You fail to demonstrate a proper respect for the Church Fathers.
On the contrary, I do have a proper respect, as opposed to
the improper and unhealthy reverence that some Christians have for them. There is a difference
and the sad thing is, some professing Christians do not really understand that fact.Galatis 1:10-12
- "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
- But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
- For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
If I were to regard the words of men rather than God, I would indeed claim that the 7 messengers of the 7 churches were angels, just as many of them as well as the translators did. But as the servant of Christ and not man, I can only testify to rational thinking and what Christ has defined and revealed within His word. The gospel that is preached by the apostle is not of the suppositions of men, it is according to the record divinely inspired by God. The word that is used in the Old Testament Hebrew text is [malak
], and is not ever a derivative of [angelos
] or meaning angel. That's a fact, not speculation or supposition on my part. The scholars are unanimous that the Hebrew word [malak
] in the original text means
one that is sent, as a messenger, and clearly refers to the function of the one in question, and not
the nature of the agent. It could be a Theophany, Christophany, a Man or even the Spirit of the Lord Himself. A proper respect for the church fathers doesn't negate this most evident truth, it confirms it.
What you are really doing is putting yourself above the entire early Reformed Church.
Actually, I position myself above none (Ephesians 3:8
) of the saints or church fathers. The better question, is the real problem for you that "I put no man's words before God's written word?" The real issue for you seems to be that I don't place the words and comments of the Reformers on a lofty and holy pedestal "as if" they aren't to be questioned. You seem perturbed that my mind isn't in sync with their ideas or thinking? And on that, you are correct--I try and sync my mind with the mind of Christ, through the Spirit and careful exegesis of His word. Not theirs.1st Corinthians 2:16
- "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
Man cannot instruct the Lord on when, where and what He can, and cannot reveal to man. The natural man rejects the divine sovereignty over revelation, but the Spiritual man has the revealed will of God in the Bible as insight into the mind of Christ, through the Spirit. I have no control over what the early church did an did not understand. Obviously it was not much about books such a Revelation and Daniel, as we have their record that confirms that. I am convinced that when and where God gives revelation of His truths, is His business! I don't presume to know the complexities, intricacies and details of why. I do know that knowledge and position does not place one man above another in God's sight, and so you are wrong in that theory. In man's worldly reasoning then yes, lofty men of renown rule. But in God's eyes, no.
You’re actually declaring that you understand the Scripture better than all of them. Is that correct?
I'm actually declaring that God knows Scripture better than All Of Us!
I'm declaring that it's better to get our interpretations from His word as written, rather than the translators beliefs or the suppositions of man concerning what is written. I'm declaring that when God illustrates that the 7 messengers of the 7 churches are men, I'm not going to claim they are angels just because some church leaders or translators "suppose" that this is what they were. That's no way to correctly exegete Scripture. I'm declaring that when the Apostle Paul declared that we should not forget to entertain strangers (Hebrews 13:2
) because many have unknowingly entertained Messengers that way, I'm not going to claim they're angels simply because church leaders or translators of old "supposed" that they are Angels, and had written that down. I'll ask you the same question that I asked before--which remains unanswered. Do you know the original Old Testament Hebrew text never once had the word Angel in it? If this is true, why was it suddenly put there in place of the word [malak
] or as a substitution for messenger? Was the word messenger insufficient, or is that the exact word God intended when He inspired [malak
]? Moreover, is the Messenger of the Covenant the same as the Angel of the Covenant? Or more to the point, is Christ an Angel of the Covenant? Sure, supernatural beings, christophanies, the Spirit, etc., are messengers of God. I assume you are a messenger of God, but you're not an Angel. The point is that the person who allows God (the author of Scripture
) to define and interpret Scripture (rather than men or tradition
), is often wiser than his teachers, according to God.Psalms 119:99-100
- "I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
- I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts."
What is the point here? Who has more understanding according to God? Is it the disciple (student
) who leans upon the precepts and testimonies of God's word alone and in its entirety, or is it the teacher who uses apriorisms, conjecture and makes suppositions and assumptions? Should I presume the 7 messengers of the 7 churches are angels because someone else did, or should I compare Scripture with Scripture to define and determine that they were in fact exactly what the word [angelos
] means, messengers
? I stand with righteous Joseph who rhetorically asked, "do not interpretations belong to God?" Indeed they do.Malachi 3:1
- "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts."
Q.E.D., it is proven
that if Jesus Christ was not
an Angel and John the Baptist was not
an Angel, then to any intelligent and sober thinking individual the word cannot actually mean
angel. It can be "applied to" an angel or other envoy or supernatural being who is a messenger of God, but it cannot "mean" Angel. It's just a matter of common sense and rational judgment and thinking.
...not that most Christians apply that type of reasoning or thinking.
"nosce te ipsum
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"