Archive for the ‘Angelic Conflict’ category

Why I believe in the Invisible War

November 19, 2010

As my readers know am reading a book by the name of “The Invisible War” by Donald Grey Barnhouse. It makes the case for a Biblical doctrine which I have always known as the Angelic Conflict. The scope of the book is best captured by this quote from the preface:

Dr. Barnhouse traces the vast spiritual conflict back to the period before the beginning of Time and, step-by-step, follows its unfolding to the final battle of wills at the end of Time. In these pages, questions that have long troubled thinking people concerning the trials, sufferings and difficulties of life, are clearly answered. Here also are practical suggestions for facing life’s obstacles. Here are sane, sensible explanations for the continued existence of good and evil on earth in what appears to be a never-ending tug of war. In a brilliant manner, the author has stretched out the panorama of Time and focused upon it the illuminating light of Eternity.

Preface to “The Invisible War

I believe that the angelic conflict exits and I also believe that in it lie the reasons for all of the suffering that this world endures. I can’t say that I have ever seen a debate between Christians where each side didn’t accuse each other of “reading their theology into the text” and I may be doing so here. In fact I want to make my reasons for belief in the Angelic Conflict crystal clear from the outset. I do believe that the Bible points to such a conflict but my reasons for believing in it go beyond that. The Angelic Conflict is the only Christian apologetic that convincingly explains the existence of evil to me. If there is anything Christianity should explain, with our just and righteous God, is the question of why evil is allowed to exist. We Christians have done a terrible job of answering that question. Most of the time you will hear or read answers such as: “God ordained everything that has happened for His own inscrutable purposes.” Which is just another way of saying: “I don’t know.” In fact there are some Christians who have begun to advocate doctrines that water down God’s omnipotence (such as Process Theology) in order to answer this question. As far as I am concerned the Invisible War (or Angelic Conflict) is the only Christian explanation of evil I have ever heard that isn’t plain old lousy. If this is reading my theology into the Bible then so be it. I make no apologies for the belief that God would provide us with a good reason for the way things are that doesn’t impugn His character.

Any Christian apologetic worth its salt should be able to answer the following questions:

Some time ago, in the midst of World War II, the writer preached a sermon in which the omnipotence of God was brought forth. The Lord Jesus Christ was quoted, saying, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). At the close of the meeting a high school boy came up with a question. With some little embarrassment, he asked: “Please tell me this. If God can do absolutely anything, why doesn’t He smack Hitler down?” That same question in a thousand forms has possessed the minds of men throughout the centuries. Why does God permit sin? Why did God create the devil? Why does God allow wars and calamities? We dare to say that we have the certain answer, and that it is not a very difficult one.

p 22 of “The Invisible War

I had wanted to write a longer article today but events seem to have conspired against me this week. I really want to continue on this topic and have plans to post on enough of Pastor Barnhouse’s book to give anyone who is interested a good taste of what it is like.

Introduction to the Invisible War

November 12, 2010

The topic that I have enjoyed posting about the most is the Angelic Conflict (also known as the Invisible War). I have come to realize that Christianity generally suffers from a terrible apologetic and I think that would change dramatically if believers would learn about the Angelic Conflict.

Here we have the Bible, which is the most remarkable book ever written, and yet we cannot seem to explain why we are on this earth. Why is that? Has God withheld His reasons? God has no intention of trying to explain every decision that He has ever made to us. However that does not mean that He has not graciously explained many things to us. I truly believe that He has explained much to us about why we are here and it is related to the Angelic Conflict. (more…)

Questions Answered by the Angelic Conflict

October 8, 2010

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

This week I continue with another excerpt from an online book on the Angelic Conflict that I found a few months ago. Of all of the excerpts I have published I have the most mixed emotions about this one. On the one hand it brings up what I consider to be the most important questions that the Angelic Conflict answers (and most other theologies do not answer). On the other hand the author veers into date setting the Rapture of the Church which I believe to be a mistake. There is no prophecy, or event, that must be fulfilled before the rapture can occur. The rapture of the church can take place at any moment.

