Spirituality Magazine

Order in the Court of the King! (Angelic Relationships)

By Mmcgee4

Grace Thoughts

Order in the Court of the King! (Angelic Relationships)

Order in the Court of the King! (Angelic Relationships)

One of the first things we see in the Bible is the importance of relationships. Why? Because God is a relationship – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the Eternal Family. Is it any wonder that He would create ‘families’ when He created the heavens and the earth?

Families of the Heavens and Earth

One of the beautiful thing about families is how harmonious relationships bless all around them. Look at the ‘family relationships’ God created in Genesis 1 –

  • light and darkness – day and night (evening and morning)
  • firmament and waters (above and below)
  • dry land (Earth) and water (Seas)
  • grass, herbs that yield seed, fruit trees that yield fruit
  • great lights – one to rule the day (sun), one to rule the night (moon), and stars
  • living creatures – birds, sea creatures, cattle, creeping things, beasts of the earth, and every living thing that moves – with the ability to be fruitful and multiply
  • humans (male and female) made in the image of God, with the ability to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it – to have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth

All of these are types of ‘familial’ relationships. God created them in an ‘orderly way.’ We learn more about the families that can be fruitful and multiply in Genesis 2 –

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:18-24

There is one family relationship not mentioned in Genesis 1 or 2. It is not until Genesis 3 that we receive a ‘hint’ of another family – the family of angels.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. Genesis 1:1

Enter the devil. Who is he? According to what we read throughout the Bible, the ‘serpent’ in the Bible was an angel in disguise. The devil’s name is Satan, but he is also called ‘the devil’ in Scripture. We see the ‘devil’ tempt Jesus to sin in the wilderness. Jesus did not sin as Adam did. Jesus was not deceived as Eve was. Jesus spoke in Matthew 25 that the ‘everlasting fire’ had been prepared for ‘the devil and his angels.’ Interesting. The devil has his own angels. How did that happen?

The Creation of Angels

The Bible clearly supports the existence of supernatural beings called ‘angels.’ The Bible also clearly states that God created these supernatural beings —

You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You. Nehemiah 9:6

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:14-16

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:1-3

God created His ‘family’ of angels prior to creating the earth because they ‘shouted for joy’ when they saw God’s handiwork –

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7

The number of angels that God created was enormous. Revelation 5:11 lists the number of angels ‘around the throne’ in the hundreds of millions (‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’). That’s just around the throne, so the actual number of angels may be larger.

The majority of angels have a deep reverence for God. They are in ‘awe’ of Him. However, some do not revere God. Why not?

Rift or Divide?

Something terrible happened within the angelic family. It was more than a ‘rift’ within the angelic family. It was a severed ‘divide.’ Relationships were broken forever. It seems that Satan was at the center of the dispute. Jesus spoke of it in the context of the power He gave His disciples over demons – “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Satan’s fall from Heaven was swift and explosive, like lightning.

Some people think the ‘Lucifer’ mentioned in Isaiah 14 is a description of what led to the divide, though the context is the fall of the king of Babylon. The Hebrew word for ‘Lucifer’ is הֵילֵל and means ‘a shining one.’ It’s no wonder that the Apostle Paul, speaking in the context of false apostles, said of the devil – “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Some people think that Ezekiel 28:12-14 refers to the fall of Satan, though the context is the king of Tyre. The use of the term ‘covering cherub’ (kərūḇ hassōḵêḵ) and reference to him being in ‘in Eden, the garden of God’ and ‘on the holy mountain of God,’ have led many to believe Ezekiel was describing Satan before and after he sinned against God.

We know about the deep divide within the ‘heavenly host’ (host of angels) from many events recorded in Scripture. The first was the devil either ‘appearing’ as a beautiful creature (serpent) in the Garden of Eden or ‘possessing’ the creature. Satan has the ability to ‘possess’ (enter into) other beings, as we see in Luke 22:3 – “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.”

Satan is usually in the background of evil across the world. The Apostle Peter wrote of his activities – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). That played out for all to read about in the Book of Job.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6-7

That’s exactly what Peter said the devil was doing – “going to and fro on the earth.” What Satan did not say in Job is that he wanted to ‘devour’ someone, but it became apparent quickly that devouring Job is exactly what Satan wanted to do. God granted only a portion of the devil’s desire to devour, as you can read in Job chapters 1 and 2. The important thing to note in both chapters is that Satan had access to stand before God in Heaven, along with the other angels (‘sons of God’) who had come to ‘present’ themselves to God. However, Satan’s desire was different than the other angels. He wanted to ‘destroy’ Job. God would not allow that. Which takes us back to Peter, who told Christians to ‘resist’ the devil, “steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). James, the half-brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church, wrote – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Both of those are very bold statements in light of the supernatural power of the devil. However, Christians can resist the devil through the power of God.

