QUESTION #1 When were the angels created?
Have you ever asked yourself the question, "At what point on the timeline did God create the angelic beings? Were they made before the earth or after? If they were made before, then how long before?
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
In the above passage, God tells Job that when He created the world all of the morning stars sang together and all of the sons of God shouted for joy. "Morning Stars" and "Sons of God" are two terms which both refer to the angelic beings.
The implication of them singing while God was creating the world shows that the angels were created before the world. So then, if the world is around six thousand years old, how old are the angels?
We all know that God does not exhaust us with details throughout His Word. However, there are two passages that tell us not only when the angels were created, but the exact day!
"God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work..."
Who are the hosts that fill the heavens and the Earth? Angels, humans, animals, etc. This passage tells us that all of the hosts were created within the six days of creation. Therefore the idea that they were created possibly millions of years before the world is not a Scriptural point of view. Another passage is...
"For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day..."
Just in case the first passage was not clear enough, Exodus 20:11 establishes for us the fact that God made everything that exists within the six days of creation. Not only did He make heaven and earth and the sea, but it says that He made all that is within them (i.e. all the hosts).
Therefore, because the angels were created before the earth yet within the creation week, we can be confident that the exact day the angels were created was on Day 1 just before God began creating the world. The angels, as far as we know, were His very first living creation.
Still not convinced? Here are some key points to consider:
1. Scripture tells us that the angels were created during the creation week (Genesis 1:31-2:1; Exodus 20:11).
2. The Plurality of the heavens
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
Why is “heavens” plural? Often when we read this passage we tend to overlook the plurality of the heavens and unconsciously equate this term with the singularity of the earth. Our mind immediately fills with all kinds of images of what we perceive Heaven [God's dwelling place] to look like. However, I will now seek to prove that the Bible is hinting at an idea, which will be addressed later on in Scripture, which at this time God created three distinct heavens and only one earth.
1. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 “…caught up to the third Heaven…” The apostle Paul was brought into the presence of God. He referred to this place as the "third heaven." This statement implies that there is a second and a first as well. Thus, the third Heaven is what we would call "Paradise." The question then arises, "What are the first and second heavens?"
2. Genesis 1:14 “…let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens…” The second heaven is therefore the universe [outer space]. See also Deut. 4:19.
3. Genesis 1:20 “…let birds fly above the Earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” The first heaven then would be the sky or the atmosphere of the earth. See also 1 Kings 14:11.
3. The Order of Creation
a. For God to create a universe filled with galaxies beyond our measure, He first needed to create a universe with the capacity to hold galaxies beyond our measure. In the same sense that time is a need for all of creation to exist in and be subject to, God needed to make the physical space capable of occupying all things, even Heaven itself. You see, God does not only exist outside of time but also outside of space. He is not subject to either of these things like we are. If I go to the beach and collect seashells, I will need something to put them in. The same is true with our universe. God made the universe empty and in time so that He could fill it up. The space capable of holding trillions of galaxies has not always existed. God made that space on Day 1 as He began His creation of the heavens and the Earth.
b. He then proceeded in His act of creation by making His dwelling place [Paradise or Heaven]. Yes, Heaven forever and always will remain subject to time. If you want to know more about that feel free to ask. Once Heaven was made, God then made the angels.
i. If the angels were created before Heaven on Day 1, then they would have had no dwelling place for as long as they existed. They would have just existed in darkness for however long that was.
ii. If the angels were created before Day 1, then they would have been created before God made time which is logically impossible. The very first thing God made was time (…beginning…). All of creation exists and is subject to time merely by the fact that we are created beings. We each had a beginning. Angels had a beginning. Thus, they have always existed in time. It is not possible that they could have been made before Day 1 because that would imply that God made them outside of time. The very thought crumbles as we note that everything you and I and any angel in Heaven will ever do will always take time. More explanation can be given in person.
c. Once there was time, and space to hold large bodies of matter, and Heaven was created along with its hosts, He continued in His creativity by forming the Earth and graciously allowing the angels to observe His incredible omnipotence.
· When it comes down to it, neither the Bible nor logic ever supports the idea of God creating the angels before Day 1. They were made just before the Earth in Genesis 1:1.
QUESTION #2 Did Satan fall before Genesis 1:1 (i.e. did his rebellion take place before the Earth had been formed)?
