New Directions: Angelic Conflict and the Laws of Divine Establishment
A few weeks ago I posted what direction I was thinking of taking this blog once I finished with the series on the Ten Commandments (see Where I Am Right Now In My Personal Study). Of course I have been giving it a lot of thought and have finally made a decision. I am not going to address apologetics directly at this time, rather I am going to just write posts which reflect what I believe and that will most definitely driven by my view of why we (the human race) are on this earth and what our responsibilities before God are. That is really the heart of apologetics anyway.
I have recently discovered what is, for me at least, a treasure trove of doctrinal teaching. I have found a site which contains electronic versions of some material that I thought had disappeared a long time ago. This has given me the opportunity to write a series of posts on the topics of the Angelic Conflict and the Laws of Divine Establishment and I am going to do just that.
The Angelic Conflict teaches a free will based purpose for why the human race was created by God. I strongly believe that this doctrine provides a much stronger Christian apologetic than the “God made us for His pleasure and don’t ask any more questions” approach used by so many Christians.
The Laws of Divine Establishment build on the Divine Institutions and provide a framework for understanding what structures and institutions God has provided all of mankind with to protect freedom. Of course freedom is only important if you believe that God created us with the explicit purpose of using our free will. In this way, the Laws of Divine Establishment tie in with the Angelic Conflict which also emphasizes free will.
Before I provide an introduction to the Angelic Conflict I would like to mention that I will not be linking to the internet site with the “treasure trove” I found and provide a reason for that. All of the studies produced by R.B. Thieme, Jr. after the mid 1970s contained copyrights because certain teachers used Colonel Thieme’s work in their publications and sold these for money (Colonel Thieme always opposed selling the word of God for money). Even though Colonel Thieme passed away last year his ministry continues to enforce the copyrights to make sure no one profits from his work. I do not know if the site I found has permission to publish the material that they have up but I don’t want to take a chance on having them discovered and shut down. To me it is very important to keep this material available.
Now, here are the opening paragraphs from the material on the Angelic Conflict:
From the moment of Salvation, every believer, regardless of age or sex, regardless of status in life, is in the midst of a great Spiritual conflict. The creation of man is the result of this conflict, (But as we ALL now know; this was God’s plan from the VERY BEGINING. To bring angels and man into His family — using FREE WILL; and to show that God’s Thought’s and Virtue’s are BEYOND AMAZING; Isa 43:10-13) which has existed since some time in eternity past. It is a conflict in which the fallen angels are pitted against God, against the elect angels and against believers. Exactly how long this conflict has been raging is a matter of speculation, since God has not seen fit to reveal this information to us. The first phase of the angelic struggle was completed before man was created. Man entered this Spiritual combat from the time that Eve, at the subtle suggestion of Satan, partook of the forbidden tree in the Garden; (2Co 11:3) and man will continue to be in combat until the Second Advent of Christ.
The Church Age in which we now live is unique. It is the age in which Jesus Christ as the God-Man is glorified: He is seated at the right hand of the Father in His resurrection body. (Matt 26:64) And therefore, the angelic conflict has shifted gears. Until the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ, it was the intent of the fallen angels to frustrate the incarnation of Christ and to prevent the dissemination of the Promises regarding Him. Since Christ did go to the cross and is now glorified, the former purpose has changed. Every believer is the target in the angelic conflict, which has greatly intensified. In fact, the New Testament uses actual warfare as a basis for illustrating the great Spiritual battle in which we find ourselves.
In eternity past, God ALWAYS knew about every need believers would have at every stage of this intensified conflict. (Isa 46:8-10) He knew we would live in a very difficult period of our own national history, as well as in the Spiritual history of mankind. He knew about the dramatic rise of Communism with its anti-Doctrinal and demonic aspects. He knew about the internal disintegration of our nation through drugs, the rise of Theological liberalism, and the failure to recognize Divine laws relative to police and military activities; He knew that confusion with regard to the gospel and the teaching of the Word of God would result from the satanic utilization of those who choose ecstatic and emotional criteria rather than the Thinking of Christ; as their “Spiritual routine.” (1Co 2:14-16) Furthermore, He knew that, as individuals’, we would have to face national crises, personal crises and local church crises, and that we would encounter an accumulation of pressures at any point where His Word might be revealed. Accordingly, in the Church Age everything is vitally different from any previous age, and God’s provision for every believer in this Dispensation — the New Covenant Church Age; is phenomenal! (John 17:21-23)