O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I have been reading some of the posts about whether or not Satan was a real spiritual being or rather just the manifestation of evil in the hearts of man (or possibly the Jewish pharisees, those against God, the adversary, etc. if I understood the alternatives to his being real correctly?), and in doing so there was some discussion about angels as well. I felt the need to start a new thread devoted to angels to keep it separate from a satan thread.
First, I am not sure why if Satan is considered unlikely to be a separate entity, Angels would also have to be not a true entity? If Angels aren't real then who came to Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds? As well as other events, such as the tomb on resurrection morning?
It is a two part question, because regardless of answers to the first question, I am very interested for a specific reason, as to what people who understand Preterism much better than I, think about the likelihood of the manifestation of Angels to people now in this present New Covenant Age?
I am learning a lot here and am very open to viewpoints on this, but have a very hard time believing that Angels are not real. One thing I will point out is how Christ was said to have been made a little lower than the Angels and also how we are told we will be like the angels (not given in marriage etc.) in heaven.
I am sorry I do not know scripture verses to quote exactly like others here seem to… I know the basics but have to go searching for most of them… are there links here that might help me find them? I notice that people post scripture and when you mouse over it the scripture shows up without having to leave the page but I don't know how to do that.
I am learning so much here and thank you all for your time in helping me understand what is a very different way of understanding scripture from what I have ever been taught, but one I am finding very enlightening, and it is removing so many old seeming contradictions!
Hi again Joy. You make some very good points, and there are a lot of tough passages that talk about Angels. I myself have never experienced any type of "visitation", however my mother says she has.. It came to her as a light, and she totally believes it was from God, maybe an Angel. I'm still skeptical, but I don't deny someone's experience. I'm mainly trying to make sense of the scriptures based on my current understanding.
Some of these topics are tough to jump right into, as a new believer in fulfilled (or covenant) eschatology. I would keep learning what you can and try not to worry too much about some of these other things, it's a lot to digest all at once. This site goes back 6 or 7 years and has a lot of great threads and blogs that hopefully can answer a lot of questions, or at least get you started in the right direction. To me, the most important thing is getting a grasp on the nature and timing of redemption, and it sounds like you are well on your way.
As far as Angels, I believe they are mainly God's messengers. God uses real people to bring His message. The bible sometimes describes them as angelic beings from other realm. I don't doubt that this is possible, but I think mainly the bible is using symbolic and metaphorical language to describe something we would normally see in the common world. With that said, I don't have a lot of answers on some of the tougher passages that you mentioned, like the "heavenly host" in Luke 2. There are others here who might have answers and hopefully they will chime in.
As far as scripture references in your posts, just type them out like you normally would and the site will turn them into links.. Example: John 3:16
Thank you for your quick reply Brian. I do appreciate it. All of this is pretty earth-shattering to someone new to full preterism! I actually would never even try to look into it after I first became a partial preterist… because I, like so many other partial preterists, thought I knew what FP thought and so I thought it was heretical. I simply didn't think it worth my time to check it out. However, the more I studied the Olivet Discourse and Revelation, the slippery the slope became and I decided to go find a good full preterist site and see what I could learn. I have been amazed at how wrong I was, to say the least! I think God led me to just the right site, because there are certainly a lot of very well studied people on this site who understand scripture so well. It hasn't taken me long to see there is a lot of good stuff behind the FP paradigm, and it is not heretical to me any longer. I still have lots to learn and not sure how far I will go with it, but am thinking at the very least that all prophecy is fulfilled.
For now, I see the viewpoint of Satan as either he was a real being (now gone), or he is a spirit of adversary that may be in the heart of all men, naturally (but that would mean he is still around in this age and not gone since man still has a spirit of adversary), so maybe he is the Jewish Pharisees, etc. And maybe it doesn't really matter which is correct. However, I have a hard time understanding Angels that way since I can't see who could have manifested to Mary or Joseph etc., other than an angel.
