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Bible Q

Was there a rebellion in heaven?

There was not a rebellion in the literal heaven as God’s will is always done in heaven.  See the Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

God’s angels in heaven always obey the voice of God and always do his will.

Psalm 103:19-21  “The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.  (20)  Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!  (21)  Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!”

Jesus explains how the saints after they are resurrected will be like the angels, never dying again.

Luke 20:35-36  “those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, (36)  for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

We know from the above passage, that angels don’t die,  therefore angels cannot sin, because the soul that sins will die.  See Ezekiel 18:4.

Confusion arises when symbolic passages are taken literally.   Bizarre interpretations can result if

  • a symbolic meaning is applied literally or
  • a literal meaning is applied symbolically, or
  • a symbolic or literal meaning is misunderstood,

For example, Isaiah 14 is sometimes misunderstood to be referring to an angelic being.  We read in Isaiah 14,

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!”    Isaiah 14:12

It is easy to identify this “Day Star, son of Dawn” (sometimes translated Lucifer).  Read Isaiah 14:4 and we see who Day Star, son of Dawn is.  He is the King of Babylon.

“you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased!”   Isaiah 14:4

In the above passage, an exclusively symbolic interpretation results in a wrong understanding.

Another example we have of the colourful language used in the Bible, is Ezekiel 28.  This chapter largely addresses the King of Tyre.  The monarchy of Tyre previously had close associations with Israel and had supported Israel in the building of the Temple.  Now they no longer take this commendable attitude.  The King/Prince that Ezekiel is addressing, is proud and arrogant and thinks he is a god.

This same King of Tyre is also the one that God calls the covering cherub.  Read Ezekiel 28 carefully and it becomes obvious.

God knows the hearts of all men, so he was aware that the monarchy of Tyre would become unfaithful.  That is why in Ezekiel, he tells them they would have a terrible end.

The questioner also asks:

Was God aware of dissension in heaven with some of the angels after man’s creation?

The questioner is probably thinking of Revelation 12:7-9

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,  (8)  but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  (9)  And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

Revelation is largely symbolic and the above verses are symbolic.  The dragon represents sin and Michael and his angels represent the battle of the saints against sin.  But because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the devil/dragon/serpent (all symbols of sin) have lost the power they once had to control the lives of believers.  In other words, sin no longer reigns supreme in the lives of the saints.  They have died to sin and live to God.

Romans 6:11-14  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  (12)  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.  (13)  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.  (14)  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

The questioner asks:

Was the covering cherub in Eden appointed intentionally as the known head rebel to test his loyalty regarding human kind?

The covering cherub in Eden is referred to in Ezekiel 28.  This is the king of Tyre who could have had a very close relationship with God as did a previous king of Tyre – Hiram – who was closely involved in the building of the Temple in Jerusalem.  He, like all people connected with God and/or God’s people, was  tested.  He failed the test.

The questioner asks:

God knows all in the hearts of his creatures and can see the future, so he must have been aware of these rebels and set up the forbidden fruit test for both the covering cherub and the human pair.

The cherubim in the garden of Eden was not the cherub referred to in Ezekiel 28.  Cherubim are likely visionary creatures.  The fruit test in Eden was for Adam and Eve exclusively.

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