How God Uses Angels
to Govern the Universe
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D.
Read the accompanying Newsletter for February 2001
The properties and motions energizing the heavenly bodies in our universe have been properly compared to the simple mechanisms that propel and regulate a normal wind-up watch (a timepiece with a spring that displays the older analog dial to determine the time of day). Of course, the watch is inferior in accuracy to the actual motions of the celestial bodies that comprise our universe (no matter if it is the finest specimen that mankind can manufacture). Yet the watch that you can hold in (or put on) your hand resembles a microcosm example of the larger and vast universe. This mechanical device helps to make our understanding of the natural forces and attributes of the cosmos more comprehendible to us humans. Note that all spring watches operate in circular maneuvers and there is a center area to those watches. That overall circuit can equate with the outer universe and its centrality functions can analogously be related to what we call "heaven" where God the Father and Christ have their divine abode and where the hierarchy that the Holy Scriptures call "the Sons of God" (and also "the Daughters of God") control and rule the totality of the universe. Indeed, God the Father supervises the cosmos by the power of His spirit that reaches out from a central location into all external regions (Psalm 139:7). This allows God to harmonize and to sustain the spiritual and physical forces that decorate the creation as a vital and useful place for God and His divine Family to exist and to enjoy. It is to supply the needs of that divine Family (headed by God the Father) that the creation was devised and brought into existence (John 1:1-3; Ephesians 1:9,10). That single divine Family represents what is called the highest and exalted "Godhead" ó the supreme Godhead.
There are, however, other beings in heavens (other than the Father, Christ Jesus and the "Sons of God") that people on earth also recognize to be "gods" and "lords" and they are inferior in power and authority when compared to those in the single Godhead. Paul called attention to them in First Corinthians 8:5,6. He said:
"For though there be [authorities] that are called gods whether in heaven or on earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us [to us Christians] there is but one God, the Father [whom we recognize], of whom are all things, and we in him; and [we also recognize] one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [through the work of Christ] are all things [that is, Christ created "all things" in the universe], and we [were created] by him [Christ created us humans]."
Although there are "Sons of God" in heaven alongside the Father and Christ, we Christians do NOT reckon them as a part of the Godhead for us to petition. Beyond these "Sons," there are other high dignitaries in heaven. The apostle Paul referred to these authorities when he mentioned the principalities and powers that God allows to exist in the heavens and on the earth (Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10,15). These were created directly by Jesus Christ under the auspices of the Father.
"For by him [through the work of Christ Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him [by and through Christ Jesus]: and he [Christ] is before all things, and by him all things consist."
These powerful spiritual personalities occupying thrones and ruling over dominions are NOT a part of the single divine Family of God. The generic name that denotes them is angels. We need to be aware of how God uses these angelic powers and how they relate to us humans in the spiritual rank and status that God graciously provides to us. In this Doctrinal Report, the central theme is to discover what are the roles of these various divisions of angels in the earth and also within this vast universe. Just where do they fit into the divine scheme of things? For one thing, they are quite inferior to the Father (and even to Christ Jesus) and they will be inferior to us when we are resurrected from the dead. In no way can they be reckoned to be like legalized or natural-born members of the divine Family of God that we call the supreme Godhead. Angels are specifically excluded from being members of the divine Family (the Godhead). Notice John 17:20-23 where the divine UNITY of the Godhead is shown and where angels are conspicuously proclaimed as inferior. Jesus mentioned only humans can become a part of the "God Family." Notably absent are angels ó even the most distinguished and the most influential. The Book of Hebrews says (Hebrews 1:4,5):
"[Jesus] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance hath obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he [God] at any time, thou art my son this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son?"
Angels cannot be called or classified as "Sons of God" (or, in the feminine, "Daughters of God"). This statement of fact in the Book of Hebrews is a dogmatic assertion (a divine and spiritual definition from Godís own "dictionary"). It should never be applied in any biblical or secular context in a fashion that deviates from the divine meaning upon which the apostle Paul insists. All of the various angelic ranks are always inferior to those who have the divine designation of being a Son or a Daughter of God. That classification of being a "Son" (or, as the case may be, "Daughter") is reserved only for Christ Jesus (who is the Firstborn of the Family) and for us humans who are also considered to be Firstborn Children since we are now reckoned to be "in Christ" (see Hebrews 12:23 where the word "firstborn" is plural and it includes us). Only we humans (and that group of divine beings known in the Scriptures as the "Sons of God") have that very title (Son or Daughter) associated with them. The exclusive phrase "Sons of God" is an essential part of the divine nomenclature that certainly describes us humans in the eyes of God the Father and Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 6:18).
