Mystery of the Ages Synopsis, Part Two: Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits
Most people do not believe in these types of invisible beings. But your Bible asserts that angels and evil spirits exist. Which view is right?
The Bible says that before God created Earth, the universe and mankind, He created angels. There are millions and possibly billions of these dazzling immortal spirit beings. Sadly, many of them rebelled and become demons.
God created each angel individually, with an astounding independent mind and with greater abilities than any human being. Even Jesus Christ was temporarily inferior to the angels while He was on Earth as a physical man (Hebrews 2:7). The angels are mighty, powerful beings—the greatest beings God can create instantaneously.
But these perfect, everlasting angels cannot reproduce like human beings. They were not created to have families. Why? Because they were not created for the same purpose that human beings were created. As great as the angels are, your potential is far greater. Yet mankind is totally mystified by this awesome future.
This article is the second in a series about Herbert W. Armstrong’s greatest book, Mystery of the Ages. Mankind is baffled by the second mystery in this book: the mystery of angels and evil spirits.
Laid the Nations Low
Lucifer was the greatest angel God ever created. He was the brightest, most brilliant archangel, but he rebelled against His Creator and persuaded a third of the angels to do the same (Jude 6-7).
“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!” (Isaiah 14:12). The Revised Standard Version says, “How are you cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!” Satan has always seized control of the political and military leaders in this world, especially in the Gentile world.
Lucifer means shining star of the dawn or bringer of light. God created him to bring light to the entire universe! If Lucifer had remained loyal, this world would also be full of light. Instead, the world wants darkness. That’s why they killed the Son of God (John 1:10-11)!
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars 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” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Can you imagine this extreme kind of vanity in a being created perfect by God? Lucifer had a choice. He chose to become Satan. Human beings also have a choice. God tells us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till [lawlessness] was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15). Everything was just great until Lucifer decided to become lawless. Do you see lawlessness in America, as well as the rest of the world, today? The nations of Israel, including America, have by far the most serious problems. (Request Herbert W. Armstrong’s free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove the identity of the nations of Israel.)
In Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong wrote:
At this juncture, a truth must be explained almost never understood. God creates in a principle of duality. … When God created the Earth and other planets, this system of duality was involved. … The same principle of duality applies to the creation of the angels” (Chapter 2).
This duality also applies to a rebellion of the angels! They tried to overthrow God just before He created Adam and Eve, and again in this age just before the return of Jesus Christ. The demons will try one final time to unseat their Maker. Mr. Armstrong continued:
Notice here, once again, the principle of duality. Isaiah 14:12-14 applies to a time prior to the creation of the first human, Adam. But in Revelation 12:7 and in Daniel 12:1, Satan at the end of the 6,000 years allotted to his rule on earth’s throne, tries once again to seize God’s throne in heaven (ibid).
Satan possesses the ultimate insanity. He is so arrogant, he actually believes he can win a battle against the great God! He tries repeatedly.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). The last time Satan tried to conquer God and was cast down was in 1986, probably on January 16—the date of Mr. Armstrong’s death. (Request Raising the Ruins and Malachi’s Message for proof).
When Satan couldn’t take over God’s throne in this end time, he immediately turned his wrath on God’s Church (verse 13). He destroyed the Worldwide Church of God. Only 5 percent of God’s loyal people, protected by the righteous angels, remained to do God’s Work. That’s how powerful Satan is, yet most of the world scoffs at him!
A Time of Trouble
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (verse 12). Satan failed to seize rulership over the universe, and God confined him to Earth. Woe unto us all, even the sea! After God’s Church, Satan attacks the nations of Israel, and then all the inhabiters of the earth—the whole world.
Imagine it: millions, perhaps billions, of angels persuaded by Satan to turn away from God. These twisted beings have turned this world into a violent place. There had never been any violence for all eternity until Satan rebelled! God and the Word had coexisted peacefully before the invention of time.
Satan knows his time is short. That’s why he’s full of wrath! Evidence of Satan’s destructive rage can be seen all over the Earth, but people don’t attribute that to him because they worship him as the current god of this world (ii Corinthians 4:4).
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1, emphasis mine throughout). Conditions are bad now, but they will get much worse. God will deliver His loyal remnant from the turbulent times coming on the world. He will accept anybody who turns and repents and gives his life to Him.
Wars stain the planet today, but the most important war goes completely unseen. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). The righteous angels and the evil demons are at war for human minds.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2, emphasis added). Satan is the master of the airwaves. He broadcasts through the air, just like television and radio signals. He fills the air with his hostile spirit through moods, attitudes and feelings. Human beings are easy targets for him.
Because the angels and evil spirits are invisible, they are a mystery to mankind. Mr. Armstrong compared them to electricity: You can’t see electricity, but you know it exists. The same is true of spirit beings if we open our minds to God’s truth.
You Are My Son
The first chapter of Hebrews describes the righteous angels as secret messengers of God to serve the saints, the five percent of God’s people who never rebelled (Hebrews 1:14). Throughout the Bible, angels manifested themselves in the form of human beings to servants of God such as Abraham, Moses and Gideon.
Some angels rank higher than others. Exodus chapter 25 discusses the three covering cherub angels who held their wings outstretched over God’s throne: Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. The latter two still do this important job. Michael is also a mighty warrior angel who engages in spiritual combat to protect God’s Church. He would also be protecting the nations of Israel if they would let him. Gabriel is also a messenger angel.
Lucifer rebelled because, though created perfect, he still had to choose. That’s how to build God’s character! If we don’t build character, we have no future with God (Matthew 5:48).
The angels fulfill a vital purpose in God’s plan, but your purpose is even greater. “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Hebrews 1:5, 13). The angels will never be born as sons of God into the Family of God. They are only God’s sons in the sense that He created them. But they are overjoyed to have any part in God’s plan at all! (Job 38:7).
When Satan deceived one third of the angels, God saw that only He could be trusted to rule the universe. So He decided to recreate Himself in physical human beings! Humans have physical families because family is a God-plane relationship. Marriage is a God-plane relationship, a type of the firstfruits’ marriage to Jesus Christ. Anyone who comes out of the world before Christ’s return and does God’s Work, can be a part of that Bride.
This is the most wonderful truth you could imagine!
The angels have an absolutely marvelous future. Because some of them failed, human beings now have an incredible potential, too. We will shine like the stars forever and ever as we bring light and beauty to the entire universe.