The Creation of Angels.

Bible Study Guide/ The doctrine of Angels/ 76-002 (Hebrews 1:14)/ Key Text: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13–14, NKJV)

Opening Remarks: When were Angels created? Angels were created perhaps billions of years ago. They were created before the heaven and the earth were created (Job 38:4–11). “The time of the creation of angels is something that the Bible does not specifically mention. Angelic existence dates back before the creation of humans. How far back no one knows. They seem to have been in existence when the earth was created. Scripture indicates the angels sang and shouted at God’s creation of the earth – possibly before any material thing was made. They were definitely created before humanity. Beyond this, there is not enough information to be more specific.” (Don Stewart)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
[1] What is the origin of Angels? Angels are not eternal but, rather, were created by God as permanent beings. They had a beginning, but they do not die (Luke 20:36). At some point in time, God spoke, and Angels came into existence.

[2] What does the Old Testament teach about the creation of Angels by God?

  • In Psalm 148:2–5, the psalmist declares: “Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.” (Psalm 148:2–5, NKJV)
  • Similarly, in Isaiah 44:24, God declares through the prophet: “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;” (Isaiah 44:24, NKJV)

[3] When were Angels created? In the beginning! The first verse of Scripture gives us an indication as to when the angels were created. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

  • The phrase “heavens and the earth” refers to the entire universe. This would include all the separate parts. The creation of angels would seemingly be included in this statement.

[4] When were Angels created? Before Creation of the Earth.Though we are not told exactly when they were created, it seems to be sometime before the earth was created.

  • God spoke to Job saying: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4) “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7)
  • Before the creation of man, angels were in existence; for when the foundations of the earth were laid, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7. After the fall of man, angels were sent to guard the tree of life, and this before a human being had died. Angels are in nature superior to men, for the psalmist says that man was made “a little lower than the angels.” Psalm 8:5. [The Truth About Angels, pp. 25–26].

[5] When were Angels created? Before Seventh Day.One thing we can be certain about is that the angels were created before the seventh day of creation. The Bible says: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” (Genesis 2:1, NKJV) The phrase “all their hosts” probably refers to the angels.

  • “Angels are an order of intelligences older than man. The Fathers made the creation of angels simultaneous with the original calling into being of the elements, perhaps basing their opinion on the apocryphal Ecclesiasticus, 18:1—“he that liveth eternally created all things together.” In Job 38:7, the Hebrews parallelism makes “morning stars” = “sons of God,” so that angels are spoken of as present at certain stages of God’s creative work. The mention of “the serpent” in Gen. 3:1 implies the fall of Satan before the fall of man. We may infer that the creation of angels took place before the creation of man—the lower before the higher. In Gen. 2:1, “all the host of them,” which God had created, may be intended to include angels. Man was the crowning work of creation, created after angels were created.” [Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology, (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), 446].

[6] Who created the Angels? Jesus Christ—

  • “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16, NKJV)
  • “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.” (Psalm 148:1–5, NKJV) 

[7] When did God create the Angels? Sometime before the world was created (Gen 1:1).

  • “Trying to determine when God created the angels is somewhat tricky because anything God did “before the foundation of the world” puts the event outside of time itself. Time and space are characteristics of our world, not God’s. He is not limited by hours, days and years as we are. In fact, the Bible tells us that “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).”
  • “We do know that God created the angels before he created the physical universe. The book of Job describes the angels worshipping God as He was creating the world: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4–7).
  • “If we consider the function of angels, we might conclude that God created the angels just prior to the creation of mankind because one of their duties is to be “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). We also know they existed prior to the Garden of Eden, because Satan, who was formerly the angel Lucifer, was already present in the Garden in his fallen state. However, because another function of angels is to worship God around His throne (Revelation 5:11–14), they may have been in existence millions of years—as we reckon time—before God created the world, worshipping Him and serving Him.”
  • “So, although the Bible does not specifically say when God created the angels, it was sometime before the world was created. Whether this was a day before, or billions of years before—again, as we reckon time—we cannot be sure.” [Got Questions Ministries, Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered, (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2002–2013)].

[8] What else does the Bible say about Angels?