It should be mentioned that the Holy Scriptures reveal that there are also other "Sons of God" in heaven. This group of divine beings was associated with God in a joyful mood at the creation (Job 38:7). In later times (as recorded in Genesis 6:2) we read of certain "Sons of God" who (just before the Flood of Noah) married the daughters of men and God frowned on this escapade. The "Sons of God" who did this were NOT angels because angels do not marry (Matthew 22:30) and the apostle Paul stated categorically that angels cannot be called or designated as "Sons of God" (Hebrews 1:4,5). On the other hand, these particular "Sons of God" did provoke some angels to follow them in their pernicious ways in the period of the Flood (II Peter 2:4,5; Jude verse 6). There is no statement that God judged the "Sons of God," but He did those angels who participated in the wrongdoing. The "Sons of God" are a special class who do not seem to be judged. Note that the "Sons of God" later appear together as powerfully important personalities (without the slightest taint of error associated with them). This was at a time of heavenly consultation a few centuries after the Flood (Job 1:6; 2:1). This "staff meeting" of divine beings was similar to the heavenly congress mentioned by the prophet Micaiah in First Kings 22:19-23. It is shown in Job 1:6 and 2:1 that when Satan came before that divine counsel of celestial beings, Satanís report was heard by all those seated in Godís presence. This indicates that these "Sons of God" later associated with the Father must have been small in number. After all, they could sit in earshot of God.
How many "Sons of God" were there? The ancient Greeks and Romans (who got much of their teaching from early Egypt, who in turn received a great deal of primary knowledge from ancient Babylon) believed that there were Twelve Gods as a group that could sometimes interact with human society (as the Bible states in Genesis 6). If these traditional beliefs of the ancients have any ring of truth to them, it may be that the Divine Family was first limited to God the Father with Christ Jesus (as being "God" who was the Firstborn Son and the Creator of the universe) and then there were the other "Sons of God" (perhaps twelve in number). We have no biblical information (to my knowledge) that suggests the full number. For more information on this intriguing subject, see my book "The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine." What must be understood is the fact that this group called the "Sons of God" is NOT composed of angels! But what are angels? It is the angels that we are concerned with in this Report.
The teaching of the Holy Scriptures makes it clear that angels are NOT "Sons" or "Daughters" of God. They are accounted to be "ministering spirits" (they are "spirits" that serve ó who always have the rank of "servants" to designate them). They are not physical in the sense of having fleshly bodies as their primary abode. They do indeed have bodies, but those somatic features are thoroughly spirit or spiritual (that means they are characteristically composed of spiritual substance). Again, for more information on the subject of "spiritual substance," see my book "The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine." In regard to angels in particular, their principal duty is to serve God (NOT to serve mankind at the present). They have been created to perform a multiplicity of duties on earth and throughout the universe as the servants of God. In doing their jobs, God gives them great authority with a penetrating power of awesome proportions. This is illustrated in the biblical statement that angels (though they are only of "minister" or "servant" rank) are also manifested as being devouring "flames of fire" (Hebrews 1:7). Depending on the duties they have to accomplish, the authority of the angels can range from great to moderate to very little ó in whatever proportion that God wishes to dispense to them. Even if they have relatively "little power" to carry out their duties (in relation to that of God Himself), their power is nonetheless directly from God and that it is an expression and an extension of infinite power. This is why angels performing Godís work in the cosmos are called "flames of fire."
In a general manner, angels in the Holy Scriptures are also called (as their very name signifies) "messengers." This term is analogous to what we in our modern environment refer to as "civil servants" who operate the "Post Office." In their case, it is the divine "Post Office" that they administrate and sustain (and also other faculties involving communications throughout the universe). Besides their status as the cosmic "civil servants," they have another important role in which they can get themselves into deep trouble. The Scriptures show that many angels are members of certain armies of God that maintain (or are supposed to maintain) law and order within the universe and to defend the purposes that God initiates and maintains. This angelic role also involves all types of what we call "police" and "security" functions. They are in charge of such spiritual and celestial organizations. In some cases they have been delinquent in their jobs and God has not been pleased with their performance.
