“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning lay the foundation of the earth. And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; and they all will become old as a garment, and as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; as a garment they will also be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end.”
This quotation from Psalm 102:25-27 is documenting the victory of Jesus Christ in the Angelic Conflict. “And, Thou, Lord” should be translated “You and only You Lord.” Lord refers to Jesus Christ Who is both eternal God and true humanity in one Person. The word beginning is actually plural and refers to more than one beginning. For example, the creation of the heavens and the earth was one beginning; the creation of angels was another beginning and the restoration of the earth and the creation of mankind was a third beginning. Jesus Christ had something to do with all the beginnings in history. Jesus Christ created the universe, including the earth. Then, sometime after that He created the angels. A long time after He created angels, He created mankind. We have a specific reference to one of the things that Jesus Christ did as creator — “lay the foundation of the earth.”
Hands is ascribing to God some human characteristic (anthropomorphism) in order to make a point. Hands belong to the anatomy of man not to God. God is a Spirit. But the point is that Christ has more power than all of the angelic creatures put together. So we have, “are the works of Thy hands.” (Psalm 19:1) Jesus Christ created the universe, so the hands of Christ are the hands of the Creator. These are also the hands of eternal security. (Psalm 37:24; John 10:28)
Will perish refers to the future destruction of the heavens at the end of the Millennium. The Millennium will be a civilization of perfect environment. Mankind has always desired a perfect environment, and is always trying to find or create perfect environment. Mankind has even tried to legislate perfect environment. He has never succeeded in doing so and never will because in this civilization we have the devil ruling the world. Consequently, man can never bring about perfect environment. But once Jesus Christ “un-thrones” Satan as the ruler of this world, there will be perfect environment. Then a very interesting thing happens - the heavens (the universe) are destroyed. This destruction of the heavens after the rebellion at the end of the Millennium is described in Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 20:11; 21:1; Hebrews 12:26,27; Isaiah 34:4.
But Thou remainest is the Greek word “diameno” meaning to remain unchanged. The heavens that are now in existence are going to be replaced by new heavens. The illustration which is given here: “as doth a garment” (literally, “as a cloak”). The Greek word for mantle is “peribolaion,” which means a garment that you wrap around you. Like a garment the heavens are going to be changed at the end of the Millennium. This refers to the heavens, the abode of angels. Jesus Christ will take the home of the angels, the heavens, and fold them up like a garment. While the heavens change, Jesus Christ Who is superior to angels, does not change, and therefore we have the final phase of human history. But Jesus Christ remains the same, forever. When nature is destroyed, the fallen angels are judged and cast into the Lake of Fire prepared for them and their leader, Satan. (Matthew 25:41)
“But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”?
This is a quotation from Psalm 110:1 demonstrating that Jesus Christ is superior to angels and the Victor of the Angelic Conflict. “Sit down” is addressed to the humanity of Jesus Christ. Christ is now seated at the place of honor as the One Who won the victory over Satan and the fallen angels. A footstool for your feet was a sign of conquest in the ancient world. In the Roman world there were three signs of conquest: 1) prisoners passing under spears as a sign of defeat 2) putting your foot on the head of the conquered 3) a king sitting on a throne and the prisoners had to crawl up under his feet. The last one is the one used here, and this actually pictures what happens to the fallen angels. In other words, they are defeated!
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
Are they not all refers to elect angels. As a result of “Operation Footstool” the fallen angels are going to be removed. So what happens to the elect angels? We already know what they are going to do. They are already the servants of believers, and that is what they are going to be forever. You have a guardian [servant] angel right now, and you may have many angels as servants in the future. Angels who are now superior to us are going to continue to be our servants. The principle is: What Jesus Christ did on the Cross was so great that the elect angels are now the servants of believers on this earth. Angels who are superior to you by creation will take the place of subordination, and be glad to do it. The guardian angel is a servant to you. Why? Because positionally you are in union with Christ, and Christ is superior to all angels. And, since positionally you are in Christ and since positionally you are superior to all angels, then it follows that angels should be serving you. Therefore you are served by elect angels at this time, and this is the way it will be forever.
There was a time in eternity when angelic beings were created and given volition (the ability to choose). Through an act of willful disobedience, Lucifer, the highest-ranking member of these beings, along with one third of the other angels, rebelled against God. This rebellion (a rejection of God’s authority) resulted in a trial and a sentence of these angelic beings to the Lake of Fire. Lucifer, now called Satan, apparently appealed the sentence and the execution of the sentence was delayed. Mankind was created to resolve this conflict between God and the fallen angels.
