The sons of God - Part 2 - The Divine Council

SERMON TOPIC: The sons of God - Part 2 - The Divine Council

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 29 September 2019


Sermon synopsis: A Divine Council is an assembly of deities over which a higher-level god presides. The term has been popularised in Christian circles of late by Dr. Michael S. Heiser. The Sons of God are constituted in a Divine Council (Adat El) but are subordinate to Yahweh.

Psalm 89:5-7 (NASB) The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD [Yahweh]; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD [Yahweh]? Who among the sons of the mighty [bene Elim] is like the LORD [Yahweh], A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?

Yahweh (aka Jehovah), translated in most English versions as LORD (in capitals to distinguish it from Adonai) convenes the Divine Council. He presides as judge, oversees the proceedings and is the ultimate authority.

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There are at least four cases of angelic rebellion:

Creation of angels (Col 1:16) followed by the creation of earth (Gen 1) and man (Gen 1&2).

Fall of Satan (alone) in Eden (Gen 3, Ezek 28, Isa 14) and his banishment to earth.

Fall of Watchers without Satan (Gen 6, Jude 6, 2 Pet 2:4) with the demon offspring ultimately following Satan.

The sons of God aka the angels, archons, principalities have the nations assigned to them (Deut 32:8-9). Later these angels are judged by God for bad governance (Ps 82). The nations ultimately worship these beings as gods.

Future expulsion from heaven in Tribulation (Rev 12).


We saw how Satan fell on his own (Gen 3, Isa 14, Ezek 28) and the demons were the hybrid offspring of women and the Watchers (now imprisoned) who fell before the Flood (Gen 6, 2 Pet 2, Jude, Rev 9). The demons are in alliance with Satan (aka Mastema or Beelzebub).

Let’s look now at the rebellion of the “sons of God” who rule the nations (Deut 32, Ps 82). The Hebrew words “El” or “Eloah” (singular) are translated “God”. “Elohim” or “Elim” (plural) – based on context refers to:




even a disembodied human spirit (1 Sam 28:13)


The Hebrew terms “bene Elohim”, “bene ha’ Elohim”, “bene Elim” – literally mean “sons of God” but are often translated as “angels”.

The angels known as Bene Elohim (sons of God) were present at creation:

Job 38:4,7 (NIV) “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God [bene elohim] shouted for joy?”


The Divine Council

The term has been popularised in Christian circles of late by Dr. Michael S. Heiser.

A Divine Council is an assembly of deities over which a higher-level god presides.

The Sons of God are constituted in a Divine Council (Adat El) but are subordinate to Yahweh.

Psalm 89:5-7 (NASB) The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD [Yahweh]; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD [Yahweh]? Who among the sons of the mighty [bene Elim] is like the LORD [Yahweh], A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?

Yahweh (aka Jehovah), translated in most English versions as LORD (in capitals to distinguish it from Adonai) convenes the Divine Council. He presides as judge, oversees the proceedings and is the ultimate authority.


While there are many gods (elohim), Yahweh is God of gods:

Deut 10:17 (NASB) “For the LORD [Yahweh] your God is the God of gods [elohe ha’elohim] and the Lord of lords [wa'adone ha'adonim], the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.

In other words, Yahweh is “the Elohim of elohim and the Adonay of adon, the great, the mighty, and awesome El who does not show partiality nor take a bribe” [i.e. he is the impartial judge over the elohim].

We see the Divine Council congregating in the Book of Job 1-2, Zech 3:1-2 and 1 Chron 18:18-21.


Some believe God’s usage of “us” and “our” in certain passages is addressed to other members of the godhead, while others maintain that he is speaking to the Divine Council – who are also of the class “elohim”.

Gen 1:26 (ESV) Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

Then at the Tower of Babel:

Gen 11:7 (ESV) “Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”


Satan’s role in the council is that of prosecutor or accuser. Originally in Hebrew, ha-satan was a descriptive title meaning “the accuser”. In the NT it was used by Jesus and others as a proper name.

Satan accused Job in the Divine Council.

Job 1:6-11 (ESV) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Then Satan answered the LORD and said:

Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.

Later on Satan again accuses Job:

Job 2:1-5 (NIV) Once again the sons of God presented themselves before the LORD. Satan came along with them to present himself before the LORD… “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones and he will surely curse you to your face.”

