Saturday, October 17, 2015

Don't Mess With Angels!

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

Peter continues to describe these false teachers. Not only do they distort teachings about Jesus, but they even presume to have knowledge of celestial beings, like angels. Even angels who are stronger and more powerful do not assume to make such judgments.

There are a lot of teachings about angels in the church today. Sometimes we read back into the bible all kinds of modern ideas about angels and demons. What relationship there is between the celestial beings and the angels in verse 11 is not clear either. Some suggest they are different than angels, others think they are higher ranking angels. Since there is no clear teaching from Jesus other than they exist, we would do well not to be obsessed with them. Someone has coined the term, "be careful we don't see a demon in every bush." It would seem that this preoccupation would play right into the devil's hand. After all the more we focus on demons, the less we focus on Christ and what He wants us to do.

As we stay focused on Christ and live in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have no reason to fear or focus on demons. These false teachers were so arrogant that they thought they had power or knowledge over these heavenly beings. It reminds us to focus on what we know, not on what is obscure. Paul reminds us that, "No temptation has overtaken us which is not common to all humankind. God is faithful and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can endure." Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6, that as we battles principalities and powers of this present darkness, we have weapons that are more powerful. Paul says we have the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God". We also have the power of prayer.

Bottom line is we are covered. Unlike the false teachers, who assumed they had knowledge and insight into realms they had no business being in. We have all we need to know. Our power is in the Risen Lord, who defeated the powers and principalities on the cross. He triumphed over and made a spectacle over the power of sin, death and the devil, when he rose again from the death. We still live in a time where there are are still dark forces. That is why we still pray, "deliver us from the evil one." But one day, the devil and all his minions will be defeated forever when Jesus returns.

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