Every believer from the moment of salvation engages in an angelic war. One reason God created man was to work out the problem of the angelic conflict. This is a conflict whereby Satan and his angels pit themselves against God, His angels and believers.
The first phase of the angelic conflict took place before the creation of man. Adam and Eve entered this battle in the temptation to partake of the tree. Satan was already a force to reckon with before God created them.
The dispensation of the church is the time when God glorifies the God-man. Currently, He sits at the right hand of the Father in His resurrected body. Until the resurrection of Christ, it was the purpose of fallen angels to keep the incarnation from happening. Now that He rose from the dead, this conflict greatly escalated. The New Testament uses terminology of warfare and spiritual battle to describe this situation.
He 1: 13 “But to which of the angels has He ever said:
‘Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
Jesus became lower than angels in the incarnation. Angels are higher creatures than human beings are. Our body is corporeal but theirs is immaterial. Lucifer’s body was composed of light. Angels are “ministering spirits.”
Nothing in history escapes angelic surveillance. No event in history was ever without angelic intrusion. They will engage in war even in the end times (Re 12:7). God will remove fallen angels from the earth during the Millennium (Re 20:1-3).
1 Ti 4:2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits [fallen angels] and doctrines of demons [a demon is a fallen angel]…”
Angels originally existed in a state of innocence just like man in his original state. When Satan fell, many angels fell with him (Re 12:4). These creatures cause great consternation for believers today. To resolve this problem, God created man in the first place and put Christ on earth in the second place.
God provided salvation by putting to death the humanity of Christ (Ga 4:4,5). Faith in the work of Christ on the cross resolves the initial phase of the angelic conflict (Co 2:14,15; He 1:4-14; chapter 2). Angels rejoice when they see people make decisions for Christ (Lu 15:7,10; 1 Pe 1:12).
He 2: 14 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself [the God-man] likewise shared in the same, that through death [of his physical body] He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.”
Jesus is the head of all “principalities and powers” and He is the head of the church (Co 2:10). In the church age, the believer is now the battleground for the angelic conflict. Since Christ is now absent from the earth, the responsibility for engaging in the angelic conflict is on the believer. We represent Him as ambassadors down here and need special training and equipment to engage in this conflict (Ep 6:11-17).
God put Jesus on earth to show how He can both maintain the integrity of His character and provide salvation for man. God resolved this tension in the incarnation. Jesus became lower than angels in His humanity making Him qualified to go to the cross to pay for our sins.
It is impossible for God to admit man into glory apart from the cross. The cross always precedes the crown. In order to resolve the angelic conflict, Jesus had to die in a human body. This is eternal victory for us.
He 2: 5 “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:
‘What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
7 You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”