Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Shema - Brother Larry Urbaniak - 4/29/2018




Brother Urbaniak presents some very good information. We believe, however, it could have been better if God's Holy Name is not presented as "the LORD" or as "GOD." Brother Urbaniak does present the Holy Name as "Yahweh" once.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 - Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.[5] And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. -- Green's Literal Translation.

{Matthew 4:1} Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 
{Matthew 4:2} When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. 
{Matthew 4:3} The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
{Matthew 4:4} But he answered, "It is written, 'Man must not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Jehovah.'"
{Matthew 4:5} Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the
pinnacle of the temple,
{Matthew 4:6} and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you.' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you do not dash your foot against a stone.'"
{Matthew 4:7} Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.'"
{Matthew 4:8} Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. 
{Matthew 4:9} He said to him, "I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me."
{Matthew 4:10} Then Jesus said to him, "Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, 'You must worship Jehovah your God, and you must serve him only.'" -- Restoration Light Improved Version.

Deuteronomy 8:2-5 - And you shall remember all the way which Jehovah your God has caused you to go these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, to try you, to know that which is in your heart, whether you will keep His commandments or not.[3] And He has humbled you, and caused you to hunger, and caused you to eat the manna, which you had not known, and your fathers had not known, in order to cause you to know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man shall live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of Jehovah.[4] Your clothing did not wear out on you, and your foot did not swell, these forty years.[5] And you have known with your heart that as a man disciplines his son, Jehovah your God disciplines you. -- Green's Literal Translation.


But to a month of days, until it comes out of your nostrils, and it shall become to you a loathsome thing; because you have despised Jehovah, who is in your midst, and weep before Him, saying, Why is it that we have come out of Egypt? - (Numbers 11:20, Green's Literal.


Deuteronomy 6:16 - You shall not test Jehovah your God as you tested Him in Massah. - Green's Literal.

Exodus 17:1-7 - And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their journeys, according to the commandment of Jehovah, and encamped in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.[2] Wherefore the people stove with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why strive ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt Jehovah?[3] And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?[4] And Moses cried unto Jehovah, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They are almost ready to stone me.[5] And Jehovah said unto Moses, Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and they rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thy hand, and go.[6] Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.[7] And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tempted Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah among us, or not? -- American Standard Version.

Deuteronomy 6:10-13 - And it shall be, when Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land which He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to you great and good cities, which you have not built,[11] and houses full of every good thing which you have not filled, and wells dug which you did not dig, vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant; and you shall eat and be satisfied;[12] and you shall be on guard that you not forget Jehovah who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves.[13] You shall fear Jehovah your God, and you shall serve Him, and you shall swear by His name. -- Greens' Literal.

Deuteronomy 8:10-20 - And you shall eat and be satisfied; and you shall bless Jehovah your God in the good land which He has given you.[11] Take heed to yourself, lest you forget Jehovah your God so as not to keep His commandments, and His ordinances, and His statutes, which I am commanding you today;[12] that when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built goodly houses, and have lived in them ;[13] and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold have multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied,[14] then it rises up into your heart, and you forget Jehovah your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves;[15] who led you through the great and dreadful wilderness, with burning serpent, and scorpion, and thirsty ground where no water is ; who brought you water out of the flinty rock;[16] who made you eat manna in the wilderness, which your fathers did not know; that He might humble you and that He might prove you, to do you good at your latter end;[17] that you not say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.[18] But you shall remember Jehovah your God, for it is He who gives to you power to get wealth; that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.[19] And it shall be, if you shall forget Jehovah your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you today that perishing you shall perish;[20] as the nations that Jehovah makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you did not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God. -- Green's Literal.








Monday, March 26, 2018

Matthew 6:6 and Group Prayer

"When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most assuredly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. -- Matthew 6:5,6 -- World English.
Some have claimed that Jesus' words as recorded above would condemn all prayer in public, including what some might call "group prayers," that is, prayers where one person leads a group in prayer, as is the custom in many Christian gatherings. In reality, Jesus was not discussing group prayers at all. The prayers he describes of the "hypocrites" was not a group prayer, but of one who solely prays in public in order to be seen and heard by men. He does not describe these prayers as one person leading a group in prayer, but of individuals who make a performance before men.

