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Christian saints according to the Bible

The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” “…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13). “Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32). “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …” (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).

The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints: “that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints …” (Romans 16:2). “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints and at the same time are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.

How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.

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Welcome to Astana, Kazakhstan: Home of the Future New World Order!

If you Don’t want proof of the up and coming New World Order, Then Don’t read this post!

Ceiling of the ApexThe flashy buildings of Astana rise up implausibly from the flat plains of oil-rich Kazakhstan to form a city stuck between a Soviet past and an aspirational present. The New World Order Has Created Its First Capital City Headquarters In Astana Kazakhstan.

Of all places, why put a city here? From the aeroplane window it’s more of the same: flat, empty and endlessly vast. At 30,000 feet, a few lonely lakes polka-dot the landscape. There is no evidence of human activity. There are scarcely any trees and few distinguishing landmarks. On and on it goes – Kazakhstan is the size of western Europe, and so unremittingly flat, it’s as if some gigantic plasterer has skimmed the land. Here wolves outnumber people. Little wonder the Soviets chose this vast emptiness to hide their Gulags and their space programme, and to test their nuclear weapons. Much of it radioactive, it’s an agoraphobic’s vision of hell.

And then, out of nowhere, Astana comes glistening into view, all shiny metal and glass, implausibly rising up from the Kazakh steppe like some post-modern lego set that has stumbled into the opening sequence of Dallas. Welcome to Astana, one of the strangest capital cities on earth.

There was some early talk of Astana – which means “capital” in Kazakh – being named after the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. After all, his name and vision are omnipresent. Since independence from the USSR in 1991, he was the first – and has been the only – president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with an electoral victory earlier this year in which he received a comedy 97.7% of the vote.

In Astana, we have a ‘city of the future’ filled with Illuminati, Masonic and occult symbols, whose purpose it’s leaders say is to ‘foster global peace and harmony between the world’s religions’

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Daniel 11:45 (KJV)

Today we want to tell you about a place so fantastical, and so much in line with the Illuminati and the New World Order that you will accuse us of making it up. But let me assure that everything you are about to see is 100% real and exists at this very moment in time. It is the perfect city of the end times, and it’s location is in Astana, Kazakhstan. That’s right, in Kazakhstan.

The Pyramid of Peace expresses the spirit of Kazakhstan, says the official PR release, ‘where cultures, traditions and representatives of various nationalities coexist in peace, harmony and accord.’ Bathed in the golden and pale blue glow of the glass, 200 delegates from the world’s main religions and faiths will meet every three years in a circular chamber — based on the United Nations Security Council meeting room in New York. The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation was conceived as a permanent venue for the Congress and a global centre for religious understanding, the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and human equality.

On June 10, 2015, the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon addressed the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana. It was a meeting to promote global cooperation between the world’s political and religious leaders. Pope Francis has been invited to attend the next Congress in 2017. It was assured that the Vatican would be amply represented at a planned congress in Astana of religious leaders. Such congresses have become unique and influential floors for dialogue between religions and civilizations, the Kazakh ministry said.

I know what you’re thinking right now, it’s the same thing I thought when it was first presented to me. How could I have not known about this place? Or the Congress of Leaders? The pictures you see here are not architectural renderings, these are photos of the actual buildings, completely finished and fully in operation.

At the very top of the pyramid is housed the strangely occultic meeting room where worldwide political and religious leaders meet to plan global directives for the coming year. Doves have been etched onto the glass to make it appear as if they are hovering outside the windows.

Presidential PalaceThe Guardian UK calls Astana ‘one of the strangest capital cities on Earth’

‘Suddenly, out of nowhere, Astana comes glistening into view, all shiny metal and glass, implausibly rising up from the Kazakh steppe like some post-modern lego set that has stumbled into the opening sequence of Dallas. Welcome to Astana, one of the strangest capital cities on earth.’ That’s what euro news outlet the Guardian had to say about Astana.

In Astana, we have a ‘city of the future’ filled with Illuminati, Masonic and occult symbols, whose purpose it’s leaders say is to ‘foster global peace and harmony between the world’s religions’. It is the perfect place from which the Antichrist could begin to rule the world. Indeed, the spirit of Antichrist is already well established there.

As wild as the city is right now, many more projects have been planned and are underway. If Central Casting in Hollywood was going to create a city to represent the New World Order, this would be it, hands down.

Astana is officially on the WHATSHOTN end times radar, and we will keep you apprised of developments as they happen. In the meantime, keep looking up!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

Astana is the first capital being built in the 21st century and it perfectly represents  where the world is headed. It is truly one man’s vision: Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan (yes Borat’s country, I know). Backed by billions of petrodollars, the city is being built from scratch in a remote and deserted area of  the Asian steppes. The result is astonishing: a futuristic occult capital, embracing the New World Order while celebrating the most ancient religion known to man: Sun Worship. The city is still a huge construction site, but the buildings that are already completed already sum up Nazarbayev’s occult vision.

The Pyramid of Peace Pyramid of Peace

 

Conceived by Britain’s most prolific architect, Lord Norman Forster, this giant pyramid is an odd presence in the middle of the Asian Steppes.  The building is dedicated to  “the renunciation of violence” and “to bring together the world’s religions”. Norman Foster has said that the building has no recognizable religious symbols to permit the harmonious reunification of confessions. In reality, the pyramid is a temple for the occultist’s only TRUE religion: Sun worship. A journey inside this building is a truly symbolic one. It represents each human’s path to illumination. Let’s take the tour.

The Pyramidal Shape

“The initiates accepted the pyramid form as the ideal symbol of both the secret doctrine and those institutions established for its dissemination”
-Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages

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Novus Ordo Seclorum = New Order for the Ages

As Manly P. Hall  stated, the pyramid is the ultimate symbol representing the mysteries of ancient civilizations. Sublime in their simplicity, divine in their proportions, they embody both the divine knowledge owned by the illuminated and the bewilderment of the masses. Today’s elite, initiated to the occult, are the heirs of this ancient wisdom and use the pyramid as a symbol of power in the modern world. The illuminated/floating/missing capstone represents the divine principle present in the universe as well in each human being. Another symbolic meaning attributed to the missing capstone is the unfinished nature of the New World Order (And the abolishment of Jesus Christ, our cornerstone that the builders rejected!) It is said that the capstone of the Great Pyramid will be reinstated when this age old project will become reality. Here are other pyramids appearing across the world, representing the elites power over the masses.

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Memphis Arena

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Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas

Raffles Hotel, Dubai

Raffles Hotel, Dubai

The Opera House (Basement)

When entering the pyramid at ground level, the interior is dark and cavernous. The basement houses Astana’s opera house, where the unsuspecting mass gets entertained.

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Despite the darkness, a huge image of the sun occupies almost all of the ceiling.

The Midsection

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Right on top of the opera house is the central space of the pyramid. It acts as the meeting room for conferences reuniting religious leaders of the world. Take a minute and soak up the symbolism here. You have religious leaders from around the world sitting around a huge figure of the sun, discussing how to reconcile their differences for the coming New Age. The symbolism is blatant:  all these theologies are simply outgrowth of the original object of worship: the Sun.

This space is much more luminous than the opera house, representing the progress towards illumination. The sun image in the middle of the round table is exactly on top of the sun of the opera house. So while the general population is being entertained in the darkness of the material world, the illuminated, sitting right on top of them, are contemplating how to reach godliness.

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Contemplating Godliness

If you read other articles on this site, you might be aware of the objectives of the New World Order. One of them is the replacement of all religions by a form of neo-paganism. This is what those meetings are for. The city of Astana is truly a city of the New World Order.

The Apex

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The apex is literally heavenly. It is round, totally windowed and bathing in glorious sunlight. Images of white doves are embedded in the windows, representing peace, which will result in the unification of the world governments and religions in the New World Order.  The apex is the ultimate representation of  the achievement of  illumination, on an individual and on the worldly level.

Look at the ceiling of the apex:

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The solar deity is shining upon the illuminated. Beautiful.

The pyramid’s divisions  (the lower dark opera house, the middle conference room and the godly apex) embody the Pythagorean vision of the world. Pythagoras’ teachings are thoroughly studied in today’s occult societies.

Pythagoras divided the universe into three parts, which he called the Supreme World, the Superior World, and the Inferior World. The highest, or Supreme World, was a subtle, interpenetrative spiritual essence pervading all things and therefore the true plane of the Supreme Deity itself, the Deity being in every sense omnipresent, omniactive, omnipotent, and omniscient. Both of the lower worlds existed within the nature of this supreme sphere.

