There is a way of life and there is a way of death. However, this is nothing of which to be afraid. Quite the contrary, God's way, the way of life, is plainly marked and easily accessible. Anyone can get onto the way of life at any time.
And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
Highways refer to the roads in those days, which were raised above the surrounding swamps and bogs so people could travel safely. God's highway is a safe road raised above the swamps and bogs of the world. Anyone is welcome to enjoy walking God's highway, but we have to climb out of the swamps and bogs to do so.
So where did this way of death come from in the first place, and how did we land in it? Why is there a need to search for the way of life and get onto it? Who is the devil? What are angels and what are devil spirits? Let's go to the word and find out.
When God created angels, they were under three heads - Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer, and each had one third of the angels under their command.
Lucifer was the angel of light, the illuminated one, second in command in heaven. Underestimate him at your peril. The bible calls him the god of this world with good reason. He is a god. Look at what the word says about him before he became the devil.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Although this appears to be addressed to a man, it is addressing Lucifer, the devil, who was the power behind the man.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
When Lucifer was created he was stunning, the greatest and the most powerful of the angels. The word also tells us he was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
At one time the devil was perfect in all his ways. When he was the angel of light in heaven he was perfect, and I would have dearly loved to have known him then. Ah, but it all went horribly wrong. His heart was filled with pride and he wanted more. What more could he have than the throne of God himself?
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Lucifer may have been cast out of heaven, but he is still Lucifer, and he still has all his power, beauty, and wisdom. Never underestimate the devil and always hold him in respect. His angels were cast out with him and it is those angels that make up the devil spirit realm. The only reason we can have life in this world is because God is our protection and we live under his shadow, we have his hedge of protection around us. Never, ever forget that.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Gabriel is God's messenger angel, and his job is to deliver messages. Communication is an important part of all life, including the spiritual.
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
This is a good job description of what Gabriel does. This is his job, his responsibility in the spiritual realm.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Gabriel told Mary about her coming pregnancy. That's Gabriel's job, to deliver messages.
Michael, another of God's original three archangels, has a job too. However, he is not a messenger, but a warrior, and he also has one third of the angels under his command. His job is to fight God's wars for him, and to protect God's people.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Not only is Michael a warrior, but he just so happens to be a rather good one. No one, but no one, messes with Michael.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out. that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
It was Michael and his angels who kicked the devil and his angels out of heaven. Michael and his angels are God's spiritual Special Forces, his spiritual SAS, his spiritual Navy Seals. We can see this in 2 Kings.
2 Kings 6:8,9
Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
God was protecting his people by giving revelation to the man of God, who then warned the king about where the enemy were laying ambushes.
2 Kings 6:10
And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
This passing of intelligence to the king of Israel troubled the king of Syria, who began to suspect he had a traitor among his commanders.
2 Kings 6:11,12
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
When he discovered that Elisha was the intelligence leak, he sent his best men behind enemy lines to locate him.
2 Kings 6:13,14
And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
Elisha awoke to find himself surrounded by enemy troops looking for him. The reality of this situation perhaps doesn't communicate immediately. How would you feel if you opened your front door and discovered a gang of Hells Angels standing outside patting baseball bats in the palms of their hands? Might you be tempted to twitch a little? Not Elisha, and this was no small motorcycle gang, this was an army.
2 Kings 6:15
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
His servant was terrified. I can't say I blame him. What was Elisha's response?
2 Kings 6:16
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
Fear not! How many times do we read that in the word? Fear is our greatest enemy. There is nothing to fear, not even when an entire army of enemy soldiers surrounds us.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Guess what, Romans 8:31 is true. Elisha's servant looked at the situation with his eyes, and to his mind the situation was impossible. He was afraid for his life. Elisha, however, looked at things from a different point of view, a different perspective, and he told his servant that there were more on their side than on the enemy's side. Okay, where were they?
2 Kings 6:17
And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
From what we have learned so far about angels, who do you think was leading the spiritual forces lining the mountains? Michael, of course. That is what he does. Whenever the devil stacks the odds against us, we have nothing to fear. Even in war, we have nothing to fear, because we have God's protection.
What else can we learn from the word regarding angels? Oh lots, and while we're here we might as well dispel a few myths about them.
And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
The angel gave this woman explicit instructions, which it was expected she would carry out. This is an important key. It is only when we do the word in the details that we get the results.
For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
This is interesting. She did not tell her husband she had spoken to an angel, rather she told him she had spoken to a man of God who reminded her of an angel. This is intriguing, because according to the bible, it really was an angel.
But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
Her husband prayed that God would send back the man of God. Note that he didn't pray for God to send back an angel. He didn't know it was an angel.
