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    CHAPTER 31. The Ministration of Angels

    Jude 6: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the Judgement of the great day.”SYNPT 320.1

    This text brings to view an order of beings called angels, and also shows that there are two classes of them, one which kept not their first estate, and another class which have kept it.SYNPT 320.2

    Peter speaks of the same. 2 Peter 2:4. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto Judgment,” etc. Here the angels that sinned are those who, as described by Jude, kept not their first estate. The whole host of angels were therefore originally holy, but a part of them have fallen into sin, and are reserved unto the Judgment of the great day.SYNPT 320.3

    1. What is the testimony of Jude 6?
    2. What does this text bring to view?
    3. Where does Peter speak of the same?
    4. What is his language?
    5. How is it shown that Peter refers to the same as Jude?
    6. What, therefore, was the original condition of all the angelic host?
    7. Are these angels departed human spirits?
    8. What is Job’s testimony, and where found?

    These angels are not the departed spirits of human beings; for Job speaks of the time when the foundation of this earth was laid, and says that the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:7. These were undoubtedly the angelic hosts, antedating the creation of the world and the history of man.SYNPT 320.4

    Moreover, Peter, in the text already quoted, speaks first of the angels and then of the old world preceding the flood, evidently making a distinction between the angels and the earliest inhabitants of the earth. Again, when Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise, before ever a human being had died upon the earth, cherubim were placed at the east of the garden of Eden to keep the way of the tree of life; and these cherubim constitute one division of the angelic hosts. Consequently, angels are not the spirits of departed men.SYNPT 321.1

    Angels are real beings. They are described in the Bible as possessing face, feet, wings, etc. Ezekiel says of the cherubim, “Their whole body and their backs, and their hands, and their wings,” etc. Ezekiel 10:12. Angels appeared unto Abraham. Genesis 18:1-8. They talked and ate with him. They went on to Sodom, and communed with Lot, who, entering into his house, baked unleaven bread for them, and they did eat. These persons were called angels. David speaks of the manna as the corn of heaven, and angels’ food. Psalm 78:23-25.SYNPT 321.2

    9. What testimony of Peter’s proves the same thing?
    10. What incident that took place in Eden also shows it?
    11. What were these cherubim?
    12. What can be said of the reality of angels?
    13. How are they described in the Bible?
    14. Who appeared unto Abraham?
    15. What did they do?
    16. What was their course with Lot.
    17. How does David speak of them?
    18. What may be said of the case of Balaam?

    The case of Balaam (Numbers 22:22-31) is an interesting incident. The angel appeared to Balaam with a drawn sword in his hand. The question is sometimes asked how angels can be material beings, since we cannot see them. This case illustrates how this can be. The record says the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel. The angel did not create a body for that occasion. He was just the same as he was before Balaam saw him; but the change took place in Balaam. His eyes were opened, then he beheld the angel. It was the same with the servant of Elisha when he and his master were brought into a strait place, surrounded by the army of the king of Syria. 2 Kings 6:17. Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant might be opened; and he immediately saw the whole mountain full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.SYNPT 321.3

    This may be further illustrated by a reference to things which we know are material, and yet which we cannot see. Air is material, steam is material, even though itself is only the result of material organizations, - matter acting upon matter, - and yet we can see none of these things. Just so with the angels.SYNPT 322.1

    19. What question is sometimes asked?
    20. How does this case illustrate it?
    21. Into what position were Elisha and his servant at one time brought?
    22. What was Elisha’s prayer?
    23. What did his servant then behold?
    24. Who were these beings represented by horses and chariots?
    25. Name some other material things which we cannot see?
    26. What are angels called in Hebrews 1:13, 14?
    27. What objection is based on this?
    28. How is this objection answered?

