Such visions have most assuredly not come from the God who gave us the Bible. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Genuine visions, such as those seen by Ezekiel, Daniel, the Apostle John and other Biblical writers were experiences when the seer was allowed to briefly look behind the veil into the invisible world, into the heavenly places. They saw into that more permanent and more permanent world of the Spirit.
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Today, only if an experience can be confirmed by direct words from scripture can the Christian be sure what is happening is coming from God. The Christian faith is not existential, not based on experiences or emotion, but it is grounded in a thorough and complete body of knowledge given to us in the Bible. Biblical events are historically true as well, not at all based upon myth, folklore or tradition which form the backdrop of common world religions.
Peter says,. In regard to the Four Living Creatures, Ezekiel saw them in a great vision as standing around the chariot-throne of God. They must be frightening and awesome creatures of great intelligence, with four faces, four great wings, and they are constantly engaged in ceaseless energetic activity. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures.
And this was their appearance: they had the form of men, but each had four faces, and each had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calves foot; and they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another; they went everyone straight forward without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man in front; the four had the face of a lion on the right side; the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle at the back.
Such were there faces. And their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wings of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward, wherever the spirit would go they went, without turning as they went. Ezekiel's "wheels" are not UFO's but mysterious wheels within wheels "full of eyes round about.
And the living creatures darted to and fro like a flash of lightning. Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of a chrysolite; and the four had the same likeness, their construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When these went they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.
The four wheels had rims and they had spokes; and their rims were full of eyes round about. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went, and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
A great platform, the "sea of glass" stretches out above the throne of God, over the heads of the four living creatures.
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In recent years transparent metallic glass gold has been produced in the laboratory. The image of the crystal sea reappears in the Book of the Revelation , And under the firmament their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another; and each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the thunder of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of a host; when they stood still they let down their wings. And their came a voice from the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings.
And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire, and seated about the likeness of a throne was as it were the likeness of a human form. And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around about him.
Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. Seated on the throne is a human form. This man seems to be same Person as the "ancient of Days" named in Daniel. See also Revelation , , , Daniel records,. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Lion, ox, man, and eagle all symbolize various attributes of God in four-fold symmetry. Since the number "four" is symbolic of the world in scripture, we have in the four cherubim around the throne, a picture of God's government and concern for all aspects of the physical world, and the world-system which we call "human society.
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The ox pictures for us servitude and sacrifice Mark ; The Cherubim's face, like that of a man, corresponds to Luke's Gospel and pictures divine intelligence; and the eagle symbolizes the lofty sovereignty and deity of the Son of God John's Gospel. The four Gospels are also God's complete message to the descendants of Shem, Ham, Japheth, and to mankind in general, in the same order. The "wheels" of Ezekiel God's "chariot throne" appear to symbolize divine mobility, the ability of God to observe, to move and to act, anywhere and at anytime, unrestricted by the limitations of the material world.
The entire vision seems to picture for us God's government of human affairs and of nature. Similarly, the cherubim, the highest class of the angels, are also described for us in detail by John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos about 95 AD:. And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald.
Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! The Cherubim also seem to represent "God's Intelligence Agency" Ray Stedman with their all-seeing eyes and ability to move quickly in all four directions. The number "four" indicates they have a central role in God's government of human society. The Four Living Creatures seem to represent the topmost level of the system of angels who fall into definite hierarchy and class structures hinted at in scripture.
The Apostle Paul says there are angelic principalities arche , powers exousia , thrones thronoi , dominions kuriotes , and powers dunamis. Thus, there appear to be angels with power over a nation or a city or a planet or a star such as our sun. In addition to all manner of greater and lesser angels, the Mighty Archangel Michael, guardian of Israel, and the great messenger Gabriel are also named. Only Michael, of all the angels, is actually called an archangel in scripture. Lucifer is however named as one of the cherubim.
He was probably the highest of all the angels. God created great numbers of spirits, some now fallen, and known now as demons. Demonic forces operate in all forms of idolatry and false religion, for instance. Demons, deceiving spirits, familiar spirits, and unclean spirits do not have bodies of their own; hence, they seek to possess humans and can possess animals also. The popular New Age fad of "channeling" appears to be a good example of demons acting through men and women who make themselves available to evil spirits so as to receive hidden, esoteric wisdom alleged to come from the past or from "other worlds.
In the Book of the Revelation we are told of four angels who have charge over the "four winds that blow from the four corners of the earth. The Greek word angelos and the Hebrew word malakh mean "messenger," but it is clear in the Bible that angels do much more than run errands and deliver telegrams for God. Great and mighty angels will take charge in the unfolding of God's terrible judgments on the earth that are to come upon us at the end of the present age as described in the last book of the Bible.
