It's time to derive your worldview from the Bible

Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”

1 Peter 5:6-10 by Charles Clough
(Promise - 1 Peter 5:6–10) God never saves apart from judgment. When God judges, He judges man, nature, and angels (as part of nature). Angels are implicated in historic acts. Angelic capabilities. Angels and political leaders. The fall of Satan. The angelic conflict and the resurrected, ascended, and seated Jesus Christ. Questions and answers.
Series:Chapter 1 – The Heavenly Origin of the Church
Duration:1 hr 20 mins 27 secs

© Charles A. Clough 2000

Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003

Part 6: New Truths of the Kingdom Aristocracy
Chapter 1: The Heavenly Origin of the Church

Lesson 159 – Ascension and Session: Final Countdown and Angelic Realm

07 Dec 2000
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD

Again sort of a review of the faith-rest drill, we’ve been looking at just simple ordinary basic promises of Scripture, with emphasis on the fact that we have to know these promises, we have to know some of them, and we have to be able to recall these when we need them in our daily life. As we recall these in trying circumstances, we want to learn how to meditate and pick up the rationale that’s imbedded in these verses. At the same time we do that we want to confirm the opposite, the unbelief, the paganism that surrounds our culture and in the world system around us so that we have not just the faith-rest drill but we have the faith-rest drill with what’s called closure, meaning that there are no other alternatives left than this promise. That’s a good strong technique/approach, the faith way.

1 Peter 5:7 is another one of these great promises of Scripture. This one, I’ll just read verse 7 and then we’ll look at the context, “Casting all your care” or “your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” The word “anxiety” is just what it means, there’s no hidden meanings in the original languages, that’s exactly what it’s saying and it’s talking about casting that anxiety on Him. Then it gives a rationale, and we want to look at that rationale, “because He cares for you.” But we start verse 7 with a continuation of verse 6 so we have to go back to verse 6 and we see what has to precede faith. Faith can never be arrogant. This is our diagram about arrogance and the spirit of unbelief. The idea here is that faith requires humility, and it gets back to nothing more, nothing less, than what we’ve said again and again, the Creator/creature distinction. That’s implicit in all of the Bible, and this humility, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” is simply assuming our position as creatures underneath the Creator. Once that is done then we can cast our care upon Him.

A lot of people over the years who have used this promise have argued that well sometimes I just can’t cast the anxiety on the Lord, and, I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work. Well, you may have tried it, but it’s not applied in context. Verse 6 is the context and the context is “humble yourselves” first “under the mighty hand of God,” recognizing who He is, who we are and taking the position as believers that we are under His authority. That’s why at the end of verse 7 it says “because He cares for you.” You can’t have the confidence that He cares for us if we don’t humble ourselves under His mighty hand, because there’s always the thought that well, He really doesn’t care for us. It’s only as we humble ourselves under His mighty that we know that He cares for us.

Then in verses 8–10, which is also part of the rationale, and a good verse to introduce the lesson tonight with, he introduces the background invisible angelic conflict that’s going on. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. [10] And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. [11] To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” So embedded in all this rationale is this struggle that goes on in the background. This is one of the great promises of Scripture, and if these are new to you, you want to know where these are located. So far we’ve covered Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:28 and now we’re working with 1 Peter 5:7. These are just basic building blocks of everyday life.

We have been working with the ascent and session of Christ. With this lesson and the one coming up next week we’ll finally finish up the ascension and session of Christ. We said that the picture that you get out of this, the idea of judgment/salvation, is shown in the Exodus, it’s shown in the flood of Noah, and this judgment/salvation is shown most clearly now with the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve been reviewing this under the same topics that we used to review the flood of Noah and the Exodus judgment. The big idea, again by way of review, is God never saves apart from judging. And God, when He judges always includes salvation. That’s the story of grace from the beginning of creation to the last moment of history. We live in a fallen world and there cannot be deliverance unless there’s judging taking place upon the forces that are causing the salvation to be necessary.

We said that God always has grace prior to His judgment and grace is demonstrated in the Church Age, in the inter-advent period, so far nineteen plus centuries, up to the point of His judgment, when He closes out the inter-advent age. We’ve said in personal lives God demonstrates grace to a person who may live five years, fifteen years, thirty-two years, seventy-two or a hundred and two years, however long our lives are, that’s the period of grace. When we take our last breath, opportunity for grace stops because at that point there’s no more repentance possible; the thing has been set. So life is sort of sobering when we think in this context that God has grace but it’s grace before judgment.

Then we talked about perfect discrimination, and the fact that God doesn’t judge statistically, He judges with surgical precision. We use the word “discrimination” because one of the most misused and abused words in our day if the word discrimination. It’s not impossible to understand but we have people using a vocabulary of manipulation. It’s very stupid and very foolish because discrim­ination … I was talking to a House of Delegates person about this issue because of a vote that happened a year or two ago and we were discussing this word discrimination. The whole issue before the House of Delegates was that we’re going to do away with discrimination. I said excuse me, how do we do away with discrimination when you limit people that we pay to discriminate. I got this blank look for an instant, and I went on to follow up my statement. When you pass a law, doesn’t that law discriminate? Isn’t that the purpose of a law? To discriminate against those who obey and those who disobey.

Every law is discriminatory. Every ethical principle is discriminatory. So can you say that discrimination is evil? If it is, then we shouldn’t have any laws. Clearly people don’t mean that, and clearly people are very confused in how they use the word discrimination. Therefore I always use it in these conversations because it always causes consternation and it precipitates some thinking as to what I mean. Do you discriminate? Of course, all the time, and I do it as a Christian; and I pray that I can be more discriminating. Usually when you drop that in a conversation, you get a little vibration at first, but good, now people start to think, maybe I am using the word discrimination and it gets them to think through their position.

