Lesson Four: On Creation and The Angels

Lesson Four: On Creation and The Angels

 

Welcome to lesson number four on creation and the angels.

 

Last week, we spent time explaining the central mystery of our Catholic faith. The doctrine of the most blessed Trinity. One God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There was a lot to unpack in that short lesson. We could spend whole semesters studying any one of these topics that we're covering each week. So really all we're hoping to do right now is just kindle your desire to go deeper. And so for the next few weeks we have another deep topic. It's a great topic. And so it's going to be a little bit longer because there's always a lot of questions on creation and the angels. But before we dive in today, I want to start with a prayer.

 

Today in honor, of our guardian angels, let's ask for their intercession. So together let's pray. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. O angels of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits us here, ever this day be at our side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

To do justice at all, concerning the topic of creation, it would really take us a whole year to cover. Why? Well, first I'd have to spend a lot of time simply undoing all the damage that modernism has caused for us. So, because we don't have that kind of time, please take what I'm going to say here as an invitation for you to do a much deeper study for yourselves. Many of us, when we were in school, we were forced fed that anti science and myth of Darwinism `and the theory of molecules to man-evolution. I'm just going to limit myself to say that science and faith are not apposed to one another. In fact, true science can never be opposed to the Catholic faith. Why do I say this? Because truth can never be opposed to truth. So what do we mean today? When we use the word science, the modern English word science, it comes from the Latin word scientia, which simply means to know or knowledge.

 

Now the ancient Greek word for science or knowledge is Episteme. So what this means is that when people used the word science before, they were referring to all the sciences, the way that we come to know what is. So you had natural science, philosophy, theology, you know, all the sciences, all the ways that we come to study and know things. This is what was meant by science. But then there was a break and this started really with the scientific revolution in the mid to late 15 hundreds. And then this gained steam during the French revolution in the late 17 hundreds. And it really reached a high point in the progressive project of the late 19th and 20th centuries. So you see a real split between science as a way to know what is, and science basically being redefined for political motivations. So no longer were we really concerned about knowledge, but only a certain kind of knowledge. Modern man only became interested in what can be observed by our senses.

 

This is the main way that we learn as human beings, but we can't just simply limit ourselves to this. You know, we only want to know what we can reproduce in the lab. However, even children, they understand that this view of science or knowledge is not only limited, but completely insufficient. Especially when we're talking about the spirit. You can't take the spirit and dissect it. Spirit's not physical. So we see the limitations that the modern understanding of science has. And this has had enormous ramifications on the origins of man in the universe.

 

Now, listen, this has always been a fundamental issue. But how much more so today?

Modern men, we've completely excluded the notion that God created the universe. And we see the absolute devastation that this has caused.

The shipwreck that it's made of people's faith in God and not just young people anymore. We need to fully comprehend this point: That what we understand and believe about the origins of the universe, this determines a whole worldview. It determines how we understand ourselves, our relationship to one another. And most importantly, our relationship to God. Because without God, like we've been saying all along, life has no purpose. Our life has no meaning. If I'm simply here by chance, that my life that can be reduced to a mathematical equation, what's the point? Let's go out, let's eat, drink and be married for tomorrow we die. That's what the scripture say. And don't, we see the implications of this lunacy all around us. But God is real. God has created.

 

And so therefore our life has infinite value. Our lives have infinite worth. And you know, I'd really, I'd love to spend a lot more time on this but we have to move on. And I simply want to say this, that we need to understand the difference between natural and supernatural. Okay. We, even have this problem in the church today that we want to simply reduce everything to the natural, to explain a way the supernatural. We can't simply know our universe through studying natural processes or natural science alone. God is supernatural, which means beyond the natural, every one of us knows this to be true. That there are miracles, things that happen that can't be explained. Sacred scripture, which cannot err, tells us that creation was a supernatural event. So this would be like trying to eat soup, using a fork.

The fork is a great utensil. Depending on what you're eating, but not soup. You can't use a fork to eat soup unless it's, I guess it's chunky soup. Natural science is a great tool to study the earth and it can help shed light on creation. We know what the earth is made of or roughly how old it is, but it can't tell us exactly how, or even more importantly, why God created. And so we see here in the Baltimore catechism, it simply asks the question, "What do we mean when we say that God is the creator of heaven and earth." And it gives the straightforward answer. It says, when we say that God is the creator of heaven and earth, we mean that he made all things from nothing by his almighty power. So what we need to understand about the account given in the book of Genesis, that it's not a fable, it's not a myth. It is truth. And you can set your life by it.

 

Moses, the sacred author of Genesis was enlightened by the Holy Spirit. And his words are a part of the word of God, which cannot ere. Now you might be asking the question right now. How could Moses notice, if he weren't there at the beginning of creation? A lot of young people and kids ask that question. The simple answer to this is God revealed it to him, whether it was by a vision or by infused knowledge. And all, I mean, by infused knowledge is that it's not acquired by our own effort, but rather it's given directly by God in the intellect.

 

Now it's important to know that the story of creation is an exact agreement with the conclusion of natural philosophy, all investigations into the crust of the earth show that the organic life was developed in the order that was set forth in Genesis. So in the beginning of time, when there was nothing else, except God, because remember only God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existed from all eternity. So time began with the world when it was created. So that before creation, there was no time. And so scripture tells us that God created out of nothing. There was no molecules to collide into one another, there was nothing, God created out of nothing. Only God existed.