The Superior World was the home of the immortals. It was also the dwelling place of the archetypes, or the seals; their natures in no manner partook of the material of earthiness, but they, casting their shadows upon the deep (the Inferior World), were cognizable only through their shadow. The third, or Inferior World, was the home of those creatures who partook of material substance or were engaged in labor with or upon material substance. Hence, this sphere was the home of (…) mankind and the lower kingdoms, those temporarily of the earth but capable of rising above that sphere by reason and philosophy.
-Ibid

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The three sections of the Pyramid

In other words, this pyramid, much more than being a tourist attraction, is a representation of the philosophy of the initiates. As Dan Cruikshanks rather cryptically said in his documentary, it is a “representation of the power to come”.

 

Bayterek

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Also designed by the distinguished British architect Sir Norman Foster, the monument is meant to embody a folktale about a mythical tree of life and a magic bird of happiness. The bird, named Samruk, had laid its egg in the crevice between two branches of a poplar tree. The egg – the golden globe at the top of the monument – represents, once again, the Sun, the Supreme Deity.

This “tree of life”, represents the channel through which spirits go to leave the material world and join the divine world. This concept is a recurrent in most (if not all) esoteric societies.

Inside the Golden Globe

The Total Recall Thing

Visitors can go at the top of the tower and get a wonderful view of Nazarbayev’s city. There are also some strange items to look at.

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Inside the globe we find this enigmatic “thing”. It’s a golden triangle with president Nazarbayev’s handprint in it. Why? I honestly don’t know. All I can say is that it looks like something out of the movie Total Recall.

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Bata Composition

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It is a globe signed by representatives from seventeen religious denominations. Yes, once again, talking about uniting all religions into one for the NWO and all of that.

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Masonic Pillars

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Two pillars and one in between, further away. Is there a chance that this may be Masonic symbolism?

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Yes, the twin golden pillars represent the two pillars of Masonry named Boaz and Jachin. I won’t go into the whole symbolism behind those pillars, but we can probably assume that Nazarbayev is a “Free and Accepted Mason”.

Presidential Palace

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Placed in a commanding position in the city, the Presidential Palace sits at the end of a ceremonial route which starts with the Bayterek tower. A big fat dome sits on top of the palace, representing the female principle, in opposition to the phallic Bayterek tower – the male principle. This layout is present in almost all important cities, including Washington DC and Paris.

Khan Shatyry Entertainment Center (The World’s Biggest Tent)

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This unfinished oddity is designed, once again, by Sir Norman Foster (he basically designed the whole city). Underneath the tent, an area larger than 10 football stadiums, will be an urban-scale internal park, shopping and entertainment venue with squares and cobbled streets, a boating river, shopping centre, minigolf and indoor beach resort. It has been said that this structure is made to look like a tabernacle, on par with the Temple of Solomon.

These portable places of worship, composed of tents, were used by Jews during biblical times. Initiates attribute to these ancient settlements an esoteric meaning.

Coming Soon in Astana

Astana is still under heavy construction, but there are some truly amazing projects in the works. Here are some of them.

Central Markets

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Designed by our good friend Norman Foster.

Crazy Towers (not the official name)

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All-Seeing Eye Stadium (not the official name)

 

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To Conclude

As members of the world elite are fulfilling the conditions required to unite the world into a single government, they are scattering all over the world symbols of their power. The fact that the general population have no idea what those structures represent is exactly the reason why their plans go forward unquestioned and unnoticed. But those plans have been here for ages now. Manley P. Hall wrote in 1918:

“When the mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by superstition; and when the state governs, he is ruled by fear. Before men can live together in harmony and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom, superstition into an illuminated faith, and fear into love

Mob is equal to democracy, church is equal to religion and state is equal to countries. In other words, before men can live in harmony, we have to abolish democracy (because the mass is too dumb), religions (because they are superstitions) and states (because we need one world government). He continues:

“The perfect government of the earth must be patterned eventually after that divine government by which the universe is ordered. In that day when perfect order is reestablished, with peace universal and good triumphant, men will no longer seek for happiness, for they shall find it welling up within themselves”

Sound good doesn’t it? Only one catch. When this will happen, most of the world population will be dead.

Those of you that have inquiring minds wanted proof on how close we are to Jesus return, I have to be honest I did too! Now we can see His return is imminent, just around the corner! Those that have chose to read this far must be waiting on Jesus return!

On that note, have a nice day.

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True Worship and True Obedience

If attending church one service is good, won’t attending four more be better?  Is this what God wants? This is what the Jewish remnant wanted to know as they came to ask about the fasts they had been keeping for over 70 yrs. Let’s see what God has to say about true worship and true obedience.

PRINCIPLES: One’s attitude weighs more with God than one’s actions; God hates hypocrisy because He is a jealous God.

AIM: That we may learn what God requires for pure worship and then demonstrate that in our everyday walk.

DAY ONE: Background and Zech 7:1-3:  The people ask God about fasting

1.How much time has passed from the revelations of visions? It has been approximately 2 yrs. since God first spoke to Zechariah and showed him 8 visions.

Zech 1:1 2nd yr of Darius, 8th month

Zech 7:1 4th yr of Darius 4th day of 9th month.

2.A delegation came to ask the priests and prophets a question. From where did they come and what did they ask? See Ezra 2:28, Neh 11:31. They came from Bethel. The phrase “house of God” refers to that city, if it had said “house of the Lord” it would refer to the Temple. Zech 7:2 Now the people of Bethel  had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their companions to seek the Lord’s favor

The delegation came to inquire as to whether they should continue to weep and fast as they had been doing “these many years”.

Neh 11:31  The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages,

Ezr 2:28  The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.

Note: Jdg 20:31

To the house of God – “To Bethel,” as in the margin. On “Gibeah in the field.”

Barnes: Zec 7:2

When they held sent unto the house of God – Rather, “And Bethel sent;” that is, the inhabitants of Bethel sent. “The house of God” is nowhere in Holy Scripture called Bethel. Bethel is always the name of the place. . The “house of God” is designated by historians, Psalmists, prophets, by the name, “Beth-elohim,” more commonly “Beth-Ha-elohim, the God;” or “of the Lord,” YHVH. Zechariah and Haggai use these names. It is not likely that the name, Beth-el, should have first been given to the house of God, when it had been desecrated by the idolatries of Jeroboam. Bethel also is, in the Hebrew order of the words, naturally the subject . Nor is there any reason why they should have sent to Bethel, since they sought an answer from God. For it would be forced to say that they sent to Bethel, in order that those at Bethel should send to Jerusalem; which is not said.

Osorius: Bethel then, that is, the assembly of the city, sent messengers to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to God and consult the wise there.”

3.The people had been fasting during several months of the year for over the last 70 yrs.  They had mourned, fasted, wept as a way to remember the past.  Read 2 Kings 25 to gain the background behind their question. Note specifically these verses: v 1, 3&4, 8&9, 25. What had occurred in each of these verses and in what months?

In vs 1:  the siege of Jerusalem: 2Ki 25:1  And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.

In vs 3&4: 2Ki 25:3: the famine in Jerusalem:   And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

2Ki 25:4  And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.

In vs 8&9:  The burning of the Temple: 2Ki 25:8  And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:

2Ki 25:9  And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.

In vs 25:  The murder of Gedaliah: 2Ki 25:25  But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died,

4.Read Zech 7:5 and 8:19. What months did God note that they had been fasting? In chapter 7 God only notes the fasts for the 5th and 7th months, but in chapter 8 we find that He noted the 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th.

In Zech 7:5 we read: When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years

In Zech 8:19 The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth,

5.The people had been fasting for 70 yrs. Did God require these times of fasting? _NO____ What did God require?

Lev 16:29-31; 23:26-32; Num 29:7: This set of verses speak of the Day of Atonement and what God required: God only established one fast, which was on the Day of Atonement. There were other fasts but this one only was required.

Full explanation: 16:29 “This is to be a perpetual statute for you. In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves and do no work of any kind, both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides in your midst, 16:30 for on this day atonement is to be made for you to cleanse you from all your sins; you must be clean before the Lord. 16:31 It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must humble yourselves. It is a perpetual statute.

23:26 The Lord spoke to Moses: Lev 23:27  Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement:

Numbers 29:7

29:7 “‘On the tenth day of this seventh month you are to have a holy assembly. You must humble yourselves; 20  you must not do any work on it.

The Israelites had placed a burden upon themselves that God did not require. Where have you placed a burden upon yourself that is not scripturally based? How often do we place boundaries and burdens upon ourselves that God did not require nor does He see them as pleasing. For instance, how often do we place the burden of church attendance upon ourselves? How often do we place the burden of dress codes, behavioral codes that are not scripturally based? God desires a contrite heart, pure attitude and pure motivation above “rules” and legalism.

DAY TWO: Zech 7:4-7 God Rebukes Hypocrisy

6.God sent Zechariah back to the people with 3 basic questions. List them from vs 4-7.

Question #1 vs 5: When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?

Question #2 vs. 6:  And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

Question #3 vs 7: Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets,

7.In what way were the people being hypocritical? The people were fasting without regard to the requirements that God had established. They imposed fasts upon the people that were not scripturally based and they were doing it with the wrong motives and attitudes. They were not doing it for God but for themselves. God rebuked them for their empty formalism that had no spiritual reality.

