DOCTRINE OF THE ANGELIC CONFLICT

  1. The Bible reveals a superior type of life to mankind called angels (Ps.8:4,5; Heb.2:6,11; 2Pet.2:11; Ps.148:25). They are invisible (bodies composed of light), powerful, created beings with volition. Lucifer means, "bright shining one".
    1. Categories.
      1. Holy, elect (Mk.8:38, 1Tim.5:21).
      2. Fallen.
        1. Imprisoned "which kept not their first estate" (Gen.6; cp. 2Pet.2:4, Jd.6).
        2. Operative (demons, Mk.5; 1Cor.10:20,21; 1Tim.4:1; etc).
  2. The fall of Satan and his angels (Isa.14:12-14). Satan was arrogant and rejected the grace of God. One third of the angels went with him (Rev.12:4; Ezek.28; Heb.2:2), and expressed negative volition to Christ.
  3. Satan and the fallen angels were condemned to the Lake of Fire in prehistory (Mt.25:41 "...into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" [perf.pass.ptc. evtoima,zw, etoimazo-prepared]). Righteousness (+R) cannot tolerate anything less than +R.
  4. Human history was begun to resolve the appeal of Satan to the love of God. "How can a loving God cast His creatures into hell. Isn't that unfair?" This is an appeal to the love of God, not His total essence (+R, Justice). See Rev.20, where fallen angels are judged after human history.
    1. Diabolo,j, diabolos: slanderer, devil
    2. !j'f', satan: accuser, adversary, attorney.
  5. Man's creation was to resolve the Angelic Conflict and answer the appeal of Satan. Angels lived in the second heaven with access to the third for convocations, Job.1. After the revolt of Isa.14:12-14, Satan set up his headquarters on the earth and made a garbage dump out of it. It ended up being covered with ice and darkness. In six days, God (Holy Spirit) restored the earth to perfect environment and set up the volition test (Ps.8:35; Heb.2:7).
  6. Human volition was tested, as was angelic volition.
    1. Angels began perfect (innocent) with free will. Mankind also began perfect with free will.
    2. Some went negative, creating two categories. God does not coerce at any time. We are not robots.
  7. The two tests of man's volition.
    1. Under perfect environment, only one tree was forbidden to Adam (Gen.2:17).
    2. The second tree is the Cross (Gen.3:15; Rom.5:12; 6:23). Adam and Eve believed and were saved.
  8. Man's positive volition in God's plan destroys Satan's appeal (Heb.1:4-14; cp. Lk.15:710). Angels cheer when an unbeliever accepts Christ. We are under angelic observation.
    1. Angels observed the incarnation of Christ (Mt.4:11; 28:2; Lk.2:13; Act.1:10; 1Tim.3:16).
    2. Angels watch believers (1Cor.4:9; 6:3; 11:10; Eph.3:10; 1Tim.5:21; 1Pet.1:12).
    3. Fallen angels oppose believers (Job.1:6; 2:13; Eph.6:12).
  9. Results of the Angelic Conflict for this dispensation.
    1. Phase one, salvation. We are higher than angels positionally (Heb.2:7).
    2. Phase two, spiritual maturity. We can have a tactical victory in the Angelic Conflict. Any blessing we receive in the devil's world is a tactical victory. We cannot receive blessing without capacity (1Pet.1:7,8).
    3. Phase three, eternity. We will be experientially higher than angels (Phil.3:21).
  10. Man's fall gave the rulership of this world to Satan (Gen.3; Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2Cor.4:4; Eph.2:2) but man's positive volition can free him from Satan's domination while living in Satan's kingdom (Gal.5:1).
  11. Questions answered by the Angelic Conflict.
    1. Why was man created? To resolve the Angelic Conflict.
    2. What is history? An extension of, and conclusion to, the Angelic Conflict.
    3. Why sin? Because angels and man have volition. God is not the author of sin, Satan is, Jam.1:13.
    4. Why suffering? God is going to remove this, but right now this is Satan's kingdom and Satan cannot handle his own kingdom. The result is poverty, disease, war, death, etc. God's plan turns suffering into blessing.
    5. Why the Church? Col.2:10, the Church Age is unique. The Law could not handle our Phase 2, but the filling of the Holy Spirit and the completed canon of Scripture can. This is the covert intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict. The Great Tribulation will be the overt intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict.
  12. God's provision for us for the Angelic Conflict is spelled out in Eph.6:11-17.
 

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