Part 4 – the sufferings of this world
[an OPINION of how Satan fell and the Angelic Conflict began]
“In the beginning” – TIME
“God created the heavens” – SPACE
“and the earth” – MATTER
Before the Creation, before time, space, and matter, God was. He lives in eternity and has placed the concept of eternity into our hearts.
Isaiah 57:15, “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”’
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
God said “. . . unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” Exodus 3:14. When Jesus came into the world, He also confirms His eternal existence when He said to the Jews, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” John 8:58.
God created the angels for a purpose. Angels are not part of the material, physical “heaven and earth” of Genesis 1. We are not told when God created them but, obviously, it was sometime in eternity past. They were present at the creation of Genesis and were so delighted that they sang for joy,
God created Man for a purpose. First, God gave Adam and Eve dominion to rule over the earth, Genesis 1:28 [they failed]. Next, during the Millennium, the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] receives His Kingdom and will have dominion over the earth, Psalm 2:8. Also, faithful Man, followers of Jesus Christ, adopted children of God will be fellow heirs with Him, Romans 8:15, 16, 17. Finally, during the Kingdom age [Millennium] the children of God and heirs with Christ will be assigned governance responsibilities according to their abilities and faithfulness, Luke 15:15-19.
After the creation of the heavens, God relocated His throne from its place in eternity to the heavens. From here He rules over all creation, “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all” Psalm 103:19. Paul was caught up into, what he called, the “third heaven” or paradise, apparently, the abode of God and of the holy angels as detailed in Psalm 103:19-21.
Classes of angels:
- Cherubim guarded the entrance to Eden, attend to the throne of God and cover the Mercy Seat (Genesis 3:23; Exodus 25:20; Isaiah 37:16; Ezekiel 10:1-20). Lucifer is referred to in Ezekiel 38:14 as “the cherub that covereth.”
- Seraphim are above the throne. They follow instructions and sing praises to God, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God Almighty.”
- Four Living Creatures stand by the four corners of God’s throne. They lead the heavenly praise. They “rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
- Typical Angels are ministering angels. Hebrews 13:2 says to be kind to strangers for we may be entertaining angels. They show up all through Scripture, ministering, guarding, assisting, releasing from prison, etc.
Archangels the word means Chief. It is commonly accepted that there were three archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. However, the title only appears twice in Scripture and only in the singular. In Jude 9 it is assigned to Michael. The other occurrence is 1Thessalonians 4:16, at the “Harpazo” of the Church, the Rapture, “. . . the voice of the archangel.”
Michel is the Chief of all the angels. Barn’s Notes on Daniel 10:13 explains: But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes – Margin, “the first.” That is, the first in rank of the “princes,” or the angels. In other words, Michael, the archangel.” The proper meaning of this name (מיכאל myka’el ) is, “Who as God,” and is a name given, undoubtedly, from some resemblance to God. The exact reason why it is given is not anywhere stated; but may it not be this – that one looking on the majesty and glory of the chief of the angels would instinctively ask, “Who, after all, is like God? Even this lofty angel, with all his glory, cannot be compared to the high and lofty One.” Whatever may have been the reason for the appellation, however, the name in the Scriptures has a definite application and is given to the chief one of the angels.
Gabriel stands in the presence of God, Luke 1:19. He is employed as a messenger from God delivering comfort and prophecy…to Daniel in Daniel 8:16; 9:21…to Zacharias in Luke 1:19…to Mary in Luke 1:26-38.
Then comes Lucifer and his band of not so merry fallen angels.
Lucifer the notorious member of the trio. Chief of the fallen angels. Called a cherub in verse 14 below. Created perfect in all respects. “13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” Ezekiel 28:13-15. The prideful one who utters the five “I’s,” “12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” Isaiah 14:12-14.
Carefully read these verses. Those above are before Lucifer’s fall, the ones below are after.
Fallen Angels include princes of nations as in Daniel 10:20, the princes of Persia and Greece. Paul warns of something all Christians should always keep in mind, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12.
The Source of the Angelic Rebellion –
Why did Lucifer, the grandest of all creation, rebel? How did he convince other heavenly beings to join him in his rebellion? What could have possibly set them off ? What was his disdain for Adam and Eve? Why did Satan want to corrupt them, causing them to fall from Divine favor? Hebrews 1:13, 14 give us a clue. Is being a “ministering spirit what the greatest of all creation was purposed for?” Was this where his pride was stung; when he began to realize God’s plan? That God intended more for man than to simply husband the earth. Slowly, it dawned on Satan that his preeminent position could be in serious jeopardy. One day God would raise man above the angels, “7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” Hebrews 2:7-8. Yes, these verses refer specifically to Jesus Christ but He has adopted brothers, coheirs. Those lowly humans who Satan would have to serve.
