Good afternoon Robert!
I am trying to remember (which seems to be more the case everyday) where in scripture it references a story where the spirit or angel of God is delayed in coming to someone, because of a battle in another place. This angel explains this to someone. It was a story which also amplified that our battle is not against flesh and blood.
The verse is Daniel 10:13:
"But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."
Daniel 10:13 NIV
Thanks again for your encouragement of our friend Gaurav! Things are very difficult for him at present, so please continue to keep him in your prayers.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I have been reading the first part of the four The Satanic Rebellion: Background to the Tribulation and got to the part where you go into detail about Lucifer. What confounds me is if Lucifer was the pinnacle of created beings reflecting the beauty and wisdom of the Father how is it he did not take into account Jesus? Was Christ hid within the Father along with the Holy Ghost? Because you state that after the fall Christ became the morning star. It would seem that Lucifer could of seen it coming or maybe he was not as smart but then he was the pentacle of creation. It seems rather confounding to me.
Good to make your acquaintance. The gospel of John states that the Word (Jesus Christ) was "face to face" with the Father from the beginning (Jn.1:1-2). We have very few details about that time before the Genesis gap, and there is much that we would like to know for which we shall have to wait on the details, but I am sure, based upon what scripture says about the Trinity and the relationship between the Father and the Son that Jesus was present and visible, most likely in His manifestation as THE Angel of the LORD (see the link).
As to Satan's fall in the face of seeing Jesus and knowing about Him, consider that the devil certainly knew a great deal about the Father in any case. Satan absolutely should have known that rebelling against God was absolute folly. How could any mere creature or combination of creatures ever hope to defeat the One who made the universe and who holds it together "by His Word of power" (Heb.1:3)? So irrespective of your good question, what the devil did was mad. The thing about arrogance is that it blinds people. Whenever anyone turns from the truth, the next thing they do is to accept some lie in preference to the truth. This is what all unbelievers do as well. And the farther down this road people go, the harder their hearts are and the more oblivious to the truth they become. After all, we all know that we will die, and scripture tells us explicitly that every single person who ever lived at some point realized that God exists and that He is all powerful, all righteous, and all knowing – it is only when they substitute lies for the truth that they "forget" these critical things (Rom.1:18-32). Satan was mad to do what he did, but no more mad than every single unbeliever who has gone to hell from precisely the same sort of foolish reasoning. How in the world does anyone think they can stand up under judgment from the Lord without having made peace with Him first through the blood of His cross?
In addition to the Satanic Rebellion series, here are a couple of other links which discuss this subject which you may find helpful:
Is the Devil Mad to Oppose God?
Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?
Satan and the Existence of Evil.
The Cross, Sin, and the Devil in God's Plan.
Angelic Issues IV: Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God.
Free will faith and the WILL of God.
Angelic Issues V: Michael, the Angel of the Lord, Christophany, demons, cherubs, and Satan's revolt.
War in Heaven.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I read somewhere that Satan was the jealous creature original angel named Lucifer. Can you discus that?
Good to hear from you again. Lucifer is another name for the devil (who has many names, after all, see the link). Here is what I write about Lucifer in SR 4:
Lucifer: This Latin name meaning "light-bearer" is a common translation for the Hebrew heylel (הילל) at Isaiah 14:12, and refers to the Morning Star. This is the only title for the devil which is not derogatory, stemming from his pre-rebellion status as the representative of God to the angels. As the One who brings God's light to the world (Jn.1:4-10), Jesus Christ has won the name "Morning Star" (2Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28; 22:16).(70) For the original "bringer of light" has become the "prince of darkness" (cf. Acts 26:18; Eph.6:12; Col.1:13).
The passage where the name occurs, Isaiah 14, as well as Ezekiel 28, are speaking of the devil's rebellion and fall from grace; see the link: Satan's Character, Sin and Fall (in SR 1).
Please feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello Dr Luginbill, I just want to start off by saying your website is very helpful and informative. I appreciate all the work and effort you have put into it. I've read many of your articles (some many times over) over the past few years and I just had a few questions I was hoping you could help me with.
What kind of faith do the fallen Angels lack?