8.Read Is 58:1-7 for a similar time when God asked the people about their hypocrisy. What did God say He required? God begins this chapter with how the people were responding. Then He asks a pertinent question: Isa 58:5  Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?  But rather in vs. 6 God tells them what fast He is looking for: Isa 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Isa 58:7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? God does not see the affliction of one’s person to be pleasing, but rather God is looking for the outcome that comes from a fast. He is looking to see if there is fruit such as what James speaks of as true religion. Jam 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Jam 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

9.In contrast to fasting, what does God desire?  Micah 6:7&8, Is 1:16-19; 58:5-9a; Amos 5:21-24,1 Cor 10:31. God is looking for a changed heart that demonstrates that change in the society about us, which should bring glory to God because others see God in us.

Micah 6:7&8: what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Is 1:16-19 Isa 1:16  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Isa 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Is 58:-5-9 God is looking for fruit that touches the lives of those around us: the oppressed, those under the yoke of bondage, to feed the hungry, to meet the needs of the poor

Amos 5:21-24 Put away the sacrifices that are not a sweet aroma in its place: But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

DAY THREE: Zech 7:8-14 God Requires Repentance and Sincerity

10.In contrast to these self-imposed fasts, now God tells the people what He desires. Recalling our “4C’s” walk through vs. 8-14 to see it “played out in living color”.

C = consider the choice: what choice did God give to the people? They had a choice to demonstrate pure religion

C = compare to God’s Word:  again Is 58:6 and  Zech 7:9&10. What did God say to do? God said to prove your heart by touching the lives of others, meet their needs wherever they are and whatever circumstance they find themselves, execute true judgment and mercy as He would

C = choose God’s Way: Zech 7:11&12  What does God note about their choices? they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear

C = count on God for His provision and protection: Zech 7:13. Did the people experience these “2p’s”?  NO: Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear,

  1. The people had a choice, they had God’s Word, but they refused to choose His way. What was the ensuing consequence of their choice? Zech 7:14 God sent them into exile for 70 yrs.

Zec 7:14  But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

Where have you a choice and are refusing to choose His way and thus are not experiencing His provision and protection? Daily we face this as we choose to be obedient or not.

DAY FOUR: Zech 8:1-18 God Will Dwell in Their Midst

  1. Chapter 8 is a beautiful picture of God’s lovingkindness and mercy. Read the whole chapter through to get the picture. As you read note the 7 R’s found in this chapter.

The 7 R’s ch. 8

8:1-3, 13-15 restoration –what will be restored? The city will be restored to a city of truth and God will dwell in the midst as He desired to do before:  I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:

God8:4-6 the remarkable – how will it be remarkable? It will be remarkable because this city has been a city of violence and hatred but now it will be a city of peace and harmony:  yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.

8:7-8 a relationship- what kind of relationship will be in evidence? God will be the people’s God and they will be His people: a parent/child relationship; Father and child: pure and holy: I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

8:9-11 rebuilding- what will be rebuilt?  The temple will be rebuilt: that the temple might be built.

8:12 renewal- what is renewed?  Nature will return to its former glory: For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. The removal of the curse and in its place blessing:

Zec 8:13  And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

8:16-19 righteousness-how is righteousness revealed? Righteousness will be revealed in the actions that are demonstrated between everyone; and the attitudes that lead to proper actions. Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

8:20-23 reaching out-who will be reaching out and to whom? All from across the globe will come and say: the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts:

  1. Has any of this happened at this point in time? If not, when will it most likely occur? This is a picture of the millennial kingdom and has not occurred at this time.

DAY FIVE:  Zech 8:18-23 From Fasting to Feasting.

14.What a difference one letter makes! The people had asked a question about fasting, but God says now add one letter. You will no longer fast but feast! In what ways will this be different from the fasting in chapter 7? In chapter 7 the fasts were characterized by sadness and somberness as they in sorrow and misdirected motives recalled the tragedy of Jerusalem and the loss of the Temple, but in chapter 8 the feasts will be characterized by joy and gladness and the people will love what God loves.

Fasting is fruitless when done with the wrong attitude and wrong motives. Are you still dwelling beside the grave of your past sins and fasting in added rituals that God has never asked you to do OR have you added a letter to fasting to now make it feasting? How are you demonstrating that in your daily walk? Personal responses needed here.

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THE MISSION AND ACTIVITIES, AND THE DESTINY OF ANGELS

It is our fervent desire that we have presented the truth as it is found in the Scriptures and that all who have read these things have benefited. We again use the Bible as our standard of truth as we delve into this subject once more.

In studying the mission and activities of angels we must keep in mind the dispensation or age in which a particular work was or is performed. Some activities that angels performed they no longer perform because the circumstances have changed, or the law for God’s people has changed, or God’s agents are no longer performing miraculous works. However, in a general study of their work it appears evident from God’s word that they worked or do work in about five areas:

1. Miraculous protection of Israel and/or specific individuals in Israel.

2. Spiritual protection of God’s people now performed in the spirit world.

3. Praise and worship of God.

4. The miraculous revelation of God’s will.

5. The execution of God’s judgments.

We presume the angels continue in their praise and worship of God. But no longer do angels miraculously protect Israel or the church. And no longer are angels revealing God’s word because the revelation of God is complete. In the future, angels will have a great mission in executing the final judgment of God. Regarding the activities of angels, we can say the foregoing things with certainty. We are less certain about present day activities the angels may be performing. They may function now in the spirit world protecting God’s people from the demons, keeping the demons from gaining an unfair advantage over God’s children. They may also function in providential answer to prayer though this cannot be ascertained with certainty from the word of God. Having summarized these things, let us now look to them more in depth, noting specific works angels performed that are recorded in the word of God.

Protecting God’s People

Angels drove spirit horses in 2 Kings 2:9-12 while taking Elijah home to heaven. Angels are connected also to spirit horses and chariots in 2 Kings 6:11-18 where they protected Elisha from the Syrian army at Dothan, and we find the horses and chariots in the visions of Zechariah as well (1:7-Il; 6: 1-6). According to Genesis 3:24, cherubim were set to guard the gates of Eden when Adam and Eve were banished. But these are not the only gates guarded by angels, for the word tells us that angels guard the gates of the Holy City in Revelation 21:12. At one time, angels served as princes over the nations (Daniel 10:13-21; 12:1). Just what these angels did in this capacity is not made clear, but it was an activity they were involved in. The New Testament teaches that angels came and strengthened Jesus when He was tried (Matthew 4:11) and that Paul also received encouragement from an angel while at sea in a storm (Acts 27:23-25). In Revelation 9:1 and 20:1-3, the scriptures teach us that angels bind and guard Satan, and the book of Psalms depicts angels as the protectors of the saints (Psalm 34:4-7; Psalm 91:11,12).

Revealing God’s Will

The scriptures teach that angels gave the law of Moses, as Stephen speaks of the Jews having “received the law by the disposition of angels” in Acts 7:53. Hebrews 2:2 also points to “the word spoken by angels” in reference to the Old Law. During Old Testament days, other revelations were given by angels as well as is evidenced by a reading of Daniel 8:19. In this verse, Gabriel tells Daniel, “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the appointed time the end shall be.” Revelations from God were also given by an angel to Daniel in chapters nine and ten. But such revelations of God’s will are not found only in the Old Testament. It happened in New Testament times too. The angel of the Lord told the apostles to “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:19,20). “An angel of God” brought instructions to Cornelius in Acts 10:1-6. This incident is also an example of an angel bringing an answer to prayer, something that also is recorded in Daniel 9:20-23. Angels have also appeared to men in dreams to reveal the will of God to them as was the case with Joseph after Mary “was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Joseph learned what he was to do in this situation when “the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.” (Matthew 1:18-21). Joseph was instructed two more times in this same fashion, as is documented in Matthew 2:13-19. Sometimes angels led gospel preachers to sinners. This was the case with the evangelist Philip who thus received the opportunity to preach to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-38). Clearly angels have been instrumental in the revelation of God’s will.

Executing Judgment

Often in the Scriptures, angels are described as the executors of God’s judgments. In the spiritual realm, angels fought with Satan and his demons and cast them out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). On Earth also have angels been employed in the execution of God’s judgments. God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, recorded in Genesis 19, was carried out by the hand of angels. God used an angel to punish Israel with pestilence in 2 Samuel 24:15-17. The work of angels in this area is not yet done, for the scriptures teach that the angels will accompany Jesus when He returns (Matthew 16:27; Matt. 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7). This will be a time of Christ’s judgment of the saints, and it will be the angels who have the responsibility of gathering together God’s elect at that judgment (Matthew 24:31; Revelation 7:13). In explaining the parable of the tares of the field, Jesus said the future harvest was the end of the world and that the angels would gather out all the wicked “and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” (Matthew 13:36-43). Obviously, the angels have not yet concluded all the work they will do in the execution of God’s judgments.

