Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 12/04/05
The Angelic Conflict. Part 2.
The Existence or Rational Creatures.

We continue with our study on the Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict. Point 1 was our Definition: The angelic conflict is the result of the fall of all angelic creatures, with one third ending up in opposition to God. This began with the fall of Satan and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God. We use the term all angelic creatures because of what the word of God teaches us: the elect angels are “elect” or “chosen.” 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.
In angelic history, God had provided a decision making process by which angels could express non-meritorious positive volition. This is why we have both elect and fallen angels! The Bible seems to reveal some sort of reconciliation for angels (COL 1:20, PHI 2:10). Likewise, God provided salvation for all mankind, so man can express non-meritorious positive volition through faith in Christ (JOH 3:16). Angelic creatures are divided into two categories: Elect and Fallen angels (REV 12:7, 1TI 5:21, MAT 25:41, MAR 8:38). Mankind is divided into two categories: Believers and Unbelievers (JOH 3:36). The fall of man duplicates the fall of Satan in the Garden of God; both falls occurred during perfect environment. God created man as a rational creature lower than angels, duplicating, at a reduced scale, the conditions of the pre-historic angelic conflict. Man was given the opportunity to choose for or against God with one command, 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 dying spiritually you will die physically.”

Point 2. The Existence of Rational Creatures.

The scripture teaches that there are only two categories of rational creatures: first, the superior category called angels, which were created in eternity past, before the creation of the human race (PSA 8:4; HEB 2:7). The second category of rational creatures is mankind, with a complete soul essence, although they may not always be rational. Angels are superior to man by creation, but the structure of our souls is similar to theirs. Satan is the most brilliant of all creatures, the most attractive, and most personable, he is the son of the morning, the anointed cherub, EZE 28:14,You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. Satan, at one time, held the highest rank of all creatures. The cherub at that time was the highest form of angel, and the most superior form of angelic life; today the seraphim are the highest ranking angels, and are above the cherubs.

Because of the character and nature of God, He is righteous and just and immutable, we are forced to the conclusion that just as members of the human race are rewarded for their faithfulness to TLJC, so the angels were given rewards for living in something similar to our PPOG. So, we have a difference among the angels, just as among humans. 1CO 15:40-42, There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for stars differ from stars in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.

Angels were apparently created out of light, are able to move through space at will, and are invisible to the empirical investigation of mankind. This is very important to understand because of questions such as: Is there life on other planets or in the universe? The answer is yes, there are angelic creatures. There are creatures in the stellar space, fallen creatures, who enter into the supreme court of heaven under certain situations and circumstances; the atmosphere is filled with these invisible, superior rational creatures. These angels have observed Adam, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, TLJC, the apostle Paul, they have seen them all, and they know more about you than you know about yourself!

So, as a result of the pre-historic angelic conflict, certain elect angels received blessings and rewards which are comparative to our escrow blessings in time, so some elect angels have wings and others do not. As with humans, there are also degrees of rank and privilege among elect angels. TLJC has under Him high elect angels; the highest ranking ones are called Seraphim, angels with 6 wings. These angels guard the throne of God (ISA 6:1-7). Next are the Cherub ranked angels who have four wings, and then the Cherub angels who have two wings (Exo 25). However, not all angels have wings; in fact, very few angels have wings. The cherub was the highest ranked angel (Satan was the highest of these), but a new rank, called Seraphim, was given as a reward for certain angels. One of the Seraph angels is used to bring special messages and announcements (ISA 6:7). In Rev 5:2, he is known as the strong or powerful angel,R “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
REV 10:1 “And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;”  He is clothed with a cloud which represented the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Seraphim angel has a rainbow over his head representing the faithfulness and the integrity of God in protecting and perpetuating the human race, GEN 9:13, I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. His face was like the sun, representing God’s grace provision for disaster. His feet like pillars of fire represent the believer’s wall of fire.
In REV 14:18, he has authority over fire. In REV 14:15, the Seraph serves as a messenger between God the Father and God the Son in the administration of certain historical events such as the seven last plagues.
In REV 18:1, one Seraph is called the angel with great authority, After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.
In REV 20:1-3, there is a Seraphim with a key to the abyss or bottomless pit.

