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    §3. THE HEAVENLY FAMILY

    “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Ephesians 3:14, 15. By this we learn that there is a family in heaven. Who compose that family? Not the spirits of our dead friends, but the holy angels who were created in heaven before man was made upon the earth. We read in many places of the angels in heaven. Thus in Revelation 5:11: “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”ATNM 8.2

    Spiritualists claim that these angels are the souls of the departed ones who once lived on this earth. As a man cannot die till he is created, of course if angels are only the souls of dead men, there could have been no angels until after the sixth day of creation; no, not even then until one or more men had died. But angels did exist before man was created, or even the foundations of the world were laid. If this be proved, the theory above named, that angels are the spirits of dead men, must fall to the ground.ATNM 9.1

    In Genesis 3:24 we read that God placed cherubim to guard the way of the tree of life when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden. Cherubim are a high order of angels. This was before any man had died; therefore they were not the souls of dead men. The word of the Lord to Job was: “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:3-7. By this we see that when God laid the foundations of the earth, the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. This proves that the heavenly family did exist before man was created; therefore they are not disembodied spirits.ATNM 9.2

    Furthermore, men and angels are not of the same nature. Thus, the Psalmist says: “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? for Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.” Psalm 8:4, 5. Speaking of Christ, Paul says: “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:16. Then in their very nature angels are different from men, and of course are not men. But does not the Bible say that at the resurrection we shall become angels?-It does not. Jesus says that the saints shall be equal to the angels, in that they can die no more. Luke 20:36. But this does not intimate that angels and men are of the same nature.ATNM 10.1

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