Faith is more than perception (e.g., Jas.2:19 NIV: "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder"). Faith – in terms of saving faith in Jesus Christ – is a fundamental turning away from the world and our lives in it towards God by trusting in Jesus Christ. Saving faith is the essential act of our free-will for which we have been given life. Human beings, of course, make that decision to flee to Jesus to be saved from a position of weakness, being mortal, sinful, and spiritually dead, and respond to the chance to be delivered from death, judgment and condemnation by accepting the Son of God as our Substitute since He died for us all. The angels were perfect and made their eternity-decision from a position of strength. The fallen angels decided to follow Satan and rebel against God. So this "faith" is also loyalty or allegiance, expressed in the case of angels by staying loyal . . . or not, expressed in the case of human beings by embracing Jesus, His perfect Person and His work for us on the cross, . . . or not. What we all have in common is that our decision determines where we will spend eternity and constitutes the essential expression of who we really are and what we really want – God's Will or our own. There is much more about this in BB 4 Soteriology (see the link).
Is it possible that their were angels or beings that God created that outranked Satan? The angel that bound Satan with a chain for a thousand years got me thinking. With Satan's power and wisdom, how is it that another Angel could bind him?
Scripture says that Satan was number one – before he rebelled (Is.14; Ezek.28). Like any of the rest of us, he only has as much power as God allows. Precisely how he is restrained we do not know, however nothing in the text of Rev.20:1ff. indicates to me that this angel does not have as much help as needed. I have suggested elsewhere that all fallen angels are similarly incarcerated at this time so that Satan will no doubt find himself actually under attack and without support at this point for the first time in his rebellious career (see the link: The Incarceration of Satan and his Demons ).
How did Adam forfeit his rulership of earth over to Satan and how come he could not get it back? What was it exactly that gave Satan rulership of the world?
Adam's rulership came from God and was dependent upon God's protection. Once he fell, it was taken away, having been usurped by the devil. Jesus won it back at the cross (Col.2:15ff.; cf. Heb.2:6-9), and will put that rulership back in place during the Millennium (see the link).
If Satan knows the anti-Christ will be thrown in the lake of fire and that will be followed by him being thrown in as well why would he be in any hurry to accomplish this plan? It seems the sooner he does this the sooner he gets tossed into the lake of fire.
I suppose that is one way of looking at it. But in any sort of military operation – and this is a war – accomplishing one's objectives as soon as possible before circumstances may make that impossible is always the key consideration for the side which is at a disadvantage. And as has been mentioned before, the devil in his self-inflicted spiritual myopia doesn't actually think that there is no possibility for him to win.
Why will believers judge angels and does this include the holy Angels?
Believers will share Christ's millennial reign and that will include being part of His millennial administration (see the link) and may certainly include giving directions to non-resurrected human beings, other members of the Church, and elect angels (depending, of course, on our rank at that time which will be based on our performance in this life). However, the "judging" of angels in 1st Corinthians 6:3 refers specifically to our participation (in resurrection) in the expulsion of fallen angels from Christ's millennial kingdom at the time of the second advent (see the link: in CT 6, "The Incarceration of Satan and his Demons").
Why was man created lower than the angels and why will man be above them after the resurrection?
We are created lower than the angels to demonstrate that the key factor in choosing for God has nothing to do with power or knowledge or opportunity but instead is a function of free-will. Mankind demonstrates – through Christ's sacrifice and the acceptance of it through faith by the elect – that Satan's complaints to the effect that God was unfair to condemn him and his followers are completely ungrounded: if the or any of his fallen angels had been willing to repent, God would have made reconciliation possible – because He has done so for fallen mankind at the greatest possible cost to Himself, the sacrifice of His one and only beloved Son our dear Lord Jesus. Since Jesus has become a human being to win this conflict and prove God's truth and righteousness – and has won it at the cross – as His Body, His Bride, we the Church now share everything He is and all He has won. Since He has become greater than the angels in His humanity in every way (Hebrews 1-2), we likewise are given to be resurrected in precisely the same way as He has been, becoming superior in our final state on account of sharing His superiority. And there is a perfect balance in all of this: we start lower but end higher; we start weaker but end stronger. We share Christ's sufferings, suffering through not only the troubles of human life which angels cannot really know except by observing us, but suffering through being attacked by evil one and his minions as we move resolutely up the high road to Zion following in the footsteps of our Master. It is surely fitting that we who have endured the most should likewise receive the more profound blessings in the Kingdom.
Why did God choose to create the human race through procreation? Did the angels have a simultaneous creation? If so, why the difference in the process?