As far as the angels are concerned, the Scriptures show that in some circumstances being professionals in divine military organizations is not one of the angelsí best employments that they perform for God. The Bible shows that they sometimes fail in battles and/or they provoke irreverent hostilities that are not in tune with Godís principles. Some even join negative powers such as Satan. In fact, in their role as military professionals, they can be some of the worst strategists. This especially applies when they think they can win a battle or a war with their armies of other angels (particularly evil angels) when God has clearly prophesied their defeat in such a conflict. In such cases, this indicates that some angels are quite stupid in their choice of maneuvers. Some are so daft that they even go to war against the principles of God and within Godís own heavenly domains (and the word "stupid" in such matters is the only description that properly denotes such conduct). Though we are rightly told by Christ Jesus that Godís will always prevails in heaven (and, of course, on earth) (Matthew 6:9,10), Jesus also informs us that there was (or will be) WAR IN HEAVEN engendered by Satan and his angels (Revelation 12:7). These Satanic forces will even unleash their belligerence against the remnant of Godís seed on earth (Revelation 12:17).
This is an example of rank stupidity on the part of Satan and his angelic followers. It also shows that Satan is a reckless military commander when he thinks he can go to war against God and Godís people and win the conflict. This absurd action of Satan is described even though it has long been written in the Book of Revelation that Satan will suffer utter defeat and humiliation. One would think that Satan would be wise enough to read of his defeat in the divine word (which cannot be thwarted in the slightest way). God will direct the last war in heaven to be completely victorious for God. Since this is the case, why would Satan initiate such a war in which he knows he is going to be completely defeated? It may be that Satan is aware of his inferiority in such matters, but at the last moment (just like God hardened the heart of Pharaoh as mentioned in Romans 9:16-18) it seems that Satan decides he can actually defeat Godís purposes. This of course is pure absurdity on Satanís part (and also of the other angels who support and follow Satan).
Look at what this example of Satanís "war in heaven" shows to us. It reveals in no uncertain terms that just because angels have a superior power in many cases over us humans at this period of time (that is, in relation to we humans at the present acting alone), it does NOT mean that Satan will succeed. Indeed, we should never follow Satan. This is one of the main reasons why we should NEVER petition any of the angelic powers to aid or help us in our human troubles (nor should we join them in their rebellions). If many angels are so daft as to go to war with God in heaven, they are not the kind of spiritual personalities that we humans would want to embrace or to follow. Remember, God sometimes allows wars to exist even in heaven to order to show that such wars do not solve the problems that most people (or angels) who activate them think they might. Angels (and this means ALL of them put together) are a much inferior class to God the Father and Christ Jesus. We are not given permission to seek their aid or support in times of need. Our position as "Sons and Daughters of God" allow us to go directly to God the Father Himself, through the mediatorial agency of Christ Jesus as being our Elder Brother who died for us and loves us dearly. They may send angels to help us, but we should not encourage angels directly to come to our support.
Again, and it bears the importance for repetition, all of these instances that I have been recording that reveal some of the major offices (civil and military) occupied by angelic forces is just another reason why we humans should NOT ask angels to do any intercessions for us with God or to perform any works for us. Angels are very inferior to God. They are also servants OF God, NOT servants OF US. Note that even Jesus himself said that he had authority to call twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), yet he still refrained from petitioning them to assemble on his behalf. This is a good example for us. Let God the Father call for the angelic armies to help when the need arises, NOT us. In our case, it is God through Christ who is actually responsible for being our benefactor in all things. Certainly, God may send angels to do the job for our behalf, but it is by Godís dictates that angels are sent (and their works applied), NOT that we humans should initiate the procedures. The simple truth is (and this is usually not understood by most humans) the angels are really quite unreliable in many cardinal instances. Their questionable conduct and (at times) their expressions of irrationality show that any angel should never be used as a mediator between God and man. That job is reserved only for Christ Jesus. See again I Timothy 2:4-6. Remember, the very hairs of your head are numbered (Matthew 10:30) and God is well aware of you and your needs (I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:35-39). You do not need to go elsewhere for protection.
