He Could have Called 10,000 Angels



The Singer


The congregation sang and their pastor joined in; Their singing could be heard just down the street a ways.

Many a soul had surrendered in the church o’re the years; Amen’s and hallelujahs, Tears of joy and shouts of praise.

The church sat facing ‘main street’ and passers-by would stop, To listen on the sidewalk ‘neath a shade tree, some ‘til noon:

IT was in the month of August when a singer of a rock band Came walking past the church – and he sang to a different tune.

For to everyone he met, he boasted of his great and perfect voice, But he sang for the devil… Said of his voice - it was the best.

So as the congregation sang that day to tunes of saintly choice, The singer stopped to listen, ‘neath the shade tree, sat to rest.’

“Are You Washed in the Blood” and “The Sweetest Name I Know” Came floating thru the windows, then he heard “The Old Rugged Cross.”

He was thinking, ‘how pitiful! They can’t carry a tune.’ He was smiling his smile of hate, for his soul and heart we’re lost.

Then rising to his feet, he walked thru the open church door; He’d show the congregation how his famous voice could shame;

How it could teach them all a thing or two, his perfect gift, and more; How he hated hearing, singing from God’s children in His name.

He walked down the aisle, choosing to stop at the very first pew, Then he began to sing – singing louder than he ever had before!

The congregation silent now as they listened to the wicked man; The stranger who had eyes cold and empty; They let him sing.

He watched them as he sang, and when he finished, boasted loud: “You people think you’re singing but you don’t know anything!”

“I’ve made a million dollars singing songs, but look at you; All you’ve got to show for your singing are voices never heard.”

“I hate the churches and you people when I hear your rusty tunes; You preacher men with Bibles, wasting time on your God’s Word!”

The Christians watched in silence; Pastor walked to where he stood, To ask the stranger just one question, and put him to the test;

“Would you sing a saintly song, one that I will choose? You haven’t much to lose; A chance to prove that you’re the best.”

The man thought for a moment, then flashed the preacher a wicked smile; “I’ll sing your saintly song; For it won’t matter anyway;

I’m the best in voice you’ll ever hear, but just to humor you, I’ll sing your song of saintly praise, and I shall win today.”

He stood facing the congregation – feeling sure of himself; The preacher handed him a song book and nodded at the church piano player.

The wicked man cleared his throat and began to sing, and sing loudly; The congregation bowed their heads, each one in deep prayer.

The man began to sing………

“He could have called ten thousand angels, To destroy the world, and set him free; He could have called ten thousand angels, But he died alone for you and me.”

The man kept singing; He sang every single verse; he sang the chorus; No one in the congregation moved. No one stirred; Every head still bowed.

The pastor watched the man singing… He saw a single tear, Trickle down his face, then another; And another; But the wicked man kept right on singing; His voice shaky; but loud…

The congregation began raising their heads now. They too saw the man was in tears, they were all praying;

“ Oh Lord, soften this man’s heart, bring him to his knees; Let your Holy Spirit get a hold of his heart, before it’s too late.”

As Christians, by faith, they know that God heard their prayers… There was no doubt; But each have a choice, though God can soften the hardest of hearts; Hear the faintest of pleas…

The wicked man was no longer singing; He was standing, facing the pastor. He wore a look on his face which said; I’m the loneliest singer of them all.

He spoke; “Pastor, I’m lost… I’m the worst of sinners… I need help now; I need help real bad.”

That pastor decided right then, there was no need tonight to stop for a formal alter call. He and that lost man would get right to it… Kneel at the alter, side by side, then every member of that church walked that aisle to pray, hand in hand; Every head was bowed……. Every knee was bent……. This was a wicked, wicked soul, but God can work miracles… Touch the heart of the wickedest man.

Some time later, the man stood up in the front of the church, pastor by his side; He looked out facing the congregation. A miracle had taken place. He smiled…… But this time, it was a peaceful smile. A smile full of peace, as if a heavy, heavy, burden had been lifted from his heart and shoulders. He asked if he could speak….. Just a few words…… Tears still on his face.

“I was the worst of sinners. I never sang for the Lord all these years. I traveled around as I thought, without a care in the world, but I was lost.” “Lost and on my way to hell.” “But tonight, the Lord got a hold of me. Touched my heart and let me know, that without Jesus Christ living inside my heart, one day I’d pay the cost.”

“I invited Christ into my heart today, and He made my heart brand new; I am a new creature in Christ now, as the pastor has shown me in the Bible that this is what God’s Holy Word says about a lost soul that is born again…… Saved by the blood of Christ….. Oh Thank you dear Lord for dying on that cross, so that sinners like me could be saved by accepting God’s free gift of Salvation.. Because of the blood that Jesus Christ shed when nailed on that cross…. Not on our own accord.” Well, that day there was a whole lot of rejoicing going on in that little church, and I’m sure, in Heaven from the angels….