“…behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of Heaven and threw them to the Earth…And there was war in Heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in Heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the Earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
Revelation 12:3-4, 7-9
1) In the passage above, John says that when the rebellion took place, Satan and his angels were thrown down to the Earth. If we think about this logically, then the only possible way that Satan and his angels could have been thrown down to the Earth is if there was already an existing Earth. Thus, the Earth must have been created before sinful pride was found in Lucifer’s heart.
2) I do not know if anyone would try to interpret this specific passage as a prophetic statement concerning future events because of the mere fact that it is found in a very prophetic book, but I am confident for several reasons why that would be to their folly in terms of understanding the Word of God.
1. We know that this was a past occurrence (Isa. 14:12-15; Ez. 28:16; Dan. 8:10; Luke 10:18)
2. None of us expect him to sweep another third of the angels away in the future.
3. Rev. 12:8 “…and they [the fallen angels] were not strong enough…” is in the past tense.
4. Not everything in Revelation is a future event. Some things are written concerning the past and some for the present.
3) In Luke 10:18 Jesus told His disciples that He saw Satan fall from Heaven like lightning. If the Earth was not in existence by this time, then there would have been no place for Satan to fall onto. Jesus could have said something like “I saw Satan cast out of Heaven like lightning.” However, He adds the phrase fall from Heaven indicating that there is something underneath to fall upon.
So far we have seen two things:
· The angels were created on Day 1 just before the Earth.
· Satan did not sin until sometime after the world was made in Genesis 1:1.
QUESTION #3 What about the GAP Theory?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
- GAP? -
“The Earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
Now that we have discussed the evidence for the Earth being created before Satan’s rebellion, we will now look at another misunderstanding which is perpetuated by the popular GAP Theory.
GAP Theorists believe there to be a huge gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. They say that, soon after the creation of the world on Day 1, Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God and were immediately cast out of Heaven and thrown to the earth where they then fashioned it into a dark chaotic mess. Quite sometime later, when God comes to restore the world and perfect it according to His original intent, His Spirit comes into a supposedly chaotic waste place. He then remakes and reshapes it into a beautiful masterpiece.
Those who believe this theory speculate that this gap could have possibly been as much as a few million years, thus accounting for the seemingly old earth. Therefore, they believe that the first “day” must have been much longer than 24 hours. They consider “Day 1” as possibly a measure of time lengthened to at least a few million years. However, they generally believe that the remaining six days of Genesis are literal 24 hour periods.
One of the main reasons why they propose this option is because the Hebrew word for "formless" can also mean "a place of chaos." Once a lesson on Hebrew is given, it is likely that they will take you to Isaiah 45:18 which says...
"For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited)..."
The problem with using this as a proof for anything is found in the mere fact that the English word “run” has well over six hundred distinct meanings alone. This seems to indicate that just because a word can mean something, does not necessarily imply that it does mean something. Because of this we must look at the context, but first, let’s look at the terms “formless” and “void.” What do they really mean?
Well, for starters, the word formless means that "the earth was without form" while the word void means that "the earth was empty." Sometimes the text means just what it says. Just because it can mean "chaos" does not mean that it does mean "chaos." Chaos does not fit the context. However, the Earth being without any defining form would and does fit the context since at this time it was completely covered in water.
Too often we try to gain some new revelation into the Word of God. Our hearts are in the right place as we seek to know God in His Word better, but unfortunately, there is a tendency at times to overthink things causing our minds to begin unconsciously seeing anything we want them to see.
So now that we understand that these words mean what they say, what does it look like? Let's tackle the easier one first. The Earth was considered "empty" because there was absolutely no life to it. There were no sea creatures filling the waters until Day 5 so there was no life at all.
Now let's move on to the second and more controversial term of "formless." Well, as you remember from all of those years attending children's church and heading off to Sunday school, God did not bring forth land until Day 3 of creation.
Now listen closely because we are about to get into some technical details which will aid in our exegesis of the rest of the chapter and ultimately throughout the rest of Scripture. This does not mean that land didn't exist before Day 3. Yes, the Earth at this time is a big ball of water floating all by itself in a dark and lonely universe, but what does God say in verse 9?
"Let the waters...be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear."