God discriminates and God discriminates between those who believe the Lord Jesus Christ and those who reject Him. The point of discrimination, what settles the issue in the inter-advent age is what are we doing with Jesus Christ? In our pluralistic American culture this is going to increasingly become a bone of contention, but it can be easily reversed in the conversation. If somebody accuses a Christian of discrimination because of Jesus Christ, turn right around and take whatever they have and say you’re discriminating; you’re discriminating against Christ, because Christ doesn’t allow you to be neutral. You have to believe or you have to disbelieve. So Jesus Christ is always the divider and He is THE standard of discrimination.

Then we said, further to alienate people in a relativistic society, there is only one way of salvation. They’ll say well that’s just your opinion. No, it’s not my opinion, and it wouldn’t matter if it was my opinion, it’s what the Bible teaches. If you want to argue with Paul, argue with Paul, but I didn’t write this, this preceded me. The content of the gospel is a one-way salvation scheme, and there’s a reason and a rationale; we studied that. Death of Christ: here we go with the events; the death of Christ accomplished something. What was the basic idea we learned when we talked about the death of Christ? What was the primary worldview issue that controls how a person approaches the death of Christ? The primary thing that’s operating in the background that causes people, when the issue of Christ on the cross comes up, they go one of two ways. If they go negative toward His work and come up with some bizarre reinterpretation of what the cross of Christ did, you can lay nine to one odds they’re screwed up in their concept of justice.

The idea of justice underlies the cross, and if you have a fouled up sloppy view of justice, you’re going to have a fouled up sloppy view of the cross of Christ. That’s why we have so many people that are sloppy in what they think about the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, because they don’t have a background of justice. Where do you get the background of justice? God’s attributes. The religions of the world who say there’s no need for a substitutionary blood atonement in effect are saying something positive; they’re saying that God has a compromisable stand of justice, i.e., He can arbitrarily forgive, just forget it, it’s no problem.

What happens to all this sin? It just gets kind of swept under the carpet. Oh it does? Therefore the bad deeds aren’t really signifi­cant, so if I blow your brains out you won’t mind that because it’s really not a significant act, it can be arbitra­r­­ily forgiven at any point in time, no problem. When you get down to the practical consequences it’s just foolish, it’s absolutely foolish. But you’ve to kind of work with it to get folks to see that they’ve got a justice problem. That’s why, if given the fact that God is a God of justice, who defines the way of salvation. He defines the way of salvation and that’s His way. The challenge would be come up with another way to be saved, try it, given the fact that you have the God of the Scriptures, given the fact that you have God who is just, God who is holy, God is righteous, you come up with a better way, go ahead and try it. This is the idea of the one way of salvation.

We have come to this next stage, which is when God judges, He always judges man and nature. It’s not just psychological; it’s not just centered on the human being. We saw this with the flood; when God judged He judged mankind and He judged the earth. And if 2 Peter 3 is to be taken seriously He judged the cosmos.

In fact, I was just looking at a paper that’s the chapter of a forthcoming book that the creation scientists are doing, for five years now they’ve been studying the radioactive decay rate issue, and Dr. Humphreys has come up with a hypothesis about radioactive decay constant not being constant. He goes on in this paper, and one of the implications of the denial of the constancy of radioactive decay … the reason they’re doing that is because all of the dogmatism about the universe being X-billion years old and the earth being billions of years old comes off of an assumption. The assumption is that radioactive decay has always remained the same, and people say well, we’ve tried changing it in the laboratory and we can’t. Humphreys points out, yes, you have. Radioactive decay constants have been changed in the laboratory. True, only a little bit, but the point is, it shows you it’s not a constant.

So here again we’re back to pagan speculation. See, I deny the Scripture, can’t believe the Bible, but I sure can make up all my constants, speed of light never changed. Oh really, were you around three billion years ago to check it out? But I just believe the speed of light is constant; I just believe radioactive decay rates are constant. On what basis? It gets back to the fact if a person is limited in their data base and every one of us, including the most brilliant person, then you only know something is a constant inside that data base, not outside of it, and nobody’s data base includes what happened a million years ago. So the idea that something has been constant for millions of years is a speculative hypothesis. That’s all right, try it, it’s fun to speculate, but label it for what you’re doing. Don’t call it science, it’s not science, it’s a speculative statement that you’ve made.

The point is that Humphreys in this paper is pointing out that certain things happened during the flood. He’s had a breakthrough, I think, on a number of passages of Scripture that suggest the Scriptures themselves are talking about an accelerated decay rate, and he goes into various passages. But this is a forthcoming book and the point I’m making is that the flood was a cosmic catastrophe that had all kinds of implications. God, when He judges, judges both man and nature. In the Exodus He did that too, they were natural judgments.

Here’s where we’re moving. In the inter-advent age we’re going to examine nature, and we’re going to see that nature, i.e., everything that’s been created other than man, includes a material and an immaterial component. The immaterial component is angels, corporeal beings that have a strange transmutable character. We’re going to look at that in several verses. We’ve already looked at some of these verses; one of the key ones we looked at last time, Psalm 104:4 where it’s clear that the statement is being made that angels can transform themselves from corporeal beings into physical phenomena like fire and wind. And for all intents and purposes it looks like fire, wind and smoke, just like the top of Mount Sinai. It looks like fire, wind and smoke when you look at it in Exodus; come over to Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 and he’s talking about no, that wasn’t just smoke and fire, that was angels. I didn’t see any angels, all I saw was smoke and fire; you saw angels! The only way you can make sense of that kind of Scripture observations is that the physical phenomenon actually is angelic beings. How they transmute from eating steak at Lot’s house to becoming a wind or becoming a flame I have no idea. The Scriptures are just saying that it’s part of their nature to do that. But for our purposes we don’t care how they do it, we’re just pointing out that angels are included, right here, in nature, and when God judges man and nature in the inter-advent period, the angels are being implicated.

