GOD’S ANGELS -- SATAN’S ANGELS
Angels are spirit beings, created and directed by God to establish His will on earth. Even Lucifer, the highest in perfection of beauty among angels, who aspired to be equal with God, was himself created by God. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created.”
The word ‘angel’ means ‘messenger,’ and throughout the bible their most common task was relaying messages, and performing activities as directed by God, as in this example of the angel’s message to Zacharias: “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” Luke 1:13.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that angels are appointed by God to minister to the needs of those who will receive the salvation of the Lord: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Heb 1:14. Note that their ministry is not restricted to Christians, but “those who will inherit salvation,”
THE ORIGIN OF LUCUFER AND THE FALLEN ANGELS
The name Lucifer means ‘light bearer,’ coupled with the added title, ‘son of the morning,’ showing the excellence of his glory before pride brought about his downfall. Lucifer was the name given to Satan before he envied God, and incited a revolt in heaven, and by his lies and deception, drew a third of the angels into his revolution. In this reading from Ezekiel, we see that Lucifer was the seal of perfection, honoured by standing in the presence of the Most High.
“Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezek 28:12-15 KJV.
The following reading from Isaiah describes the fall of Lucifer.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (Angels of God): I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isa 14:12-15.
THE OTHER FALLEN ANGELS
This reading from Revelation describes Satan and his confederate beings being cast out of heaven to the earth. The dragon is Satan, and seven heads and ten horns tell us that he had all power and authority before his fall.
“And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” Rev 12:3-4.
The stars symbolise angels who fell with Satan, and his tail is a symbol of lies and deception. Possibly when he revolted in heaven, Satan promised that in the new order he was to bring about, they would be more exalted with positions of more authority and power. Believing his lies, a third of the angels joined in Satan’s revolt, and were cast out of heaven, and on to the earth.
THE EFFECT OF THE CROSS OF JESUS
Before his fall, Satan had a legal right to be in heaven, and to accuse people of wrong doing before God’s throne of judgment, as in the case of his accusations against Job. When Jesus, by the Spirit, offered Himself before the throne of God, having accomplished the salvation of mankind, (Heb 9:14), Satan had no legal spiritual right to accuse man before God’s throne in heaven, and so was cast down to earth.
“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.” Rev 12:7-9.
ANGELS OVER NATIONS
In response to Daniel’s prayers and fasting, Gabriel, one of the chief angels, was sent to minister to him.
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in colour, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigour was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 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. Dan 10:2-13.
It is worth noting the pre-conditions that led to the visitation of the angel.
1. Daniel, who was greatly loved by God, earnestly sought to know truth.
2. He humbled himself before God in fear and trembling.
3. He engaged in what is now known as a ‘Daniel’ fast, one that could be carried on for some time. He ate no pleasant food, or engaged in any luxuries.
4. He waited on God, not pressing Him for an answer.
As soon as Daniel sought to know truth, the angel endeavoured to come to him, “but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood” him. This was not a physical prince, but an archangel of Satan, who endeavoured to stop the message being delivered. This suggests that there are satanic archangels over all nations, endeavouring to turn hearts and activities away from God to the will of Satan. It seems logical to suppose that there are angels of God over nations, endeavouring to establish God’s will and kingdom in its midst.
Psalm 33 declares “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Ps 33:12. This means that a nation that claims itself to be a Christian nation, who acknowledge God and Jesus Christ, will be overseen and blessed by God’s angels. This proclamation by nations is now being vehemently opposed by those under the power of Satan, who declare that in a multi-cultural society, we would offend believers of other religions. But Jesus said, “…whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Matt 10:33.
Paul told the Ephesians that we are in the midst of a spiritual battle between God and Satan. “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.” Eph 6:12-13.