Lastly, there is another important phrase that describes the angelic hosts. In the Holy Scriptures they are called "elemental spirits." This is a description that is adequate and accurate. The principalities and powers that govern the elements of the universe are given that description by the apostle Paul in the Books of Ephesians and Colossians. Paul said these "elements" were the ones who gave the Law of Moses to Israel, and that the Law of Moses had been superseded by the teachings of Christ Jesus now that the crucifixion and glorification of Christ had taken place. We are no longer subject to such "angelic laws," according to Paul (Colossians 2:16,17). No longer should humans have to live by laws given by angels, nor should we any longer petition them in our religious attitudes to the Father and Christ.
These angelic beings are those who control and supervise what are known as the "elements" that comprise the fabric of the material creation that makes the universe to be what it is. Those "elements" in Greek philosophical teaching (and also understood by those apostles who lived within the environment of the New Testament world) were recognized as being infinitely small faculties that represent the foundational and substantial characteristics (or the building blocks) of our cosmos. But they also referred to an expansion of those building blocks almost to infinity. The term "elements" could refer to material things that extend upward and outward from the earth to embrace all major substances comprising the universe. As the Greek philosopher Aristotle explained in his first three chapters of his work titled "Meteorology," the meaning of the term "elements" refers to all of the material and spiritual characteristics that comprise the earth and the universe (from the smallest atom ó or even subatomic substances or what we might call wave actions ó up to and including the largest of the heavenly bodies, even the Milky Way and beyond). They were reckoned to be "elements" or to be "elemental" in composition. What is important for us Christians to realize is the fact that the apostle Paul said that it was various angels (called principalities and powers) who controlled these "elemental factors" that are the fundamental building blocks of the material cosmos. Because of this, those angels themselves were referred to as the "elements."
The ancients conceived of these "elemental" faculties as being able to be reduced (in human terms) to four prime elements: fire, air, water and earth. There were many ramifications of these four factors that were further divided by cold and heat (or, even further by the addition of negative and positive principles). These "elements" comprised various physical and spiritual attributes (and even embracing psychological matters) that blended together to form all phases of animal life (terrestrial, aquatic and aerial), and all phases of vegetable life (from trees down to the smallest bacteria), and to all phases of inanimate life in which there was believed to be "elemental" motion. The "elements" were acknowledged to provide those particular traits of nature that made humans to be what they are. And importantly, angels were included in overseeing these factors of creation. Let us notice those angels, or the principalities and powers. Just where do they fit into the scheme of things that keep the cosmos operating in a harmonious and sustainable fashion? What the apostle Paul indicates is that angels are very prominent in these affairs. They are the ones in charge of the functions of all these various and multitudinous items called the "elements." And some angels are in charge of individual and collective "elements." They perform their respective responsibilities just as God designed at the creation. Let us look at some examples.
We are aware of the various kinds of honeybees that we can discover in various areas of the earth. These honeybees (all varieties of them) have several kinds of angelic groups in charge of them. All cyclical factors in the lifespan of those various types of honeybees are monitored precisely and minutely by specialized angelic powers who have been educated by God to supervise all aspects of their existence. One should not stop there. Take the vegetable world. The various kinds of grasses over the earth equally have numerous angelic groups in charge of them and all their phases of life. God created the angelic powers (through their various ranks) to perform the multitudinous works that are necessary to keep the universe functioning. There are literally billions of angelic beings who oversee the material creation that we witness on earth, and there are even more angels that supervise the universe (Revelation 5:11).
In these matters, we ought to thank God for the good job the angels perform (but always recall that it is actually God who gives them the individual and collective power to do their jobs). The fact is, angels are quite good at their work that God has created them to achieve. And while we should hold in honor the angels who occupy themselves doing the work that God that has given them, we should not ask an angel in charge of (let us say) a certain type of honeybee, to help you find the right grass that your lawn may need to make a beautiful display in your front yard. That is not what Christians are authorized to do. Even in mundane affairs such as having problems with your lawn, go directly to God for any answers that only He can provide, and do NOT request angels to do the job. Letís face it, the angels know their own habitats and responsibilities very well, but angels in charge of honeybees or the grasses may be ignorant of other professions performed by other angels.
