Category Archives: ANGELS & DEVILS

How many angels fell with Lucifer when he transformed into Satan?

HOW MANY ANGELS FELL WITH LUCIFER WHEN HE TRANSFORMED INTO SATAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

How many angels fell with Satan? Revelation 12:4 is frequently offered as a possible answer: “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

Revelation 12:3 speaks of “a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” This is symbolic, of course, but that does not detract from its underlying reality. Verse 9 identifies that great dragon: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The great dragon is the Devil, Satan.

So, if you read verse 4 again, it says: “[Satan’s] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” It is believed that one-third of God’s angels fell when Lucifer was thrown out of heaven long ago. (Angels and stars are closely associated with one another in the Bible—see Job 38:7 and Revelation 1:20.) Is there merit in this interpretation of Revelation 12:4?

Revelation 12:4 could not be speaking of history. It is prophetic, something future, beyond our day. The only explanation here is that these angels will not fall until sometime after our Dispensation of Grace. What makes me say this is Daniel chapter 8: “[9] And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. [10] And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.Here, the Bible describes some of the host of heaven and some of the stars falling to the earth as the Antichrist rises and begins to consolidate his power. This, of course, is not history, but prophecy. John the Apostle must be referring to this when he speaks of one-third of the angels falling from heaven in Revelation 12:4. If you study it in detail, you will see that Revelation chapter 12 describes the career of the Antichrist.

We read about Lucifer’s history by appealing to the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel (which we will quote shortly). When the cherub (angelic-like spirit creature) Lucifer became infatuated with himself long ago, he began to think that he was wiser than God and he thought that he ought to be on God’s throne. Lucifer was originally God’s choir director, His composer and song-leader, someone to devise musical methods to praise his Creator God. However, Lucifer wanted to be worshipped as God rather than lead in worship of God. God kicked Satan out of the third heaven, and confined him to outer space and Earth.

Isaiah 14:12-15 says: “[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! [13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

And, Ezekiel chapter 28, which is God speaking to Satan through the Prophet Ezekiel: “[1] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: [3] Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: [4] With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: [5] By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: [6] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; [7] Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. [8] They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. [9] Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. [10] Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

“[11] Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [12] Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. [13] 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. [14] 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. [15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. [16] 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. [17] 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. [18] 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. [19] 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.”

Notice how Satan is guilty of an activity called “traffick” (verse 18). These are dealings or communications with others (think of our English word “drug trafficking”). In addition to Lucifer himself rebelling against God, he went out and enticed other angelic beings to follow him in that revolt. These are the Devil’s angels mentioned in Matthew 25:41, for which everlasting hellfire was created. They are contrasted with the “elect angels,” those that remained faithful to God and did not follow Lucifer (1 Timothy 5:21). God kicked all of these satanic angels out of the third heaven, and confined them in the second heaven (outer space) and below. They will never be allowed into His throne room again.

There are fallen angels—again, the Devil’s angels (Matthew 25:41)—operating in the heavenly places (outer space) today. For example, notice Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (The word “high” here is translated from the same Greek word as “heavenly” in Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:6, and Ephesians 3:10.) Hence, we read in Job 15:15: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.” And, Job 25:5: “Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.”

These fallen angels will be cast out of the second heaven halfway through the seven-year Tribulation period. Here is where Revelation 12:7-12 picks up: “[7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, [8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. [10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. [11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. [12] Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

So, then, what is Revelation 12:4 talking about? One-third of the fallen angels operating in the second heaven will come down to earth sometime during the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week (seven-year Tribulation). The rest of these fallen angels will be thrown out of the second heaven halfway through those seven years. It is the only way to make Revelation future instead of forcing it to be history. The Book of the Revelation cannot be history, as Revelation 1:1 says these are “things which must shortly come to pass”—they are future from John’s perspective!

How many angels originally fell with Lucifer in history then? We do not know an exact number because Scripture never provides such data. Still, we can infer that it was a large percentage because God never has many human followers throughout the Bible. At any and every point in history, just a very small fraction of believers appear in the Holy Scriptures. For instance, recall the eight believers on the Ark during the Great Flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 7:7; 2 Peter 2:5). Where were the millions—if not billions—of other people on the globe? Why, they perished in God’s wrath, being drowned in the floodwaters! According to Genesis 18:32 and Genesis 19:24-25, there were less than 10 believers in the whole city of Sodom! In Elijah’s day, there were 7,000 believers in the whole nation Israel (1 Kings 19:18)! There were only 120 believers in Jerusalem after Christ’s three-year earthly ministry (Acts 1:20)!

