• This discussion has raised a number of questions about the angelic rebellion. Was it a single, initial event with the consequences explained over time? Or were there multiple events as some may have been persuaded to rebel over time? We are clearly aware of Satan's activities in Eden. Was this the 1st rebellious act or had Satan already fallen and did he fall alone? Next, we see the rebellion of Gen 6.1-4 which resulted in their imprisonment in hell (2Pet 2.4) Was this a 2nd rebellion perhaps influenced by a persuasive Lucifer, or was this just an event the already fallen ones entered into? The next question concerns the aftermath of Babel where God put angels in charge of the nations. Were they fallen when they were assigned their duties, and if not, when did they fall and was this a separate rebellion from Lucifer's and the angels in Gen 6.1-4? It almost looks like a rebellion that has been growing throughout history. My final question is when did Satan become the ruler (prince) of this world? Even though the earth is the Lord's, Jesus and the apostles refer to him as a prince. We know God gave authority to certain angels over the nations, but when did Satan become ruler of this world?
    1. I believe I am following the logic of your explanation on if the angels to the churches are heavenly or earthly, your final point being that they are members of the heavenly host acting as some sort of surrogate. What I do not understand is why John is writing to them. The typical role of angels in the NT seems to be as delivering messages from God to humans on earth. Why are these angels of the seven churches not delivering these messages themselves, since that seems to be their most common description in the NT? Would that not make John a messenger to the messengers? How are these letters to be delivered to the angels? And since the text makes clear the message is intended for the churches, how are thee letters to the angels to reach the target audience of the churches? It makes more sense, to me that these angels are humans that can pass the message on that John had delivered to them. They may not have been leaders at all, but simply acting as couriers delivering a letter, much as Phoebe delivered a letter to Rome from Paul, yet had no obvious connection with the Romans. I am not a scholar, so I am asking you to critique my thought process. Is this a reasonable explanation?
      1. I've not been a part of this discussion, so I might be entering it without understanding what Mike said previously, but Frank . . . I've always understood that when the Greek word has several meanings, you choose the one that makes the most sense in the context. Since John is to deliver a message to the angeloi of the seven churches, one choice other than "angels" is "messengers." And these could specifically be the prophets of the seven churches since in Lk. 7.26-27 calls the prophet a messenger of Yahweh. In the context could not the messengers be those elders/brothers who share the word with the congregations? [e.g NT prophets or pastor-teachers?] It makes no sense in the context to believe that John expected "angels" to preach to the churches when the Five-Fold offices--human messengers--had already been given that assignment. Is there any other place where angels address local congregations in Scripture, history, or current practice? If not, are there prophets--across both testaments and in both Israel and the church--who had this calling?
    2. Hi Mike In verse 14, “Yahweh” turns to Gideon - if Yahweh was invisible, he couldn’t “turn” to him (or it wouldn’t be visible). In verse 16 Yahweh talks, but when Gideon answers Yahweh, he asks him not to depart from there until he comes back and brings him a gift. “And HE said, I will stay until you return” - the HE is still Yahweh (not the Angel of Yahweh) speaking. Gideon then brings the meat and broth and presented it to HIM (still speaking about Yahweh) and only then does the Angel of God speaks. It seems to me that this is ONE person (rather than two) but the phrase Angel of Yahweh and Yahweh is used interchangeably. This would mean that in verse 21 when the Angel of Yahweh disappeared from Gideon’s sight (lit: “from his eyes” - He was still there, but Gideon just couldn’t see him, so when Yahweh spoke, it wasn’t a second person, it was still the same (but now) invisible Angel of Yahweh. It is like someone speaks about me as Ria or the daughter of Rachel. Still only one and the same person but the narrator uses two different ‘names’ to address me. Or am I reading this wrong?
      1. My question is: "If God foreknew the fall, and then God allowed it to occur, then doesn't it follow, he predestinated it, or as a minimum, he decreed it?"