Satan also accused the high priest Joshua:

Zech 3:1-2 (ESV) Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”

In fact, Satan accuses all God’s followers until the middle of the Tribulation.

Rev 12:10 (NIV) … For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

This is why we need an advocate in the Divine Council:

1 John 2:1 (ESV) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

God is not the author of temptation.

James 1:13 (NIV) When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.

But his permission must be granted for Satan to tempt.

Job 1:12 (NIV) The LORD said to Satan “Very well then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Luke 22:31-32 (NKJV) And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

The lying spirit in the Divine Council who offers to entice Ahab to battle may either be one of the fallen angels or a demon. Micaiah tells Ahab and Jehoshaphat:

1 Chron 18:18-21 (ESV) “… I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’”

Judges 9:23 (ESV) And God sent an evil spirit [ra’ ruach] between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech

Ellicott’s: “Whether the word used for spirit (ruach) is here meant to be personal or not we cannot say. Sometimes it seems to mean an evil being (1 Sam 16:14), sometimes only an evil temper”. Thus the NIV renders it “God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem”

But the verse might well be another case when God gave an evil spirit permission to work upon the minds of this wicked ruler and his enemies. Thus the evil spirit was “sent” by God only in the sense that it was allowed by the Lord to stir up strife between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem.

And likewise the case where “the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit [ra’ ruach] from the Lord tormented him” (1 Sam 16:14, NIV).

Again the Hebrew word ”ruach” need not imply a personal influence, but Josephus indicates that the Jews understood it this way in this particular case. He relates that Jonathan when interceding for David, says to Saul “For when an evil spirit and demons had seized upon thee, he cast them out…” 1

1 Antiquities, Book 6, ch. 11.3

The Principalities

God has ultimate dominion over nations

Dan 4:17 (ESV) The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

Isaiah 37:16 (NASB) “O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth…”

Rom 13:1 (NIV) …there is no authority except that which God has established…


Genesis chapter 10 constitutes what is known as “The Table of Nations” in the Bible. The text is as follows, “These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth…”

In Jewish tradition there were 70 original nations after the Flood, corresponding to the 70 names in this chapter.


In the aftermath of the Tower of Babel, God placed 70 sons of God over the nations but reserved Israel for himself.

Deut 32:8-9 (ESV) When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the LORD’s [Yahweh] portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

English translations based on the traditional Hebrew (Masoretic) text read “sons of Israel” instead of “sons of God”, a strange reading as Israel was not in existence at the time of the Tower of Babel incident. Furthermore there were 12 sons of Israel – not 70!


But the Septuagint (the 3rd-century BC translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, renders it either “angels of God” or “sons of God”. The Septuagint translators regarded “sons of God” and angels to be equivalent terms, rendering Bene Elohim that way several times (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7) in order to clarify the meaning.

Deut 32:8-9 (Brenton Septuagint Translation) When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.

Added support for this rendering came from the Hebrew manuscripts of Deuteronomy found among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. They too used the term Bene Elohim (sons of God) in Deut 32:8.


So it appears that after Babel and the division of the


nations by language, God allocated 70 angels to oversee the affairs of these nations in the spiritual realm.

English paraphrases of the Bible in contemporary language render it:

(New Living Translation) When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court.

(Good News Translation) The Most High assigned nations their lands; he determined where peoples should live. He assigned to each nation a heavenly being

(Contemporary English Version) that God Most High gave land to every nation. He assigned a guardian angel to each of them


Not only the Hebrews, but also their neighbours in Canaan and others throughout Mesopotamia, worshiped El as the highest God. Findings from the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit assist us in understanding some early Biblical passages and are an aid in deciphering some obscure Hebrew terms.

Michael S. Heiser writes “Israelite religion had an assembly of heavenly host under the authority of Yahweh. This assembly has very close affinities to the pantheons of ancient Near East, particularly in Canaanite religion. The most telling example is the literature from Ras Shamra (Ugarit), discovered in the late 1920s. As a Semitic language, Ugaritic is closely related to biblical Hebrew, sharing a good deal of vocabulary, as well as morphological and syntactical features. Upon their decipherment, many 


 of the Ugaritic tablets were found to contain words and phrases describing a council of gods that are conceptually and linguistically parallel to the Hebrew Bible. The Ugaritic divine council was led by El, the same word used in the Hebrew Bible for deity and as the proper name for the God of Israel (e.g., Is 40:18; 43:12). There are explicit references to a council or assembly of El, in some cases overlapping word for-word with those in the Hebrew Bible. 1

The phrase “bene Elohim”, translated “sons of the gods”, has an exact parallel in Ugaritic and Phoenician texts, referring to the council of the gods. 2 As a parallel to the 70 nations in the Pentateuch being ruled by the sons of God, the Ugaritic texts refer to the 70 sons of El.