Praise and Worship of God and other Present Time Activities

While the angels await the time for their last actions of judgment, they carry on in their praise and worship of God as described in Revelation 5:11-14. They also minister before Him, as Revelation 8:2 speaks of “the seven angels which stood before God.” Also being done by the angels while they await the final earth day is the receiving of “the spirits of just men made perfect” into paradise (Luke 16:22; Hebrews 12:23). Our views on “Guardian Angels” have been made quite clear, but it may be that angels are assisting God’s people today in some fashion. Ephesians 6:12; Psalm 34:4-7; and Matthew 18:10 are all passages which may well indicate such activity. But as all must admit that the veil of Divine Providence is in fact impenetrable, and we cannot define His workings there, so we must admit that clearly defining the role that angels play in that Providence is impossible. While this is not an exhaustive list of the work of angels, it is at least a representative one.

The Destiny of Angels

What is in store for angels in the future? The scriptures tell us. We have already noted that angels will be employed in the Judgment (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 25:31). But what of the destiny the angels themselves face? Just as is the case with mankind, the destiny of angels is determined by their obedience to God. Psalm 103:20 shows that angels obeyed God’s commandments and hearkened unto the voice of His word. From Revelation 22:8,9, where the angel refuses to allow John to worship him, we learn that this angel is a fellow servant of God with John. As was John, this angel was clearly under law and was obedient to it. Hebrews 12:22 says the saints had “come…to” or joined company with “an innumerable company of angels.” Finally, in Matthew 25:31, when Jesus comes to judge the world He brings with Him all the “holy angels.” All of these passages clearly indicate that the obedient angels will be the eternal companions of the redeemed in the “new heavens and the new earth. “Such then is the destiny of good angels. The destiny of evil angels is far different. Ju 6 says, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. “Peter speaks of the same thing in 2 Peter 2:4. And finally, note Matthew 25:41, 46: “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…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment…”

And so we see the destiny of wicked angels. They will suffer together with wicked men for eternity, the punishment for each being of the same kind. Whether the intensity of the punishment will be the same, we cannot say. Perhaps it will not be. But no matter, the everlasting fire, the eternal destiny of evil men and evil angels, is much to be feared and abhorred.

Conclusion

The pure and holy, whether angels, or men, will be eternally happy while the rebellious and disobedient will be eternally miserable. Let us remember that the fate of wicked men and wicked angels is most certainly to be avoided. And let us remember what wonderful incentives we are given to prompt us to live lives of purity and holiness: that we may have eternal association with angels and purified spirits forever in the presence of Almighty God. It is a great joy to anticipate. If you have not found Salvation here is your chance.

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ANGELS DEFINED AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THEM

In a previous article we introduced the subject of angels, and were especially interested in the concept of “Guardian Angels.” There is, of course, much more to be said about these beings than is encompassed in so narrow a discussion as that. As we continue our study of angels, in this article we will limit ourselves to defining angels, explaining some of the common misconceptions about angels, and showing that angels make up the family of God in heaven. As always, we appeal only to the Scriptures in our search for the truth, for the Bible alone is the revelation of God.

WHAT ARE ANGELS?

The world “angel” is derived from two words: the Greek word “angelos” and the Hebrew word “malak.’ Both words refer simply to a messenger, and in some instances are applied to a human messenger such as a prophet or some other special servant of God. An example is found in Haggai 1:13 where Haggai the prophet is denoted by the word “malak.” In the book of Malachi, the same word is used to refer to the priests (Malachi 2:7) and to John the Baptist as well (3:1). However, when these words are used in scripture, most of the time they refer to special messengers from God called “angels.” These are heavenly or celestial beings, and they are the focus of our study.

What do Angels look like?

What do Angels look like?

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ANGELS

As we seek to understand what angels are, we might do well to consider some common ideas about angels which do not have any foundation in scripture, and in some cases are in direct conflict with what the Bible does say. These are misconceptions about angels. The first is the notion that we cannot know much about them from the Bible.

Actually, while our knowledge is limited to the revelation in God’s word, there is a considerable amount of material found in the Bible on the subject. In fact, angels are mentioned in 34 of the 66 books in the Bible. A second misconception is that angels are really an Old Testament subject. The truth is that while the world “angel” appears 108 times in the Old Testament, in the New Testament its occurrence is even more frequent – 187 times is the world “angel” used. Many people think that angels are women, another misconception. This notion no doubt arises from popular artists’ conceptions of these beings. However, the only two angels in the Bible who are named have the masculine names Michael and Gabriel. And scripture indicates that when angels appear in human form they always do so as men, such as the time Abraham entertained the three men (Genesis 18). Actually, Jesus taught that angels are neither male or female.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:29-30).

A fourth misconception is the association that is often made between angels and halos, harps, angelic choirs, and wings. As far as halos go, they have become symbolic of holiness, but wherever this idea has come from, it certainly does not find support in the Bible. Halos are simply not Biblical. The idea of angels playing harps is taken from Revelation 14:2. But this verse actually employs a figure to describe melodious voices, for it was “the voice of harpers harping with their harps; and they sang as it were a new song” (14:2,3). In the Bible, we find no direct mention of an angelic choir, however, the idea is taken from the above passage (Revelation 14:2, 3), and also the statement made in scripture that “a multitude of the heavenly host [were] praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men” (Luke 2:13, 14). Wings are thought to be suggested when John “saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven” (Revelation 14:6). But this is most likely a symbol of great speed. However, the seraphim clearly had wings – six in fact: “with twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly” (Isaiah 6:2). And so wings upon angels are not without any scriptural support, but it seems clear that the two-winged versions of the artists are clearly fanciful. A fifth misconception is that angels have no body. This is simply not true, for the Apostle Paul teaches they have a celestial body (I Corinthians 15:40). This body is neither human nor physical, for it is a spiritual body. A common belief in today’s world has it that angels are spirits who have departed their human body, the spirits of the dead. This too is a misconception. There is no Bible evidence for this notion, and the teaching of Jesus about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22) seems to speak to the contrary. In this verse, both Lazarus and the rich man retained their identity and neither became an angel. Also, the Bible makes a distinction between “an innumerable company of angels” and “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22, 23). A seventh and final misconception we will note is that angels have no feeling. The Bible clearly defines one of the desires angels possess:

“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (I Peter 1:12).

The Bible also speaks of the joy that angels have when sinners repent:

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10).

Obviously, angels do have compassion and they are indeed concerned about the salvation of our souls.

ANGELS ARE IN THE FAMILY OF GOD

God has family both in Heaven and on Earth, as is evidenced by what Paul the Apostle has said:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” (Ephesians 3:14,15).

God’s family on Earth is the church as well as all who have not attained a responsible mental age (I John 3:1; Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26,27; Matthew 19:14). God’s family in Heaven is made up of the angels. We know the Heavenly family is not made up of departed saints because Peter said, “David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:34). Also, when Jesus died, He went to Hades (Acts 2:31), and yet to the repentant thief He called it “paradise” (Luke 23:43). Therefore, departed spirits of the righteous go to paradise and not to heaven. This leaves us with only the angels to form the family of God in heaven. The proof that God’s family in heaven is indeed made up of the angels is found in two passages of scripture which say, … That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10), and “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

There are many misconceptions about angels, but a careful investigation of the scriptures will lay these to rest. What the Bible does teach is that angels are celestial beings who are God’s special messengers, and they make up the family of God in heaven. Lord willing, in the next article on this subject we will take up the theme of “The Origin Of Angels.”

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GUARDIAN ANGELS

In Acts 23:8 we discover that the Sadducees taught that there was “no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit.” The Sadducees were the liberals of New Testament times. They denied the supernatural element of God’s word just as modernists do today. Consequently they, like many today, did not believe in the existence of angels.

Just as there was much confusion and misunderstanding about angels in the days of Jesus and the apostles, so there remains much confusion and misunderstanding about them today. In attempting to come to a clearer understanding we must remember that we are entirely bound in, bound around, and bound down by the complete and perfect revelation of God’s word. The Bible contains the revelation and the only revelation of God extant in the world today. No man can justify himself as being in the presence of God, or validate the Scriptures by his personal experience. Instead men are obligated to validate their experiences by the word of God. One of the greatest dangers of our day is that men are turning away from the word of God and are being guided and governed by their own feelings and experiences. They are appealing to subjective proof instead of objective truth. As a result we must guard against the danger of Joshua’s day when “every man did that which seemeth to be right in his own eyes.” Many convey the notion of these words: “I don’t care what the Bible says and it doesn’t make any difference what you read to me. I know what I feel in my heart and that settles it.” When men adopt such a view they have cut themselves loose from all spiritual moorings and are adrift on the sea of emotion and instability.