As mentioned earlier, angels seem to have control over the forces of nature and human events in their roles as instruments of God. This does not cause man to be a mere puppet, tossed, and buffeted about by the unseen activity of these mighty beings. However, the Bible emphasizes that we cannot understand what is happening in the world or in history without understanding the activity of God and of the angels.
Most of the angels are not named for us in the Bible. Commenting on Revelation Chapter 8 Ray Stedman says,. When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
Rev NIV. This word about silence reminds us of the prophet Habakkuk's cry, "The Lord is in his Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before him! This silence comes as a dramatic contrast to the shouting of praise and the playing of harps that has been going on in heaven up to this point.
Millions of angels, hosts of redeemed humans, and other heavenly creatures have been crying out before the throne of God, and singing praises to him. But now suddenly everything ceases. When the seventh seal is opened there is total silence. It is a most dramatic pause. It reminds one of that moment of silence just before the last great "Hallelujah! This is the silence of mystery, a silence of intense anticipation of what is about to happen. Our good friend, Earl Palmer, in his commentary on Revelation says, "It communicates in a dramatic way the full and awesome authority of God. Everything must wait for his kingly move.
It is all part of the opening of the seventh seal. These are impressive angels indeed. We are told they are the angels "who stand before God. These seven angels are probably archangels, and they are given an extremely important task in the sounding of these trumpets. They doubtless include Michael the archangel, who appears also in the book of Daniel. In fact, the apocryphal book of Enoch, an ancient book which is not part of our Bible, gives the names of all seven angels.
Notice, their names all end in "el," which is short for the name of God. These are "angels of God," powerful angels, who are given these trumpets to sound. Angels of Doom Ray Stedman also notes in a sermon on the gospels that when Jesus calmed the sea of Galilee during a ferocious storm, he evidently spoke to a local angel who had charge of the weather. The angel's response was immediate,. And they [the disciples] went and woke him, saying, 'Save, Lord; we are perishing. And the men marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?
These are believed by careful Bible scholars to be a theophanies, or appearances of the Son of God, prior to His incarnation and birth in Bethlehem. In the New Testament, Jesus heads up these military resources of the Godhead which include the angels, and eventually also the saints of God. The active warfare in heaven between good and evil in the spiritual realm involves conflicts between fallen and unfallen angels as well as campaigns having to do with angelic interactions with human affairs. An interesting incident in 2 Kings 6 in the life of Elisha the prophet gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at God's angelic armies.
Alarmed at the ability of Elisha to warn the armies of Israel against impending attacks from the king of Syria, the latter attempted to capture Elisha when he was at Dothan. The sequence of events which follows clearly shows clearly the course of events is in reality controlled not by visible circumstances or "luck," or by Elisha's cleverness, but by the Lord working through angels:. When the servant of Elisha the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city.
And the servant said, 'Alas my master! What shall we do? Shall I slay them? Would you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them; that they may eat and drink and go to their master. And the Syrians came no more on raids into the land of Israel. Another interesting illustration showing how angelic activity interrelates with human affairs is given for us in the book of Daniel. Prayers by Daniel had reached the ears of God immediately faster than the speed of light , but God's answer to these prayers, sent by angelic messenger, was delayed due to a mighty conflict between the messenger angel and evil angels who had charge of the affairs of nations around Israel:.
I ate no delicacies, no meat nor wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were ended. And in the twenty fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is the Tigris, I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a man [an angel in human form] clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body was like beryl, and his face like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes like flaming fire, his arms and his feet were like in color like burnished bronze, and the voice of his words like the noise of a multitude.
And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then I fell on my face, in a deep sleep with my face toward the ground. And he [the angel] said to me, 'O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand up: for to you I have been sent.
Then said he to me, 'Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard [by God], and I have come because of your words. But the prince [chief angel] of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days: but, [archangel] Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what shall befall your people [Israel] in the latter days: for the vision applies to man days from now' And when he had spoken these words to me, I [Daniel] set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
How can the servant of my lord talk with my lord? For as for me, there remains no strength in me, nor is there breath left in me. Then said he, 'Do you know where I have come from to you? And now will I return to fight with the [angelic] prince of Persia: and when I have gone forth, lo, the [angelic] prince of Greece will come. But I will show you that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is no one who stands with me in these things, but [the archangel] Michael your prince.
