1-19 Can Immortal Angels Sin?
Q. This idea that God would use Satan for his own purpose, I think
you would recognise that Satan is far more successful...(few words
inaudible)...but I think it stretching it to say that an angel rebels
against God and God turns it around to uses it positively. In the
great majority of cases, that isn't what happens. But just by way
of interest, the concept that immortal angels can sin and God can
destroy them, would that happen to us, if we had gained immortality?
A. Okay, the question being posed to us is: If angels
can sin and die and if we are to be made like angels in the resurrection,
is it possible that we can sin and die? Is it hypothetically possible?
Sure. Because we would have free will. Will we sin? No. Because
the Bible describes the eternal state as being without sin, so we
will choose not to sin. God will choose not to destroy us. I believe
that God is so powerful that he can do what He wants to. I believe
He can destroy us after He gave us immortality if He wanted to but
He's not going to, so therefore it's a mute question.
Q. Does the same reasoning apply to immortal angels?
A. Okay the same reasoning applies to the immortal
angels? Yes, that's right, it does.
Q. Unless God created an evil angel?
A. Personally, for my own thoughts, I mentioned
this earlier, that questions about the origins of the devil and
fallen angels and that sort of thing was quite irrelevant. I still
think it is, but yes, I do tend to think that the devil was probably
a fallen angel although the Bible is not very clear about that at
all. We have a question up here?
Q. In your first speech you spoke in the context of Job, I think
the phrase you used was Satan approaching God in heaven, how do
you reconcile this with the quotation Duncan made from Habakkuk
1: 13 " thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst
not look on iniquity...?"
A. So how do I reconcile this statement that Satan
approached God in heaven with Habakkuk 1:13 that says that God cannot
look upon evil? Habakkuk 1:13 is a description of a metaphor. God
doesn't tolerate His people to do evil.
Q. He asked my question basically, but I had another thing here.
You said that immortal angels could sin.
A. Yes, I said an immortal angel can sin.
Q. When Christ was being tempted and they asked
him about this man who had a wife and so on and so forth and whose
wife would she be in the kingdom, and he said, " Ye do err,
ye shall be as the angels in heaven" . Now if we get to be
as angels in heaven, God's going to fix us a little bit different,
so we wouldn't sin like...things we talked about sin?
A. I think God is going to give us immortality.
I don't think...
Q. We still...we are going to be like the angels...?
A. Yes, we are going...
Q. We will be able to sin?
A. Yes. Theoretically, but we are not going to
A. Well, because...Okay, are you telling me that
immortality is predicated on our lack of free will?
Q. Absolutely. Because...
A. Okay, then why...
Q. Because sin is death, obedience is life.
A. Well, why did God create us with freewills
if His ultimate purpose for us was to turn us into a race of robots?
Why didn't He create us like that at the beginning?
Q. Angels have free will...
A. But you just told me that angels don't have
(Comment from floor: The debate is over...)
Q. It is demonstrated that " he stayed the
angel's hand" . The angel was going to do the righteous thing
which was to kill, but the mercy of God stayed his hand. Now I don't
think that when we get in the Kingdom, if I get in the Kingdom,
that I'm going to be able to sin, I'm not going to want to, I'm
going to made so I can't.
(Comment from floor: I would submit that now is the time to ask
questions to get answers, not to have a debate. Mr. Mattison: Okay,
Q. I would just like to get something clear on your position about
angels. The verses cited in Hebrews 1, the angels are all ministering
spirits, your explanation was...all not being all.
A. My explanation of Hebrews 1:14 is that there
is a figure of speech here known as synecdoche, in which the whole
is used for the part.
Q. What was your explanation of Psalm 103 where it speaks
of angels obeying God?
A. Okay, I can give you a couple of explanations.
On the one hand, even the evil angels ultimately against their own
will obey God in a sense.
Q. In connection with being like the angels to die no
A. Okay, back to that again.
Q. There was Luke 20: 36: " We shall be made
like unto the angels to die no more" ... You are saying does
not mean what it says?
A. I'm saying that verse needs to be balanced
with other verses, so we can get an understanding of what Christ
was talking about. Jesus was meaning there that the angels are not
going to die from old age or injury like we are going to die.
Q. What is the verse that says they are
going to die?
A. There are references for example in Matthew
25: 41 which describes the devil and his angels being cast into
the lake of fire. There are other verses involved in this. We could
debate this from here to kingdom come and probably would if but
we don't have the time for it. 2 Peter 2: 4 and also in the Epistle
of Jude, which also talks about the future destruction of fallen
Q. Are you aware that the word 'angels' does not
always refer to the angels of heaven, but sometimes to messengers?
A. Yes, I am aware that the Greek word 'angele'
can refer to human messengers. Yes, I am aware of that. Yes?
Q. You referred to Zechariah 3 - Satan standing at the
right hand of the angel of the Lord to resist him - What is your
explanation of what that applies to in the context of Zechariah?
A. I haven't studied it very in depth.
Q. But surely one must see it in the context of
the history of Israel at that time? The great adversary of the work
being done at this particular time were the Arabs who were opposing
the rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. This is brought out by the
context - v.3: Even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem - the emphasis
is upon the city and on the opponent, the adversary, or Satan, who
is opposing the work being done by the returned exiles.
A. Okay we are talking about Zech. 3: 1, 2 and the suggestion
is being made that the Satan here - 'ha satan' - are Arabs. Okay,
well, we have a number of figures here, we have Joshua, he is a
person is he not? We have the angel of the Lord, he is a person,
is he not, and now we have 'ha satan' the enemy,
the adversary. Why wouldn't he be a person?
Q. He was, being Sanballat, Tobiah and Rehum and
these other opponents.
A. Oh, but those were several people.
Q. They were men who mocked the Jews and said they were
going to write to the King and get that work stopped and they did
A. Right, now those were several people, not a single
person, single adversary.
Q. That is true, but collectively they were a force that was opposing
Israel. They were the adversary, they were the Satan.
A. Yes, they were.
Q. They were the adversary, they were the Satan, the Satan.
A. I can definitely see the possibility that the Satan was working through human adversaries as he often does.
Q. 2 Corinthians 11:14, what's your understanding where it says Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light?
A. I don't know that 'transformed' is the best word there in 2 Cor. 11: 14. The New International Version reads " masquerades as an angel of light" . Now I would have to pick up a Greek Testament and Lexicon to go into that and check it out. My version says he masquerades as an angel of light, he pretends to be an angel of light. I don't know if the devil is transformed from an angel of evil to an angel of light and back and forth again. I do like the idea of masquerading as this version presents it.