Therefore, our appeal is to turn from all prejudice and superstition which envelopes our subject unto the clear light of God’s holy word. What does the Bible say? Is the operative question. What about Christians having individual guardian angels today?

If you had a Guardian Angel, What would he look like?

If you had a Guardian Angel, What would he look like?

THE POPULARITY OF THIS IDEA TODAY

Many scholars believe that the doctrine of guardian angels is plainly and indisputably taught in the Scriptures. Jesus said,

“See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

In Hebrews the writer says that God’s angels are:”…ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation.” 1:13.

David declared that: “The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them.” Psalms 34:7.

Acts 12:15 and 27:23 are also often cited in support of the view that each disciple has a specific angel assigned to him for guidance, protection, and encouragement. Practically all denominational writers defend the doctrine of “Guardian Angels” and various brethren among us have also endorsed the view though by no means all of them. B. W. Johnson says that the doctrine of guardian angels is emphatically taught in the scriptures.

J. W. McGarvey wrote that the phrase “their angels” in Matt 18:10, refers to the angels especially charged with ministering to them individually.

One more recent writer, quoted anonymously by Guy N. Woods said, “The New Testament teaching of angels, and particularly the providential care which they exercise over individual is too plain to be disputed by informed Bible students.” Even in our own fellowship there are those who teach this doctrine for Bible truth.

ARE THESE UNWARRANTED CONCLUSIONS

In spite of these strong affirmations by great and good men can only state the passages proffered do not correlate with the conclusions they have drawn and that it seems to me that the doctrine is fraught with insurmountable difficulties.

First of all, the Bible neither in these passages nor in any other says that each person or even each saved person has a guardian angel assigned to his care. In Mt 18:10 “their angels” refers to Christians all right but they are said to be “in heaven” where “they always behold the face of the Father who is in heaven.” The record does not say these angels care for, provide for, or protect the Christians. It does not say they do anything for or to Christians. It simply positions “their angels” before the face of the Father in heaven not here on earth. Some scholars, (Guy N. Woods; James McKnight), believe that this passage is a figurative statement alluding to the Oriental view that those deserving of high honors and great favors are most often permitted in the kings presence. The plural form is suggestive of all angels who serve for all the saints in God’s great plan not that each believer has a separate angel. Metaphorically then it is being taught that faithful saints, even the most obscure of them on earth, are honored and highly regarded before the throne of God. The usage of the word “angels” here appears to me to be similar to that of Acts 12:10 where it must refer to Peter’s spirit. However, at most, in favor of this doctrine, it is only being said that angels minister in general to all Christians. In this understanding Jesus is sternly warning his disciples not to despise those who are less mature or less capable in the kingdom because God’s angels are caring for them. We must not be guilty of despising those over whom the holy angels as a collective group are watching providentially. It is simply not taught here that each Christian has an angel in particular assigned to his protection.

INFLUENCE OF ANGELS IN MIRACULOUS TIMES

Angels were indeed actually engaged in influencing people in ancient times, but it must be remembered that these were miraculous actions performed in lieu of the inspired written record which we have today.

An angel appeared to Philip in Samaria and to Cornelius in Caesarea but these were instances of a type not possible today (Acts 8:4,26, 10:3).

It is unquestionable in the operation of God’s plan to save that angels actively participate but this is far, very far, from saying that angels direct, control and overshadow their earthly words as the doctrine of guardian angels demands.

When Peter was miraculously released from prison and appeared at the gate of the house where the saints were assembled the report of Rhoda of the apostle’s appearance at the gate was assumed by them to be his angel (Acts 12:15). But all that this can possibly mean is that they concluded Peter had been killed by Herod and that it was his spirit which had come. Nothing here supports the doctrine of guardian angels; indeed, the implication seems quite the reverse, inasmuch as the conclusion which the disciples drew was that Peter must have been killed.

David Lipscomb said, (and I agree) “I do not find any clear indication in the Bible that each person has a guardian angel. Angels came to men during the miraculous ages of the world, but always with a clear and distinct form and with a clear, well delivered message from God. They never influenced men in a mysterious way, nor is there any evidence that they sought to lead or influence them otherwise than through the message they delivered to them. None of us believe they come in visible form or with an audible message now. If they do not, I cannot see how they can affect men or their course. The Bible says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him and delivereth them.” However, this was from Psalms-a time when angels did come to reveal God’s word and to miraculously protect the Israelites. It means the same thing as the expression: “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (Questions And Answers pp l5, 16.)

Lipscomb goes on to point out that the other passage most often supposed to teach the doctrine of guardian angels actually refers to the ministry of angels in giving the Jewish law and their visitations to men under that law. (Hebrews 1:1 2:5) The whole connection is a contrast between the ministry of angels in the Jewish law and the ministry of Christ under the Christian dispensation. Reading from chapter 1:1 through 2:5, we see the superiority the ministry of Christ has over the ministry of angels throughout. The connection clearly shows that the angels ministered to them by giving them the law and revealing the will of God. But the Christian age, “The world to come,” has not been subjected to the ministration of angels. Rather, it has been subjected to the ministration of Jesus who is greater even than the angels. (Lipscomb, p 16).

INSURMOUNTABLE DIFFICULTIES OF INDIVIDUAL GUARDIAN ANGELS

Still the whole concept involves difficulties that I believe are insurmountable. They cannot be resolved either in scripture or in experience.

First, this doctrine cannot be reconciled with the clear, explicit teaching of the scriptures regarding the free agency of man. Those who believe this doctrine teach that angels exercise watchful care and protection over God’s people. Protection from what? Illness? Injury? Violent death? Many of God’s finest servants languish on beds of affliction; their every wakeful hour in excruciating agony. Where is their guardian angel in this time of interminable pain and lonely, sleepless nights? Where is their guardian angel when Christians die in horrible accidents or automobile collisions? How can this doctrine be harmonized when those recurring and all too common tragedies among Christians? How can it be harmonized with Romans 8:18-23 which teaches us that these tragedies are the common lot of all men-even me apostles? A theory in conflict both with God’s word and known and demonstrable facts cannot be true.

Secondly, this doctrine is fraught with many of the same errors as the current theory of direct, independent operation of the Holy Spirit separate and apart from the word of God-the New Testament. It necessitates the conclusion that there is immediate, personal direction by the angel on his ward. How is this accomplished? By the implantation of thoughts in the heart? If so, how could the recipient of such alleged suggestions determine whether they originated from the angel or from some other source? “We can tell by the Bible they say.” If so why may not the Bible be appealed to always and everywhere for such direction, since it is the monitor by which the “leading” of the angel is determined? What possible suggestion could the angel make contributory to the well being of the disciple which is not already set forth in the scriptures? Is the angel’s direction irresistible or dependent on the will of the disciple? If the former, is the disciple responsible for his failure to follow the angel’s leading?

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ORIGIN OF ANGELS

Two installments on the subject of angels have already dealt with Guardian Angels, the definition of angels and misconceptions about them, and the fact that until judgment day, when the saved are given their home in Heaven, angels make up the family of God in Heaven. Now, looking again only to the scriptures to teach us, we wish to examine the origin of angels. This study will lead us also to a consideration of the origin of Satan and the demons.

ANGELS ARE CREATED BEINGS

Angels are created, not eternal, beings. The Apostle Paul, writing by inspiration to the saints in Colasse clearly taught the creation of angels saying, “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; cf. Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2; John 1:3).

When these words are considered there can be no doubt that angels are not by nature eternal beings, but in fact have their origin as part of God’s creation. But when did God create the angels? He probably did not do it in the six days of the creation of the universe. We base this contention upon the fact that everything created during those six days is carefully named, and yet we have no account of the creation of angels. As we try to determine just when the angels were created, considerations of another class of angels enter into the picture. We have not yet discussed these angels, but to study them now will help us with this question.

INFERNAL ANGELS

In addition to earthly messengers (angels) and celestial messengers, the angels we are really concerned with in this study, there are also infernal angels. These are evil angels who wait upon and serve the Devil. They are the demons. The book of Revelation reports the entrance of these angels into evil, so giving us an account of the origin of demons.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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… Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the seal for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-9, 12).

Jesus said in Luke 10:18, “I behold Satan as listening fall from heaven.” This great war and the origination of demonhood must have occurred after the origin of all the angels, and after the creation of the earth (since Satan was cast into it at the end of the war), but anterior to Satan’s appearance on earth in the Garden of Eden. Clearly, Satan had, by the time of his appearance in Eden, already fallen “as lightening,” having lost the war in heaven. Before the great war in heaven, before Adam’s last day in the Garden of Eden, angels were created. But did this creation of angels occur between the creation of the universe and the great war? Or was it during the creation of the universe? Or was it before the Genesis account? A final passage may help us to narrow down the period in which angels came into being, Job 38:4-7.

