Testing the Spirits – Part IV (b) : Slandering Angels


Picking up where we left off in part (a) of this Part IV we showed that the Hebrew word “satan” was not properly translated but simply transliterated as though it were a proper noun, or name. The word “satan” simply means adversary. The translators made an assumption based upon their beliefs. It is not a proper noun, nor a name, but a job function, or role, or position that is taken on.

As pointed out in the comments to Part III of this series, we do not use the definite article “the” when calling someone’s name. We do not say “the Bill,” or “the Joe,” or “the Mark.” But, we do say “the doctor,” or “the District Attorney,” or “the President.” Those are positions with certain duties or skills for job functions, or positions of authority. When speaking of the old devil, the serpent in the garden of Eden that twisted God’s word, and turned God’s word into a lie, it is proper to use “the” and capitalize Adversary as the main adversary that stood against God’s people and twisted God’s word.

Peter was an adversary of Christ for a moment in time when he challenged Christ’s statements in Matt. 16:23 when Christ said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, adversary…”, which is the correct translation in Young’s.

I have heard people try to say that the Adversary, or “Satan” took Peter over at that moment and caused Peter to speak against Christ. This is the bias of the learned pagan idolatry that was floating around in the 1st century AD, and has ever since.

Peter was not taken over by the devil. This was not some demonic possession. He spoke words – his spirit – that denied Christ’s words – Christ’s spirit. In essence, Peter called Christ a liar. At that moment in time, Peter spoke falsely and stood as an adversary to Christ because of Peter’s lack of understanding. Christ very quickly corrected Peter.

We must be careful to stay in the context of the scriptures to be able to determine which adversary is being discussed.

Just as the word “satan” was transliterated, the word “angel” is also a problem. It was not translated from the original Hebrew or Greek scriptures in many instances. In the NT, it was transliterated and then Anglicized from the Greek “aggelos” which simply means a messenger, or envoy; one who was sent. (1) It is translated correctly as messenger in Matt. 11:10 where speaking of John the Immerser (Baptist). The English translations of this word should have just used “messenger” in all cases.

This failure has lead many people astray about the celestial angels. Messengers can be either human or celestial. The Hebrew word for messenger was “malak” and that is where Malachi got his name. Malachi’s name means “my messenger.” (2) (3) (4) Malachi was a man, a prophet of God.

Anyone who was sent to deliver a message is a messenger. The earthly, human messengers that God sent included some of the patriarchs (Enoch and Noah), the prophets, the Levitical priests, the judges of Israel, Moses, etc. They also included John the Immerser (Baptist), Christ in His incarnation, the disciples and apostles whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the 1st century AD. All of these earthly messengers were “angels” of God who spoke the spirit of truth, the words of God’s truth.

We only know which messengers were celestial and which were earthly from the context of the scriptures. And, we have a clue. Those celestial angels are of greater power and strength.

Bless Jehovah, ye His messengers, Mighty in power — doing His word, To hearken to the voice of His Word.” (Psa. 103:20, YLT)

The mightier, stronger celestial messengers are with our Father in heaven every day, and they hear His voice, and do His will. They see Him face to face. They know His power and His authority first hand. That means the celestial messengers do not sin. Therefore the celestial messengers have not and are not ever rebelling against God, and were never thrown out of heaven.

Excerpt from Angels & Demons 5: What Law Did the Angels Break by Stan Lindsay –

“Fallen Angel Stories are typically justified on the basis of some perceived Law that the angels broke. Look through the Ten Commandments. Do you see any commandment targeted at angels? I do not. The Law was given to humans, not angels…..“Why did we consider whether angels broke any of the Ten Commandments? Because, some sort of justification is needed for a Fallen Angel Story. Usually, that justification is found in some perceived “sin” of the angels.” (5)

The translators made decisions based upon their taught beliefs and biases as to when to use “messenger” and when to use “angel”. They did not stay true to the scriptures but added in their own beliefs about when a messenger was a celestial one.

The “messenger” used in Matt. 11:10 of John is the same Greek word “aggelos”, Strong’s Gr. 32 which is used in 2 Pet. 2:4. But, in 2 Pet. 2:4 the translators used the word “angel”. Why? Was it because they bought into the mythology of fallen angels?

In a discussion about the pernicious ways of false prophets (2 Pet. 2:2), the translators chose to list celestial angels as one of the categories of rebellious people who disobeyed the Father.

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Pet. 2:4, KJV)

Young’s translates it correctly.

For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast [them] down to Tartarus, did deliver [them] to judgment, having been reserved,” (YLT)

Then how do we know from the context that the messengers of vs.4 are earthly messengers? Because a distinction is made in 2 Pet. 2:11.

The context of 2 Peter chap. 2 continues from the discussion in 2 Pet. 1 of staying true to the faith and the gospel of Christ, to not depart from that faith. And, in 2 Pet. 1:1 he warns them of false prophets and false teachers. Their spirits / words were false.

