The Truth About Angels

Scripture:
Date: 10/27/2023 
Lucifer was perfect—a glorious angel. Yet he became obsessed with himself and rebelled against his loving Creator and stole the hearts of a third of the angels. Ever since, Satan and his demons have been fighting for the possession of every human heart.

Cosmic Conflict magazine - Paper or Digital Download

Cosmic Conflict magazine - Paper or Digital Download
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Doug Batchelor: For 9 months, between 1898 and 1899, two famous man-eating lions of Tsavo terrorize workers employed in the construction of a railway bridge in Uganda. As the death toll rose, construction was brought to a virtual standstill. The workers said they refused to continue until protection could be provided. Finally, the reign of terror was brought to an end when Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Patterson succeeded in tracking and killing the two lions that had devoured 135 men. The lions are now on permanent display in the Field Museum of Chicago. Even more deadly was a tigress in India that was reported to have killed and eaten 436 people in 1907 before it was killed. But the record for man-eating goes to one lion that has devoured more than all these other cats combined. 1 Peter chapter 5, verse 8 advises us: "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is going around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour." So how can we be protected against this man-eater? Join me, friends, today as we continue our exploration to understand the originator of sin: the devil.

Doug: Chapter 14 of Revelation basically coalesces the whole theme of Revelation. It's kind of concentrated and melted down in that chapter, and we're going to be studying those themes. Now, the first thing we're studying tonight, it explains the big question: Why is there evil in the world? If God is good, if God is loving, if God is all powerful, then why do so many bad things happen? Why do innocent people suffer? If God is good, what--why did God make a devil, people wonder. Let's get into the first question in your lesson that you have in your hands.

Question number one: What are the good angels like? "All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, they fell on their faces before the throne and they WORSHIPED God." And so, the angels worshiped the Lord. They--and these, of course, are the good angels. What do the good angels do on earth? Hebrews 1:14: "Are they not ministering spirits sent forth to MINISTER for those who will inherit salvation?" They are the army of God. They're the hospital staff that's always doing God's bidding, going to and fro the earth, working to save people.

Now, this is where the study gets interesting, because something happened that once you understand what I'm about to explain, a lot of things are going to click for you. A lot of people who say, "Why, why, why?" Listen very carefully. Which angel turned against God and why? "How you are fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning! For you said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will be like the Most High.'" Satan, something went wrong. He didn't start out Satan. He started out Lucifer. He was a beautiful angel. It began with him. You can read it says there in Ezekiel 28:17: "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you CORRUPTED your wisdom for the sake of your splendor."

Now, all of God's creatures are created. The highest of God's creation was the leader of all His angels, top general, super-talented, super-brilliant, super-good looking, super-musical. Name was Lucifer. This is the big question, number four: Did God create Lucifer to be a devil? You know what the answer is? No. What does it say in Ezekiel 28:15? "You were," what's the word? "You were PERFECT in your ways from the day you were created." He's a created being, "until iniquity was found in you." And people say, "Well, if God made him and he went bad and God knows everything, then God knew he was going to go bad, right?"

God makes His creatures free. God wants us to love Him. And in order for us to love God, we need to be free. You cannot force love. That means God wants us to love Him because of who He is. And if God pre-programs everybody to love Him, is that love? It must be freely given. Could God have made creatures that say, "I love You, God. I love You, God. I'll tell You whatever You want. I worship You. You're wonderful, You're great"? Sure. Would that be love?

God makes His creatures free and He made all of them free. Lucifer, because of his power and his brilliance and his wisdom and his beauty and the adoration of the other angels, it began to go to his head and he resented that he did not have all the power of God. And it began to eat at him, and it probably happened over a long period of time. But he nurtured this discontent and then he began to sow seeds of discord among the other powerful angels in the universe. He is a very smooth operator and he just assumed that people think that he's this kind of impish, diabolical-looking, ghoulish character. Don't be fooled. The devil is very real and he is the leader of the rebellion against God.