It is important to understand that wings represent power, speed, and purpose. EZE 10:9-13, Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels {was} like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. And as for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. When they moved, they went in {any of} their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went. And their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels.
In DAN 7:4, wings represent power, authority, and swiftness, “The first {was} like a lion and had {the} wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; [a human mind or the ability to perceive what was taking place in the human realm] also was given to it.
In DAN 7:6, wings represent being a general in the military, After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

In Isa 6, the Hebrew term seraphim means burning ones, and their title speaks of their consuming devotion to God. Seraphim were noted for their priestly type service to God. ISA 6:1-3, In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”
Note that the seraphim were above both sides of Jehovah on His throne proclaiming the glory of God. In ISA 6:4, the force of their voices was such that the supports of the throne room shook, And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.

In ISA 6:5-7, the seraphim express the holiness of God in rejecting any service performed without cleansing, Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. And he touched my mouth {with it} and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.”

The Seraphim appear to be that group of angels who became winners by understanding the righteousness and justice of God (the integrity of God) and the importance of proper motivation or a right thing being done in a right way. The cherub rank is lower than the seraph rank. Satan was the anointed cherub in EZE 28:14, and he was court-martialed,EZE 28:15-19; ISA 14:12-15EZE 1:4-14, 10:9-10 describe the cherubs as the vehicle of divine judgment in the O.T. In the great chariot of fire found in Ezekiel, one cherub was found at each of the wheels (2SA 22:11; PSA 18:10; Eze 1;10). Cherubs guard the gates of Eden (GEN 3:22-24).
In REV 7:1-2, a cherub commands 4 other wingless angels who control the weather of the earth, After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads.”
In REV 14:6-7, there is a cherub who is in charge of crisis evangelism. In REV 14:8, a cherub announces the fall of religion during the Tribulation, And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”
In REV 14:9, a cherub warns the human race about the consequences of being converted to the ecumenical religious system, And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand,”

There are different ranks among the angels, and wings represent power, rank, and authority. Unlike seraphim, most cherubim are not messengers; their main purpose and activity is to proclaim and protect God’s presence, sovereignty, and His holiness. In one sense, they proclaim to men the transcendent and unapproachable God, as in forbidding entrance into paradise and protecting and shading the ark. In another sense they speak of the revelation of God’s glory to man since they are associated with the visible form of the glory of God (EZE 1:4-28). From the vision of Eze 1, the cherubim indicate the intervention of sovereign God in the affairs of men. Throughout Ezekiel we see the glory of God associated with the cherubim disciplining Israel for sin and rebellion and judging ungodly nations, as well as cherubs intervening on behalf of Israel to bring about the accomplishments of God’s promises to Israel.

So, cherubim deal with the holiness of God outraged by sin and rebellion, whereas seraphim deal with the uncleanness of man as related to God. They emphasize God’s presence and holiness in their symbolic form upon the mercy seat which is above the lid of the ark of the covenant. These things were kept in the inner most sanctuary of the tabernacle where God’s Shekinah glory was pleased to dwell with His people. There God met sinful man on the basis of blood sacrifice, and through a God-given priesthood. In the ark were kept three articles which are the testimony to man’s sin. First, the tables of the Law, the Ten commandments, which the Jews disobeyed. Secondly, Aaron’s rod that budded, a testimony to all the sins that come from rejecting authority. Aaron’s rod was used for miraculous powers during the plagues of Egypt, but the Jews ended up rejecting its authority. Thirdly, a golden pot of manna representing the wonderful principle of logistical grace, and all of the sins that come from rejecting logistical grace support. So, in the box is that which represents sin categorically; all were reminders of God’s gracious provisions scorned and rejected by man. The cherubim would symbolically look down and see the sprinkled blood on the mercy seat covering the sins of the people symbolized by the three items under the lid of the ark. All of this pointed forward to TLJC who would shed His blood not just to cover sins, but to put them away by the sacrifice of Himself, HEB 9:6-26. In witnessing the sprinkling of the blood in HEB 9:5 the cherubim of glory were not only protectors of God’s glory but proclaimers of God’s grace, HEB 9:5, And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. God uses His creatures to reveal His glory, His truth, His character and nature, and especially His love.

