But the demon world, the angels that have sinned, they cannot manifest themselves. There is no record in the Bible of a demon actually being able to manifest itself as a solid human being. However, they can influence the mind. They are part of Satan's broadcasting system. And, of course, under certain conditions, they can actually possess a person. If you turn to Matthew 8:16 we will have a look at a scripture that points that out:

"When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: [Verse 28] And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way [so here we have two men that were exceedingly violent and nobody dared go near them]. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:16, 28-29)

That is very, very interesting, isn't it? Because, you see, they understand who and what they are and what they have done. And they know there is going to be a judgement, and that judgement is not going to go well for them. And it would seem that the demons and Satan will be permanently put in some sort of place of restraint where they won't to able to have any influence on what happens.

Because there will be no sin in God's final government once we get to the end of this particular age and the New Jerusalem comes, there will be no sin. All the sin and anything that contains sin is burned up and it is gone. God talks about the New Jerusalem where righteousness dwells. Everybody in Jerusalem and on the new earth will be following God's Law absolutely and utterly.

Encountering Angels (PLAY FROM 41:17)

Now, when we encounter an angel (and we might – we have to be prepared for this as we come to the end of the age) it might be an idea if we know what to do and get it right because we have got two examples to go into here which give you some ideas what to be doing and what not to be doing. Turn to Luke 1:11. This is the situation with Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist:

"And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense." (Luke 1:11)

Now Zacharias was involved with the Temple, he was in the Temple, he was performing all of his duties and everyone was waiting for him outside. He was of the course of Abijah. They had courses whereby they served in the Temple for a certain period of time. This was his time and he was in there, doing whatever he was doing. Luke 1:12:

"And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." (Luke 1:12-15)

This was a man obviously to be selected for a very, very special purpose as, of course, we already understand. Luke 1:16:

"And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of [Elijah], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years [you can understand it, he is saying; right, hello, this is not real, his wife was getting on, past child-bearing years]. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed [why?], because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." (Luke 1:16-20)

So be warned! If something happens and it follows a certain pattern that we will be going into, then it would be good to take the word of the angel as being something to be followed very carefully. Go down to Luke 1:26, there we show the other side of the story. This is Gabriel again, he has now gone to Mary. Luke 1:26:

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God [the sixth month of John the Baptist's conception] unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be." (Luke 1:26-29)

Obviously, when something like this happens you do kind of feel like - Wow! Luke 1:30-38:

"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible [Mary's response was quite different to Zacharias]. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:30-38)

And the rest, as they say, is history. But you can see the kind of messages that people were given. They were right down the line. But these angels appeared as men. They weren't spooks. They weren't just voices coming out of the wall some places.

Now, the next thing we have here is that God's holy angels have the power to physically manifest themselves. They can appear as men in order to carry out their duties. The people around them wouldn't recognise them as such, just the people to whom they are sent. Hebrews 13:2 is one verse to have a look at:

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2)

And looking back on life we all have experiences where we are delayed by someone asking for help, and then you drive on down the road and there has been some horrific accident at the side of the road and you think, "If I hadn't stopped to help that person then maybe I would have been involved in this?" We don't know. But bearing in mind, as we will see, these angels are there for our good.

It might be interesting to go and read later on, Numbers 22:21. We have the situation with Balaam and his old donkey there which saves his life three times when this angel is about to remove his head:

"Then the [Eternal] opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face." (Numbers 22:31)

So the angel then manifested himself but, of course, it manifested itself to the donkey first who shied away three times to save his master. So, again, that is another example of an angel appearing.

And for some reason I have a note here which is totally out of context but it is worthwhile repeating. We are told that Cherubim are large, powerful, four-faced creatures with four wings. Yet in Daniel 9:21, when Gabriel appeared to Daniel, he looked just like a man. So when he is in spirit that is what he looks like. Something totally awe inspiring, and yet when he appeared to Daniel he just looked like a man.

