Luke J. Wilson | 23rd April 2020 |
Have you ever wondered about what the devil is — or was, pre-Fall? You’ve probably been told that he used to be an angel with God, so then why is he often described as a snake, serpent or dragon?
Though there isn’t a great deal given away in Scripture as to the nature of angels, or the heavenly realms in general, we get some glimpses from the visions of the prophets. But what we can also look at is the words which the Bible uses; some of which aren’t translated and so lose their original meaning in English.
The word “seraphim” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word, rather than a translation, so in English we often will miss the meaning the original hearers and readers would have understood that word to mean. A transliteration, for those unfamiliar with the term, simply means that a foreign word has been converted into its English equivalent of letters, rather than its meaning being used. A relevant example of this would be for the word “satan”. Although it’s come to be used as a name, it’s actually a transliteration of the Hebrew word for “adversary” (שָׂטָן). You can see a few examples of the word usage here as an adversary: 1 Samuel 29:4; 1 Kings 11:14 and as a name in Job 1:6 (The Adversary if translated).
So what does seraphim mean if it were translated? Basically “fiery serpents”!
The Hebrew word has obscure etymological roots related to burning (literally), which is likely why translators choose to transliterate rather than translate it. We also find similar connections to fire in other parts of Scripture where the heavenly host are mentioned or described; see Ps 104:4 and Ezk 1:13-14 for two examples where God's ministers are "fire and flame", and the living beings move "like a flash of lightning" with fire moving between them.
There are some links with the root word to Babylonian fire-gods and also in Egypt there are eagle-lion-shaped figures referred to as seref which is where we get our English term...
Luke J. Wilson | 05th February 2018 |
I've seen and heard this question asked numerous times before, and I've even wondered it myself in my earlier years as a new Christian.
Is there salvation for angels and can demons go back to their previous, uncorrupted state?
2 Corinthians 11:14And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
As far as scripture is concerned, Satan can pretend to be angelic for the sake of deceit, but that's about it. There's no mention of redemption for angels or demons — that's the long and short of it.
So let's explore four areas of Scripture to see what we do know.
#1 They have been imprisoned for judgement by God.
2 Peter 2:4For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartarus and committed them to chains (or pits) of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment;
This judgement is eternal for them and there appears to be no second chance; their judgement is sealed:
Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
#2 They have been imprisoned for judgement by the saints.
Not only has God set a judgement, but we who are in Christ will have the role of actually judging the angels as well. How's that for a hefty responsibly!
1 Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters?
#3 Judgement is final
We can also see from Revelation some more details about what this judgement entails for the devil and those who followed him:
Revelation 19:20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who […] were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Revelation 20:10And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
#4 Salvation is for humans
Salvation appears to be only something that G...