1 http:// Heiser%20Psa82inJohn10%20 RegSBL2011.pdf 2 https:// wiki/ Elohim


But ultimately these elohim who ruled the nations were answerable to Yahweh.

Ps 97:9 (NASB) For You are the LORD (YHWH) Most High [Elyon] over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods [elohim].

Enoch mentions Michael acting in the capacity of ruling the nations.

1 Enoch 20:5 Michael, one of the holy angels, who, presiding over human virtue, commands the nations.

Michael would become God’s appointed protector of Israel.

Dan 12:12 (NIV) “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise…”


Then in Isaiah 14, Satan (“You who have weakened the nations”) is identified with the king of Babylon.

Similarly, in Ezekiel 28, the king of Tyre, obviously a spiritual power behind the human “ruler of Tyre” addressed in the same passage, is described, in terms similar to those of Isaiah 14, as having been in Eden.

Gog is normally considered to be a human leader, but in the light of this study may well be the (fallen) angelic prince over the nations of Meshech and Tubal.

Ezek 39:1 (NIV) “Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.’”


Jesus’ words in the following verse implies that Satan exerts control over the city of Pergamum.

Rev 2:13 (ESV) “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”


Michael appears to be the mightiest angel and assists the angel who is engaged in combat with a fallen angel (Prince of Persia) en route to Daniel.

Daniel 10:12-13 (ESV) Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia…”


If the angel in Daniel 10 is Gabriel, which seems quite likely (as he appears to Daniel in both chapters 8 and 9), then he is the second warrior angel assisted by Michael.

Gabriel leaves Daniel with these words, “But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.” (Daniel 10:20-21, ESV)

It’s interesting that Persia was the current world power and was subsequently followed by Greece. Israel (their prince being Michael) was occupied by both of these powers and the implication is that these angelic beings were also involved in some form of heavenly combat.


Satan and the 70 rebellious sons of God usurped full control over the nations.

Luke 3:5-6 (ESV) And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.”

At some point Satan has assumed leadership over these fallen angels – making him an evil archangel. Jesus spoke of “the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). John relates an end-time heavenly battle between Satan “and his angels” (Rev 12:7). But as he is mentioned alone in his fall (Gen 3, Isa 14, Ezek 28) it is more likely that these angels joined him after the rebellion of the ruling principalities – or possibly he incited them in their rebellion.


These principalities over nations have great authority. Despite his similar position and power, Michael respects their authority.

Jude 9 (NIV) But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Peter speaks of those who “despise authority” (2 Pet 2:10).

2 Pet 2:11 (NIV) Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.


It seems that the 70 ruling “sons of God” (with the exception of Michael) were corrupted and became worshipped as the gods of the nations around the ancient Hebrews: Marduk, Molech, Chemosh, Baal, Asherah, Dagon, and the rest.

Daniel 10:21 (ESV) “there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.”

The term “host of heaven” clearly applies to the sons of God in the Divine Council.

1 Kings 22:19 (NASB) Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left.”


It is these “host of heaven” who are wrongfully worshipped as gods.

Jer 19:13 (NASB) “The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled … because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods.”

2 Kings 17:15-16 (NASB) … And they … went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them. They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.


These 70 sons of God or “host of heaven” are most likely the same rulers, powers, principalities and spiritual forces in the heavenly places that Paul repeatedly refers to. These “principalities” constantly hover over the rulers of the nations to which they are assigned, to influence their thoughts, their plans, their feelings and emotions, so that they will take action that will move those leaders to fulfil Satan’s plans.

Eph 6:12 (ESV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (arché), against the authorities (exousia), against the cosmic powers (kosmokratór) over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces (pneumatikos) of evil in the heavenly places.


Archon is a Greek word that means “ruler”, frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is derived from the same root as words such as monarch and hierarchy. https:// traces the etymology of “archangel” from Greek arkhangelos “chief angel,” from arkh- “chief, first” (see archon) + angelos (see angel).

