Q. Re: Ephesians 3:10-11. I was hoping you could help me to understand who the rulers and authorities (or principalities and powers) are in the Heavenly realms and why wouldn’t they know such heavenly things. That it’s the job of the church to teach them. Is this literally something we are doing without realizing it? If angels rejoice when a person accepts Christ they must know something about the plan of redemption. Did they learn that from the Church?
A. Let’s review Ephesians 3:10-11. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The phrase rulers and authorities (or principalities and powers) in the Heavenly realms refers to the angels. Paul used the same phrase in Ephesians 6:12 in reference to the rebellious angels who work against God’s plan. Whether good or evil, angels are not all-knowing and God has chosen to reveal His plan to them through us. Notice Paul didn’t say it’s the Church’s job to teach them, but that they learn through us (probably by observation). It’s not something we consciously do.
Peter confirmed this in his first letter when he spoke about how amazed the prophets were upon learning the things God revealed through them. He said God made them aware that by informing people about the salvation He would make possible through His Son’s suffering, they were not serving themselves but us, to whom these things have now been taught. Then he said, “Even angels long to look into these things” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
And in Matt. 24:36 Jesus said the angels don’t know the details of the Second Coming.