2 Pet. 2 is concerned with “men” who are causing trouble in the assemblies. Peter then lists instances from history when other “men” were judged for their sins.

Every one will agree that vs. 5, 6, 7, and 8 were discussing men who had been judged in the past. But they want to make vs. 4 about celestial messengers. The reason we can know that vs. 4 was also about human messengers is the distinction made in vs. 11.

“Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” (2 Pet. 2:11, KJV)

“whereas messengers, in strength and power being greater, do not bear against them before the Lord an evil speaking judgment;” (2 Pet. 2:11, YLT)

The messengers in vs. 11 being of greater strength and power are the celestial “angels”. Verse 4 is about human messengers who disobeyed God, and were cast down to the grave (tartarus). As human messengers were the prophets who were sent by God to warn of coming judgment, and as human messengers were also the Levitical priests who were to teach God’s word to the people, and as human messengers included those selected by God such as Moses, then we must consider that the use of messengers in vs. 4 were most likely early prophets who spoke falsely (spirits of error) and were leading others astray.

They are not named in 2 Peter 2:4. There is speculation about who these men were. But, as vs. 11 makes the distinction for heavenly messengers then vs. 4 cannot be speaking of heavenly messengers. As it appears in a list before those of Noah’s flood it appears to be a logical time sequence that places them earlier than the flood.

Other than that we are not told. The Bible doesn’t say who they were, only that they were judged and sent to the grave to wait for that same “last day” in which Daniel stood in his lot at the fall of that temple in Jerusalem in AD 70 (See Part III).

Peter was warning against false teachers, and listed the consequences. The context of 2 Pet. 2 is still about holding fast to the faith against the false teachers.

The myth about fallen angels is based upon pagan beliefs, and it has been inserted into God’s word by false teachers and translators who were indoctrinated into those pagan beliefs. The idea of fallen celestial messengers (angels) is no where taught in the scriptures. Saying that celestial “angels” rebelled against God is slandering those celestial messengers who obeyed God and delivered His Spirit in Truth.

Notes:

Strong’s Gr. 32, “aggelos” at https://biblehub.com/greek/32.htm

Malachi – https://www.behindthename.com/name/malachi

Malak: Messenger – https://hebrewwordlessons.com/2018/12/16/malak-messenger-sent-one-angel/

Untranslated words – https://www.rebuildingthefoundations.org/bible-transliteration.html

Angels & Demons 5 – http://www.stanlindsay.com/2010/04/angels-demons-5-what-law-did-angels.html

Talmud & Middle Persian Culture – https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/talmud-middle-persian-culture

Excerpt from Angels & Angelology:

“A special category are the so-called Fallen Angels, frequently mentioned in post-biblical literature. This concept is also common to all Semitic peoples; the idea of vanquished gods or demons, who then appear as accursed and damned, is one that prevailed among all the peoples of antiquity. It is found in a special form in earlier versions of the story of the creation, in which Rahab appears in the role of the vanquished god. Although for a variety of reasons little trace has remained of the ideas upon which the Rahab legends are based, the dualistic concepts of paganism have nevertheless exerted a profound influence upon Judaism, and the concept of the existence of good and evil powers, contradicting as they did the idea of monotheism, found their way into Judaism through the story of the Fallen Angels. It must be pointed out, however, that the passage Genesis 6:1 ff., although usually quoted as the basis of all subsequent legends of Fallen Angels, has in fact little to do with this concept, as it later developed. Not only is the interpretation of “Nephilim” as Fallen Angels of a doubtful nature (see Num. 13:33), but the text contains no denouncement of the “Benei Elohim” who had married the daughters of men; on the contrary, it stresses that the children of these connections were “the heroes of days gone by, the famous men.” It was only at a later stage, when the dualistic belief in the existence of evil demons had become a firm component of popular religion, that attempts were made to find biblical authority for this concept, contradictory as it was to monotheism.” Source: Jewish Virtual Library – here

Further reading:

1. Excerpt from Angels & Demons 2: The Prometheus Connection: – http://www.stanlindsay.com/2010/04/angels-demons-2-prometheus-connection.html

2. Angels & Demons 3: Where Have All the Fallen Angels Gone – http://www.stanlindsay.com/2010/04/angels-demons-3-where-have-all-fallen.html

3. Angels & Demons 4: “The Great Satan” of Iran – http://www.stanlindsay.com/2010/04/angels-demons-4-great-satan-of-iran.html

15 thoughts on “Testing the Spirits – Part IV (b) : Slandering Angels

  1. crossbow1219

    What is the correct interpretation of the scripture where the demons ask Jesus to put them into the herd of swine after Jesus removed them from the man? Also the demon who asked Jesus if he came to bring judgement on them before the appointed time? Thank you for your help.

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  2. crossbow1219

    What are the demons who asked Jesus to cast them out of the man and send them into the herd of swine? Also the demon in the person who asked Jesus if he came to bring judgement on them before the appointed time? What is the correct interpretation of these verses? Thank you for your help.