The scriptures do indicate that there were what could be called "group prayers" amongst the early Christians. "They prayed, and said..." (Acts 1:24) "They heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said..." "And when they prayed." (Acts 4:24,31) "When they had prayed..." (Acts 6:6) "When he had spoken these things, he kneeled down and prayed with them all." (Acts 20:36) "Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed." -- Acts 21:5.

That group prayers were the custom is also indicated in what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14 about such prayers. He speaks of one who speaks a language not understood by the congregation, using himself as an example, saying: "For if I pray in another language, my spirit [breath] prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." (1 Corinthians 14:14) In other words, if he came into a congregation and spoke a prayer in a language not understood by the congregation, it would not bear any fruit in the congregation. since the congregation would not understand what his breath was communicating. And he asks the question: "If you [speaking in a foreign language] bless with the spirit [breath], how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the 'Amen' at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn't know what you say? For you most assuredly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up [since the other person did not understand the language in which the prayer was spoken with the breath]?" (1 Corinthians 14:16,17) Thus he says: "I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language." (1 Corinthians 14:19) The fact that Paul speaks of saying "amen" to the prayer of another indicates that group prayers, led by one person in prayer, were indeed the custom in the early church gatherings.

However, the fact of saying "amen" to another's prayer also brings up another thought. It indicates that one's agreement with and participation in the thoughs presented in the prayer is shown by saying "amen" to the prayer. In some groups I have attended, the person who leads in prayer may sometimes say things to which I find that I cannot conscientiously say "amen" to, since, for instance, the words said may promote false doctrine and/or practices that may be idolatrous in nature, etc. In such cases, if possible, I may say my own prayer silently, or simply just refrain from saying "amen" to the prayer. I do believe that one can, at least before God, refrain from participating in a group prayer when his conscience cannot agree with what is being spoken, simply by not adding his "amen" to that prayer.

The one leading in prayer should indeed make sure that he is earnestly praying from the heart to God (James 5:16), and not just to be heard by man, and yet a "group prayer" should be a blessing, edification, to those who hear the prayer, a prayer that they could say 'amen' to. This is part of what Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 14. Many, however, do pretentiously lead "group prayers" that are very long and involved (Matthew 23:13; Mark 12:40; 20:47), often saying the same things over and over. (Matthew 6:7) Some turn a prayer into a long sermon, resulting in not actually praying to God at all but simply to heard by the audience listening. We cannot, as Jesus, judge the hearts of others, but we can, if we suspect a prayer not be in accord with God's will, refrain from giving our "amen" to that prayer.

Yet our prayer should also be: "Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Romans 15:5,6.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hating and Loving -- Matthew 5:43-45

How are we to love our enemies? How are we to hate those whom God hates? Is there a contradiction between Matthew 5:44 and Psalm 139:21,22? 
Matthew 5:43 You have heard that it was said, "You must love [Greek transliterated, Agapao, a form of Agape] your neighbor," and "You must hate your enemy."
Matthew 5:44 However,  I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray concerning those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:45 Thereby you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

{Psalm 139:21} Jehovah, don't I hate those who hate you?  Am I not grieved with those who rise up against you?
{Psalm 139:22} I hate them with perfect hatred. They have become my enemies.
In Matthew 5:43, Jesus is referring to aspects of the Law and the Prophets regarding human relationships. On the one hand, the Law says we are to "love our neighbor" (Leviticus 19:18), and on the other hand, it tells that David hated those whom Jehovah hates. (Psalm 139:21,22) Was David out of harmony with the command to love one's neighbor? Evidently not, for we read that David's heart was "with Jehovah his God." -- 1 Kings 15:3.

Contrary to what many have thought, Jesus was not, by his words as recorded in John 5:43-45, contradicting the Law and Prophets. He was not saying that we are not to hate those enemy sinners whom Yahweh hates. Nor was he changing the Law. However, he is showing what the meaning is behind the Law and the Prophets, which does tell us to show love to our enemies. -- Exodus 23:4,5; Proverbs 25:21.


Nonetheless, Jesus saw that in application many were misapplying the Law and the Prophets in order to justify their actions for not showing love toward a neighbor. The word "neighbor" signifies those who are near, and the Scribes and Pharisees were in the habit of applying this to those who were near in sympathy, in sentiment, in faith, in sectarian relationship.*
========== 
*See Reprints, page R3804.

