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Particulars of Christianity:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)


Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 2)

Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 3)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 3)


Articles 7-12
Articles 13-18
Articles 19-25
Articles 26-29



We have been examining what Jesus and the Gospel writers had to say about the idea that angelic princes ruled the kingdoms of the world, particularly the dominant world empires. Now let's look at what Paul had to say on the matter.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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.

Here in Ephesians 6, Paul speaks of the "wiles of the devil" and Paul comments that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood." It is interesting that Paul here uses the very same phrase he used in 1 Corinthians 15 when he spoke in verses 44 and 51 about how "flesh and blood" human bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God but must first be transformed into spiritual bodies, such as the ones possessed by Jesus Christ himself and beings that dwell in the heavenly realms.

But who does Paul say we wrestle against? The devil as well as principalities and powers, which are not "flesh and blood." Paul says these "principalities" are spiritual and he also calls them the "rulers of the darkness of this world." So, we know that Paul understood that that spirit beings under the authority of the chief adversary (the devil), rule over the world.

And Paul speaks about these principalities in many places.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

In Titus 3:1, Paul instructs to "be subject to principalities and powers."

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.

Since Paul says to be subject to them, we know that in Titus, Paul is using this phrase to refer to human rulers, and not angelic beings as he is in the other cases. However, the fact that this phrase can be used either of human rulers or angelic rulers further helps to establish the connection that the angelic rulers have to the human rulers, who they preside over. And we will talk more about this later.

1 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul actually refers to the chief of these angelic rulers as "the god of this world," which further corroborates that the devil was speaking accurately when he told Jesus that the kingdoms of this world were under his dominion to give to whom he wished. Apparently, God had delegated control over the kingdoms of the earth to the chief adversary before he rebelled and so he retains that status now until Christ comes and unseats him, assuming control of the kingdom for himself.

One last passage of significant note is 1 Corinthians 2. For comparison purposes we will look at this passage side by side with Ephesians 3:9-10.

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

By viewing these passages side by side, we can clearly see that Paul has the same topic in mind. In both passages he speaks of how the wisdom of God was not made known to the princes of this world. In Ephesians 3:10, Paul actually clarifies that he is referring to the angelic rulers and not the human rulers because he refers to them as "the principalities and powers in heavenly places." What is interesting about 1 Corinthians 2 is that it tells us that God holds these angelic princes responsible for orchestrating the death of Jesus Christ.

And this should not be a big surprise, for in John 13:27 we see the adversary clearly depicted as directly participating in Judas' betrayal in order to deliver Jesus Christ to those who would crucify him.

Before we go on, we should make note of both Job and Jude.

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

In Jude, we see the angel Michael disputing with the devil and he does take the time to say to the devil, "The Lord rebuke thee." Clearly, Michael the archangel perceived that God still took the time to rebuke the adversary, even though he had already fallen.

What is also interesting is that in verse 14, Jude actually quotes from the book of Enoch. Now, the book of Enoch does depict a very interesting scenario in which certain fallen angels send Enoch to speak to God on their behalf since God was at that time no longer granting those particular angels an audience.

Enoch 15:1 And He answered and said to me, and I heard His voice: 'Fear not, Enoch, thou righteous 2 man and scribe of righteousness: approach hither and hear my voice. And go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent thee to intercede for them: "You should intercede" for men, and not men 3 for you.

The earliest copy that we have of the book of Enoch dates from the second century BC, two centuries before Jude wrote his epistle. And while the book of Enoch is not canonical and should, therefore, be considered fallible, the fact that Jude quoted from it does tell us that the mind of first century Jews would have been acquainted with this story in which Enoch, a man, is sent by God as a messenger to the fallen angels.

Furthermore, we find the following account recorded for us in the book of Job.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

Here we see two times in Job that not only does God converse with the adversary, but God wants to make a demonstration to him. So, we can see from Job that God clearly continued to speak to the adversary even after he had fallen and God continued to try to demonstrate his wisdom to the adversary as well.

And we have already seen from Ephesians 3 how God desires to make known his wisdom to those principalities and powers in heavenly places.

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.

So, it is clear from Jude 1:9, Job 1:6-8 and 2:1-3, as well as Ephesians 3:9-10, that despite the fact that the adversarial spirits are fallen indeed, God still speaks to them to rebuke them and make known to them his wisdom. Now, that does not mean that God was intending to allow the adversary to repent. Rather, after the adversary had sinned, God was making plain to him the error of his ways. The point is not that God was trying to compel the adversary to repent or that God would have in any way allowed the adversary to repent. The point is that after the adversaries' fall, God was still speaking to them and attempting to make known to them the wisdom and righteousness of God. And from Ephesians 3:9-10, we know that this applied to all of the angelic princes and not just to the chief adversary.

But we should also look at what Irenaeus has to say on this subject. Irenaeus was an orthodox early Christian writer who lived more than a century before the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, and who had been trained by Polycarp who himself was a disciple of the Apostle John. Irenaeus lived from 120-202 AD.

IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES
BOOK V.
CHAP. XXVI.--JOHN AND DANIEL HAVE PREDICTED THE DISSOLUTION AND DESOLATION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, WHICH SHALL PRECEDE THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF CHRIST. THE GNOSTICS ARE REFUTED, THOSE TOOLS OF SATAN, WHO INVENT ANOTHER FATHER DIFFERENT FROM THE CREATOR.

2. "That before the Lord's appearance Satan never dared to blaspheme God, inasmuch as he did not yet know his own sentence, because it was contained in parables and allegories; but that after the Lord's appearance, when he had clearly ascertained from the words of Christ and His apostles that eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition."

According to Irenaeus, God had written down what the sentence was concerning the fallen angels in the parables and allegories that were written by the prophets before the Lord Jesus Christ came. From this passage, we can see that Irenaeus perceived that God had used the prophets to convey things concerning the fallen angels, and afterward, Jesus and the Apostles confirmed and clarified what the fallen angel's sentence was.

Lastly, we should look at John 8.

John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

There are several things to note from Jesus' statements here in John 8. First, in this conversation with the religious leaders of his own day, Jesus states that "they do the will of their father" which he clearly identifies as "the devil." Second, Jesus states that the devil is the "father" of lies. In saying this, Jesus makes the devil the father of those who speak lies. Third, Jesus also calls the devil a "murderer from the beginning," which indicates that the devil is also the father of murder and has a long record of murder. Fourth, and most importantly, Jesus states that when the religious leaders of his day do what they do, they are doing the will of the devil, their father. This means, that when they killed Jesus, that too, was the will of their father, which they carried out for him, whether knowingly or unknowingly. And, in turn, this corroborates our interpretation of 1 Corinthians 2, where Paul states that the angelic principalities and powers were responsible for crucifying Jesus Christ.

Likewise, Revelation 12 clearly depicts that even before Jesus Christ came, the adversary was standing ready to destroy Jesus Christ, who is the child born to rule the nations with a rod of iron.

Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne...9 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.

Therefore, we can clearly see that it was the adversary who even before Jesus Christ was born, had been orchestrating to destroy Jesus Christ, who would one day rule the nations when the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of Christ Jesus as described in Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Daniel 8, and Revelation 11:15.


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