That’s what we want to go into now is the background of the angels. On page 17 I covered how angels were present through Israel’s history and how you can’t write history and study history without automatically getting yourself involved in angelic interaction. Carl Marx had a theory that history was driven by economic forces alone. We’ve had Hegel with his theory about the progression of the Great Spirit, and this was supposed to be the progress in history. The Bible has another aspect to history and that is that it’s angelically, let’s use the word driven because God is sovereign, but angels are implicated in historic acts, and one of the great places to see this is 1 Kings 22. There’s a lot of material in this passage. Commentators like to hit grease when they come across passages like this, but it’s here in the Scripture. The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture so I presume that He intended us to learn something from it.

 In 1 Kings 22:19 the Old Testament prophet, Micaiah reports on something that he saw, a vision. “And Micaiah said, ‘Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne,’ ” so he got a glimpse of this throne room wherever it is, “and all the host of heaven, standing by Him on His right and on His left.” And notice it says “all the host of heaven,” and the host of heaven here are the angelic beings. The words for “the host of heaven” are also used for the planets and stars. This is why people say well is that planets? No, it’s not planets and stars, but the angels somehow are involved in that. How I have no idea. How do they become fire and wind? I don’t know. But they’re involved somehow. “I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.”

Verse 20, “And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that.” This is very interesting. Notice what is happening here. You have “all the host of heaven,” this is a meeting of all the angels. The Lord is the chairman of the meeting. And He throws this out for discussion; it’s very interesting, the Lord throws out a proposal, I want to see who’s going to do an interesting task, I want a task done here. Ahab is going to be judged, and I want to grease his slide; who’s going to be the grease-boy here in this thing. It’s interesting that the angels discuss this among themselves. The challenge is given and there’s an active discussion. Notice the Lord doesn’t say you do it this way. The angels are given an opportunity to think through how to accomplish what the Lord proposes. Isn’t this an amazing point of history! You can’t go from T-1 to T-2, in other words, two time points in history without intersecting this angelic council here all of a sudden. So how does history move from this point to this point? It moved because of an angelic meeting that happened.

If you look at the content, a spirit comes forth. [21 “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’”] There’s so much in this passage we can’t even touch on it other than just skim it, but look at the broad outline. “A spirit” comes forth, so here one of these guys shows up and he says okay, he “stood before the LORD and said ‘I will entice him.’” So he’s got an idea and he makes a proposal to God, [22] “And the LORD said to him, ‘How?’ ” Explain yourself in other words. “And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’” That means hundreds of people, which leads us to the other interesting phenomenon that angels can multiply and divide, they can split up. How they do this we don’t know, other than you know from the New Testament that you’ve read, what about “Legion?” What about the demons that went in all the pigs? How do they split up and go like that?

The analogy between spirit in the Bible, the word ruach, and the word for spirit is interchangeably used for wind in the atmosphere. And the problem we have in the atmosphere is that we can conceive of the atmosphere as a set of parcels, but these parcels multiply and divide and you can’t get your hands around what the parcel of air is that you’re trying to do your physics thing with. It’s a gas, it’s a fluid. So the angels have such a nature that the only vocabulary word that describes them that God uses, and He says when I tell you about spirits and angels I’m going to use the same word for a physical phenomenon that you all see, and that is the wind. So there’s some analogy between how the wind works that we can see a little bit of, and how these angels work. We cannot explain it. But angels have this power.

So here’s one spirit and he says I’m one spirit, but I will become hundreds of spirits in the mouth of his prophets. Also notice in this sentence that he says I will be in the mouth of the prophets. What does it mean to be in the mouth of the prophets? What is the mouth used for? To speak. To speak what? Language. Aha, isn’t this interesting. We’ll see more about this when we get into Pentecost. Spirit and language are related, so how does the spirit entice? It entices linguistically. This is not some Spook Ville phenomena where the prophets see visions and so on, it’s actual deception, a linguistic deception that’s happening here. Language is a result of a spirit.

Remember in Proverbs it says of the teacher, “I pour out my spirit” and what else, parallelism, “I make my words known,” two synonymous things. “I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” [Proverbs 1:23] You know what making your words known is, when you say words there’s ideas transmitted. The spirit is involved in this, it’s not material. Think about it this way, maybe if it’s hard to think that way think about it this way. When we talk about good, love, evil, bad, any idea. Is that idea something that is physically measured? This is the problem atheist materialist have, they’re always talking about logic, they’re always talking about language, but the problem they have is it can’t be smelled, it can’t be touched, it can’t be measured. Isn’t this an interesting thing? Here we have meaning, words, all kinds of things, none of which can be empirically measured. There’s no physical nature to any idea; it’s completely immaterial.