Modified KJV. Daniel was in Babylon at the time of the experience described above. The great angel who visited him in person was probably Gabriel. He was dispatched by God to assist Daniel but delayed en route because of "fighting with the prince angel of Persia. That is, the kingdom of Babylon had fallen already, Persia would soon fall as a great world power and then Greece would rise. The rise and fall of nations and kingdoms is thus linked to warfare among the angels at the highest levels. We now from subsequent human history after Daniel's time that the angel over Greece, in the time of Alexander the Great who came to power thereafter, would be in ascendancy.
In Daniel, Chapter 12, the prophet records that the angel responsible for Israel, Michael, would "arise" [ascend in power] at the close of the latter days on behalf of God's people Israel. Associated with the rise of Michael would come the throwing down to earth of Satan and the "time of Jacob's trouble" spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, "a time of trouble such as never has been since there was a nation till that time Thus, angelic activity in heaven runs parallel with events on earth though it is difficult to establish a one-to-one correspondence between events transpiring in heaven and the timing of events on earth.
Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven, but Jesus foresaw this future event clearly, The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. The actual future day when Satan is excluded from heaven and confined to earth is described in the book of the Revelation, Chapter 12,.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world --he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!
In Zechariah, Chapter 1, are recorded the dreams of the prophet in which he saw horses riding to the corners of the earth.
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These horses symbolize divine activity in human affairs as do the better-known "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" Revelation, Chapter 6. In the Book of the Revelation the attention of the reader is turned to events in heaven; then the scene switches back to events transpiring on earth in human history. As the Book of the Revelation unfolds, the two realms merge so that there is a closer connection "closer coupling" between the two worlds. This is the meaning of the word apocalypse "unveiling.
In fact there are apparently angels whose sole work is to record human deeds in great detail. Ezekiel saw them as scribes with parchment, pens and ink, but in our era it is easier for us to imagine these angels as using some kind of advanced laptop computers. Angels, acting for God, reduced the mighty world-conqueror Nebuchadnezzar to seven years of psychotic wanderings to humble him so that he would come to see who was really running the universe see Daniel 4. Angels announce important events in scripture, such as the birth of Jesus, for example. Ordinarily when angels appear among men, they take on human form and may even be mistaken for ordinary men.
Hence, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells us, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. After a meal and a conversation which included Abraham's petitions for the doomed cities , the two other angels departed. Upon arriving in Sodom, they were treated by the men of that city as if they were only handsome, desirable young men with whom the citizens of Sodom wished to entice into their immoral sexual activities. These angels rescued Lot, but Lot apparently remained in some doubt about the true identity of these visitorswere they ordinary men or somehow extraordinary?
Some stories of angels appearing occasionally among us in our time seem to be well-founded. Angels evidently are able to take on human form from time to time. In the Book of the Revelation, angels are frequently seen in dazzling appearances. The aged Apostle John, who had spent his youth traveling with Jesus as one of the apostles, and after that, six decades of godly ministry in daily fellowship with the living Lord, was nevertheless so overwhelmed by the splendor of the angels he saw in his visions that he was twice tempted to worship themthinking they were actually the Lord in His risen splendor!
Demons and evil spirits, on the other hand, seem incapable in taking on physical appearance but gain access to the physical world by possessing men. Demon possession is not uncommon in the world today and more and more is encountered in the United States due to our rapidly declining moral conditions and open Satan worship. The New Testament also emphasizes that the Christian cannot understand what is happening to him and to the world he lives in unless he takes the angelic conflict seriously.
The subject deserves very careful study by every Christian. The Apostle Paul writes,. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. Paul also writes clearly on this subject in the closing portion of his letter to the church at Ephesus:. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. The Bible does not explain or justify the existence of God or of the devil; the existence of evil is already clear by Genesis, Chapter 3. As the Bible unfolds, we glean more and more information about the Tempter.
He first appears in Genesis as a serpentprobably a dazzlingly beautiful creature who later became identified with the snakes we all tend to dread and fear. Satan may have appeared to Eve as a "shining one"that is, an angel of light, a subtle counterfeit of the Presence of God who came to the garden regularly to fellowship with man. Bible scholars agree that on although on the surface Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 passages seem to be written about evil earthly kings, they are also figurative pictures telling us much more.
Behind certain key individuals who have appeared on the world stage is a supernatural personality, an Evil Entity who controls and possesses men to varying degrees. When this "prince of the power of the air" takes full control of a Caesar, or a Hitler, or a Stalin we have what the Apostle John calls, "an antichrist. Satan's attributes can be seen in powerful and evil human rulers of the past: the King of Babylon, the King of Tyre, the Caesars, Hitler, etc.
Isaiah and Ezekiel seem to be telling us about one of the Mighty Cherubim, perhaps the greatest of the archangels, who fell because of pride:. How are you cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of the assembly, in the far north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High'.
