Things Below are Joined to Things Above

The spirit realm is a dimension populated by spirits that exist in celestial hierarchy rank upon rank, ranging from those closest to the material world to those closest to the Eternal. Even the damned evil spirits exist in an order, ranging from hell to this material world in hierarchy, as C.S. Lewis so creatively portrays in his Screwtape Letters. We may ask ourselves here some questions. Why did God create angels? Doesn’t it seem that God could keep things going on earth without them?

We can never answer such questions fully in our present state, but we do know that God created angels with function, and from this function we can surmise why God created them in the first place. God created angels as “ministering spirits” (Psa. 104:4), and as such they minister to us on earth as well as perform worship, a heavenly liturgy, to God beyond the spirit realm. What is critical to understand here is that God made angels, as well as every creature on earth, especially humans, with integrity. By “integrity” we mean that everything is made with a function to fulfill and to perform, and that God rules all things through these secondary causes. In other words, nothing is superfluous in God’s economy. He didn’t create men and angels merely to bypass them in His sovereign rule over all things. Instead of ruling around them, He rules through them, even if they work contrary to God’s will.

Pick up a concordance and look up angels. They are everywhere. There are some that we might even consider to be territorial spirits who exert authority and power, either malignantly or beneficially, to individual nations. The original reading of Deuteronomy 32:8 most surely read, “when God separated the sons of Adam, He formed the boarders of the nations, according to the number of the sons of the gods” (i.e. those belonging to the realm of God ─ angels). We see in Daniel that wars upon earth parallel wars in the spirit realm, for the spirit realm mirrors the material realm (Daniel 10).

At His death, Christ descended into Hell, or the “netherworld” in the spirit realm where all the dead passed into before Christ, to preach (I Pet. 3:18-22). “He led captivity captive” (Eph. 4:7ff.) at his resurrection and ascension, thus joining things above with things below. The whole of the spirit world opened up to Christians. It is only recently, since the Enlightenment, that it has closed for so many. Our attitude is, “we do not need angels; all we need is God.” It sounds pious, but it is blatantly non-biblical. Many of us, including myself, have got to find our way back to spiritual realities.

God works His grace and enlightens our hearts through the work of angels. For that matter, He does this through humans as well. Men and angels have integrity; they have critical tasks of grace to perform. Heaven and earth are bound in one huge system. The ramifications of this are truly astounding for those of us benighted by the rationalism of our western culture. Things below are joined to things above!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: