Showing posts with label Angels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angels. Show all posts

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (10)

Sometimes the study of Bible prophecy presents no easy answers. The pieces just do not seem to fit. Efforts to make a particular vision or oracle map onto what we know of the past creates conflict with the established historical record. Efforts to make it map onto the future creates conflicts with scripture. Or maybe both.

What can I tell you? Despite best efforts, this is one of those days.

Monday, March 06, 2023

Anonymous Asks (239)

“Are cherubs the spirits of dead babies?”

In the gospel of Matthew, the Lord Jesus says this about children: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

Some readers take this to mean that children who die before the age of accountability go straight into the presence of God and become angels. This line of thought probably led to the popular depiction of angels as chubby, naked infants with wings. Google “cherub” and you inevitably get something like what appears above.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Worship of Angels

I went to an old-time hymn sing last week.

It’s not that I prefer the old hymns. I’m just as much a fan of new choruses as the next guy … provided they’re theologically sound, of course. And singable: there’s no point in trying to sing something that’s lame musically. But if it’s all coming together, I don’t much care how new or old the tune is. If the words are good, and the tune is great for congregational singing, I say let’s go.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Anonymous Asks (173)

“Do guardian angels exist?”

How many angels are there? We can’t be sure, but there are indications in the Bible that number is stratospheric. Hebrews speaks of “innumerable angels in festal gathering”. In Revelation, John writes of “many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands”.

The Greek expression underlying the latter phrase may refer to vast numbers generally, or may refer literally to the number 10,000 times itself.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Anonymous Asks (162)

“Are angels God’s sons?”

The Old Testament contains five occurrences of the phrase “sons of God”; three in Job and two in Genesis. All five appear to me to be referring to angels. The New Testament gives us a further six mentions. Every one of these six refers to redeemed members of the human race.

That requires a little more explanation, but hey, that’s why we do this. Let’s go back to front, since the question is about angelic sons.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Non-Canonical Episodes

Did Jude have the gift of prophecy?

I wonder. It certainly seems a strong possibility. Prophecy is not merely a feature of the Old Testament, but is also numbered with the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to the New Testament church.

Prophecy was a practical gift. In the early church it also appears to have been a fairly common one. It did not manifest itself in the expected esoteric, oddball mutterings but rather in “upbuilding and encouragement and consolation”. In this the prophet functioned similarly to the teacher in today’s church.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Nationhood and Angelic Representation

A state is a political and geopolitical entity, while a nation is a cultural and ethnic one. Or at least so says Wikipedia.

Keep this distinction in mind.

What follows is more of an intellectual exercise and a conversation provoker than a specific meditation, but I throw it out there for those who, like me, are intrigued by the details of scripture.

You may be familiar with the concept of the angelic representation of people groups, which is plainly stated for us in the book of Daniel.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Stating the Obvious

When you make a life-long habit out of reading other people’s mail, strange things tend to become commonplace.

I should probably unpack that a bit.

I’m enjoying the book of Hebrews once again, as I make my way through the New Testament in my morning reading. But the problem with having been acquainted with the scriptures since before I could read them for myself (and it’s not the worst problem in the world to have) is that arguments which should puzzle any modern, thinking, Gentile reader seem perfectly normal to me. My familiarity with the passage makes it difficult for me to be surprised by it, though it should surely surprise me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Message You’re Sending

“There’s always someone looking at you.”

The line was penned by Sir Bob Geldof way back in 1979, long before personal computers with memories that the average person cannot easily erase, long before the Internet, before the NSA was on your hard drive and tracking your every movement through your cell phone, before your TV started watching you while you watch it, and before the unblinking eye in the sky that is Google Maps. It seems more than a little prescient, but Geldof had become (briefly) famous, and the world was paying more attention than he would have liked.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Harlequin Romances, Detective Fiction and the Essence of Prophecy

Christendom is packed with a bewildering array of denominations, sects and cults, each with its own emphasis.

God has his own emphasis, and seems to go to great lengths to make it clear. Somehow or other, large segments of Christendom manage to regularly miss it, despite the fact that they have taken the name of Jesus as a fundamental part of claiming to be Christian.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Worship of Angels

The most recent version of
this post is available here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Angels Unawares

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

In accepting the truth that there exists a world of spirits, a unseen reality beyond that which we can observe and quantify, we open ourselves to a range of possibilities we are far from equipped to explore intelligently.

How does a Christian process such a thing?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nationhood and Angelic Representation

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Worship of Angels

A more current version of this post is available here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Non-Canonical Episodes

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Harlequin Romances, Detective Fiction and the Essence of Prophecy

The most current version of this post is available here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Debunking Heavenly Mythology III: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

Um … they don’t. Really. Look it up.

Aw, come on, you’re Googling, aren’t you.

It’s okay. I did too. I also got my concordance out. But this particular misconception is not confined to the famous Christmas carol.

Although ... it’s awfully hard to prove a negative. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we have “no unequivocal biblical evidence” of angels singing.

I owe my father for this one, by the way. It’s a small point, but one of a number of things that prompted me to begin looking at the words of Scripture a little more attentively, and actually look things up rather than just believing what I was told.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Debunking Heavenly Mythology I: Angels are Dead People

In a previous post, I spent some time contemplating the things of heaven and trying, however haltingly, to point out how very ill-equipped the best of us is to fully comprehend them, even with the aid of the imagery of scripture, since “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”.

That said, there are many, MANY things that we can be very sure heaven is not.

The lack of specificity and detail about many heavenly things is not a license to manufacture any old view of heaven wholesale. Let’s address a common myth or two — and I promise not to make any of this up: