“Many angels … and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 5:11
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
(Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28)
In our last lesson, we read the first verse in the Holy Scriptures, which says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) We saw that everything had a beginning except God. In the beginning, when there was nothing, only One was living. That One was God. Only He existed in the beginning.
God is great and has no equal! He has no beginning and no end. He has no needs. He is not limited. God is spirit and can be everywhere at once. He is above everything and everyone. He fills everything. He sees everything.
He knows everything.
He is unique.
God is great! That is why the Holy Scriptures say, “He only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to him be honour and power everlasting, Amen” (1 Tim. 6:16)
We begin our third lesson. We will consider what God’s Word teaches about the angels and Satan.
Do you know where angels come from?
Or where Satan and his demons come from? We could not know about such things if God had not told them to us. But God tells us about them in His Word. Let us therefore carefully examine the Holy Scriptures, so that we might know the truth concerning the angels and Satan.
We remind you that, in The Way of Righteousness lessons, we are doing a chronological study (a record of events in order of their occurrence) of the Scriptures–from beginning to end. That is why, in the last lesson, we studied about God Himself, because
God is the One who existed in the beginning.
And, God willing, in our next lesson, we will study the story of how God made the world and all that is in it. However, before God created people and the world in which we live, there was something else He created first:
The Word of God tells us much about angels. Today we will try to summarise the more important truths concerning these created beings. God’s Word tells us that long, long ago,
God, who is spirit, created many other spirits called angels.
The Scriptures say, “[All the angels are spirits.]” (Heb. 1:14) “[God] makes his angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” (Heb. 1:7) Thus, the Scriptures teach us that the
angels, like God, are spirits.
They are compared to wind and fire. We cannot see the wind. No one can touch fire. That is how it is with the angels of God. God did not create them with bodies such as we have. We humans are made of body and spirit. However,
the angels are only spirits.
That is why we cannot see them.
What does the Scripture say about this? It says that God created many, many spirits beyond what anyone can count. On high, in the presence of God, there are “many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.” (Rev. 5:11)
God our God is great!
God, who has no limit, created for Himself thousands and thousands of beautiful, good and wise angels.
The Scriptures tell us that the angels of God have great power!
They are more powerful than we are.
Yet like all creatures, they have their limitations. They are not all powerful.
They cannot be everywhere and they do not know everything. They are merely creatures. Only One is without limits.
That One is God.
Something else we must understand about the angels is this: When God created the angels they were holy creatures, all of them. In the beginning,
there were no evil angels.
In the beginning, the Devil did not yet exist. There were no evil spirits. God did not create any evil angels. We must keep this truth in our minds: God can do anything, except one thing.
Let us not forget this. God cannot create what is bad because He is good. God cannot make mistakes because He is perfect. Sin cannot come from Him because
He is pure and holy.
Every thing that God thinks and says and does is good and perfect. That is why the Scriptures say: “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (Jam. 1:13) Well then, where does evil come from? We will see God’s answer in a little while. First, however, there is something else we must know about the angels.
Why did God create the angels?
The Scriptures teach us that God created them so that they could be with God to love Him, to praise Him and to serve Him in the joy of heaven forever. God owned them, all of them, because
He created them.
They all lived in the “house” of God; on high, in heaven, far beyond the moon, sun and stars. Did you know that there is a special place where God dwells? True, in our last lesson we learned that God is everywhere. However, the Scriptures also teach us about a wonderful place in the universe that is holy,
full of light and beauty,
where God lives and displays all His glory. This is the place that the prophets of God call The presence of God or Heaven or Paradise. This is where God dwells with His holy angels.
There is something else which we need to know about the angels. It is this:
Some angels are more beautiful and more wise than others. Some angels surround the throne of God in heaven. Others help and protect people. Other angels, like Gabriel and Michael, stand in the presence of God and are sent forth to accomplish special missions on the earth.
Some angels oversee others.
Have you ever heard the name Lucifer? The Word of God tells us that there was a time when Lucifer was the chief of all the angels. If you know the story of Lucifer, you know how he came to be Satan.