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      1. crossbow1219

        Ok thank you, sorry for the double post I’m new on here and didn’t realize my post went through lol. Thank you again for replying.

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  3. aaeganl

    I have a question to ask you about your articles. Is there a correct forum that I should use to do that, or should I use this email?

    Thank you
    Nathan D. Lewis

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. cinnamonaiblins777

    I appreciate the information you’re passing along. Before delving into preterist interpretation, I never considered equating “angel” with “human messenger”. When Jesus says, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” are the words “devil and his angels” simply a general reference to human adversaries?
    Also, I mentioned Revelation 20:10 previously. Just to go over that once again. When it states, “the devil who deceived them” please explain once again how to properly view “devil” in this verse. Who is deceiving them? Is this an example of a generalized term for adversary?

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    1. Not just the human adversaries, tho they are included. John 8:44, to the scribes & Pharisees, “… ye are of your father the devil…” The devil in Rev. 20:10 refers back to Rev. 20:2 which calls out the original devil / satan / adversary from the garden in Gen. 3. He knew he only had a little time left, the short time of Rev. 12:12 to try to prevent or stop Christ’s salvation work. He was the deceiver, false accuser, & those deceived were men of the Sanhedrin who held that illegal trial, Caiaphas who charged Jesus with blasphemy, all those unrepentant who stood before Pilate & asked for Jesus’ blood, all those who persecuted the saints during the tribulation, and killed the apostles… these were all earthly men who were adversaries of Christ, and therefore were on the devil’s side, whether knowingly or unknowingly… they picked the wrong side. All of these human agents having sided with the deceiver / devil were his defacto messengers / angels. So, they all qualify as being deceivers / false accusers, and devils, too. But, THE Adversary lost that battle. Christ won. THE Adversary is no more. He is gone.

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      1. cinnamonaiblins777

        That explanation helps a great deal. Now I’m trying to understand the origin of the adversary that we find in Gen 3. Was this original adversary created by God and placed in the Garden for the purpose of being adversarial? I will assume, based on what we’ve discussed so far that this original adversary in Gen 3 was not cast out of heaven.

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      2. We are not told. We do not have that info. God has not told us where that adversary came from, nor who he was. I believe that is why so many ppl continue to search alternative belief systems to try to find that info. I believe this is why the Jewish Rabbis spend so much time writing so many books about laws they derive from one word of a verse of scripture.

        My view is that if it is not in God’s word, then He considers it unnecessary. He has given us everything we need in order to be able to be saved by the blood of Christ (2 Pet. 1:3). He has provided everything we must have to be able to be reconciled to Him for our eternal salvation. But, there are some things we have not been told that we will have to wait to learn. I envision a freshman orientation class when we get to heaven, and I want to sit in God’s library for a while.

        I think it is more appropriate to view this life as a child in grade school. We have to learn in steps. We don’t graduate high school after 1st grade. So, right now we are learning to trust God, to depend upon Him, to know His word, and know He is our creator, that without the air He provides for us to breathe we would all die.

        So searching the scriptures, where does the Bible say that all evil comes from? Gen. 6:5, “thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…” Jer. 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else..” Jer. 7:24, “…their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart,..” Mark 7:20-23 “…For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts,”

        Evil comes from within the heart of man. So speculating philosophically… Was the adversary in the garden only a substitute for Eve to cast blame? Was the devil of Rev. 20 just a symbolic representation of the evil thoughts of the Sanhedrin? Was Job just a salutary lesson, an allegory? Was the figurative symbol of the snake / serpent which God used in prophesy to represent the evil kings / tyrants that oppressed the people that same adversary in the garden? These questions have been asked for centuries. I don’t think we are going to solve some of these until we are all together in heaven. Sometimes I think that mankind collectively is that adversary. So, at this time, I cannot answer that question, and I don’t think anyone else can either.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. cinnamonaiblins777

        Also, the portion of Gen 3 that always baffles me, is that God curses the serpent among all other wild animals. The serpent is cursed to crawl on its belly. To me, this sure comes across as a reference to the animal that we see slithering through the grass. Every time I read this, I always come to the same conclusion that this story is illustrating how snakes, as we know them, came to exist as these legless creatures “crawling” along the ground.

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      4. Possibly. I don’t know of any woman of my acquaintance that likes snakes. I think our psyche is imprinted with the image of snakes symbolizing absolute evil. They are totally repugnant. We have to keep in mind however that not everything in the Bible is literal. Some things, mostly in prophesy, are figurative and symbolic. Not always easy to tell, but Gen. 3 involves the prophesy of God’s salvation plan through His Son who would defeat that evil.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. cinnamonaiblins777

        Thanks again for all the effort you put into this site. This site has been instrumental in helping me understand biblical prophecy. Unfortunately, full-preterism has been marginalized, and the majority of christians today don’t even want to hear it. All you can do is speak the truth and not worry about others turning a deaf ear to it.

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