Today I want to share with you a story. It's a story that angels are very interested and involved in.

The Angel's Story

— though I suppose it could also be called the

Great Rescue Mission!

It was the first Christmas night. No not December 25. This was the real thing! Excitement stirred throughout heaven as every angel, from the lowest to the highest in rank, directed his attention to planet EARTH. — that alien planet, which was taken hostage by the enemy 4000 years earlier and was now covered in a blanket of darkness.

That night rescue mission was to be launched! The son of God, heaven's glorious commander, had laid aside His power and splendor and would that very night be born a human in order to rescue humanity!

To an angel, 4000 years is not all that long of a time. They could clearly remember that fateful day when earth was taken hostage by the enemy. How could anyone forget? Oh, the joy they had felt when they viewed the perfect paradise created for man. Their beloved commander had given the first humans all their hearts could desire.

But the enemy had been there waiting for his chance to seize control.--Waiting for the humans to wonder into his territory. For he was not allowed to pursue them. He was bound to one tree. His tree of knowledge of evil intermingled with good, the fruit of death, which stood in direct opposition to God's tree of wisdom and goodness and life.

Angel's walked in the garden with the holy pair, warning them not to go into the enemies territory. Yet on that fateful day, one of the humans did wonder into the forbidden territory. This was the opportunity the enemy was waiting for. Immediately he filled her head with lies.

Would she believe him and doubt heaven's commander?
Could she really doubt the love and wisdom of God?
Horror of horror's she listened to the deceiver, ahh truth is truth, surely she could discern truth from error? But no she did not. She believed the enemy, and thinking she would become more exalted she partook of the forbidden fruit.

Not just one, but both of those humans gave their allegiance to the enemy. The angels were stunned. God had given these humans so much! The enemy had given them only lies, yet they believed the enemy and doubted God.

A shudder still chilled the angel's spines as they remembered the enemies triumphant laugh. Like the ripples of hell itself it sounded, "The earth is mine, they are mine," he screeched. The sound ripping into their souls with a pain they were only beginning to understand. The pain of sin which affects even the sinless who must stand by and watch.

In heaven there had been no laughter, no singing, for the beautiful planet Earth seemed doomed.

It was then that their beloved Commander called them all together. He had a strange look upon His face. Sorrow and joy, pain and peace all mixed together. He told them of the purposed rescue mission. A rescue mission that would cost Him (the heavenly commander) indescribable woe. At this news the angels felt even worse. In grief and wonder they listened to their beloved leader's words as He told them how He must go down to earth, become a human, endure sorrow and shame and finally die a terrible death while carrying the guilt of all of earth's humans.

With tears streaming down their cheeks the angels asked if there was no other way. Couldn't they just zap the enemy and put the humans back in their original condition? No, God could not use force, it would leave too many unanswered questions, besides the humans had sold out to another leader and only an atonement could buy them back.

Well, the angels reasoned, maybe an angel could go and make this atonement and rescue those humans? Surely there must be some other way besides having their beloved Commander suffer such degradation?

But no, only the Creator of humans could pay the penalty and redeem them from the results of their sin. There was no other way. Christ then assured the angels that many humans would ;be rescued, and that once the rescue mission was completed sin would be totally and eternally destroyed. As the angels began to comprehend a little of the great love God had for humans they were filled with inexpressible joy. Once again they could sing songs of praise and wonder of God's love!

4000 years had gone by. The angels were kept busy traveling back and forth from heaven to earth. Oh the things they witnessed upon earth, it was enough to wrench their hearts in two. In utter disgust they watched as the enemy enticed, deceived, used and abused humans. The cruelty, the disease, the misery, the degradation of humanity, was very difficult to watch.

The angels were sent to earth to uplift, help and protect humans, yet so few even wanted help! At least not help from heavenly sources. Despite God's wonderful promises, and despite the misery sin brought, humans seemed intent to follow the deceptive glitter of the enemy. They even blamed God for all the trouble they were in, instead of turning to Him, Who alone could give them hope, happiness and life!

Surely, the angels reasoned, the heavenly Commander would give up His rescue mission to go down and live among such rebellious, miserable and evil creatures. Those ungrateful humans just weren't worth such an immense sacrifice.

But the Son of God looked down on planet earth with eyes full of compassion and pity. He saw how humans were held hostage by the enemy. They had chosen a ruler who had chained and bound them to his wagon of self indulgence and ultimate self destruction. Bewildered and deceived they were rushing toward eternal doom. Yes, he would go down, he would put rescue mission into action. It was the only way to break the chains with which the enemy bound humanity.

Story continues on page 2

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