Question number five: How many angels were convinced by Lucifer's deception? Was he alone? No, he began to campaign. You see, the angels have tremendous power. They're stronger than humans. And the devil, Lucifer, as the chief angel, tremendous power. And somehow they believed that if they could just campaign against God, He would give the angels more freedom and more power, and Lucifer began to sow discontent among the other angels. And he's so smooth and he is so clever and he's just a real manipulator, he was able to persuade how many? "His tail drew a THIRD of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth." Now, that's a third of, who knows, billions of angels. The Bible talks about angels and it uses the highest number you can use in Greek, says 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands. There's--the Bible talks about an innumerable company. What happened as a result of Lucifer's deceptions in heaven? It says: "WAR broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon," and who's the dragon? Satan, clearly. That will come out later. "And the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail," because the dragons got one third and Jesus and God have got two thirds. Not only were they outnumbered, but you got light against darkness, good against evil. They won. And they basically were evicted from heaven.

You might be thinking, "Why didn't God just annihilate all of them?" Can He do that? I mean, He's God. Is there any limit to His power? Couldn't God just blink His eyes and vaporize all of the evil angels and Lucifer? He could have done it as soon as Lucifer rebelled, but just think about that. Lucifer has been hurling all kinds of terrible aspersions and claims and slander against the name of God: "He's brutal. He's a legalist. He's cruel. He forces us to be a certain way. He doesn't give us more freedom, doesn't let us have His powers." I mean, who knows what he said? But it wasn't good. And God said, "Okay, enough of you," and he's gone. The other angels would go, "Oh, don't rub God the wrong way. Look what He did to Lucifer. Maybe Lucifer was right. Maybe God is mean and arbitrary." God could not do that and secure loyalty throughout eternity in the universe. He wants His creatures to love and trust Him.

It's one of the central messages in the Bible: Have faith in God. If He forced us to obey, we'd never love and trust Him. So He gives us freedom, not only us, but He gave the angels freedom. So, He had to allow Lucifer and his fallen angels to carry out their program and say, all right, if anyone in the universe wants to buy into what Lucifer is saying, they all had an opportunity to listen to his claims. Most of the universe rejected it except one planet that was new, and the devil came down and he took possession of a serpent.

And now I'm getting ahead of myself. War broke out in heaven. And it goes on to say, "He," Lucifer, "was cast to the earth," and who was cast out with him? His angels were cast out with him to the earth. Why did he come to the earth? Because he found an audience here. So, what methods does the devil use in his war against God? So we can understand his tactics, we need to know something about the enemy. What does the Bible say? And what are his tactics that he uses? Says, "He," Jesus, "was there in the wilderness for forty days," and what happened? "He was TEMPTED by Satan." He is called the tempter. He's constantly trying to entice people to do things wrong, to sin, to break God's law. Why? The devil hates people. The devil hates Jesus. If you don't think so, just look at the cross. You can see what they did to Jesus was the devil unloading his anger and his fury against Jesus. He can't reach Jesus now, but he knows how much Jesus loves us. So, the way he hurts God is by hurting us. And the devil has claimed this world as his dominion because our first parents chose to listen to the lies of the devil instead of trusting God and obeying God, and all the sin and the misery that we see in the world today and the war and the suffering, people say, "If-- why does God allow all this?"

God has no choice if He's going to be a loving God and make us free. This world rebelled. Satan set up his headquarters down here as a beachhead to battle against God in our world. Paul says it's like a theater to the universe of what's going on. He tempts. There in the Garden of Eden, he came and he possessed the serpent and he spoke through the serpent. God said, "Do not eat from the forbidden tree." And while she was doing her work in the garden, she looked over at the tree and the devil said, "Hah, she's looking. That's a start." And he took possession of the most subtle and hypnotic creature in the Garden, the serpent. Probably had wings back then. A lot of cultures talk about flying reptiles. And the Bible says, "fiery flying serpent." Did you know that? And God cursed the serpent. So it went on the ground, probably flew.

So, it's up in the tree and he says, "Hi there. Oh, you're beautiful. Come here for a minute." And she came, she says, "Wow, I didn't know serpents could talk." "I couldn't till I ate this fruit. Look what it did for me. You know, God's trying to keep something from you. He said you can't eat from the trees." "Oh no, He said we can eat from all the trees but not this tree." "He knows you will be like God if you eat from this tree." That's what he wanted. He wanted God's position, and he was able to persuade her to reach up, take it, eat it. Then she gave it to Adam later. He ate it. Basically, the Bible says in Romans chapter 6: "Whoever you obey you are the servants of the one who you obey."

