I have been thinking about God’s sovereignty and his perfect plan being executed even in the fall.  This new line of thinking came at me a few weeks ago, at the Genevan Institute Thursday night web chat.  The Moderator made a comment along the lines that the reason why fallen angels (demons) could not be redeemed is because they have no federal head.  Before I go into this farther, let me briefly define federal headship using A.W. Pink.

 “Federal headship” is a term which has almost entirely disappeared from current religious literature—so much the worse for our moderns. It is true that the expression itself does not verbally occur in Scripture; yet like the words Trinity and the divine incarnation, it is a necessity in theological parlance and doctrinal exposition. The principle or fact which is embodied in the term “federal headship” is that of representation. There been but two federal heads: Adam and Christ, with each of whom God entered into a covenant. Each of them acted on behalf of others, each legally represented as definite people, so much so that all whom they represented were regarded by God as being in them. Adam represented the whole human race; Christ represented all those whom the Father had, in His eternal counsels, given to Him. – A.W. Pink Divine Covenants.

 At the heart of this definition of federal headship is the concept of legal representation.  This is what differentiates the fall of the angels from the fall of man.  There does not appear to be taught in Scripture anything that would indicate that the angels had a single representative in whom their status before God was determined.   Thus, their decision to follow Satan and to rebel against God was the origin of their fall.

 Hebrews 2:14-17 sheds light on our understanding of federal headship being legal representation.

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.  16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.   17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

 Verses 16 and 17 are of particular interest because verse 16 directly states that Christ did not come to redeem angels and verse 17 identifies how Christ “helps the offspring of Abraham.”  That help comes in the form of federal headship.

I can’t help but think that the reason God did not redeem fallen angels is because redemption is not possible without a federal head or a legal representative who could stand in their place.  Could there be some other way of rescuing the fallen angels from their sin?  I agree with the moderator of the Genevan Institute and I lean in the direction of saying that without a federal head, there can be no salvation for fallen angels—though I am hesitant to say that salvation is impossible for God, especially given the great lengths He has gone to in order to redeem the elect in humanity.

 Next time I want to go farther down this road and consider God’s sovereignty in light of the unredeemable fall of the demons.

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