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

The New International Version equates the phrase “sons of God” with angels in this passage. And as the LORD speaks to Job, the indication seems to be that angels were certainly created before the sixth day of creation, and with all probability on or before the first day. All of this information taken together seems to place the creation of the angels sometime before Genesis 1:1. And that is as close as we can determine. They are not eternal, but as far as we can tell, they were in existence prior to the creation of the universe.

But what about these evil angels we have discussed? Where did they come from? Did God create them as evil beings?

LuciferTHE ORIGIN OF SATAN

As we consider the origin of Satan and his demons, we must look at some passages of scriptures from the prophets that are written in Apocalyptic Language. This symbolical form of writing was used by several of the Bible writers – Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John the Revelator. The Book of Revelation is, in fact, called The Apocalypse, which means veiled or hidden until revealed. Apocalyptic writers used symbolical language to reveal truths to those to whom he addressed his work while at the same time keeping the message hidden from others. Persecutors of the truth could not understand the meaning, and so Apocalypic Language was a form of protection for the writer and the receivers. This language is used about Satan to describe other people, the intention being to show how they and their sins are like Satan and his sins. Isaiah, writing about the King of Babylon, actually reveals a great deal to us about Satan.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 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 upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Ezekiel 28:12-19 describes to us the high position once occupied by Satan, and even speaks of the perfectness of his ways until iniquity was found in him (verse 15) and he suffered the judgment of God. Ezekiel Apocalyptically gives us this picture as he describes the King of Tyre. These two passages teach us much about Satan’s character. Several New Testament passages also describe the origin of Satan and the demons. Paul wrote to Timothy about the qualifications of elders saying in I Timothy 3:36, “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (emphasis mine – AWB). Jude 6 says, “…the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Peter also speaks of “the angels that sinned” and their judgment (2 Peter 2:4). The Scriptures teach that Satan was, when created, a great angel with much influence in heaven. It seems to be implied in Ezekiel and Isaiah that Satan was the first angel in creation, rank, and power. However, he became lifted up with pride, and rebelled against God by trying to raise himself to an even higher station than God had given him. In fact he actually sought to overthrow God. Consequently, he was cast down to earth with all the angels who followed him. Here we have the origin of Satan and his demons. They were not created evil, but through their own iniquity became so. When Satan was cast down to earth, it was then that the appeared in Eden to tempt man, and he continues his pernicious work as the deceiver of nations to this day.

It is well to note in all of this that the angels were under law. I John 3:4 says, “sin is the transgression of the law,” and Paul said, “where no law is, there is no transgression,” (Romans 4:15). And yet Peter, as we noted previously, spoke of “the angels that sinned,” (2 Peter 2:4). We must conclude that the angels were indeed under law. Having once fallen under the power of darkness, those angels that sinned were forever condemned to Hell, which Jesus said was “prepared for the devil and his angels. In this, we note a tremendous difference between the way God has treated us and the way He treated the sinful angels. They never had a Savior. Once under the power of darkness, that is where they were consigned to stay forever. However, God has given to us a means of deliverance, and we should be eternally grateful for it.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” ( Colossians 1:13-14).

CONCLUSION

The scriptures teach us that the angels are indeed created, not eternal, beings. They were created, in all probability, by God prior to the creation account we find in Genesis chapter one. Satan and his angels, the demons, were also created by God, not as evil beings but the same as all the other angels. By their own sin they fell into eternal condemnation. And thus we see the origin of all the angels and the origin of the evil angels, and as we consider the state of the latter, we are bound to thank God always for the hope we have through Jesus Christ. We intend in the next article to study the Nature of Angels.

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Hebrew Word Meanings

Atonement ~ kaphar

The Hebrew word kaphar means “to cover over” such as a lid and is the word for the lid of the ark of the covenant (though many translations translate this as mercy seat for no etymological reason). This word is translated as pitch which was spread over the ark in order to make it water tight (Genesis 6:14) This same word is also translated as a atonement. The word atonement is an abstract but in order to understand the true Hebrew meaning of a word we must look to the concrete meaning. If an offense has been made the one that has been offended can act as though the offense is covered over and unseen. We express this idea through the word of forgiveness. Atonement is an outward action that covers over the error.

Bless ~ barak

Every word in the Ancient Hebrew language was related to an image of action, something that could be sensed (as observed by the five senses – seen, heard, smelled, touched or felt) and in motion. The word bless, found numerous times in English translations of the Bible, is a purely abstract word that cannot be sensed, nor is it in motion. In order to interpret this word correctly we must find its original concrete meaning. In Genesis 24:11 we read, “And he made the camels “kneel down” outside the city.” The phrase “kneel down” is the Hebrew verb ברך (B.R.K), the very same word translated as “bless.” The concrete meaning of ברך is to kneel down. The extended meaning of this word is to do or give something of value to another. God “blesses” us by providing for our needs and we in turn “bless” God by giving him of ourselves as his servants.

Break ~ parar

While the word keep, as in “keep the commands of God” does not mean obedience but guarding and protecting, the meaning of “break the commands of God” does not mean disobedience. The Hebrew word parar, translated as break, is the treading of grain on the threshing floor by oxen to open up the hulls to remove the seeds. To the Ancient Hebrews, breaking the commands of God was equated with throwing it on the ground and trampling on it. In both cases, keeping and breaking are related to ones attitude toward the commands. A child who disobeys his parents and is genuinely apologetic shows honor and respect to his parents. But a child who willfully disobeys with no sign of remorse has trampled on his parents teachings and deserves punishment.

Command ~ mitsvah

The word command, as well as commandment, is used to translate the Hebrew word mits’vah but does not properly convey the meaning of mits’vah. The word command implies words of force or power as a General commands his troops. The word mits’vah is better understood as a directive. To see the picture painted by this word it is helpful to look at a related word, tsiyon meaning a desert or a landmark. The Ancient Hebrews were a nomadic people who traveled the deserts in search of green pastures for their flocks. A nomad uses the various rivers, mountains, rock outcroppings, etc as landmarks to give them their direction. The verb form of mits’vah is tsavah meaning to direct one on a journey. The mits’vah of the Bible are not commands, or rules and regulations, they are directives or landmarks that we look for to guide us. The word tsiyon meaning landmark is also the word translated as Zion, the mountain of God but, not just a mountain, it is the landmark.

Covenant ~ beriyt

While the Hebrew word beriyt means “covenant” the cultural background of the word is helpful in understanding its full meaning. Beriyt comes from the parent root word bar meaning grain. Grains were fed to livestock to fatten them up to prepare them for the slaughter. Two other Hebrew words related to beriyt and also derived from the parent root bar can help understand the meaning of beriyt. The word beriy means fat and barut means meat. Notice the common theme with bar, beriy and barut, they all have to do with the slaughtering of livestock. The word beriyt is literally the animal that is slaughtered for the covenant ceremony. The phrase “make a covenant” is found thirteen times in the Hebrew Bible. In the Hebrew text this phrase is “karat beriyt”. The word karat literally means “to cut”. When a covenant is made a fattened animal is cut into pieces and laid out on the ground. Each party of the covenant then passes through the pieces signifying that if one of the parties fails to meet the agreement then the other has the right to do to the other what they did to the animal (see Genesis 15:10 and Jeremiah 34:18-20).

Eternity ~ olam

In the ancient Hebrew words that are used to described distance and direction are also used to describe time. The Hebrew word for east is qedem and literally means “the direction of the rising sun”. We use north as our major orientation such as in maps which are always oriented to the north. While we use the north as our major direction the Hebrews used the east and all directions are oriented to this direction. For example one of the words for south is teyman from the root yaman meaning “to the right”. The word qedem is also the word for the past. In the ancient Hebrew mind the past is in front of you while the future is behind you, the opposite way we think of the past and future. The Hebrew word olam means in the far distance. When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as eternity or forever but in the English language it is misunderstood to mean a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is usually translated as “forever and ever” but in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further” and is used to express the idea of a very ancient or future time.

Face ~ Paniym

The Hebrew word פנים (paniym) is a plural noun meaning “face.” As the Hebrew language expresses the idea of motion in most words, this plural noun conveys the ideas of mood, emotions and thoughts, the different motions reflected in the face. This Hebrew word more precisely means the “presence” or the “wholeness of being” of an individual.

Faith ~ Emunah

The Hebrew root aman means firm, something that is supported or secure. This word is used in Isaiah 22:23 for a nail that is fastened to a “secure” place. Derived from this root is the word emun meaning a craftsman. A craftsman is one who is firm and secure in his talent. Also derived from aman is the word emunah meaning firmness, something or someone that is firm in their actions. When the Hebrew word emunah is translated as faith misconceptions of its meaning occur. Faith is usually perceived as a knowing while the Hebrew emunah is a firm action. To have faith in God is not knowing that God exists or knowing that he will act, rather it is that the one with emunah will act with firmness toward God’s will.

Fear ~ yara

The root meaning of the word yara is “to flow” and is related to words meaning rain or stream as a flowing of water. In Hebrew thought fear can be what is felt when in danger or what is felt when in the presence of an awesome sight or person of great authority. These feelings flow out of the person in such as actions as shaking when in fear or bowing down in awe of one in authority.

