Are we part of the 1/3rd ?
Were we in EDEN ?
Ezekiel 31; Revelation 12:1-4
Who are Adam (mankind), and Eve (womankind) in Eden?
Among the most misunderstood verses in the Bible are Revelation 12:1-4. There are several understandings of just what this woman in heaven, and these symbols around her, represent. Revelation Chapter 12 is a summary of events beginning with our creation in heaven…then, describing our fall (the one-third)…then the formation of nations here on earth (including Israel)…then the birth of Christ…then the continuing battle in heaven between the remaining two-thirds along with Michael, and Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7-9)…and finally concluding with the end times effort of Satan to battle the children of God left on the earth (Rev. 12:17, 18:23)—All this history summed up in this one chapter.
In addition to this woman and the host of creation, Satan is pictured here in heaven/Eden/Paradise (Rev. 12:3; Ezek. 31), trying to set up his own kingdom which is opposed to God.
Some believe the woman represents the church of all ages (Isa. 54:5-6; Ezek. 47:21-23; Hosea 2:18-20; John 3:28-29; 2 Corin. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7-8). Catholics believe the woman represents Mary—Jesus came from Mary. Others believe the woman is just Israel, not only because the Messiah Jesus comes from Israel, but also because of the passage in Genesis 37:9-10, where Joseph sees the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him…a prophecy where Joseph’s father, mother, and eleven brothers would be in submission to him… which did eventually happen. Joseph is seen as a type of both Jesus and the nation of Israel. Actually, all of these positions are correct, and biblical. The woman in heaven has aspects of all of these.
The woman is the representation of the creation and all the betrothed (the host of heaven–most of which will eventually become the bride of Christ—note Genesis 2:1 tells us all the host of both heaven and earth are finished at the end of the creation–Day 6). All the host of heaven at the creation are betrothed to God. But, like the Jewish marriage plan, the host of creation await the final revealing of the true bride at the end of the betrothal period, when the actual final marriage takes place (Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15), and those who are truly in love with Jesus are finally revealed (Rev. 19:9, 20:11-15), while others who were betrothed, who do not love Jesus, are then divorced (Rev. 19:21, 20:11-15). The bride is partially revealed at the first resurrection when Jesus returns (Rev. 20:5-6). But, only at the end of the millennium will the bride be finally truly revealed.
The twelve stars on the woman represent the total number of the host of heaven (Gen. 2:1; Job 38:1-7; Matt. 26:53—Twelve is the Hebrew number for fullness, or completeness—the full number. The twelve stars (host of heaven), are symbolically reflected in this age by the twelve tribes of Israel, each of which is assigned a sign of the Zodiac (Gen. 37:9-10; Job 38:32–see Zodiac Study – Target Truth Ministries.com). Note that those who trust in Jesus will be eventually restored to Israel, the twelve tribes—Ezek. 47:21-23). God established all the nations of the world, including Israel, based upon the number of the one-third which were swept away and deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:4; Deut. 32:7-8—“nations” refers to foreign/pagan nations. The Septuagint (original Hebrew to Greek two hundred years before Jesus was even born), reads: “according to the number of the angels of God”—not “the sons of Israel”( the same Hebrew phrase as in Psalm 82:6-8, 89:5-7…angels). The “stars” referred to in John’s Revelation are symbolic of angels, or people (Psalm 148:1-6; Dan. 8:10). John refers to the pastors of the seven churches as angels, or stars (Rev. 1:20). Also, in Revelation 6:13 (the sixth seal), stars are cast to earth—which agrees with Revelation 12:9, where in the end of days those angels who still abide with Satan in heaven are finally cast out to earth. Moses was warned not to worship the host of heaven—the stars. The crown is “royal/elaborate” (1 Pet. 2:9).
The woman (the host of heaven–the betrothed), is protected and enlightened by God (Shekinah Glory—Psalm 104:2; Mal. 4:2; John 8:12, 9:5).
The moon could represent the faithfulness of God’s word (Psalm 89:34-37). We stand upon every word of God, and the moon reflects the light of the sun (Matt. 4:4). Or, the moon could represent false religion (Babylon, Islam, etc.), and the woman (the host of heaven—the betrothed), is standing in dominion over the false religions (Deut. 17:3). The moon god is one of the oldest gods worshiped by mankind going all the way back to Babylon over 4,500 years ago, long before Islam adopted the moon god as the one true god. Both of these understandings are true biblically.