This reading describes a well-structured organization of satanic beings. “Principalities,” and “powers,” describe the highest order of satanic angels, like those over countries and governments. “Rulers of the darkness of this age,” point to satanic angels over all forms of wickedness, like the drug trade, prostitution, slavery, corruption, and precipitating wars, revolutions, and genocide. “Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” describe the hosts of demon spirits in the surrounding atmosphere that are appointed to plague and torment all human beings, enticing them into all forms of immorality, and distressing them with fears, guilt, depression, and all kinds of psychological and emotional anxieties.
ANGELS AS GUARDIANS OF MANKIND
Through the scriptures there are many examples of guardian angels. E.g.
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” Matt 18:10-11.
“…there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his [Elisha’s] servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17.
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.” Ps 34:7.
“For He shall give His angels charge over you. In their hands they shall bear you up, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Ps 91:11-12.
“Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” Acts 12:7-11.
“For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Acts 27:23-25.
BREAKS IN ANGEL’S HEDGE OF PROTECTION
When we are walking in order in God’s will, angels form a hedge of protection around us, but when we are out of order the hedge is broken, and we are vulnerable to attacks from spirits of Satan. Such is the case of those who have opened themselves to receiving a Jezebel spirit, or spirit of witchcraft, by usurping authority not due to them, seeking to control the lives of others. A common occurrence is wives overruling the husband’s authority. Jesus’ judgment of the church at Thyatira presents us with a stern warning concerning the operation of spiritual witchcraft, and its effect on others
“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” Rev 2:20-23.
Jesus was not referring to a woman named Jezebel, but a woman with a Jezebel spirit, or spirit of witchcraft, incurred when she had wrongfully taken unto herself authority as a prophet and teacher, and had led many at Thyatira astray. In ministry, true spiritual authority is only granted to those called and trained by the Lord, and equipped by the Spirit to undertake the role set before them.
Christ presented a severe warning to those who engaged with her in her false authority, because its source was Satan: “I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death.” Adultery refers to spiritual adultery, and death refers to spiritual deadness or premature physical death. How does this happen?
Scriptures showed that angels form a hedge of protection around believers and their families. The next reading reveals that the hedge of protection is only kept intact when authority is honoured. First Paul sets forth a chain of authority in the will of God.
“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” 1 Cor 11:3. This could be extended further with “Children, obey your parents in the Lord…” Eph 6:1.
It should be noted that this is God’s allotment of authority for a family unit. When there is obedience throughout the chain of authority, each link is a covering for that below it. When there is obedience throughout the chain, God provides the protective covering of his angels over each member of the family. If one link is broken, like the wife usurping the husband’s authority, the family is unprotected. That is why Paul took pains to instruct women to remain under the authority of her husband. “For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” 1 Cor 11:3-10. The words in italics have been inserted by translators, and so the proper translation is, the woman ought to have authority (that is the authority of her husband) on her head, because of the angels.” The angels Paul is referring to are the ones appointed by God to be a hedge of protection around the family.
It is important to see that the husband’s authority is not overbearing, but self-sacrificial in nature, in line with the Lord’s instructions:
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Eph 5:22-25, 28-29.
In the chain of authority, the Lord is the head of the husband, and so it is imperative for the husband to exercise his headship ‘in the Lord,’ seeking the Lord’s oversight and control. It is unfortunate that in modern society, that often men fail to exercise their authority, and families are controlled by the wife, thereby losing the covering of protection of the angels.
WARFARE IN THE HEAVENLIES
As stated earlier, God’s angels are sent forth to minister to the children of the Lord. There is continual warfare in the heavenlies as Satan’s angels and demon spirits oppose God’s angels in an attempt to further Satan’s control over man. The outcome of each battle depends on the mind and heart attitude of those involved. It is not that God’s angels are weakened, and cannot successfully oppose evil angels, but where a mind and heart is against God’s will, protective angels have to give way, and allow Satan the right to cause harm and torment. On the other hand, where a person’s heart is set to obedience, standing firm in righteousness by the blood of Jesus, wielding the sword of the truth of Satan’s defeat by the cross of Jesus, then Satan’s spirits have to give way, enabling God’s angels to bring forth victory and overcoming.