The human experience is in many critical ways different from the angelic one. Unlike the angels, human beings have bodies (the one thing angels lack, a fact exploited by the devil in inciting his rebellion; see the link: "Satan's Revolutionary Platform"). By creating another race of moral agents endowed with free will possessing physical bodies yet limited in ways angels are not, the Lord has completely repudiated all of the devil's excuses. One of the main factors at work here is thus the necessity for human history to play out over a long period of time in order to demonstrate God's goodness and the righteousness of His judgment of Satan by showing human beings responding to His grace through repentance under all manner of historical circumstances. That requires a sequence of human beings, and procreation is the perfect way to provide that sequence. Along with natural revelation, the mortality which we all possess since the fall, moreover, thus becomes a powerful incentive to seek the Lord. Human beings, creatures of relative ignorance (now), come back to God through Jesus Christ; the elect angels, creatures of immense knowledge, demonstrated their choice of Him by not departing to follow Satan. The difference in our natures and our historical circumstances explains the reason for the difference in the way in which we come into the world.
Why did Satan think God could not and would not confront sin? Did Satan already reason that sin would require a perfect sacrifice and conclude that no one would qualify to offer such a gift, therefore having mankind enslaved?
Satan rebelled before he had any idea that there even would be a "mankind". In my view of how his thinking should be reconstructed, the devil thought that he and his followers were irreplaceable so that God could not destroy him and them without permanently marring His creation. As has happened ever since, Satan in his arrogance has an extraordinary capacity to talk himself (and others) into courses of action which, objectively considered in light of God's omniscience and omnipotence, are doomed to failure ahead of time. This is a testimony to the blindness creatures of free will can afflict themselves with in their arrogance through the hardening of the heart. For more on this see the link: in SR 1 "Satan's character, sin and fall".
I know you have written much on the topic of angels. The perspective of angels are different than humans. With God knowing all, why didn't he simply just tell the angels what would happened as opposed to them observing us. God doesn't lie, so whatever he would tell them would be true, no? God knew before Job was tested that he would maintain his integrity and faith, why didn't he just tell Satan not to waste his time?
I suppose the natural extension of this question would be to skip angelic and human history entirely: all that happens has been decreed. God could have skipped the entire process of history and set us all in our respective eternities without going through all this. However, there seems to be a necessity for us all actually to do what we choose to do, and that includes our interaction with the truth and God's demonstration of that truth throughout all of creature history. After all, what our Lord Jesus suffered in the darkness on the cross transcends all of human suffering put together, so that if there were any way for that to have been avoided, it is clear that it would have been. But Jesus had to actually die for us, and we have to actually go through this process called life, and the education of the angels actually has to take place – in spite of the veracity, omniscience and power of God. Further, without seeing human suffering and the power of faith to persevere through it, this would have been "book knowledge"; as it is, the angels are getting a very revealing first-hand look at what it means for limited physical creatures such as ourselves to stay faithful to the Lord under the pressures of this world. The fact that some of us, like Job, will continue to choose for Jesus no matter what shows perspicuously the emptiness of all of Satan's lies.
What is it that angels don't understand about God? They dwell in his presence and have been with him for countless eons. I'm sure they know all about his power. My best guess is that they lack faith (fallen angels) in his character. I don't believe God would make us just so we could die. He will restore what's lost and bring who he brings to everlasting life. I can't see a good God doing otherwise, eventually perfection and paradise seem like the only logical outcome. What are your thoughts? Your insight would be appreciated.
This creation is perfect. We know that because God is perfect and this is the creation He actually made. We also know this because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ: for the divine decree to be issued, the necessity of our Lord's immense sacrifice was an absolute pre-condition. In order to create those who would choose for Him, God had to create the full and perfect number of all free-will creatures – and that necessitated the creation of many who would choose against Him. He didn't create anyone for the purpose of destroying them; He created everyone for the purpose of a blissful eternal life with Him. But that is a matter of choice. He made us who we choose to be and we choose freely who that is and will be. Without a genuine choice, there would be no true free will. God could have made us like the animals and we would live eternally with Him – but we would not then be at all "who we are". For us to be us, morally responsible creatures made in the image of God, a genuine choice had to be offered, and the offering of that choice meant that some, that many, would refuse Him in order to be gods unto themselves. He doesn't destroy anyone: fallen angels and unbelievers destroy themselves in full and complete knowledge of what they are doing; they would rather reign over their own free will in hell than live in a heavenly universe forever at the cost of subordinating their will to God's. That is the consequence of giving free will to the perfect spectrum of morally responsible creatures. For much more on this please see "Bible Basics 4B: Soteriology".
Adam and Eve heard the LORD WALKING in the garden. Was this Jesus? Also, prior to the creation of Adam was Satan aware of Jesus in his preeminent stage and is it possible that Satan was jealous of Jesus and the position he held/would hold?
