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Myths About God’s Angels

I am humbled to share that I have had the privilege to have seen an angel appear during a duet that a couple sang at our church’s Christmas celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ this past Christmas. At first I saw something out of the corner of my eye and when I turned to look full on, I saw a very large angel that reached from the ceiling of our large auditorium to the floor. I did not see glowing or hair or a face. I saw royal blue flowing robes and his hands held together like in prayer. I knew instantly that he was joining us in praising our Saviour. As soon as I turned my head back to the couple singing on stage, the next part of the song was by the male singing of the angels who told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. I was called “favored one” by a friend, but that is not what I believe this was about. I believe that I am no more special than any other believer, but that God showed me something special that He knew I needed to see at that moment. Though I have caught glimpses out of the corner of my eye many times in the past, this is the first time I saw, what I call, a full-blown angel. My immediate response for quite some time was a very intense “thank you Lord” for sharing such a special honor with me, your humble servant.

There are many myths about angels that are spurious. They are based on traditions and not the Scriptures. Some would include, but are not limited to:

Myth #1 – There are female angels. Not one dot of Scripture ever refers to angels as feminine. They are always referred to in the masculine genders. Angels always appear as men. Example: Genesis 19:1-17:

1   And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
2   And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3   And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4   But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5   And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6   And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7   And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
8   Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
9   And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
10   But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11   And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12   And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13   For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
14   And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15   And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16   And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17   And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Revelation 21:17 “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.”

Myth #2 – Angels have halo’s. The words “halo” or “halo’s” do not appear anywhere in Scriptures.

Myth #3 – Angels have long hair. It is a shame for a man to have long hair. 1 Corinthians 11:14 “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” Again, angels are male in gender. Corrupted devils are referred to in Scripture as locusts having long hair – Revelation 9:8-11 “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” On the subject of hair – 1 Corinthians 11:1-15:

1   Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2   Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3   But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4   Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5   But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6   For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7   For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8   For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9   Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10   For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11   Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12   For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13   Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14   Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15   But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Myth #4 – Angels play harps. (This one makes always me laugh. :-0) Harps on earth or in heaven are only played by humans in the Scriptures. Harps are mentioned 54 times in the Bible, never regarding angels.

Myth #5 – Angels have wings. Whereas seraphims and cherubims have wings, it never states that angels do. Twice, as we have seen, angels are said to fly. Seraphims are said to have 6 wings. Cherubims have 2 wings. Angels are never stated to have wings in the Scriptures.

Myth #6 – Angels float around on clouds. Only once is a particular angel said to be “clothed with a cloud…” in Revelation 10:1. Only Jesus is described to be “him that sat on the cloud…” in Revelation 14:15.

Myth #7 – Angels should be worshipped. Some have relegated Michael and Gabriel to sainthood. We have probably all heard of a “church” named St. Michael’s or St. Gabriel’s. This elevation is not scriptural. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” (Colossians 2:18) “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am they fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God…” (Revelation 19:10)

Myth #8 – There are little baby angels called cherubs. Cherubs are cherubims. They are synonymous in Scripture. Cherubims are a four-winged creature mentioned in 15 books in the Bible. They cover the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant in regards to Old Testament temple furniture.

Myth #9 – Angels sing. There is no basis for this in Scripture. We have seen that angels rejoice, praise, worship and bless God. It is not mentioned that they sing anywhere in Scripture. Satan was the only angel ever mentioned to have musical ability created in him in Ezekiel 28:13b.

Myth #10 – Every time a bell rings an angel earns his wings. I must say that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my very favorite movies to watch and it is a tradition in our home on Christmas Eve. Though I know it is not Biblical, I like what it adds to the story. 🙂 Bells are only mentioned six times in Scripture. They refer only to a priest’s garments and horses.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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Practices that are a Must in Understanding the Bible

English: Heart shaped shadow cast by a ring on...A. How Can We Understand The Bible? In answering that important question, consider first the preparation necessary for Bible study. You see, the Bible is one book that is written for the heart. Unless your heart is prepared, you will miss the truths and blessings of God’s Word.

1. You Must Have a Regenerated Heart Having been born of the Spirit through faith in Christ – John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The unsaved person cannot understand God’s Word, according to 1 Corinthians 2:14 ” But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

2. You Must Have a Humble Heart – Listening to God as a little child would listen to his father – Matthew 11:25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

3. You Must Have An Obedient Heart – Willing to do whatever the Word says, with a deep desire to know God’s Word – Psalms 119:97 “O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” The Christian who sincerely loves God’s Word has no trouble finding time to read it every single day. Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

The first step in getting more out of your Bible study is simply this: open your heart to God and let Him prepare it for the blessings He wants to give you. Let Him cleanse every corner as you confess every sin. Be sure your will is yielded to Him. When your heart is quieted before Him, breathe the prayer of the psalmist: “Open thou mine eyes; that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” (Psalms 119:18)

The second step is this: realize that God has made provision for you to understand His Word by giving you the Holy Spirit. The Spirit wrote the Word – 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (See also 2 Peter 1:21) and is the Divine Teacher to explain the Word – John 14:26, 16:13-15 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Allow the Spirit to guide you and you will be amazed at the way He will open your spiritual eyes! Of course, this means that you must be on good terms with the Holy Spirit, not grieving Him with disobedience or unconfessed sin – Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” He is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation who will open the eyes of your understanding, accord to Ephesians 1:17-18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” So allow Him to direct your study of God’s Word.

B. Principles of Bible Study

1. The Accuracy Principle – Be sure that all persons, places, objects, and events are accurately identified, and all words accurately defined, before you interpret a passage of Scripture. You must be especially accurate in identifying persons and places in the Bible. There are 10 different Simons, 4 men named John, 3 James, 6 Marys, and several Herods! Some people have 2 names: Jacob is also called Israel, Levi is another name for Matthew, and Peter is called Simon and Cephas. The Sea of Galilee is also known as the Sea of Tiberias and the Sea of Gennesaret.

