Part I: Angels -- The Invisible Creatures Of God Among Us
1. The Angels' Creation
The heavens recount the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day to day pours forth speech;
night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, there are no words;
their voice is not heard.
Their sound has gone out through all the earth;
their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
The celestial bodies the sun, moon, stars, planets, galaxies preach this sermon in every language and tongue to the peoples of the earth: “There is a God, most glorious and powerful, who made us.” This God is none other than the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, as Psalm 121:2 states,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). We know this, not because we were there to witness the creative activity of God, but because the Word of God tells us he did, which is the truth, for God does not lie. By faith alone, then, we know the Lord is the Maker of heaven and earth, as it is written, “By faith we understand the universe was made by the word of God, . . .” (Hebrews 11:3).
This faith, this knowledge, that the Lord is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is denied by much of the population, especially the atheistic scientific community, as well as the liberal, fallen, apostate, visible church all of whom have adopted the theory of evolution to believe the heavens and the earth came into existence by mere chance of its own accord without the benefit of a supernatural hand to fabricate it or to guide its organization.
Since these individuals deny the visible creation of God, which they can see the heavens and the earth, how much more do they deny the invisible creation of God that they cannot see the angels! Long before modern evolutionists denied the existence of angels, the Sadducees of Jesus’ day said that “there is no resurrection, nor angels, nor spirits, . . . “ (Acts23:8).
But the angels are real, living creatures of God, like we are, and we live among them, even though we cannot see them, just as we live among the thousands of other creatures God has made whom we can see. Like the rest of us creatures of God, the angels were also created to the glory of God: “For all things are from him and through him and to him. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36). The angels are part of all the things that are from him and to him and through him and give glory to his name.
The Lord has given us in Scripture, and particularly in Genesis 1 & 2, details of our creation and the creation of the heavens, the earth, and all the creatures that inhabit them. Regarding the creation of the angels, however, little is said. But in this Bible study lesson let us glean from the Scriptures what is revealed about their creation.
Searching The Scriptures:
1. In this first section of this Bible study we will discover how we can know that angels are indeed creatures whom God has made.
To begin this discovery we will first look at Ephesians 6:11, 12. These verses speak of the devil and his evil angels in the kingdom of darkness. Verse 11 mentions the devil by name. In verse 12 his hierarchy of evil angels is described as being rulers, authorities, world powers of this darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
- Ephesians 6:11, 12: Put on the full armor of God so you are able to stand up against the schemes of the devil; 12 because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Colossians 1:15, 16 reveal that Christ, the Son of God, created all things. Verse 16 clarifies that Christ also created the angels, for the verse uses the same terms for the angels that were used in Ephesians 6:12 to describe the devil’s evil angels.
- Colossians 1:15, 16: He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 for by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Psalm 148:1-6 below enables us to know the angels are creatures whom God created. Verse 2 calls upon the angels to praise the Lord along with all the other heavenly creations of God. We know that God created the heavens and the earth and the various creatures on the earth by means of the word of his command: “Let there be,” as Genesis 1 states. Hebrews 11:3 also confirms God created these things by his word or command. Now Psalm 148:5 below states that the angels were also created by the command of God. This clarifies that the angels are indeed creatures of God.
- Psalm 148:1-6:
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
Praise him in the lofty heights!
2 Praise him all his angels,
Praise him all his heavenly hosts!
3 Praise him sun and moon,
Praise him all stars of light!
4 Praise him all the places of heaven,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever,
He gave a decree that will not pass away.
So in this first section of this Bible study we have discovered that the angels are truly creatures of God, whom God created by the power of his word and command.
2. In this second section of this Bible study we will discover that the angels were originally created in a good, holy, and perfect state and condition.
Genesis 1:31-2:2 below state that when God had completed making all that he had made, all that he had made was very good. "Very good" means that all God had made was in a holy, perfect state and condition. So when the angels were created, God created them holy, perfect, sinless angelic beings. No evil angels were created, only good angels.
- Genesis 1:31-2:2: 31 And God saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning the sixth day. And the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
3. In this third section of this Bible study we will discover when the angels were created.
John 1:1-3 below reveals that only Christ the Word was with God in the beginning when God started to create the heavens and the earth. That having been the case, it was impossible for the angels to have been there when God started to create the heavens and the earth. It was also impossible, then, for the angels to have been created before God started creating the heavens and the earth.
