Because I have tried to go above and beyond in helping readers of the book understand that my work is Christian Fiction based on the Bible I have written in my preface of the Third Heaven, and in the upcoming book the following.
“To my beloved Christian reader — this work is not scripture. I do not profess divine inspiration, nor would I ever attempt to place this work alongside the word of God. The story is a fictional exploration of the fall of Lucifer, and by taking part in this fictional account you as a reader and I as the author are in no way implying that we must have theological agreement. The work does presume certain doctrinal beliefs (the existence of the Trinity for example) but this novel is not meant to be a point-by-point exposition of biblical truth. Nor an exact attempt to create a chronologically correct depiction of creation and the events depicted in the Bible. It’s an exploratory look into a biblical event and imagines, “what if?”
Now despite this preface some readers still feel a need I think to query me on various things. This brother was kind enough to give me his credentials prior to establishing his problems to certain things in the book. My guess he did this to reinforce his being an authority of the subject.
Because I enjoy questions and feedback from readers I took the time to write out a long response to him. I’m sharing with you in two blog posts what I shared with him so that I can have something to point people too in the future. His letter raises some questions for me specially and the Christian community in general. Topics I hope to address in a later post about Christian Fiction.
His first caveat was “The first problem, as I see it, is allowing Angels to be killed. One of the features that separate man from Angels is mankind’s mortality. Man can die, cast off the body of sin and be given a resurrection body and a heavenly nature. Angels already posses this, so redemption doesn’t appear to be a possibility for them.”
His question was a great question. It was really one of the foremost questions I had to ask in the book.
The rest of my blog is really a more in depth understanding of the thinking behind the biblical underpinnings of angels “dying” and my overall approach in the book.
“The reality is that scripture is actually silent on this issue. The Bible is a book addressed to man that primarily addresses God’s relationship with man. Death as it is referred to in the scriptures is man centered. For example In Genesis, we see that Adam was never meant to die. He was gifted initially with long life. NATURALLY he would not die. As we understand, he had no sin nature that would cause decay, sickness and therefore death. However, does this mean he could not feel pain? If he fell off a cliff, could he have died?
Angels in my book also do not experience old age, decay or disease. They die because they are attacked by like beings. There is one exception to this in my book. Sasheal, who dies in saving the planet, after he changes himself to become physical to interact with the physical world therefore exposing himself to mortality. A sacrifice that I show in the book as a prelude to many events to come.
The Apostle Paul indicates that there are different types of bodies in 1st Cor 15. “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is onekind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
My device in allowing Sasheal to die was simply to change his flesh. I.e. to make him susceptible to harm. Immortality does not equal unable to be harmed.
Secondly, angels are clearly seen in scripture in battle with one another. Dan 10:20 “I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.” Fighting is a violent act. You fight to injure, and by extension to kill. If angels cannot be harmed how then do they engage with one another? Overall your thinking superimposes human reasons for death and assumes that those same reasons apply to other created beings i.e. angels. I don’t think you can bibilcally draw that conclusion from scripture.
Num 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
Why does the angel of the Lord (regardless if this is a Theophany or not) need a sword? Does an angel need a sword to kill a human? If angels can make men blind and mute, why not be extension do they need a sword to kill man? I think the logical reason is that they do not need swords to kill men.
What is the origin of this weapon? It is NOT earthly. Therefore, it must be heavenly. Why is Heaven in the business of manufacturing weapons? It seems a moot point if angels cannot harm and by extension kill or be harmed by one another because that is what swords are used for.
My Bible teaches me that out of the mouth of two or three let every word be established.
Here are two scriptures that seem to show that angels do battle with one another, and or have weapons of war. In war “people”die. These are not the only scriptures that seem to bear this truth of angelic harm out. (Rev 12:7) Again, none of this takes away from the fact that angels are immortal. I.e. on their own, they do not die however; this does not mean that they cannot be killed.
The bottom line is that the Bible is silent on a great many things regarding other spiritual beings. But after a careful reading and some logical thought, I think a reader is forced to come to some conclusions. I bring some of this conjecture out in the book, while not claiming it to be “doctrine”. Its fiction and should be treated as such which is clearly stated at the beginning.
A great book that I use as reference in this regards is Angels :Elect and Evil by C. Fred Dickason it’s a great biblical resource.”
While I do not obviously know if angels can be ‘killed’. There is enough scriptural evidence beginning at Gen 3: 24 to show that weapons exist prior to man designing or having them. Which again begs the question of why they exist, how they are manufactured and a host of other questions if you like to dig into your Bible like me.
Here’s the actual text from the KJV, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Adam did not have enemies or seemingly knowledge of even how to manufacture such a weapon. So the sword is again of Heavenly manufacture. Why? Scriptures like this fascinate me.
In another post I’ll address the readers second caveat which deals with the trinity. (Yes I believe in the Trinity! Calm down!)
This has been a long post, but an important one that I think shows some of the thinking that really has to go into a story like this. I’ll address his second problem in the book in a later post, and my overall take on Christian Fiction and might want to rethink what constitutes said fiction in the first place.