Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 04/09/06
The Angelic Conflict. Part 14.

Point 12 in the Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict. The Existence of Free Will in the Human Race and how it Perpetuates the Angelic Conflict.

GAL 4:1, Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, As long as the heir is a minor, he has no advantage over the slave, though legally he owns the entire inheritance, because he has not recognized all the assets that belong to him. Even though the heir has a fantastic portfolio of assets of great wealth, he doesn’t act any different than a slave because he doesn’t know, recognize, appreciate, or utilize those assets. The analogy: there is really no significant difference between the lifestyle of the born again believer who is carnal, and the unregenerate individual who is an unbeliever. This is what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1CO 3:1-3, And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babies in Christ [acting like infants in relation to Christ]. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? All believers become adopted as sons at salvation. Being in union with Christ, we are joint heirs with Christ, and are therefore adopted at the moment of salvation, GAL 3:26, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Back to GAL 4:1-7, Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

When a believer begins to develop a personal sense of destiny and begins to use the Problem Solving Devices (P.S.D.), he attains the first stage of spiritual adulthood, or the adult spiritual life, and only then does the lifestyle and the character of the heir begin to radically differ from the character and lifestyle of the slave. That’s why it is so important to, as 2PE 3:18 says, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Likewise, the believer in Jesus Christ is experientially like an unbeliever when he is in carnality. When you begin to learn about the divine solutions for your life, which take training in the mind of Christ, and then utilize the divine solutions, you then as an heir begin to radically differ from those who are not heirs. Those who do not regard doctrine as their #1 priority eventually forget the divine solutions that they have learned. The reason for the ministry of the pastor-teacher is to get the believer out of the experiential stage of slavery and into the experiential stage of heirship and sonship. Here there is liberty and spiritual freedom, both to succeed and to fail, and when there is failure, then rebound. Paul said in GAL 5:1, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Until the believer learns and metabolizes the P.S.D., he is like a slave and he’s under the authority of the circumstances and people around him, which is slavery. The believer without divine solutions only has a happiness that allows him to be a slave to his circumstances and allows others to dictate to him. A believer is like a slave to the very degree that he continues to look to the solutions that unbelievers exploit and use.

How does all of this apply to the angelic conflict? Positionally there’s a great difference between a Christian and an unbeliever, in fact even more of a difference than between the angels and human beings. The believer’s recognition of his sonship and union with TLJC and his exploitation of the divine solutions from living the unique spiritual life are what experientially sets him apart from both the unregenerate man, and the carnal Christian. Contained in the mystery doctrine of the Church-age is every solution for every problem you could ever face, whether it has to do with humans, circumstances of history, or with angels in spiritual combat against principalities and powers. The greatest pressure a believer can experience is what he faces when up against the kingdom of darkness, and God has made a solution for that; EPH 6:10-11, Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Take up and put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

We take up by recognizing, and put on by utilizing, the full armor from God which is the armor of divine solutions. As a believer, there’s nothing that separates you from an unbeliever experientially until you take up the divine solutions by learning them, and put them on by utilizing them. Satan has many devices, 2CO 2:11, which we cannot afford to be ignorant of. Satan has many means of bribing believers away from the spiritual life by setting other priorities that seem worthy in themselves, but become unworthy when matched up against the word of God. Satan has means of intimidating, threatening, or coaxing believers away from the unique spiritual life, away from the provision of the local assembly, away from the gift of pastor-teacher, away from the Mentorship of God the Holy Spirit, and all the volitional assets and power that God has given the Church-age believer. The mystery doctrine of the Church-age is the means by which ordinary people can become invisible heroes and glorify God as a witness for the prosecution against Satan and all the fallen angels and have a tremendous impact which will be recognized in the future ages forever and ever and ever. They are not recognized now, they are as 2CO 6:9 says, unknown yet well known; this is what brings glory to God in the angelic conflict.

In our last two points, we saw the principle of the importance of every believer making his own positive decisions toward doctrine and toward the plan of God so that his life would glorify God in time during this historical phase of the angelic conflict. Therefore, blinding believers from the real reason they are here, and taking them away from their pastor-teacher assigned by God to teach mystery doctrine, is the intent and objective of the deceptions from the kingdom of darkness. In every generation, there are individuals who are used by the kingdom of darkness to try to silence the messengers of God. Therefore, you should be looking at the dangers of preconceptions concerning the messengers of God. In Mat 11, John the Baptist who was taken into custody (Mat 4) is on death row and he sends his disciples to ask TLJC a question. MAT 11:2-7, Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent {word} by his disciples, and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: {the} blind receive sight and {the} lame walk, {the} lepers are cleansed and {the} deaf hear, and {the} dead are raised up, and {the} poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” And as these were going away, Jesus began to speak to the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed or a stalk of a plant shaken by the wind?”

