Introductory Q & A
When did God create the angels?
In the Beginning…. ~5516 BC God created everything in 6 24-hour days.
On the first day God Created the Heavens, which included all their host. All the angels were created on the first day, as God “created the heavens”.
Gen 1:1-5 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.”
Nowhere are we told the details of the creation of the angels, sons of God, morning stars, or whichever term that is used to refer to the host of heaven. We know they are the host of heaven, and as such it makes sense to think they were created with the Heaven. First God created the heaven, and then second the earth, that is the order told in Genesis. This understanding that angels were created along with the heavens is reflected in Job.
Job 38: 4-7 [God says to Job] “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?”
This shows all the angels were present before the foundations of the Earth were laid- thus when God “created the heavens”. In between when God “created the heavens” and “created the earth” is when all the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy. And Satan and the other fallen angels were among the singers and shouters.
Some people think that the angels were created in an expanse of time between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2, because it seemed the earth had been flooded and destroyed before, as it was covered with water. However, the “earth” God made originally was made out of water, not land. Water was the original composition of the Earth, as the word for “deep” in Hebrew, “thowm” (8415) means deep waters. This is further supported by:
2 Pet 3:3-7, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Here we see the understanding that Peter had 2000 years ago, that the earth was formed out of water and by water. Originally the earth was water. When Genesis says darkness was upon the face of the deep (waters) it is because originally the earth was water when it was first made, formless, and void. In fact, God didn’t make the dry land until the third day,
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.” Gen 1:9
When God made the heaven and the Earth, the term referred to the world, the planet Earth, which originally was made of water. The same term for Earth as in Gen 1:1 is used in Job 26:7, which confirms this use of the term.
“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, [and] hangeth the earth upon nothing.”
And so the world was not flooded in Gen 1:2, but rather God originally made the planet Earth out of water on day 1, and added land to it on day 3. Because angels sang for joy when God laid the foundations of the Earth, and the foundation was water, we can know angels were created when God made the heavens, on the first day. We know the angels were all finished being created by the end of the 6th day,
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Gen 1:31,2:1
The angels are often called the “host of heaven” throughout the Bible, and were made prior to the end of the 6th day. We also know that the angels were all still good by the end of the 6th day, and had not yet sinned or fallen by then, because God declares that “God saw everything He had made, and it was very good.”
Who are the host of heaven?
The first reference the Bible uses describing angelic beings is the “heavens… and all the host of them”. Keeping with this, the Bible many times refers to the “host of heaven” as a reference to all the angelic beings God created.
The Bible names 3 types of angels in specific, giving descriptions of several of them. There are the cherubim, the seraphim, and the messengers.
“This [is] the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they [were] the cherubims. Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man [was] under their wings. And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.” Eze 10:20-21,14
“And their feet [were] straight feet; and the sole of their feet [was] like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And [they had] the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings [were] joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. Thus [were] their faces: and their wings [were] stretched upward; two [wings] of every one [were] joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance [was] like burning coals of fire, [and] like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.” Eze 1:7-9,11,13
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.” Isa 6:1-3
“And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Rev 4:6-8
Messenger angels are the most common kind mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament they are usually referred to by the word “mal’ak” and in the New Testament by the word “aggelos”, both which mean “messenger”. This type of angel invariably appears as a human man in appearance, sometimes shining with light or fire. They are known by their job description in many cases. In Daniel 4 a messenger angel is referred to 3x as a “watcher, a holy one”, who delivered a message in a dream. They are always described to look like men, and are never described to have wings or to be female.
The Bible uses a couple terms to describe all the “host of heaven” in Job 38:7.
“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Two terms are used here which seem to refer to all of the “host of heaven”. One term is the “morning stars” which most likely references to the host of heaven being present for the first morning on the first day of creation (Gen 1:1-5, Job 38:7). Satan is referred to as a “morning star” in Isa 14:12 and as one of the cherubim in Eze 28:14. And so it makes sense that the “morning stars” might refer to the cherubim and seraphim which seem rather similar.
The term “son of God” is used in Dan 3:25 interchangeably with the term “angel” (messenger) in Dan 3:28, and so the term “sons of God” likely refers to the messenger type of angels who look like men.
What did God make the angels for, what do they do?
Everything was created for God’s pleasure (Rev 4:11). Angels are described to have several things that they do.
The seraphim stay around the throne of God and worship Him.
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Rev 4:8
At times the Lord is said to ride upon cherubim.
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. Psa 18:10
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. 2 Sam 22:11
And messenger angels have the purpose their name implies, which is to serve as God’s messengers. Messenger angels communicate by dreams and visions, and also at times seem to appear bodily and communicate more directly face-to-face. (Gen 19, Gen 31:11, Dan 10, many places).
The host of heaven is also collectively God’s army. The word “host” has the meaning of an army.
Angels destroyed Sodom (Gen 19), were involved with the fall of the wall of Jericho (Josh 5,6), did smite people (1 Ch 21) battle against fallen angels (Dan 10, Rev 12) and play a major role in the final battle seen in Revelation.
Angels also seem to have a protective role over people, keeping an eye on them and preventing harm to them.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 18:10
Because of this a woman ought to have power over her head, because of her angels. 1 Cor 11:10
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Psa 91:11-12
And this is where the idea of a guardian angel seems to generate from, although it seems that the messenger type of angel (also called a watcher) is the type of angel that carries on this task.
Why are there fallen angels?
God gave angels free will, like God gives people free will. They can choose to love God or choose to not, can choose to obey God, or to sin. God created all the angels to be good. Over time some chose to sin and to rebel against God, and in doing this they became evil or fallen. God is good, and God’s will is good. Evil exists because of refusal to do God’s will. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good, and God is good.