There is more in the Old Testament concerning angels than is usually considered. In our efforts to study and understand the work of God through the patriarchs to preserve the seedline of woman for the coming Seed, we often overlook the fact that God worked through His messengers on many occasions in order to bring about the fulfillment of His eternal gospel plan to bring the Seed into the world.
Though the Old Testament does not focus on angels as a primary theology to be studied, angels played a significant part in many unique situations where God was working in order to accomplish His eternal plan to bring the Son of God into the world. In His work, the presence of angels is mentioned as an ordinary manner by which God worked among men. It may simply be because of the length of time, but the predominate work of God through angels took place before the revelation of the gospel. There were centuries of God working through angels in order to bring the Seed of woman into the world. However, because of the expanse of time from creation to incarnation, angels appeared on the scene of history in only a few unique episodes of God’s work to accomplish His eternal plan.
Eventually, there occurred the good news of the incarnation of the Son of God on the face of the earth. God used angels to initiate the beginning of the gospel birth of Jesus (Lk 1:8-11,26-28; 2:10,11). Jesus then “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52). And then when He was about thirty, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of diseases among the people” (Mt 4:23).
God initially worked through the miraculous work of Jesus and the early disciples in order to confirm the message and messengers of the gospel (Mk 16:20; Hb 2:4). Since all revelation concerning the gospel has now been revealed through the inspired word of God (2 Tm 3:16,17), God does not need to work openly through angels. He does not need to do so because everyone now has the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of His Son that is revealed in the word of God.
In order to understand the work of angels to carry out the redemptive plan of God in this world, we must journey back before this world existed. Our information concerning the earthly mission of angels, therefore, begins before the creation of the world. When the earth was created into existence, there were angels already in existence, and ready for the commissioning of God. In order to bring about this eventual incarnation into this material world, God, the Son, first created angels, and then all things. Paul wrote,
“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” (Cl 1:16).
Angels would fall under the category of things invisible. Therefore, in the work of creation, God the Son created angels. The origin of Satan would also fall under the category of those “invisible” beings that were created. However, Satan was not created as the evil one we come across in the Garden of Eden. He was a created angel who eventually rebelled against the authority of God some time before the Garden of Eden temptation. He is truly a “fallen angel.” Nevertheless, his origin was included in the creation of all things by God the Son.
Though John revealed the visions of Revelation with striking cryptic symbols, we could assume that through the Spirit he gave some explanation concerning the fall of Satan in the following statement:
“Now there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought, but did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. Then the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him“ (Rv 12:7-9).
Since Satan and his angels gave up their proper habitation in heavenly places (2 Pt 2:4; Jd 6), and Satan himself was present at the time of the temptation in the Garden of Eden, then we must assume that angels were in existence before the serpent showed up in the Garden of Eden. Their creation took place before the temptation event in the Garden.
Sometime after their creation, Satan and his heavenly hosts evidently rebelled, and subsequently, they were all cast down from their original heavenly environment. Therefore, we would conclude that all angelic beings were in existence before the Garden of Eden. However, Satan and his demons were cast out of the heavenly environment sometime after their creation, but before the temptation of the Garden.
The Psalmist referred to the angels of God being present at the time of creation (Ps 148:2,5). Because they were in existence at the time of creation, angels subsequently rejoiced over the creation of all things (Jb 38:7). However, after the creation and before the Garden of Edan event, they were cast down.
Some have assumed that reference was made to angels in Genesis 6:1,2 when the following statement was made concerning the “sons of God”:
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (Gn 6:1,2).
It is believed by some that in the preceding Genesis 6:1,2 statement, Moses referred to women of this world marrying the “sons of God” who were angels. However, it is unlikely that this is the correct interpretation of this historical statement. Since angels have no gender, and thus no sex of either male or female, then the statement would not refer to women of this world marrying angelic beings who have no sex. This agrees with Jesus’ statement concerning angels: “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage. But they are as the angels who are in heaven” (Mk 12:25).
Angels never married, nor were given in marriage, simply because they have no sexual orientation. The purpose of the sexual orientation of man and woman from the beginning was for the purpose of multiplying and populating the world. But this was never the purpose of angels. They were never given the right to multiply and populate the world with angels.
The correct interpretation of the Genesis 6:1,2 statement would be that those who were in a covenant relationship with God (“sons of God”) were marrying unrighteous people (“daughters of men”). It was simply the case of believers marrying unbelievers, and thus, the virus of wickedness increased on the face of the earth as the unrighteousness of the wicked overcame the good of the righteous. The context of Genesis 6:1,2 is explained in Genesis 6:5: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
[Next in series: Nov. 6]