Notice these four verses:

  • Jude 14: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,”
  • Daniel 7:10: “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
  • Deuteronomy 33:2: “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”
  • Psalm 68:17: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the LORD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”

The Bible speaks of God’s angels as “thousands,” “ten thousands,” “thousand thousands” (millions), and “ten thousand times ten thousand” (100 million). If these are rough estimates of the number of angels that stayed loyal to God, I would then assume that Satan has many more on his side!

Also see:
» Is there any chance more angels will leave God and follow Satan?
» How many angels will be with Jesus Christ when He returns?
» Did God give angels free will as He gave to mankind?

Are the “angels” of the Revelation really “pastors?”

ARE THE “ANGELS” OF THE REVELATION REALLY “PASTORS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

“Aggelos” appears 76 times in the Greek version of the Book of the Revelation. While most commonly rendered “angels,” scholars want to make eight exceptions. They argue that 68 references are to spirit-beings. Allegedly, the other eight references are not angels but rather “pastors” or “messengers.” Why do they say this? Are they correct? Why does it matter that we settle this? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

According to Strong’s Greek Concordance of the Bible, the King James Bible’s underlying Greek New Testament contains 186 instances of the word “aggelos”—rendered “angel” 179 times and “messenger” seven times. Never once is it translated “pastor.” While most often referring to spirit creatures, there are some exceptions: “aggelos” is the role of John the Baptist as “messenger” of God (Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27), it applies to the “messengers” of John (Luke 7:24), it describes the “messengers” of Jesus (Luke 9:52), and it applies to the Jewish “messengers” sent to Rahab in Jericho (James 2:25). Finally, “aggelos” is rendered the “messenger” of Satan that afflicted Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7—this would be a malady rather than a spirit-being or human.

To repeat, “aggelos” is used 76 times in the Greek version of Revelation. Most scholars favor it be translated “pastors” or “messengers” in eight particular instances. This alteration of the text makes it easier to teach that these beings are humans as opposed to angels. Therefore, they claim “angel” in our King James Bible should really be “messenger” or “pastor” in Revelation chapters 1–3. Let us read those eight verses:

  • Revelation 1:20: “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”
  • Revelation 2:1: “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;….”
  • Revelation 2:8: “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;….”
  • Revelation 2:12: “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;….”
  • Revelation 2:18: “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;….”
  • Revelation 3:1: “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
  • Revelation 3:7: “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;….”
  • Revelation 3:14: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;….”

Dr. C. I. Scofield, in his eponymous study Bible, has placed a footnote at the word “angels” in Revelation 1:20: “The natural explanation of the ‘messengers’ is that they were men sent by the seven churches to ascertain the state of the aged apostle, now an exile in Patmos (cf. Phil. 4. 18); but they figure any who bear God’s messages to a church.”

While we will always appreciate Brother Scofield’s diligence in disseminating dispensational Bible truths via his study Bible, we must respectfully disagree with him concerning the “natural explanation” of those “angels” of Revelation’s seven churches. If we attempt to make these seven churches part of the Church the Body of Christ, we will seek to make the passages in Revelation fit with God’s current dealings with us. Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, are totally silent about any angelic beings leading any local assemblies of the Body of Christ. If we make Revelation’s seven churches part of the Body of Christ, and most do (as Dr. Scofield), then we will naturally disagree with Revelation when it mentions “angels” leading seven local churches.

Another theologian commented on the word “angels” in Revelation 1:20: “The word lit. means ‘messenger.’ Although it can mean angel—and does throughout the book—it cannot refer to angels here because angels are never leaders in the church. Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches.” Notice how he argued “angels” should be “messengers” because angels never lead the church. Why? Like many, he is forcing these seven churches of Revelation to be the Church the Body of Christ. This is completely unsound theology, non-dispensational Bible study. Furthermore, he admits that the word “aggelos” is translated “angel” throughout the Book of the Revelation. Still, he wants to make the eight exceptions (change the word from “angel” to “messenger”) in order to keep his pet theological position!

As always, dear friends, the safest method to handle the Bible is to leave the King James Bible text alone. If we must alter God’s Word to fit our theology, then our preconceived ideas mean more to us than God’s Word. We have mixed-up priorities and misplaced loyalties! Beware, beware, beware!! Unless we turn back from this wayward path, we are sure to be further deceived! (The Bible says this, but it really means that. “Angel” is not “angel;” “angel” means “pastor.” If that is the case, how will we ever get anything out the Bible? Whether this or other topics, will be “spiritualizing” it instead of taking it literally.)