As we read in the next few verses, one-third of these stars (host of heaven), are deceived by Satan (just like Adam and Eve), and are cast to the earth (just like Adam and Eve—Rom. 5:12-21—see the book EDEN to EVIL—Target Truth Ministries.com. Two-thirds of the host of heaven remain as God’s bride to become part of the marriage at the great wedding supper to come (Rev. 19:9-20:15). These are our brethren (Rev. 12:10, 22:8-9).
Elders during the early years of Christianity give the early understanding of this passage of Revelation 12:1-4.
- Victorinus of Petovium stated that the 12 stars refer to the 12 Apostles who fall from the spiritual existence in heaven to assume flesh. Sarius of Arles agrees with this. Satan was able to seduce 1/3rd of the followers of God–the angels.
- Methodius stated that the woman represents virgins (betrothed) prepared for marriage. Satan abuses the minds of Christ’s followers to make them fall and those who are renewed (on earth) will be raised up (to heaven). Many of the fallen stars are heretics in this earth.
- Oecumenius states the woman is Mary as a citizen of heaven…pure and equal to an angel. The 1/3rd are angels who were heavenly, and have now become earthly.
- Tyconius states the 1/3rd who fell represents the Jews who rejected Jesus (the heavenly angles becoming flesh).
- Sarius of Arles states that some believe the 1/3rd are angels thrown down to earth, and others believe these are persons who Satan made his companions.
The assumption of many today is that these angels who fell (the 1/3rd), are all satanic and forever lost. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that all of these are forever lost. Likewise, nowhere in Scripture does it say that Adam and Eve are the only host of heaven created (see Gen. 2:1). Because of pride, people have a hard time accepting that we ourselves are called sinners because we are separated from God due to our disobedience in heaven/Eden—just like the story of Adam and Eve, who also fell and must leave their eternal state in heaven, and take on flesh to become mortal and die. God even tells us that in the resurrection to come, we will be like the angels in heaven—restored and reconciled back (Luke 20:35-36; Matt. 22:30; Mark 12:25; 1 Corin. 15:49; Rev. 12:10, 22:8-9). Obviously, all of us were created to be with God in heaven/Eden (Eph. 1:4-5, 11; 2 Tim. 1:9), and we find ourselves now faced with death in a flesh body because we have fallen from our place with God (Eden).
You will notice that the scene shifts immediately from heaven, to earth. God tells us that the nations of the earth are established based upon the numbers of the fallen angels from heaven (Deut. 32:7-8—“nations” refers to foreign/pagan nations. The Septuagint—original Hebrew to Greek two hundred years before Jesus was even born—reads “according to the number of the angels of God”—not “the sons of Israel”—same Hebrew phrase as in Psalm 82:6-8, 89:5-7…angels). Some of these fallen stars (stars of the woman which were cast to earth), will become Israel (Rev. 12:4), to accomplish God’s plan of reconciliation through Jesus. The picture God is giving us is that of these one-third of the created host of heaven that have been deceived by Satan, some will now be born into this earth age (the age of Grace), and become all the various nations of the world through history, including Israel…and, at the same time, some of these one-third will choose to remain with Satan to battle with God.
The fallen stars who are born into this age of Grace (now flesh beings just like Adam and Eve), must be “born again” and develop a relationship with Jesus (John 3:1-7), be reconciled, (becoming part of the host again – Ezek. 47:21-23; Rom. 11:17-24). The reconciled bride will take part in the marriage (Rev. 19:9). Those who do not love Jesus will remain as the harlot, and be divorced; separated out at the resurrection (Rev. 17:1-5, 18:1-10, 19:21).
These fallen host of heaven are either born into this flesh age (this age of Grace), to have the opportunity to be born again (John 3:1-7), or some of them may choose to remain with Satan, and come directly to earth without being born flesh (Gen. 6:1-4; Dan. 8:10; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 6:12-13, Rev. 12:9).
God’s use of predestination in the Bible, suggests a prior existence of some kind (Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Tim. 1:9). Did we exist prior to being conceived in the flesh, and being born into this earth age?
In the Bible, the book of Job is regarded, by most as the oldest book of the Bible. Job was faced with two issues: life after death, and existence before birth. Job believed in a resurrection of the dead to life one day (Job 14:14). And God, in a rhetorical question, facetiously told Job to “instruct God, if Job understood, exactly where Job was when God laid the foundations of the earth. Tell God if you know” (Job 38:3-4).