Faith is to believe in what is unseen…. Faith is trusting in Christ to be our personal Saviour. That born again man was baptized - emerged in water – as God commands us to do after we are saved…

He now travels from church to church, all over the world, as an evangelist preacher. He preaches at revivals and he sings about what Jesus Christ did for him. He gives his testimony. He tells his own personal story about how Christ changed his life. His favorite solo song now that he sings when he travels is;



Story Poem written by;
Tammy Boatman Young

And now the Rest of the Story concerning this story poem. When I ask Tammy if I could use her story she graciously said yes and wrote me the following letter:


Here are the words to the song 'Ten Thousand Angels' in case you'd like to have the words to the song. I was reading about the story of the man who wrote this gospel song 'Ten Thousand Angels' and now I know why he had his friend write to me a few years ago and ask me about my story poem regarding the Singer who came to the church one day, in my poem. The man wrote to me to ask if that was a "True Story" that I had written and he said he was good friends with the man who wrote the song. Said he was just curious and would like to know. I wrote him back and told him the truth, that it's a story that I made up and one that the Lord had laid upon my heart to write one day.

I had never before known who had written that song, or anything about the man who wrote that song 'Ten Thousand Angels'. (that is, not until this morning) So anyway, when I wrote him back I told him that it was a story I made up and that the song was always one of my favorite Gospel songs. I never heard from the man again. I believe when he wrote to me he named the man, his friend, who had written the song. Well, this morning as I was looking for the name of 'who' wrote the song, I found two websites that have the story about the man who wrote it. The man who wrote the song is named Ray Overholt. And here is his story. After reading his story this morning, I guess I understand now why he had his friend write to me and ask me about my story poem on my website. I had no idea about the writer of the song or anything about him when I wrote it. Here's Ray Overholt's story about how, when and why he wrote the song back in 1958. Your sister in Christ, Tammy Boatman Young

Rarely has a hymn-writer been led to Christ by his own song, but such was the case with Ray Overholt. In 1958, at the height of his show-business career, Ray Overholt wrote his now-famous song, Ten Thousand Angels.

Here is his story as he related it—

One day I thought to myself: I’ve written secular songs, I’d like to write a song about Christ. I opened the Bible. I knew a little about it from my mom. I began to read how Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane told Peter to put away his sword. Jesus told Peter that he could ask his Father and he would send twelve legions of angels. I didn’t know at the time that would have been more than 72,000 angels. (cf: Matthew 26:53) I thought a good title for a song would be He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels. The more I read about Jesus, the more I admired him for what he had done. I was playing in a nightclub in Battle Creek, Michigan, when the Lord impressed me to write the song. I wrote the first verse and put it in my guitar case. I then told the club that I was quitting. I finished the song and sent it to a publishing house, which reluctantly agreed to publish it. Sometime later I found myself singing at a small church. I sang He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels. Following my singing, a preacher spoke a message that gripped my heart. I knew I needed Christ. So I knelt there and accepted, as my Savior, the One whom I had been singing and writing about. Ray Overholt became a traveling singer and preacher. —Lindsay Terry

Ten Thousand Angels
Song written by: Ray Overholt in 1958

They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden when He prayed;
They led Him through the streets in shame,
They spat upon the Saviour so pure and free from sin;
They said "Crucify Him, He's to blame"

He could have called ten thousand angels,
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

Upon His precious head they placed a crown of thorns;
They laughed and said, "Behold the King"
They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His Holy Name,
All alone He suffered everything.

He could have called ten thousand angels,
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

When they nailed Him to the Cross, His mother stood nearby.
He said, "Woman, behold thy son!"
He cried, "I thirst for water, but they gave Him none to drink.
Then the sinful work of man was done.

He could have called ten thousand angels,
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for mercy cry.
The cross of shame He took alone.
And when He cried, "It's finished!", He gave Himself to die,
Salvation's wondrous plan was done.

He could have called ten thousand angels,
to destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.


In Conclusion:

Yea Jesus could have called ten thousand angels or even more had he wanted too. But Jesus realized that if He were to display His great Power at that time, all of mankind would be lost and without a Saviour… And it was out of love He allowed Himself to be taken and beaten, It was out of love He allowed Himself to be nailed to that Old Rugged Cross. It was out of love He cried out it is finished and gave up his life. It was out of love that Jesus, on the third day arose from the grave and ascended into Heaven… It was out of love that Jesus came back to earth for 40 some odd days and seen by His disciples and over 500 witnesses. It is out of love that Jesus is at this time preparing a home for His children. And it will be out of love when Jesus comes back to receive all of His children to be with Him in Heaven… BUT THEN;

Jesus, ‘The King of Kings’ will come in wrath and great power to sit in judgment over a sinful world. He will not have to call His angels nor His saints for He will bring them with Him.

Revelations 19: 11, 16
[11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
[12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
[13] And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
[14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

[15] And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
[16] And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

I praise God that Jesus, ‘could have called’ ten thousand angels but didn’t. But I praise God even more that I will be among those angels riding a white horse, clothed in fine linen, clean and white when The Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords returns… And now that you know the rest of the story;

Are you ready for His return? If you can’t answer yes to that question then I implore you to examine yourself. If you’re not a child of God, lost and still in your sin; won’t you accept the free gift of salvation today? He could have called ten thousand angels but he didn’t out of love for you; but now the choice is yours to make; Yes or NO? Your salvation is only a prayer away… Well Glory!




Midi Playing is:
Ten Thousand Angels
Song written by: Ray Overholt in 1958


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