Satan surely observed God walking in the garden with Adam and Eve sharing a personal, intimate relationship that none of the angels, not even he, himself, shared with the Almighty. Grasping the ultimate outcome of that relationship, enviously, slyly, he hatches a plot to “nip the seed in the bud.” He slithers up a tree…the tree…to perpetuate his devilish deed on Eve. Truly, Lucifer was gorgeous, charming, eloquent and easily caught Eve’s attention. Carefully looking around, assuring himself there was no Divine presence to stifle his evil plan, he smiles coyly as the naive couple approaches. Giving Eve a charming, innocent smile, he says, “Why are you walking past the delicious, succulent fruit on this beautiful tree? Has God indeed said not to eat of every tree in this beautiful, luscious garden? Oh, you say only this one, or you will die?” He chuckles, and with a smirk continues, “Die? Ridiculous! Look at me. How grand and splendid I am. You surely won’t die at all.” Striking a pose, he gestures to himself showing off his splendor, then continues, You will become as gods knowing good from evil.” Part lie. Part truth. Struck by Satan’s splendor, she extends her hand and accepted the forbidden fruit and takes the first bite. She turns to Adam who is standing there dumbstruck. He takes the second bit. Satan, thinks to himself “Mission accomplished,” and quietly slinks away like the serpent he truly is. He thinks to himself, “No man will ever rule over me. Now that the angels know how clever I am, they will follow me. “I” will go up, above stars of God. I will raise my throne and sit in the mount of meeting in the sides of the north I go up above the heights of a thick cloud, I am like to the Most High…I am totally awesome.”
There is an analogy in Revelation 10:10 by John, “I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.”. As the reality of their foolish deed quickly dawns on the fallen couple, and their spiritual glow fades, they find themselves standing there naked and afraid, their first-ever feelings of guilt awaken.
A contingent of foolish angels followed Satan, completely unaware God had a plan…one carefully laid out before the foundation of the world…a mystery only known by the Divine. A plan in which the Word of God, the Son of man, would be the propitiation for the sin and all men who believe in Jesus and trust in God. A mystery hidden in Christ and revealed through the Church, His Body. But…and a huge but…there would be no redemption for the fallen angels who would follow after Satan, abandoning God. They were ignorant of their pending demise.
“7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” 1Corinthians 2:7-8. (i.e. the “princes of this world” are spirit beings in heavenly places)
“10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known (demonstrated) by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” Ephesians 3:10-11.
They, too…the spirit realm…are interested in how mankind responds to trials and tribulations. God is proving to them the wisdom of His ways and that there are those who love Him despite the trials. Job is the great example:
“6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” Job 1:6-8.
If you haven’t yet read Job you should read chapters 1, 2, and 40 through 42 to get an understanding of what’s going on. Job is just before Psalms in the Bible. God never revealed to Job the reason for his suffering, but we know it was because he was “a righteous man” and an example to the fallen angels and the holy ones alike, and to us that there are those who love God.
Job is only one of many. Noah was ridiculed and mocked. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Jeremiah was dumped into a well. Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Consider the Apostles and disciples of the New Testament down through today, our trials…scourging…imprisonments…crucifixions…beheadings by ISIS…gunned down in churches…mocked in schools, colleges, and universities. And still the faithful, who love God, totally put their trust in Him.
“36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not [and is not] worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground” Hebrews 11:36-38.
Each demonstrating fidelity to God before the heavenly host and before men as the Angelic Conflict plays out. Thousands of people are flocking to Christ around the globe as men perceive the wickedness of the devil and the graciousness of God. God is gracious.
“. . . for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” 1 John 4:8.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” 1 John 4:16.
The antithesis is Lucifer and the Angelic Conflict. Believing they can avoid their ultimate fate…being cast into the “Lake of Fire” prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10)…by foiling God’s plan, Satan first corrupted Adam and Eve. He attempted to have Jesus killed as an infant by King Herod Matthew 2:16. Then tried to corrupt Jesus himself by tempting Him in Matthew 4 & Luke 4. Afterward, he tried to drown Jesus and his disciples, Mark 4:35-40, and again failed. Finally, playing into God’s hands, Satan figures that if he can have Jesus Crucified, that will be the end of the matter. Christ’s unexpected resurrection must have put him and the devils into complete and total panic. Since then the Conflict continues. Playing on man’s carnality and lusts, Satan and his forces continue to corrupt the church, religion, government, schools, and society. Music, TV, movies, the internet, and smartphones are powerful tools in our enemy’s arsenal. And, of course, their main focus is to “destroy Israel and the Jews” at all cost.
Despite all their effort, not only is there always a core of faithful believers, multitudes of people around the world are coming to Christ. Followers of Jesus who believe that He is the Son of God who died for our sins on the cross, was buried, rose again on the third day and sits at the right hand of God Almighty where He intercedes for each and everyone who accepts the grace of God. We believe in our hearts and confess with our lips that Jesus is the Christ!
And the Angelic conflict continues.
~because it matters-it really does!