The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 78 of 159
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Our Spiritual Congregation (Eph. 3: 10).
pp. 26 - 29
An erroneous interpretation of Heb. 12: 1 encompasses the believer with a cloud of
angelic and spiritual "witnesses", using the word "witness" in the sense of "spectator".
This is not the meaning of the Greek word "martur", which means "one who bears
witness", and so in a secondary sense "a martyr". The idea read into Heb. 12: 1 is not
however foreign to Scripture. Matt. 18: 10 says:--
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in
heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven."
Heb. 1: 14 says of the angels:--
"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs
of salvation?"
In the parable of Luke 15: angels are represented as taking a particular interest in the
repentance pf a sinner:--
"I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
repenteth" (verse 10).
Peter, when writing about the revelations given to the prophets concerning the
sufferings for Christ and the glories that should follow, adds, "which things the angels
desire to look into" (I Pet. 1: 12). Angelic ministry follows the unfolding of the Divine
purpose in Israel very closely, and is not absent from the Church, formed during the Acts.
The Church of the Mystery after Acts 28: however is not associated with angels.
The worship of angels is forbidden in Col. 2: 18. The mystery of godliness was
"seen of angels" (I Tim. 3: 16), and Timothy is charged by Paul before "the elect angels"
(I Tim. 5: 21). Apart from the reference in Col. 2: 18, the very word "angel" is absent
from the Prison Epistles. Angels are messengers. The Church of the One Body is raised
to such a degree that it is superfluous to teach that it is above angels, the revelation of
Eph. 1: and 2: is that Christ, and with Him His Church, is raised "Far above Principality
and Power, Might and Dominion", the very aristocracy of heaven. By reason of the
reconciliation of things in heaven and things in earth, the Lord, when He ascended,
became at the same time Head of both the Church and of Principality and Power
(Col. 1: 18; 2: 10).
Some Principalities and Powers are antagonistic to the Church of the One Body:--
"For we wrestle . . . . . against . . . . . principalities and powers . . . . . spiritual
wickedness in heavenly places" (Eph. 6: 12).
"And having spoiled principalities and powers He made a show of them openly,
triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2: 15).