Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 3 September 2018

The Holy Spirit the Chief Angel

Holy Spirit the Chief Angel

Those angels who occupy the lowest heaven, that, namely, which is visible to us, formed all the things which are in the world, and made allotments among themselves of the earth and of those nations which are upon it. The chief of them is he who is thought to be the God of the Jews; and inasmuch as he desired to render the other nations subject to his own people, that is, the Jews, all the other princes resisted and opposed him. Wherefore all other nations were at enmity with his nation. (Against Heresies)

Heb. 3:7-11 reminds the early church of how Israel had provoked the Angel which led them through the wilderness by tempting and proving Him (God cannot be tempted, so this must refer to the Angel). The writer then goes on to warn them "wherefore. . harden not your hearts", and exhorts them not to be like Israel in tempting God- in their case, a primary reference to the Chief Angel which was leading them?

- Stephen's speech in Acts 7 contains many references to the Angel of Israel. He uses examples from Israel's history in which they rejected those who were types of Jesus- e. g. v. 9,10,22,25. It follows then that v. 35 must refer to this same aspect of Moses as a type of Christ being rejected. "This is Moses whom they renounced. . even him God sent to be a ruler and a redeemer with the hand of that Angel which appeared to him in the bush" (Diaglott). Israel resisted the work of the Angel supporting Moses, and so years later they were also rejecting the support of the same guardian Angel for the teachings of Jesus and His disciples, the greater than Moses. So v. 51 stresses "ye do always resist the Holy Spirit (the title of the Chief Angel in Is. 63): as your fathers did, so do ye". Their fathers resisted the Angel of the presence which went with them; and so the Jews of the first century were doing just the same.

- If the Hebrew phrase "the living God" means, as suggested by some, 'the God of the living ones', then "the living God" would refer to the great Angel who dwelt between the Cherubim "living ones". 1 Tim. 3:15 then appears in a new light: "The church of the living God"- the church dwelt in by the mighty Angel of the Old Testament Cherubim. The Angel dwelling and walking in the assembly  in the wilderness is linked with God- the same Angel? -living and walking in the Christian Church (2 Cor. 6:16). It was because of the presence of this and other important Angels in the Church that Paul could charge Timothy "before. . . the elect Angels" (1 Tim. 5:21), who were present physically at the church's meetings. Indeed, this may be the very reason why he asks sisters in Corinth to have covered heads at church meetings “because of the Angels”, i. e. their especial presence there. This is how important and pressing is the reality of their presence; and sisters’ headcoverings, their dressing with an appropriate modesty and sobriety which a head covering signals, is to remind us all of this ever present reality.

Article taken and adapted from Angels by Duncan Heaster (Christadelphian)

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