Firmament ~ raqiya

The word raqiya comes from the root word raqa which can be found in several passages including Isaiah 40:19 – “The idol! a workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains.” The word “overlay” is the verb root raqa. Raqa is the process of hammering out a piece of gold or other metal into thin plates which was then applied to a carved or molten image. Numbers 16:39 reads “So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered; and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar.” Here, the phrase “were hammered out” is again the verb root raqa. The gold was hammered into thin sheets then laid over the surface of the alter. The word raqiya is the noun form of the verb raqa and is literally a “hammered out sheet”. There are some scientists who have speculated that before the flood there was a thick sheet of water surrounding the earth up in the atmosphere. It is then possible that the “floodgates of heaven were opened,” at the beginning of the flood, is the collapse of this “hammered out sheet” of water. It is estimated that the sheet of water would have filtered out harmful sun rays and contributed to the longevity of life on earth before the flood.

Fringe ~ tsiytsiyt

In Numbers 15:38-40 God commands Israel to put fringes (tsiytsiy in Hebrew) on the corner of their clothes so that they will remember to do the commands of the torah. As the Hebrew mind focuses on the concrete, God uses physical things as reminders and associations for non-physical things. In this case the fringes are reminders of the commands. The word tsiytsiyt is derived from the root tsiyts meaning a blossom. A blossom is a flower that grows on a tree and is the beginning of the fruit. Just as the blossom turns into a fruit, the fringes on the Hebrews garments are also there to bring about fruit in the sense of doing the commands.

Glory ~ Kavod

In Exodus 16:7 we read “and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD” (RSV). What is the “glory” of YHWH? First we must recognize that the “glory” is something that will be seen. Secondly, the word “glory” is an abstract word. If we look at how this word is paralleled with other words in poetical passages of the Bible, we can discover the original concrete meaning of this word. In Psalm 3:3 the kavod of God is paralleled with his shield and in Job 29:20 Job’s kavod is paralleled with his bow. In Psalm 24:8 we read “who is this king of the kavod, YHWH is strong and mighty, YHWH is mighty in battle.” The original concrete meaning of kavod is battle armaments. This meaning of “armament” fits with the literal meaning of the root of kavod which is “heavy” as armaments are the heavy weapons and defenses of battle. In the Exodus 16:7, Israel will “see” the “armament” of YHWH, who is the one who has done battle for them with the Egyptians.

God ~ el/elo’ah

There are two Hebrew words commonly translated as God, el and elo’ah. When reading the Bible it is better to have an Ancient Hebrew perception of God rather than our modern western view. The word el was originally written with two pictographic letters, one being an ox head and the other a shepherd staff. The ox represented strength and the staff of the shepherd represented authority. First, the Ancient Hebrews saw God as the strong one of authority. The shepherd staff was also understood as a staff on the shoulders, a yoke. Secondly, the Ancient Hebrews saw God as the ox in the yoke. When plowing a field two oxen were placed in a yoke, one was the older and more experienced and the other the younger and less experienced and the younger would learn from the older. The Hebrews saw God as the older experienced ox and they as the younger who learns from him. The plural form of elo’ah is elohiym and is often translated as God. While English plurals only identify quantity, as in more than one, the Hebrew plural can identify quantity as well as quality. Something that is of great size or stature can be written in the plural form and in this case, God, as the great strength and authority is frequently written in the plural form elohiym. The two letters in these Hebrew words are the ox head representing strength and the shepherd staff representing authority. Combined they mean “the strong authority” as well as “the ox with a staff” (a yoke is understood as a staff on the shoulders).

Good ~ tov

What does “good” mean? The first use of this word is in Genesis chapter one where calls his handiwork “good”. It should always be remembered that the Hebrews often relate descriptions to functionality. The word tov would best be translated with the word “functional”. When looked at his handiwork he did not see that it was “good”, he saw that it was functional, kind of like a well oiled and tuned machine. In contrast to this word is the Hebrew word “ra”. These two words, tov and ra are used for the tree of the knowledge of “good” and “evil”. While “ra” is often translated as evil it is best translated as “dysfunctional”.

Good News ~ basar

The Hebrew word for Good news, or gospel, is basar. This word actually has two meanings, good news and flesh. What does good news and flesh have in common? Flesh, or meat, was only eaten on very special occasions, a feast, the arrival of guests or whenever an event occurs that requires a celebration. As you can see these times of good news were associated with the slaughter of an animal and a meal of flesh.

Gracious ~ Hhanan

The verb חנן (Hh.N.N) is often translated as “to be gracious” or “have mercy,” however these are abstract terms and do not help us understand the meaning of this verb from an Hebraic perspective, which always relates words to something concrete. One of the best tools to use to find the more concrete meaning of a word is to look at how that word is paralleled with other words in poetical passages. In the book of Psalms the word חנן is paralleled with “heal,” “help,” “raise up,” “refuge” and “give strength.” From a concrete Hebraic perspective, חנן means all of this, and no English word can convey the meaning of the Hebrew, but we could sum up its meaning with “providing protection.” Where would a nomadic Hebrew run for protection? The camp, which in the Hebrew language is the word מחנה (mahhaneh, Strong’s # 4264), a noun related to חנן.

Heart ~ lev

Here is an example of our modern western culture still using a concrete object to express an abstract idea. We often associate the heart with emotions such as love and kindness as in “He has a good heart”. This is also true with the Hebrews who saw the heart as the seat of emotion. But unlike us they also saw the heart as the seat of thought whereas we see the brain as the seat of thought. To the ancient Hebrews the heart was the mind including all thoughts including emotions. When we are told to love God with all our heart (Deut 6:5) it is not speaking of an emotional love but to keep our emotions and all our thoughts working for him. The first picture in this Hebrew word is a shepherd staff and represents authority as the shepherd has authority over his flock. The second letter is the picture of the floor plan of the nomadic tent and represents the idea of being inside as the family resides within the tent. When combined they mean “the authority within”.

Holy ~ qadosh

When we use the word holy, as in a holy person, we usually associate this with a righteous or pious person. If we use this concept when interpreting the word holy in the Hebrew Bible then we are misreading the text as this is not the meaning of the Hebrew word qadosh. Qadosh literally means “to be set apart for a special purpose”. A related word, qedesh, is one who is also set apart for a special purpose but not in the same way we think of “holy” but is a male prostitute (Deut 23:17). Israel was qadosh because they were separated by the other nations as servants of God. The furnishings in the tabernacle were qadosh as they were not to be used for anything except for the work in the tabernacle. While we may not think of ourselves as “holy” we are in fact set apart from the world to be God’s servants and representatives.

Keep ~ shamar

Many times I have heard it said that no one can keep all of the commands but, this is not true. From an Hebraic perspective of the word shamar behind the English word keep, it is possible to keep all of the commands. The problem lies in our understanding of keep as meaning obedience, but this is not the meaning of shamar. It should first be recognized that not all of the commands of the torah are for all people. Some are only for the priests, some are only for men and some are only for women. Some are only for children and some are for leaders. But, it should also be understood that even if a command is not for you, you can still keep it. The original picture painted by the Hebrew word shamar is a sheepfold. When a shepherd was out in the wilderness with his flock, he would gather thorn bushes to erect a corral to place his flock in at night. The thorns would deter predators and thereby protect and guard the sheep from harm. The word shamiyr derived from this root means a thorn. The word shamar means to guard and protect and can be seen in the Aaronic blessing, May Yahweh bless you and keep (guard and protect) you. One keeps the commands of God by guarding and protecting them.

Law ~ torah

To interpret the Hebrew word torah as law is about the same as interpreting the word father as disciplinarian. While the father is a disciplinarian he is much more and in the same way torah is much more than law. The word torah is derived from the root yarah meaning to throw. This can be any kind of throwing such as a rock or an arrow from the bow or throwing the finger in a direction to point something out. Another word derived from this root is the word moreh which can mean and archer, one who throws the arrow, or a teacher, as one who points the way. The word torah is literally the teachings of the teacher or parent. When a parent is teaching a child a new task and he demonstrates a willingness to learn but fails to grasp the teaching completely the parent does not punish the child but rather encourages and builds on the teaching. In contrast to this a law is a set of rules that if not observed correctly will result in punishment and there is no room for teaching. The torah of God are his teachings to his children which are given in love to encourage and strengthen.