As you may have guessed there is another reason for my being unable to accept that angels are not real. It is a supernatural story I will save for another time, but I have no doubt that an angel manifested to my best friend 7 years before her death… as everything the angel told her would happen, came true just as he said it would. Like I said, a story for another time, but it was her death that set me on this course of searching the bible for truth and no longer depending on what the man in the pulpit told me. I look forward to more study with all of you!
John 14:27 Just trying it out with my favorite bible verse! Looking forward to learning what more it may mean than I have ever understood before! Thanks again!
I guess I did something wrong… my John 14:27 didn't turn into a link? So I tried underlining it to see if that worked. Nope.
The site gives you 15 minutes to edit your posts, then they will turn into links. It's a link now, mouse over and you will see.. Blessings!
That is beautiful Joy! I have always wanted Angel visitation to be true! It's never happened to me personally, but there is this thing inside me that "wants" it to be true. Call it "evidence" that God exists, whatever.. :)
For now, I believe that Satan was that "adversary in the heart of men" that manifested itself over the course of the OT. Again, the ancient Eastern mind was very different than the way we think today. They talked of these things as if they were common thinking in their time, but it sounds very foreign to us today.
Continue on your path, the full preterist hermeutic will lead to some real challenging paradigms, your mind will be in flux, but I believe it is the correct paradigm. Hang in there and continue to contemplate, and of course let the scriptures be your ultimate source for truth and understanding.
Joy, that is quite a story.. Thank you for sharing.
Your path to full preterist is not unlike mine. I started studying the bible on my own, and found so many passages that didn't "fit" with what I was taught. I knew there was a lot more going on in the scriptures than what I was hearing.. Unfortunately today, church is more of a business and pastors make way too much money, so the message has to be "tight" and easy. And sadly, most people like sheep just follow what they are taught and don't dig deeper. But I've always been a searcher and would not accept their blanket answers. So here I am now, with my main fellowship on the internet! I do thank God for the internet! :)
I would love that, but I'm not holding my breathe. ;)
Joy, since you first started this blog, can I ask you to share what your conclusion is today about the existence of angels?
I am also a fairly new to Full Preterism and most of my activity as a FP has been on Facebook. I have asked those there, who do not believe in demons, to explain the encounter where Jesus healed a man from Gadara, possessed by demons. This is known as "the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac" and is found in Mark 5. I am not impressed by the fact that apart from one person nobody has offered an explanation to the traditional interpretation.
Consider: Jesus cast out the demons from the demoniac and, at the request of the demons themselves, they went into the pigs. The view that these demons are not real, creates a problem for me when I read this account, to wit:
1. Jesus never once denied the existence of Satan or fallen angels or demons.
2. He addressed the demons directly and asked for their name
3. He cast them out of the demoniac into the pigs.
4. The request for Him to do so did not come from the man but from the demons.
If they were not real demons then Jesus is guilty of:
1. colluding with a delusion which is based on a lie
2. practicing deception by pretending to do something that did not actually happen. It was, in other words, a complete charade.
3. Jesus pretended to talk to demons (He did not talk directly to the man). If the demons were purely the figment of the demoniac;s unstable mind, then what Jesus did, did not serve to break that delusion but served to actually reinforce it.
4. Jesus will have known that He was about to wreck the livelihood of poor pig farmers
I hope you can understand my dilemma Joy. I cannot believe these conclusions would be true of the Son of God.
PS. I should add that despite what I have written above, I am not fully persuaded that Satan is/was a real being. A fallen angel was not the serpent in the Garden. The serpent (as he came to be called?) was an intelligent and attractive creature, likened to a beast of the field - but that's another issue. :).
I look forward to your response and the response of others.
I thank you so much for replying Joy and explaining where you are at. I can identify with a lot of what you say because I am in the same boat when it comes to biblical interpretive expertise.
I just want to say that I have read the Bible countless times and felt I had a pretty good understanding of what it teaches on any subject overall but in recent years as I have been introduced to a FP approach I have had to discard some established views.
I do think this is an important subject that you have raised but confess at present I am uncertain what to believe and am keeping an open mind.