A Study on Angels (3 Parts)

Part I: Creation and Purpose

Angels are mentioned 273 times throughout the Old and New Testaments, and other ancient-related records because God wants us to be knowledgeable about their purpose. He created the angels following the initial Genesis of Earth to glorify Him (as were we, Gen. 2). Angels are spiritual beings above us temporarily until we reach Heaven. They are subject to Christ and they neither marry nor die and we are cautioned not to worship them. Angels are also called messengers, Watchers, military hosts, Sons of the Mighty, and Sons of God (I Peter 3: 22; Luke 20: 36; Matt. 22: 30; Rev. 4:8; Heb. 1: 16; Col. 2:18; Rev. 22: 8-9).

Description of Angels

When most of us think of angels, we envision handsome, quite tall, blonde male figures dressed in long white robes and adorned with a pair of beautifully-feathered long wings. While this may be the description of some angles, it does not describe all of them. There is a hierarchy of angles whose assignments and positions are determined by God. There are nine levels of angels that will be discussed. They are as follows according to rank: 

Seraphim: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory… (Isiah 6; Job 38:7; Rev. 4: 8; Rev. 5:11-12). Angels (Sons of God) were with God at the Creation

Cherubim: Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. … (Ezek. 10).

Archangels of Thrones, Dominions or Lordships, Virtues of Strongholds, Powers of Authorities, and Principalities of Rulers: 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 (Colossians 1:16).

Archangels: The archangels are listed in ancient Hebrew Scriptures: The seven Archangels that are talked about come from Jewish writings of 250 BC in the Book of Watchers, which were merged with other writings to create what we know as the book of Enoch, and used in Orthodox Ethiopian Christian Cannon (one of the first Christian movements in the world); but was omitted by the Roman Catholic Western Cannon around 700 AD, and considered heretical due to the confusion over the order of chapters, parables and visions inserted in the wrong places. References to the seven archangels are found in the book of Enoch, Dead Sea Scrolls and Tobit. Note that the names may differ depending on text eg: Zadkiel also known as Sachiel. New and more accurate translations are available with the material in the proper order.                   http://scriptural-truth.com/stuff/BookOfEnoch.pdf

Chief Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies, and a military commander. His name in Hebrew means “Who is equal to God?” Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee (Jude 9). He is associated with protecting and being a leader of God’s army

Archangel Gabriel is the messenger of God and whose name means “God is my strength.” He is in care of the mysteries of God.

Archangel Raphael is associated with healing. His name means “It is God who heals.”

Archangel Uriel’s name means “God is my light,” and who is usually seen as an angel of repentance.

Archangel Jophiel is the angel of justice, wisdom and understanding.

Archangel Zadkiel is associated with freedom, benevolence and mercy.

Archangel Cameal is associated with strength, courage and war.

God created the chief angels in this order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, and Gabriel. The three angels in Rev. 14: 6-12 are believed to be preparing the world for the Second Coming. Lucifer was guardian of the throne and in charge of music

Coming:

Part II: Exploring the angels and fallen angels listed in the Book of Enoch.

Part III: The Nature of Angels

Sources for Part I:

Elwell, Walter A. “Entry for ‘Angel.” (1997). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.

Life Application study Bible. (NIV, 2005). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois

And Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Luginbill, Robert Dr. (n.d.). Angelology: the study of angels.

New King James Version Study Bible. (2007). Pub. Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Covenants: unconditional/conditional

Generations past and present were/are taught that the Bible is only a book about the Jewish nation and moral laws that apply to all regardless of the age in which we live, and that its contents are a precursor to the arrival of the Messiah. All that mentioned is true, but not complete. It is common knowledge that some clergy, archaeologists, anthropologists, and related scholars have asserted that the Bible is not a book to be relied upon for science, accurate history, or some concepts of religion. Personally, my research does not agree with the aforementioned concepts, and will be a future topic for this site. The Bible is all that and more.

God himself exists as an unconditional, immutable state of eternity.  Unconditional means nothing can change for any reason or condition that relates to His person or presence in Heaven.  On the other hand, when man participates in a covenant, man’s part is always conditional.  God has yet to fail in keeping what He promises, man on the other hand has more often than not, broken his promise to God due to lack of faith, impatience or some other human flaw.

A covenant with God is a commitment instead of a contract that emphasizes God’s promises and laws.  The main Old Testament covenant (Ex 19-24) was at Mount Sinai, when Israel committed to obey God’s laws after He had redeemed them from slavery in Egypt.  Other covenants such as the one with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) and his family, and the one with David (2 Samuel 7:1-17) provide a more broad context for the Sinai covenant, focusing on God’s promises.  Noah also received a covenant from God (Gen 9:8-17) that centers on a promise by God to not destroy the world with a flood again.  God also made a “covenant of peace” or an “everlasting covenant” (Ezekiel 34:25) with the people of Israel that the time would come when He would send a perfect shepherd, the Messiah, and would stop rebuking them, would restore their wealth, and would personally teach their children.  Peace in this case means more than lack of conflict it also means contentment, fulfillment, and security.

