Helping The Needy
Hebrews 13:2: Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
We may not know until we stand before the Lord if a stranger that we helped or refused to help was a Holy Angel, a Christophany or just a stranger sent to test us. Fallen angels are messengers from Satan. Holy Angels are messengers from God. One of the functions of the Holy Angels is to pose as strangers sent to test our faith and obedience to the Lord. Christophanies were appearances of Christ in the Old Testament in a temporary form. The appearance in a burning bush comes to mind. I recently read an interesting idea on Christophanies: A Christophany is an appearance or non-physical manifestation of Christ. Traditionally the term refers to visions of Christ after his ascension, such as the bright light of the Damascus Christophany.
Matthew 25:34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Christ Himself dwelling in our hearts should be more influential than a Holy Angel, a Christophony or a needy person. The last 5 letters of the word are interesting as well. The word does not appear in the Bible.
Romans 8:29: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Acts 11:26b: . . . the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
The word Christians meant to the people of Antioch: little Christs. The believers there were so much like Christ that they were called little Christs. We are to do for needy people what we would do for Christ or what He would do for a needy person.
Luke 18:18: And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!