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    §6. THEIR EXALTED CHARACTER AND SURPASSING GLORY

    When sin entered into the world, God’s glory was withdrawn, and a dark pall of gloom was spread over it; God no more talked with man. We have only a few fading flowers, a few bright spots, to remind us of the departed glory. Even the angels have but seldom been seen by mortals. The most lovely objects that we behold are marred with deformity and tarnished with decay. Hence we can have but slight conceptions of the surpassing loveliness and glory of the heavenly beings. A few times a rift has been made in the clouds, through which some privileged ones have been permitted to behold a few rays of the glory of heaven. And then these have been so overwhelmed by it that they feared that they should die. Thus the prophet Isaiah, upon having a view of heaven, exclaimed, “Woe is me! for I am undone; ... for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5. As Moses came down from the mount where he had been with the Lord for forty days, his face so shone with the reflected glory of God, that the Israelites in fear avoided him. Exodus 34:29, 30.ATNM 19.1

    How bright and glorious, then, must be the angels who dwell in the immediate presence of the Almighty! Some of the rays of this light and glory encircle them as they visit this world. Thus, when the angel came to Peter in the prison, it is said, “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison.” Acts 12:7. Of the angel who appeared at the tomb of our Saviour it is said, “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” Matthew 28:3. And Daniel thus describes the appearance of an angel who came to him: “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; his body also war like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Daniel 10:5, 6.ATNM 20.1

    Let the reader consider for a moment what majesty and glory are here described. The most gorgeously-appareled monarch would appear mean in comparison. No wonder that Daniel says of the men who were with him, “A great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.” Verse 7. And so exceedingly glorious was the angel that came to John upon Patmos, that the apostle fell down to worship him, supposing that it must be the Lord Himself. Revelation 22:8. From these facts we can form some conception of the surpassing glory of the holy angels.ATNM 20.2

    Of the might and power of the angels, the Bible also speaks in the strongest terms. John says: “A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea.” Revelation 18:21. The Psalmist speaks of those who remained loyal to God, as “angels, that excel in strength.” Psalm 103:20. When the angel came to call Christ from the tomb, he made the earth to quake, and the soldiers fell like dead men before him. Matthew 28:3, 4.ATNM 21.1

    The angels move with the velocity of lightning. Ezekiel says that they “ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” Ezekiel 1:14. And Daniel says that Gabriel flew from heaven to the earth while he was praying. Daniel 9:21.ATNM 21.2

    The angels also have control over the elements. Thus when the king of Babylon caused the furnace to be heated very hot, and the three Hebrews to be cast into it, the angel of the Lord came, and stood and walked unharmed in the midst of the fire. Not only so, but he protected those men of God so that their garments were not even scorched. Daniel 3:19-27. The angels also control the wild beasts. This we see in the case of Daniel being thrown into the den of lions. Those ferocious beasts became as harmless as lambs. The angel of God was there. Daniel 6:22. Again, heavy bars are drawn from the bolted door, and the massive iron gate flies open at the command of the angel, when a child of God is to be delivered. Acts 12. Thus we see that all the elements of nature, and men, and beasts, are subject to the control of angels.ATNM 21.3

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