Revelation 5:11 – Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
What is it like to be an angel? What is it like to be one of the holy ones that live in heaven and enjoy the perfect peace and connection with the Father that exist there? Unfortunately, for the last while, it hasn’t quite been what we would imagine heaven must be like.
Revelation 12:7 – And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
After a long unknown period of time, war broke out in heaven. Heaven, that place of perfect peace and harmony, where all is supposed to be, well, perfect, right? It seems so out of place. Imagine being in a place where all your relationships are positive, where everyone works for the good of others, and you don’t have to worry about anyone doing anything bad to you because no one will. No one ever has. It’s perfect trust in all directions. No one has any need to be better than someone else, or to point out another’s inferiority.
All of your best friends and friends get along. There is no drama, no snubs, no anger. Just happiness in relationships. Everyone has purpose, something in the divine economy that contributes to the greater good. There is always something new to learn because the infinite God is a creator, and there is no end to what can be learned. Everyone is able to come in contact with God, because there is no reason not to. There is no veil. No reason to need separation, or need to put one in place.
At some point, a virus enters the equation. Imperceptible at first for the angels. The highest angel begins to feel a sense of superiority. Over time the ramifications of this attitude lead to distrust and envy of God himself. Despite God counseling with the individual, he creates a rift in the perfection of heaven. This individual begins to spread this mistrust and envy of God.
Imagine the first time you were told something that didn’t add up entirely, or first began to suspect that someone was telling you a lie. In heaven, it hadn’t happened before, so when a small number, and then more began to tell you things about God that you knew weren’t true, it must have taken a while to come to grips with what was actually happening. A real cognitive dissonance. There had never been a reason to distrust anyone before. People who had always had perfect confidence in each other at some point reached a tipping point where they could no longer continue in that perfect union. “God is lying to us! He’s keeping power from us that should be rightfully ours. His rules are arbitrary and unfair.” “That’s not true! God has always had our best interest at heart. It is natural that God has power we don’t, since he is the Creator, and we are the created. His rules have always been for our best interest, and have promoted our peace and happiness.”
God was open with the angels. He didn’t leave them on their own for Lucifer to deceive them. He told His side of the story. However, God, as always, allowed them to decide their own minds.
The situation reached a crisis point of previously unimaginable conflict. The evil leader led his forces against God and his angels to take heaven by force. Friends, family (or whatever it is like for angels) were torn. Neighborhoods of the closest people were brought to a point of armed struggle. One side willing to attack and take the lives of the other in order to achieve its goal.
Revelation 3:8,9 – But they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. (9) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The loyal angels had been put into a situation that they had never wanted to be in. Their perfect home with its perfect relationships had been shattered. For beings who had never experienced conflict and malice before, the pain must have been traumatic. I’m sure it hurt for a long time. I’m sure it still hurts. To lose your friends, and have them hate you. To not see the goodness of the Lord as you do. To have them reach the point of attacking you, willing to destroy anything to achieve their goal.
And so the angels have been involved in the conflict since. They watched the creation of humanity with hope, and ached in our fall, when we chose to be disloyal to their Lord. Their aid has been enlisted throughout the course of history for man to assist us in obtaining the provision made to be reconnected to God. The angels have eagerly played their part. They know the pain and tragedy that sin and rebellion against God causes. They know firsthand from their experience in heaven, and from millennia of human struggle.
What motivates the angels? They know what’s at stake. They know the perfect joy and communion of an unspotted heaven. They know that they can help rescue people from this sin infected rock to a place of safety, and the more the better. Think of it, the more of us that are saved, the more we will be able to fill the empty places that were left behind.
However, the angels don’t want just anyone to be their new neighbors. They’ve suffered too much to want to allow just any human to come and reinfect their home. The angels only want those of us that are committed to the principles of the Lord of that place. Principles of love and selflessness. Those that are wholly committed to the cause of loyalty, and have fought the rebellion in their own hearts while on earth by the grace of God, through faith in His cure. These are the humans that the angels will be comfortable with. The ones they will be able to rejoice with and celebrate with. The ones they will be able to introduce to the wonder of their home.
Things might seem a little different from the perspective of the angels. Hopefully we can learn from it. May we desire heaven as much as they want us to be there with them.