Ephesians – Chapter 1, Part 6
God’s Plan for Salvation, Eph 1:1-23
Eph 1:20, “Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
Here we see the greatness of God’s power (DUNAMIS), that He has used (ENERGEIA) in demonstration (KRATOS) for us and the world, is His right and justly applied power (ISCHUS) to resurrect Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the greatest demonstration of God’s all-encompassing and infinite power.
What greater thing could demonstrate God’s power than to take a dead and lifeless body and give it life once again? That is power and ability far beyond the capability of man or angels.
“Which He brought about” uses the Greek verb ENERGEO, (that formed the noun ENERGEIA), in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, which means that God has, “acted, worked, operated, effected or accomplished.” It is the English idea “to energize” in the sense of “to set at work.” We noted this word in vs. 11. Here we see that God “operated” through Jesus Christ by resurrecting Him “to effect” salvation for all of mankind.
This example of Christ’s resurrection is given to us so that the believer would have the confidence that God is able to “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works (ENERGEŌ) in us,” Eph 3:20.
Likewise, James wrote that “the prayer of a righteous man has great power (ISCHUO) in its effects (ENERGEO),” James 5:16. The emphasis is upon the “effectiveness” of prayer as God hears and answers our prayers, not that a prayer is “effective.” A similar sense of ENERGEO is seen in Heb 4:12 where the related noun form ENERGES occurs: “For the word of God is living and active,” i.e., “alive and powerful, (ENERGES).”
This great working of God was brought about “in Christ,” EN HO CHRISTOS, when God did two things:
1) “When He raised Him from the dead,” EGEIRO AUTOS EK NEKROS.
EGEIRO, ἐγείρω means, “raise, be raised, rise, appear, wake up, arouse!” In classical Greek the word is used for three basic ideas:
- “to awaken, stir up, rouse,”
- “to set up, erect,”
- “to raise, raise (the dead),” and intransitively, “to rise (from the dead).”
It is synonymous with ANISTEMI, where we also get the word ANASTASIS from, which is used for the resurrection. So here EGEIRO is used for the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead by God the Father.
2) “Seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” KATHIZO EN AUTOS DEXIOS EN HO EROURANIOS.
Here the main word is the verb KATHIZO, καθίζω that means, “Sit, sit down, set down, or appoint.” It is used in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, which views the past action of God the Father seating Jesus Christ at His right hand, in its entirety, as a dogmatic fact of reality. We call this the session of Jesus Christ.
Both of these actions demonstrate for us the ability and sovereignty of God Father in the exercise of His power and authority. We will note both doctrines
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1) There are two returns from the dead.
a) Resuscitation that means a person returns from the dead in a body of corruption and eventually dies again; e.g., Lazarus, Paul, two boys in the Old Testament, the two witnesses (Elijah and Moses) during the Tribulation.
b) Resurrection means a person returns from the dead in a body of incorruption and never dies again.
2) Therefore, resurrection is rising again from the dead in a human body, and never again being subject to death. It is the beginning of eternity for the person.
3) We will have a resurrection body like Christ’s, but not all resurrection bodies will look alike, 1 Cor 15:40-41, 1 John 3:2. There are different types of resurrection bodies depending on your success or failure in the Christian life and your attitude toward doctrine.
4) Resurrection is a N.T. doctrine. While it is mentioned in the Old Testament, it did not occur historically until the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union terminated with the resurrection, ascension and session of the humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the first member of the human race to be resurrected, 1 Cor 15:20. The great power experiment of the Church Age will terminate in the resurrection or Rapture of the Church.
Why was our Lord Resurrected? Resurrection is the Lord’s Victory, 1 Cor 15:55-56.
1 Cor 15:55, (quote from Hos 13:14), “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.”
The only victory is God’s victory demonstrated through resurrection. Death has no victory! The sting of death is the Sin Nature in man as a result of Adam’s original sin and the imputation and judgment of our sins in the Lord Jesus Christ by God the Father. Sin’s power is defined in the Mosaic Law, 1 Tim 1:8-10.
1 Tim 1:8-11, “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.”
Our Lord was raised from the dead to proclaim the victory won at the Cross over sin and death. As a result of that victory, all of mankind could share in His victory through resurrection and not be held under the bondage of sin and death. Our Lord died for us and was raised for us to win the strategic victory of the angelic conflict over sin and death so that we could share in His victory and too receive resurrection and eternal life. This is understood in the doctrine of Positional Truth that tells us only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior will receive resurrection to eternal life. All unbelievers will be raised to eternal death, the second death, the Lake of Fire, Rev 20:13-15
The fact that you sin after salvation does not prevent you from dying and going to heaven and receiving a resurrection body. It is like being alive, but being unhealthy or ill. You do not feel well when you sin, but you are still born again and going to heaven.
Resurrection and the Omnipotence of God.
1) The power that sustained the humanity of Christ on the Cross and gave Him the endurance to bear our sins and then raise Him from the dead after being in the tomb for three days, is the same power delegated and made available to every Church Age believer for the fulfillment of the Plan of God for our lives and our resurrection.
2) The omnipotence of God is delegated, distributed and made available to every Church Age believer for the utilization of tactical victories of the angelic conflict, which is the fulfillment of the Plan of God, the function of the unique spiritual life and the lifestyle of wisdom, resulting in spiritual maturity and glorification of God in this intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict. The Royal Family of God is designed and empowered to glorify God. This becomes the highest destiny ever given to any group of believers in any dispensation!
3) In physical death, our Lord Jesus Christ had a trichotomous separation. Just as our Lord’s spiritual death was unique: He was judged for all of our sins, so His physical death was unique: He had a trichotomous separation.
- His body went into the grave, Luke 23:50-53.
- His human spirit went into the presence of God the Father in the third heaven, Luke 23:46; John 19:30.
- His human soul went into the first compartment of Hades, Paradise, where all the Old Testament believers resided until the resurrection of Christ, Luke 23:43, Acts 2:27-31, Eph 4:9.
Eph 4:9, “(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?”
After His physical death upon the Cross, our Lord’s body was in the grave for three days and three nights, Mat 12:40; 26:61; 27:63; Mark 9:31; 10:34; Luke 23:53-56, clearly document this.
