GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 11/10/02.
The Angelic Conflict
Part 5 (Job, Ch. 1-2)
It is God's grace being manifested that brings glory to Him in the Angelic Conflict.
It is extremely significant that the first book God gave mankind opens with a scene in the courtroom of heaven as a human is being entered into the angelic conflict as a witness for God. Job is a book that gives us great insight into the angelic conflict and the reason we are here.
JOB 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright [respecting God], and turning away from evil [Job was a spiritually mature believer].
We now see an illustration of Satan's offensive action against God's mature believers in JOB 1:6-10, "Now there was a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And 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." And the Lord said to Satan, "[since you have been roaming about on the earth] 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." Then Satan answered the Lord, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land." God has prospered Job financially, and Job been successful in business.
Next comes Satan's contention in JOB 1:11, "But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." Then the Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.' So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord."
Being entered into the angelic conflict and suffering for blessing comes to the mature believer without notice, without warning, and without explanation, and always hits at the peak of his spiritual life. Most believers want to run away from the problem when they appeal to the grace of God, but this not what the Lord intended, JOH 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
We can use the grace of God to go through any situation in life but not as a means of "escape" whenever we get in a jam. The issue in glorifying God in the angelic conflict is very simple and very powerful-the Giver of grace must be more important to you than His gifts. The mature believer has the assurance that God is working all things together for good even though he has no immediate explanation for the cause of the suffering. In glorifying God in the angelic conflict, there must be realization of God's personal love for the believer. God must be more real than the even nightmare of undeserved suffering. Glorifying God at spiritual maturity is the challenge to trust God, to continue our intake of doctrine and personal love for God, and remain occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how unexplainable or intense the suffering may be. The greatest attack on human volition occurred in the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union against the humanity of Christ, HEB 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."
Satan's first assault and the result of Job's first test are found in JOB 1:13-22, "Now it happened on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, that a messenger came to Job and said, 'The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died; and I alone have escaped to tell you.' Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name [person] of the Lord.' Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God."
This is the highest category of suffering in life, and when this test is passed by the mature believer, it results in a great phenomenon that occurs perhaps only once or twice in every generation-a doubling of escrow blessings. At the end of Job's testing in the angelic conflict we read in JOB 42:12-13, "And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, and he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels, and 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys."
In Job 2 the second session is held in the Supreme Court of heaven, and Satan refuses to admit that he was wrong about Job. He walks into court still as proud as ever, JOB 2:1-5, "Again there was a day when the sons of God [angels] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From roaming about on the earth, and walking around on it.' And 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. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause.' And Satan answered the Lord and said, 'Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth Thy hand, now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face.'"
In this second test, Satan was able to inflict upon Job loss of health, but he was not allowed the power to take his life. Demon-induced illness is very much a factor in demonic deception today, as it has been almost since the beginning of human history. Many illnesses are caused by demon oppression or even demon possession. Satan is the source of various illnesses in JOB 2:6-8; MAT 12:22 cf. LUK 13:16; ACT 10:38.
JOB 2:6 "So the Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.'"
This is one of the greatest believers of all time, and God is turning him over to Satan to be tortured? This gives us some concept of what it means to glorify God in the angelic conflict, and its impact and importance. In all of this, there is never any human explanation. God is letting Satan have Job for a while to cross-examine him in the courtroom trial of angelic conflict. Satan is given the right to attack flesh and bone, but not the soul. Bible doctrine resident in the soul is more powerful than any pain that can be experienced in life.
JOB 2:7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils [skin cancer] from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
Job was not only in maximum pain, but at the same time he was totally disfigured. He has gone from handsome to loathsome, from successful to destitute.
JOB 2:8-9 And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!"
What brings out the best in Job brings out the worst in his wife! What brings out the best in the mature believer brings out the worst in the carnal believer.
JOB 2:10 But he said to her, "You are speaking as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job stayed in fellowship with God and is going to accept this as a gift from God just as he accepted all the prosperity.