In Gnosticism archons were the servants of the Demiurge, the creator god. The Biblical source of the usage however is Daniel 10:13-21 in the Greek Septuagint, where the archon (prince) is the patron angel of a nation - Persia, Greece or Israel. One of the Greek fragments of the Book of Enoch (6:3,7; 8:1) names 20 archons of the 200 Watcher angels who sinned. Then we have Jude’s reference to “angels who did not keep their own domain [archēn]…” (Jude 6, NASB).


The nations would ultimately revere these angelic Watchers as gods in their own right and follow and serve them, rather than the high God, Yahweh. This explains (in part) the origins of polytheism and the pantheon of “gods” worshipped by the pagans. (We’ll see in a future study how the demons contributed to the pantheon as well.)

But angels must not be worshiped (Col 2:18). Twice John attempts to worship an angel (Rev 19:10;22:8-9) but in both cases the angel redirects the worship to God.

Because of this, God will judge the nations and the fallen angels they worship:

Isa 24:21 (ESV) On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth.


Over all these kingdoms Satan is the ruler. Jesus calls him “the prince of this world” (John 12:30-31, 16:11).

Luke 4:5-6 (NIV) The devil led him up to a high place

and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.”


When Satan requests worship in exchange for control of the “kingdoms of the world”, Jesus refuses saying, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matt 4:10).

Satan seems to make the same deal with the Antichrist (worship for political power), but - unlike Jesus – he accepts.

Rev 13:1-4 (NIV) The dragon [Satan] stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast [the Antichrist]coming out of the sea… The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority… The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast…


The “whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).

Satan is “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Eph 2:2)

He is ‘the god of this age’ who is currently blinding unbelievers (2 Cor 4:4).

Until the end of the Tribulation Satan is still “deceiving the nations” (Rev 20:3).

He is “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who “leads the whole world astray” (Rev 12:9).


God reprimanded the members of the Divine Council for ruling the nations unjustly.

Psalm 82:1-4 (ESV) God [elohim] has taken his place in the divine council [adat el]; in the midst of the gods [elohim] he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? … Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”


The judgment Yahweh pronounces is:

Ps 82:6-7 (ESV) “I said, ‘You are gods [elohim], sons of the Most High [bene Elyon], all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die…’”

Are these human judges, as some say? This is a divine council, “among the elohim”. “You shall die as men” implies they are not human (or that would be stating the obvious).

Jesus’ quote of this passage sheds light on the issue. The Jews tell Jesus they intend to stone him “for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (John 10:33, NASB).


In response Jesus quotes the Psalm:

“Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (vs 34-36)

If the “gods” (elohim) in Psalm 82 were merely human judges, then why does Jesus appeal to this text to defend his claim to deity. They would not consider him a blasphemer if he was simply comparing himself to a human judge. He rebukes the Jews for accepting the existence of elohim other than the Father, while rejecting his claim to be the Son of God.


Despite being reprimanded by Yahweh - and unlike the Watchers of Genesis 6 - these fallen angels along with their leader, Satan, are not imprisoned yet and remain free to roam.

But to counteract this rebellion by the nations, in the following chapter (Gen 12) Yahweh calls Abram and starts again with his own covenant people Israel.


Later he would give the Law through Moses to his chosen people. The very first command he would give them is “I am the LORD (YHWH) your God [elohei-cha], who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods [elohim] before me.” (Ex 20:2-3, NIV)


Then in the New Covenant, Yahweh begins to reclaim all the Gentile nations for himself.

At Pentecost the speaking in tongues is a seeming reversal of the judgment at Babel (which is linked to the fall of the Divine Council).


Then we see in Luke 10:1 that “the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come” (NASB).

We recall that the number of nations listed at the time of the Babel judgment was 70. As the gospel is God’s plan for reclaiming the Gentile nations he disinherited at Babel, could it be that the identical number of disciples chosen here for the proclamation of the gospel was intended to highlight this connection?


This theological message is further illustrated by what follows.

Luke 10:17-19 (NASB) The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.”

During the successful mission trip by the seventy, Jesus witnesses Satan being expelled from God’s presence. As he normally attends the Divine Council to accuse or slander, clearly his accusations against these disciples come to nothing – and his demonic hordes suffer serious defeat.