In Scripture, “stars” and angelic beings are closely related (Job 38:7; Daniel 8:10 cf. Revelation 12:4). As we saw earlier, Revelation 1:20 says the “stars” of the seven churches (verse 16) are “angels.” Such is not the language of human messengers of God. In keeping with Bible terminology, “stars” and “angels” are linked. People and stars, however, are never associated with each other in Scripture. If we can understand this, we will have no problem with leaving the Bible text alone in the opening chapters of Revelation. While Paul’s epistles are silent about angels ministering to us today, angelic beings have played and will play a very important role in the nation Israel’s program. This is how we should approach the Book of the Revelation.

Angels served in Israel’s history concerning Divine revelation, particularly regarding prophecy. For example, when the Prophet Daniel asked God in prayer for wisdom concerning his end-times prophecies, God sent the Angel Gabriel to give him “skill and understanding” (Daniel 9:21-27). This is repeated in Daniel 10:21: “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” Gabriel illuminated Daniel concerning the Bible. Also, we see an “angel” “shewing” the Apostle John in Revelation 22:8 various prophecies that comprise that Book. Zechariah the Prophet received Divine insight into prophecy from angelic beings (see the Book of Zechariah, chapters 2 through 6). The Prophet Ezekiel had visions of angels and their roles in God’s program for Israel.

Using all of this background, we can see why Almighty God would have literal angelic beings in Revelation chapters 1–3, rather than mere human messengers. Whether in John’s day (history to us) or Daniel’s 70th Week (yet future from us), God has one angel leading each of the seven main assemblies in Asia (that is, Asia Minor, modern Turkey). The letter to each church is written specifically to the angel leading each church. These angels are commissioned to take the doctrine and illuminate the Jewish believers in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

If we consider all that the Bible says about angels and prophetic understanding, there is no other way for us to interpret this matter. As the Book of Hebrews, chapter 1, verses 13 through 14, states concerning Israel and the end-times: “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Indeed, angels will have a ministry to Israel yet future!

Also see:
» Is the Ephesian church of the Revelation the same group as those in the Book of Ephesians?
» Do we live in “the Church Age?”
» Should “church” be changed to “called-out assembly” in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?

Who or what are the “seven Spirits” found in Revelation?

WHO OR WHAT ARE THE “SEVEN SPIRITS” FOUND IN REVELATION?

by Shawn Brasseaux

We read about them on four occasions in the Bible, and only in the Book of the Revelation:

  • Revelation 1:4: “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;….”
  • Revelation 3:1: “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
  • Revelation 4:5: “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
  • Revelation 5:6: “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”

A common attempt to identify these seven Spirits is to correlate them with Isaiah 11:2: “And [#1] the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, [#2] the spirit of wisdom and [#3] understanding, [#4] the spirit of counsel and [#5] might, [#6] the spirit of knowledge and of [#7] the fear of the LORD.” However, great difficulty is encountered when linking Isaiah to Revelation. The capitalization in Revelation causes people to conclude that the seven Spirits are actually the Holy Spirit. While it is true that the Holy Spirit is often capitalized in the English Bible (that is, “Spirit”), there are some exceptions. Isaiah 11:2 (quoted earlier) contains one such exception—“the spirit of the LORD” is the Holy Spirit. There are not seven “Holy Spirits.” Neither Isaiah 11:2 nor the Holy Spirit are under discussion in the Revelation passages.

Revelation 1:4 says these seven Spirits send forth a message of grace and peace. They are living entities, beings, not inanimate or nontangible concepts such as the last six “spirits” of Isaiah 11:2. They are called “the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne” in Revelation 4:5. Such could not be true of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge of the fear of the LORD. Again, the seven Spirits in the Book of Revelation are creatures of some kind, individuals with radiant bodies like burning fire (see angels described as such in Hebrews 1:7 and Psalm 104:4). Revelation 5:6 says they are, “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” This helps further identify them.

Before John the Apostle wrote the Book of the Revelation, the Old Testament had already spoken of “seven” special “Spirits.” The capitalization signifies they are not ordinary beings or common angels. They are unique angelic creatures, evidently having a distinctive purpose in God’s plan. While shrouded in mystery, we can find three references to them. They are called “the watchers.”

  • Zechariah 4:10: “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (This end-time Book links to Revelation—the Second Coming of Christ.)
  • Second Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”
  • Daniel 4:17: “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”

Also see:
» Do people become angels when they die?
» Are angels women?
» Do we have guardian angels?

Is there any chance more angels will leave God and follow Satan?

IS THERE ANY CHANCE MORE ANGELS WILL LEAVE GOD AND FOLLOW SATAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

No. Nothing in Scripture indicates more angels will rebel against the Creator. It would seem that any angelic rebellion against God has already transpired and will not be repeated. Angels had a one-time chance to follow Lucifer or stay true to God, and that decision was made long ago. The angels that united with Lucifer (when he transformed into Satan) can never return to serve God, and the angels that remained with God will always be faithful to God. That is the simplest explanation.

