The great eternal plan of God is established. God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – determined in eternity – “before time began, before the foundation of the world” – that the Father would send the Son and the Son would send the Spirit into the world they would create together.
The Father would love the world so much that He would give “His only begotten Son” so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:15).
The Son would “glorify” the Father on the earth by finishing “the work” which the Father had given Him to do (John 17:1-5), which was to die on the Cross and rise from the dead.
The Holy Spirit would convict the world “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” and would guide the Son’s disciples “into all truth.” The Spirit would not “speak on His own authority,” but would speak “whatever He hears” and would tell the followers of the Son “things to come.” The Spirit of God would “glorify” the Son by declaring to the followers what belonged to the Son and the Father (John 16:5-15).
The first step in the great reveal was the creation of angels.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. ‘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?”
God spoke to the suffering man Job and asked him a number of questions. The first questions dealt with where Job was when God laid the foundations of the earth, who determined its measurements, to what were its foundations fastened, and who laid its cornerstone. An important reveal is the last part of the question:
“When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
God made that declaration about the morning stars singing together and the sons of God shouting for joy at His laying the foundations of the earth without giving any further identification. We don’t know if Job understood who they were or not. However, those of who have read the Book of Job know that the “sons of God” were identified at the beginning of the story –
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6-7
The “sons of God” presented themselves “before the Lord.” Satan was also there. Where is there?
The same thing happened a short time later –
“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, From where do you come?’ Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 2:1-2
The “sons of God” came to present themselves “before the Lord” and Satan also came among them to “present himself before the Lord.”
As we read the first two chapters of Job, it becomes clear that the “sons of God” and Satan are beings who are different than the Supreme Being and human beings. They “present” themselves “before the Lord” and receive permission from God to do things on earth. It becomes apparent that there is Heaven.
Satan is an “angel” (e.g. 1 Corinthians 11:14; Revelation 12:7-9) and joined other angels in Heaven presenting themselves “before the Lord.” It’s interesting to note in Job chapters one and two that God spoke first to Satan, then Satan spoke. That seems to be the order of things in Heaven.
As we read through the Bible we are introduced to many types of “Heavenly” beings. The largest group we know by number are angels. John the Apostle saw a vision of Heaven –
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 5:11
Multiplying ten thousand times ten thousand (10,000 x 10,000) equals one-hundred million (= 100,000,000). John’s description of the additional “and thousands of thousands” might be a multiplying factor and take that large number much higher – possibly into the billions of angels.
Jesus’ disciples attempted to protect Him from being arrested, but Jesus told them –
“Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” Matthew 26:52-54
A Roman legion during the 1st century AD numbered about 5,500 and there were 28 legions in the Roman army. That meant Jesus was saying He could call on His Father to provide Him with about 66,000 angels – a small number compared with the hundreds of millions (or billions) of angels Jesus had created – but certainly enough to deal with the small band of soldiers attempting to arrest Jesus. If Jesus didn’t want to be arrested, He would not have been arrested. However, being arrested was part of the eternal plan.
Angels are not the only Heavenly beings that God created, but they seem to be the most involved in helping with God’s great reveal. Here are some examples –
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:19-21
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’ But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:26-33
“And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth … And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” Luke 1:12-14, 19-20
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14
As I mentioned earlier, angels came into existence when God created them –
“Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created.” Psalm 148:2-5
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-3
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17
God created angels to be His “messengers.” The word “angel” is מַלְאָך (mal’āḵ) in Hebrew and ἄγγελος (angelos) in Greek. Both are translated into English as “messenger.” They perform many functions in their role as God’s messengers. Here are some examples –
“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
“Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” Revelation 22:8-9
“Then Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” Daniel 6:21-22
“And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Arise quickly!’ And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, ‘Gird yourself and tie on your sandals’; and so he did. And he said to him, ‘Put on your garment and follow me.’ So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.” Acts 12:6-10
“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3
“Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.” Psalm 103:20-21
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” Revelation 7:1
“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, ‘Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is desert.” Acts 8:26
“About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.” Acts 10:3-5
Angels and other Heavenly creatures sang and shouted when God laid the foundations and cornerstone of the earth. We don’t know for sure how long before the creation of the earth that God created angels, but we do know they were present when time and space began.
God created angels to serve Him, but not every angel did and that plays an important role in God’s eternal plan. More on that next time as our study of God’s Great Reveal continues.
[Read the first seven chapters of The Great Reveal in this free Ebook]
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.