There is another order of rank among the angels: the archangel and the special messenger. Michael and Gabriel are mentioned as archangels in the Bible and special messengers. Archangels are a very high category of elect angels. Michael commanded the army of angels who defended Israel; he is called the prince of Israel in DAN 10:21. In EPH 6:12, there is a special group of fallen angels assigned to discrediting and attacking rulers of this world and believers. They attack any nation operating under the laws of establishment and any local assembly operating under the truth of Bible doctrine. One of the most interesting glimpses we get into that unseen world is in Dan 10, where Daniel is drawn into a time of fasting and prayer for 21 days. And at the end of those 21 days, he is visited by an elect angel, who tells Daniel that he has been trying to get through to Daniel for 21 days.

DAN 10:1-21, In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and {one of} great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the entire three weeks were completed. And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris [another river in the Garden of Eden], I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with {a belt of} pure gold of U-phaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult [or a great crowd]. Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding {this} and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. [Notice the phrase “kings of Persia,” in the plural because it refers to certain fallen angels who are rulers of the cosmos.]“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet {future.}” And when he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. “For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.” Then {this} one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. And he said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. “However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these {forces} except Michael your prince [that’s Michael the archangel].

Notice the phrases in DAN 10:20, the prince of Persia and the prince of Greece. He is not talking about the prince or the king of Persia or the prince or the king of Greece; he is talking about the spiritual demonic angelic beings behind those two empires. He is talking about the rulers of the cosmos, Satan’s demon ambassadors. These fallen angels were able to intrude upon this messenger to prevent him from coming to Daniel for 21 days. And so what this messenger says in effect is “I am going to give you these great new chapters, chapters 11 and 12, but as soon as I do that I have to go back and fight these guys again.” Then in verse 20, the prince of Greece will follow. Both Persia, made up of current day Iraq and Iran, and Greece had demon rulers over them. This is a reference to these nations being under demonic leadership. The point is that there is warfare in the heavens all of the time which includes the clash of soldier-type angels. That’s why we have the angelic order of battle. The angelic order of battle begins number one with our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the commander and chief of the army of elect angels, under the title of Adonai tseba’ah, translated generally, the Lord of Hosts. Often people fail to realize that the word hosts meant armies hundreds of years ago when the English translations were translated. So His title is the Lord of the armies, as number one in the angelic order of battle.

Number two in the angelic order of battle are the archangels, or army commanders, and two of them are mentioned in the Bible, Michael and Gabriel. Michael commands the army of angels who defend Israel, so he has an additional title, he is called the prince of Israel in DAN 10:21. Michael will lead the elect angels into battle as they defend Israel during the Tribulation period according to several prophecies, DAN 12:1, REV 12:7-12, And there was a battle in heaven, Michael and his army of elect angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven [they were kicked out]. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now deliverance [the Second Advent], and the power, [Jesus Christ in hypostatic union, undiminished deity, true humanity in one person forever] and the kingdom of our God [the Father’s plan for the Millennial reign] and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. Furthermore they overcame him [Satan], because of the blood of the lamb [the saving work of Christ on the cross], and because of the doctrine applied by means of their testimony. In fact they did not love their life to the point of death. For this reason, be celebrating you heavens, [elect angels and resurrected Church-age believers] and you, who live temporarily in them, [O. T. saints and Tribulational martyrs, who reside in heaven in the interim body] Woe to both land and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having and holding on to great wrath, or foaming with fury because he knows that his time is short.

In DAN 12:1 we read, Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands {guard} over the sons of your people, [the Jews and every generation of human history] will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time [Tribulation period]; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. And that is by the Second Advent.

Gabriel is not only an archangel or army commander, but he is an officer of arms in the angelic college of Heralds. He was commissioned to explain to Daniel the vision of the Ram and He Goat in Daniel chapter 8, and Gabriel was sent to Zechariah to announce the birth of John the Baptist, so he has additional duties. He is a very unusual angelic creature in that he is in both the college of Heralds and the order of battle.

Gabriel is not only the army commander (possibly for Gentile client nations) in the angelic order of battle, but he also functions as one of the officers of arms in the angelic college of heralds. This implies that archangels are seraphs. You will recall that when an elect angel announced to the shepherds the birth of our Lord, he is joined by multitudes of heavenly armies praising God, according to LUK 2:8-13. And then we have ministering angels including in this group, according to HEB 1:13-14, But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies A footstool for Thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?  Even though there are only four categories in the actual order of battle, this is quite an extensive group.