The Accuracy Principle also tells you to define Bible words accurately. The King James Version of the Bible was translated from the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts in 1611. Since that time, many English words have changed their meanings. Take Hebrews 13:5 as an example: “Let your conversation be without covetousness…” That seems to teach that Christians must never talk about money, but the writer had something entirely different in mind. The word “conversation” means “speech” today, but back in 1611, it meant “behaviour.” This verse simply commands us to live without the love of money controlling our actions. Or, look at Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing…” which seems to suggest we should be careless about everything! Of course, the word “careful” meant “full of care, anxious” back in the 17th Century; so the verse implies, “Be anxious about nothing.”

Strong's on "echad"

Strong’s on “echad” (Photo credit: bismikaallahuma)

To help you understand these old English words you will eventually want to purchase an 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary and/or a Strong’s Concordance of Greek and Hebrew words.

2. The Background Principle – Be sure that you understand the background and setting (context) of a passage before you interpret it. Always study a verse in the light of the entire chapter, and study the chapter in the light of the entire book it is in. Ask yourself these questions:

a. What is the main theme of this chapter?

b. Who is speaking: God, man, satan, angels?

c. Who is addressed: God, man, saints, sinners?

d. When was this spoken or written?

3. The Cross Referencing Principle – Be sure that the Holy Spirit is your ultimate teacher and cross-reference all Scriptures concerning a particular word, doctrine, topic, character, principle, etc. Compile all Scriptures about the subject and believe all the truth about that subject not just part. This type of study is called “comparing” in 1 Corinthians 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” and is the method the Holy Spirit honors with His illumination. Cross references in your Bible come in handy. They refer you to other Scriptures that shed light on the same subject. For example, why did Jesus constrain (compel) His disciples to get into the boat and depart after He had fed the 5,000? Matthew 14:22 does not tell us, but the cross reference refers us to John 6:15-21, and here we find the answer. Verse 15 says that the crowd wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him a king! Jesus refused to be crowned by people who were only interested in full stomachs! Never study a verse or passage as an isolated piece of Scripture. Look at it in its setting and study all the passages related to it. That way you will find many of the problems solved and the so-called “contradictions” answered.

Use good sense in interpreting parables, too. Do not try to make everything in a parable mean something unless the Bible warrants it. Look for the main lesson in a parable and the details will give you little trouble. Often the Bible explains the various symbols in a parable such as, “The Parable of the Sower” in Matthew 13:3-8 “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

Explanation in Matthew 13:19-23 “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Also the “Vision of the Woman” in Revelation 17. After reading Chapter 17 see how the explanation in verses 9, 12, 15, and 18 “9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” “12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” “15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” “18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

4. The Dispensational Principle – The Bible is divided into at least 12 different ages. We must “rightly” divide the word of truth – 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Some of the laws, rules, rituals, etc. that God expected people to live by in one dispensation (age) were changed in another. Someone who does not know this will think there are contradictions in the Bible. For example, some meats that were not allowed to be eaten in the Old Testament are now allowed in the New Testament.

Here is a look at the 12 dispensations:

a. Eternity Past

b. The Creation – Six days in duration in which God created all things.

c. Garden of Eden – Perfection, Adam and Eve, Very short in duration.

d. Age of Conscience – From expulsion from the Garden of Eden until the flood of Noah.

e. Age of Human Government – After the flood. Man was given the responsibility of capital punishment.

f. Age of the Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (twelve sons).

g. Age of Law of God – Through Moses and the Nation of Israel.

h. Apostolic Age – Day of Pentecost until the completion of the Bible, various gifts, signs, and wonders.

i. Church Age – Overlaps with Apostolic Age until the Rapture of the Church in Revelation 4:1 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” The Apostolic Age ends at the completion of the writing of the New Testament. I Corinthians 13:8-10 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” Some have suggested that the 7 churches of Asia, spoken of in Revelation 2 and 3, represent the past 2,000+ years of church history in exposing the personality of the churches during these years. This seems to be more than coincidental:

  • Church of Ephesus – 1st Century Church – Sound in doctrine and works, but they left their first love – Revelation 2:1-7
  • Church of Smyrna – 100-376 AD – The persecuted church that was poor materially, but really rich spiritually – Revelation 2:8-11
  • Church of Pergamos – Middles ages – Mixed with the world – The heretical Church – Revelation 2:12-17
  • Church of Thyatira – 1054-1305 AD – The Medieval Church – Idolatry – Attached to the world. Spiritual fornication – Revelation 2:18-29
  • Church of Sardis – 1305-1517 AD – The almost dead church – Apostasy – Revelation 3:1-6
  • Church of Philadelphia – Reformation to early 1900’s – The Church in Revival – Revelation 3:7-13. Some churches will continue in this spirit until Christ comes.
  • Church of Laodecia – 1940’s-Present – Apostasy and Humanism – Ecumenical (Global) – Christ is on the outside – Revelation 3:14-22.

j. The Tribulation – Time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble – 7 years long.

k. Millennium – Christ’s Kingdom! 1,000 Years!l. Eternity – Heaven or Hell. Do not allow the difficult portions of the Bible to discourage or detain you. Live by what you clearly understand from God’s Word and trust Him to shed light on the obscure passages in His good time. The test of successful Bible study is not simply how much you learn, but how much you live what you learn. The proof that Christ has taught you is not a ‘big head,’ but a ‘burning heart’ – Luke 24:32 “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Prepare your heart, yield to the Spirit, and apply these basic principles. The Bible will become a new book to you and you will become a stronger Christian!

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Eschatology

 

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