When the work of salvation was finished, our Lord said to the Father, “Father, into Your hands I dismiss My spirit, “Luke 23:46, and His human spirit went into the presence of the Father.
He said to the dying thief in Luke 23:43, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” His soul went into Paradise, a compartment of Hades.
When we die, our soul and spirit go into the presence of the Lord in heaven, accompanied by Christ who indwells us. For we are said to be “absent from the body and face to face with the Lord,” 2 Cor 5:8 w/ 1 Cor 13:12. So there is no splitting up of the soul and the spirit in the death of the believer. But our Lord’s physical death was unique.
Psa 16:10 prophesied our Lord’s resurrection, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Cf. Acts 2:27-32; Eph 4:9.
While He was there, according to 1 Pet 3:18‑21, the Holy Spirit guarded the soul of our Lord in Hades. And by means of the Spirit, the soul of our Lord went down to Tartarus, where He made the victorious proclamation to certain fallen angels.
God the Father is said to be the agent of the resurrection, He raised Him from the dead. Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; 1 Thes 1:10; Rom 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21; Heb 13:20.
But Scripture also says the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead, Acts 2:24; Rom 1:4; 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18. So God the Holy Spirit is also the agent of the resurrection.
The omnipotence of the Father sent our Lord’s human spirit through billions and billions of light years of space to His body in the tomb. Simultaneously, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit returned His human soul from Hades to His body. Now rejoined in the resurrection body, our Lord walked through the stone in His resurrected body. Later on, an angel rolled away the stone so that the world could see and verify the resurrection.
The conclusion is: the power that resurrected Christ is now made available to all human beings from the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, Eph 1:20; Acts 2:31; Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 13:4.
In Acts 2:31 Peter said, “He (David) looking ahead spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that He was neither abandoned in Hades nor did His flesh see decay.”
Rom 6:4, “Therefore, we have been buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death (baptism of the Spirit) in order that, as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
2 Cor 13:4, “For indeed He was crucified because of weakness (ours), yet He lives because of the power of God.”
That is why Paul said in Phil 3:10, “That I may come to know Him and the power of His resurrection.”
The fact of resurrection is based upon the existence of the empty tomb and the competency of the witnesses. They knew Jesus Christ well and could not be deceived. They would rather die than change their testimony about the resurrection. This is historical accuracy and competency of witnesses. The subsequent change in the disciples after the resurrection also indicates the validity of the resurrection. Before His death they were afraid, and discouraged, and after His death the same thing continued.
Yet after His resurrection, they were joyous and fearless. The existence of the day of Pentecost and the first sermon ever preached in the Church Age was a sermon on resurrection. The observation of the first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day, is to commemorate Christ’s resurrection day. The very existence of the Christian church logically depends upon the resurrection.
The Nature of the Resurrection.
Jesus Christ in His resurrection body still had the scars from the nail prints in His hands and feet as prophesied in Psa 22:16; Zech 12:10. He also retained the scars of the wound in His side, John 20:20, 25-29.
Jesus Christ was recognized by His disciples as the one who died and rose again. This was attested to in 17 different appearances. After His resurrection He could eat, Luke 24:41-43, although He did not depend upon food to sustain Him.
Christ had a true body in which His resurrection body could:
- Be felt, Mat 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:17.
- Breath, John 20:22.
- Possess flesh and bones, Luke 24:39-40.
- Walk through an open door, but could also walk through a closed door, Luke 24:36; John 20:19.
- Move horizontally or vertically at unlimited speed and is capable of unlimited space travel, Acts 1:9.
- Disappear at will, Luke 24:31.
Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples in His resurrection body many times during the short time He was on the earth after the resurrection.
The Doctrine of the Two Resurrections.
The Doctrine of the two resurrections is pertinent and important to us. There are two resurrections, not one, John 5:24-29; Dan 12:2; Rev 20:6, 13.
1) The first resurrection involves the Lord Jesus Christ and believers only. The first resurrection is divided into four parts. This is comparable to a battalion review in 1 Cor 15, “every man in his own order, (TAGMA).”
TAGMA, τάγμα means, “something ordered, arranged; class, corps, division, group.” It is a noun often used in ancient Greek with a military connotation. It is related to the verb TASSO, which means, “to order,” sometimes of a battle. Therefore, in classical Greek it can refer to a corps, division, battalion, or some specific group of soldiers. Polybius (Second Century B.C.) used this term in the sense of military personnel being arranged in some orderly fashion. This type of usage can be traced as far back as the time of Xenophon in the Fourth Century B.C. The word can also be used of any order or arrangement.
Paul used it, by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, to indicate the order of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all believers throughout human history, which is called the first resurrection, Rev 20:5-6.
- Alpha company, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first-fruits. He is resurrected and seated at the right hand of the Father, Acts 26:23; Rom 1:4; 1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thes 1:10; 2 Thes 2:8; 1 Peter 1:3.
- Bravo company is the Rapture of the Church, 1 Cor 15:51-57; 1 Thes 4:16-18.
- Charlie company is the resurrection of Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs. They are resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19-20; Rev 20:4.
- Delta company is made up of the Millennial saints and those who survive the Tribulation to enter the Millennium in physical bodies, Rev 20:5.
This is the TAGMA of the first resurrection. (See Charts)
2) The second resurrection occurs at one time at the end of the Millennium. This is the resurrection of all unbelievers in Hades and on earth where they are cast into the Lake of Fire, called the Second Death, John 5:28-29; Rev 20:12-15; 2 Peter 3:7; Mat 25:41; Mark 9:47-49.
Next in vs. 20 we have, “… and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
“And seated him” is the Aorist, Active, Participle of KATHIZO, καθίζω which means, “to sit, sit down, set down or appoint.” It should read “and having seated.” This refers to the ascension of Jesus Christ and His session at the right hand of God the Father.
“At His right hand,” EN AUTOS DEXIOS. The phrase “right hand” means a place or position of strength and power.
“In the heavenly places,” is EN HO EROURANIOS that is literally, “in the heavenlies.”
The Session of our Lord Jesus Christ occurred after He ascended to heaven, which was 40 days after His resurrection. At that time, He was seated in His resurrection body at the right hand of God the Father.