Those who see you shall stare at you, and ponder over you, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms; who made the world like a desert, and overthrew its cities; who did not let his prisoners go home? All the kings of the nations lie in glory, every one in his own tomb. But you are cast out of your sepulcher, like a loathed, untimely birth, clothed with the slain, those thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the Pit; like a dead body trodden under feet you will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people.
Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities. From Ezekiel we have additional light on one of the greatest of the angels and his first estate in the garden of God,. You were in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, topaz, and the diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and lapus lazuli, and gold; and wrought in gold were your settings and your engravings.
On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were upon the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned: so I cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering guarding cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor: I cast you to the ground, I exposed you before kings, that they might feast their eyes on you. You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade. Therefore I have brought forth fire from the midst of you, it consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all those who see you.
All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you: you have come to a dreadful end, and shall be no more forever. As the "anointed guardian Cherub" in the garden of God a place in the heavenlies corresponding with the garden in Eden on earth , he may well have had enormous power and influence over the entire angelic host. In the New Testament, Paul warns that he sometimes comes among men disguised as an angel of light through false teachers and also as a giver of deceptive visions. In fact, he has now become the Prince of Darkness. Lucifer may have been originally God's appointed watch guard over the forces of nature; for example, he could have been in charge of such physical phenomena as the propagation of light.
I believe it is quite possible that the observed decrease in velocity of light over time might have begun when Satan fell. In league with Satan are a third of the angels he has succeeded in turning away from serving God. We usually think of Satan as responsible for the fall of man, our present fallen, mortal state as children of Adam. We think of the devil as the tempter and the enemy of our souls. But in addition to these roles he seems to have had some important place as "prime minister" in God's government of the physical universe. The universe we now live in has been damaged by the fall of man and the angelsit is now a dying old creation, subject to the degenerative principle known in physics as the "Second Law of Thermodynamics.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
This passage links the redemption of the believer's physical body with the unveiling of a whole new creation which God has already prepared for those who love him. Satan is given a number of titles and descriptors in the Bible. He is "the prince of this world cosmos, the world system , "the prince of the power of the air," "the god of this age aion , "the prince of demons. Satan is the ruler over fallen angels, believed to number one-third of the angelic host according to Revelation He is the opposer of God's Person; the counterfeiter of truth, "the deceiver of nations".
Everything Satan does he must do by direct permission of God, as the book of Job clearly shows, so it is not as if there were two warring gods, one good and the other evil, a philosophy known as "dualism". The devil is a defeated enemy, his evil plan and power were undone by the work of Jesus on the cross though we wait in our time for his final defeat and removal from the heavens and the earth, by Michael the Archangel.
If we look at circumstances around us it seems he is winning and gaining ground unchecked. If we open our Bibles, however, his defeat is spoken of repeatedly as an already accomplished fact. Christians have not need to fear the devil, although we are warned by Peter,. Your adversary the devil goes around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. These notes on the angels are brief and sketchythe reader is encouraged to become well acquainted with all of Scripture and to read classic Christian books on spiritual warfare and angelology to gain a better understanding of the role of good and fallen angels in creation.
Difficult though it is for us to grasp, the laws of physics are apparently not operative apart from the angels who are part of the management system of God's government of creation. Just how angelic activity affects events in the physical world is not known to science, nor is much revealed in the Bible. Actual transfer of new energy from the spiritual dimension into the physical may not necessarily be involved most of the time when angels actsince such energy transfers would most likely appear to us to be violations of the laws of conservation of energy.
Such violations do not occur as far as science can detect. Another way of stating this is to say that God works within the laws of nature which He has established and most of the time does not circumvent these laws. It goes without saying that the discussion of various types of miracles is a complex subject in theology.
In connection with a computer conference I took part in some years ago between a group of concerning the interesting geological history and some unusual surface features of the planet Mars, I spend an exciting few hours quizzing Ray Stedman on the role of the angels in the universe. Ray suggested as a matter for "the sanctified imagination" that we could consider the possibility perhaps Mars had once been attacked by fallen angels during an early-history war between the angels. The purpose of such an hypothesized angelic war involving Mars and other planets might have been to prevent the birth of the Savior of mankind whose coming was foretold in the Bible as early as Genesis, Chapter 3.
The earth has been central to God's plan for the redemption of mankind. On no other planet did Christ become incarnate, and no where else did He die. It is not inconceivable, therefore, that the other planets were once angelic "watchposts" guarding the earth. Satanic attempts to destroy the earth through angelic warfare following his fall could have reduced all the planets except earth , to ruined, desolate, barren worlds. This is an admittedly unusual speculation but would serve to illustrate yet another of the devil's attempts to prevent the redemption of man. From scripture we do know that good and fallen angels war against one another, evidently using powerful weapons rather than mere swords of steel.