Many have dificulty with the idea of loving someone and hating someone at the same time. This is probably because we have been conditioned to think of the concepts in total terms of opposites, rather than as feelings and expressions of heart. Nevertheless, we often do feel love and hatred at the same time toward the same person, even if we do not think of ourselves in this manner. For example, a husband or wife may feel hatred toward a spouse because of certain actions, and yet at the same time feel a continuing love for that same person. Some have come up with the expressions: "Love the sinner, but not the sin", or "Hate the sin, but not the sinner." These expressions do not exactly express the matter scripturally, but they do come close to it.

The apostle Paul gives us a similar example, when he speaks of Israel after the flesh. Of them he says: "Indeed, according to the Good News, through you they are enemies. But, according to the choosing, through the fathers they are loved ones." (Romans 11:28) The point for our consideration here is not over covenants, but rather of their being enemies and yet loved at the same time.

Another example is in Jesus' words: "If any man comes to me, and doesn't hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can't be my disciple." (Luke 14:26, World English Bible translation) Jesus is not here stating a hatred for father, mother, wife, children, brother, sister, and one's own life in the absolute sense of hatred as we are accustomed to using the word "hate". But it in respect to not allowing any of these to get in our way of being a disciple that Jesus uses the term "hate". Thus, because of the possibility that we would allow the Christian to cause us to be disobedient to the Good News, these are hated, but otherwise they should be loved. -- See Matthew 10:34-37.

Additionally, we are told not to love the world (1 John 2:15), and yet we should not think that we should not show love to our neighbor, even though that neighbor may be a sinner, and an enemy of the Good News.

But for the Christian, this quality of love for our enemies must be developed, as usually the natural tendency of the sinful flesh is to not show love to those whom we would consider enemies. This does not mean that we are to love them in such a way as to love their sinfulness, but as neighbors.


How do I provoke in a GOOD way? Christian Questions Podcast




The world is full of provoking and it is NOT A GOOD THING. First, there is the provoking that takes place among children by way of demeaning and bullying those who seem weaker or different. Then there is provoking on an adult social level as those on various sides of issues regarding personal freedoms and beliefs poke and prod one another. And let’s not forget the provoking on a political level as those on opposite sides of the aisle name call and cast aspersions at one another. Basically, provoking stinks! Now that we have proclaimed that provoking is a problem, there is a verse in the Bible that tells us to provoke one another in a good way. So, how does that work? What are we supposed to say or do and how are we supposed to do it? Can there be a positive place and purpose for provoking?

Christian Questions Youtube channel:

CLICK HERE for a recording of the podcast related to the above video.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Swearing and Cursing

But let your speech be, 'Yes, yes; No, no.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one. -- Matthew 5:37, World English Bible translation.

Today, many forms of swearing have become so common place and accepted, that many do not even realize that the words of exclamation they use may be a form of swearing. Indeed, many have a wrong concept of what swearing is, as they appear to limit it as being "taking the Lord's name in vain." Some have the false idea that if a phrase is not thought of as "profanity" by society in general, then it is no longer swearing to use such a phrase. Others have the false idea that by classing a phrase as being grammatically and exclamation then it is no longer "swearing".  Scripturally, if one is adding to his "yes" or "no", so to speak, anything that goes beyond saying what one means, then one is swearing by whatever is being added.

This list presents common forms of swearing and/or cursing that many Christians may use without consciously realizing that they were swearing or cursing. Please note that words or expressions are not of themselves swear/curse words or expressions, but they are often used in a form by which they may become swearing or cursing.

Oh my God!
Swearing by God; used often and extensively as an exclamation without any thought of actually calling upon God, thus adding to one's "yes" and "no".

Gosh, Golly, By Gosh, Dog (as in "Oh, my Dog"), Gad,
Euphemisms for "God". Used as a form of casual swearing by God often in forms of exclamation.

Egads
"The Gods"; a form of swearing by the gods.

Gol-darn, Gol-Dang; Dagnabit, Dad-gum, Geoffrey Daniel; Dog-gone-(It), Gosh-Darn.
Euphemisms for "God damn (it)", forms of cursing.

Gee, Gee whiz, Jiminy Cricket, Jeepers Creepers, Jeebuz, Geez, Jiminy Christmas, By Crakey, By Crickey, etc.
Euphemisms for "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ". Used as a form of casual swearing by Jesus.