The power that resurrected Jesus Christ is the same power that seated Him, and is the same power that is available to the believer today. As we have seen in this verse, this power always operates “in Christ.” In other words, believers cannot do with this power what they choose, but its use must conform to the direction given by Christ, the head of the Church. As such, the proper exercise of this power requires continuous faith in Christ, just as we believed in Him at our conversion.
As we have noted, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was the greatest possible manifestation of God’s power. Now in “seating Him at His own right hand,” it speaks to the position of authority He has.
Notice the progression in Paul’s description of the power of God available to help believers grow in Christ. First, he made a strong appeal about realizing the necessity. He continues by saying that the power must operate through Christ. And lastly, he used the greatest example of the power of God, the resurrection and session of Jesus Christ.
This event is eternally and cosmically significant, for it demonstrates both Christ’s victory over death and His ongoing authority over all. Christ’s position at God’s right hand is one of favor, honor and power, e.g., 1 Kings 2:19; Jer 22:24; Psa 44:3.
Doctrine of the Session of Jesus Christ
There are many passages which refer to the session of Christ at the right hand of the Father, Mat 26:64; 28:18; Mark 12:36; 14;62; Luke 20:42; 22:69; Acts 2:25, 33-34; 5:31; 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; 1 Cor 15:27; Eph 1:20; 2:6; Col 3:1-4; 1 Tim 6:15; Heb 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Rev 3:21; 4:2; 17:14; 19:16.
His session began right after He ascended to Heaven, 40 days after His resurrection.
The Ascension is that doctrine of Christology pertaining to the transfer of our Lord’s true humanity from planet earth to the third heaven in a resurrection body, Acts 1:9‑11.
The Session is that doctrine of Christology pertaining to the glorification of our Lord’s humanity at the right hand of the Father.
These doctrines are closely related to and based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If Christ remained on earth, He would have a limited glory, but when He went to the third heaven He became superior to all creation and therefore had unlimited glory. These two doctrines of Ascension and Session combine to form the climax of the strategic victory of Christ in the Angelic Conflict, Heb 1:3, 13.
Heb 1:3, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Heb 1:13, “But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET”?”
Prophecy of His Session.
His Session fulfilled the prophecy of Psa 110:1, “The Lord (God the Father) said to my Lord (God the Son), `Sit down at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’”
The session of Christ was a fulfillment of prophecy since David prophesied that the Messiah would be seated at God’s right hand.
Our Lord repeated this prophecy to the Jews in Mat 22:44. Our Lord stated to them in vs. 45, “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?’” They could not answer Him, because the answer is that David’s descendant would have to be God incarnate in order to fulfill the Davidic prophecy, which they did not want to do.
In Mat 26:64 and Mark 14:62, Jesus also said to Caiaphas, “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power.” This is a reference to Dan 7:13, in which Daniel sees a vision of “one like a son of man coming to the Ancient of Days.”
This prophecy is also quoted a number of other times in the New Testament, Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Heb 1:13, 10:12-13. It is quoted so often because it is very important.
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He was seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.
Jesus Christ had to be Seated to Resolve the Angelic Conflict.
The session of Jesus Christ came with His strategic victory in the Angelic Conflict, when He returned from Hades 1 Peter 3:18-22, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”
His victory over sin and death at the Cross led to all powers and authorities (fallen angels and unbelieving man) being subjected to Him.
His Session is Related to the Efficacy of His Sacrifice on the Cross.
Act 5:31, “He is the One whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Heb 10:12, “But this one (Jesus Christ in contrast to the Old Testament sacrifices), when He had offered one unique sacrifice as a substitute for our sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.”
The work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is efficacious. When he received the imputation of our sins and God the Father judged them that settled the sin question for all time. To indicate the efficacy of His sacrifice, our Lord sat down at the right hand of God. In physical death, our Lord’s work was completed. Just before His death He said, “TETELESTAI,” which means “it is finished in the past with the result that it stands finished forever.” So the resurrection, ascension, and session are the verification of the efficacy of our Lord’s saving work on the Cross.
The Present Session of Jesus Christ and His Sovereign Rulership.
The session is an indication of the authority of Christ. The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ controls history is directly related to His present session, which completes the process of promoting Him as sovereign ruler of history. The Lord Jesus Christ’s session at the right hand of the Father points to His kingship, Rev 4:2.
The strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the great power experiment of the hypostatic union is related to the award of His third royal patent, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” When our Lord arrived in heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father, He received a new royal warrant, a third royal title as the “King of kings and the Lord of lords,” 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 19:16.
This title has been granted to Him by the Father indicating His rulership over all of creation and especially over the Church of which He is the Head, Eph 1:22; 1 Peter 3:22.
Eph 1:22, “And He (God the Father) has subordinated all (angelic creatures) under His feet. Furthermore, He appointed Him (Jesus Christ) ruler over all things to the church.”
1 Peter 3:22, “Who (Jesus Christ) is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven after angels and authorities and powers had been subordinated to Him.”
- His first royal patent is related to His deity. His title is “Son of God.” His royal family is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
- His second royal patent is related to His humanity. His title is “Son of David.” His royal family is the Davidic dynasty.
- His third royal patent is related to His resurrection, ascension and session. His title is “King of kings, Lord of lords, Bright morning star.” His royal family is in the process of being completed, made up of every Church Age believer.
You are not simply a child of God; you are a royal child of God. This means that although we are now inferior to angels in our human bodies on earth, in the future, in resurrection bodies, we will be totally superior to angels. This was established with our Lord’s session.
When our Lord received His third royal patent, He did not have a royal family. Therefore, the church age was inserted into history.
With the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all angelic creatures including fallen angels, are subordinated to Him in his humanity! That fact is very important.
In His deity, Jesus Christ is the creator of angels. In His humanity, He was made lower than angels, Heb 2:7. But now in His resurrection, He is higher than angels in His humanity!
Some day in our resurrection body, we will share that same privilege experientially. Being in union with Christ, we are already positionally higher than angels. But in resurrection bodies, we will be experientially and physically higher than angels.
