The Assembly of Heaven—Part 1
Various Scripture passages mention an assembly in heaven. They show that the Lord is present in this assembly and speaks to it.
(Job 15:8)ESV Have you listened in the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
(Jer 23:18)ESV For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
(Jer 23:22)ESV But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.
(Ps 89:6)ESV For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD,
(Ps 89:7) a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?
Note "the council of the holy ones" in Ps 89:7 above. In 1Ki 22:19 we read that "all the host of heaven" appeared before the Lord: " ... I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left". In view of Job 1:6 and Job 2:1 we know that Satan also presents himself with the heavenly beings.
(Job 1:6) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
(Job 2:1) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
The phrase "sons of God" is understood here as referring to heavenly beings. One way in which they are sons is that they were created by God. Now, examples of things that are spoken in the assembly can be found in 1Ki 22:19-22, Job 1:7-12, and Job 2:2-6.
(1Ki 22:19) And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
(1Ki 22:20) And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
(1Ki 22:21) And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
(1Ki 22:22) And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
In 1Ki 22:19-22 the Lord discussed in the assembly the manner in which the death of Ahab was to take place. In Job 1:7-12 and Job 2:2-6 the Lord responded to the accusations of Satan and granted that Job be tested. In all these examples people on earth were considered, and decisions about them were made.
(1Co 4:9) ... for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
By discussing his decisions, the Lord shows his righteousness. A related passage is found in Eph 3:9-10. It states that through the church, the Lord makes known his manifold wisdom to the heavenly beings.
(Eph 3:9) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
(Eph 3:10) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
When it comes to spiritual matters, what is seen on earth is seen "darkly", but in heaven "face to face" (1Co 13:12). It follows that Eph 3:10 is not about heavenly beings learning doctrine from the church but rather about them seeing how God deals with the church. The Lord is showing through his church his manifold wisdom. As mentioned in 1Pt 1:12, the angels long to look into these things.
(1Pt 1:10)ASV Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
(1Pt 1:11) searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them.
(1Pt 1:12)KJV Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
In 1Pt 1:12, "the things" and "which things" refer to "the glories" mentioned in 1Pt 1:11. While the glories have been announced a long time before they came, the manner in which these glories are applied to the members of the church is something that the angels desire to look into. God reveals his wisdom by his dealings with the church. There are glories in this life and so much more in the life to come.
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