Of course, Job, just like us, without God’s Word, had no understanding of this previous age, when all the host of heaven were created, prior to this current earth age (Job 38:7). The context of Job 38:1-18, is to the re-creation of the earth—this age. Words used are “laid,” which means “change,” as well as words such as darkness, death, and turned (overturn). These words do not describe the original creation of Paradise (Eden—see the book EDEN to EVIL—Target Truth Ministries.com).
Many truths of God are not overtly stated in Scripture. The best known truth, the Trinity, is not overtly stated, but can be found if one searches the Scripture. For example: Who raised Jesus from Death? Galatians 1:1 reads; “God the Father.” John 2:19 reads; “God the Son,” (Jesus Himself). Romans 8:11 reads; “God the Holy Spirit.” It becomes obvious as the Scriptures are explored, that all are one and the same.
In this same manner, Jesus spoke His truth to the disciples in parables, not overtly disclosing His message, but giving the believer just enough information to understand, if they searched the Scriptures (Matt. 13:10-11; 17:20). And so, also, God’s Word to us, on the subject of our previous existence with God in Eden, is presented to us with just enough information, so that we can understand the truth of God’s plan, if we search the Scriptures.
We understand from Scripture that we did exist prior to the foundation of the earth, but does this mean we existed in the mind of God in thought only, or in some state of being? John (in chapter one of John), tells us of how the mind of God, and the thoughts and expressions of God, the Word of God, the Logos, at the same time they are thoughts, they are also material. God, who is spirit (John 4:24), actually became material in this age: “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). This was not a creation, but a transformation, as Jesus existed in the very beginning, being the un-created God Himself (Col. 1:15-22, 2:9). God can create by speaking the words. God spoke and the universe was created (Psalm 148:1-5). God (Jesus), is the mind, the thoughts, and the Word. Whereas, we are a creation of that mind of God (Psalm 33:6).
The question posed to Job, is the question posed to us, when God speaks of our previous existence in Scripture, by saying that He knew us even before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Tim. 1:9). God even prepared the kingdom for those who trust in Jesus before the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34; 1 Corin. 2:7). Did we exist only as a thought, or did we exist in some actual state of being? By understanding predestination in God’s plan of salvation and judgement, we can come to a true understanding of our being sinners at conception, that God is not arbitrary, and that we have a real need for God’s sacrifice and grace. In so understanding, we hope not to suffer eternal separation and isolation from God, and also separation from the other host of heaven, forever (a separation commonly known as hell–separation from God).
Scripture indicates that we did exist prior to this age we are born into, and the Scripture gives us a variety of examples to lead us to the understanding that we had a previous relationship with our Creator.
In Galatians 3:8, Paul writes about how the Old Testament foresaw the justification of some people by faith. This plan of God was established even before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5, John 3:18, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Pet. 2:25). In Galatians 4:5, Paul writes of some being redeemed, and being recognized as sons of God. Redemption implies a previous relationship, because redemption means to purchase back that which was lost, or separated.
Everywhere that the word “adoption” appears in Scripture, there are also the words redeem, reconcile, repent, or predestine within the context, all indicating a previous relationship (Eph. 1:4-5, 11; 2 Tim. 1:9). In Galatians 4:5, Paul writes of adoption along with redemption. In the culture of Paul’s time, adoption had a different meaning compared to that which we now use in the west. Adoption, today, to us, means taking into our family a person formerly unknown, and usually without any debt. In the ancient world, a child would be taken into a house as a slave, in order to care for that child, and not necessarily adopted. Adoption meant being revealed as kinship, their old life forgotten, their debts no longer existing. That is, their debts are forgiven (paid), and that person would be eligible for the inheritance. As kinsmen (related to God through His creation of us), the sins (debt), of the sons of God are paid by Jesus’ sacrifice, and those who trust in Christ are now eligible for the inheritance.
In Galatians 4:8-9, Paul writes about our relationship with God. In Galatians 4:8, Paul writes “formerly when you did not know God…” The context is this life, referring to Gentiles worshiping false gods. The Greek “to know” implies a relationship with God. In fact, it actually indicates an intimate relationship, not just intellectual knowledge. According to Alan Cole, Paul was very reluctant to write of humans “knowing God,” because to know God (as used in the Greek), meant a close, personal relationship. Since we are born sinners, separated from God, this is impossible until we are born again (John 3:1-7). That is, unless we had a previous relationship before our conception. Paul emphasizes this understanding that we cannot know God, by restating his thought as, “be known by God,” which clearly indicates that until we are “born again” in this life, we cannot know God.