And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man [man, not angel] hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.
Did she say to her husband that the angel who had previously appeared to her had returned? No, she said the man. Why did she not say angel? If you do not understand this yet, it is because your perception of angels, the picture you carry of them in your mind is wrong.
And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man [not angel], and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.
They were talking face to face with an angel, yet they both thought he was a man. Why? Simple, because he looked like a man. In other words, angels do not have wings, they do not play harps, they do not have halos, and they do not float around in white robes chanting stupid religious ditties. They did not know he was an angel because he looked just like any other human being. Angels take human form when they appear. For the most part, they stand on the ground, they wear normal clothes, and they speak with normal voices. All the other rubbish you hear about them is just brown smelly religious horseshit. And I don't care if my language annoys you, the only thing I care about is the accuracy of God's word. If you want to live the more abundant life and manifest the power of God, shut up and listen. I'm teaching you the truth.
And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
See, he was an angel. The word says so. It's just that Manoah and his wife didn't recognise him as such. This is an amazing truth.
She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.
And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
Manoah still thinks the angel is a man.
And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.
That pretty much spells it out. Manoah and his wife thought he was a man, because they simply could not know he was an angel by looking at him. There was nothing about his appearance that would have remotely suggested he was anything other than a human being.
And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.
For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.
After Manoah lit a fire and made his offering, the angel went up into the sky in the smoke and vanished. I suppose that would have made an impact.
And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
Good job Manoah had a sensible wife who could think.
And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
Just look who this child turned out to be. These were Samson's parents! Hebrews gives more information on angels.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
The truth is, if you met an angel, you would not know it unless they wanted you to. They appear in human form, and look, talk, and dress like us. Sure, they can do all that fancy floating and disappearing stuff too, but primarily they come to do a job, not to show off. We can see these same truths regarding angels in Judges.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
Here we go again, another turn your back on God and suffer the consequences scenario. God delivering them into the hand of Midian simply means God was forced to allow it to happen - it's the idiom of permission. It isn't that God is mean, it's that we walk away from him and so there's nothing he can do.
And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;
And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.
Whenever and wherever a nation turns away from God, catastrophe is inevitable. The devil exists only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. Whenever and wherever we walk away from God, we walk right back into the devil's world. Whenever and wherever people come back to God, he is always there to sort out their messes for them, individually or as entire nations. He is amazing.
And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,
That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;
And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
God confronts them and tells them exactly why they are in this situation. They, by the freedom of their wills, turned away from him so he could no longer protect them. God did not go anywhere, they did. He is not condemning them though, he is explaining what happened, giving them a chance to change, and showing them how to get back onto the way of life.
And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
Here comes another angel. If we bear in mind what we learned earlier, that angels appear in human form, this record will make more sense.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
The children of Israel were not to sit around crying about their problems, they were to deal with them. Sitting around crying and complaining accomplishes nothing. When you have stopped crying and complaining, the problems are still there and you still have to deal with them. Notice that God doesn't just wave a magic wand and magic all their problems away either. Gideon was to lead Israel to war. War is hard dangerous work. Getting out of our problems can be extremely hard work, but if we listen and obey we sort our lives out. If we do not, we stay in the mess. It is really up to us. God's word works.
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
Up until this point, Gideon thought he was talking to a man. He had no idea this was an angel until it did another vanishing act.
What we have just learned should clear up some of the religious fog shrouding this whole subject of angels. Angels are spirits, they are not physical beings. Devil spirits are also angels, spirit beings. You cannot see spirit, hear spirit, smell spirit, taste spirit, or touch spirit. They are intelligent lifeforms that live in a different dimension, the spiritual. They are supernatural alien life, though I can assure you that neither Captains Kirk nor Picard are ever likely to encounter them on any planet anywhere. Angels can take human form and appear to us. Devil spirits can also manifest themselves in the senses realm. Separating truth from error in this field takes an in-depth spiritual perception and awareness, which only comes from knowing and living the word.
Do angels come around today? If God sends them, yes. Here is how it works. You do your job, and if God thinks you need an angel he will send one. Just get on with what you are supposed to be doing. Don't go praying for them, and don't go looking for them. If God thinks you need one, he will send one. Get on with your spiritual responsibilities, and don't go off on ridiculous missions asking God to send you angels. There is nothing in the bible anywhere that says you can pray to angels either, so don't do it. The spiritual realm is a dangerous place, and only when we walk by the revealed word and will of God will we remain safe.
Okay, it's time to head off into Genesis and find out what happened when man fell.
Chapter 12 - Smashed and Trashed