We have been noting seven reasons for the world’s hostility and hatred toward the believer:
1) Because the kosmos system hates Christ. 
2) Because once a person is in the plan of God, as a believer priest, they no longer belong to the world. 
3) Because of the principle: the slave is not greater than his master (JOH 15:20). 
4) Because the kosmos is ignorant of the plan of God (JOH 15:21). 
5) Because their (those in the kosmos) old sin nature is exposed. 
6) Because the world hates God the Son and therefore they hate God the Father Who sent Him. By the way, the world does not hate God the Holy Spirit, because they really know nothing about Him. That’s why 1CO 2:14 says,But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Finally, in JOH 15:23-24, we read, “He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.”This leads us to the seventh reason the kosmos hates the believer found in JOH 15:25, “But {they have done this} in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.”

In spite of the seven reasons why the world hates us today in the intensified stage of the angelic conflict, God’s plan will continue on the earth. The plan now comes from two sources, in JOH 15:26, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and in verse 27, the ministry of every believer. Every believer is in full time Christian service. Joh 15:26-27  “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, {that is} the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you {will} bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

This is addressing God the Holy Spirit, as the first witness, who would begin the Church-age on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. One of His primary functions is the communication of doctrine, so that an edification structure, built from residual doctrine, will enable us to stand-up against the pressure and antagonism of the cosmos. The second witness is the believer himself (JOH 15:27) in his ambassadorship, which we have recently studied. Every believer is a witness for Christ. Verse 27 is a reference to the disciples. They have been with Him from the beginning of His earthly ministry, and when the Church-age begins, they will bear witness, and this witnessing principle will be perpetuated to all generations, right down to us today. These two witnesses counteract and counterattack the devil’s world.

John chapter 16 is a continuation of the Gethsemane discourse and an extension of the angelic conflict from the standpoint of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in verses 1-15, and the ministry of God the Son in verses 16-33. In this chapter, TLJC is anticipating the coming of the Church-age, the dispensation in which He is glorified at the right hand of God the Father.  This dispensation is where the intensification of the angelic conflict begins. Therefore, we have begun a study of the doctrine of the Angelic Conflict.

Point 1 is a definition: 
The angelic conflict is the result of pre-historic creatures being in opposition to God, which began with the fall of Satan, and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God. It refers to two trials of Satan and the fallen angels, one in pre-historic times, the other during human history. MAT 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;” This verse is a reference to angels who are under a curse from eternity past. This is why 1TI 5:21 calls certain angels His chosen or His elect angels. The angelic conflict is the result of the fall of all angelic creatures with more than one third ending up in opposition to God, which began with the fall of Satan and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God.

The question which needs to be answered is: “Did more than one-third of the angels fall or did they ALL fall and nearly two-thirds came back to Christ through a salvation provided by Him, which is why they are said to be ELECT?” The information we have on the pre-historic past is very vague. However, this should not lead us into thinking that we cannot draw conclusions by comparing scripture with scripture. We can see the results of the restoration of planet earth, the creation of mankind, and the continuing angelic conflict, and we can see their causes. We know that before the creation of mankind Satan had fallen (ISA 14:12; EZE 28:15). We also know that there was a category of angelic creation that was fallen and a category that was called elect and holy angels. 

REV 12:3-4, And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon [Satan] having seven heads and ten horns [or control of seven heads and ten horns, which is the revived Roman empire of the Tribulation plus ecumenical religion], and on his heads were seven diadems or crowns. And his tail [Satan’s power] swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and He [God] threw them to the earth [this will happen in the middle of the Tribulation].And the dragon [Satan] stood or who had stood before the woman [the virgin Mary] who was about to give birth[This was what Satan tried so hard to stop, anticipating the virgin birth of Christ], so that when she gave birth he[Satan] might devour or destroy her child [destroy the humanity of Christ]. In MAR 8:38, and Luk 9:26, we read,“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and {the glory} of the Father and of the holy angels.”