Yes, this is Jesus Christ (see the link: "Cases of Christophany in the Old Testament"). Satan fell long before this. I have written elsewhere that the creation of Adam and Eve was "God's last olive branch" to the devil and his angels. Had they realized how impossible it was to contend with the Lord and accepted this surprise of human creation with humility and surrender, I am sure that God would have provided a means of reconciliation. As it was, jealousy is just one of many of Satan's sinful motives.
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.
In your view, why do you think the number of those who would choose to love God is such a small number? Why would the majority of mankind in history choose to not want a life with their maker? Conversely, why do you think 2 3rds of they angels chose to stay loyal to God?
I suppose the more perplexing question is how could fully a third of the angels who, after all, saw the Lord face to face in all His glory for untold eons, come to be willing to rebel against Him – or even came to be able to convince themselves that they would not be destroyed for doing so? What I can say is that this creation is perfect because it is the creation that God actually made, and that the perfect number of angels and human beings has been / is being created because this is the perfect creation being directed by the perfect plan. The reason for accepting or rejecting the Lord comes from us, not from Him. The reason relatively many more angels stayed loyal than is the case with human beings has to do with the nature of angelic kind and the individual angels versus the nature of human kind and individual human beings. As in many things, generalities mean little. What counts is the individual. God deals with each of us one to one. The fact that the number of those who were unwilling to be saved is so large will not be a factor of mitigation at the last judgment any more than the fact that the number of angels who rebelled was relatively smaller will figure in their condemnation: each will stand before God on his/her own.
Any clue on who the other 5 Archangels are? And why they are not named like Gabriel and Michael? And what their purpose and functions are?
What I have on archangels you will find at the link. Since angels are usually not named, it is not surprising to me that only two of the archangels are named – what is exceptional is that we do know the names of two of them. As I suggest at the link, archangels seem to be the top "operational" angels in God's hierarchy, that is, rather than "general staff", they are commanders in the field.
How different are Cherubs and Archangels?
Cherubs (see the link) differ in their rank and duties, but all angels seem to be fundamentally the same in their essence. The difference in description of the cherubs seems to be related to their special position rather than being a fundamental part of their nature.
In Revelation 12 , it states Michael AND HIS ANGELS fought. Satan has his angels but I wasn't aware or understand how Michael has angels. With one being a cherub and the other an archangel, why is it they are squaring off and why are these two different order of angels fighting?
Satan was a cherub, the only one, but was replaced after his revolt with a college of four. The devil has his own hierarchy (see the link), but it is somewhat arbitrary and designed for different purposes (e.g., rewarding subordinates for their rebellion from God). Michael's elite force throws Satan and all the fallen angels down to earth at the Tribulation's mid-point. We don't know the specifics, either of the composition of Michael's force or of the nature of the combat, but scripture explains that this is precisely what will happen (see the links: "War in Heaven in CT 4" and "War in Heaven").
The Angel in revelation showed John the future; does this indicate that most angels already know the future? If so, how does this coincide with their decision making or choices?
First, all angels have already made their eternal choice. This happened once and for all at the point of Satan's rebellion. It is a moot point whether or not there was a time or opportunity for any change of mind since none changed their mind. In my view, reconciliation was possible because of God's grace, but, given the angelic nature, was never sought by those who rebelled. I have written before of Adam and Eve's creation being "God's last olive branch" to the devil and his angels (see the link); if they had repented, God would have provided a means for atoning for their sins. None did. As to the future, angels are creatures too, and do not have any independent knowledge of the future than we do. They know what God has told them, and are still "learning" about Him through their observation of us (e.g., 1Pet.1:12). We also know a good deal about the future – or at least we can, if we are willing to look at all scripture teaches about it . . . and believe God's Word.
Could you please clarify John 16:15: All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
When Jesus says 'therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you', does He say it to justify why in the first place He didn't mention the Father (14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you)?
I think rather our Lord is making the point that following the cross He has won rulership in all things, and that is true of possession and dispensation of all truth as well as of all the plunder of the angelic warfare currently underway (see the links: "The Spoils Principle I" and "The Spoils Principle II").
Could you please clarify John 16:15: "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose/it/to you."
When Jesus says 'therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose/it/to you', does He say it to justify why in the first place He didn't mention the Father (He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose/it/to you)? Referring to your point on the "spoils principle" - our Lord makes it before the cross, so why can it be said that He has won rulership in all things through the cross? Also, weren't all the things our Lord had His even before the cross?