Look at some of the other "employments" that various angelic groups have in keeping the universe operating efficiently. There is also the angelic role in supervising the various nations and governments on this earth. It was understood in the time of the apostle Paul that a part of the "elements" also involved matters of governing society and in maintaining the sovereignty of nations. God has angels active in these spheres of responsibility. In this regard, the Scriptures are plain in showing that angels have been placed in charge of various governments on this earth and in the cosmos (for example, see Daniel 10:20). Some of these angelic authorities do not do their jobs efficiently in promoting fairness and justice among people. They are not always perfect in their actions. Again we have to realize that angels are not omnipotent or omniscient (I Peter 1:12). The apostle Paul stated quite dogmatically that angelic powers (even the highest) had to listen to Paul and others in the early ekklesia in order to discover what God had planned for the world and what the doctrines of Christ really entailed (Ephesians 3:9,10).
This angelic ignorance is shown in other scriptures and I will go into these specifics in my book that I intend to write covering the whole scope of angelic involvement in cosmological affairs. What we humans must recognize (since we are "Sons and Daughters of God") is that we DO NOT misuse the angels or disturb their assigned activities. Again I emphasize: We should not invoke them to do anything particular for us. We should always petition God the Father directly for any needs we have, and we should ask that our requests be made in the name of (which means, by the authority of) Christ Jesus (John 14:13,14; 15:16; 16:23,24,26). No longer should Christians request any angel to help them in anything. Unfortunately, some people do this and they find themselves in deep problems. They could even find themselves following wrong doctrines because not all the angels are proficient in understanding or practicing all the vicissitudes of society (and that includes angels in spiritual professions as well as in physical ones).
It has been my experience in observing people who have sought after personal angelic help that they often got "evil angels" to come to their presence, and NOT those close to God. Unfortunately, many people (even Christians) do not have the wisdom to tell the difference between evil and righteous angels. New religions have developed because of heeding false angelic messengers (such as Mormon doctrines that reveal teachings that are out of the mainstream of the New Testament revelation, and Seventh-day Adventist teachings from angelic sources, as well as early Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox and English Church teachings that have "saints" [or angels] that have led them). Since the apostles Paul and Peter were keen on telling people that the angels and their doctrines were definitely inferior to those of Christ, it is best for Christians to avoid all such contacts. And that includes UFO sightings (some of which are prompted by angelic activities). In simple terms, avoid contacting any and all angels. Much mischief has emerged in Christendom because mankind over the centuries has been prone to dabble with angels and to accept their false angelic teachings. This is wrong! Let God and Christ handle all such religious affairs for you (NOT the angels). This is because you are a member of the divine Family itself and God is jealous to protect His own Sons and Daughters. But you must know who you are. It is important that we all recognize that we are indeed members of the Family of God in the eyes of God. As a matter of fact, you are quite deficient in knowledge and proper understanding if you are unable to show (and believe) that you are a Son or a Daughter of God. You must be aware of your divine status. God recognizes us as being very close to Him. We are extremely important with the Father, and more than the "elements." Notice what the apostle Paul said about the "elements" and how we should react to them.
Note this. Paul stated that a very sophisticated philosophical teaching was being taught to the Colossian Gentile Christians in his day that was tending to lead them astray from the doctrines of Christ Jesus. He spoke of it as "philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements [Greek] of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). [Read the Book of Colossians in the Revised Standard Version as an example of the true renderings of the Greek wordage.] Careful study shows that Paul was referring to the teaching of these "elements" of which we have been speaking, not simply the rudiments of primitive theological teachings. In the Book of Colossians, Paul was meaning angelic beings that went by the term "elements." They were the ones whom God had given control over the various "elements" that comprise the earth and the universe. Or, as explained above, they were a class of angels whom God has placed in charge of multitudes of natural and spiritual affairs throughout the cosmos.
The apostle mentioned these "elements" within several contexts of his writings. In Romans 8:38 he mentioned them as "angels, principalities and powers." In Ephesians 1:21 he reckoned them as highly exalted spiritual beings who were just below the Godhead in authority. These principalities and powers were brought into existence by Christ (Colossians 1:16) and that Christ is the head of them (Colossians 2:10). These are the spiritual powers who govern many of the affairs on earth (even political and governmental functions) and sometimes Christians find themselves at odds with them (Ephesians 6:12). Nonetheless, they are powerful spiritual beings, because God allows them to exercise their authority for the time being.
To the apostle Paul, these "elements" were the "principalities and powers" who went by the generic name "angels." But in spite of their glorious existence, Paul showed that they were not omnipotent or omniscient because he remarked that they are deficient in knowledge in recognizing some of the higher purposes and principles of God (Ephesians 3:10). Even the apostle Peter admitted that angels lacked sufficient understanding in God's plans for humanity ó "which things the angels desire to look into" (I Peter 1:12). Christ himself echoed the same theme. He said that the angels were kept from knowing the exact chronological periods associated with the Second Advent. "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven" (Matthew 24:36).