John had spent a long time speaking to these same crowds about TLJC and now TLJC is going to speak to these crowds about John. As a true friend, He speaks very highly about John in this passage. He also points out in this passage what an evil generation is. This evil generation was constantly trying to silence the messengers of God, and John was one of those messengers. If those who went out to see John in the wilderness expected to see someone who buckled under pressure, that expectation was to be frustrated. People were used to hearing the Pharisees and scribes teach, but they did not teach with authority. When TLJC came on the scene, in MAR 1:22 we read, They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. MAR 1:27, And they were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority!To teach with authority was totally against the grain of a wicked and evil generation.

MAT 11:7-8, “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces.” John was not a delicate man; he would have been too harsh for delicate minds. MAR 1:6, John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist. The clergy of those days wore long robes, phylacteries, and tassels on their garments (MAR 12:38, LUK 20:46, MAT 23:5); he did not fit the preconceived notions of the so-called clergy of his day. So in MAT 11:8, the Lord said “But what did you go out to see?” [Many people flocked to John because of curiosity] A man dressed in soft or delicate clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces.”

There has been a concept that has wormed its way into the church for centuries that the clergy are supposed to be certain types of individuals. They are to be what people say is humble. But humility cannot be discerned by a person’s demeanor. Some of the most arrogant people on the earth have quiet demeanors. Some of the most humble people on earth were like Moses and John the Baptist, who were very commanding, very authoritative, and very outspoken at times. People have preconceptions with regard to the spokesmen of the word of God, and some preconceptions were formed by being around other clergy members of certain stereotypes. Many of the ones that they have been around don’t even belong in the ministry. You don’t go into the ministry because you think it’s a good profession to choose instead of something else; you go into the ministry because you are called by God and you have the gift of pastor-teacher. If the kingdom of darkness can get preconceptions into the minds of God’s people, especially concerning the one who is to teach them about God, then personality and lifestyle become the issue rather than the message. Many people have been around those in the ministry who may be truly gifted as pastors and called, but they have conformed to the spirit of the age over time, and then they are squeezed into the mold of people’s concepts and the cosmic consensus and they become conventional. They end up catering to conventional Christians by always being there to visit, counsel, and complement them, to be there for every personal crisis of every personal family member. Then they may come to a church where the pastor just studies and teaches and doesn’t give that kind of time, because that would be a distraction from what Jesus Christ called the pastor to do, and so they stumble all over that.

There are preconceived notions about the personality and demeanor of those in the ministry, but there is no prescribed personality for the pastor or the prophet of the O. T. God uses men of all kinds of personalities, like Amos who was a farmer, Daniel who was a scholar, Jeremiah who was very young when called into the ministry and tended to be emotional at times, Isaiah who was an ambassador for a king, Ezekiel who was gruff and harsh. In fact, TLJC was actually considered to be a reincarnation of Jeremiah by some people because of how he wept over Jerusalem and the client nation status being lost. Others thought He was like Elijah because He was on fire on certain days and blasted the daylights out of the Pharisees, Mat 23. John the Baptist did not fit into their preconceived ideas concerning the ministry; they said, he must be demon possessed, MAT 11:18, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon!'” They said, he doesn’t eat normal food, he doesn’t drink normal beverages. He’s always fasting, he lives alone in the desert, so he’s demon possessed. Then there is Jesus; they didn’t understand Him. He eats good food and He drinks wine! He hangs out with prostitutes and publicans and sinners. Therefore, they said, he must be a glutton.

MAT 11:19, The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax gatherers and prostitutes!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. The Lord said in MAT 11:16, “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other {children},” and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’Paul said in 1CO 2:15, But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. The only one that really knows you is God. In fact, you don’t even know yourself as well as you think that you do. This is why David said in PSA 19:12, Who can understand his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Paul said in 1CO 4:4, For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. You may surrender a little of your thoughts, your thinking, your deepest secrets in a friendship, or in romance, or a marital relationship, that’s your prerogative. However, nobody knows your heart. This is why COL 2:16 warns us,Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Don’t let anybody tell you what you should eat or drink or what holy days you should be celebrating. Our lives should not be caught up in religion or in the ministry but should be caught up in occupation with Christ.  The early church had problems with preconceptions and arrogance, in which Paul and Peter and Apollos were claimed by certain parties (1CO 1:12; 1Co 3:4-6). That is what the kingdom of darkness wants to blind you from, the content of the message, because it is the word of God which is alive and powerful not the pastor’s personality, vocabulary, charisma, or lifestyle.

