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Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruthe's Secret Roses
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Angels Know the Shortcuts

Another marvelous angel story in Acts (of the Apostles) is of Philip, one of the disciples of Jesus, turned apostle-preacher.

The angel of the Lord, (that would be Jesus in angelic form), told Philip to take a certain road that went down from Jerusalem, through a desert to Gaza. Obediently he went off on this walk.

On the way he met the official in charge of all the treasury of Queen Candace of Ethiopia, for ever since Queen Sheba had visited King Solomon, there had been Jews in Ethiopia. This man had come on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and was reading in his chariot, the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

I'm supposing somehow he'd missed out on Peter's famous first sermon after the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. Many others from other countries had heard the good news and believed on Jesus. Thousands had been baptized. Somehow this man was on his way home without hearing all this, but he was seeking for more.

The Spirit of God told Philip to go closer and stay with that chariot. As he did, he heard the man reading a prophecy, so he asked, "Do you understand what you're reading?"

The Ethiopian said, "How can I unless someone explains it? Jump in."

Philip did. They looked together at the place where he was, "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice."

"Is the prophet talking about himself or someone else?" the man wanted to know. Starting from that passage, Philip explained all about Jesus, who had been crucified like a lamb for the sins of the whole world, and who had silently borne it all for us. Naturally, Philip was able to fill in the exciting news of His resurrection and ascension too.

When he told the Ethiopian about water baptism representing the spiritual baptism of true believers, the man was ready. As soon as he saw some water beside the road he exclaimed, "There's water. What's to prevent me from being baptized on the spot?"

Philip didn't hesitate. It was the right thing to do.

When they came back up out of the water hole, since Philip had finished his assignment, the Spirit of the Lord, picked him up and transported him instantly away to Azotus, where he traveled about preaching this gospel in all the small towns up to Caesarea.

The foreign officer seemed to understand and went on his way rejoicing, eager to tell his people back in his country. He was turned into a preacher too!

So if the Lord, perhaps through an angel, asks us to take a walk, let's not hesitate.

There's likely a divine appointment on the way. Nor do we really have to worry about how we'll get back, or how this will interfere with all the other things we ought to be doing. The angels know all the shortcuts. We'll make up the lost time. Just obey.

An angel directing Philip to go out into the desert


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