What must be understood by mature Christians is the fact that angels (the elements) should never be made a part of our religious life because the angels are all of the "servant class" in matters of work or rank. But in Godís government we are royal children. We are acknowledged to be the "aristocratic class" of Godís creation who are intimate and active members of Godís own divine Family (that single Family of God that rules the universe). We are actually Princes and Princesses ("Sons" and "Daughters") of God. This is why we can have direct communication with the Father through Christ (I Timothy 2:4-6). Under no circumstances should we lower ourselves from our divine status in the Family of God. At the present, the Father and Christ are in direct charge of the angels, NOT we humans. Angels do not need to be summoned or petitioned by humans for any aid or help. If we are in need, then the proper approach is to go directly to God in heaven and ask Him to intervene in our personal matters. After all, we have the privilege of being able to be in a personal and family relationship with God. What the apostle Peter stated is quite appropriate in this regard. He said: "Casting all your care upon him [Christ]: for he careth for you." (I Peter 5:7). Do not crave after the attention of inferior powers. Go to the Father alone, and do it through Christ!
When humanity finally discovers just who we are (or why we were selected before the foundation of the earth), then we can put into perspective the role that angels have in our social and legal environment. We need to know that we have been created to be members of the Royal Family of God that rules the whole universe. We are brought into existence for the specific purpose of joining the rest of the "Sons of God" within the heavenly hierarchy. This is so clearly shown in the Holy Scriptures that one has to wonder why this sublime teaching has not been taught by the ministers and priests of this world who now head the Christian denominations. The fact is, the Gospel of Christ shows how we are members of the "Kingdom of God" (NOT to be ruled by God in that "Kingdom," but to sit and rule with God ó as being "in Christ" and sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven ó Ephesians 2:6). In a word, we are all destined through the teaching of the Gospel to become deified in Christ. Just as Christ is now reckoned to be "God" and in the Family of God, so will we be given the same position and privilege when we are resurrected from the dead. Indeed, we are all, even now, "in Christ." We are now members of the Family of God.
Specifically, it was Christ Jesus as the Firstborn Son of God who, in his pre-existence, created all the cosmological parts of the universe. This is why in the Holy Scriptures we find that Christ Jesus (as the Firstborn member of the Family of God, along with all of us who are also designated "firstborn ones" [plural] in Hebrews 12:23) has to be reckoned as far superior to all of the angels ó even the most prominent and glorious. In actual fact, the real "divine Trinity" of the Holy Scriptures includes all of us humans collectively (once we are redeemed by God the Father and Christ Jesus). We represent the "Third Division" of the divine Family. This is shown by the apostle Paul in his illustration in First Timothy 2:4-6 that "there is one God [the Father] and one mediator [Christ Jesus] between God and men [all humanity], the man Christ Jesus." Note that there are only three parts to the divine relationship and responsibility. It is God the Father, God the Son, and Ourselves (we humans). This verse in the Book of First Timothy shows that even after His resurrection from the dead and His glorification into the divine status of being the Firstborn of God the Father, Christ is still called "a man." And interestingly, we men [in this case the Scriptures mean "mankind," and not "males"] are also called along with Christ the "Firstborn of God" (Hebrews 12:23). We are now reckoned to be "in Christ" and to be a part of the very "body of Christ" (the ekklesia, in the KJV rendered "church").
The intimacy that we humans have is so close, profound and inseparable because the apostle Paul said (showing our legal and actual standing in the sight of God the Father): "For we [of the ekklesia] are members of his body [of Christís body], of his flesh [of Christís flesh], and of his bones [of Christís bones]" (Ephesians 5:30). You cannot be any nearer or more intimate than that. This is why we humans are accounted as being of a divine status and we are reckoned as comprising the "Third Sector" of the Godhead. This is NOT blasphemy. That is precisely what Jesus himself stated in John 17:20-23 (that I quote below). Salvation means deification! The Fathers of the Christian Community in the fourth century almost to a man testify to this fact. And, it is scriptural. You and I are presently designed to be members of the threefold Family of God. The English word "Trinity" does not occur within the pages of the Holy Scriptures, and the words you read in the KJV in I John 5:7 about the so-called "Trinity" are specious and slanderous additions to the divine text. Yet, it is possible to witness in the Holy Scriptures a definition of the proper usage of words to describe the single Triune (or better yet, Triumvirate) Godhead. The whole teaching is summed up so simply and succinctly in the Gospel of John (17:20-23). Note the teaching of Christ Himself.