George, By George
Appears to be associated with a form of swearing by the "patron saint"of England.
http://tinyurl.com/be69q8h
Could also have developed from swearing by King George of England

My Goodness, Oh My Goodness
Forms of swearing by one's own goodness, or using "goodness" as a euphemism for "God".

By Jove
Euphemism for By Jehovah

Heck, Sam Hill, Tarnation, Infernal
Euphemisms for the word "hell". Forms of swearing by hell or hades, which, in turn, is often used as a name for the god, Pluto.

Mama Mia
Italian (and also in some of the other Latin-based languages) meaning "my mother." Often used as a means of swearing by one's mother.

Darn, Dret, Dang, Durn
Euphemism for "damn". A form of cursing, either telling God to condemn this or that, or taking it upon oneself to condemn (whatever); these could also be used as a form of swearing, swearing by the condemnation itself, depending on how they are used.

Glory Be
This appears to be taken from the Nicene Creed, and it also used in at least one doxology, the rosary, and some hymns. The expression, "Glory Be", is, however, often used casually as an exclamation to give an added impact to one's "yes" and "no", thus could be a form of swearing, possibly having its origins in swearing by the alleged trinity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Patri

Hallelujah
Hallelujah means: "Praise Jah", "Jah" being a short form of "Jehovah". Used as an exclamation to add to one's "yes" or "no" without regard to any any actual thought of praise in one's heart to Jehovah, it becomes a form of swearing.

Bless You
"Bless you", of course, is usually a form of prayer of wishing God to bless another. I often use expressions such as "God bless you", or "Jah bless", or something similar. However, even the heathen use this expression "bless you" to invoke the "blessing" from their gods on someone or something, or even to "curse" a person.

Of course, it is proper to bless others, but when used routinely, it becomes meaningless words added to one's "yes" and "no". Used ritualistically to invoke a spell to stop some evil from happening (such as the alleged idea of a person's soul leaving the body while sneezing), or to invoke a spell against someone, it becomes idolatrous.

Some other forms of swearing often used, "By God", "Holy Cow", "Holy Smoke", "Great Ceasar's Ghost", etc. Can you think of others?

The list of swear/curse words, however, could go on and on; most often people swear with the words that are often generally accepted socially without even realizing that they are swearing. We are constantly bombarded with forms of swearing and cursing at practically every turn, so it is easy to have our minds conditioned to mimic such expressions in our own speech. Practically every thing one might watch on TV has forms of swearing and cursing, and many popular songs also have such.

I will add that there are many lists of alleged "swear" words that may be found on the internet, but most of these appear to overlook many of the words listed above, and at the same time list a lot of words that, although they are defamatory terms, are not actually swear words. Nevertheless, all such rotten sayings are not appropriate for a new creature in Christ, though the flesh of the new creature often proves to weak in this area.

While we should all be endeavoring to bring our flesh in harmony with the spirit by endeavoring to refrain from any form of such swearing, the fact that all of us do swear or curse at times shows that none of us are perfect in our flesh, for he who has learned to perfectly control is tongue is a perfect human. -- James 3:2,8.

If however, such swearing is done willfully by the new creature (rather than just by the old flesh condemned in Adam -- Romans 5:12-19), then it would be a sin denoting a willful rejection of the blood of Christ, and such is a sin that cannot be forgiven, since it is a sin that is to death, the second death, for there is no sacrifice for such sin. -- Hebrews 10:26; 1 John 5:16,17.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Matthew 6:6 - Did Jesus Forbid Group Prayer?

Does what Jesus said in Matthew 6:6 mean that we should not have prayers as a group in a Bible study, or church services, etc.? 
"When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most assuredly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. -- Matthew 6:5,6 -- World English.
Some have claimed that Jesus' words as recorded above would condemn all prayer in public, including what some might call "group prayers," that is, prayers where one person leads a group in prayer, as is the custom in many Christian gatherings. In reality, Jesus was not discussing group prayers at all. The prayers he describes of the "hypocrites" was not a group prayer, but of one who solely prays in public in order to be seen and heard by men. He does not describe these prayers as one person leading a group in prayer, but of individuals who make a performance before men.