If you pursue that line of thinking it will lead you to this union of language and spirit. So what he does here in verse 22 is this spirit is going to set up a false doctrine that is going to afflict the whole northern kingdom. And he’s going to do it by infiltrating and somehow deceptively controlling the thought processes and speech of many, many influential in that culture. And only one spirit needs to do it. That’s kind of scary about manipulation of a social order is it not? One spirit can deceive an entire community of people. That’s what this verse is saying, no getting around it. It’s not my opinion, that’s what this verse is saying. There’s no other interpretation possible here. So we have an entire social order of hundreds of people that actually are controlled by one demonic force. This is the origin of a mob. A mob has a nature all unto itself. And people, I’ve never worked with it but I’ve been told by people who have had to deal with mobs that there is something sinister that takes over that short-circuits people of normal common sense,

just go with the mob, it’s a mob reaction. How does that happen? We don’t know how it happens but people who have been there know it happens.

Here we have a religious apostate mob that is going to run the northern kingdom and the spirit says I’m going to do it; I’m going to pull this off for you Lord. And they’re all going to have the same deception; they’re going to get this guy to go into battle so he can get killed. So it’s going to be a mob, religious mob influencing national leadership.

Verse 23, “Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit” this is the commentary of Micaiah, he concludes his vision. By the way, then the Lord said at the end of verse 22, “You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.” Then Micaiah comments again in verse 23, it comes back to Micaiah, “the LORD has put a,” notice singular, “a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets,” plural. Let’s think about one little application here. What does this politically say about an axiom of democracy? Democracy says what? The majority is always right. Was the majority always right here? Was the majority right when Christ was crucified? What happens then? See, behind the spirit of raw democracy is vox populi, vox dei, the voice of the populous; the voice of the mob is the voice of God. Do you know who said that? The French Revolution. That’s the spirit of democracy. That’s why America is not a democracy; it was never intended to be a democracy. That’s why we have something called the Constitution. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s a flywheel, like on a machine, it acts as a conservator against a mob. There’s a lot in Scripture and you’ve got to approach it slowly and think it through and dare to take it to its consequences.

Let’s go further into this angelic thing. We already studied Daniel 10 and we said how the angel came to Daniel and it took three weeks, let’s review that one because this is a sobering view of history that you will never get in a textbook. I heard of a very clever thing about, you know in certain public offices you can’t say certain things because of the separation of church and state principle, and this person was using the following technique to get around it. And it’s perfectly legal. You can say that I’m forbidden in this place by the law to pray in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Well, isn’t that what they told me to do, that we all cannot pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the ACLU or something?

See, they can’t get you because the sentence is a correct sentence, is it not? They said that you cannot pray, so I’ve just repeated the sentence, I cannot pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, say it five or six times. It becomes a joke, it becomes so silly that people realize what you’ve said, but there’s not a person that can come against you, not a person, there’s no way they can attack you because the sentence is perfectly truthful, you’re just repeating what the court told you to do. These are some of the little greasy ways you can fight back. You don’t have to hide in a corner.

In the Old Testament people were able to end run the law of God. With a little spiritual creativity we ought to be able to end run any law that man makes to suppress the gospel. It ought to be easy. We just have to be creative about it, do it lawfully, do it submissively but … this is a chess game and the other side is disarmed. They haven’t got any bullets in their gun, it’s all a big farce because they haven’t got any reasons for what they believe; they can’t ethically justify what they believe. They don’t have a standard of truth that they can actually stand on. And we’re intimidated by the hot air and bologna? We shouldn’t be at all. This is the bologna people talking. They haven’t got a platform to stand on, it’s absolutely ridiculous. It’d be funny if the consequences tragically in personal lives weren’t so grievous.

In Daniel 10:13, here in history that angel that came through into the air space, and that’s what it is, it’s coming into the air space of Persia. Look what he says, I can’t draw a map, but let’s say this is the territory, and Daniel. If we were to think in three dimensions, above that country is the spirit of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. We don’t know what the dimensions look like but Daniel 10:13 says that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia,” now he’s not talking about the human prince of the kingdom of Persia, this is an ancient talking.

He’s talking about something else that’s “the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days.” Count that, twenty-one days, for three weeks a battle went on where this angel …, here’s Daniel down inside the country praying, and this angel is coming from the throne of God to answer Daniel and talk to him and the reason he has to talk to him is because he has to interpret visions. One of the features of apocalyptic literature, i.e., literature written in a style like the book of Revelation, certain passages in Zechariah, Daniel, is that you will always find there’s a corollary to that genre of literature is there’s an interpreting angel there. Along with the visions there’s an interpreter.

So the angel had to get to Daniel because Daniel’s got to get the vision but Daniel isn’t going to understand the vision. By the way, once again we have an angel with meaningful linguistic capabilities, he’s going to come in and talk to Daniel down here, so it takes him three weeks to go in here, and look what he says why it took him three weeks. He says, “behold, Michael, one of the chief princes,” so now we have rank, here’s one of the guys that pulls rank on whoever the prince of Persia is, “Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings,” plural “of Persia.” So all kinds of stuff is going on here, and the Bible doesn’t go into great detail, because God doesn’t want us to get spooky about all this. He just wants to let us know that if we think we’re living in a two dimensional world we’re nuts. There’s a spiritual world out there of intrigue and it’s involved in history.

That’s a summary of the angelic forces in nature associated with Israel. Now go to Genesis 3; we’re going to deal with angels in the realm of nature between Creation and the Flood. If you look at Genesis 3:24, here’s one of the angels functioning or several of them “at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim,” plural, in the English you see cherubim. The “im” is plural in the Hebrew, “He stationed the cherubs and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Who has the power of capital punishment here, the sword? Angels. We want to trace this because this is a very important element in reasoning through the ascent of Christ and what He’s doing. I want to notice, pick up some Scripture, a certain association. Notice that angels have a power, here we’ll just say the sword; let’s just leave it, angels and sword.

