PDA

View Full Version : Angels and Men....



JoyInHim
Sep 14th 2007, 02:31 PM
I am curious to know more about Angels, after reading Randy Alcorn's excellent book 'Heaven' and a couple of his fictional works in which men interact with angels (in Heaven, and unbeknownst, on earth) according to what we understand about them from scripture.

I am convicted from scripture that it is wrong for man to seek after encounters with angels (contact the 'dead' or living that are not with us, or other spirits or principalities). However, scripture indicates we sometimes do encounter them unaware, by God's direction.

My question is, angels are ministering spirits, to God, right? Or 'for' God, and 'to' men? So, why did some rebel - do they (still) have free will? I realize, there is all out war in the spiritual world - largely over God's creation of man, and over their souls - is that accurate?

And, man is 'higher' than angelic beings are, correct? Because we are created in His image, and angels, not?

I would like to more fully understand how or why Lucifer would or even 'could' rebel - if angels do not have that ability? Do angels sin, and can they have redemption? Could an angel repent? (That seems extra Biblical.)

I'd like to understand the difference between the fall of angels, and the fall of man, and how God 'handles' each differently. My understanding so far, is that it is because man is God's highest creation, after His image, and he will redeem and resurrect all of creation, thought is appears that unrepentant men (and spirits) will be cast away eternally. Is this all correct - as far as scripture is concerned? Some have suggested that in God's mercy He will cause (eventually) those cast away (in eternal damnation) to cease to even exist - though I do not see scripture that clearly supports this.

Thanks!

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 02:56 PM
Doctrine of Angels



Angels, according to the Bible, are of two distinct classes:

1) Seraphims (meaning, “burning ones”)
Seraphims are six-winged creatures whose job it is toguard the holiness of God. The covering of their faces before God with one set of wings denoted their deep reverence for God while the covering of their feet with another set of wings symbolized their humility (Isa 6:2-3).

2) Cherubims (meaning, “to till” or “to plough”)
Cherubims are two to four-winged creatures whose job it is toguard the work of God (i.e., the Garden of Eden - Gen 3:24, the mercy seat - Heb 9:5, and the work of CHRIST - Ezk 1:5-15 & 10:1-22). Interestingly enough, it was a group of the Cherubims (whose job it is to guard the work of God), not Seraphims (whose job it is to guard the holiness of God), who rebelled against God and fell.
It’s true: our service for God is never as important as our reverence for God (Lk 10:38-42). In other words, time with God is more important than time for God. Daily devotions are far more important than once a week services, in which we sing and fellowship and give and teach and serve.

Angels are created spirit-beings who possess great power, intelligence, and ability (Ezk 28:14-15). Angels, however, are not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. They are limited creatures with free will (Isa 14:12-17 & Jude 6 & Rev 12:3-4). They are also immortal beings (meaning they can never die - Lk 20:36). They have angelic bodies that are masculine in gender; yet, they cannot reproduce after their kind. Their existence is mentioned in at least thirty-four books of the Bible: Gen 19:1 & Lev 17:7 & Deut 32:17 & II Sam 24:1 & I Chro 21:1 & II Chro 11:15 & Job 4:18 & Psa 8:5 & Isa 14:12-17 & Ezk 28:11-19 & Dan 8:16 & Zech 3:1 & Mt 4:16 & Mk 1:13 & Lk 2:15 & Jn 1:51 & Acts 7:53 & Rom 8:38 & I Cor 4:9 & II Cor 2:11 & Gal 3:19 & Eph 6:11 & Colo 2:18 & I Thess 2:18 & II Thess 1:7 & I Tim 3:16 & II Tim 2:26 & Heb 1:4 & Jms 4:7 & I Pet 1:12 & II Pet 2:4 & I Jn 2:13 & Jude 6 & and Rev 3:5.
According to the Bible, there are three angels (or, archangels), which were created greater than all the other angels:
1) Lucifer (Isa 14:12-15)
2) Michael (Dan 10:13,21 & 12:1 & Jude 9 & Rev 12:7)
3) Gabriel (Dan 8:16 & 9:21 & Lk 1:19,26)
Of the three angels, however, Lucifer was anointed the leader (Ezk 28:14).
Angels were created to serve the interests of God (Heb 1:14). How long ago they were created is anyone’s guess. However, it is not unreasonable to think that angels preceded us by perhaps millions, if not billions, or even trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, sextillions, septillions, octillions, nonillions, or decillions of years ago. Only God knows what of our own 6,000-year history here on earth. What we do know, according to Ezekiel 28:11-15, is that the angels visited this Earth long before man did. It was during one of their stays that Lucifer and a third of the angels decided to rebel. As a result, Earth experienced an upheaval (Gen 1:2a,b,c,d), causing chaos to occur not only on Earth, but also throughout the entire universe. Ever since the anarchy eons ago, the remaining angels that did not rebel have been waiting for their chaotic universe to be restored back to order. That is why angels are so interested in the affairs of men (II Chro 5:8 & I Pet 1:12b), and why they were moreactive on earth during the time of CHRIST than at any other time in human history. For example:

1. It was angels that predicted His birth (Lk 1:26-33)
2. It was angels that announced His birth (Lk 2:13)
3. It was angels that protected Him as a child (Mt 2:13)
4. It was angels that strengthen Him after His temptation (Mt 4:11)
5. It was angels that strengthen Him in Gethsemane (Lk 22:43)
6. It was angels that were even prepared to defend Him from harm in Gethsemane (which, by the way, proves that the angels had no idea what redemption was all about, for they were actually willing to stop the process God was going to use to get CHRIST to Calvary - Mt 26:53)
7. It was angels that rolled away the stone from the tomb and announced Christ’s resurrection (Mt 28:1-6)

Although angels do not understand salvation (Heb 2:16), the reason angels were so active on earth during the time of CHRIST is because they knew that whatever their Creatorhad in mind when He came to earth as a man, it would eventually lead to their universe becoming orderly again, and for that they were willing to assist Him in whatever He needed.
God’s plan to save the universe would start with the very planet where free-willed creatures had first sinned and destroyed everything. It would start with Earth. Earth, however, would have to be “remade” in order to house its second inhabitants –man.
God was good to create man, for He gave him an opportunity as a free-willed agent to save the universe that SATAN and a third of the angels had cursed due to their sin and rebellion. However, when man fell in the Garden, God filled the gap by stepping out of eternity and into time to provide mankind with free salvation at His expense. The creation of a second creation with free-will (man) was a win-win situation, for not only would the rest of God’s creation experience restored order within their disrupted universe, but man would be provided total immunity at God’s expense. Sadly, not all of mankind wants the redemption God provided.
Angels are going to serve redeemed humans for all eternity (Heb 1:14) –they want to for saving their universe. No man, no Messiah/Savior. No Messiah/Savior, no salvaging of the universe. Simply put, angels owe us and are willing to show us their appreciation for our part by serving us gladly throughout all eternity.

Steven3
Sep 14th 2007, 03:10 PM
Hi JoyInHim :)
I am curious to know more about Angels, after reading Randy Alcorn's excellent book 'Heaven' and a couple of his fictional works in which men interact with angels (in Heaven, and unbeknownst, on earth) according to what we understand about them from scripture.I'd go easy on angels to be frank. Paul warned the Colossians against "religion of angels" (not "worship of angels" as it is incorrectly translated in some versions, Jews never worshipped angels). What Paul meant was the unhealthy speculation about angels the Jews went in for, such as in Tobit, Dead Sea Scrolls, Talmud. That's exactly what draws people today, but it's a distraction from Christ.
God bless
S


Hi Sold Out
I'm a bit surprised at the Strand Study Bible citing "Lucifer" as an angel. If the early church had read Is14 like that they wouldn't have made Lucifer of Caligari a bishop.
Cheers
S.