The scriptures do indicate that there were what could be called "group prayers" amongst the early Christians. "They prayed, and said..." (Acts 1:24) "They heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said..." "And when they prayed." (Acts 4:24,31) "When they had prayed..." (Acts 6:6) "When he had spoken these things, he kneeled down and prayed with them all." (Acts 20:36) "Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed." -- Acts 21:5.

That group prayers were the custom is also indicated in what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14 about such prayers. He speaks of one who speaks a language not understood by the congregation, using himself as an example, saying: "For if I pray in another language, my spirit [breath] prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." (1 Corinthians 14:14) In other words, if he came into a congregation and spoke a prayer in a language not understood by the congregation, it would not bear any fruit in the congregation. since the congregation would not understand what his breath was communicating. And he asks the question: "If you [speaking in a foreign language] bless with the spirit [breath], how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the 'Amen' at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn't know what you say? For you most assuredly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up [since the other person did not understand the language in which the prayer was spoken with the breath]?" (1 Corinthians 14:16,17) Thus he says: "I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language." (1 Corinthians 14:19) The fact that Paul speaks of saying "amen" to the prayer of another indicates that group prayers, led by one person in prayer, were indeed the custom in the early church gatherings.

However, the fact of saying "amen" to another's prayer also brings up another thought. It indicates that one's agreement with and participation in the thoughs presented in the prayer is shown by saying "amen" to the prayer. In some groups I have attended, the person who leads in prayer may sometimes say things to which I find that I cannot conscientiously say "amen" to, since, for instance, the words said may promote false doctrine and/or practices that may be idolatrous in nature, etc. In such cases, if possible, I may say my own prayer silently, or simply just refrain from saying "amen" to the prayer. I do believe that one can, at least before God, refrain from participating in a group prayer when his conscience cannot agree with what is being spoken, simply by not adding his "amen" to that prayer.

The one leading in prayer should indeed make sure that he is earnestly praying from the heart to God (James 5:16), and not just to be heard by man, and yet a "group prayer" should be a blessing, edification, to those who hear the prayer, a prayer that they could say 'amen' to. This is part of what Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 14. Many, however, do pretentiously lead "group prayers" that are very long and involved (Matthew 23:13; Mark 12:40; 20:47), often saying the same things over and over. (Matthew 6:7) Some turn a prayer into a long sermon, resulting in not actually praying to God at all but simply to heard by the audience listening. We cannot, as Jesus, judge the hearts of others, but we can, if we suspect a prayer not be in accord with God's will, refrain from giving our "amen" to that prayer.

Yet our prayer should also be: "Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Romans 15:5,6.

Angels and Angel Worship

"Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship [obeisance, bowing down to] of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God." -- Colossians 2:18,19, New King James Version
Unless otherwise noted, scripture citations are from the World English Bible version. References and links to other works does not necessarily mean that we endorse all that other authors state, nor that these authors necessarily agree with our presentation.
Paul is talking about the high office that the church is striving for, to be joint-heirs with Christ. As such, along with Christ (Hebrews 1:6), the angels would bow down to those who attain this office. He tells the Christian not to let anyone disqualify you from this office by self-debasement, claiming that we should not seek such a high office so that the angels should bow down to us, but rather we should bow down to the angels, that is, seek to be subservient to the angels, not to be exalted above them.
Nevertheless, this scripture is often quoted in reference to the usage of angelic statues, ornaments, jewelry, etc., that has greatly increased in the last few decades. Regardless of the meaning of this scripture, we know from other scriptures that idolatry is wrong, so how should a consecrated Christian view the images of winged female and child angels?

Practically every which way we turn today, we are confronted with pictures, small and sometimes large statues of winged angels, female angels (often very sensually displayed), as well as winged child angels. These images of "angels" have been around for a long time, and many Christians purchase them and display them without knowledge of their true source or implications. We need to note that the scriptures no where speak of angels such as are being depicted, so we wonder where does all this fascination with such ornaments come from? Much of this evidently has more to do with the graven images of winged gods and goddesses of the heathen religions than the Bible. The exaltation of the supposed "innocence" of childhood is also a concept taken from heathen religions. The fallen human flesh often confuses adoration and worship of the creation with spirituality due to the emotionalism that is often attached with the carnal aspects of idolatry, which emotionalism is many times confused with "the spirit of God." Today "New Age" paganism appears to be behind this increase of idolatry in this connection, for many Christians have not studied the Bible well enough to realize that these "angelic" works of men's hands are actually idols. Pagans often use the Bible to their advantage, so as to promote their pagan philosophies and idolatries, and many professed Christians seem to fall for their deceptions very easily.