Go to Genesis 4:10, it didn’t take long for the first murder to happen. Verse 8, the first murder; if you interpret the book of Jude carefully, it’s talking about the word “slay” which means knife, which means the first murder was committed by a knife. Verse 9, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ [10] “And He said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. [11] And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. [12] When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.’ ” Here’s the rise of a nomadic tribe of people; nomadic because they are resisted by nature. Here’s a guy saying … we can’t get around this text either. God is judging Cain but He’s also judging the earth here under his feet because the earth will rebel against him, just as the earth originally was given to rebel against Adam at the fall, now it’s going to rebel even more against Cain.

Verse 13, “And Cain said to the LORD, ‘My punishment is too great to bear! [14] Behold, Thou hast drive me this day from the face of the ground;” see, alienated from the ground and he becomes a nomad, wandering from place to face, because the call of man was the call to domesticate. The call of man was the call to till the Garden. And now Cain has lost his call, he is damned by the ground itself against his feet and he has no call, he just wanders and wanders and wanders. In essence he becomes the first hippie of history.

“Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me. [15] So the LORD said to him, ‘Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.’” So the Lord promises a protection on Cain in that whoever touches this man, they will be judged in a similar way. How was Cain judged? By the ground rebelling against him. Then how is someone going to be judged who tries to attack Cain? In many ways, but it would suggest that God is going to judge them the same way by making the earth rebel against them even more. This is why I have the quote on page 18 in the notes that, this is a little added insight that has recently come up in some creationists writings that the earth between the time of the fall and the time of the flood may have experienced catastrophes, not in the same order as the flood of course, but a lot of judgment going on there, turmoil.

“The pre-Flood world was a time of exceptional Divine interventions upon the earth. Even in post-Flood times, when God takes a strong hand to show His displeasure over sin, floods, earth­quakes, volcanic eruptions and plagues, etc., are cited in Scripture. … When God dealt with ancient Israel as a theocracy, He stressed that punishment on the Covenant people be given with increased intensity … (Leviticus 26:14, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32). This increasing degree of punishment in order to bring about repentance seems indicative of how the Lord has acted in history towards sin. The account of the pre-Flood world is brief in Scripture, but Divine activity appears to have been even more forceful in the pre-Flood world before God sanctioned human government to act on His behalf in dealing out punishments.” So we have the angels possibly involved here, though it’s purely speculative, that they were actually involved in material cursing. But I just wanted you to see that between the time of the flood and the time prior to that, there was this judgment going on, God judging man through nature.

Now we come to Genesis 6 and the angels at this point are called bene ha’Elohim, the divine sons, 6:2, “the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. [3] Then the LORD said, ‘My spirit shall not strive with man forever …. [4] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days,” etc. So something is going on there too that’s weird. What we want to pick up here is another connotation about angels. They are called Elohim; they can be called gods, small “g”. One might be able, and this is speculation, you could speculate that what was going on here is that the angels were actually provincial rulers in the antediluvian period, that they had some sort of governmental responsibilities perhaps, and because they interacted with the human race. You can see what a spooky civilization that was; we have angels interacting with human beings on this planet.

Well, what are we saying the Millennial Kingdom is about? Resurrected people interacting with non-resurrected people. So we’re making the same claim about the Millennium. Apparently some­thing like that was going on here, the gods were walking with men. If this is so, and I believe it is, this answers the high-technology question: where did Noah and the colonists that set up our present civilization get navigation, get clocks, get geometry, and get all these things. This is one of the problems, one of the enigmas of civilization, where did this high technology come from? The unbeliever is driven to such desperate attempts to explain high technology in ancient civilization that they want to say well, astro-people came to this planet, in one sense they’re kind of close to the truth, maybe astro-people did come to this planet in the form of angels and teach man his high technology.

Whatever it was, other things happened, and in verse 2 you have this sexual intercourse going on between angels and men, and you have the rise of this weird group called the “Nephilim … when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.” Notice it’s human females and angelic males, and out of this we have a genetic manipulation going on. [blank spot] … had to have genuine humanity and He had to be born of the seed of the woman and all you needed to do was contaminate the whole genetic system of reproduction, you’ve screwed up the whole plan of salvation. A brilliant move was being made here. But God, as a superior chess player, played His countermove, and He caused the flood to happen and that’s the end of that little experiment. So angels were involved in that weird thing.

Now let’s go back further in time, we’ve looked at angels with Israel, we’ve looked at angels in this antediluvian period, now Job 38, we’re going to go back into the origin of creation itself. In Job 38:7, during creation the angels sang. “When the morning stars” and there’s the word for stars, so we want to make another little point in our list, angels and sword, angels and gods, angels and stars and planets, those identities are deliberately put in Scripture for reasons which we don’t really know, but we observe the text.

So “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” there’s the word “sons of God” for those people who say “sons of God” in Genesis 6 were human beings, these aren’t human beings in Job 38:7. At this point it says “all the sons of God were shouting for you,” they were rejoicing. There’s no sign of sin in the angelic realm at the point of Job 38:7, there’s no Satan rebelling, all the angels are together with no bifurcation.

But it wasn’t long before the fall happened in the angelic realm, so we turn to Ezekiel 28, a part of the Bible that’s never read; here a prophecy is made against the king of Tyre. Notice some­thing, here we go again. Now we have angels and political leaders, the prophecy is against a physical king of Tyre. Ezekiel 28:12, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,” what is happening here is what is happening elsewhere in Scripture, it seems a little weird here but it shouldn’t be. If you think about it, David when he writes Psalm 22 he’s crying out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me,” but what persona is David taking on? He’s taking on the Messianic persona, so there’s an identity that happens at Psalm 22 between the human King David and the Lord Jesus Christ, and we all sense that. The same thing happens here except on the other side of the moral fence.

