WHEN WERE ANGELS CREATED? AND OTHER QUESTIONS18/03/2013 06:53
WHEN WERE ANGELS CREATED?
AND OTHER QUESTIONS
By John Aldworth
Published 3 Dec. 2012
A series of questions have arisen as a result of recent studies. This paper seeks to answer them and thus to “tie up a number of loose ends”.
WERE ANGELS CREATED DURING THE SIX DAYS OF GENESIS 1?
I must confess I used to be of the persuasion that this was the case. Such thinking was based on Gen. 1:31: “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold it was very good” and on Gen. 2:1: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them”. The “host of them” was taken to be a reference to the “heavenly host” of angels that appeared on other occasions in the Bible, notably at the Lord’s birth in Luke 2:13. Actually, of course, Gen. 2:1 refers to the host of heavenly bodies which are the sun, stars and the earth.
Despite that it has been argued, and I belieived, that if it says in Gen. 1:31 that God saw that everything he had made was good, then the “everything” must include angels. This, of course, defies two interpretative rules, those of context and first mention. The fact is angels are not in the context. They are first mentioned as such in Gen. 19:1, although, granted, as “sons of God” they make an entrance in Gen. 6:2. By reading “angels” into Genesis chapters one to three, where the word is not used, mid-Acts dispensationalists argue that the angels must have been made during the six days of creation in Genesis chapter 1. In support of this they say that since the serpent (Satan) was clearly being wicked in deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden his fall from the sinless perfection in which he was created (Ezek. 28:15) must have occurred sometime between the end of Genesis 1 and the start of Genesis 3. But, be it noted, Satan was created a cherub (Ezek. 28:14) not an angel as such and only later in 2 Cor. 11:14 do we learned he is “transformed into an angel of light”.
I am now convinced the view that angels were created in Genesis chapter one is flawed. Job 38:6-7 clearly teaches that “all the sons of God”, elsewhere defined as angels, “shouted for joy” when the Lord “laid the foundations of the earth”, put in place its “corner stone” and “stretched the line upon it”. Since Satan was created a cherub, and thus a Son of God, he would be included in the “all”. Clearly this verse shows that angels had been created for some time when God laid the earth’s foundations and scripture declares that God did that in Gen.1:1 when “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Evidently, since heaven is the angels’ home that lofty sphere must have been created first.
In Luke 10:18 the Lord testifies: “I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven”. I suggest that this took place somewhere between the orderly creation of heaven and earth in Gen. 1:1(at which Lucifer rejoiced) and the earth’s plunge into chaotic empty darkness as described in Gen 1:2. That Satan and a third of the angels who rebelled against God are finally cast into the earth is recorded in Revelation 12. That Satan fell earlier appears to be the case from Isaiah 14:12: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground!”
It seems that as God has heaven for his throne and the earth for his footstool (Isaiah 66:1), so Satan, before he fell, had a position of rulership in both heaven and earth. This is deduced from Isaiah 14:13 where he vows to ascend into heaven (from earth, obviously) and to exalt his throne (of earthly rule, that is) above the stars of God. In verse 14 he declares he will “…ascend above the heights of the clouds … I will be like the Most High.”
As the “anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14) Lucifer “covered”, or ruled, the earth. But then he “corrupted” his wisdom (vs 17), just as mankind later would do in the run up to Noah’s flood. In seeking to rule both angels in heaven and men on earth, Satan defiled his sanctuaries (both in heaven and on earth) by the iniquity of his “traffic”; i.e. taking angels and later men captive by his lies. Ezek. 28:16 speaks of God casting Satan as “profane” out of the “mountain of God”, which elsewhere is shown to be Mount Zion, or the centre of God’s government upon earth.
Importantly, in Isaiah 14:17 Lucifer is said to have “…made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities (dwelling places) thereof”. Certainly, neither man nor angel could have inhabited the earth as it is found in Gen. 1:2. It has become “tohu and bohu”, empty and waste; it is without form and covered with darkness and deep (water). Yet, according to 2 Pet. 3:5 that is not how earth was created in Gen. 1:1. The Apostle Peter says that “…by the word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of the water”.
All the above indicates that Satan fell after the original and perfect earth’s creation and dragged the world that then was down to a dark, watery grave. When God remade the earth and set man, the “jewel in the crown” of his creation, upon it Satan moved at once to attack Adam’s God given dominion in order to re-assert his own rule on earth. Sadly, Adam fell for it and, elected by the popular will of man, Satan’s rule continues to this day.
WHAT WAS THE POSITION OF THE RISEN LORD IN THE ACTS PERIOD?
Hitherto we wrongly believed that the risen, ascended Lord was ushering in the dispensation of grace in this period. Our error was in anticipating too soon the dispensation of grace and of the mystery revealed to Paul only in his Roman prison cell.