- John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made.
From Exodus 20:11 we learn that like everything else God created, the angels had to have been created sometime during the six days of creation.
- Exodus 20:11: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. Then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Genesis 2:2 clarifies that the angels could not have been created after the six days in which the heavens and the earth were created. For the verse states, like Exodus 20:11 above, that after the six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day from his creative activities. His creative activities then ceased. So the angels had to have been created sometime during the previous six days of creation.
- Genesis 2:2: And by the seventh day God completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
Job 38:4-7 helps us to understand that the angels were created sometime during the first six days when the heavens and the earth were created. In these verses the angels, literally called "the sons of God" in the Hebrew text, are mentioned by name and are also called “morning stars.” Verses 6 & 7 reveal that the angels were there to sing for joy when the Lord laid the earth’s foundation. So they must have witnessed some of God’s creative activity.
- Job 38:4-7: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have knowledge. 5 Who set its measurements, since you know? Or, who stretched out its measuring line? 6 On what was its bases sunk? Or, who laid its cornerstone? 7 While the morning stars sang together, And all the angels shouted for joy.”
Given only the preceding biblical information, we cannot determine on which of the six days the angels were created. The most we can say with certainty is that the angels were created sometime during the six days of creation.
In this third section of this Bible study we have discovered that God created the angels sometime during the six days of creation.
4. In this fourth section of this Bible study we will discover how many angels God created.
The following verses reveal God has created millions of angels, thousands times thousands of them.
- Hebrews 12:22: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to thousands upon thousands of angels in festal assembly.
- Revelation 5:11: Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and their number was thousands upon thousands and thousands times thousands.
- Psalm 68:17: The chariots of God (a term for the angels) are tens of thousands and thousands upon thousands.
- Daniel 7:10: A stream of fire was flowing and coming out before him. Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and ten thousands upon ten thousands were standing before him…
The next verses clarify that the angels are so many in number that they are called a host, which is an army.
- Psalm 24:10:
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
- Psalm 148:2:
Praise him all his angels,
Praise him all his heavenly hosts!
Given this much information, we cannot determine the exact number of angels God created. All we can say with certainty is that God created millions of them.
From Luke 20:34-36 below we learn that the angels do not die, nor do they marry and propagate. This being true, there are no more or no less angles today than there were when God created them. Their number is a fixed, unchanging number.
- Luke 20:34-36: And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are worthy to attain that age and the resurrection of the dead do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, neither are they able to die anymore, for they are like the angels, and they are sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection.”
In this fourth section of this Bible study we have learned that God created millions of angels, whose number remains fixed and unchanging.
Generally speaking, we are aware only of the visible creation of God around us that we can see. But God’s Word, such as we have seen in this Bible study, makes us aware that another vast element of God’s creation that we cannot see his invisible creation of the angels and the sphere in which they dwell also surrounds us. We stand in awe as we look with appreciation upon the visible creation of God that we live in. We will stand in such awe as well as we contemplate the mystery and the majesty of his vast invisible creation of the angels and their sphere in which they dwell.
Having learned from the Bible that God has created millions of angels in an invisible creation that is all around us, we become conscious of the fact that we are living among the angels, who are all around us. We have not yet studied the habitation of God’s angels, but we have learned that the angels are creatures of God as we also are, and that they number in the millions. Therefore, just as we live among the rest of God’s visible creation on a planet in the midst of the outer space of the universe and among millions of different kinds of living creatures here on earth, so we also live among God’s angels in God’s invisible creation. We can see the millions of other living creatures that God has made to live among us, but the angels we cannot see. Thus we tend to ignore their presence, knowing there are angels, yet taking them for granted.
During our lives we study the many other creatures of God with interest, fascination, and appreciation, whether they live in the sky, in the seas, on the earth, or under the earth. In a similar manner by faith in the angels’ invisible existence and creation we can study the angels in the next eleven lessons that follow this one. As we do so, let us give praise and glory to our majestic Lord and God, who made not only visible creatures like us to live to the glory of his name but he also made invisible angels to live to the praise of his name. Thus we end this Bible study lesson on the creation of the angels by joining with them as the psalm writer once did in saying:
Bless the Lord, you his angels,
you powers of strength who do his word,
who obey the voice of his word.
Bless the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you who are his works,
in all places of his dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul! (Psalm 103:20-22)