In our study of the angelic conflict and how it relates currently to the Church and anti-Semitism, we must remember that Satan has one goal in the life of every believer. His goal is to lead all believers astray from the real reason that they are here and the accurate precise plan of God based upon the intake of doctrine. Any area in which you do not have sound doctrine in is an area open to deception. This means that anything that we think or do that is not oriented to the way God thinks is open to deception. The worst of all is to deceive ourselves, as in 1CO 3:18, "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish [realize that he is a fool] that he may become wise." Only Bible doctrine resident in the soul protects the believer from deception. People are easily deceived unless their soul is loaded with truth. Paul writes in EPH 4:14, "We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming." Peter instructs us in 2Pe 3:17, "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the deception of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness."
There are three important principles concerning the Christian way of life from which most people are blinded.
1. Bible doctrine is the least publicized of all priorities in this world because this is the devil's world.
2. Invisible heroes, like Bible doctrine, are the least publicized of heroes. Invisible heroes are described in 2Co 6:9,"We are unknown yet well-known"-unknown in human history but well-known in the angelic world where we are being watched very closely.
3. Like Bible doctrine and invisible heroes, the trial of the angelic conflict is the least publicized of all trials.
It is God's intention that every believer recognizes these principles and the reason they are here in relationship to glorifying God in the angelic conflict. It is God's will that every believer masters this information.
When Paul said in PHI 4:12 that he had learned the "mystery," he was referring to the mystery doctrine of the Church-age, which is used to bring glory to God in the angelic conflict. He then made the great statement in verse 13:"I can do all things [bear all tests] through Him who keeps on pouring His power into me." The angelic conflict is so profound that it must be revealed in increments. It is so magnificent that our frail design requires that it be revealed piece by piece until we get the full picture. Daily doctrine is so vital, a little here, a little there, ISA 28:10, "For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little."
EPH 3:10 In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places [the elect and fallen angels].
The word "manifold" is the Greek adjective "polupoikilos," which describes the multifarious, many-sided, multi-faceted wisdom of God. The greatest example is always the Cross. The Cross resolves the angelic conflict, Col 2:14-15. The Cross is the redemption solution for mankind, COL 1:20, the means of propitiating God the Father, HEB 12:2, and the means of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, GAL 6:14. There was something could not be discovered about God until the Church began. Until members of the church came on the scene, there was something that the angels could not discover about God in heaven. It was not until our Lord was born a member of the human race that a great mystery was revealed to the angels, 1TI 3:16, "And by common confession great is the mystery of the unique spiritual life: He [God] who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, beheld by angels, proclaimed among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."
Angels watched our Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, become a member of a lower creation than them, the human race. They realized that God was now going to do something magnificent in the angelic conflict which would ultimately bring glory to Him. The information revealed about the wisdom of God in the Church-age radically changes their universe. It resolves a conflict that has been raging in the universe for thousands of years. In every generation, there will be a few who will truly make a difference, not only in human history, but in the angelic conflict. They are the invisible heroes, the winner believers who will be applauded by angels in heaven. Winners will be acknowledged by the Lord Jesus Christ before His Father and the angels, REV 3:5, "'To the winner, I will acknowledge his name before My Father, and before His angels.'"
It is the mystery doctrine of the Church-age that brings glory to God when believers learn and understand it. Satan's entire effort is directed toward misdirecting you from this truth and dislocating pastors dispensationally, therefore misleading congregations thoroughly!
Every time anyone in this age chooses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God does something for them that staggers the minds of the elect and fallen angels. In choosing the plan of God at salvation through faith in Christ, regenerate mankind becomes positionally superior to angels through the baptism of the Spirit and resultant positional sanctification. This not only makes us Royal Family of God, but also a new spiritual species, making it possible for the first time in history for all believers to live the unique spiritual life of freedom instead of an independent life of slavery. The born-again regenerate member of the human race is now positionally higher than angels, since we are in union with Christ who is now seated at the right hand of the Father and higher than angels. This is a phenomenal, unique privilege given in this unique dispensation, the Church-age.
For a more detailed study, order last week's tapes, IA11-233 to IA11-236.