Michael and Satan

Michael is an ‘archangel.’ That means God gave Michael ‘overarching authority’ when He created the angelic host. Michael is the only angel referred to as an ‘archangel’ in the Bible, specifically in Jude 1:9. The Greek word ἀρχάγγελος means “chief angel, of the first order of angels, of the highest rank of angels.” Interestingly, Jude mentions Michael’s position as ‘chief angel’ in the context of this – “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Contending with devil about the body of Moses was not the first or last time Michael the Archangel and Satan would lock horns. The prophet Daniel mourned, fasted, and prayed to God for three full weeks. Why would it take so long for God to answer Daniel? The reason was a supernatural battle that brought Michael the Archangel to fight against wicked forces –

Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come. Daniel 10:10-14

This reference, “one of the chief princes,” may mean there are other archangels. However, the Protestant Bibles (with 66 Books) only mentions one. Gabriel is mentioned as a ‘messenger’ angel who ‘stands in the presence of God’ (Luke 1:19). Gabriel brought Daniel messages from God, so it was probably Gabriel who Michael helped in the opposition from the ‘prince of the kingdom of Persia.’ That supernatural ‘prince’ may have been Satan himself. No doubt, he did not want God’s answer to Daniel’s prayers to reach him.

The Apostle Paul refers to these types of battles in his letter to the Ephesians –

 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13

These supernatural battles occur because of the great ‘divide’ between those angels who obey God and those who don’t. The battles have raged for thousands of years and will continue until the end of the age when Michael and his angels will finally defeat Satan and his angels.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:7-9

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. Revelation 20:1-3

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:7-10

The Angels Now

We see throughout Scripture that angelic beings are deeply involved in our world as well as in Heaven. Those who have been obedient to God and did not leave their “proper domain, but left their own above (Jude 1:6) are called ‘ministering spirits’ “for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

Some of those evil supernatural beings are called ‘demons’ (δαιμόνιον – evil spirit). They have the ability to ‘possess’ (δαιμονίζομαι – be under the power of a demon) people. However, they know their future and are well aware of the power Jesus has over them –

When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time? Matthew 8:28-29

Jesus explained the ‘torment’ demonic angels would face when he explained that the ‘everlasting fire’ of hell had been ‘prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41). We see in Revelation 20 that the devil will be cast into the “lake of fire and brimstone”, along with the beast, false prophet, Death, Hades, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life.” The angels who disobeyed God and became His enemies are well aware of the torment they will face.

Jesus had the power to cast demons out of people and gave that same power to His apostles and a group of disciples. Demon possession exists to this day according to many Christians who’ve dealt with them. Paul, who cast demons out of people in his day, said we would do battle with “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” That sounds like an evil organization with a somewhat ‘orderly’ system for doing battle with God’s chosen people. No Christian, no church, should think they can do spiritual battle with Satanic forces without following God’s Word to the letter. To drift off the path of obedience to God is to set oneself up for a great fall.

Angels are extremely powerful, but not ‘all-powerful.’ Only God is All-Powerful. Angels are immortal, but not ‘eternal.’ Only God is Eternal. Angels and other supernatural beings come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. While some angels have wings, some do not. For example, cherubim and seraphim are described as having wings (e.g. Exodus 25:20; Ezekiel 10; Isaiah 6). Ezekiel saw supernatural beings with wings surrounded by wheels (Ezekiel 1). Hebrews 1:14 refers to angels as being ‘spirits.’ A ‘chariot of fire’ appeared with ‘horses of fire’ in 2 Kings 2, which separated Elijah from Elisha and took Elijah ‘be a whirwind into heaven.’

Although angels are usually invisible to humans, some can appear to humans. Examples include Genesis chapters 18 and 19, 2 Kings 6, and Luke chapters 1 and 2. The writer to Hebrews wrote – “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2). That would indicate that we could see angel without realizing they were an angel. They would appear as ‘strangers’ to us. God also sends angels to communicate with humans through dreams. Some examples include Genesis chapters 28 and 31, and Matthew chapters 1 and 2.

Heavenly Family

God’s ‘Heavenly Family’ is ordered and decent. The ‘family’ glorifies God and finishes the work God has given them to do. That is how things should be in Heaven. That is why Jesus taught us to pray –

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10

Next Time

We will look at God’s relationships with humans in the next part of our special series of studies.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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