The Scriptures tell us that when God first created the angels, Lucifer was the most beautiful, the wisest and most powerful of them all. Lucifer means
the shining one.
Lucifer was superior to all the other angels – in beauty, in knowledge and wisdom, and in power and authority. God gave him beauty and intelligence beyond measure. Lucifer should have worshipped God, loved him and obeyed him forever, because
God created him and greatly blessed him.
However, in the Scriptures we read that ONE DAY Lucifer rebelled against God, and
his heart was filled with pride.
Lucifer said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High [God]!” (Isa. 14:13,14)
Lucifer, who had nothing apart from what God had given him, wanted to steal the glory of God, the Most High! And not only did Lucifer rebel against God, but
many of the angels
who were in heaven chose to turn their backs on the LORD God, and to follow Lucifer in his sin.
However God is God, and God knew everything that Satan and his angels intended to do. As we already learned in our last study, no one can do anything in secret before God, because
God knows everything before it even happens!
God saw the sin that was in the heart of Lucifer and the hearts of the angels who followed him. So what happened? What did God do? Would God allow Lucifer, who had rebelled against Him, to take His place?
Could God live together with the sin of pride and rebellion? Never! The Scriptures teach us that God, our God, is holy and cannot look on evil.
God cannot tolerate sin.
He will not give His glory to another.
God is unique;
no one can replace Him! Thus, the Scriptures say that God expelled Lucifer and his evil angels from His holy presence.
Lucifer and those who followed him could no longer live in heaven, in the house of God, because they had sinned by wanting to replace God. That is why God cast out Lucifer and his evil angels. God, who is holy, must judge and punish everyone who rebels against Him.
After Lucifer sinned, God changed his name. He was no longer called Lucifer,
the shining one,
but Satan. Satan means
Adversary or Enemy.
Lucifer had become God’s adversary. And, as you know, Satan and his angels still reject God and all that is good. They reject the Word of God and deny it. Satan fights against God and tries to ruin and hinder God’s plans. However, God is the great Judge, and no one can win against Him, just as the proverb says,
“An egg should not wrestle with a rock!”
The Holy Scriptures tell us that after God expelled Satan and his angels, He created for them the fires of hell which are never extinguished (Matt.25:41). There is a day coming when God will cast into that fire, Satan and his angels, and all who follow them. So, it is written: “They shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev. 20:10)
However the Scriptures teach us that Satan is not yet in the fire. The Word of God says that Satan is in the world and fights against God. He is the destroyer.
He wants to destroy God’s work.
He wants men, whom God created, to perish and go to hell with him.
The Word of God says that people are under the control of Satan, but they do not know it because
Satan is a deceiver.
Thus, the Scripture says,
“Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)
He tries to deceive men
so that they will not pay attention to the Word of God. That is why one of God’s prophets wrote, “Be alert! Your adversary the devil walketh about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8)
The devil wants to destroy you forever! But praise be to God–He has given us His Word so that we can escape the power of Satan. The Scriptures say, “You will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free!” (John 8:32) Do you know the truth that can free you from the terrible devices of Satan? Let us not forget:
Satan is wiser than we are.
But God is wiser than Satan.
Satan is stronger than we are.
But God is stronger than Satan.
Do you know the Word of Truth that can deliver you from Satan’s power?
Many people do not like to hear God’s truth.
Why do people refuse to listen to the truth? It is because the devil has deceived them. He encourages them to believe what is not true. To be sure, the truth is not always pleasant to hear. As the proverb says,
“Truth is like a hot pepper.”
However, if you know the truth of God’s Word, and believe it, you will be freed from Satan’s power.
God’s truth can free people from Satan’s lies.
But you must know the truth and believe it!
Listen to what the Word of God says:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1). “
All Scripture … is profitable for doctrine, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Do you really know what the prophets of God have written?
Do you understand the Word of Truth? Do you believe it in your heart?
In the next lesson we will study together how God created the world.
May God bless you as you consider the wonderful promise in His Word that says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” (John 8:32)
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