The Tribulational saints in heaven when singing the song of Moses proclaim our Lord as the “King of the nations,” Rev 15:3, which He will assume at His Second Advent. The session of Christ is a public affirmation that our Lord is the victor in the Angelic Conflict, Heb 1:13; 2:8.
Heb 2:8, “THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him.”
Therefore, the humanity of Jesus Christ in hypostatic union, is now exalted and glorified at the right hand of the Father where His posture is one of being seated and having authority, Acts 2:33; 5:31; Phil 2:9.
Acts 2:33, “Therefore, (Jesus Christ) having been exalted to the right hand of God.”
Acts 5:31, “He is the One whom God has exalted at His right hand as Prince and Savior.”
Phil 2:9, “Therefore also, God has highly exalted Him and given Him a title which is above every title, that at the title of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father.”
This is also called Operation Footstool, 1 Cor 15:25, 27; Eph 1:22; Heb 2:8.
The Session and the Royal Priesthood.
Heb 8:1, “Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.”
Our Lord was not qualified by birth to be a Levitical priest in Israel. His priesthood however, supersedes the priesthood of Israel because He is both a King and a Priest.
Our Lord’s priesthood is patterned after a royal priesthood, that of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was both a king and a priest. Our Lord is the king priest as a result of His resurrection, ascension and session, Gen 14:18; Psa 110:4; Heb 5-7.
His priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood in that He does not have to offer a sacrifice for Himself since He is impeccable. Instead He offered Himself as a substitute and became the Mediator of a New Covenant which was based upon His spiritual and physical death on the Cross.
The ascension and session abrogates the Levitical priesthood, replacing it with the royal priesthood, 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6. He is a royal High Priest or king priest. Our Lord holds three offices: 1) Prophet, 2) Priest, 3) King.
His third royal warrant makes Him Lord and King over all Lords and kings. Therefore, our Lord’s entire royal family, (Church Age believers), are a part of that priesthood. One of the unique factors of the Church Age is the universal priesthood of the believer.
Our Lord’s High Priesthood is permanent, Heb 7:24. Every Church Age believer has been made a royal priest because of their union with their High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Because you are in union with Christ, you are a king-priest. This means you can directly address God the Father in prayer through Jesus Christ, because he is the greatest High Priest in all of history. Therefore, we pray to God the Father in the name of Christ, and in the effectiveness of the power of the Holy Spirit which is life inside God’s Power System (GPS).
Jesus Christ is the High Priest, Heb 10:1 10, 7:25, 8:1; we are a kingdom of priests. As our High Priest, Jesus Christ makes intercession for us right now at the right hand of God the Father.
The Session and the Intercessory Ministry of Jesus Christ.
Rom 8:34, “Who is the one who condemns- Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
This teaches that our Lord intercedes for the believer as a part of His session at the right hand of God the Father. He intercedes for the believer in prayer and when Satan accuses the believer of sin, Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25; Rev 12:10.
Heb 7:25, “Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
The intercessory ministry of Christ is a part of His Priesthood, Heb 2:17; 8:1. He is our faithful High Priest, Heb 2:17. This could not be possible if it were not for the fact that our Lord has now been seated at the right hand of God the Father.
The Session of Jesus Christ and the Importance of the Church Age, Eph 1:18-23.
The first thing God ever did for us is the means of glorifying Him. Part of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age is the fact that Divine power is available to us as never before in history, i.e., the omnipotence of the Father, Son and Spirit. When Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father in the session after His ascension, that is when this plan was put into operation. The protocol plan of God and the availability of Divine power to us are unique. The uniqueness of the Church Age is reflected in the fact that it was put into operation at the point of the session of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the Plan of God by means of His Divine power working in us. So the Session becomes very important, because the power that raised Him from the dead is now delegated to the Royal Family.
The Session and our Position in Christ; the Christian’s Identification with Him.
Eph 2:4-7, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
At the moment of conversion, the believer is placed in union with Christ through the baptism of the Spirit which identifies the believer with Christ. This means that the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit causes the believer to become identical and united with the Lord Jesus Christ and also ascribes to the believer the qualities and characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ. It identifies the believer with Christ in:
- His crucifixion, Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20.
- His death, Rom 6:2, 7-8; Col 2:20; 3:3.
- His burial, Rom 6:4; Col 2:12.
- His resurrection, Rom 6:5; Eph 2:6; Phil 3:10-11; Col 2:12; 3:1.
- His session, Eph 2:6; Col 3:1.
The believer can experience this victory and deliverance by appropriating, by faith, the teaching of the Word of God that he has been crucified, died, buried, raised, and seated with Christ, Rom 6:11-23; 8:1-17; Gal 2:20; Col 3:5-17.
He will permanently experience this identification with Christ at the Rapture of the Church, Rom 8:23; 1 Thes 4:13-17; Eph 4:30; 1 Cor 15:50-57. So the believer is identified with Christ as He is currently seated in heaven. The believer is now positionally higher than angels, Heb 1 and 2.
The Session Demands a New Mental Attitude of the Royal Family.
Col 3:1-2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Heb 12:2, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
To “seek the above things” requires the utilization of Divine power inside GPS, which requires cognition of doctrine, which requires right priorities; doctrine must be first in your life.
The fact that the humanity of Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, except for the Rapture of the Church and His permanent move at the Second Advent, is indicative of the fact that He has made the most fantastic system of power available to you.
Objective thinking about the “above things” includes cognition of your portfolio of your invisible assets, understanding the protocol plan of God in detail, perception of the unique things related to the great power experiment of the Church Age, especially the Eleven Problem Solving Devices.
The royal family’s mental attitude is to think doctrine, not good and evil. We should have a very strong, positive mental attitude no matter what our circumstances or pressures.
Heb 12:2-3, “Let us fix our eyes (concentrate) on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who has endured such opposition by sinners against himself, so that you do not grow weary and faint in your souls.”
The Ascension of Jesus Christ was followed by the present Session of Jesus Christ.
- God the Father invites Jesus Christ to be seated at His right hand, Psa 110:1. This session is closely identified with His Melchizedek priesthood, Psa 110:4.
- No angel is accorded that glory, Heb 1:3, 5, 13.
- Jesus referenced The Session and the Second Coming when He asserted His Deity, Mat 26:64; Luke. 22:69.