What stopped that angelic insurrection? In other words, why did not all the angels fall with Satan? Why was there not 100 percent mutiny? Matthew 25:41 appears to answer that question. God created Hell, a place of “everlasting fire,” but never intended it for man. It was “prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Notice the absence of Hell in Genesis 1:1—it was simply Heaven and Earth. Hell was created later, once the angels sinned with Lucifer.) While the angelic ranks were in the process of allying with Satan, God created Hell, which stopped further fallout. Hell is such a dreadful place that, once the angels saw God constructing it, they did not side with Satan. It was too late for the ones that already moved to Satan’s side but the ones on God’s side stayed on God’s side. When man sinned against God in Genesis chapter 3, aligning himself with Satan, he too became an “heir” of Hell. Hell is the prison where all God’s enemies are kept until they are thrown into the Lake of Fire after being judged (Revelation 20:11-15).

Also see:
» Did God give angels free will as He gave mankind?
» Why are lost people not judged for their works immediately after physical death?
» Do people become angels when they die?

How many angels will be with Jesus Christ when He returns?

HOW MANY ANGELS WILL BE WITH JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE RETURNS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

While the exact number is unknown to us, the Bible still provides us clues as to how many angels will accompany the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.

  • Deuteronomy 33:2: “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”
  • Jude 14-15: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

At minimum, “ten thousands” is 20,000 (or 10,000 times two). To aid our comprehension, God the Holy Spirit in His written Word groups these angelic soldiers into multiples of 10,000. Just how high that number goes, though, is anyone’s guess. For example, there could be millions of angels in the army that Jesus Christ will lead at His Second Coming. Whatever the exact number, these are “the armies of heaven” of Revelation 19:14. Also pertinent to our study is Psalm 68:17: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” There are at least 20,000 “chariots of God,” which would indicate there are at least 20,000 angels to drive those chariots! And, just remember, one angel slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in a single night (2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36)!!

By the way, the word “saints” confuses people in this context. It is not a reference to Christians here but rather the set-apart, or sanctified, nature of God’s angels. They are the holy angels, “holy” being synonymous with “sanctified,” as opposed to Satan and his angels (cf. Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7,9).

  • Matthew 25:41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:….”
  • Revelation 14:10: “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:….”
  • 1 Timothy 5:21: “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”
  • Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
  • Matthew 25:31: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:….”
  • Mark 8:38: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
  • Luke 9:26: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

You will notice that we answered the question as related to the Second Coming (that is, for Israel). Now, we will reply to it as concerning Christ’s coming for us (the Church the Body of Christ) at the Rapture. Only one angel is said to be present at the Rapture, and he is an “archangel” or head-angel (presumably this is Michael, as he is the only “archangel” identified in Scripture—see Jude 9). “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Also see:
» Do people become angels when they die?
» Who are the “saints” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13?
» Did God give angels free will as He gave to mankind?

Who are the “saints” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13?

WHO ARE THE “SAINTS” IN 1 THESSALONIANS 3:13?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” Are these “saints” Christians or angels?

A King James Bible critic quibbled that the word “saints” here is “an unfortunate and inappropriate translation.” He continued, “It is not believers but angelic beings.” Beloved, there is absolutely nothing “unfortunate” or “inappropriate” about how the 1611 translators handled the Greek text here. Any and every dependable Greek dictionary defines hagios as “holy, set apart; holy things or holy ones [saints].” A related word and concept is “sanctification.” “Saints” is a perfectly acceptable translation of the underlying Greek. The problem is not with the translation, but with people who are so “scholarly-minded” that they do not know how to use the English Bible!!

Such detractors, as you probably noticed, assume that the Bible term “saints” can only apply to believers. This is a misconception. Not merely can people be set apart for God’s purposes, but angels can be sanctified too. Consequently, Scripture speaks of the “elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21) as the holy angels” (Revelation 14:10). They are in contrast to “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41; cf. Revelation 12:7,9) and “the angels which kept not their first estate” (Jude 6). Since there are holy (good) angels, it is not surprising to find God’s Word calling them “saints.” Remember, they are set apart for the purpose for which God created them—they serve Him.

Look for yourself: God has no problem calling good angels “saints!”

  • Deuteronomy 33:2: “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”
  • Job 15:15: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.” Considering the connection to the “heavens,” these are angels as opposed to people. They are actually angels before they fell and followed Satan in his rebellion; hence, they have corrupted the heavens, or outer space (cf. Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:7-12).
  • Jude 14-15: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These saints are angels, not humans, not (Keep reading to see the parallel verses!)
  • Psalm 68:17: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”
  • Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
  • Matthew 25:31: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:….”
  • Mark 8:38: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
  • Luke 9:26: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:….”
  • Revelation 19:14: “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (These are not Christians, but angels. Let the earlier verses govern the interpretation.)