"Neither pray I for these alone [the apostles],
but for them which shall believe on me [that means ALL OF US] through their word [those who believe the apostlesí word];
that they [ALL OF US] may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee [this represents a DUALITY of the Triune essence and is reckoned the first UNIT],
that they also [ALL OF US and BOTH of THEM] may be one in us [that the THREESOMENESS may also be a UNIT ó a divine Triumvirate]:
that they [ALL OF US] may believe that thou [the Father] hast sent me [Christ].
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them [ALL OF US will have that "glory"];
that they [ALL OF US HUMANS] may be one [may be in a UNIFIED and single "oneness"],
even as we [the DUALITY comprising the Father and Christ] are one [are in a DUAL "unity"],
I in them [Christ is in ALL OF US] and thou in me [the Father is in Christ],
that they [ALL OF US] may be perfect in one [WE BECOME PERFECT by being fused together from a DUAL into a TRIUNE "one"];
and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them [ALL OF US HUMANS],
as thou hast loved me."
This is a description of the real "Trinity." It illustrates the morphing of God the Father, God the Son and God the US into a ONENESS that comprises the Triumvirate Godhead as a single divine UNIT called the Family of God.
In these verses just cited, we are given in the New Testament the sublime teaching of the SINGLE ROLE accorded to the divine TRIUMVIRATE [our normal theological word is "Trinity"] that each of us humans is designated in Christ to inherit as our personal and individual legacy within the UNIFIED and SINGLE Family of God. The Spirit of God is NOT the Third Member of the Godhead. The Third Member is the Ekklesia (the Church in the KJV) which group of persons finally extends outward in scope to embrace the totality of the human race. This is the simple and plain doctrine of what the Holy Gospel of Christ is programmed to teach and to illustrate. [If you would like to see a detailed documentation of biblical teaching that absolutely shows that the Holy Spirit is NOT the Third Member of the "Trinity," read my book "101 Bible Secrets that Christians Do Not Know" where I give 15 reasons why the Holy Spirit is NOT that Third Member. As Jesus said in John 17:20-23, we humans (or, Godís divine Ekklesia) are that single group that occupies that Third Membership rank within the Godhead. That is what the teaching of the Gospel is all about. Our sole reason for existence is to share that power and authority in the Family of God with the Father and Christ (our Elder Brother). In the resurrection from the dead at Christís Second Advent, we will be given bodies and minds that in every way will resemble those of the Father and Christ Jesus in their glory and authority (Philippians 3:21).]
The false "Trinity doctrine" was devised at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. (and later refined at Chalcedon in 451 A.D.). It was a disastrous decision that was made by those early Church leaders. What they did was to remove the Ekklesia (all the Christian people of God) from occupying the Third position within the Godhead, and they substituted the Holy Spirit to reign in their place. That removal effectively destroyed the central part of the teaching found in the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel shows in no uncertain terms that we who are members of Christís body (the Ekklesia) are to inherit "in Christ" a firstborn status with Christ in the single Family of God alongside the Father and Christ Jesus. The truth is, the Father has His throne in heaven, and on the right side of His throne sits Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:1). And what is our inheritance? We were all created to sit on that same right hand throne with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). We should note that the authority in this regard is horizontal.
Godís Family is governed (and it also governs the rest of the Family) in a horizontal or in a linear fashion ó the authority is from left to right but stemming from a level platform on which all sit or stand alongside one another. The Family is not governed (or it does NOT govern) from the TOP DOWN within the Family of God. True, there are others who are ruled in the universe that are UNDERNEATH the platform on which the Family sits, but for the Family itself, its form of governmental rule is from the Father in a horizontal or linear fashion. This is fundamentally different from almost all other governments on earth to which we are accustomed. In the view of mankind, government from the TOP and on DOWN to the BOTTOM is ideal. This, however, is the Babylonian way of government ó whether it be a dictator at the TOP (or a group) or even a President with a Congress. They represent the TOP authorities and the rest of us are further DOWN in the ranks of power. But this is NOT the way God governs. He rules from His Throne and that authority extends horizontally with all the rulers on the same level of rank. This is Family rule.
