Time or Eternity? ™

War in Heaven

In War in Heaven on April 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

The law of love is the foundation of the government of God. Obedience to its requirements brings the only real peace and happiness that can come to created beings. Hence it must be that love is the foundation of a law that produces such results. The apostle Paul says, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom. 13 : 10)  The lawyer came to the Saviour with the question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” The answer comes plain and clear, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” He then applies the same rule to our dealings with our fellow-men: “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” And lest any should accept this as a mere sentiment, to take the place of law, He adds, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”(Matt. 22 : 36-40.)  Every command in God’s Word is embraced in the above propositions.

So long as Lucifer and his associate angels acknowledged the supremacy of love, there was harmony in heaven. It is impossible for jealousy, pride, and rebellion to exist where love is supreme.  When love of self becomes greater than love for our neighbor, the harmony is broken, and we are very sure to desire the advancement of our own interests, even though it be to the detriment of our neighbor.  The harmony of heaven was broken by the entrance of pride, ambition, and self-love. Sin originated with Lucifer, who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God, and who stood highest in beauty, wisdom, power, and glory, among the heavenly host.  Lucifer chose to forget that all his wonderful powers and attributes were the gift of God. Pride and love of self came in, and the text says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” (Ezek. 28 : 17)  Envy and ambition soon followed. Christ stood above him, equal with the Father. Lucifer decided that by his beauty and attainments he was fitted for a position of equality with God, and he said in his heart :—“I will exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Young’s translation reads, “I am like the Most High.” (Isa. 14 : 13, 14)  But Jehovah could not permit this. He Himself had established the order of heaven.

No created being could be equal with God. The only begotten Son alone could occupy this position. Lucifer presented his pernicious plans to the angels. As God can accept nothing but willing obedience prompted by love, He allowed them perfect freedom in choosing their master. They loved Lucifer, their leader, and a vast host of these renounced their allegiance to God and continued under Lucifer.  And so there was discord in heaven. Some disposition had to be made of the rebel host. God could have blotted them out of existence at once, for He who could create could also destroy. But the purposes of God are far reaching and beyond the conception of finite minds. This rebellion, with all its train of evils, must be an object-lesson to all the universe of God, throughout eternal ages. And when the lesson is finished, with all its defilement and horrors, there must never be the possibility of another rebellion. “Affliction shall not rise up the second time.“(Nahum 1 : 9)

So God allowed the evil to work and ripen in heaven; and as He has constituted all His creatures free moral agents.   As the disaffection ripened, Lucifer and his followers became the avowed enemies of God, and rebels against His government. Heaven must therefore be cleared from such objectionable elements at any cost.  The Son of God took command of the angels who had remained true, and prepared to drive out the rebel host. Lucifer held command of the angels who had rebelled with him, and believed that he could retain his place in heaven.  Then “there was war in heaven; Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” (Rev. 12:7) The word “dragon,” with other familiar names, refers to Lucifer after he was driven from heaven. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan.  He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:9)

Christ referred to this when He said to His disciples, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10 : 18)  After the rebel host was cast out, love and joyful obedience again reigned supreme in heaven. And as the sinless angels view the awful, vindictive work of their former companions, how their hearts must swell with thanksgiving and praise to that power of Love that preserved them from such a course, and from such a fate!

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