- Jesus stood to greet Steven at his martyrdom, Acts 7:55.
- The Session of Christ provides for the Session of the Church, Eph 1:20; 2:6.
- The Session of Christ features His glorious advocacy, Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1.
- The Session of Christ is the basis for our heavenly mindset, Col 3:1-4; Heb 12:2.
- The Session of Christ is the basis for our priesthood, Heb 3:1; 8:1; 10:12.
- The Session of Christ is the greatest testimony to the once and for all work of Calvary, Heb 10:12; 1 Peter 3:18-22.
Eph 1:21, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.”
As we noted in vs. 19-20, to explain how much power is available to believers, the apostle Paul employed four different Greek terms regarding the power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand.
- DUNAMIS, “inherent ability, capability, potential.”
- ENERGEIA, “operative power.”
- KRATOS, “manifested power.”
- ISCHUS, “possession of power to overcome.”
The fifth is also assumed from vs. 21.
- EXOUSIA, “power, authority or freedom to do a thing.”
Vs. 21 continues to exalt Jesus Christ and indicates His position of superiority over all creatures, both in heaven and earth. Here we see the breath of the power and authority given to Jesus Christ by God the Father when He seated Him at His Right hand, beginning with the words, “far above all,” which is HUPERANO PAS in the Greek. PAS is an Adjective meaning, “all or every,” and HUPERANO is a Preposition that means “far above, above, high or over” that is used here and in Eph 4:10; Heb 9:5.
Eph 4:10, “He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.”
It tells us that Jesus Christ is “over and above all.” The “all” here is defined for us in the following five categories of fallen angels. Therefore, Jesus Christ is superior to all fallen angles.
This verse is an example of Paul’s method of piling up expressions in order to prove the point that Christ is superior to all these beings, and He will be superior also to whatever authorities will exist in the coming age. So this verse describes the rank and scope of responsibility Jesus now has seated at the right hand of the Father, described for us in five, (the number of grace), ways, as we have five Genitive Singular Nouns with four KAI Coordinating Conjunctions.
The five areas of superior rank that Jesus, in resurrected hypostatic union, now holds includes:
- Rule – ARCHE, ἀρχή, meaning, “Beginning, origin, authority, rule, domain, or sphere of influence.”
- Authority – EXOUSIA, ἐξουσία, meaning, “Authority, right or power.” It is power or authority to do a thing.
- Power – DUNAMIS, δύναμις meaning, “Power, might, ability, or force.”
- Dominion – KURIOTES, κυριότης meaning, “Lordship, dominion, authority, mastery, or magistracy.”
- Every name that is named – PAS ONOMA ONOMAZO, πᾶς ὄνομα ὀνομάζω meaning, “Fame, reputation or notable.”
Mat 28:18, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Phil 2:9-11, “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
The Jews of Paul’s day generally believed that angels controlled human destiny, so Paul used the normal Jewish hierarchy of terms to indicate that Christ is in control, cf. Rom 8:38; Eph 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15. He has absolute authority because He is infinitely superior. In addition, Gnostics conceived angels as being intermediary beings between the so-called “unknowable God” and mankind. As you know, Paul did not agree with any type of Jewish or Gnostic angelic hierarchy. To the contrary, he explains Christ’s authority in the way the apostle used the very teachings of anti-biblical groups to expose the heresy inherent in them.
- Rule – ARCHE meaning, “Beginning, origin, authority, rule, domain, sphere of influence.”
This word is typically used to indicate time with “beginning or origin.” It is used of the origin of the cosmos, the universe, and consequently it resonates with the goal of existence. Also, when linked to a Divine being, it means without beginning or end. Therefore, we see that Jesus has authority over all things from all time and into eternity without end. It equates to the Alpha of the name of Jesus Christ as the “Alpha and the Omega,” Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13. But as “authority, rule, domain or sphere of influence, it refers to the various powers and authorities that exist within creation from eternity past that are subordinated to Him.
This word is also used in Eph 6:12 for “rulers” or “principalities” to describe the top level of the hierarchy of fallen angels that we do battle with every day. It speaks of the generals in Satan’s forces, super demons or the leaders of the fallen angels. It is the highest ranking fallen angels, the equivalent of the archangels in the elect angel organization.
Jesus Christ is superior to this class of fallen angels.
- Authority – EXOUSIA meaning, “Authority, right or power.” It is power or authority to do a thing.
As we noted in vs. 19, EXOUSIA means, “freedom to act, right to act, power over, license in a thing, an office, magistracy, or place or body of authority.” Therefore, the resurrected Christ has the authority of the throne of rulership and the office to officiate over all of creation. This emphasizes Jesus’ Sovereignty as well as His Omnipotence.
This word is also used in Eph 6:12 for “powers” or “authorities” to describe the second from the top level of hierarchy of fallen angels that we do battle with every day. It speaks of the commissioned officers in Satan’s angelic forces. Satan understands the importance of discipline, of authority. These officers command the millions and millions of demons in the armies of Satan.
Eph 6:12, goes on to describe the third and fourth levels of authority in Satan’s demonic forces as, “the world forces of this darkness and the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
“Against world rulers,” refers to a special corps of demons who might be classified as Satan’s ambassadors. He has these in all of the ruling places of the world. These are special ambassador demons whose job is to influence earthly rulers so that Satan can control history. With this is “spiritual forces,” that speaks to the rank and file demons who carry out the day to day assignments of negatively influencing man. Therefore, all four categories of Satan’s demonic army are and will be subordinated to the Lord Jesus Christ. We will see more of this in Eph 6.
Jesus Christ is superior to this class of fallen angels.
- Power – DUNAMIS, δύναμις meaning, “Power, might, ability, force.”
Also used in vs. 19, it means, “inherent ability, power, might, strength, ability, capability, or force.” It speaks to Jesus’ omnipotence, being the all-powerful One who can govern history. It is the power He has been given by the Father to rule all things. This also describes fallen angels, and refers to the inherent power in angels. The inherent power of demons means that they have fantastic abilities, gifts, which are greater than anything in the human race; they are gifted as wiser and as more powerful than man.
Jesus Christ is superior to this class of fallen angels.