WHY CHANGE 1 THESSALONIANS 3:13?

The critic denounced “saints” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 because (as you saw) he contended that Jesus Christ returns with angels not Christians at His Second Coming. His critical remark was founded upon the notion that “saints” can only mean believers. Such a verse modification is wholly unnecessary. Our earlier brief survey of verses demonstrated that assumption to be incorrect. We do not have to change the Bible text to teach our favorite doctrine. Friends, that is heresy!! Actually, we should not adjust the Bible text to communicate our pet dogma; rather, we should modify our doctrine to fit the Bible.

(The justification for changing this verse is a misconception. Make note! The critical eye, quick to “correct” the Bible, does nothing more than pervert something that was originally sound. Good was perceived as evil, so changing it in an attempt to make it “better” actually introduces error that was never there in the first place.)

God’s Word is the final authority, not our opinions. How dangerous it is to alter the Holy Bible, when in God’s mind it does not change! Jesus Christ indeed does not return with Christians at the Second Coming, but we do not have to challenge or alter Scripture to show it. All we have to do is compare verses (we did earlier, and we will do more now).

OUR HEAVENLY DESTINY: THE HEAVENLY PLACES

We the Church the Body of Christ, those of us who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), our destiny is the heavenly places. If we are already in the heavenly places—and we are during the seven-year Tribulation—we have no reason to return to Earth at the Second Coming. We have already been established in the heavenly places, ruling and reigning for God’s glory. Notice our eternal destiny as members of the Body of Christ!

  • Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:….”
  • Ephesians 1:20-23: “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
  • Ephesians 2:6-7: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:18: “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Now, back to 1 Thessalonians 3:13!

WHO ARE THE “SAINTS” IN 1 THESSALONIANS 3:13?

As we observed, “saints” in Scripture can be a title for either believers or angels. The context indicates which one it is. As pertaining to 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “saints” is actually Christians. But, it is not speaking of any Christians—or even angelsreturning to Earth at the Second Coming (as often assumed—the error the aforementioned critic attempted, but failed, to correct). Actually, while the faultfinder was nitpicking and offering a “better” term, he was (in fact!) misreading the verse. He was doubly confused!

Read the verse carefully in context: “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

This speaks of us Christians being presented before Father God. After the Rapture, our gathering together unto Christ in the air (2 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), we go to the Judgment Seat of Christ for our Christian doctrine and earthly service to be reviewed (Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). After that, the Lord Jesus Christ will present us before the throne of His Heavenly Father. It is here that our Heavenly Father will appoint us to fulfill offices in the heavenly places. These roles will be consistent with our doctrine and service already determined at the Judgment Seat. Jesus Christ comes to Father God with His saints, Christians. Again, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 has nothing to do with Christians or angels at the Second Coming. The Second Coming is not in view here anyway.

CONCLUSION

Contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not restrict the word “saints” to believers or Christian people. According to some verses, angels can be set apart for God’s purposes as well. We must therefore rely on the context to restrict the definition (whether angels or people).

In the case of 1 Thessalonians 3:13, the word means Christians not angels. However, that is not to say that this verse says Christians will return at the Second Coming (another common misconception). First Thessalonians 3:13 is Jesus Christ bringing Christians from the Judgment Seat of Christ, to stand before the throne of Father God, so Father God can designate their (our) roles in the government of the heavenly places!! If you want to see more about this special event, see Ephesians 5:27 and Colossians 1:22.

Also see:
» Do we have guardian angels?
» How many angels will be with Jesus Christ when He returns?
» Do angels age?

Do angels age?

DO ANGELS AGE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

No, they do not!

Mark 16:5 answers this for us: “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.”

Dear friends, the “young man” was actually an angel. Yes, Mark provides a window for us to peer into the angelic world. Angels can materialize in our dimension at will, and then disappear just as quickly and return to heaven. When they do appear, it is always in the form of mennever women as depicted in mythology, religion, and superstition!

As Mark indicates, although angels have existed for thousands of years, their appearance does not reflect their age. We grow older; they do not. Yet, like us, they wear clothes. In this case, “a long white garment.” Luke 24:4 calls them “shining garments.” Do they make their own clothing? Out of what do they make it? (These are mysterious questions we cannot answer at this time.)

Note how Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were “affrighted” to see that angel in Mark 16:5; he very much resembled a man, and yet, something about his appearance made them afraid. Evidently, they knew it was an angel rather than an ordinary human being.