Life ~ hhai

The Hebrew word hhai is usually translated as life. In the Hebrew language all words are related to something concrete or physical, something that can be observed by one of the five senses. Some examples of concrete words would be tree, water, hot, sweet or loud. The western Greek mind frequently uses abstracts or mental words to convey ideas. An abstract word is something that cannot be sensed by the five senses. Some examples would be bless, believe, and the word life. Whenever working with an abstract word in the Biblical text it will help to uncover the concrete background to the word for proper interpretation. How did the ancient Hebrew perceive “life”. A clue can be found in Job 38:39, “Will you hunt prey for the lion and will you fill the stomach of the young lion?”. In this verse the word “stomach” is the Hebrew word hhai. What does the stomach have to do with life? In our culture it is very uncommon for anyone to experience true hunger but this was an all too often experience for the Ancient Hebrews. To the Ancient Hebrews life is seen as a full stomach while an empty stomach is seen as death.

Love ~ ahav

We do not choose our parents or siblings but are instead given to us as a gift from above, a privileged gift. Even in the ancient Hebrew culture ones wife was chosen for you. It is our responsibility to provide and protect that privileged gift. In our modern Western culture love is an abstract thought of emotion, how one feels toward another but the Hebrew meaning goes much deeper. As a verb this word means “to provide and protect what is given as a privilege” as well as ” to have an intimacy of action and emotion”. We are told to love God and our neighbors, not in an emotional sense, but in the sense of our actions.

Messiah ~ meshi’ahh

The word Messiah is a transliteration of the Hebrew word meshiahh (meh-shee-ahh – the “hh” is pronounced hard like the “ch” in the name Bach). This word comes from the root mashahh meaning “to smear” as in Jeremiah 22:14 where it is usually translated as “painted”. In the ancient world olive oil was a very versatile commodity. It was used in cooking as well as a medicine as it is a disinfectant, no shepherd was without a flask of olive oil which he smeared on his or his sheep’s injuries. The verb mashahh is also translated as “anointed”, as in Exodus 29:7, in the sense of smearing olive oil on the head. This ceremony was performed on anyone becoming a King, Priest or Prophet in the service of Yahweh. From the root mashahh comes the noun meshiahh literally meaning “one who is smeared with olive oil for office of authority” or, as it is usually translated, “anointed”. This word is also used for any “one who holds an office of authority” (such as a king or priest) even if that person was not ceremonially smeared with oil. A good example of this is Cyrus, the King of Persia. While he was not ceremonially smeared with oil, he was one of authority who served Yahweh through his decree allowing Israel to return to Jerusalem.

Name ~ shem

When we see a name such as “King David” we see the word “King” as a title and “David” as a name. In our western mind a title describes a character trait while a name is simply an identifier. In the Hebrew language there is no such distinction between names and titles. Both words, King and David, are descriptions of character traits, King is “one who reigns” while David is “one who is loved”. It is also common to identify the word “Elohiym” (God) as a title and YHWH (Yahweh, the LORD, Jehovah) as a name. What we do not realize is that both of these are character traits, YHWH meaning “the one who exists” and Elohiym is “one who has power and authority”. The Hebrew word “shem” more literally means “character”. When the Bible speaks of taking God’s name to the nations, he is not talking about the name itself but his character. When the command to not take God’s name in vain literally means not to represent his character in a false manner. It is similar to our expression of “having a good name” which is not about the name itself but the character of the one with that name.

Peace ~ shalom

The noun שלומ (shalom), often translated as “peace,” comes from the verb שלמ (Sh.L.M). The verb shalam means to “restore” in the sense of replacing or providing what is needed in order to make someone or something whole and complete. The noun שלומ (shalom) is one who has, or has been provided, what is needed to be whole and complete.

Praise ~ halel

The word praise is an abstract word that has no relationship with the ancient Hebrew’s concrete way of thinking. While the word halel is translated as “praise” it is also translated as “shine” as in Job 29:3. The original meaning of halel is the North Star. This star, unlike all of the other stars, remains motionless and constantly shines in the northern sky and is used as a guide when traveling. In the Ancient Hebrew mind we praise God by looking at him as the guiding star that shines to show us our direction. The first letter in this Hebrew word (from right to left) is a picture of a man with his arms raised up as pointing toward something of greatness. The second two letters are pictures of a shepherd staff which is used by the shepherd to move his flock toward a direction. When these two letters are combined the idea of looking toward something is formed.

Pray ~ palal

In our modern religious culture prayer is a communication between man and God. While this definition could be applied to some passage of the Bible (such as Genesis 20:17) it is not an Hebraic definition of the Hebrew word palal. By looking at the etymology of this word we can better see the Hebraic meaning. The word palal comes from the parent root pal meaning “fall” (The root pal is most likely the root of our word fall which can etymologically be written as phal). Pal is also the root of the Hebrew word naphal also meaning “fall”. The word palal literally means to “fall down to the ground in the presence of one in authority pleading a cause”. This can be seen in Isaiah 45:14 where the Sabeans fall down and make supplication (this is the Hebrew word palal) to Cyrus.

Priest ~ kohen

While the priests of Israel were the religious leaders of the community this is not the meaning of the word kohen. The Hebrew word for the priests of other nations is komer from a root meaning burn and may be in reference to the priests who burn children in the fires of Molech (2 Kings 23:10). The word kohen comes from a root meaning a base such as the base of a column. The koheniym (plural of kohen) are the structure support of the community. It is their responsibility to keep the community standing tall and straight, a sign of righteousness.

Righteous ~ tsadiyq

What is a righteous person? The word righteous is an abstract word and in order to understand this word from an Hebraic mindset we must uncover its original concrete meaning. One of the best ways to determine the original concrete meaning of a word is to find it being used in a sentence where its concrete meaning can be seen. For example the word yashar is usually translated as upright or righteous (abstracts) but is also translated as “straight”. From this we can conclude that a “yashar” is one who walks a straight line. The problem with the word tsadiyq, and its verb form tsadaq, is that there are no uses of this word in its concrete meaning. The next method is to compare how the word in question is paralleled with other Hebrew words as commonly found in the poetical passages of the Bible. Sometimes these parallels will be synonyms and other times antonyms. When we look at the word tsadiyq we find that it is commonly paralleled with the word “rasha”. Rasha is usually translated as “wicked” but has a concrete meaning of “to depart from the path and become lost”. From this we can conclude that a tsadiyq is one who remains on the path. The path is the course through life which God has outlined for us in his word.

Shine ~ Or

The word אור (or), as a noun means “light” and as a verb, it means to “give light” or “shine.” It is also related to the idea of bringing order, in the same way that you bring about order in the darkness when you turn on the lights.

Spirit ~ ru’ahh

The Hebrew word ru’ach literally means the wind and is derived from the parent root rach a prescribed path. The word rach is not found in the Biblical text but defined by the various child roots derived from it. The child roots derived from this parent root are arach, rachah and yarach. Arach is a traveler who follows a prescribed path from one place to another. Rachah is a millstone which goes round and round in the sense of following a prescribed path to crush grain into flour. Yarach is the root of yere’ach meaning the moon which follows a prescribed path in the night sky. The child root ru’ach is literally the wind that follows a prescribed path each season. By extension ru’ach means the wind of a man or what is usually translated as spirit. A man’s wind is not just a spiritual entity within a man but is understood by the Ancient Hebrews as his character.

Truth ~ emet

The root of this word is aman, a word often translated as “believe” but more literally means “support” as we see in Isaiah 22:23 where it says “I will drive him like a peg in a place of support…” A belief in God is not a mental exercise of knowing that God exists but rather our responsibility to show him our support. The word “emet” has the similar meaning of firmness, something that is firmly set in place. Psalmes 119:142 says, “the ‘Torah’ (the teachings of God) is ’emet’ (set firmly in place).

Wilderness ~ midvar

For forty years God had Israel wander in the ‘wilderness’. Insights into why God had chosen the wilderness for their wanderings can be found in the roots of this word. The root word is ‘davar’ and is most frequently translated as a thing or a word. The original picture painted by this word to the Hebrews is the arrangement of things to create order. Speech is an ordered arrangement of words. In the ancient Hebrew mind words are ‘things’ and are just as ‘real’ as food or other ‘thing’. When a word is spoken to another it is ‘placed in the ears’ no different than when food is given to another it is ‘placed in the mouth’. The Hebrew name Devorah (Deborah) means ‘bee’ and is the feminine form of the word davar. Bees are a community of insects which live in a perfectly ordered arrangement. The word ‘midvar’ meaning wilderness is actually a place that exists as a perfectly arranged order as its ecosystem is in harmony and balance. By placing Israel in this environment he is teaching them balance, order and harmony.

Worship ~ shahhah

In our modern western culture worship is an action directed toward God and God alone. But this is not the case in the Hebrew Bible. The word shehhah is a common Hebrew word meaning to prostrate oneself before another in respect. We see Moses doing this to his father in law in Exodus 18:7. When the translators translate the word shehhah they will use the word “worship” when the bowing down is directed toward God but as “obeisance” or other equivalent word when directed toward another man. There is no Hebrew word meaning worship in the sense that we are used to using it in our culture today. From an Hebraic perspective worship, or shehhah is the act of getting down on ones knees and placing the face down on the ground before another worthy of respect.

Atonement

Atonement

 

 

 

 

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