Most people do not realize that the Earth was not the first thing God created, nor was the expansive universe, with all the other planets, stars and galaxies. The first thing God created were the angels.
Despite the Bible being filled with verses about angels, mankind is almost totally mystified about the spirit realm.
Because the spirit world is invisible, it is a mystery. There is a lot we don’t understand about electricity and other things we can’t see, but the reality of it is there. The same is true of God and the rest of the spirit realm. We simply need to open our minds to the truth of God.
The Bible implies that God created, individually, perhaps billions of angels. These spirit beings have a mind of greater capacity and ability than any human being. Even when Jesus Christ came to Earth, He was made “a little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7). These are mighty, powerful beings!
Angels do not reproduce like human beings do. The reason for that, revealed in the Bible, is spectacularly inspiring. It shows that as brilliant as these beings are, your potential is far greater!
The greatest spirit being God ever created was named Lucifer, meaning “shining star of the dawn,” or “bringer of light.” God made this awesome being to help bring more light to the universe! He wanted and still wants to bring light to this dark world. But this being ended up turning away from God and toward darkness.
Lucifer challenged God and persuaded one third of the other angels to rebel with him. Those fallen angels are known as demons. They rebelled against their Maker and left “their first estate” (Jude 6).
The Prophet Isaiah wrote this about Lucifer’s rebellion: “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 that Lucifer “laid the nations low!” He has gotten control of political and military leaders. That is what he has done throughout mankind’s 6,000-year history, especially in the Gentile nations.
“For thou [Lucifer] 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” (verses 13-14). He was filled with vanity! Lucifer had to make a choice—as humans do today—to either follow God or resist and turn against Him. God tells each one of us today to choose life! (Deuteronomy 30:19). Don’t follow after rebellion and disobedience.
One third of the angels—millions, or even billions—were persuaded by the devil to turn away from God, at which point this world became violent. God the Father and the Son have lived peacefully for all eternity. Everything in the universe was in perfect harmony, and there had never been any violence—until sin was found in Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:15).
Can you see the result of this evil in the world today? It is everywhere, especially in the nations of Israel—predominately the United States, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East. (Request Herbert W. Armstrong’s The United States and Britain in Prophecy for proof of Israel’s modern identity.)
Ephesians 6 tells us that our contentions and strivings are not with other people, but rather “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [or evil spirits] in high places” (verse 12). These evil spirits rule this world! They are in the high places of the Earth. Satan has deceived this whole world (Revelation 12:9).
“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). Satan broadcasts through the air, just like television or radio signals. He fills the air with his hostile spirit, reaching people through moods, attitudes, feelings. He has been able to really work on people today! Many of them are full of hostility, hatred and bitterness. Satan can really get to a person like that, persuading them in ways you can’t imagine. That is plainly revealed in your Bible.
A Second Attempt
The Bible often uses the principle of duality—events have a former and a latter-day fulfillment. That principle applies to this angelic rebellion: They tried to overthrow God before the creation of Adam, and they did so again in this end time, just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 14 is history—but it is also a prophecy of what will happen in this end time. The book of Isaiah was specifically written for the time we are living in today (Isaiah 30:8).
Here is what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages: “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.” Satan is so mad in his reasoning that he thinks he can take over the throne of his Creator! That is the height of insanity.
“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). In this end time, Satan tried to conquer God again. This happened recently, and we can prove it to you.
This attempt took place on Jan. 16, 1986. If you study my book Malachi’s Message, you will see that that happened. My son’s book Raising the Ruins further explains how it all happened. (Both of these books are free upon request.)
What does it mean that Satan has been cast down? Verse 12 explains: “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.”
Think seriously about the implications of this passage. God says woe to us on Earth. The devil is here, and he is very angry. So what is he doing? The passage continues, “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (verse 13). The woman in this verse is a type of God’s Church. In this end time, Satan attempted to take over the throne of God! He couldn’t conquer God, so he set out to conquer God’s Church.
Right after he was cast down, the devil attacked the true Church of God and destroyed it. He turned 95 percent of God’s people away from their Creator!
Then, following that attack, he launched an offensive against the nations of Israel. He has caused frightful destruction in America and other nations. The evidence is everywhere around us.
