The Watchers Part 1: Angels of Heaven
By now you should be able to realize you and I have siblings that are not human, but are supernatural in nature.
Over the last 20+ weeks I’ve tried to spend enough time elucidating the setup of Creation as well as The Fall and participating actors. All of this has been important despite it not sounding as sexy as hearing "God’s got a plan for you and He wants to rain down blessings".
The beginning is where I promised we would start in order for us to meet God and we’ve absolutely done that. However, make no mistake as we’re still in the beginning. But I hope you can see the roles everyone has played up to this point; God, humanity, cherubs, seraphs, and angels. And I hope you can also understand God’s character a bit more and His heart for creation.
By now you should be able to realize you and I have siblings that are not human, but are supernatural in nature. And some of these beings are responsible for a few disasters leaving you and I as recipients. I trust by now you also realize there are several actors within the biblical narrative. Everything isn’t just about God, Satan and Jesus. In order to truly meet God we need to understand the actor’s roles that scripture talks about, assign credit where it’s really due and release ourselves from traditional narratives that aren’t accurate.
City of Angels
Many years ago I watched a movie called City of Angels. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. Not because it’s an amazing blockbuster flick with incredible action and a mind-bending story. No. In fact it’s a romantic fantasy and I generally can’t stand romance movies. But the premise of the movie intrigued me. In City of Angels, an angel played by Nicholas Cage leaves his supernatural domain, nature and position of being a Watcher to live as a human after becoming intrigued by a beautiful, yet emotionally struggling woman. I know, surprise right?
Now, I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag and spoil the ending for you. You’ll have to see it for yourself. However, I find it interesting that a 1980s romantic fantasy film captured - at least in part - the role of certain angels called out in scripture. A role that doesn’t get much attention today. And while it’s common to speak of “angels watching over us” - usually in an effort to help mankind - the truth concerning angels handiwork in corrupting the earth is often not spoken of either. And no, I’m not talking about Satan, who was a Cherub, not an angel. Unfortunately, it is Satan who usually takes the entire fall (no pun intended) for the corruption of the earth.
If you can think back to our earlier editions about futility, I covered it was in fact God that placed the world into a cycle of futility once Adam fell. This was done so man could temporarily live as he was no longer afforded the opportunity of eternal life in the Garden. I want to be careful here. I’m not suggesting God corrupted the earth so I need to nuance this a bit. By placing the earth in futility, the earth no longer operates in the way it was originally intended. The earth now experiences life and death from plants to birds and bees. It also experiences geological and climate cycles to maintain a hospitable environment. This tends to breed natural disasters that unfortunately effect humanity. But this futility was bred out of necessity for man’s benefit, despite it not seeming that way. However, I want to stress, this isn’t corruption of the earth despite the disasters many of us face.
We also know mankind now carries with it the plague of sin, only to be rendered cured of its devastating eternal impacts by the blood of Jesus. This disease means man carries the propensity to sin and will undoubtedly sin, which wreaks havoc on the earth.
So at this point we are aware of God, Satan and mankind’s role in impacting creation. But there’s another group of beings that essentially mutilated the earth and its inhabitants. These beings are referred to as the Watchers.
The book of Daniel briefly calls out the Watchers in one of his visions:
Daniel 4:13 (ESV)
As we previously discussed in the Satan is not an Angel edition (see also video), angels are sent as ministers and they’re chiefly called to carry out work that concerns the message of salvation (emphasis mine).
all Hebrews 1:13–14 (ESV)
Scripture is awesome isn’t it? Those passages clearly tell us why angels exist and what purpose they serve. And it’s not to “help mankind” with random acts of kindness. If angels ever interfere, it’s for a specific reason tied to salvation, whether we know it or not. I know it’s common to hear the term “guardian angel” where it's assumed angels are helping out God’s beloved creation out of kindness or to prove He exists. But scripture doesn’t support that.
What do we say of the many people who never received such attention who are victims of tragic circumstances? What happened to their guardian angel? My point is, if an angel ever intervenes it is because there is an ultimate goal of salvation somehow tied to their work. And what Daniel communicates to us is that in order for angels to do their jobs, they must watch and observe creation. Hence, Watchers.
Now, where things become uncanny is in the book of Jude, where we learn about a group of angels - known as Watchers - who left their position. These very same Watchers committed some egregious acts with humanity which caused God to bind them in eternal chains until the day of judgement.
Jude 6 (ESV)
Alright. I believe this is a good place to break. We’ve prepared ourselves for the next edition. In it I will break down the Watchers a bit more. This week I wanted to at least provide some context which I think will be helpful for where we go next.