God’s Word gives us quite a lot about angels. When we examine the original languages of Hebrew and Greek and the meaning for various words used to describe angels, we get a very good picture of the nature and function of angels. Angels are created spirit beings. (Ephesians 3:9-10; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:7,14) Nowhere in the Bible are angels said to be human beings that have died and become angels. Angels are individuals. (Ezekiel 1:5) Angels were created in eternity past. (Job 38:4-7) Angels are not born and they do not die. (Matthew 25:41) Angels are countless in number. (Revelation 5:11; Hebrews 12:22; Luke 2:13) Angels are generally invisible to man (except on certain occasions). (Colossians 1:16; Genesis 6) Angels are not to be worshipped. (Colossians 2:18) Angels render intelligent worship to God. (Psalms 148:2) Angels have limited knowledge. (Matthew 24:36) Angels are now inferior to Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:4-14) Angels are superior to man (this included the humanity of Christ while He was on earth). (Luke 4:33-34; Psalms 103:20; Hebrews 2:6-7; Daniel 9:21) Angels observe mankind. (Ephesians 3:10; I Peter 1:12) The words used for angels give insight to their functions.
There are two categories of angels since the rebellion in eternity past. The one third that rebelled against God are now called “fallen angels” or “demons.” Those angels that remained faithful to God are called elect or holy. Both categories are organized similar to a military organization, which makes sense, because we are told that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. (I Timothy 5:21; Mark 8:38; Matthew 25:41)
Elect or holy angels are categorized as Michael the Archangel, (Chief Angel), Cherub, the highest order (cherubim, plural) and Seraph, the second highest in order (seraphim, plural). Michael is the head of God’s army, guards the nation of Israel and directly opposes Satan. (Revelation 12:7; Daniel 12:1; Jude 9) Gabriel is the only other elect angel named in Scripture. Gabriel protects heads of state, announced the birth of Christ, brought the message of John the Baptist’s birth and will announce the Rapture. (Daniel 8:15-27; Luke 1:11-33; I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Fallen angels or demons are not given actual names in Scripture, but are very organized and active. They deceive unbelievers and believers alike, they perform miracles, they inflict bodily disease, they war against God and His elect angels and they indwell or possess unbelievers. (Ephesians 6:12; Romans 8:38-39; Revelation 13:14, 16:14, 19:20; I Timothy 4:1; I Corinthians 10:20-21; Luke 8:36, 13:16; Matthew 4:24)
Elect angels have a specific relation to believers, and are observers of our lives. They rejoice in the salvation of a person and are said to be ministering spirits to the believer. Elect angels are given to every believer as guardians and they guard children. (Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53; Luke 15:7, 10; I Corinthians 4:9; I Peter 1:12; Psalms 34:7; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14)
The Angelic Conflict began as a rebellion to the authority of God by the most beautiful creature to come from the hand of God, Lucifer. Lucifer was the highest ranking of the angelic host. By an act of arrogance Lucifer attempted to overthrow God and become the ruler of the angelic host. Of course, this didn’t happen and Lucifer and the angels that followed him were tried and sentenced to the Lake of Fire. Apparently Lucifer, now called Satan, appealed the sentence and an appeal was granted. Mankind was created to resolve this conflict by showing Satan and the fallen angels that God was justified in His sentence. The believer in Christ is involved in spiritual warfare as a result of Satan’s appeal. It is by trusting Christ as Savior and executing His plan for our lives that we can become credible witnesses for the prosecution. The time frame of this appeal is from the sentencing in eternity past until Satan and the fallen angels are cast into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:10)
Isaiah 14:12-15 details the arrogance of Satan and his rebellion against God. In verse 13 Satan attempts to replace the authority of God with his authority (I will ascend into heaven). He also tries to take over the throne of God and set himself up as the ruler of the angelic host. (I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) of God). He also wants to rule over the entire earth. (I will sit in the mount of the congregation). In verse 14 he continues with wanting to displace God as the Sovereign of the universe (I will ascend above the heights of the clouds). Satan wants to become God or at least counterfeit Him in every aspect. (I will be like the Most High).
In Revelation 12:3-4 we are told that Satan led one third of the angels in his revolt against God. As a result of this revolt, Satan and the one third that followed him were cast down to earth. (Ezekiel 28:15-17) Their rebellion against God led to a sentence to the Lake of Fire for all eternity. (Matthew 25:41) Hebrews 2:2 seems to indicate that there could have been a salvation solution offered to Satan and his followers, but it was rejected.