        1. Ward Tyler: That is an interesting question. It is a question I struggle with, and something that bothers me greatly about reformed theology. I would suggest that God's sovereign rule means what He desires to accomplish, will be done. God's sovereign Will was to create both spiritual and physical beings with Free Will that would Co-Rule with Him. This of course means the possibility of rebellion, and if we are talking free will for all eternity I would suggest certainty of rebellion. This is Why God had a plan through Christ from the beginning of creation for redemption. In short foreknowledge is not predestination. I can know that If I wake up late I will not get to eat breakfast. But when I wake up late I didn't predestine myself to not eat breakfast.
        2. J. Riley Corrigan: Thanks for the link. Whenever I can read about Heiser's ideas on different issues I read them.
      2. On p. 102 you say Gen 6.1-4 is a polemic. Would you consider this section of Genesis to be part of the original book edited by Moses or added later, say, after the Babylonian captivity?
        1. The 24 elders are clearly distinguished from the angels in Rev 5:11 and Rev 7:11. Why could not "His elders' refer to glorified believers ruling with YAHWEH OF HOSTS = JESUS CHRIST in Jerusalem during the Millennium?
          1. Thanks for writing this book. It is EXCELLENT. i learned so much from it. It is easy to read [with no distraction from the footnotes] and very well organized. The indices at the back are also EXCELLENT. I have noted [in my posts] some places where I disagreed with your point of view - but this book is a GREAT book and one which will be helpful to multitudes of Christians. I found a few typos [which I will try to let you know].
            1. Is there a plan for an audio book version?
          2. "The World to Come" in the context of Hebrews is the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ. I think this comment in The Grace New Testament Commentary is good: 2:5. In vv 5–9 the author reflects on God’s original plan for man, namely, for him to have dominion over His entire created order (cf. Gen 1:26–28). Though the fall of man (Genesis 3) undermined that plan, God will yet fulfill this future kingdom, which the author designates as the world to come. The Greek term for world (oikoumenē) is used in Ps 93:1 and 96:10 in the context of the Lord’s eschatological reign. This kingdom was not given to angels but to the Son to reign over (as further proof of His superiority). This kingdom is the same as that already introduced in chap. 1 (e.g., 1:8) in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant promise of an eternal throne and kingdom (1:5). Tanner, J. P. (2010). The Epistle to the Hebrews. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 1038). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society. Also, this comment on Heb 1:14 is relevant. 1:14. In contrast to the Son ruling at God’s right hand, the angels are ministering spirits. Unlike the Son whose destiny is King over an eternal throne-kingdom, the role of the angels is to minister, not reign. In fact, they minister to those who will inherit salvation. By salvation, our author is thinking not of our Lord’s saving work on the Cross, but a future salvation associated with His Second Coming (emphasized in chap. 1). This is quite clear in light of his use of “salvation” in 9:28, as well as his explicit mention in 2:5 of “the world to come.” Although there is a salvation for believers to inherit, this can be jeopardized by their neglect (2:3). Thus before p 1037 continuing the author will pause in 2:1–4 to warn his readers. Tanner, J. P. (2010). The Epistle to the Hebrews. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (pp. 1036–1037). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.
            1. This statement "The council validates or enthusiastically endorses those who are in Christ who have endured in faith to the end." has some validity. . But the truth is that only those who "keep His works to the end" will actually reign with Christ [Rev 2:25 -28]. This is confirmed by Paul in 2 Tim 2:12. All who believe in Christ will be "with Him" in eternity [1 Thess 5:10] but only enduring believers will reign with Him.
              1. I believe you could have , perhaps, noted the powerful involvement of ANGELS in the book of Acts. See passage list ANGELS in Acts. This shows how extensively God used ANGELS to help the proclamation of the Gospel from the beginning to the end of this book. I think it is a fulfillment of what Jesus said to Nathaniel in John 1:50-51. Nathaniel [as one of the TWELVE] would see THE SEED OF ABRAHAM established [with enablement by angels] in the book of Acts.