I don't think it is so much a justification as it is an explanation of the true heavenly realities . . . which our Lord's listeners were slow to understand. The disciples, even at this point (as is clear from some of their doubting behavior at Christ's crucifixion and resurrection), still did not "get" precisely who Jesus was:
Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Mark 6:51-52 NIV
Coming back to John 16:15, would you say this passage could also be taken as showing the equality of the Father and the Son? So my question is - does it refer to the rulership won after the cross, or can it also be taken as our Lord explaining His equal status with the Father from eternity past?
It's true that only someone who is God can possess what God alone possesses. I have taken this to mean Christ's winning of His kingdom since that is the theme He reiterates throughout the gospels. E.g.:
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
Matthew 28:18 NIV
However, as God from all eternity, it is certainly true that Jesus has always possessed everything. As the God-man, Jesus was destined to and did win authority over everything. I suppose the only real question is the timing in respect to this verse. But as to demonstrating His divinity, there is no question but that it's an excellent point you make here.
In your response regarding the 'thrones' from Colossians 1:16 you wrote: 'Colossians 1:16 mentions "thrones" as part of the original system the Lord created. Clearly, the "thrones" established by the devil are illegitimate and are "thrones" in name only. Therefore by their very existence they are an "addition" to the original number, and it stands to reason with what else we know of the system of satanic ranks that the devil has expanded the numbers of all such categories, handing out titles for political reasons rather than for merit in order to seduce as many angels to follow him as possible.' You start by saying: 'Colossians 1:16 mentions "thrones" as part of the original system the Lord created', but in the next sentence you say: 'Clearly, the "thrones" established by the devil are illegitimate and are "thrones" in name only.' a) Hence I am not sure - are the thrones a part of the original system created by the Lord or are they established by the devil? b) If they are established by the devil, then how do we know about that?
The twenty-four elders in Revelation have "thrones", and they are second in rank order. So the "thrones" in the devil's system are likely meant to correspond to these. Paul's point in Colossians 1:16 is that everything that exists is subject to God, being created by Him, and that such is true even of the most formidable offices, human or angelic. The reconstruction of angelic ranks in BB 2A Angelology (and elsewhere) is based upon what may be deduced from passages such as these.
Q&A regarding archangels in 1 Peter 3:22:
Q: Could you please clarify why in 1Pet.3:22 the 'arch' part is left out?
A: All three categories listed by Peter in this verse are "angels", so it begs the question as to what sort of "angels" these "angels" are in the context of the other two groups being "authorities and powers". The point Peter is making is Jesus' supremacy over all angelic ranks, and he does this by listing three of the highest angelic ranks first.
Could it be that Peter starts with the lowest rank and proceeds to the highest?
The reason I find a descending rather than an ascending order here is because, as best I can reconstruct them, "authorities" outrank "powers" both in God's original order of the angels and also in Satan's modified system (see the links for the respective hierarchies).
Q&A regarding Powers:
Q: You referenced these verses in speaking about 'Powers': (1Cor.15:24; Eph.1:21; 1Pet.3:22) - am I correct to assume that in these verses both good and evil 'powers' are mentioned?
A: Yes. The one caveat I would put here is that 1st Corinthians 15:24 is very generic, talking about the offices generally (which also includes human "power/authority/dominion) rather than specific holders of the office.
I took a look at these passages again and I am wondering - do the authors of these scriptures definitely meant angelic orders here? Are not all of these generic, with the aim of emphasizing their submission to God or Christ?
I would not want to over-emphasize the specificity of Ephesians 1:21, but I do believe that Paul has in mind the angelic rankings in writing this (and that the order is consistent with the actual hierarchy). 1st Peter 3:22 specifically starts with the word "angels" (i.e., archangels as previously discussed) so that the "dominions and powers" have either to be angels or some sort of human authorities. Since we are talking about our Lord's victory in the great conflict to which human history provides the solution, angelic authorities are much to preferred here. Also, if these were merely generic terms, then why use them at all? Since the order and the descriptions is consistent with other passages which treat the angelic hierarchy – and in a different author as well, namely, Paul, it seems best to take the terms as significant.
Could you please clarify 1 Peter 3:19 "he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits" (NIV). What specifically is meant by 'proclamation to the imprisoned spirits'? I assume that the imprisoned spirits are the fallen angels who were responsible for the birth of Nephilim, but was does Peter mean by the proclamation to them?
The proclamation is the announcement of victory by Christ (see the link). These demons had no idea what was happening above and were hoping that somehow their leader might be able to thwart the most critical part of the plan of salvation, Jesus sacrifice. This proclamation lets them know that they are doomed and that Christ has won the victory of victories, victory of death and sin – in which victory we shall blessedly share for all eternity, those of us, that is, who have put our faith in the One who won it.