Here the king of Tyre is being addressed, but actually the force in behind this man is being addressed. So the dialogue looks weird if you’re going to think the dialogue is directly against the king of Tyre. It’s a poetic rendition of a prophecy using the same analogue approach that Psalm 22 uses where David takes on the persona of Christ; here the king of Tyre takes on the persona of Satan. The prophet, Ezekiel, addresses him, and he gives a lot of information about how evil began in the angelic realm.

“Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, ‘You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He’s talking about Satan here. Satan left the hand of God when He pronounced everything was good, Satan left the hand of God “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” Verse 13, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond” and he goes on, a big long list, “the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created, they were prepared. [14] You were the anointed cherub.” Now look at that word; guess what the word anointed is there? Messiah, “You are the Messianic cherub,” that’s the word that’s later used for Jesus Christ. “You were the Messianic cherub who covers; and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”

Verse 15, “You were blameless” notice “in your ways from the day you were created, until…” until “unrighteousness was found in you.” There’s the origin of sin. Then he goes on to talk about sin in a commercial context. By the way, verse 16, trade and world economics, just like the book of Revelation brings in sin being tied in with Babylon and all the international dealings, etc. that go on. So he is the god of this world. But notice angels and political leaders, there’s the power behind them.

Now turn to Isaiah 14, another passage with another political leader who takes on the persona of Satan again, this time at the hand of Isaiah. Notice the theme; just repeat the theme over and over and over again. Isaiah takes up this prophecy, and he says against this king, verse 11, “Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to hell [Sheol]; maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. [12] How you have fallen from heaven.” By the way, just in context verse 4, who is this? The king of Babylon, just like the other guy was the king of Tyre, here’s the king of Babylon and he takes on the persona of Satan. He says “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!” Do you know the title Peter uses for the Lord Jesus Christ in his epistle? The Bright and Morning Star. There’s no accident that the vocabulary words once used of Satan are now used of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not accidental, something is happening here. “You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!” Notice his global ministry, nations, plural, not just one, all of them.

Verse 13, “But you said in your heart,” now verses 13–14 is the greatest passage on sin that you ever want to read, and when the Lord leads you to examine your own heart for sin, this is a great passage because this is the essence of sin. It’s not immorality, it’s not theft, it’s not something else, it goes a lot deeper than those things. Those things are results of sin and they are particular styles of sin.

But the essence of sin is right here, so this is a key passage of Scripture you want to remember, here it is. “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God,” and what are the stars of God? That’s that assembly again that we saw back in 1 Kings 22. “I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.”

Verse 14, “ ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ ” I, I, I, I, I, nobody else; it’s not his environment, please notice. Sin didn’t start because of the environment, sin didn’t start because of poverty, sin didn’t start because somebody was not educated. Sin started because of arrogance, and this is the examination of Scripture as far as sin goes.

The origin has nothing to do with economics, it has nothing to do with your physical environment, it has everything to do with who we are and our attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father. That’s the issue. We can try to blame this, blame mother, she dropped me on my head when I was a baby, and all the other excuses that we come up. Now we want to say oh, it’s my genes. Well if it’s your genes how is it you explain the first sin? God malfunctioned Adam and Eve’s genes? I don’t think so. Sin doesn’t start because of genes. Sin starts because of a decision and a choice to rebel against God and arrogate to ourselves [can’t understand words] in a nutshell, right there. That’s sin.

So Satan’s sin, and the fall, and the origin of evil have to do right here with an attitude. Attitude is often repeated, interestingly and paradoxically, in the very people who are fussing about evil in the world. It’s amazing to listen … that we are going to solve this problem; it is going to be man’s solution. We are going to have a global this or a global that and we’re going to solve this and we’re going to solve that, and we are going to make civilization safe for man, etc., etc., etc. It’s the same arrogance, same thing as this.

And it’s often couched in the language of good moral and religious principles. Satan here isn’t some slut, he doesn’t come up on drugs, he’s not some crook, he’s just arrogant, and that’s what the sin issue is. And that’s why it’s so painful [tape slips, can’t understand words] shows you how easily we can all be infected with this stuff.

I’m reminded of a story that Chuck Colson puts in one of his books of the Eichmann trial that went on in Israel. Of course when they were trying Eichmann the Israeli Mossad grabbed him out of Argentina and brought him back and in this trial he was behind bullet-proof glass, and here were the Israeli security forces insuring that Eichmann was never going to escape or that he would be shot or something by some angry Jew. They were protecting Eichmann with this glass. One of the key points in the trial was they had to bring a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who happened to have lived underneath Eichmann to be an eyewitness, yeah, I saw this guy, this is the real Eichmann and he did this and he did that.

They had this old, old Jewish man and he came up just prior to the glass structure where Eichmann was sitting, and as he came up to give his testimony at the trial he happened to turn around and look over at Eichmann. And the moment he looked over at Eichmann he collapsed right on the floor and went into a weeping hysteria. So after he recovered and he gave his testimony and afterwards the reporters asked him, “What happened? Why’d you freak out when you came up here to see Eichmann?”