Abraham's Meeting (PLAY FROM 49:29)

Now we have got to go back now and look at another example. Let's go back to Genesis 18:1. The thing with all of these examples is when you read then and study them they tend to bring up an awful lot more questions than they give us answers. But we are trying to put a picture together of this angelic world. Keep in mind as we read this, God called Abraham His friend. A friend seems to involve a close relationship and it would seem that Christ, as He was to become, appearing to Abraham was something that was not all that rare. You get that feeling just when reading this account:

"And the [Eternal] appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said." (Genesis 18:1-5)

Right, we are talking here about the one who became Christ, so we will call Him Christ for that is who He is now, and two angels. And they appear – and as they did in those days they wore open sandals so that when you walked around their feet got gritty and grimy and probably jolly uncomfortable with bits of stuff getting in between the sole of your foot and the sole of your shoes, and so on. The first thing you did, and they did in the New Testament as well, when you went into a reasonable house the first thing that happened at the door, your shoes were removed by a servant and your feet washed. So that when you came into the house you would be comfortable. Now if these were spirit, you can't really wash a spirit's feet. So they were men. They just felt solid and to prove it, it goes on in Genesis 18:6:

"And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth [that's got to be unleavened bread]. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it." (Genesis 18:6-7)

Now you know, we just look at that, having done quite a few sheep which is not much smaller than a young calf, without putting too fine a point on it, you have got to catch the wretched thing first. And with a knife in one hand, it doesn't tend to come to you very easily. And then you have got to kill it and you have got to make sure the blood is drained out of it. You have got to skin it. You have got to clean out the insides. This all takes a far amount of time. Now he may have put the whole thing on the spit or he may have carved slices off it, and had a barbecue, or he may have put it into a stew. Whatever happened this took some time. Genesis 18:8:

"And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat." (Genesis 18:8)

Now as I say, when you look at this there are so many questions that come into your mind. How did he recognise them? Well, obviously he had seen them before. God appeared to Abraham on many occasions it would seem. And it was the attitude of well, welcome. This is Abraham, by the way, who could have afforded to live in a mansion with all mod-cons, because he was filthy-stinking rich to put it in that way. But no, he chose to live in a tent. Probably because it focused his mind on the fact that he was a stranger and a pilgrim. This is not his world. He was looking for that city that came from God. That is where his focus was. That is why God called him his friend, because he had that vision of the future, even to the stage of being willing to sacrifice his own son.

You have a whole lot of time that comes in here no matter how quick they were. You have got to be looking at hours, several hours, by the time you have caught the animal and gone through the whole thing of preparing it and so on. So what was going on in the meantime? There must have been some conversation going on. We are not actually told that. The interesting thing is here that it could have been around Passover/Unleavened Bread time, because it was coming up to the situation with Sodom and Gomorrah. This is very interesting from now on. We get into Genesis 18:20:

"And the [Eternal] said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the [Eternal]." (Genesis 18:20-22)

Now that raises a whole load of questions doesn't it? He says; "I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." (Genesis 18:21). Did he trust the angels? There is something going on here that is not very clear. But it was such an important situation that Christ Himself came down with two angels, chances are, and we are not told, but it seems he wouldn't have grabbed two of the lowliest angels in the government, chances are it was Michael and Gabriel. I would have thought, but we can only surmise that. And He says, "I am coming to check this out." So, it seems that He did not know for sure. He had had the report of it. So these two men, angels, then went off.

Lot's Meeting (PLAY FROM 56:08)

Now, in Genesis 19:1 we have this situation with Lot:

"And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom [that expression, 'sat in the gate' indicates that he was a judge; if you think of Boaz in the Book of Ruth, a similar type of situation]: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground [he knew who they were without question]; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat." (Genesis 19:1-3)

Did Lot recognise them as angels? He addressed them as 'my lords'. Now the interesting word there in Hebrew, for those of you who collect Strong's numbers, it is H113, 'adon-adon'. It means sovereign, or controller, which is rather an interesting term to apply to somebody. But again, washed the feet, made them a feast. They were just like men. Genesis 19:12:

"And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:" (Genesis 19:12)