If we understand that the epistle to the Hebrews was written by Paul, God’s earthly ambassador to the Diaspora (dispersed Jews) about AD 53-54, then it becomes clear this writing took place during Acts period. It was written, it is thought, from Corinth (Acts 18:11) after the Council at Jerusalem but before Paul’s fourth visit to that city. Thus it preceded God’s rejection of the Jewish nation in Acts 28:28 and sending of salvation to the Gentiles. At this time then the Mystery had not been disclosed to Paul.
As ambassador to dispersed Jews Paul explains to them that Jesus had to suffer, that He is their Messiah and that He is bringing in a better (New) Covenant. Importantly, as to his position, Jesus is sat in heaven awaiting their response to this gracious offer. The relevant verses for this teaching are Hebrews 10:12-14:
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool”.
His enemies were the Jews that had rejected and crucified Him. Sadly, dispersed Israel did not heed the Lord’s offer through Paul of reconciliation upon repentance. They rejected the epistle to the Hebrews just as they earlier rejected the testimony of Jesus Himself and the later message of his Jewish apostles (see the letters of James, Jude, Peter and John). In Acts 28:27-28 God set Israel aside because “their ears were dull of hearing and their eyes have they closed … lest they should be converted.”
Consequently, salvation was sent to the Gentiles and the Lord ceased to expect them, as his enemies, to be made his footstool. As a consequence, instead of being seen as awaiting Israel’s response, the Lord is now seen in a different role in glory.
In Eph. 1:22-23 we find that far from sitting awaiting Israel’s response He has now been made ruler over all and that God has given Him “to be head over all things to the church which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all”. And in Col. 2:19 we see Him as the Head we should hold fast, the Head “…from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God”. No longer waiting for Israel’s repentance, the Lord is now the Gentile Jesus, come to “preach peace unto you who were afar off” (Eph. 2:17) and is our teacher (Eph. 4:21).
WHY IS THERE A ‘BOOK OF THE GENERATIONS OF
ADAM’ IF MOSES WROTE GENESIS?
The question has quite fairly been asked: Is it correct to ascribe authorship of Genesis to Moses if Gen. 5:1 plainly declares:
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God created He him”?
There is no doubt that the art of writing existed long before Noah’s flood. Pre-flood artefacts include tablets engraved with writing. So there is no reason to doubt scripture when it says “This is the book of the generations of Adam” and implies that Adam and his descendants wrote it. After all they had long years in which to do so. Of course, this is not the only “book” included in Genesis. In Gen. 2:4 the first “book”, comprising chapters 2, 3 and 4, is described as “…the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created in the day that the Lord made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).
Another “book” begins in Gen. 6:9 – “These are the generations of Noah” - and there follow “books” of the generations Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau and Jacob in later chapters. Clearly all these genealogies were incorporated by Moses into the great Genesis record of creation and the early history of man and how God dealt with him.
We should recall that for the first 40 years of his life Moses was brought up, trained and educated at the court of Pharoah. He learned Egyptian writing, maths, astronomy, religion and wisdom. He understood the wisdom of the ancient world but “refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11:24-26).
Forsaking Egypt, Moses then spent 40 years in Midian and married the daughter of Jethro, a worshipper of the Most High God. In this period he must surely have learned the story of Job, for the land of Uz is in and adjoins Midian. In the Book of Job, the oldest book in the Bible, are found all the essential doctrines: creation, man’s fall, Satan’s enmity, redemption, justification and resurrection. Moses would have needed to know these as preparation before writing Genesis, the seed plot of the whole Bible. It is seriously believed Moses wrote the introduction to and ending of Job, merely editing the extensive discourse handed down to him that comprises the bulk of the book.
Similarly, he was inspired by God to write chapters one and two of Genesis, for no one, except by inspiration, could know how God created the heavens and the earth. Yet much else in Genesis is history and doubtless Moses drew on existing written and oral records to recount much of its history.
In this he played a similar role to that of Luke who, while not a personal witness of the life of Jesus on earth, wrote exclusively from the record of others. He was, he said given of God “a perfect understanding of all things from the first to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:3-4).
It is noteworthy that mankind, led by Satan, corrupted the message of the ages, the Redeemer and salvation of man spelt out in the stars (see Gen. 1:14-18, Ps. 19). This Noah’s descendants did in Gen 11:4, where they built a tower with a zodiac on top to worship the “host of heaven”.
The first great message of salvation for mankind, written in the stars, was thus turned into the pagan fables and beliefs of the ancient world. To replace it with an uncorrupted written record, God first recorded the story of Job, then, later, commissioned Moses to edit and write both that book and Genesis. Moses went on to write several other books, among them Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. The writer of 2 Chronicles said so in chapter 25:4 and Jesus said so in Mark 12:26.
How wonderful that God uses both the records of man and the services of inspired writers and editors to produce his infallible word.