Now this is the chilling answer the man gave. He said, “I walked into that trial; he said all my life I’ve thought of the day of revenge on Eichmann. I can remember as a young boy him killing my mother, killing my father, slaughtering people, and I envisioned this man as a demon, and I walked into the courtroom and I looked at him, and he was an ordinary man.” All of a sudden,” he said, “it was like a revelation of my heart; all of sudden I realized that we could all be Eichmanns. That was why I collapsed on the floor, because he didn’t have horns; he was an ordinary person that we could meet on the street and never even recognize. That was the evil man.”

That’s the insidious nature of sin, and what we want to do as we go on and examine this and see how serious the sin issue is, it goes far beyond the human race, far, far beyond human civilization. It’s embedded into the very background of nature itself. When we talk about Jesus Christ bringing in His Kingdom, we’re not just talking about a political, a mere surface political program here. No-no! We’re talking about something that has to come to grips with the spiritual principalities and powers in the background, that have been sitting in the background for centuries sabotaging the nations, working their conniving little effect, become deceiving spirits, splitting apart and organizing religious mobs in the principalities.

So when we read in the New Testament …, and this is where we’re headed, we have to reconcile this angelic conflict that we see [words missing] the ascended resurrected Christ. What does it mean when it says now He sits far above all these things, the principalities and powers? What has changed? That’s what we want to focus in on. What has changed from before the hour that the Lord Jesus Christ walked into the throne room of God and God said sit down at My right hand. What happened at that point, the significance of it, and if we can get that we can drive forward through the whole Church Age and get some drive and impetus to what God is doing between the First and Second Advents.

Whatever He’s doing it has implications in this angelic conflict and we cannot interpret the Church Age if we do not handle this background. So if you read the notes thorough page 21, there’s a chart on page 21 and another chart on page 22 where I’ve attempted to show you the role of Jesus Christ in the ascension and why there’s certain things and procedures and progress that’s being made over the years.

We introduced some material that might be new to some of you, if you’ve been around Bible-teaching circles it’s probably not that new but it’s some of the contextual material that we want to study to give us perspective on what it means for Christ to be seated above the principalities and powers. So are there any questions you’d like to throw out?

Question asked: Clough replies: The issue there is what does that phrase mean in Genesis 6 where they were on the earth afterward, and apparently, again we have only the bare data of Scripture to look at here, but there’s a group of genetically weird people that show up in the conquest period.

They’re called by various names, Anakim is one of them, and where they come from nobody knows, but they are giants, they perpetuated themselves somehow. Obviously if they came afterwards and afterward means the Flood, and if they could only be produced by this genetic manipula­­­­­­­­­tion that was going on, then we have to conclude that there must have been some genetic manipulation going on after the Flood in sort of, maybe a mini version of what happened before the Flood.

But the Bible doesn’t give any information about that, other than there is a small set of these people that occupied the area of the ancient near east and it might be that the author of Genesis, Moses being the final editor, that that section in Genesis 6 is sort of like a commentary, that it’s written from the perspective after the Flood, they were back then and even afterward.

So I can’t really answer why or who they were other than there was a series of descendants of these Anakim and you can trace them, because I did one time, all through the book of Deuteronomy and you can trace them into the Judges period, and ultimately I think you can trace them all the way down to Goliath and his brothers. What these people were, they had the wrong number of fingers on their hands so they were genetically distorted somehow.

How they ever got started after the Flood when you think God would have taken care of it and not made that happen again, I don’t know. Commentators have tied the particular angelic forces that were responsible in Genesis 6:3 to a place called Tartarus, it’s mentioned in the book of Jude, that when Christ died He descended to hell, what does the creed say, and He preached, except the word there is not preached the good news, it’s kerusso, it means to announce, to make an announcement. The Bible says He preached to the fallen in Tartarus. He did more than preach, He announced something, and the Bible doesn’t tell us what He announced. People have speculated, and it is speculation, that He went to Hell, to Tartarus, descended to the very depths of Hell to announce to them that He had made it. Maybe they’re shut in to the point where they can’t observe history, that particular group of angelic beings are shut up.

Angels are shut up because in the book of Revelation it says one of them or a group of them are shut up in the Tigris–Euphrates River system. What does it mean to shut up an angel in the Tigris–Euphrates River system? I have no idea. It’s just that God seems to have imprisoned, in some weird way to us, these beings, and they can be loosed, and that’s some of the tribulational judgments, during the Tribulation period just prior to Christ’s return.

There are just so many strange things about history. I think the lesson we have is we really don’t know much what we’re talking about when it comes to history. We always like to reconstruct history and have nice little charts, and that’s not bad. We have to have some organization, but to sit back and say that this couldn’t have happened, or that couldn’t have happened, we don’t know enough to say it couldn’t have happened. We have no idea. It’s just part of the reminder that the Scriptures drop into our laps from time to time that strange things happen in God’s world, real strange things.

People have seen visions over the historical period of angelic beings, and it’s interesting that… somebody once did a study of this on the mission field. It’s interesting that in most cases the angelic beings were not observed by the people they were helping. They were observed by other believers, or they were observed by unbelievers. Stories that came out of the Vietnam War was the Montagnards who were a deeply dark race in Vietnam, and discriminated against by the lighter-skinned Vietnamese, and the Montagnards had been penetrated by the missionaries. I forgot which group of missionaries did this, but there had been quite a few Christian Montagnards when the Vietnam War started. Of course, the communists went in and killed them all. But in this one instance, and reading around in mission works this seems to be quasi typical, a Christian Montagnard village was surrounded by the Viet Cong, and they knew they were going to get mortared. They didn’t have many weapons so they got together for prayer and nothing ever happened. I think one round came in, boom, and that was it.

