Q. I thought that your comments you made about what Karen brought up in Ephesians, while I'm not convinced there is more to be said about that, I thought your comments were good. I have two questions actually. In Hebrew 1: 14 was made some application to the effect that the word " all" is used there, and I was a little confused by how you used that, because it appears to me there is another context, in fact numerous contexts in the scriptures where the word " all" is used where certainly not " all" is meant. I think a good example of that is in 1 Corinthians 15: 22 where it says, " For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" . I think we all agree that the word " all" there doesn't mean that all who have fallen in Adam, all of those will be saved in Christ - be made alive in Christ - but that I guess my point is, isn't the context just as important, if not more important, in giving an indication of what the word " all" really has reference to, rather than just using the word " all" itself? All the world to be taxed" doesn't mean everybody in the whole world with reference to the Roman Empire.
A.Yes, I would quite agree with you that the word " all"
doesn't always mean all but I think in 1 Corinthians 15 you have picked a
bit of a bad example because surely what he is saying is that all those in
Adam are going to die, but all those in Christ will be made alive - but
that's, I suppose, academic. Now the point is with angels, if, I mean, the
corollary of what you are saying, I mean the word " all" does sometimes mean
all - you can't say it doesn't always mean something else - but if you are
saying we ought to interpret this meaning " some" of the angels are
ministering spirits, then, that implies that there is this massive
differentiation between sinful angels and good angels, and its that
differentiation which, if that exists, then I would expect that whenever you
read about them in the Bible that it would actually have a marker to
indicate whether they are sinful or bad. Why doesn't it say, the fallen
angels, or the good angels, or whatever?
If you are going to suppose there is this differentiation between them then we have to come up with some explanation as to why the Bible so often doesn't even use the words '(all) angels', it just says angels. 2 Peter 2, " angels which are greater in power and might, do not bring railing accusation against the Lord" . Now Peter speaks of angels as if we all know what he means by angels.
Q. In Hebrews 1: 13, " but to which of the angels said he at any time" does he have 'all' of the angels in mind in that context?
A. Well I would say so, because if you look back in verse 4, you've got " being made so much better than the angels" . It doesn't say Jesus was made better than the good angels. The whole point of Hebrews 1 and 2 is to show the supremacy of Christ over angels, not over just some of the angels, but over all of them. Again, why in verse 14, if " all" doesn't mean " all" and it just means some of them, what is the purpose of that word 'all' being inserted? Why doesn't he say, " Are they not ministering spirits?" One would've thought that would have flowed naturally. But he doesn't. He says, " Are they not all ministering spirits? Going back to verse 4, and then verse 5, " unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son" . He's saying, " any of the angels" , so I would say " any of the angels" in verse 5 is parallel to " all" of the angels in verse 14. Yes?
Q. I think you sized up the question concerning Romans,
1 Corinthians 15, because there it is speaking of a large differentiation,
when it says " as in Adam all die" , so also in Christ shall all be made
alive" . We know that is not parallel but the word 'all', each time the word
'all' appears to have reference to that which it is in relationship to,
either Adam, or Christ, and I guess the point about Hebrews 1: 14, if
Hebrews 1: 14 is considered to be an interpretative control of the context,
then everything else is understood that way, would fall into the category of
'all' the angels which he had in view, which are the ones who are
ministering spirits. Now, I think you can differ on that, but I had another
question, you may not have understood my comment.
I had another question regarding the verse saying something to the effect that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil. Now does that mean that God does not look upon evil, or cannot see evil, or what does that mean? You can't take that literally because God of course sees all things that are going on, and I guess the verse I would bring up is in Genesis 6: 12, " And God saw the earth, and behold it was corrupt" . Well, corrupt is certainly indicative of evil and sinfulness and God certainly saw it and when he saw it he beheld it, so I think you'd have to look at that verse from Hosea I think it was in possibly a different way, in the sense that God will not countenance evil, or whatever. To say He doesn't behold it in the sense He doesn't see it, is certainly not the case.
A. Right, your question, basically is, when I quoted
verses which say that God doesn't tolerate evil in His presence, you're
saying but God does look upon sinfulness, so therefore it can't mean what
I'm saying it means. Well, those passages that we looked at is God saying
that He does not behold, does not tolerate sinfulness in His
presence. Now that's the point. If you look at Psalm 5: 4 - " thou
art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell
with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight." Habakkuk 1 is saying
the same thing. In fact the context in Habakkuk 1 is Habakkuk saying because
God does not look upon sinfulness, He does not have it in His presence, He
is therefore going to cast Israel out of the land.
Now that is very common throughout the Old Testament. God will not have sinfulness in His presence, and in those days in the Old Testament Yahweh tabernacled in Israel in the Temple and the eyes of Yahweh, we are told, were there beholding what was going on in the land. We are told the eyes of Yahweh run to and fro throughout the land of Israel. And so, God would not tolerate sinfulness there, so therefore He threw them, cast them out of His presence. So the world generally, is not in the presence of God in that sense. But the point we are making that in heaven, which is the dwelling place of God, in which we are told the will of the Father is done in heaven, then what we are saying is that God therefore cannot tolerate any kind of sinfulness.
So when Mark was saying the devil actually does his own sinful will which is against God's will, although he says at the same time he is doing God's will which is where I am still mystified - if somehow the devil is doing the will of sin, sinful will, well then he can't be up in heaven, because he cannot be operating in the presence of God, where the will of God is always done. So it is fair point you are making, that God is aware, is aware, of the sinfulness of man on the face of the earth as He was in the example you quoted in Genesis 6, but there is a difference between that and God actually having sinfulness in His personal presence in heaven itself. And it is that which I think the passages we quoted are referring to. Okay, right at the back here.
Q. First of all, I would like to submit that you were looking for earlier a linguistic marker for good and bad angels and in the Greek language there is such a marker. Good angels are referred to as, in most cases, angels. Bad angels are called demons. Within that language that is the marker they use.
A. Okay, the statement has been made that there is a linguistic marker, I think that's the phrase you used, between good angels and bad angels. You're suggesting that perhaps when you read angels, that means the good ones, and when you read.