  1. They were created individually—there is no “papa angel” from which all the other angels descended. Angels are not a race but a company (Heb. 12:22) for they were each created individually—(see below for further comments)
  • They were created holy—Since God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), He cannot create unholy angels. Jude 6 gives us a description of another set of angels – evil/ rebellious angels. These are “not those who live in heaven and glorify God, but those who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling. Once pure, holy, and living in God’s presence, they gave in to pride and joined Satan to rebel against God.” [Bruce B. Barton, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 1995), 244].
  1. “From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator” (Desire of Ages, 161).

[9] What are the similarities and differences between Angels and Humans?

  • “God created angels and humans to be different beings, and they were created at separate moments in time. Angels are not the spirits of deceased humans. Angels do not become humans, and humans do not become angels. Their distinctions remain throughout eternity. Both are created beings, finite beings, and limited beings, dependent on God for continued existence. Both are accountable to God for their actions and limited in their abilities and position (Matt. 24:36; John 16:11; 1 Cor. 6:3; Heb. 9:27). Both have full personality including intellect, will, and emotion; and both are capable of a direct relationship with God. But angels are also different from humans.”
  • “Angels have different natures and are a different order of being (Heb. 2:5–7). Angels are invisible and do not marry, procreate, or die (Matt. 22:28–30; Luke 20:36). Angels are spirit (Heb. 1:14), and they do not have bodies, ethnicity, or gender (though in their appearances to humans, they appear with both). Humans are both spirit and body (James 2:26). Angels are also greater in intelligence, strength, and swiftness (2 Peter 2:11). It is important to remember the similarities and differences, especially when considering depictions of angels in the arts, popular culture, and various religious movements. Sentimentality should never usurp Scripture!” [H. Wayne House and Timothy J. Demy, Answers to Common Questions about Angels & Demons, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2011), 20–21].

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: In Colossians 1:16, the apostle Paul writes of Christ as Lord of creation bringing all that is known into existence. As the second person of the Trinity, Christ as God was the agent of angelic creation:For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Paul’s letter to the Christians in Colossae, in present-day Turkey, was written in part to combat the syncretism of Christian theology with pagan thought and a heresy that threatened the vitality of Christianity in the city. Part of the theological error being propagated was the worship of angels (2:18), which included the belief that angels were emanations from the true God. Connected with this concept was the belief that Jesus Christ was no more than an intermediary. These concepts denied the unique deity of Christ. Against this heretical background, Paul declared the deity of Christ, proclaiming Him the Creator God. Christ created and sustains the universe and all that is in it (John 1:3; Heb. 1:2, 10), including the angels.

It is important to remember three phrases in Colossians 1:16— “by Him … through Him … and for Him.” Angels are not “free agents” in the world in either their existence or activity. They worship, serve, and glorify God, and so too, should we.” [H. Wayne House and Timothy J. Demy, Answers to Common Questions about Angels & Demons, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2011), 17–18].

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,” (Hebrews 12:22, NASB95)

“I believe the general assembly (panēguris, “a gathering for a public festival”) refers to the myriads of angels, rather than to the church of the first-born. The translation could be, “But you have come to … an innumerable company of angels in festal gathering.” When we come in Jesus Christ to Mount Zion, we come to a great gathering of celebrating angels, whom we join in praising God. Daniel gives us an idea of just how many angels we will be joining in heaven: “Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him” (Dan. 7:10; cf. Rev. 5:11).”

“Innumerable angels were also present at Sinai, as mediators of the Mosaic covenant (Gal. 3:19), the covenant of law and judgment. But men could not join them there. Like the God they served, at Sinai they were unapproachable. The angels were not celebrating at Sinai; they were blowing the trumpets of judgment.”

“Contrary to what some churches teach, we are not to worship angels. We join them in worshiping God, and God alone. “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize,” Paul warns, “by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels” (Col. 2:18). During his vision on Patmos, John once was so awestruck that he fell at the feet of an angel and would have worshiped him. But the angel forbid him, saying, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God” (Rev. 19:10). In heaven, we will not worship angels, but will worship with angels. We will join them in eternal celebration and praise of God.” [John F. MacArthur Jr., Hebrews, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983), 414–415].

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? Holiness – “All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life.” —The Desire of Ages, 785.

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Doctrines/ An Introduction to Angelology: (The doctrine of angels) Lesson # 2