Later on the GI’s beat back one of these Viet Cong groups and captured some of them. In interrogating, the normal going through the interrogation of the prisoners of war, find their unit, find what they were doing, what their strategies are, who their leaders are, etc. they’d gone through and they said why didn’t you take village such and such on such and such a night. And they said oh, we were going to do it, and he said the problem was that you guys came in there and we saw too many strange soldiers. The guy that was doing the interrogating said wait a minute, and he went back in the reports and none of our units were in the area on that night. So who were these people? Nobody knows who the people were, except for the fact that the Viet Cong were scared by this numerous group of people they saw. Who were the people? The Montagnards didn’t know it either; none of them observed this. The only people that observed it were the attackers.

Maybe that’s something like in the book of Kings where the prophet says Lord, open my servant’s eyes that he may see the armies around us. That happens. It’s always there; it’s always in the background of Scripture. That’s what we’re trying to address, and we’re trying to address it now because as we start the Church Age in our study we have to cope with Christ’s rank above this.

Question asked: Clough replies: What that does, talking about the Millennial Kingdom and the binding of Satan, that is precisely what I’m getting at here when I said you can’t bring the Kingdom unless you deal with this background effect. Jesus could set up a world government tonight and it would fail … it would fail, primarily because the evil powers are at work, stirring up trouble, always stirring up trouble somewhere.

That’s how these world conflicts get started. It’s not just humans that are involved in this stuff. So what has to happen in order for that Millennial Kingdom to take place is that those powers have to be suppressed. And it’s interesting that when they are suppressed, the environment changes. So that shows you this issue of …, they are interacting with our present environment. I don’t know how but they somehow do it. So when we premillennialists are accused by the rest of the church of being these ultra-spiritual literal interpreters, all we’re trying to do is be consistent.

This is why later on you’ll see, I’m going to give you three appendices, I’m going to give out one on Reformed Theology versus Dispensational theology, but one of the later sessions is going to be one on the social agenda of the body of Christ, which I’m going to take on the liberal position and deal with that issue, where they want to make the church a vehicle of social transformation and they always want the church to get in this crusade and that crusade and some other crusade. One of the reasons that you’re going to anticipate is that it’s putting the cart before the horse.

You can’t introduce these great grandiose schemes of social redemption unless you cope with the powers behind this evil world. And while that seems anemic because you’ll have your aggressive Reform postmillennialists arguing oh, you premils, you’re all pessimistic, you’re impotent, you don’t have any cultural impact and all the rest of it, but actually we have a great cultural impact.

We’ll see why because if the culture is dominated by satanic powers then it’s people who stand firmly on the Word of God who are actually coming into active conflict with the powers that are causing this stuff. So it’s interesting that you can have political and social effects without causing political and social campaigns. It gets back to the (quote) “simple things” like prayer. Think of what Daniel’s prayer did. Daniel’s prayer caused a penetration of the entire kingdom of Persia by one of God’s highest angels. Just one man praying! Pull that one off with how a million men march in downtown Persia somewhere; is that going to accomplish what Daniel’s prayer accomplished in that situation? I don’t think so.

The irony of all this is that after the church gets reduced to not being a political agenda group, not starting crusades, and by the way, I’m not saying the church can’t speak out, I’m just saying that the church is not going to bring in the Millennium by those techniques. So it gets back to humble basics, leading a person to Jesus Christ one on one and claiming the promises of this faith-rest drill that we’re talking about.

Now you’re starting to see why I brought that in, because every time I’m in a mess and I listen to the Spirit, and I don’t always do that, if I listen to the Spirit and I respond to that situation by trusting the Scriptures, I’ve knocked out ground in the invisible realm. There’s been a transaction made, and when you do that, the same thing.

As a Christian you stand firm, you stand on the promises, you refuse to be deceived, you refuse to go by what appearance says, you go with the Word of God and when that happens things go on in the invisible realm. And you’re not going to be aware of it, I’m not going to be aware of it, the pastor is not going to be aware of it, but it’s happening, and that’s all we need to know. It happens; there are ripples that come out from you as you state your position and as you lead people to Christ. Every time you lead someone to Jesus Christ there’s a casualty for Satan, because now somebody has been transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Guess who lost?

Why does Satan fight so hard to take the Word of God out of the heart of people? The Scripture says he does that. Why does he do that? Because he doesn’t want to lose anybody. Why? Because he wants to make a case, and you talk about all the lawyers going to Florida, when we get through here you’ll see the lawyers going to Heaven, and the lawyers are called angels in this process.

Do you know what the word “Satan” means? It’s a prosecutor. Satan tries to prosecute believers before God. He accuses us before God as violating God’s righteousness. And it gets into a drama of the fact that … we are guilty but there’s One who substituted for us. So this vindicates God’s character, because what Satan’s trying to do, I believe, down through history is he’s trying to continually impugn the character of God, because he’s got to make a case that God cannot judge him without judging us. He’s arguing that it’s unjust for God to judge, because after all you let this person off, you let this person off, you’ve got to let me off. I think a lot of that is involved in all of this. I’ll show you some passages that suggest that.

But there’s a case being made, and the power of all this is that when we step out in faith in the Word of God we are taking a position that vindicates God’s character because we’re refusing to do it his (Satan’s) way, and we’re doing it God’s way, even if it means we suffer, we’re doing it God’s way so we may suffer in time but in eternity a case is made.

So if you think of the Christian life as making a case, it’s a legal argument that’s being waged all in the background here. We’re walking pieces of evidence, so to speak. We’re the little “chads” shall we say, in this case, that are being used in a larger context. Your life may look like this to you, but it’s part of a big thing going on. You want to be encouraged by that.