Could this be a portent for the future? I find it very, very interesting that we have family who are not in the Church. We have some family who have been in the Church, and are not in the Church anymore. But over the last few years everything has come right, we are all on speaking terms, who knows what is going to happen in the future. Because deep down, they know, they have been taught. And when the drama happens and you phone up a son or a daughter and say, "Look, we know we have told you about it, it is happening. We are out of here within the next 24 hours. We have got to be out of this country. If you want, you can come with us. But you have got to leave everything right now and go. They will have the chance. It is right here. It doesn't even say family. It says, “and whosoever you have in the city. Bring them out of this place. Whoever will listen to you.” Genesis 19:12

"For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the [Eternal]; and the [Eternal] hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the [Eternal] will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law." (Genesis 19:13-14)

Now that is going to be very interesting because we have got that scripture there in II Chronicles 30:9 where it talks about your family who are not in the Church will be taken through the Tribulation and brought into the land of Israel. Given a chance to be part of human beings that form the beginning of the peoples at the start of the Kingdom of God. How are they going to feel if they were given the warning and they didn't take it; and then they have gone through three and a half years of - what can we say, hell on earth. It will make them very, very easy to work with. Genesis 19:15:

"And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered [it's hard to believe but he was still dithering around by the looks of things], the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the [Eternal] being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city." (Genesis 19:15-16)

And, again, if you are a spirit, you can't grab somebody's hand, it's like grasping for the wind. So that is very interesting, it brings a lot of questions up.

What Are Angels Doing Today? (PLAY FROM 1:00:31)

So what are angels doing today? Well, one of the jobs they are doing today is what they have apparently been doing for a long time. They are watching. They are watching what is happening on the earth. What did Satan say when he came before God in Job? God said to him, "Where have you come from?" "Oh, I am come from walking to and fro upon the earth." (Job 1:7 paraphrased). Again, I will just repeat this scripture we have just read there in Genesis 18:21:

"I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me..." (Genesis 18:21)

How? Because angels had gone back and reported. Probably angel after angel saying, now they are doing this, now they are allowing them to adopt children, now they are getting married and calling it a marriage. And it comes to a certain point where Christ said, "Enough!" I will go down and check the whole thing out Myself. And if it is as you have reported it is destroyed. And, of course, we all know what happened. With the world situation about to explode I think the angels are very busy right at this time.

Now we have a scripture we all know well, Zechariah 4:8. I will read it to you:

"Moreover the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the [Eternal] of hosts hath sent me unto you." (Zechariah 4:8-9)

And we have just heard it this afternoon at the start of this service. Zerubbabel is still there and he is still preaching the word. And that message sounded as clear and as applicable today now as it did 30 years ago. Zechariah 4:10:

"For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven [this is where it becomes very Zechariah-ish, as I call it, because there are so many things in Zechariah that we just don't understand; but those seven]; they are the eyes of the [Eternal], which run to and fro through the whole earth." (Zechariah 4:10)

Something obviously to do with the angelic host. But that is what they are doing. Another scripture to make a note of is II Chronicles 16:9:

"For the eyes of the [Eternal] run to and fro throughout the whole earth [why?], to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him..." (II Chronicles 16:9)

That is how everything that we do gets back to God. And as He says He will "...shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him..." (II Chronicles 16:9). That should give everyone great confidence. And the classic example we'll turn to is II Kings 6:12, this is the situation with Elisha:

"And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber [they are talking about the fact that Elisha seemed to know everything that was going on, even in the king's bedroom]. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots [you can imagine the panic as he ran into Elisha]. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do [Elisha was perfectly calm]? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, [Eternal], I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see [Elisha knew this, but he wanted to give this young man a chance just to cement it in his mind what was going on around them]. And the [Eternal] opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (II Kings 6:16-17)

That is why Elisha was not one bit worried. He knew what was out there. He had that confidence. It says in the Correspondence Course:

"No wonder Elisha had no fear of his physical enemies. He saw one of God's spirit armies standing upon the mountain!" The Correspondence Course

The human army didn't stand a chance. Okay, now it gets a bit personal: those same angels who protected Elisha protect us today. Hebrews 1:14. This is a real world, we just can't see it, but we can feel the effect of it:

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)

That is the elect of God. That is us. That is their primary job. I am going to read a couple of scriptures here. Matthew 18:10:

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels [plural] do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)

It says 'these little ones' and it says 'angels' plural, more than one and they always have access to God the Father with obviously the news of what is going on and situations. Psalm 34:7, David writes:

"The angel of the [Eternal] encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." (Psalm 34:7)

Psalm 91:11 again:

"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."(Psalm 91:11)

Two comments from the Correspondence Course:

"God's ministering spirits are assigned to help His heirs along the road to eternal life; to save them from premature death and/or accidents and to help fight their battles and protect them from the Devil and his demons.