Did you catch that? Does the term "appear" seem to grip you like it does me? Where else in the creation account does God use the term "appear?" Nowhere! He always says, "Let there be...!" To appear means "to become visible." It carries the connotation that it is already there, it just cannot be seen. The reason that "dry land" is not seen until Day 3 is because it is under water. God said, "...let the dry land appear..." because there was no "dry land." There was only "wet land."
You see, the Earth, on Day 1, was created with all of the essential components necessary to its form and foundation. What I am saying is that on Day 1 when God made the Earth, He did not just make a giant rain drop. He gave it a core, mantle, and a crust and covered it with water.
The Earth is referred to as being "formless" because water, in and of itself, is formless. Liquid water takes on the shape of whatever container it is placed into. The problem was that there was no container. This massive one-world ocean covered the entire planet as there was no mold (land) above to provide definite shape. Thus, as the angels were viewing the Earth in its beginning stages as God laid the foundations, they themselves observed no definite form to Earth.
So far we have seen three things:
· The angels were created on Day 1 just before the Earth.
· Satan did not sin until sometime after the world was made in Genesis 1:1.
· The proposed GAP Theory does not support the idea of Satan falling between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 because the text does not support any such notion of there being a gap of time. Therefore, sin did not enter until sometime after Genesis 1:2.
QUESTION #4 When did Lucifer become Satan?
When did Lucifer fall into sin? At what point did he change from being humble, loving, and always longing to be in the presence of God, to being proud, hateful, and wanting absolutely nothing to do with God?
When did he say in his heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." - Isaiah 14:13-14
At what point in history did this terrible event occur? Some say that he fell millions of years before the world was made, but we know that the angels were created on Day 1, possibly moments before God formed the world.
Some say that God created the angels and the world on Day 1 with a million year gap taking place between verse one and two of chapter one in which Satan's fall occurred somewhere within that time. But as we have seen, Scripture does not support such an idea.
So when did Satan fall? Since we know that the six days of Genesis are literal 24 hour days and that Satan did not fall before the creation of the world, then there is only one other set of options. Either he fell sometime before Day 7 or sometime after. So far we have seen that Satan is still good by at least the start of verse three, but let’s read on.
"God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good...Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all of their hosts."
At the end of the creation week, when God looks over all He had made, He says that it is very good. He was not just looking at the plants or the rocks or even the galaxies. He was looking at everything. He was being all-inclusive. So what did He look at when He said "very good?" He looked at all of the hosts (Lucifer, the angels, Adam and Eve, etc.). Genesis tells us that all of the hosts were very good at the end of the creation week. Therefore it is impossible for Lucifer to have fallen before that time because God would never refer to Satan now as good.
Now many people will argue that the above passage is kind of vague and would be a stretch to place on Satan and the angels. This argument brings me to the main point. We are about to turn to a passage of Scripture that gives us 100% confidence in believing that Lucifer did not rebel until after the creation week.
You see, God had planted a garden called "Eden" and placed man there on Day 6 of the creation week. Ezekiel 28:11-17 God refers to Lucifer as having...
"had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you..."
God says that Lucifer before he fell into sin walked in the garden of Eden. Well, we know that the garden was created before Adam (2:8) but it couldn't have been too long before the creation of man. In fact, the earliest that God could have planted the garden was on Day 3 which indicates that at least by Day 3 Lucifer was still "very good." However, we know from the end of chapter one and beginning of chapter two that he was still very good at the end of day 6. Thus, Lucifer fell into sin and became Satan sometime after the creation week and before the fall of man.
Some will bring up the point that it would be hard to believe that Satan could influence a third of the angels that quickly, but we really don’t know how much time passed from Day 6 to when he tempted Eve, yet many of us believe that Adam and Eve fell rather quickly. Why then could it not be the same in the angelic realm? Just because we don’t see it happen like that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen like that.
God made Lucifer the anointed cherub. He had power and rule, yet God gave ruler-ship to Adam and Eve. Could this have upset him? Here is a question, “Is it possible that the moment Satan fell was the moment he was tempting Eve?” Because of his so-called victory, could this have shown power to the angels? That now Satan is the ruler of the “rulers.”
Generally in life if someone has a major victory, then many are willing to follow that individual. If Lucifer became Satan either just before or during Eve’s temptation, then went to Heaven and boasted about his accomplishment and influenced many to join him, then it would be possible that during that time Adam and Eve were sewing fig leaves together and God throws Satan and those who followed him down to the Earth and makes His triumphant entrance into the garden.