Adam was given dominion of this world. When he surrendered dominion to the devil, the devil called all his angels and they were cast down, they were restricted to this planet because they found an audience here. They claimed it as their own. That's not me, friends. That's what Jesus said. Jesus calls the devil, the prince of this world. Isn't that what He says? That's right. That's why the devil said, "Fall down, worship me, I'll give you the world," because he claims it as his. Jesus came through His life to redeem the world, to buy it back, by His life. It's--if it wasn't for God, we'd be in much worse shape.

We got so much to thank the Lord for because He's got angels that are guarding us, to buy us. You've got one life to choose. What master do you want to follow? The Bible says in John 8:44, Jesus said: "He was a MURDERER from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resource, for he is a LIAR and the father of it." The devil is a liar and he's a deceiver and he's a murderer. Revelation 12, verse 10: "Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the ACCUSER of our brethren, who ACCUSED them." What else does the devil do? He's pointing the finger and accusing. "For they are the spirits of demons, performing SIGNS."

So, does the devil have power? Yeah. You read where Moses cast his rod down before the Pharaoh. It became a serpent. The Pharaoh then calls his magicians who work for the devil, sorcerers. They throw down their rods, they become serpents. But the rod of Moses or the serpent of Moses, ate theirs. God's power is greater, but the devil's got some power to create illusions.

So just because there's some religious movement and they say we've got signs and wonders, that doesn't mean it's always from God, amen? You can also read it says that "great dragon was cast out, the serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan," no question about who the dragon is. Says he's the devil, he's Satan. "Who deceives the whole world." He is a deceiver.

The danger with deception, it is the commingling of truth and error. You say, "Oh yeah, I went to that meeting and there's a lot of truth." But they might put some poison in it. And so, there's lots of religious groups in the world today and different religions and there's a lot of counterfeit out there. Devil's not afraid of having some truth. He just mixes in lies to deceive and makes it deadly.

Question eight: When is Satan the most dangerous? It's when he goes to church. It says there in 2 Corinthians chapter 11, verse 14: "Satan himself is transformed into," what? "An ANGEL of light." So when the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, do you think he plopped down on the ground and he had his red leotards and his bat wings and his horns and his goatee and his pitchfork? Is that how he appeared to Jesus? No, he came as a messenger from heaven, an angel of light. And then he mixed into and said, "If You're the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. Just prove it."

The devil is very cunning. You know, the devil is going to impersonate Jesus in the end. You know the first thing Jesus said when He talks about the last days? "Beware that you are not deceived, for there will be many false Christs and false prophets." Friends, I'm going to show you how not to be deceived, so you can know for yourself, ask any question you want. We're going to make it as plain and open as possible. Matthew chapter 4, verse 5 and 6, "The devil said to Him, 'If You're the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is WRITTEN--'" What? The devil is quoting the Bible? Some people think that, you know, devil comes along and all you've got to do is hold up your Bible, like when a vampire comes, you know, you hold up garlic or a cross, and he's going to run. The devil will snatch the Bible out of your hand and he'll read it back to you and then he'll misquote it. That's when he's especially dangerous. He says, "It is written."

So, what animals in the Bible are used to symbolize Satan? These animals have characteristics that help us to recognize the enemy. Says: "The great DRAGON was cast out, that," what's the other creature? The "SERPENT of old, called the Devil and Satan."

Question number ten: After his eviction from heaven, upon whom did the devil direct his fury? Where did he focus his attention? It says: "The dragon was enraged with the woman." This is God's church. Two women in Revelation. Got a study on that. Keep coming. "And he went to make war with the rest of her OFFSPRING, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." That phrase is also there in Revelation chapter 14, verse 12. "Here's the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

Two characteristics of those who are saved in the last days: They have faith, and they obey. They trust and they obey. The devil hates the people that trust and obey God. So, you've got this dragon trying to attack the woman. It's like the age-old story of the dragon and the maiden in distress finally being rescued by the knight in shining armor who is Jesus. They drew all those fairy tales from this Bible imagery that you find. Zachariah 3:1, another characteristic of the devil is he's fighting the church. Then "he showed me Joshua the high priest," he's the one who intercedes for all of God's people, "standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to OPPOSE him." The devil is constantly working to oppose and attack the people of God. You can also read in John 10:10: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and destroy." Jesus said, "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."

