And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (Luke 16:22)
Angels are not described in the Bible as having wings but most of the art work shows them with wings. However, cherubim have wings and the two may be the same thing. This article is not about angels, per se, but about angels carrying saints home. We do not know if angels escort every saint home, but Luke 16:22 tells how it very well may happen for many. Do you ever wonder how it’s going to be for you when God calls you home? I do.
We notice there was more than one angel. It doesn’t say how many. It says the beggar was carried by the angels. The reminds us that we are three parts: body, soul, and spirit. Many Bible scholars believe that our soul and spirit are another type of body that dwells inside our physical body.
The inner body does not die and is as definite as our physical body. The inner body can think, see, hear, and move about even as our physical body. We learn some of this from the testimonies of many people who have left their bodies, flat-lined, in the hospital and returned to their bodies. While they were out of their bodies they could see and hear and move from one place to another. This has happened so many times and there are so many stories that I have never had any problem with believing the stories.
This is important in considering that the angels “carried” the beggar after he died. They didn’t just accompany him. They carried him. Jesus’ resurrected body passed through His grave clothes, through the stone in the front of the opening of his tomb, and through the door or wall of the room where the disciples were gathered together. The body of the beggar who died would have been thrown into the garbage dump of Jerusalem. But his inner body of soul and spirit was carried by the angels. His inner body was NOT a resurrected body. We all have an inner body of soul and spirit. The soul is self-conscious and our spirit is God-conscious.
McGee writes: “Our Lord comes right to the door of death and passes through it as if it were nothing unusual. When the beggar died, there was no funeral. They just took his body out and threw it into the Valley of Gehenna where refuse was thrown and burned; this is the place where they threw the bodies of the poor in that day. The minute the beggar stepped through the doorway of death, angels became his pall-bearers and he was carried by them into Abraham's Bosom.” (McGee)
The Bible says: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15) I’m sure, very sure, that each saint gets a royal welcome when they graduate from earth’s duties. Not only do we have strong statements from the Word of God, but we have many, many testimonies of dying saints in the closing hour of their earthly journey. I once had a book of a hundred or, so pages of short victory stories published by Moody Press back in the 1950’s. They were well-documented. I regret that I loaned it and it never found its way home.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us: "In the course of time both men died. Lazarus went to Abraham’s side while the rich man… was buried and was in hell, a place of conscious torment (Luk_16:24, Luk_16:28). Hadēs, the Greek word often translated “hell,” is used 11 times in the New Testament. The Septuagint used hadēs to translate the Hebrew še’ôl (the place of the dead) on 61 occasions. Here hadēs refers to the abode of the unsaved dead prior to the great white throne judgment (Rev_20:11-15). “Abraham’s side” apparently refers to a place of paradise for Old Testament believers at the time of death (cf. Luk_23:43; 2Co_12:4).
One story in the Moody book I remember especially that stuck with me. A man was waiting to die, waiting for an angel to come and get him. His family was gathered around his bed and he was telling them what he was seeing. Suddenly, he raised up off his pillow and said: “They’ve come for me!” And then he fell back on his pillow and said, disappointedly, “They’re taking Jim ahead of me.” Someone in the room made note of the time this happened
In a few minutes his eyes brightened, and he raised up again. “They’ve come for me!” But again, he was disappointed, and fell back onto his pillow. He said, “They’ve taken Bill ahead of me.” In a few more minutes he raised up again with an excited countenance and said: “They’ve come for me!” This time, when he fell back onto his pillow his eyes were open and staring but his breath and spirit were gone.
The family was stunned at what they had just witnessed. They discussed among themselves who these people were that their father had mentioned. The one with the watch had made note of each occurrence. His inquiry to the families of these two men revealed that they both died the same night as their father. Not only so, but the time of Jim and Bill’s death corresponded to the time that the first man raised up and called their names and said they were taken before him.
(I don’t remember the names of the men in the book. I added them here to complete the story.) Be assured that God hovers over us when we die and oversees our homecoming. If He sends an angel or two angels or no angels, it will be exactly according to God’s plan. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 - THURSDAY
A.M. Ezekiel 13-15 P.M. Hebrews 11:20-40
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Song for Today:
My Sun Is Sinking Fast/Angel Band (5:23) (Vestal Goodman & George Jones)
The words to this song were written by Jefferson Hascall in 1860, just as the Civil War was beginning. The music was written by William Bradbury in 1862. The song has been published in 21 hymnals. The message of the song was natural for the time of the Civil War (1860-65) when thousands of men were dying and thousands more lay on beds wondering if they were going to die.
The phrase: “My latest sun is sinking fast; my race is nearly run” must have occupied the thoughts of thousands of wounded men. It is a slow-moving song with a heavy message. It is timeless, like Amazing Grace. To this day it is a powerful, moving song. The words and music are bonded well. I don’t appreciate the way some groups have twisted the music to make it unique for their group. After searching long, this imperfect version is the best I could find. Brother Roloff sang it best, but I can’t find it.
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