However, after Galatians was written, Paul then wrote (in Romans 1:21), about a time when people “knew God,” indicating, once again, a relationship prior to this age we are born into. The context of Romans one is Paul pointing out how both Jew and Gentile are fallen, and separated from God. Therefore, we now don’t know God as we once did. Since we are all born sinners (having fallen), and are therefore separated from God, this period of knowing God must have been an age prior to this age into which we are birthed.
Theologians basically agree that the Greek words Paul used in Romans 5:12 means that each person, individually, in the past, turned from God. The aorist tense is used specifically by Paul when he says “we all sinned,” pointing to a single past action by all, tied to the sin of Adam in the past. This same reference to “all have sinned” (meaning a turning from God in the past), is referred to in many other passages as well (Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Ez. 31; Jer. 1:5; Acts 2:23; Rom 1:20-32, 3:12, 23; 1 Jn. 1:8-10; Rev. 12:1-4).
Romans 5:12 also says that through one man (Adam), sin entered into the world (kosmos). Yet, we know sin existed earlier with Satan in paradise (Eden), prior to anyone else sinning, and therefore prior to this world. Adam did bring sin into “this world” (this age), but Adam and Eve and Satan sinned originally in Eden, and indications from Scripture are that we, as individuals, did also (see also Rom. 3:10-12: “all turned aside, and together became useless…,” and Rom. 3:23: “all have sinned,” a past action). This is further supported in Romans 5:19, where we read that “many” were made sinners. This can only be true if the fall occurred in Eden (Rev. 12:4 – where “many” fell, but not all). If Romans 5:19 is a reference to this age we now live in, Romans 5:19 would have to read “all,” because all other passages tell us we are all sinners, even at conception—not one is righteous.
Donald Guthrie in New Testament Theology (1981, pgs. 210-211), states that: “Although Paul maintains that sin entered this world through Adam (Rom. 5:12), Paul does not argue from the one (Adam), to the many (all people), as if he were heaping the responsibility of everyone’s sin on Adam’s head.” In Paul’s theology, we are each individually responsible for our sin in the past (Rom. 5:12).
To quote Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, “The idea that every child is born damned for the sin of Adam is alien to Jewish thought.”
To quote J.W. MacGorman, “Much of the misunderstanding of Romans 5:12-21 has stemmed from a translation error in the Latin Vulgate of the fourth century, where the Greek text states ‘because all sinned,’ was mistakenly rendered ‘in whom all sinned,’ with Adam regarded as the unnamed antecedent of ‘in whom’.” And, again in the seventeenth century Johannes Cocceius proposed a theory of God entering into a covenant with Adam as the ‘federal head’ of the human race (The Traducian Theory). This greatly inﬂuenced the Reformation. However, there is not one shred of biblical evidence of this.
We do inherit death, the result of sin, but not the sin of Adam. Erickson describes the imputation of the righteousness of Christ as “not a matter of transferring righteousness from Him to me, as it is a matter of bringing the two of us together, so that we hold all things in common.” However, this is not the same philosophy of imputation that is used to describe the imputation of sin to us from Adam, which is described by many as a physical transfer as part of our ﬂesh birth (The Traducian Theory). As stated by Erickson concerning sin, “It is a matter of transferring Adam’s sin and sinful nature to me.” These various philosophies try to explain why the Bible teaches that each of us is a sinner, even in the womb, before we are even born—but they fall short of using actual Scripture to support these various imputation theories.
Scripture points to God knowing before the creation of the world, before our birth, that we are all sinners, and in need of His (Jesus’) sacriﬁce to be saved. (Ps. 51:5, 58:3; Matt. 19:17; Acts 2:23; Eph. 1:4-5, 11; Rom. 3:12, 23, 8:28-30, 9:11-16, 11:2, 7; Rev. 12:1-4). The biblical description of us having a relationship with God prior to this flesh age of grace is not like the pagan understanding of preexistence, which Hindu and Eastern mysticism believe in, where somehow souls without bodies exist somewhere out there in the universe, waiting to be born into a flesh body. Nor does the Mormon understanding of a God-man having sex producing spirit babies to be born into this flesh age fit the Scriptures in the Bible. The Bible describes our relationship with God in Paradise/Eden as broken due to our sin of disobedience, and therefore our need to be born as flesh, to die, to have an opportunity for salvation (John 3:1-7). We need to be born flesh (John 3:5-6), and then be born of spirit—receive our spirit from God (John 3:6; Rom. 8:16).