Now, friends tonight, those are the two choices. It's talking about Jesus saying I want you to have life, life abundantly. The devil wants to kill, to steal, steal your life, steal your eternity, and destroy. And we see that battle going on in our world today between these two Titanic forces. The devil has cast his vote against you. Jesus has cast His vote for you, and you have the tie-breaking vote. So how do people resist Satan and his temptations? You can read here in Matthew chapter 4:10: "Jesus said, 'It is WRITTEN, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only will you serve.'"

So how do we fight him? Christ said that it's through the Word of God. You see, the devil attacks us in our minds. And when you read the Bible, the promises of God, the truth of God affects your mind and your thinking and it gives you the power and the reasoning to be able to resist. And God gives you His Spirit. Something happens as you draw close to God in reading His Word. You're going to notice a blessing come into your lives as you participate in the seminar, I promise you, because Jesus promised you. Blessed are those who read here and keep the words of this prophecy. He wants to bless you. The devil wants to destroy you. So, we read His Word.

What else did Jesus say? "Watch and PRAY," talk to the Lord, "lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." In James chapter 4, verse 7, it says, "Therefore SUBMIT to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and," what will God do? Draw near to God, you're here, you're watching, you're listening, you are drawing near to God. He said, "He will draw near to you." He'll speak to you through His Spirit. You watch and see if I'm not right. Number 12: What is Satan's fate according to Bible prophecy? Does he get to live forever? It says in Isaiah 14, verse 15: "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the PIT." You can also read in Matthew chapter 25, verse 41: "Then He'll say to those on His left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting,'" what? "FIRE," prepared for who? "For the devil and his angels."

Is that pretty clear, that there's evil power in the world? Satan and his angels are fighting against God and His angels for your attention. And the Holy Spirit is working through God's angels, and sometimes the angels of God will be nudging you, saying, "You need to pray, you need to read the Bible. You need to not do that and do this." And there is a spiritual battle that's going on every day in our lives, and we get to choose who we listen to, but there are tangible things we can do to draw closer to God. Furthermore, you can read in Ezekiel verse 28:19. It says: "You have become a horror, and you shall be no more FOREVER."

You know what that's saying, friends? When God makes a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness, there are no evil angels, there are no devils, there is no Satan, there is no Lucifer. Can you say, "Amen"? There's going to be a world without sin and, you know, no one will ever doubt God's love again because this terrible experiment with sin that the devil launched is going to be understood. The Bible tells us in the book of Nahum: Sin will not rise up a second time. I'm sorry, you and I were born on a battlefield. All you have to do is look around and say, "There's a strange contradiction in the world." You can see in creation, the power of God and the relationships and the wonders of creation. You see there's miracles everywhere in just the way your bodies work and how a baby's born. There's miracles everywhere. But then we see evil. Something went wrong. We answered that question tonight. A very powerful--the most powerful being rebelled. He's fighting against God, and he wants your hearts. But you need to make the decision.

How does God--question 13: How does God feel about the destruction of Satan and his angels, and the wicked? God is sad. You know, He made them, He loved them. God is love, but He cannot abide sin in His world made new. Ezekiel 33, "He says, 'Say to them: "As I live," says the Lord, "I have NO PLEASURE in the death of the wicked, but the wicked TURN from his way. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways! Why will you die?'" This is what the Lord is saying to you and me. He doesn't want us to die. He's calling for our hearts and our souls. He wants us to worship Him.

You know, Revelation chapter 3, verse 20, says that Jesus stands at the door, and He knocks. He says, "If you open the door, I will come in and abide with you." I think you hear Him knocking on your heart tonight. He brought you to this meeting. He's arranged that you're watching or listening. He wants your heart. The devil wants to destroy you. Jesus wants to save you. All you have to do is open your heart and open the door and say, "Lord, come in. Help me." How many of you would like to say, "I want the Lord's help to get through the last days"? You at home. Can I pray with you? "Father in heaven, we've learned some important things tonight. We pray that Jesus will come into our hearts, transform us. Bless this seminar, we ask in His name, amen."

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Doug: Do you long to experience the peace that can only come from our loving heavenly Father? Do you desire your heart to be clean and at rest? Jesus stands before you right now with His arms open wide to receive you. Why not ask Him into your life right now? Why not receive Him now as your personal Savior? Take that first step and say, "Yes, Lord, I choose You." He is ready and waiting to receive you.

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