- Dominion – KURIOTES, κυριότης meaning, “Lordship, dominion, authority, mastery.”
This comes from the root word KURIOS that means lord or master, and means “dominion exercised by one who is in a ruling position,” such as a king or lord over his subjects. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has authority and dominion over all.
As part of Satan’s demonic forces, these “dominions or lords” tyrannize men and women by attempting to control their fate or destiny. It is a special class of fallen angels or demons who are distinguished by exercising great authority. These are probably the demons who indwell the world rulers and influence their decisions and thinking with regard to Satanic strategy. Yet, the New Testament makes it clear that these demonic forces are subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him.
Jesus Christ is superior to this class of fallen angels.
- Every name that is named – PAS ONOMA ONOMAZO meaning, “fame, reputation or notable.” Primitive peoples believed the name provided magical power over the thing, person, god, or demon named.
In fact, demons have names which reveal their nature, Mark 5:9. The “beast” of Revelation 13 is described as having blasphemous names, 13:1, which probably refers to his claims to honor, which belong to God or Christ alone. Likewise, the beast will claim the name of God, cf. 2 Thes 2:4, but “the number of his name” is in reality “the number of a man,” Rev 13:17-18.
This is an all-encompassing catch phrase, to refer to the rank and file demons, all others not previously noted, who have any kind of reputation at all.
When we combine KURIOTES and ONOMA we see the antichrist and the many antichrists that come in falsehood with the name of the Lord, 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7.
Jesus Christ is superior to this class of fallen angels too.
So Jesus Christ is over above all super demons and commissioned demons and gifted demons and ruling demons and all rank and file demons.
To round out our verse it concludes with, “not only in this age, but also in the one to come,” OUK MONON EN HOUTOS HO AION, ALLA KAI EN HO MELLO.
Which refers to the Church Age and the subsequent Tribulation leading the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, or it may refer to human history as a whole and then the eternal state.
So Paul piles up expressions in order to prove the point that Christ is superior to all these beings and their scope of authority, as He will be superior to whatever authorities will exist in the coming age.
Therefore, the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the same power that was used to seat Him at the right hand of the Father that is the same power that Jesus Christ now has over all of creation in this age and the age to come, which is the same power that is available to the you and I, believers, in this Church Age, to lead us to overcome the problems, difficulties, heartaches, temptations, etc. of this life, so that we are victorious in glorifying God to the maximum.
In this verse we see the Plan of God in making us aware of the intensification of the Angelic Conflict, beginning in the Church Age. This Angelic Conflict will take a strange turn in the Tribulation, but the intensification of the Angelic Conflict begins in the Church Age and continues into the Tribulation, reaches its climax in the Second Advent and Operation Footstool of the Millennium, and terminates with an anticlimax, a demon revolution at the end of the Millennium. This all leads us to…
The Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict
Definition: The Angelic Conflict refers to the prehistoric creatures in opposition to and revolt against God. The revolt began with arrogance, a system of evil as well as a combination of sins, Isa 14:12-14. Arrogance comes in many forms of mental attitude sins, and is the natural inclination of fallen creatures whether they are angelic or human. The first creature to revolt against God was the most perfect creature God ever made. He was called Lucifer, the son of the morning. He was the most beautiful, attractive, and personable of all angelic creatures. He was created as a magnificent and beautiful cherub. He became enamored with his attractiveness. He “took himself too seriously,” because creatures had been admiring him and because he was the object of adoration by all the angels. As a result, one day he said, “I will be like the Most High; God.” When he said that, a revolt began against God.
The result was the prehistoric Angelic Conflict in which the opposition against God took the form of a revolution led by Satan. It continued for an unknown period of time. Satan led a revolt against the perfect environment of heaven in which he took one third of all angels, Rev 12:4. When all angels had made their decisions for God or for Satan, a trial was convened in heaven. This was the first of two trials of Satan and all fallen angels. As a result of the prehistoric trial, two categories of super creatures or angels emerged. There are two general categories of unseen creatures:
- Saved or elect angels. They are called “holy” in Mark 8:38, and “elect” in 1 Tim 5:21. They are a category of angels who will live with God forever. They are saved and they will never get thrown into the Lake of Fire.
- The unsaved or fallen angels which have two categories.
1) One category is in prison right now because they were involved in the Gen 6:1-9 cohabitation with woman, as explained by 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. They are now in hell, which is called in the Greek “Tartarus,” and there they are going to stay for a long time.
2) The other category is the operative angels, i.e. demons, Mark 5; 1 Cor 10:20-21. Their doctrines are mentioned in 1 Tim 4:1. The fact that fallen angels exist is verified by Psa 8:4-5; Heb 2:6-7; 2 Peter 2:11. They are created beings, Psa 148:2-5.
Therefore, the Angelic Conflict refers to the prehistoric creatures lead by Satan who came under opposition to and revolted against God. The Angelic Conflict began in eternity past, before the restoration of planet earth in Gen 1:2f, with a revolt against God by Satan and his demons. It is sometimes described as a great rebellion that resulted in a trial and conviction of all the angels who rebelled. The revolt began with arrogance, a system of evil, as well as a combination of sins, Isa 14:12-23; Ezek 28:11-19.
The pattern of angelic negative volition is expressed in two ways.
- Satan’s original sin of negative volition really gives the pattern, Isa 14:12-14.
- The angels who took his side also rejected God’s plan, whatever God’s plan called for regarding their salvation and pardon, which was most likely the Cross of Jesus Christ, Col 1:20.
As a result of their rebellion, God sentenced them to the Lake of Fire. Mat 25:41tells us that the Lake of Fire was created for them.
Mat 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels’.”
Satan, as the chief of the unsaved angels, appealed the case at the time of the sentence to the Lake of Fire, which God granted. We know that Satan is the lawyer for the appeal because his Greek name is DIABOLOS. It means. “adversary, enemy, false accuser, slanderer or devil.” It also means a lawyer who takes the case. The same thing is true of SATAN (Hebrew and transliterated into Greek as SATANAS) which means, “devil, enemy or adversary,” so devil means a lawyer who has appealed the case. He is the enemy of God.