Many point to the fact that God tells us that angels cannot be “saved” (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 12:4; Heb. 2:16 NASB). Questions arise: If our God is a loving and forgiving God, why are fallen angels supposedly not eligible for salvation, while fallen humans are? We know that salvation is planned from before the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3; Eph. 1:4-5, 11; Rev. 13:8, 17:8), and that the creation of all the host, of both heaven and earth, is finished and complete at the end of the seventh day (Gen. 2:1). So, who is God arranging to save, if not the fallen host of heaven? To answer these questions requires us to open the Bible.
Does the Bible really say that the host of heaven are not allowed to be saved? No. The Bible actually points to a reason the host cannot be saved while in heaven. Jesus said in John 3:3-7, that two things are required for salvation.
First, one must be born flesh, and then one must be “born again,” or born of spirit (receive out eternal spiritual nature, the breath of eternal life). Jesus also revealed just a few verses later in John 3:13, the plan of heaven (John 3:12), that no human ascends into heaven, unless he first descends from heaven–even, or like, Jesus did (becoming flesh). Some say Jesus in John 3:13 is just referring to His claim of authority concerning heavenly things by indicating that He comes from heaven. But, we know that this verse must refer to God’s plan of reconciliation, because others have ascended into heaven (such as Enoch and Elijah). The context here in John 3:13, is to both the physical and the spiritual, referring back to John 3:5-7, and John 3:12, and the need to be “born again.” The context is to eternal life (verse 15), for all of us who have been separated from God. Therefore, this verse refers to anyone being born human (mortal), and not just to Jesus.
We learn in Hebrews 2:14-17, that Jesus gives salvation to those in the mortal flesh, not those in the supernatural eternal state. Just as Adam and Eve, in their eternal state in paradise, were expelled to this fallen temporary earth, and took on mortal flesh bodies (so as to die), so also all the rest of the fallen host of heaven must take on mortal flesh bodies to have an opportunity to be saved. We must note that some (not all) of the fallen host of heaven did deliberately leave heaven on their own while still in their supernatural state, and they are now bound in hell (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6-7; Gen. 6:1-4).
Why must Adam and Eve and the other fallen host of heaven first become mortal flesh in order to have an opportunity to be saved? Because it was while in the mortal flesh state that their sins were paid for and removed. Sin needs to be removed, and God requires death to remove sin. If we remain in our supernatural state, we cannot die, and can only be separated forever (Gen. 3:22). Only a perfect being (God – perfect, sinless, uncreated, and eternal), could pay the price for our sin, but God is eternal and does not die. Therefore, God’s Spirit entered into mortal flesh (Philip. 2:5-8; John 1:1-18, 6:33, 38; Heb. 2:9; Col. 2:8-9). In so doing God (Jesus) actually became sin (2 Corin. 5:21), and died bodily, thus eliminating that sin. An uncreated, eternal, sinless God could only become sin, and die to eliminate that sin, while in a mortal state. Because God is uncreated, eternal, and sinless, and will not abide with sin, those who are fallen must either be separated for all eternity from God, or somehow be cleansed from all sin.
Scripture tells us that the angels in heaven question and wonder about us here on earth in the flesh. The angels in heaven long to understand about salvation (1 Pet. 1:10-12). Jesus helps those of flesh and blood, not the angels in heaven (Heb. 2:16). There is no blood sacrifice needed for those who stayed with God in heaven. Those of us who trust in Jesus will have Jesus to represent us to the angels in heaven (Luke 12:8-9). There is joy felt in heaven in the presence of angels when one of the fallen repents (Luke 15:10). The angels in heaven are spectators, watching those who spread the Gospel struggle (1 Corin. 4:8-10).
Adam, Eve, and the fallen host must leave their eternal state, and become mortal, in order to partake in God’s plan for reconciliation (Gen. 3:22). God loved us enough to lower Himself to in-dwell mortal flesh for a short period, so as to suffer and save those who will trust in Him. All souls who reject God’s love, and who do not trust in Christ, will be separated from God and sent to hell (eternal separation), for all eternity.
In Eden our purpose was to tend Paradise (Gen. 2:15-17). In this age of Grace, our purpose is to have babies (Gen. 1:28). Only by having babies…being born flesh, do fallen sinners have an opportunity at reconciliation with our Creator (John 3:1-7). Praise God for his love for us (Rom. 5:10-11).