In `2 Pet. 2:4`, Revised Version, we read, “For if God spared not the angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.” What is the meaning of the word, “Hell” or as the marginal reading gives it “TARTARUS,” which is the Greek word translated “hell?” (C.V.B.)
<ANSWER>–The translators of the Revised Version of the Scriptures erred when they planned in the marginal readings the word “Tartarus” for that is not the word contained in the original Greek manuscripts. The word <tartaroo,> used by Peter, very closely resembles tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a dark abyss or prison. But the word <tartaroo> seems to refer us more to an act than to a place. The fall of the angels who sinned was from honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought seems to be–“God spared not the angels who sinned, but degraded them, and delivered them into the chains of darkness.” This is the only place in the Scriptures where this word <tartaroo> occurs, and refers to the condition of the fallen angels or evil spirits, and not to the members of the human race in any sense or particular. See `Jude 6`, where it also reads, “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation. He hath reserved in age-lasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment day.”
“For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”–`1 Cor. 4:9`.
How were the Apostles made a “spectacle” to the angels? (Curious) <ANSWER>–Evidently the angels and all other spirit beings, of which there are myriads upon myriads (`Rev. 5:11`) are interested observers of the events transpiring upon this little globe of ours. What the race of mankind is learning by actual experience the spirit beings are learning by observation. As the poet has expressed the thought– “All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.” The word “spectacle,” in the marginal rendering of the Authorized Version, is theater. The Apostles were being made “a show of” before the world, and angels, and men, because of their loyalty to the cause of Christ. Enduring all manner of hardships, bitter persecutions, and regarded as religious fanatics– “fools” –because of their prominence in advocating the teachings of Christ, they were specially observed. Thus it was with the Master Himself; by His sufferings, His death, and His resurrection, He preached a powerful sermon in pantomime to the “spirits in prison” (The fallen angels who disobeyed in the time of Noah. `2 Pet. 2:4`; `1 Pet. 3:18-20`).
If the “Sons of God” (`Gen. 6:4`) were the angels who left their former habitation, or first estate– the spiritual realm (`Jude 3`)–how is it that they could marry the “daughters of men” and have children since it is understood from the Master’s words (`Mat. 22:30`) that the angels are sexless? (L.T.H.)
<ANSWER>–From many Scriptures it is apparent that the angels, or spirit beings, have the power of materializing as human beings. This materialization is complete, as the following Scriptural citations indicate, showing that these materialized beings could eat and drink and perform all of the functions of the natural being of the earthly plane of existence. (`Gen. 18:8`; `Gen. 32:24`; `Zec. 1:9,5`; `Luke 1:30`; `Acts 12:7-10`.) It is evident that the angels in their proper habitation, the spiritual realm, do not possess the powers of reproduction. It would, therefore, be impossible for them to have angelic progeny. It is only as they materialize as human beings that they could exercise the powers belonging to the race of mankind, and thus bring children into the world of the fleshly nature. Because some of the angels did this without the Divine sanction, they were punished by being restrained in chains of darkness unto the Judgment day.
What is an angel? We are told by our ministers that if we go to church and pay our pew rent and never do anything real bad that some day we will be an angel and go to heaven when we die. Now, I want to know what angels are like. Did they all live as men and women upon the earth before they became angels, and how did they become angels before there were any churches and regular collections? Was there ever a cheaper way of getting to be a angel than now? (J.U.D.)
<ANSWER>–The popular conception of angels is that they are radiant beings dressed in white with wings attached to their shoulder blades. They are invariably represented as women, and are supposed to spend the larger part of their time seated upon clouds and fingering harps. In the Bible, angels are referred to as spirit beings, who act as the messengers of the Lord. We know of no Scriptures in which it is stated that human beings will ever become angels. On the contrary, the Lord has promised earthly blessings to all of the world of mankind, who will be obedient to His righteous laws of justice and love, when His Kingdom is established in the earth. Salvation will be free to all who will accept it upon the terms and conditions of full obedience to the Divine will. `Mat. 6:10`.