In objecting to the sentence Satan made his appeal by impugning the character of God. He said the judge, God, was not fair. He said that the judge was inconsistent, and he also indicated that the judge was supposed to be love, and how can a loving God throw His creatures into the Lake of Fire? So in every way he impugned the character of God.
With the appeal granted, an appeal trial began. The way God is going to win the appeal trial is to create something lower than angels, weaker than angels, dumber than angels, and use that to win the trial. Therefore, as a result of the condemned angels appealing their sentencing, God created man, a lower creation to resolve the appeal trial and conflict. During the course of human history, we have the sentence of Satan and the fallen angels under appeal. The case will receive its final decision at the end of human history, Rev 20. So no angels at the present time are in the Lake of Fire.
To resolve the Angelic Conflict an inferior creature, mankind, is placed on one planet possessing one thing in common with these superior creatures: free will, the bona fide function of a creature volition, Psa 8:3-5; Heb 2:7. Therefore, creation of man resolves the Angelic Conflict and answers Satan’s appeal.
In human history, the sovereignty of God and free will of man coexist by Divine decree because human history is an extension of the prehistoric Angelic Conflict. Satan learned in the prehistoric Angelic Conflict that he cannot attack the sovereignty of God, which is incorruptible, so he attacked the volition of other creatures. He came up with a plan to attack God through His creatures, since he could not attack God. Therefore, since mankind was created in history to resolve the prehistoric Angelic Conflict, Satan attacks at the weak point the volition of mankind. The greatest attack on human volition occurred during our Lord’s incarnation against the humanity of Christ. Jesus Christ was attacked constantly; He was tempted beyond anything we will ever know, but was victorious as He used His volition to choose for God rather than for self or Satan.
Human volition is tested in exactly the same pattern as angelic volition.
- Angels began in innocence; mankind began in innocence.
- Angels sinned, negative volition of Satan and those who followed him; mankind sins, negative volition of Adam.
- God provided salvation or some way for angels to remain intact, so that they did not have to go with Satan. Many did not, which is why there are the elect angels. So the angels are divided into two categories: elect and fallen; mankind is divided into two categories, saved and unsaved, John 3:16, 18, 36. The ones who believe in Christ are eternally saved. The ones who reject Christ are lost.
Two tests are instituted for man’s volition, just as the same two types of status existed in angelic history, pre-human history.
Innocence existed with free will, but no sin nature. For the free will to be functioning and to have a test, mankind is prohibited the use of one tree. That was the volitional test, Gen 2:17. In the status of innocence man could only sin in one way, negative volition: eat of the forbidden tree. The penalty for going negative and eating of the forbidden tree was said to be death, but not physical death. In innocence there is no physical death, only perfect environment. Man understood death as a penalty, as a condemnation, a judgment, and he understood it in its right context, which is separation from God. Adam died immediately when he ate of the forbidden fruit, but he was still alive and still breathing. Obviously it was not physical death. He died spiritually.
Christ died for our sins, but He did not die physically for our sins, He died spiritually for our sins, Rom 5:12; 6:23; Gen 2:17. These passages speak to spiritual death. The test in the garden was to parallel the test in the angelic realm, so we can only conclude that there was a similar test with the angels. Eventually all the angels were divided.
Sinfulness: After the fall, salvation is promised, but you can still have the issue of sin. The devil thought he had won a round when man went negative and ate of the forbidden fruit. But immediately after eating it Christ comes to the garden, promises salvation through Himself and right away volition faces an issue. We see that the first parents went positive and believed in Jesus Christ. Now the issue in the human race, from the time of Adam and Eve right down to the end of the Millennium, is “what do you think of the Christ?” Salvation! Before Christ came historically, He was portrayed in many ways: in animal sacrifices, etc. The issue throughout history is volition, the function of free will with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man’s entrance into the Plan of God through faith in Christ destroys the devil’s appeal, it resolves the Angelic Conflict.
- The issue: Will man, inferior to angels, equipped with the same free will as angels, choose for or against the plan of God; operation grace.
- The solution: If even one member of the human race in all of human history believes in the Lord Jesus Christ the Angelic Conflict is resolved, Heb 1:4-14; 2:1-18; Col 2:13-15.
The results of the Angelic Conflict.
- Phase One: Salvation results; regenerate mankind is positionally higher than angels because of our union with Christ, Heb 1:4-14.
- Phase Two: Glorification results; through suffering, regenerate mankind uses Bible doctrine in Occupation with Christ. The maximum use of the faith-rest technique in suffering produces Occupation with Christ resulting in maximum glorification of God, Rom 5:2-5; 1 Peter 1:7-17. This also results in blessings for the spiritually mature believer, which brings maximum glory to God. That is why the life of these believers has alternate suffering and blessing.
- Phase Three: Eternal results; regenerate mankind is going to be physically superior to angels because he is going to possess a resurrection body like that of Christ. In the resurrection and ascension Christ demonstrated the superiority of His resurrection body. We will have one like Him, Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:1-2; 1 Cor 15:51-57.
Through the fall of man, Satan gained control of the world. Until the Second Advent, Satan will be the ruler of this world, John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2. Even though he is the ruler of this world that does not mean he controls mankind. This is because God instituted some Divine laws. The Laws of Divine Establishment began with human freedom. Human volition or free will makes man a free agent and as a free agent in the devil’s world he can choose between the plan of God and the blessings that come from that plan, or the plan of Satan and the things that Satan offers by way of bait. Salvation through faith in Christ frees mankind from Satan’s control, Gal 5:1. After salvation, the believer who utilizes the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP) to achieve spiritual adulthood learns the reality of this freedom.
The Angelic Conflict is related to the doctrine of Angelic Observation. In regard to the Angelic Conflict and God utilizing a lower creation called man to resolve that conflict, angels observe the human race. Therefore, angels are watching the human race, and especially believers, 1 Cor 4:9; 6:1-3; 11:10; Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21; 1 Peter 1:12, to learn about and oppose God’s grace plan.
Eph 3:10, “In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.”
1 Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven– things into which angels long to look.”
- Angels observed the incarnate Christ during His incarnation, 1 Tim 3:16.
- Elect angels observe and rejoice over the conversion of any member of the human race, Luke 15:7, 10.
