I used to laugh at Christians and other religious people who believed in a spirit world with a supreme God, a devil, good and bad angels, and demons. When I was an atheist the idea of an invisible world of spiritual beings around me was ludicrous. However, when I opened my heart and mind to God and began to learn about the worlds He had created, I quickly learned that the spiritual world is just as real as the physical world.
The spirit world is usually “invisible” to us. Our physical eyes don’t have the ability to see the very active life of the supernatural spirit world. There were many times in the Bible when God allowed humans to see into that invisible world, but most of the time people didn’t see it. However, the fact that we can’t see the invisible spiritual world does not mean it doesn’t exist. On the contrary, it is very real. God created the spirit world before He created the physical world and the two worlds do affect each other.
We get an insight to the beginning of the spirit world from Job 38. God is speaking to Job. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” This tells us that at least two groups existed at the time God created the earth. One was the morning stars. The other was the sons of God.
Let’s see what we learn about the earliest creatures of God’s imagination. First, the “morning stars.” The Hebrew words are boqer kokab. Boqer means “morning light, dawn, day-break.” Kokab means “blazing, shining.” It is used for stars we see in the sky and figuratively (or metaphorically) for “an illustrious prince.”
Kokab is first used in Gen. 1:16–“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.” We’ll look at the creation of solar systems later, but suffice it to say that a God Who could create at least 200 billion billion stars with temperatures of up to two million degrees each, some up to a billion miles in diameter and billions of light years away from earth, is a most powerful, wonderful and capable God!
The combination of the words “morning stars” usually means someone from the spirit world. God uses it six times in the Bible. The first usage, Job. 3:9, probably means literal stars in the sky, but the other five speak of the spirit world. We’ve already seen that the morning stars sang together at the creation of the earth. Other usages are Isa. 14:12; 2 Peter 1:19; Rev. 2:28 and 22:16. The words are used in Isaiah 14 to speak of two figures: Satan and the King of Babylon. “How you have fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn!” (NIV) Who was that morning star? The KJV and NKJV translate the Hebrew word for morning star as “Lucifer.”
The “morning star” is the brightest of all the stars. It’s a dazzling light that exceeds all other stars in brightness. The “morning stars” in the context of Job 38 may have been used for the most powerful angels (i.e. Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel).
The usage of “morning star” in the New Testament is the Greek phosphoros in 2 Peter 1:19; astera ton proinon in Rev. 2:28; and aster ho lampros ho proinos in Rev. 22:16.
In 2 Peter the author is writing about his being an eyewitness to the power and majesty of Jesus Christ. Peter also writes about the return of Christ to set up His Kingdom on earth. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) The word phosphoros means “light-bearing, light-bringing, giving light.” The words astera ton proinon mean “star of the morning.”
In Revelation 2 Jesus speaks to several churches. In verses 18 – 29 He speaks to the church in Thyatira. Jesus encourages the saints to overcome and persevere in tough spiritual times. “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’— as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”
In Rev. 22:16, Jesus makes it very clear that He is speaking of Himself. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” aster ho lampros ho proinos is similar to the wording in Rev. 2:28 except it adds the word lampros which means “shining, brilliant, bright.” The use of the adjective seems to set it above all other usages of the words “morning star.” Jesus is the ultimate Morning Star!
At the creation of the world, the morning stars sang together and “all the sons of God” shouted for joy. We’re already seen that “morning stars” are the brightest stars in the sky and probably used for the most powerful angels. The Hebrew words for “sons of God” are bene elohim and often translated as “angels.” The insight we gather here is of God’s creation of a special division of angels. We’ll learn more about that division and their special duties to God and us as we go through our study this week.
The Hebrew word for angel is malak. The Greek is aggelo (pronounced “angelo”). The English word “angel” is a transliteration of the Greek. The words are found more than 300 times in the Bible. Angels are created beings. The psalmist calls on angels to praise the Lord. “Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!” (Psalm 148:2) Paul wrote that Jesus Christ created all things, the invisible as well as the visible: “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.” (Col. 1:16)
Angels are spiritual beings (Heb. 1:14). They can be invisible or make themselves visible to human beings, depending on what Jesus allows. The angels’ primary responsibilities are to praise and serve God and watch over and bring messages to God’s people. We don’t know much about what kind of service they performed prior to the creation of the world, but the Bible is quite specific about their service after creation.
The Biblical account of creation (Gen. 1 & 2) tells us that everything God created was “good.” There is no reason to think His creation of angels was anything other than good and perfect. However, from Gen. 3 through the end of Revelation, we learn about evil angels. Their evil leader is Satan, formerly known as Lucifer. Did God create evil angels? Did God create evil?
We’ll see as our thoughts continue tomorrow.