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Vol.  10  No. 10 October 2008  Page 20
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Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Louis Rushmore

Cherubim and Seraphim

Are the cherubim and seraphim different heavenly beings apart from angels? ~ Femi Temilola, Nigeria

Little is know about the cherubim and seraphim, but it is generally agreed that they are an order of angels, perhaps set apart in some greater qualities and duties. “Seraphim are in Jewish theology connected with cherubim and ophanim as the three highest orders of attendants on Yahweh, and are superior to the angels who are messengers sent on various errands” (International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia).

Works Cited

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1996.

Evil Angels

Are the destroying angels of Psalm 78:49 evil spirits/demons? ~ Femi Temilola, Nigeria

One commentary explains the meaning of “evil angels” in Psalm 78:49 (KJV) that they “are not wicked angels…but angels that bring misfortune” (Keil & Delitzsch). The context pertains to the plagues that God brought upon Egypt at the time of the Jewish Exodus, and the angelic servants of God who at the direction of God caused these plagues to occur. Barnes’ Notes expands upon this explanation with these excellent observations.

There is reference here undoubtedly to the slaying of the first-born in Egypt. Ex 11:4-5; 12:29-30. This work is ascribed to the agency of a destroyer (Ex 12:23; compare Heb 11:28), and the allusion seems to be to a destroying angel, or to an angel employed and commissioned to accomplish such a work. Compare 2 Sam 24:16; 2 Kings 19:35. The idea here is not that the angel himself was evil or wicked, but that he was the messenger of evil or calamity; he was the instrument by which these afflictions were brought upon them.

Works Cited

Barnes' Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament. CD-ROM. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996.


I have been searching the bible and the web for specific cases of men in the bible who divorced, sent or put their wives away. I look forward to your response. ~ Gwen Smith

Though the Bible records both events and instructions, there are fewer examples of specific instances of divorce, per your inquiry, than there are specific recorded instances of divorce. The Bible contains much instruction respecting marriage, divorce and remarriage; search for “marriage” or “divorce” in the Archive of Gospel Gazette Online (www.gospelgazette.com). However, one example of multiple divorces (because under Judaism these marriages were not permitted) occurs in Ezra 10.

What Are Sin and Forgiveness?

By Jerry Bates

Answer me this question: How can some one forgive another? And what is a SIN?
~ Andrew Baguma, Kasese, Uganda

Thank you for your questions. The first question is, “What is a sin?” In 1 John 3:4, we find that sin is lawlessness, or as the King James translates it, “sin is a transgression of the law.” “The law” would be a reference to God’s law. This implies a deliberate act of law breaking. In 1 John 5:17, we read that “all unrighteousness is sin.” Righteousness is the doing of what God has commanded; therefore, we find again that sin is breaking God’s commandments.

However, we must also remember that sin may not involve any action on our part. We can also sin by doing nothing. We also sin by not doing what we know we should do (James 4:17). This is one reason why sin is so widespread among mankind, even among Christians. Sometimes we may sin by doing absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, if we know we should be doing good, but refuse to do it, to us it is sin according to James.

We are all caught in sin (Romans 3:23), and if it were not for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, none would ever be saved (Romans 5:8). This knowledge should cause a constant sense of gratitude for God’s gracious provision of forgiveness.

Your next question is, “How can someone forgive another?” This is a good question. Forgiveness is required of everyone, but it is not easy to do. Jesus stated that if we do not forgive others, then Jesus will not forgive us either (Matthew 6:14-15). Jesus demonstrated forgiveness by his prayer on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). True forgiveness occurs when the injured party resolves that he will no longer hold the word or action against the person who committed it. That does not necessarily mean that we completely forget about it. It is often impossible to forget it completely, but it does mean that you do not hold it against him and will not bring it up again, even if he does the same thing again. We know that is what God does for us. That can be rather difficult to do.

Forgiveness obviously begins with the attitude of our heart. When someone sins against us, that sin is his problem with God. Our attitude towards it is our problem. It is not up to us to condemn, punish or take revenge against him. That is God’s business. That is what Jesus was doing in his prayer on the cross. He was turning it all over to God. Only by having complete faith and trust in God can we really forgive another. In forgiveness, we turn the matter over to God for His care. Vengeance belongs to God, and He will one day take vengeance on one if his sins have not been covered by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews. 10:30).

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