"Angels are also messengers. They appeared to Abraham, Lot, Hagar, Moses, Gideon, Elijah and many of the prophets and apostles. When these angels manifest themselves to human beings, they do so in the form of ordinary men." The Correspondence Course

So we will close off with a New Testament example. And this one is in Acts 12:1; and we need to set the scene a little bit now, we will start reading:

"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to [harass] certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." (Acts 12:1-5)

So here we have Peter in prison with four squads of soldiers to stop him escaping; and it gets worse because he's actually locked up in a stronghold and there are three locked doors between him and the street. Then to make it more complicated – this almost sounds like one of these modern magicians acts, doesn't it? he is chained to two warders. Each of his hands is chained to the hand of one of the prison warders. Now if you want an impossible situation to get out of, I would say that was pretty close. This is Acts 12:6:

"And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night [so God kept him in that prison right up until the very night before he was to appear before Herod] Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison [he had his four squads of soldiers all around the prison as well]. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands." (Acts 12:6-7)

You would think that would wake you up pretty quick, a good old dig in the ribs and then the chains fall off. I presume the guards were asleep, they didn't do anything. Acts 12:8:

"And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision [Peter thought he was dreaming]. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord [most of you have seen 'Star Wars' you can imagine this sort of thing happening]: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself [he suddenly found himself on the street, fully clothed, no chains, nobody around him, nobody chasing him], he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.." (Acts 12:11-12)

They were all in there praying for Peter, because James had already been executed and they were pretty sure that Peter was next. So you can imagine what would happen if we were in that situation. I think the prayers would be pretty fervent. Acts 12:13:

"And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to [listened], named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel [they were more tuned in to this part of the world than we are]. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished." (Acts 12:13-16)

As well they might be, because that is New Testament. That is in our era. And who knows what is going to happen in the future. I know we have often speculated about coming to the time when the Church has got to flee. What is going to happen? Will God inspire one of the ministers to get up and say, "Right, here is the plan."? Or will an angel knock at the door or what? Well, the only thing we have got in the Bible is to go back to the situation with Lot. And it could well be, that that is what happens. So we need to be aware that these great beings exist. And these ones that can manifest themselves as men are loyal to God and they are loyal to us.

They are looking after us day and night. I tell you once we are made spirit beings and we can sit down with our angels and they can then say to us, right we are going to go over your life now and show you where we intervened for you. We will probably be absolutely astonished.

You know that plane you couldn't get on? It happened just recently, one plane crash, I think it was in south America. This man had done everything to get on that plane and he was delayed and delayed and delayed and he got to the airport as the plane was taking off. And of course, the plane crashed and everybody on board was killed. That kind of thing could have happened to us and we would never even know about it.

So there is an angelic world out there, they are out there for our good. I said to Mr Bowles rather jokingly, "How would you know a real angel from anybody else?" And he said, "Well, give them a cup of tea. If he can drink a cup of tea and then disappear, you know he is the real thing." They came as men, they ate food, they had there feet washed and they were solid. People interacted with them. They grabbed Lot and his wife and literally dragged them out of the town. So I think it is good we think on these things because these great beings might just be intervening in our lives in the very near future.

I would just like to end up by reading the final part of the Lesson, in the Correspondence Course, which I would recommend you go over because it has got a lot more information in it than I have been able to cover. It says:

"We have covered only a few of the many verses showing how God's angels serve Him and His saints today. Let's be grateful to God for sending His powerful, holy, and righteous angels to assist and watch over the work of His Church and those of us who are His spirit-begotten children – His heirs soon to be born into the universe-ruling Family of God!" ('The Correspondence Course ’)