In REV 14:10, notice what it says for those who receive a mark upon their forehead, “he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” We may conclude that the only reason why the angels are called holy angels is because God made them holy by providing for them some non-meritorious way to receive His righteousness. This view is further strengthened by the Word of God which states that Jesus Christ ALONE is the holy One. REV 15:4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed.
REV 16:5, And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous art Thou, who art and who was, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things;

Since Jesus Christ is called the only Holy One, meaning that He alone is the only One who remains experientially holy, how can it be that the elect angels are called holy? This is a seeming contradiction unless the angels were made holy after they were found to be unholy. In REV 7:10-12, resurrected believers praise the Lord for salvation, and the angels join in by twice saying Amen. Amen means that they concur, agree, and express that they believe it. That is, they personally believe and understand salvation. REV 7:10-12, and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

In the Tribulation, while angels bring divine judgment upon the earth, no angel is allowed to execute this judgment apart from Jesus Christ because He alone is worthy, REV 5:2-5, And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it. And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
In Job we find the statement that God charges error against His angels and this is used to argue that no man can be just before God. The argument would lack logic if only some angels were charged with error. JOB 4:17-18, Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error.

It is very interesting, and important to note, that at the fall Satan had offered man a counterfeit salvation (operation fig leaf) prior to God offering man the true salvation. True salvation looked ahead to Christ, GEN 3:21, And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Satan’s counterfeit was fig leaves, GEN 3:7, Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. A counterfeit pre-supposes understanding of the real. Therefore, Satan would have had to have some prior knowledge of salvation in order to offer a counterfeit plan for covering sinfulness and disobedience.

The key word in all of these passages is the word HOLY, hosios in the Greek, which is used to express the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word is used eight times in the Scriptures for TLJC, and only looks at the absolute uniqueness of Him. Hosios is used of His person in ACT 2:27 and ACT 13:35, as the grantor of blessings for the believer in ACT 13:34, and as His qualification to be High Priest in HEB 7:26. Hosios is also a pre-requisite for prayer in 1TI 2:8. Hosios is that which should become a believer’s testimony in 1TH 2:10. Hosios is the believer’s goal in LUK 1:75, and a characteristic of the new self or new man in Eph 4:24. Therefore, only the Lord Jesus Christ remains experientially holy, and the four verses where this word is used as an adjective for angelic beings shows us that all angels were once unholy and those who accepted God’s plan for salvation became holy.

There is a syllogism to this: A. Christ is the ONLY Holy One. B. Since  men, angels, and things (animal sacrifices etc.) are called holy and His unique holiness is a perpetual holiness, the holiness of others is passed down as a gift and not inherent. C. Angels are called holy and therefore must have been made holy from a status of not being holy, much like the Christian.

Another principle to consider is that no one is perfect but Jesus Christ. PSA 89:5-8, And the heavens will praise Thy wonders, O Lord; Thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord, A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him? O Lord God of hosts, who is like Thee, O mighty Lord? Thy faithfulness also surrounds Thee.

In COL 1:19-20 Jesus Christ is said to reconcile all things to Himself, For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Reconciliation is the making of peace between those who are enemies. In these verses the Lord is said to accomplish this for things on earth and in heaven.

The condemnation against Satan in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 is very specifically against him and him alone. However, after his sin and fall, God allowed him to tempt all the other angels to follow him. God did not interfere with this evil scheme because in His omniscience He knew they would buy the lie and He had something far better for them, salvation. Suppose that all the angels fell and at that moment, God stepped in with judgment. Upon being judged, found guilty and condemned, Satan objected and accused God of not being a just God, of violating His essence, His love, His fairness, His omniscience, etc. As Satan stood condemned, all the angels stood condemned, but condemnation only sets up the divine provision of reconciliation. God offered to the angels a way for their sin to be forgiven in which His divine attributes would in no way be compromised. We only have one vague reference to angelic salvation in the Scripture, HEB 2:2-4, For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,  how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,  God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. This verse tell us that there is some kind of parallel being drawn between angelic salvation and human salvation.

We can see in the initial fall of man, the subsequent attempt at deception by Satan, and the subsequent salvation offered by God a possible parallel to angelic salvation. Satan fell due to his own initiative and then deceived other angels. In the same way Satan as the serpent deceived the woman (GEN 3:5). Adam, however, fell without deception; he chose to disobey God just as Satan did. At the fall then we have one who disobeyed out of his own initiative and one who was deceived. This pattern reflects what may have happened in the angelic realm. Satan disobeyed by his own initiative and the other angels were deceived.