JoyInHim
Sep 14th 2007, 05:03 PM
I agree, which is why I noted that I understand we are not to seek interaction with angels or spirits. I know of magazines and books that pretty much, encourage or do this - and I wouldn't seek my information from there.

A good warning.

Isn't it clearly stated in scripture that Lucifer was the most beautiful of angels, and wasn't he appointed to lead worship?

I think 'angel' must mean spirit ?

As in, for or against God.

Thanks for the info, Sold Out.


Hi JoyInHim :) I'd go easy on angels to be frank. Paul warned the Colossians against "religion of angels" (not "worship of angels" as it is incorrectly translated in some versions, Jews never worshipped angels). What Paul meant was the unhealthy speculation about angels the Jews went in for, such as in Tobit, Dead Sea Scrolls, Talmud. That's exactly what draws people today, but it's a distraction from Christ.
God bless
S


Hi Sold Out
I'm a bit surprised at the Strand Study Bible citing "Lucifer" as an angel. If the early church had read Is14 like that they wouldn't have made Lucifer of Caligari a bishop.
Cheers
S.

Steven3
Sep 14th 2007, 05:35 PM
Hi Joyinhim :)
I agree, which is why I noted that I understand we are not to seek interaction with angels or spirits. I know of magazines and books that pretty much, encourage or do this - and I wouldn't seek my information from there.Goodo :)
Isn't it clearly stated in scripture that Lucifer was the most beautiful of angels, and wasn't he appointed to lead worship?Is14 says he was a "man" not an angel. Search "Lucifer" on this forum.
I think 'angel' must mean spirit ?Well the word means "messenger", sometimes used of humans in both OT and NT. Heavenly angels are spirits, yes, see Heb1:14.
God bless :)
S

Joe King
Sep 14th 2007, 05:44 PM
Angels rever God like we men should. Daniel started to bow down to the angel who gave him his visions, but the angel said to give glory to the LORD instead.

Basically, an angel is God's servant with eternal life. That's what we should strive to be.

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 06:14 PM
Hi Sold Out
I'm a bit surprised at the Strand Study Bible citing "Lucifer" as an angel. If the early church had read Is14 like that they wouldn't have made Lucifer of Caligari a bishop.
Cheers
S.

Lucifer is actually a beautiful name.

He was an angel...the bible says he is a cherubim:

Eze 28:13-19 "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."

RogerW
Sep 14th 2007, 07:19 PM
JoyInHim,

The doctrine of angels is made very difficult because of translation. When you look at references to angels in Scripture bear in mind that every single time this word is used it means 'messenger' and should have been translated such. The context then determines whether the messenger in view is a 'spirit messenger' eg 'angel', or a 'human messenger'. This is not something too difficult for the student of the Word, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern. Had the translators simply consistenly translated 'messenger' we probably would not have all this confusion of this doctrine. For instance if the following passage had correctly been translated 'messengers' would it change your understanding of this passage?

Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels [messengers] unawares.

Now using the context would you interpret these messengers as spirit beings or human beings? Let me show you this passage in another translation, a translation that has consistently translated the word 'messenger' throughout. I'll show the passage in context to help better understand whether this is to be translated as 'spirit beings' or 'human beings'.

LCV Heb 12:28,29 - Wherefore, accepting an unshakable kindgom, we may be having grace through which we may be offering divine service in a way well pleasing to God with piety and dread, for our God is also a consuming fire. 13:1-3 Let brotherly affection be remaining. Be not forgetting hospitability, for through this some were oblivious when lodging messengers. Be mindful of those bound, as bound together; of those maltreated, as being yourselves also in the body.

Our Lord said that being hospitable to even the least of His people is the same as being hospitable to Him. It makes sense in the context to view these 'messengers' as human messengers of the Lord.

Mt 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mt 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I agree with Steven3 that Eze 28 is not speaking of a spirit being, but of a human being. Nor do I believe that Scripture teaches us that either cherubim or seraphim are angels.

Blessings,
RW