If we keep reading in Mark’s final chapter, we learn that the angel speaks in a human language—Hebrew?, Aramaic?, ?—that Jesus’ disciples can understand: “[6] And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.” Angels are extremely intelligent creatures.

Here is one final little piece of information about angels. While not stated in Mark, we learn from Matthew 28:1-8, the parallel passage, that one angel rolled away the gigantic stone from Jesus’ tomb. Thus, the women could enter the cave and find it empty. Angels have incredible strength!

Also see:
» Do people become angels when they die?
» Are angels women?
» How is mankind “lower than the angels?”

Why are “the heavens not clean in God’s sight?”

WHY ARE “THE HEAVENS NOT CLEAN IN GOD’S SIGHT?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The world’s oldest book, the first Bible book written, already detailed for the nation Israel the following fact: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight” (Job 15:15). “Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight” (Job 25:5). But, what do these statements mean? Are stars rational beings capable of sinning? (As one theologian of old claimed.) We will be Berean Bible students and compare some verses.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This is the Bible’s opening verse. When God created the heaven and the earth, He created ranks of government in each realm. Note Colossians 1:16-17: “[16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” By the Lord Jesus Christ, all things were created. The “things” here are offices of government—“thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers.” Furthermore, Ephesians 1:21 talks about “mights” and “every name that is named.” There are various offices of government in Heaven and in Earth. Just as we see offices of government on planet Earth, similar ranks are in Heaven—although, in Heaven, these offices and their occupants are invisible. Heaven is a real place, an organized place, with angelic beings holding jobs and performing various tasks.

God meant mankind to function in Earth’s governments for His glory. We read in Genesis chapter 1: “[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. [28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Of course, Adam (the first man) later sinned and lost his place as King of the Earth. But, before man sinned, there was a rebellion in the government of Heaven. We read about this in Isaiah chapter 14: “[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! [13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Ezekiel 28:12-19 is God speaking to the King of Tyrus, but more specifically, He is talking to the evil spirit working behind the King of Tyrus. God is talking to Satan, Lucifer: “[12] Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. [13] 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. [14] 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. [15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. [16] 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. [17] 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. [18] 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. [19] 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.”

Ezekiel tells us in verse 16 that Lucifer enticed a number of angelic beings to rebel against Jesus Christ with him. These are what we call “fallen angels.” They fell from the third heaven (God’s throne). “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Returning to Job, we read: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight” (Job 15:15). And,”Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight” (Job 25:5). In the context, these verses refer to fallen angels. Remember, Satan is persecuting Job, and Job is aware of the angelic conflict, the battle between God and Satan, and the battle between good angels and bad angels.

Hence, the Apostle Paul spoke of “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). “High places” is synonymous with “heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6). Outer space is filled with Satan and his minions’ activities. Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan “the prince of the power of the air.” Thankfully, they will be kicked out of heaven one day (Revelation 12:7-11) and we will take their places (Ephesians 1:3,20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7)!

Job 15:15 and Job 25:5 are not talking about literal, physical spheres of burning gas in outer space that have sinned. Rather, it is outer space with respect to evil angelic beings functioning there. Their place will be found no more in heaven by the time we reach Revelation 12:7-11 (future from our day). That means these evil beings still have access to outer space (the second heaven) today. They will not be confined to hell until Jesus Christ returns in power and great glory at His Second Coming.

God will establish His kingdom in the heavenly places first. When we are caught up into heaven at the Rapture, He will remove the evil angelic powers from heaven, and install us the Church the Body of Christ in their places. Once Jesus Christ returns to Earth, He will remove the evil spirits from earth and cast them into hell. Thus, Ephesians 1:10 will be fulfilled: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

SUPPLEMENTAL: “THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”

The so-called “Lord’s Prayer”—or “‘Our Father’ Prayer”—features the phrase, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Should we pray this as Christendom does so often today? No.

Since the heavens are not clean in God’s sight (Job 15:15; cf. Job 25:5), and since Satan will not be removed from outer space until the future (middle of the seven-year Tribulation—Revelation 12:7-12), it makes no sense for us in the Dispensation of Grace to pray that God’s will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. God’s will is not being done in heaven today. It will be in the future. After our Dispensation of Grace, God’s will shall be accomplished in the heavenly places. Then, Israel can rightfully pray in light of that. As God used us (Body of Christ) to establish His heavenly kingdom, so Israel will pray for God to use them to establish His earthly kingdom. For more information, see our study below, “Should we pray ‘The Lord’s Prayer?’”

Also see:
» What are Satan’s operations today?
» Did God give free will to angels as He gave to mankind?
» Should we pray “The Lord’s Prayer?”

Was the Law of Moses given by the LORD, or by angels?