Satan assaulted the nations of Israel, but this attack is going to affect the whole world. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth,” God says. It’s not just about Israel. God is giving the devil space to punish the nations of Israel first, but the rest of the world will be punished as well. Events right now are building toward that worldwide event!
Some of the leaders you see on the scene today will be leading at the return of Jesus Christ! Christ will have to personally destroy them!
And notice: “[H]e hath but a short time.” Satan’s time is almost up! God is about to remove him and imprison him, and there will be no more attempts to take over God’s throne.
Satan knows his time is short. That is why he is full of wrath. You can see that wrath on Earth today. Most people would never attribute this world’s problems to Satan—but he is the cause, because this world unwittingly worships him (2 Corinthians 4:4). Despite his clearly possessing incredibly destructive power, most of humanity today scoffs at the idea of the devil.
Can you believe what your Bible says?
When Satan attacked God’s Church, he caused 95 percent of God’s people to turn away. Thankfully, 5 percent remained loyal. This small group conducts God’s Work, and is protected by the righteous angels led by the archangel Michael. This mighty angelic being would defend the nations of Israel too, if they would let him! But they are in rebellion.
The Prophet Daniel foretold this: “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). God is going to deliver His faithful people through the turbulent times ahead. God will accept anybody who turns and repents and gives themselves to Him. If they become converted, He will give them protection and blessings.
Daniel then says those people will shine like the stars forever and ever (verse 3). Do you really believe that? How many people really believe what God says? Mankind scoffs at this transcendent potential! They won’t simply believe His inspired Bible. That is the reason for all of humanity’s problems.
The Bible mentions three angels of the extremely high rank of cherub: Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel. But since Lucifer’s rebellion, only Michael and Gabriel remain.
God gave angels free moral agency. But He wasn’t building character in the angels the way He is doing with mankind. It is a different process.
God makes us choose so we can build character. If we don’t build character, then we have no future with God—it’s that simple. Too many people in this world have no character to speak of! They don’t want God’s character. They don’t want to become perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Our Marvelous Potential
Hebrews 1 contrasts God’s plan for the angels with His much greater plan for humankind. This passage says the righteous angels are secret messengers of God to serve His faithful saints who have repented and given their lives to God and His work.
This passage is clear that the angels are not family to God the way that Jesus Christ is—and that human beings can be! “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? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (verses 5, 13-14). The angels are here to serve us and help us receive salvation—upon which we will become far superior to what they are today!
This is a truth that ought to overwhelm us! Even when the angels saw God create the universe and Earth, they shouted for joy! (Job 38:4-7). They knew God was offering them a part in beautifying that creation.
God put one third of them on Earth to see if they could rule the Earth and universe. But that group failed. At that point, God knew that only He could be trusted to rule the universe.
Therefore, God decided to re-create Himself in man. The angels failed in taking care of the Earth, so now God is going to use humans to fulfill the transcendent potential to beautify the universe that was wrecked by Satan’s rebellion.
Now He is creating sons who are to be born in the very Family of God! He created our physical capacity to reproduce and have families to prepare us for that future. Physical family is a God-plane relationship; it’s a type of the God Family. Marriage is a God-plane relationship; it’s a type of our marriage to Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33). Those whom God calls who will come out of the world and serve Him before the Second Coming are going to become the Bride of Jesus Christ! That is the most wonderful truth you could imagine. You can comprehend that if you choose to. God will see to it that you do.
Angels have worked throughout the Bible and throughout history; some have even appeared to men like Abraham, Moses, Gideon and other servants of God. Many have served God faithfully for millennia. And God still has a wonderful future prepared for those angels who have remained loyal to Him.
These are wonderful truths that we need to understand. All this information is in your Bible and in Mystery of the Ages. This book will give you all the scriptures that you need to study regarding the history of angels.
Mystery of the Ages is a book like no other you’ll read. You need this book. It is a synopsis of the entire Bible. There is no book on Earth, except the Bible, that is more important. That is my view; it was Mr. Armstrong’s view—and I think once you truly understand it, it will be your view. It will be taught to this whole world very shortly. God is preparing teachers now who can disseminate the truth of God to the world. Most people who have ever lived never truly knew God. But that is about to change. They will be resurrected and taught the truth.