We would expect such mighty creatures, with such vast influence, to have weaponry in advance of that imagined by our government's proposed Space Defense Initiative, and even beyond the imaginative concepts raised for our sci-fi entertainment in programs such as "Star Trek" and "Star Wars. The curse on the serpent in Genesis is described as perpetual enmity between the godly line of Eve and the enemy of mankind, Satan:. After Cain murdered Abel, another son, Seth, was born to Eve.
This begins the godly line of promise leading to Jesus. Matthew's Gospel, Chapter One, picks up this genealogical line from Abraham to Joseph showing that Jesus was the rightful legal heir to the throne of Israel on Joseph's side, but rightful blood heir on Mary's side also. Luke's Gospel, which records the line of Mary goes all the way back to Seth.
A systematic Old Testament study of the line of promise vividly shows that Satan has made numerous attempts to permanently interrupt this line so that the qualified Messiah, Jesus, would never be born and thus no legitimate heir would ever come to Israel and mankind. Reading the Old Testament accounts that center around the godly line of ancestors of Jesus shows that Satan made many attempts, some almost successful, to destroy or interrupt the coming of the promised seed of the woman. To cite two examples: Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel tried to wipe out the royal line, but young prince Joash escaped by the grace of God 2 Kings Herod the Great d.
Even during the life of Jesus, the devil attempted numerous times to thwart Jesus' primary purpose of becoming a cosmic sacrifice for the sins of all the mankind. It was necessary for our Lord to carefully plan and orchestrate his three-year public ministry so that He arrived in Jerusalem precisely on Palm Sunday riding on a donkey and presenting Himself as the legitimate heir to the throne of David. In doing so, many exact detailed prophecies concerning Him were fulfilled in minutest detail.
In addition to rescuing lost men, some theologians believe that Jesus also "ransomed" lost property and territory belonging to God from any claim the enemy may have had upon it, whether those claims were all legitimate or not. This concept can be inferred from the broad scope of a passage in Colossians,.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. The Temptation of Jesus by the devil recorded in Matthew, Chapter 4 is illustrative of the promises Satan made to Jesus if the latter would but renounce his dependence upon the Father and bow before the "god of this world.
Fortunately for us, all were the enemy's wily attempts to thwart the plan of God have been and will be unsuccessful! We ought not to forget that as far as we are concerned here on earth that Satan's hatred and war against the Jews goes on more than ever in our timein ever-renewed anti-Semitism around the world, and especially attacks of all kinds against the emerging State of Israel, which is to become God's showpiece nation on the stage of history. Satan's last attempt to rule the universe and overthrow God and His kingdom occurs on earth, not in outer space.
Scripture speaks of many antichrists who oppose Jesus and counterfeit His claims, but there is to be THE final Antichrist, the "man of sin" who will one day take charge of our world under one world government having full and economic controls. As part of His plan, God has determined to allow evil to run its full course on earth.
Antichrist is to be an incarnation of Satan so that he, the Evil One, will fully possess and indwell one unique man in history more than he has ever done before in history. Revelation 12 includes a description of the throwing down of the devil to earth in a yet-future time as introduced above which will result in the greatest conflagration our planet has ever seen. This last war, which will involve all of mankind and very nearly destroy the entire human race, will begin in space i.
It will be a gigantic, unprecedented event in the annals of angelic warfare. The battle is fought by the archangel Michael and his thousands of unfallen angels:. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child Jesus and His Body the church was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole worldhe was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. The tomb containing the new discoveries is a modest sized, carefully carved rock cut cave tomb typical of Jerusalem in the period from 20 BCE until 70 CE…. The tomb itself, though not likely to be that of Jonah it seems to be much too recent, though sometimes bones were moved and sometimes dating is off , does give information that certainly seems to be related to Jonah.
While I do not know Dr. Tabor well, we have spoken in the past as well as have communicated via email. More will probably be learned and clarified about this Jonah-related find in time. The Bible, of course, has an entire short book related to Jonah, and here is some of what it says:. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah , Matthew And while some have had trouble with the literal veracity of the Jonah and the great fish incident, there have been humans swallowed by large marine creatures that have survived when the creature was later captured.
And, more importantly, Jesus verified the story of Jonah—hence we know it happened. Well, the truth is, a man can, and it has been proven…. James Bartley. He had been inside the whale for fifteen hours. Lang JS. Stephen Lang. Yet, whether God allowed him to survive naturally or somehow brought him out alive I suspect more of the latter , the Jonah incident happened. And something related to that seems to have been recently found according to Dr. The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.