WAS THE LAW OF MOSES GIVEN BY THE LORD, OR BY ANGELS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Exodus chapters 19-34—the giving of the Law of Moses so he could give it to the nation Israel—describe the LORD Himself talking with Moses face-to-face on Mount Sinai. Notice these three brief summaries. Exodus 31:18: “And he [the LORD] gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 32:15-16: “[15] And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. [16] And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” Exodus 34:1: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.”

After reading the above verses, some have experienced great difficulty with the Apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 3:19: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” I have actually received complaints from people who claim that Paul here contradicted Moses’ words written centuries earlier. They argue that Paul did not know his Old Testament Scriptures. (Some have gone so far as to say Paul lied!) Here, Paul claimed angels, rather than the LORD, had given the Law to Moses. Well, which is it—the LORD, or angels? Is Paul challenging what Moses wrote? In this Bible study, we will ignore the worthless conjecture and just let the Bible speak for itself.

No doubt about, friends, that Exodus is completely silent about angels being on Mount Sinai with Moses during the time he received the Law. That being said, is Galatians 3:19 automatically a mistake? Is this proof that Paul was a false prophet? (This is the conclusion of those who complain about this matter. They are not really interested in letting the Bible speak for itself. In fact, I am going to be so bold as to say that their real purpose is nothing more than to discredit Paul’s apostleship in whatever underhanded way they can. Let me show you how they actually pick on Paul, but never bother to mention other people in the Bible agree with Paul. Angels were most definitely present with Moses on Mount Sinai. Here are the non-Pauline verses to prove it!)

When the Prophet Stephen stood before Israel’s national leadership in Acts chapter 7, he spoke for just over 50 verses. Read this chapter in your time, my friend. It is an extensive “Old Testament” layout of Israel’s history—beginning with her origins in Abraham, all the way up to the time of Christ’s earthly ministry (which had concluded a year prior to Acts chapter 7). In that sermon, Stephen covered about 2,000 years of Jewish history. He stressed something important at the end. Israel’s religious leaders were so infuriated that they stoned him to death! Just before they violently massacred him, he mentioned the Law of Moses (religion is a most dangerous topic to mention!).

Stephen said to Israel’s national leadership, Acts chapter 7: “[51] Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. [52] Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: [53] Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. [54] When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.”

The Holy Spirit speaking through Stephen told Israel about their betrayal and murder of Messiah. Instead of receiving and believing the Lord Jesus, they handed Him over to the Gentiles/Romans for crucifixion (which punishment was reserved for the most wicked criminals). Above all, Israel had failed to keep the Mosaic Law, that which depicted the righteousness of the God-Man they had just sentenced to death! But, my friends, I want you to stop and look closely at verse 53: Who have received the law by the disposition [instrumentality] of angels, and have not kept it.” Like I said earlier, we let the Bible speak for itself. The Holy Spirit through Stephen thought angels were involved with the giving of the Law. I have no problem believing what the Holy Spirit said here. Do you? (Then, we cannot make an issue of Paul saying the same thing!)

In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 2, we read: “[1] Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. [2] For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; [3] How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him….”

There is no question that the writer of Hebrews is here referring to the Law of Moses by using the expression, the word spoken by angels was stedfast.” The phrase “and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward” is a description of those who disobeyed the Law of Moses. The Mosaic Law was at the heart of Israel’s religion, and those who violated it suffered various punishments (from paying fines to death by stoning!). Stop again and think, my friend. Who did the writer of Hebrews assume played a role in Moses’ receiving of the Law? Angels! (Again, I have no problem believing what the Holy Spirit claims here. Do you? Therefore, we cannot make an issue of Paul saying the same thing!)

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

My dear friends, here is what we must understand about this matter. People who complain about Paul’s declaration of angels giving the Law (Galatians 3:19) ignore the fact that Stephen (Acts 7:53) and the writer of Hebrews (2:2) agree with Paul! These ignorant people do not know enough about the Bible to comment on it, and yet they remark about it anyway. Are they actually reading and studying their Bibles before making these shameful, malicious, reckless claims? Of course not! (And they accuse Paul of not knowing the Bible?!?) Having a blind prejudice against the Apostle Paul—which Satan encourages, no doubt!—people will malign him and pick up on the silliest of issues. If they are this busy focusing on such hair-splitting topics, no wonder they do not have time for serious Bible study! They will criticize Paul when he speaks on this matter, but they will not complain about Stephen’s wording or Hebrews’ wording that agrees with Paul’s statement. This is most unfair, and is borderline dishonesty.