One Bible Student took note of this long ago. Here is a quote:
There is no arrangement in God's Plan to have any of those on the spirit plane male and female. According to the productions of Art, there are no male angels; but according to the Scriptures, there are no female angels. Possibly the reason why so many artists have supposed that angels are females is that there are more women in the Church than men. But the entire idea is erroneous; for angels are an entirely separate order of beings from mankind. Man never was an angel and never was intended to be an angel. Man is of the earth, earthy. He fell from the position of king of the earth and became a degraded being; and the Divine intention and promise is that when Messiah shall reign humanity shall be lifted up from sin and degradation and brought back to human perfection.--Acts 3:19-21. ---- ZWT, November 1, 1911, page 414, Reprints page 4914.
Some image examples of heathen winged goddesses online:


Angels, as such, are never depicted in the Bible as having wings. Some point to Zechariah 5:9 as an example of female winged angels. There we read: "Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky." Actually, Zechariah was seeing a vision. (In the vision just before Zechariah had seen a "flying roll." (Zechariah 5:1) The women here are not described as angels. This whole vision is of wickedness. (Zechariah 5:8) Many Bible Students believe that these two women represent two demonic religious systems/covenants (compare Isaiah 56:10-12; Galatians 4:24), receiving power (ruahh, translated "wind" in the KJV) from the demons, the power of the air. -- Ephesians 2:2; 6:12.

There are winged creatures spoken of in the Bible called seraphs (Isaiah 6:2,6) and cherubs. These have been traditionally thought of as angels, although no scripture identifies these winged creatures as angels or even as spirit beings. Regarding cherubs (Cherubim, Hebrew), Easton's Dictionary states:
They are first mentioned in connection with the expulsion of our first parents from Eden (Genesis 3:24). There is no intimation given of their shape or form. They are next mentioned when Moses was commanded to provide furniture for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:17-20; 26:1,31). God promised to commune with Moses "from between the cherubim" (25:22). This expression was afterwards used to denote the Divine abode and presence (Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; Isaiah 37:16; Psalms 80:1; 99:1). In Ezekiel's vision (10:1-20) they appear as living creatures supporting the throne of God. From Ezekiel's description of them (1;10; 41:18,19), they appear to have been compound figures, unlike any real object in nature; artificial images possessing the features and properties of several animals. Two cherubim were placed on the mercy-seat of the ark; two of colossal size overshadowed it in Solomon's temple. (Ezekiel 1:4-14) speaks of four; and this number of "living creatures" is mentioned in Revelation 4:6. Those on the ark are called the "cherubim of glory" (Hebrews 9:5), i.e., of the Shechinah, or cloud of glory, for on them the visible glory of God rested. They were placed one at each end of the mercy-seat, with wings stretched upward, and their faces "toward each other and toward the mercy-seat." They were anointed with holy oil, like the ark itself and the other sacred furniture. Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Cherub". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". http://www.biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/EastonBibleDictionary/ebd.cgi?number=T791.

A close examination all the scriptures in reference to cherubs will show that one cannot definitely determine what these creatures are, whether spirit beings or fleshly beings. There have been good arguments both ways. However, if we assume that they are spirit beings, we have nothing in the scriptures that would classify in the sense of "angels". The cherubs described on the ark of the covenant had wings. Thus we conclude that the cherubs were winged creatures, whatever shape or form they were. (Exodus 37:7-9; see also 1 Kings 6:27; 8:6 2 Chronicles 3:11,13; 5:7) However, angels in the Bible never appear with wings nor as females. It is possible that the cherubs of scripture were confused with the pagan gods and goddesses with wings and thus the images of these winged gods and goddesses came to be referred to angels. Many are familiar with the arguments that cherubs are angels. However, we suggest (we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given): Cherubim Are Not Angels by Tony Warren

Seraphs (Seraphim, Hebrew) are only mentioned in Isaiah 6:2-7. This, of course, is a vision. Whether it is meant to say that in heaven there is a rank of spirit beings called "seraphs" cannot be determined from the scripture. Nor can we definitely determine from the scripture that these seraphs are considered "angels".