Point 13. The Angelic Observation and Opposition in Human History.

Angelic observation is a very interesting subject in the Word of God. Elect angels observe human history while fallen angels are designed to oppose human history. For example, elect angels rejoice over the salvation of one person,LUK 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

In the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, angels observed every part of the First Advent and incarnation of our Lord; 1TI 3:16 says that He was, Beheld by angels. In the dispensation of the Church-age, angels observe members of the Royal Family of God in their failure or success to execute and fulfill the PPOG (1CO 4:9; EPH 3:10; 1TI 5:21;1PE 1:12). In 1CO 4:9, Paul said, “For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.”  The Greek word for spectacleis theatron meaning a theater, a place for public shows. In EPH 3:10 we read, in order that the multi-faceted or many-sides of the wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. Angels even observe the believers in the Church-age receiving commands from headquarters according to 1TI 5:21, I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. Angels also desire and long to look into the things that so many of God’s people take for granted, 1PE 1:12, It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
In MAT 18:10 angels also observe and protect children, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.
In 1CO 11:10, angels observe the attitude that the woman has toward her husband and the symbol of authority that it represents, Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
So angels learn from us but even more than that our life judges angels, 1CO 6:3, Do you not know that we shall judge angels?

While the elect angels observe us, Satan has organized a tremendous demon army to hinder Church-age believers from fulfilling the PPOG. Satanic observation is also a part of the organization of fallen angels to resist evangelism and the fulfillment of the PPOG. Fallen angels are organized to resist and oppose positive believers (EPH 6:12-17;JOB 1:6; 2:1-3) 1PE 5:8, Be of sober spirit [Attain S.S.E.], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan has organized an almost foolproof system to get us out of the PPOG into cosmic systems one and two. Demons don’t just sit in the stands and watch us as do the elect angels; the demons are on the playing field. Satan has various functions as the ruler of fallen angels. For example, Satan and his angels are the enemy of unbelievers (LUK 8:12;2CO 4:3-4; 2TH 2:7-10; COL 2:8), LUK 8:12, “And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
Satan and his angels are the enemy of the Church-age believer (1Pe 5:6-9; 2CO 11:3; EPH 6:10-17). JAM 4:7,submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resist the devil means to not get involved in controversies that will sidetrack you from teaching the whole counsel of God. 2CO 11:3 says, But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
Satan and his angels are the enemy of the Church (REV 2:8-10, 12-13). We should never get our eyes upon people, but upon our true enemy, EPH 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Satan and his angels are the enemy of Bible doctrine, MAT 13:19, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.”
Satan and his angels are the enemy of Israel, REV 12:13-15, And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth [Satan is kicked out of heaven at the rapture], he persecuted the woman [Israel] who gave birth to the male child [TLJC – the one male who defeated Satan and the fallen angels]. And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.
Satan and his angels are is the enemy of the dispensation of the hypostatic union, REV 12:4, And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman [Israel] who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
Satan and his angels are the enemy of nations, REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;
Satan and his angels are the chief antagonists of the extension of the angelic conflict into human history, Heb 1-2.

Point 14. The Angelic Conflict In Human History Answers Basic Questions About Life. 

The first basic question that the angelic conflict answers is “Why the creation of man?” Mankind was created to resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict. Consequently, mankind was created to glorify God as an inferior creature to angels. The second question the angelic conflict answers is “Why sin?” Why did God create the human race knowing that they were going to fall and that the entire human race would be born in sin? To resolve the angelic conflict all members of the human race must have the same free will as angels have, and this free will can choose for or against God, as did the angels in eternity past. This free will is also the source of all human sin. The primary source of temptation is the old sin nature, but the source of sin is volition. In the original sin of man in the garden of Eden, there was the function of negative volition against the only prohibition in the garden. GEN 2:16-17, And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”  Satan is a master at twisting things around so that the truth will be confused, GEN 3:1, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” God said you could eat from any tree except one! Satan said, “Has God said you shall not eat from any tree?”

So God allowed sin into the human race, because to resolve the angelic conflict all members of the human race must have the same free will as angels. God must allow them to make negative decisions. However, God’s plan still went on and God turned the curse into a blessing because at the cross, all human sin was judged while human good was rejected, TIT 3:5, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
This is why the efficacious saving work of Christ on the cross is the basis for the strategic victory of the angelic conflict (Col 2:14-15; HEB 1:4-14, Heb 2). The cross was the place where God expressed His love, justice, and righteousness.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top