What this arrangement of sovereignty reveals is that Christ (and we who are reckoned to be "in Christ") are not in any way BELOW the Father in rank or authority. It is a linear (or, horizontal) authority, and NOT one that is vertical (or, from top to the bottom). This is how God has determined that all human families should be governed on earth. This is the way it was with the first family. Adam was first in rank in his family. Eve (his wife) was taken from his side (notice the horizontal emphasis) and rules with him on his right side. All children from that union originate from WITHIN the mother (and we are told that we are "in Christ" ó or, we symbolically are WITHIN Christ). When the children are born they are assembled on the right side (horizontally) of the mother (whom all the children must go through as an intercessor in the chain of authority when they are infants). The children reach the Father through the Mother who is head of the family. This is how the ideal family should operate in matters of rank and authority. When the ranking is horizontal, all members of the family are held to be on the same level of importance and worth, but the Father and the Mother are supreme because all the children are reckoned to be on their right side (they are "side-kicks" so to speak). This means that everyone in the family is in TOP position. There is no one UNDERNEATH anyone else!
Now look at what happened when the Christian community in the fourth century adopted the Constantinian form of government (which was a dictatorship from the TOP and DOWN to the BOTTOM). The Byzantine form of government decided to exalt itself in the Christian community. It decided to take the Holy Spirit and make it the Third Division of the Godhead. So, they removed the people of God (the whole body of the Ekklesia ó symbolically the "Mother") and placed it BELOW the new Triumvirate which was now reckoned to be the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This meant that we humans (who make up the divine Ekklesia) were systematically and dogmatically removed from the inheritance that God the Father and Christ Jesus give to us (that allows us to sit WITH THEM on their right side ó in a horizontal fashion ó and that we can be the Third Sector of the divine Family of God). Those Church leaders in the fourth century placed all of us humans BELOW the Godhead and in no way could we possible enter it. What this maneuver did was to effectively cheat us out of our inheritance just like Jacob did Esau. And, as a reflection of this "TOP all the way to the BOTTOM" mentality of Byzantine governmental rule (which is that promoted by the Council of Nicea and that of Chalcedon), we are deprived and robbed of our legacy that God had destined for us to inherit. In the meantime (to add salt to our wound), we now have to become subject to a Church hierarchy of men (with a Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and various Priestly ranks ó ALL ruling over us) in a TOP to the BOTTOM type of government. This nowhere resembles that of the divine Family in heaven or the type of human family that God wishes us to experience as shown by the example of Adam and Eve. Folks, in plain language, we were robbed! And we are still reckoned as servants and slaves to the men who perpetuate this false system of TOP to BOTTOM government. We need to get back to the horizontal type of divine government that places all of us on a level footing with the Father and Christ (though they are head of us by being on our left side). Yet, we still rule WITH THEM on their RIGHT SIDE. This is how the true Triumvirate of the Godhead works. And you and I (and all redeemed humans) are the Third Sector of that divine Family that rules the universe. To understand this teaching is what the Gospel is all about. It is time that Christianity abandons the false "TOP to BOTTOM form of rule," and adopt the true governmental structure of the Family. We will all be better off when we do.
Our destiny is to be born into the very Family of God that is the single and sole authority within the universe. The rule that we inherit within the Family is horizontal, not vertical. There are, however, subjects to rule who are under us in authority. All other things and personalities in the cosmos are subject to the Father, to Christ and to US (who make up the Family of God) and they are all inferior in rank and glory. This includes all the angels. You as an individual human (and all of us collectively) complete the divine royalty to rule the universe with the Father and Christ, and with that authority distributed horizontally. We are brought together on a level plane in the Father and Christ as a divine unit of Triumvirate power and glory. The three factors together complete the ONE and the ONLY "God" [or better, "the single Godhead" or best yet, "the single Divine Family"]. We are destined to be far superior to all the angels. We have preserved for us a throne of glory situated directly on the right side of the Father in which Christ and US all sit in unison. Salvation is to achieve that glorified position. This is the true and simple teaching of what the Gospel of Christ is all about. So, remember one thing. Whatever you do, never give up your divine inheritance provided to you by the Father because it is a "pearl of great price."
Ernest L. Martin
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