- At the same time, fallen angels are organized under Satan’s command to resist and oppose all believers, Job 1:6; 2:1, 3; Eph 6:12.
Through angelic observation, angels learn through the conversion of members of the human race that the free will of man does not necessarily choose against God as each demon did. The fallen angels before human history have already done this, now they see in the unbeliever a repetition of their own negative volition. This also explains the rejoicing of elect angels over one unbeliever who changes his attitude toward Christ.
Except for the ones incarcerated, the demons are all loose today and they are definitely permitted under God to make certain attacks upon the human race because it is the volition of the human race that actually resolves the Angelic Conflict. It shows that Satan’s appeal is not valid.
The Angelic Conflict, then, answers some basic questions about life. If you really want to understand what life is all about, you have to understand why we are here. We are here to resolve the Angelic Conflict. We are here because Satan went to court and appealed the sentence passed upon the fallen angels. The sentence was the Lake of Fire forever and ever.
- Man has volition even as Satan had volition and the first question that is answered by the Angelic Conflict is… Why is man here? Man is here to glorify God. Inside of man’s soul is volition, and that volition can operate just once and that resolves the Angelic Conflict. If just one person in the history of the human race has believed in Jesus Christ, that would be all that was necessary to prove God’s point. But over the course of human history millions and millions of people have believed in Christ. So the Cross is the beginning of a series of victories, whereby God demonstrates His point to the fallen angels. This reaches its peak when a believer reaches spiritual maturity. God keeps proving and proving, and this glorifies God.
- Another question is… Why sin? Sin resolves the issue of Phase One in the Plan of God. Man’s free will is the source of all sinfulness in the human race. Man was created without any sin. God is not the author of sin, God is not the creator of sin, God does not sponsor sin; but He did create in man something whereby man could choose to be negative towards God. Man chose that and therefore, man became a sinner by an act of his own free will. Man’s free will created the Old Sin Nature (OSN). God did not create the OSN, man did. At the Cross all human sin is poured out upon Jesus Christ and judged, this removes the barrier between man and God and, at the same time, resolves the Angelic Conflict. So the fact that man chose to sin does not in any way deter the Angelic Conflict, it merely shifts gears and goes into a new area; The Cross of Jesus Christ.
- Another is… Why suffering? Suffering is another problem in the human race brought about by sin. The answer to the suffering problem is, again, God permits the believer to suffer for the purpose of blessing. Suffering, being the result of sin in the human race, is used by God to lead the believer to spiritual adulthood. When a believer experiences some form of suffering and uses his free will volition to trust and rely upon God to endure and overcome it, the angels see the grace of God in action, God is glorified and the believer receives blessings, including spiritual growth. Therefore, the angels, both fallen and elect, learn from the underserved suffering of the mature believer. See the book of Job for example.
- The Church is also another question that often occurs. Why the Church? The Jewish Age interrupted and we are now in the Church Age. The key to this is found in one of the Angelic Conflict passages, Eph 1:20-23;Col 2:10. Christ, the head of the Church, is absent from was the earth as a part of Operation Footstool. So He has representation on the earth in the form of His body. Christ is the head of the Church; we are His body representing Him as ambassadors. We are a kingdom of priests; every believer is in full time Christian service and therefore the personal representative of Christ on the earth. So Christ appointed the Church as His full time representation.
- Why chaos on the earth? Satan is the ruler of this world and he cannot improve his own kingdom. Divine Laws of Establishment keep the human race from entering into this chaos. Therefore, Satan is very frustrated trying to improve his kingdom and show God that he has a right to stay out of the Lake of Fire. But he never gets around to improving it. All of the improvements come from God and not from Satan. Therefore, chaos is related to the Angelic Conflict.
The Angelic Conflict explains the superiority of spirituality over the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law has an objective, i.e. to set up the Laws of Establishment, but spirituality has a higher objective to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why the Mosaic Law was taught by elect angels in the days of Moses. Elect angels were most anxious for the winning of the Angelic Conflict and the Mosaic Law is a summary of the Laws of Divine Establishment. So angels taught the Exodus generation, Acts 7:38, 53; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; Psa 68:17; Deut 33:2. Christ is superior to angels as He is resurrected and ascended, the believer is in union with Christ, and now we have a difference. Angels were the teachers of doctrine to the Old Testament saints, now angels are servants, Heb 1:13-14.
During the Church Age, demon attacks on the unbeliever are limited to two categories: demon possession or demon influence, in which demon doctrines enter the soul of the unbeliever. During the Church Age, demon attacks on believers are limited to demon influence, in which the doctrine of demons invades the right lobe of the soul.
Satan poses as an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14 and false teachers are his ministers disguised as servants of righteousness, 2 Cor 11:15, to influence both unbelievers and believers away from a true relationship with God, 1 Tim 4:1-2.
1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”
Negative volition to Bible doctrine creates a vacuum in the soul which sucks in all the false concepts that Satan has developed for you to be distracted from the plan of God. Demon influence wipes out all of the doctrine you have ever learned. It destroys your doctrinal norms and standards. Cosmic thinking includes the doctrine of demons and involvement in the cosmic system. Therefore, during the Church Age you are either influenced by God and His Word or the doctrine of demons. Volition is the major issue of the Angelic Conflict.
Satan uses three main tactics to deceive and distract you from walking faithfully in God’s Plan for your life. He also most likely used these three to influence the angels in rebellion against God. The three tactics are summarized as “appetite, beauty and ambitious pride.” He used them in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:6, against our Lord after being in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, Luke 4:3-13, cf. Mat 4:3-11, and we are warned that he uses these same three tactics against you and I today, 1 John 2:15-16, “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.” Cf. Col 2:18, which is in reverse order.
As we noted in vs. 21, the humanity of Christ at the right hand of the Father is superior to all super demon leaders. That is, Jesus Christ as a member of the human race seated at the right hand of the Father in His resurrection body is superior to all the fallen angels put together, and not only superior to them but separate in every way.
Next in Part 7 of Ephesian Chapter 1, we will take a look at:
- Application of EKKLESIA (Church)
- The Headship of Jesus Christ Over His Body
- The Head and Body is one of Seven Figures used of Christ in Relation to the Church
- Temporal and Permanent Spiritual Gifts