The angelic principalities were created by Jesus.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (thronoi) or dominions (kyriotētes) or rulers (archai) or authorities (exousiai)—all things were created through him and for him.

So Christ is superior to all angelic majesties (Heb 1:3-14).

He is “far above all rule (arché) and authority (exousia) and power (dunamis) and dominion (kuriotés), and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:21, ESV).

He is “the head of all rule (arché) and authority (exousia)” (Col 2:10, ESV).


Heb 1:3-5 (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”?

No angel can separate us from his love.

Rom 8:38-39 (ESV) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels [aggelos] nor rulers [arché], … nor powers [dunamis], nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


He triumphed over the fallen spiritual rulers at the cross.

John 12:31 (NIV) Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

John 12:30-31 (NIV) I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

John 16:11 (NIV) and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Col 2:15 (ESV) He disarmed the rulers (arché) and authorities (exousia) and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.


When the dragon (Satan) seeks to destroy Israel, their protector Michael rises up to their defence.

Daniel 12:1 (NIV) At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.

Likewise the War Scroll found with the Dead Sea Scrolls predicts a final battle between Michael and Belial (Satan) with Michael triumphing. 1

1 This is the day appointed by Him for the defeat and overthrow of the Prince of the kingdom of wickedness, and He will send eternal succour to the company of His redeemed by the might of the princely Angel of the kingdom of Michael. With everlasting light He will enlighten with joy [the children] of Israel…


Rev 12:7 (NIV) And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

Michael and his angels will drive Satan and his angels out of the heavenly courts.

Rev 12:8-9 (NIV) But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

The kingdoms of the world that Satan offered to Jesus illicitly, will be won by Christ legitimately.

Rev 12:15 (NIV) … and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”


Jesus will reclaim the kingdoms of the earth and establish his Millennial kingdom.

Dan 2:44-45 (NIV) “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be


destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.”

Satan is bound in the Abyss to prevent him deceiving the nations.

Rev 20:2-3 (NIV) He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

After the Millennium, Satan is released and again deceive the nations.

Rev 20:7-8 (NIV) When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle.


Then “the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur” (Rev 20:10).

Jesus will judge the fallen angels and they will be punished along with Satan.

Matt 25:41 (NIV) “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

After destroying the forces of evil, Christ will deliver the kingdom to his Father.

1 Cor 15:24 (ESV) Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule (arché) and every authority (exousia) and power (dunamis).


This kingdom will last forever, with the Son of Man being the object of worship.

Dan 7:13-14 (NIV) “…there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his


presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

The new Sons of God

The original Sons of God failed in their God-given mandate to rule the nations justly.

There is much talk of sonship and adoption language in the New Testament. Jesus taught us to address God as “Our Father in heaven” (Matt 6:9) and calls us “sons of God”.

Matt 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.”

Paul speaks of our adoption and sonship:

Eph 1:5 (NIV) he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ…

Gal 3:26 (NIV) You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus


Unlike a servant, a son has privileges

Gal 3:4-7 (NIV) But when the time had fully come God sent his Son born of a woman born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts the Spirit who calls out “Abba Father.“ So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son God has made you also an heir.

Rom 8:29-32 (NIV) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers… What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?


Rom 8:14-19 (NIV) … those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.


God has ordained for these new “sons of God” to replace the fallen “sons of God” as rulers.

Heb 2:5-8 (ESV) For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

While the above passage is applied primarily to Jesus (v9), the writer goes on to demonstrate that Jesus and the ones he sanctifies are part “of the same family”.


Heb 2:11-13 (NIV) Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

And so we will rule over the nations with Christ.

1 Cor 6:2-3 (NIV) Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? …


The wisdom of Satan and the fallen rulers of the age cannot comprehend God’s wisdom.

1 Cor 2:6-8 (ESV) Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers [archón] of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers [archón] of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

God uses the church to display his wisdom to these rulers.

Eph 3:10 (ESV) so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers [arché] and authorities [exousia] in the heavenly places.


We will reign during the Millennium and serve as priests

Rev 5:9-10 (NIV) “… with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Rev 20:4 (NIV) I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


1 John 2:12 (NIV) if we endure, we will also reign with him.

Luke 19:17 (NIV) “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’”

In this hope we were saved.

Rom 8:22-24 (NIV) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.


If we have this hope, we should remain pure:

1 John 3:1-3 (NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.