What the above faultfinders fail to realize, or just refuse to apply to Paul like they do with the rest of Scripture, is that the Bible is a progressive revelation. (God commonly withholds information in one Bible book only to reveal it many years later in another Bible book. The technical term for this feature is “subsequent narrative.”) While Moses never wrote about such angels in Exodus, it is important to note he did not deny they were there. The Holy Spirit simply did not see fit to reveal that information in Exodus. Historically, the Holy Spirit revealed to Stephen first about angels being present with Moses on Sinai. The Holy Spirit then showed it to Paul when he was writing Galatians 3:19 (years after Stephen and Acts chapter 7). God the Holy Spirit also revealed it to the writer of the Hebrews. If Paul was wrong, we must also toss out Acts and Hebrews!

Exactly what capacity those angels served in giving the Law to Israel, we cannot be sure because the Bible never explicitly shows us. (Those angels were most definitely there as witnesses, to say the least.) Furthermore, it is not bizarre that angels were instrumental in giving the Law to Moses so he could then pass it on to Israel. Many times in Scripture, God sent angels to provide light and understanding to people (Genesis 16:7-13; Exodus 3:1-22; 1 Kings 19:5-7; Daniel 9:20-37; Matthew 2:13; Luke 2:9-15; Revelation 22:8; et cetera). Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that angels, from Genesis through the Revelation, are intricately involved in God’s dealings with Israel.

One more thing, my friends, before we wrap this up. Just because angels were involved in its delivery did not mean the Mosaic Law was less serious. Remember, “…the word spoken by angels was stedfast [firm, of force, sure]…” (Hebrews 2:2). Although angels were instrumental in its ratification, the Mosaic Law was still the Word of God, “the work of God… the writing was the writing of God… written with the finger of God.” Those angels had been given divine authority. When we consider Exodus, Acts, Galatians, and Hebrews as one giant unified testimony, we conclude that angels cooperated with the LORD in giving the Law to Moses so he could give it to Israel. Friends, let us believe the words of the Bible, and let its critics be wrong.

Also see:
» Do Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 contradict each other?
» Was the Apostle Paul a false prophet?
» Did Paul quote verses out of context in 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1?

Are angels women?

ARE ANGELS WOMEN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Dear friend, we have all seen them in ecclesiastical art. Young women with long hair and feathered wings—supposedly angelic beings. Would this be an accurate description of angels? Is this how the Bible depicts angels, or is this merely superstition and mythology?

In the Bible, God’s angels are always referred to with the pronouns “he” and “him”never “she” or “her.” Angels take on the form of men rather than women. Notice this sampling of verses:

  • Genesis 31:11-12: “[11] And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. [12] And HIS said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.”
  • Numbers 22:23: “And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and HIS sword drawn in HIS hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.”
  • Judges 6:22: “And when Gideon perceived that HE was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.”
  • 1 Chronicles 21:27: “And the LORD commanded the angel; and HE put up HIS sword again into the sheath thereof.”
  • Zechariah 5:5-8,11: “[5] Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. [6] And I said, What is it? And HE said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. HE said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. [7] And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. [8] And HE said, This is wickedness. And HE cast it into the midst of the ephah; and HE cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof….[11] And HE said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”
  • Matthew 28:2-4: “[2] And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. [3] HIS countenance was like lightning, and HIS raiment white as snow: [4] And for fear of HIM the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.”
  • Luke 1:11-12: “[11] And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [12] And when Zacharias saw HIM, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.”
  • Acts 10:3-4: “[3] He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. [4] And when he looked on HIM, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And HE said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
  • Revelation 22:8-10: “[8] And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. [9] Then saith HE unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. [10] And HE saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

DOES THIS REALLY MATTER?

Why does it really matter that we refer to angels as men instead of women? Should we dogmatic, or are we making something out of nothing? We will let the Bible speak for itself.

Go back to Zechariah chapter 5 and read the full context of the verses we quoted earlier: “[5] Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. [6] And I said, What is it? And HE said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. HE said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. [7] And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. [8] And HE said, This is wickedness. And HE cast it into the midst of the ephah; and HE cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. [9] Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. [10] Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? [11] And HE said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”

There are two types of spirit creatures in this passage. Firstly, we see an angel, appearing as a man, giving instruction to the Prophet Zechariah. Secondly, we see two spirit creatures that are women, they have wings like the wings of a stork, and they are associated with “wickedness” (verses 7-9). They are associated with “Shinar,” the site of the Tower of Babel, man’s first rebellion against God; Zechariah is mentioning them as they relate to man’s final rebellion against God in prophecy to be fulfilled beyond our day. These women creatures with wings are not God’s servants but rather fallen angelic beings. When you see pictures of women with flowing blond hair and wings, you know they are not God’s angels but evil beings serving Satan!

Also see:
» Do angels really watch us?
» What is the “angels’ food” of Psalm 78?
» Do we have guardian angels?