There are also additional evidences that these things are true:
1) The Ark of the Covenant illustrates that angels benefit from the work of Christ.
2) The Veil of Exodus 26:31-35 in the Temple was a reminder of the humanity of Christ. Part of it was made of fine white linen which looks at experiential +R. This veil was to be made with cherubim on it. The curtain speaks of Christ and His work and the angels were on the curtain themselves, EXO 26:31, And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.
3) The linen curtains of Exodus 26:1-6 were also of the same color scheme as the veil and looked ahead to the person and work of Christ in salvation. These also had angels embroidered on them. The angels partake of Christ’s place of origin, heaven, and of his royalty, in the presence of God. They partake of His work in salvation, which is represented by the scarlet color.
4) Angels also are often pictured as wearing white garments. In MAR 16:5, the two angels at the tomb are said to be in white garments, And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. In Revelation 19:8 the church, the bride of Christ, is also clothed in white linen garments. This white garment represents the righteousness of God that He imputed to us and therefore represents the same for the angels who accepted angelic salvation.

1) Satan counterfeited salvation to Adam and the Woman prior to God’s offer of salvation to them which would indicate a prior knowledge of salvation.
2) Any position regarding what happened in the fall of angels, their salvation, etc, is an argument from silence and with that, the only value of one argument over another is its consistency with the character of God and the parallel to other known events.
3) God is a God of mercy and the greatest expression of mercy is to offer peace or reconciliation to one’s enemies. 
4) God is absolutely just and fair and could not have offered salvation to man and not offered it to another creation, angels, who had also fallen.
5) Only Christ is forever holy and pure and blameless.  For another creature to have these characteristics inherent in them and maintained in them by freewill would have meant that they could have died for the sins of creation. Therefore, no angel was qualified to go to the Cross.
6) Angels are very much a part of the tabernacle, the ark, the veil, the curtains which all look ahead to Christ and His salvation work. 
7) Hebrews 2:9-10 indicate that Christ would taste death for all creation, But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone [pas-all]  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
8) The garments of angels are the same garments given to saved mankind in eternity. 9) In 1TI 5:21 angels are called chosen or elect which would indicate that there was a time when they were not chosen and not elect.
10) COL 1:20 indicates that Christ reconciled all things to Himself, things on earth and things in heaven, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Therefore, the angelic conflict refers to the two trials of Satan and the fallen angels, one in pre-historic times, the other during human history. In our subject, the trial phase begins with the fall of man in the garden and continues until the beginning of the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. Mankind was created and human history began in order to duplicate the conditions of the pre-historic angelic conflict. This provided both evidence and precedence for Satan’s appeal trial during human history. The fall of man in the garden of Eden actually duplicates the fall of Satan in the garden of God. Both falls occurred during perfect environment. 

The trial phase in the court of appeals is essentially Old Testament history. It began in Gen 3. God created man as a rational creature lower than angels, duplicating on a reduced scale, the conditions of the pre-historic angelic conflict. Man was given the opportunity to choose for or against God with one command from God, only one thing was forbidden. God entered His evidence by creating man just as the angels were created: innocent (or perfect) with the potential to love and worship God through right decisions and the potential to become imperfect by wrong decisions. Human history provides similar circumstances and options which belonged to angelic history before man’s creation. For example, Satan had been created in perfect innocence; Adam was created in perfect innocence. The angels have free will; man has free will. Adam freely and deliberately chose to follow the pattern of arrogance which characterized Satan’s original revolution, ISA 14:12-14. So the fall of Adam duplicates the fall of Satan.

In angelic history, God had provided a decision making process by which angels could express non-meritorious positive volition. Likewise, God provided salvation for all mankind so that man can express non-meritorious positive volition through faith in Christ (JOH 3:16). Here is another similarity: through the exercise of their free will, angelic creatures are divided into two categories: elect and fallen angels (REV 12:7, 1TI 5:21, MAT 25:41, MAR 8:38). Through the exercise of their free will mankind is divided into two categories, believers and unbelievers (JOH 3:36). Human history is not only coterminous with the appeal trial of Satan and his fallen angels, but human history is the actual courtroom for that trial, and mankind was created to be a part of that trial.

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