I always emphasize that this doctrine appears to be based on the teachings of R.B. Thieme, Jr. which is true. However, Colonel Thieme would never date set and this is an addition to the Colonel’s teaching. I have not, and do not plan on, linking to the site where I found this material because I am not sure if there is any copyright infringement (Colonel Thieme copyrighted his teaching so it could not be sold). I can tell you that inserting date setting into what certainly appears to be Colonel Thieme’s teaching would get a strong reaction from R.B. Thieme, Jr. Bible Ministries if they ever find out. (more…)

Results of the Angelic Conflict

September 17, 2010

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

In this week’s excerpt the section that really resonates with me is the “Freedom From Satanic Control” section. I try to stay informed on current events and am aware of a lot that goes on in this world and it quite often leaves me with a deep sorrow. Bad decisions by people, bad decisions by families, bad decisions by city, state, and national governments. Bad decisions piling up on top of each other to generate much unnecessary suffering.

Many Christians will tell you that this is due to individual selfishness and a lack of humility that these things happen and I agree up to a point. It seems to me that there is something deeper that is going on (and going wrong). Satan, his angelic followers (the demons), and fallen mankind are of one mind whether we realize it or not. Their “worldview” is antagonistic to truth and causes untold misery. That is why studying scripture is a release for me. I find comfort in the idea that as I learn more of the mind of Christ (scripture) the less I am influenced by the mind of Satan.

Here is this week’s lesson: (more…)

Tests of Our Volition and Angelic Observation

September 3, 2010

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

I have been terribly busy this week and haven’t had a chance to put together any proper commentary on this week’s post about the angelic conflict. It is really a continuation of my post two weeks ago titled Resolving the Angelic Conflict. In that post the topic of how mankind’s volition was tested in perfect environment in the Garden of Eden. This weeks post continues with the testing of mankind’s volition after the fall.

If you believe that all of us have a free will and that God expects us to make good decisions then it is important to understand this material.

Here is this week’s lesson: (more…)

Resolving the Angelic Conflict

August 20, 2010

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

Once again this excerpt is almost identical to what I was taught while growing up in Colonel Thieme’s church. I do believe that Satan and one-third of the angels revolted against God before Adam and Eve were created. If you read the first section on the resolution of the angelic conflict, it seems likely that the author believes in an old earth gap theory (please read my previous article on the gap theory here). I no longer hold to the “old earth” gap theory but I do hold to a “young earth” gap theory like Arnold Fruchtenbaum does. I have become convinced that sin entering the world through Adam’s fall (Romans 5:12) precludes dinosaurs living and dying on earth prior to the fall.

As I have mentioned before the topic of the “gap theory” really seems to stir up passions among Christians. I don’t want to debate anyone as to whether any form of the gap theory is valid. I will say that if anyone believes that mankind was created by God to resolve the angelic conflict then that person probably believes in the gap theory. I do believe that so there you go.

Here is this weeks installment: (more…)

Satan’s Objection

August 6, 2010

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

This week we continue with the topic of the angelic conflict. This post focuses and Satan and what happened after Satan was convicted by God of rebellion and sentenced to the Lake of Fire for eternity. Those who believe that the angelic conflict is the reason for the human race’s creation believe that an appeal had to have been made by Satan after he was sentenced to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

This is certainly controversial but I personally believe that it is logically solid and consistent with scripture. I do think that it explains things in scripture that no other teaching does. Steve Ellis, pastor of the Church of the Servant King, asks how else can we answer these questions:

●Why the delay between the pronouncement of Satan’s sentence in Ezekiel 28:12b-19 and the execution of that sentence at the end of human history?
●Why was there a prohibition in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve not partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why any prohibition at all? If your answer is “to test man’s loyalty,” I say “why?” Why would man’s loyalty need to be tested?
●Why is there such interest on the part of angels in the affairs of human history?

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