    It is further objected to the materiality of the angels, that they are called spirits. Hebrews 1:13, 14. But this is no objection to their being literal beings. They are simply spiritual beings, having bodies organized differently from those which we possess. Paul says (1 Corinthians 15:44), “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” The natural body we now have; the spiritual body we shall have in the resurrection. “It is raised a spiritual body.” Verse 44. But then we are equal unto the angels (Luke 20:36); then we have bodies like unto Christ’s most glorious body. Philippians 3:21. And Christ is no less a spirit than the angels. We read that God is a spirit, that is, simply a spiritual being.SYNPT 322.2

    The angels are beings of great exaltation and power. At the resurrection of our Lord, the presence of one angel struck the Roman guard to the ground like dead men. Matthew 28:3. Even the prophets themselves frequently fell helpless before the majesty of the angels that came to bring them revelations from the Lord. Daniel 10:8, 17; Revelation 19:10; 22:8. An angel destroyed the army of Sennacherib. 2 Kings 19:35. It was undoubtedly the angels that threw down the walls of Jericho. Joshua 6:20.SYNPT 323.1

    These exalted beings are appointed to be ministers of the saints of God. Hebrews 1:14. It appears from Matthew 18:10 that every child of God has an accompanying angel. The church in Jerusalem understood this; for when the voice of Peter was heard at the gate, they, supposing Peter was in prison, declared that it was his angel. Acts 12:15.SYNPT 323.2

    29. When we have spiritual bodies, to whom are we equal?
    30. What may be said of the exalted character of the angels?
    31. What incidents prove that they are beings of high power and glory?
    32. Who destroyed Sennacherib’s army?
    33. How many were destroyed, and in how long a time?
    34. Who threw down the walls of Jericho?
    35. What is the office of these exalted beings?
    36. What is proved by Matthew 18:10?
    37. What incidents in Peter’s life proves this?

    The history of the church is filled with instances of the ministration of these heavenly beings to the people of God. They protected the three worthies in the fiery furnace. Daniel 3:25. They shut the mouths of lions that they should not touch the servant of God. Daniel 6:22. They unloosed the chains and opened the prison doors before Peter. Acts 12:7. David says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Read also other ministrations to Daniel and John, as recorded in their writings throughout.SYNPT 323.3

    Angels are undoubtedly the ones that make the books of record from which we are all to be judged. Revelation 20:12. Angels assist in the Judgment. Daniel 7:9, 10; Revelation 5:11. The angels will gather the saints at the coming of Christ. Matthew 24:31; 25:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.SYNPT 324.1

    38. Name other instances of their ministration for God’s people.
    39. What books do the angels prepare?
    40. What do the angels have to do with the Judgment?
    41. Who will be gathered by them at the coming of Christ? Reference.
    42. Are the evil angels active?
    43. What is their work?
    44. What has resulted from the question of Satan’s origin?
    45. Explain this question in the light of the Scriptures.
    46. What does John 8:44 say of Satan?

    Such is the work ascribed to the holy angels. The angels who have sinned have also a work in which they are busily engaged. Their object is to thwart the efforts of the holy angels who are working in our behalf, and to lead mankind to sin and finally to ruin. Much speculation has been indulged in regarding the origin of Satan. In the light of the Scriptures, this question is involved in no difficulty. God could not consistently constitute creatures other than free moral agents. Being such, they had the power to sin and fall. The Bible assures us that some angels have so fallen. The leader in this work of rebellion is called Satan. God created him pure and upright. He has by his own action brought himself into this condition of evil. Christ says of him (John 8:44) that he was a murderer from the beginning, that he abode not in the truth, and that he is the father of lies. This shows that all these evils had their origin with him. Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:13-17 show the exalted position he occupied before his fall, and the cause of his overthrow. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and he aspired to a higher position than that assigned him by his Creator. Thus pride is shown to be the source of all the evil that has come into the universe.SYNPT 324.2

    These evil angels are just as real beings as the good. If men can explain away Satan, the devil, and demons, by calling them figures of speech, by the same rule we can explain away the good angels, Christ, and God himself, leaving the universe without a maker or a ruler.SYNPT 325.1

    47. What scriptures speak of his original condition?
    48. What was this condition?
    49. What was the cause of his fall?
    50. Are the evil angels real beings?
    51. What follows from the position of some that the terms Satan, devil, etc., are only figures of speech?
    52. Why does God permit these agents of evil to exist?
    53. What does Charles Beecher say of the origin and existence of sin?
    54. What will doubtless be shown by it at last?