Four Unconditional Covenants:

  • Noahic Covenant – God promised to Noah that he would never flood the earth again (Genesis 9:11 NIV).  There was no involvement by man in this covenant, a promise was made by God alone, and therefore it was unconditional.
  • Abrahamic Covenant – Again, God made promises to Abraham, stating that “I will” each time provide a great nation, make your name great, bless those who bless you.  All promises made by God alone.  Another example of God’s unconditional covenant with man and mankind.  (Genesis 12:1-3 NIV)/
  • Davidic Covenant – in this covenant God establishes the throne of David as an everlasting king sit upon the throne of David, an everlasting kingdom.  God did not require any condition from David or mankind, thus it was God’s promise soley and another example of an unconditional covenant.  (2 Samuel 7:5-17)
  • Messianic Covenant – God states that a World Savior and King are coming through Israel, no conditional aspects with man regarding this covenant, just God’s promise.  (Isaiah 11:1-11

Three Conditional Covenants:

  • Covenant of Circumcision (Genesis 17 NIV) presents a condition that anyone who is not circumcised will be cut off from his people.  This invokes a decision by man to be circumcised or not, therefore it is a conditional covenant.
  • In (Deuteronomy 28 NIV) God requires that Israel remains faithful to Him, and threatens to put them into exile if they persistently disobey.  Their obedience is “conditional” remaining in the land.
  • Mosiac Covenant – This involves God and the nation of Israel, in which God places conditions.  God reminds the people they are to obey His laws (Exodus 19:5 NIV) and the people replied they would do all that God has asked them to do (Exodus 19:8).  It is “conditional” upon the Israelites following God’s law.

“Unconditional covenants, God makes promises that are His actions only, and God never lies thus these covenants are unconditional.  “Conditional” covenants require action by man or nation to fulfill the covenant, and due to man’s sinful nature and lack of ability for patience, and being prone to follow their own lead instead of the Father’s they break the covenant.  God never lies and His unconditional covenants are forever.

Revisiting the Oldest Biblical Related Book: Enoch

Revisiting the Oldest Biblical Related Book: Enoch

By V. J. Berry

Copyright 2017

            The Book of Enoch asserts that it contains the gathered, sacred writings of the pre-flood patriarch and prophet, Enoch (Church, 2017). It is believed by biblical scholars that the book is the oldest book written because it is mentioned in Genesis. Several accounts that appear in Genesis first appear in the Book of Enoch written ca. 300 B.C.E. (Lamsa, 1957). The Book of Genesis was written after the Exodus during the 15th century B.C.E.that is accredited to Moses as the author. Enoch’s writings describe 7,000 years of world history and the events that would occur even to the “latter days” and the Tribulation period (Burns, 2006-2016).

            Although the Book of Enoch is not a part of the canon, it is considered to be a sacred book much revered by Jews and Gentiles alike well into the 8th century C. E. Its contents were also quoted by theologians into the 9th century C. E. The prophet Enoch was well known among Jews, Muslims, Mohammedans, and mentioned in the Koran (Schodde, G., 1882).  When there was a doubt about the authenticity of the authorship of the book, R.  I. Burns (2006/2016) presented 110 pages of evidence to prove that Enoch really wrote the book that bears his name.

Enoch

            Enoch is one of four biblical persons bearing that same name: (1) oldest son of Cain (Gen. 4:17); (2) the second son of Jared (Gen. 5: 18); (3) the son of Midian (Gen. 25:4); (4) the oldest son of Reuben (Gen. 45:9, Ex. 6:4). The prophet Enoch being discussed in this paper is the second son of Jared because of the prominence given him in the following scriptures: Gen. 5: 18-24; Jude 1: 14-15; Hebrews 11:15; Book of Enoch 68: 1. He is 7th from Adam. There are 70 generations from his son, Methuselah, to Jesus. He lived 365 years on earth and was taken by God and did not see death (Schodde, 1882).

Ancient Aramaic

            The Book of Enoch was written in ancient Aramaic and was neither changed nor revised. To this end, the Patriarchate of the East, in 1957, praised the translation of the book by Lamsa (1957) as being a most excellent, accurate work. He said as follows:

The Church of the East received the scripture from the hands of the blessed Apostles themselves in the Aramaic original, the language spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and the Pershitta is the text of the Church of the East which has come down from the biblical times without any change or revision.

The ancient Eastern texts translated from the Aramaic are closely related to ancient Hebrew  much like the relationship of American English and English spoken in Great Britain. The ancient Aramaic language was spoken and written by the Jewish people from the 4th to 6th century B. C. E. from Persia to Europe and along the Nile River area through the length of Egypt. Due to the similarity of the ancient languages of Aramaic and Hebrew, words were often interchanged. Ancient Aramaic was the language of the church as it spread eastward (Lamsa, 1957).

