This is yet more follow up on the discussion of my earlier post The Problem of Death Before the Fall. (Be sure to read the interesting comments.) Yesterday's post, More on Death Before the Fall dealt with what I call a natural reading of the text and the problem of interpreting the Scriptures in light of scientific assumptions rather than vice versa. This post is in response to the comments regarding angels.
The issue of angels is a subject of much confusion and often wild speculation. I think perhaps this has always been the case, as the writer of Hebrews begins his book by correcting a view of the angels as far more spectacular and powerful than they really are. As we are not privy to the goings on in the spirit world, except for the rare glimpses of it that Scripture gives us, we are very ignorant on the subject. I think it wise, then, that we not engage in too much speculation beyond what Scripture gives us. The Scriptures are sufficient for us, so I assume that some of these things are things we just don't need to know right now.
The Creation of the Angels
One of the issues raised was the creation of the angels, with the suggestion that the Gap Theory gives us a period of time in which the angels were created and some of them fell.
We are not given an explicit statement of the day on which angels were created, but we do have some clues. Genesis 2:1 concludes the six-day account of creation with this statement, "The the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished." Notice it does not say, "and all the host of it," with it indicating the host of the earth alone. It says, "the host of them," meaning the heavens and the earth. Which are the created host of heaven? I would argue that this refers to the angelic host.
In Job 38:4-7 we have what seems to be the angelic host singing, "when I laid the foundations of the earth." When were the foundations of the earth laid? The earth was formed on day three. Hence it is reasonable to assume that the angels were created on either day two or three. Day two seems a likely candidate, as that is the day when heaven is created, but that is mere speculation and goes beyond what we are given.
A Tangent on Day One
Some might say that the foundations of the earth were laid on day one. At the risk of going off on an unrecoverable tangent, I want to say a few things about day one. The description of day one of the creation is a beautiful example of how inspired Biblical truth is in complete harmony with scientific truth. It was the 20th century after Christ before science began to understand the relationship between space, time, matter and energy. Einstein gave us his famous statement of that relationship, E=mc2. In the equation E relates to energy, m is mass, a measure of the amount of matter, and c is the speed of light, which is an expression of distance (in 3-d space) over time. These four things (time, matter, space and energy) are foundational to the physical universe. No physical thing could exist without all four.
Yet while it took mankind 30 centuries to see this relationship, the inspired text of Genesis has all four created on the first day as the physical universe is established. In the beginning, (Time is created.), God created the heavens, (Space is created.), and the earth without form, (Matter is created.). The He said, "Let there be light." (Energy is created.) You gotta love it.
My point in that tangent (besides pointing out a spine-chillingly really cool thing) was that the nature of God's works on the first day of creation was more of a calling the physical into existence, while it is day three that the earth we live on was formed--an event at which the angels seem to have been present.
The creation of the angels, then, does not require a gap. Though we are not given a specific day on which the angels were created, the Biblical record is consistent with the theory that they were created within the creation week.
The Fall of the Demonic Angels
The next issue that was raised was the fall of the non-elect angels.