    It is asked why God permits these fallen beings to exist. We answer by asking why he permits wicked men to exist. The same principle is involved in both questions; and the same answer will apply to both. We cannot, indeed, account for sin. Charles Beecher, in his work entitled, “Redeemer and Redeemed,” page 82, says: “Sin is, in its own nature, anomalous, and therefore mysterious; it is in its own nature an unaccountable thing; for the moment that it is properly accounted for, i.e., the moment we have assigned a good and sufficient cause for it, that moment it ceases to be sin. A good and sufficient cause is a good and sufficient excuse; and that which has a good and sufficient excuse is not sin. To account for sin, therefore, is to defend it; and to defend it is to certify that it does not exist. Therefore the objection that it is inconceivable and unaccountable that sin should enter into such a perfect universe amounts to nothing but saying that sin is exceedingly sinful, inexcusable, and destitute of the least defense for justification.”SYNPT 325.2

    God doubtless permits sin to run its career that its exceeding sinfulness may be seen, and his justice be vindicated in finally destroying sin and all its agents forever.SYNPT 326.1

    When Satan sinned, he was cast out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4), cast down to Tartarus. This is defined to mean the dark and fathomless void that surrounds the material universe. It must therefore include the interplanetary spaces.SYNPT 326.2

    Being thus cast out, he, by the temptation and fall of man, gained possession of the earth. Genesis 3. By this means he has become the “god and prince of this world.” The fair inheritance given to Adam has passed over into the possession of Satan, until it shall be redeemed by Christ.SYNPT 326.3

    55. Where was Satan cast when he sinned?
    56. Where is Tartarus?
    57. How did he gain a foothold in this world?
    58. Who now has dominion of the earth?
    59. What is now the condition of sinful man?

    Sinful man is Satan’s lawful captive. Romans 5:13; Ecclesiastes 3:20. In this condition he is represented as a prisoner. Job 3:17, 18; Isaiah 24:22. Of Satan it is said in Isaiah 14:17 that he opened not “the house of his prisoners.” The grave is called the land of the enemy. Jeremiah 31:16, 17. Death is called the last enemy of the righteous. 1 Corinthians 15:26.SYNPT 326.4

    The mission of Jesus is to destroy this work of the enemy. 1 John 3:8. And not only will he destroy the works of the devil, but he is also to destroy the devil himself. Hebrews 2:14. This is accomplished as a part of the great plan of salvation. Christ gives himself first to die for man, then acts as intercessor in his behalf, pardoning the sins of the penitent. Having finished his work as priest, he returns in the clouds of heaven (his second advent), raises the righteous dead, and translates the righteous living. Satan is then bound for a thousand years. Revelation 20:1-3. At the end of that period the wicked dead are raised, and, with Satan at their head, come up around the camp of the saints, the beloved city, the New Jerusalem, which has then come down to this earth (Revelation 21), and fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them all. This is the fire of the great day spoken of in Malachi 4:1, which shall burn as an oven, and consume all that do wickedly, root and branch, Satan and all his followers, evil angels and evil men. This is the day and this the fire of which Peter speaks (2 Peter 3:7), when he says that the heavens and the earth are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men. From this fiery ordeal there come forth new heavens and a new earth to be the everlasting abode of the righteous. Verse 13.SYNPT 327.1

    60. What is the object of Christ’s mission?
    61. By what process is this accomplished?
    62. Name the order of events?
    63. What scriptures speak of this time when Satan and his followers shall be destroyed?
    64. What follows?

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