Descriptions of Sections One and Two of the Book of Enoch

            Following are brief descriptions of the first ten chapters of the Book of Enoch which demonstrates the similarity to Genesis that was written 300 years later (Lamsa, 1957).

            Chapter One: Enoch prophecies the destruction of the earth – it will be submerged but a remnant will be saved. He further describes who that remnant will be.

            Chapter Two: He records his astronomic observations and that the luminaires of the sky do not depart from their paths.

            Chapters three, four, and five: Enoch describes the work of God in creation. He also warns the people for their lack of obeying God’s commandments and reminds them of the final judgment and destruction of sinners — they will be cursed eternally. For the chosen, they will receive light, joy, peace, and wisdom forevermore.

            Chapter six: Enoch recalls the angels lusting after the children of mankind and took many as wives. This chapter leads into Chapter seven and details of this event.

            Chapter seven: The angles taught their wives and children how to make charms and conjurations. . The descendants of this culture were giants who consumed all that could eaten including each other, and drank the blood of their victims.

            Chapter eight: Enoch continues: Mankind was taught to make swords, knives, shields, coats of mail, and how to see behind them. They were also taught how to create works of art, jewelry, and how to use the metals of the earth. And there was great wickedness upon the earth. Enoch also gives the names of the angles and what specials skills they possessed.

            Chapter nine: Michael, Gabriel, Surjan, and Urjan (good angles) appealed to God for a solution to this problem.

            Chapter ten: God response: God spoke and sent Arsjalojur to the son of Lemech and ordered him to tell the son, in God’s name, to hide and reveal to him the end which is to come. The whole earth will be destroyed, and the water of the deluge will come over the whole earth and what is upon it will be destroyed. And instruct him that he may escape and his seed remain on the whole earth. In later chapters, Enoch tells of shortening the lifespan of mankind after the great flood.

God did not stop there. For further reading of the Book of Enoch, you may find a good translation at: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/enoch.pdf

References

Burns, R. I. (2006/2016). The Book of Enoch. San Francisco, CA: Messianic Prophecy Edition.

Church, J. R. (2017). Enoch the first book ever written. Oklahoma City, OK: Prophecy Publication.

Lamas, G. M. (trans). (1957). Holy Bible from the ancient Eastern text. New York, NY: Harper Collins Pub. (George M. Lama’s translation from the Aramaic of the Pershitta, 1933/1957).

Schodde, G. (1882). The Book of Enoch: Translation from the Ethiopic with introduction and notes. Andover, OH: Warren Draper.

Noah and Enoch lived about 1500 yrs  after the creation.

The first reference is the original translation of Enoch/ the second reference is the latest one. Read the Watchers chapter first.

*http://scriptural-truth.com/stuff/BookOfEnoch.pdf

*always look for this in translations. It is a true copy.

Important for Women

Question to Professor Ngong — Important for women

I also have a question for you, Dr. Ngong, that I have pondered for some time. It is rather controversial and you may not want to deal with it, so no hard feelings on my end if you don’t answer it.  In 1 Cor. 7:12, Paul says “I, not the Lord say this…and he goes on a discourse about women. Then I noticed in 1 Tim. 2: 8-12 his opinion, which I explained in my post, again about women. I began to notice that he uses “I” a lot and I mean a lot. It makes me wonder just how much of his discourses are his own opinions and how many are truly of God. I have always believed that the scriptures were infallible, but this bothers me. Jesus had great respect for women and never have I seen a thing he said about restricting women in the faith. When I read Paul’s comment in Tim., I have always thought that it did not sound like Jesus. It seems out of place considering how many women leaders served under Paul in the new churches. Can you clarify this for me?  I posted a NIV note on this in my main post which explained it from a commenter’s view that it was for the women in the Ephesus church only.

Violet,

This is an excellent question and you did well to take note of Paul’s views. As you rightly noted, the question of biblical infallibility is strained by claims like Paul’s, especially when he appears not to consider his own personal views as infallible. This may suggest that the doctrine of infallibility is not a biblical doctrine and Paul would himself not hold to that doctrine. That is why we need to read the Bible with discernment. Personally, I hold that women should be treated equally in church and society, period. There should be no biblical grounds for discrimination.

Dr. Ngong

Judging Others

We are to use our judgment to evaluate, not to condemn. According to Firestorm, p. 127, it says we are not to condemn people to heaven or hell; that is God’s domain, but we can use our judgment for discernment of a situation and this is our right and responsibility to discern wrongdoing. This is the real meaning of “Do not judge, or you, too, will be judged.” I thought this was a good way to understand Matt. 7:1.  What you do think about it?