 

Now the words of the book of Genesis starts like this: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." So starting today we're going to cover the spiritual part of creation. And then later we will work our way into studying the material part of creation and man's fall.

 

The beautiful thing that we're really going to notice is this; how ordered the creation of God really is. How it all fits together. That there's a hierarchal order both in the spiritual and the material universes. And man is the bridge between the two.

 

But we'll talk more about that down the road. So when sacred scripture refers to the heavens, it doesn't just mean the starry sky. It also means the abode of the angels and the saints. The first words of the Bible, "God created the heavens and the earth", are intended to remind us of mans last end, and our future destiny. So just as a side note here, when we die, we don't become angels. If we die in a state of grace and friendship with God, we're referred to as saints. The angels are spiritual beings created by God. They have an intellect and they have a will, but they don't have a body. And this is just an important side note because I often hear from people that when they lose, a loved one, when somebody dies, they say something along the lines of: "Well, now we know that there's another angel in heaven." You and I don't become angels. God-willing, we're going to become Saints that are in Heaven. So the spiritual world consists of God and his angels and the heavens where they dwell.

 

God’s Word has so much to say about angels—both good angels and demons (which are evil angels)—that all I can do in this time allotted to us is to give you the basic framework and major points of emphasis the Bible makes about them. But this study will give you enough information to help you be aware of the critical role that these supernatural, spirit beings play in God’s plan both in history and eternity. Angels have been popular in Hollywood movies and in our culture for some time. At the same time the demonic world has become a popular theme in television and films. Just go to any theater in October, and you will see movie after movie displayed about these evil beings. Halloween movies may seem like silly, even childish story-telling intended to simply scare, but good angels and bad angels (demons) are real, and they have a lot more significance than we actually give them. And much of what we read and watch about angels is really fluff compared to what the Bible teaches. What I want to do is discuss in greater detail the role of angels in our lives as we consider their origin, activities, and future. While all angels had the same origin in eternity past as God’s creation, good and bad angels today work in opposition to each other in the world. So let’s look at how angels impact us, how to understand them better, and how to even utilize the gifts and services they provide on God’s behalf.

 

It’s also important to say that we can’t talk about angels—good and rebellious—without getting into the issue of spiritual warfare, which will be part of our focus. This answers the question, “Why do I need to know about angels?” They are fighting against each other, and you are the prize they’re fighting for!

 

Let’s begin by looking at the origin of the angelic world. In Colossians 1:16, Paul wrote: “For by Christ, (that is, by means of; or in Christ), all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” This verse makes it clear that the angelic realm was not created as an end in itself. The myriads of angels that God created were made to fulfill His divine purposes. When were angels created? We don’t know exactly when, but it was before the creation of the earth and mankind. During His answer to the patriarch Job, God asked this question: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

 

… When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,7). The sons of God were the angels, who formed a choir and sang in celebration at creation. We know these are the angels because back in Job 1:6, the “sons of God” came to report to God on His throne, and Satan was among them. As we’ll see, Satan was the greatest of the angels before his rebellion and judgment. As created beings, angels are not to be worshiped in and of themselves, in the narrow sense that the word worship is used today.

The word “worship” has undergone a change in meaning in English.

It comes from the Old English weorthscipe, which means the condition of being worthy of honor, respect, or dignity. To worship in the older, larger sense is to ascribe honor, worth, or excellence to someone, whether a sage, a magistrate, or God.

For many centuries, the term worship simply meant showing respect or honor, and an example of this usage survives in contemporary English. British subjects refer to their magistrates as “Your Worship,” although Americans would say “Your Honor.” This doesn’t mean that British subjects worship their magistrates as gods; it means they are giving them the honor appropriate to their office, not the honor appropriate to God.

In Scripture, the term “worship” was similarly broad in meaning, but in the early Christian centuries, theologians began to differentiate between different types of honor in order to make more clear which is due to God and which is not.

As the terminology of Christian theology developed, the Greek term latria came to be used to refer to the honor that is due to God alone, and the term dulia came to refer to the honor that is due to human beings, especially the saints. Scripture indicates that honor is due to these individuals (Matthew 10:41b)

So when the apostle John fell down to worship the angel who had shown him great things, the angel said, “Do not do that." Not because John was worshiping the angel in the way that was due only to God, he was showing respect and honor to the Angel. He considered himself "a little lower then the Angel" But the angel would have none of that because the Angel considered himself "a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God” (Revelation 22:9).

 

The angels were created to worship, glorify, adore, and serve God. That’s where Satan got into trouble, because he wanted to be worshiped as God rather than serve God (Isaiah 14:12–14). Many verses in the Bible reveal the motivation and purpose of the angels. According to Psalm 148:2, the angels find their delight in praising God. The writer of Hebrews said of angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (1:14). Even though angels take on human appearance and become visible on occasion, they are spirit beings who do not have flesh and blood. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” When necessary, God will direct one of His invisible angels to become visible in the life of a believer in order to accomplish a divinely ordained purpose. This happened to Abraham and Sarah when “three men” (Genesis 18:2) showed up at the door of their tent one day to announce that Sarah would have a son at the age of ninety. The custom of the day was to be hospitable to strangers, and Abraham went all out for them. He may have done this because he was a kind and godly person, or because he sensed that these were special visitors. He probably did it for both reasons. One of the men was God Himself, most likely Jesus in a preincarnate appearance, because His promise to Abraham was personal: “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son” (18:10). The other two “men” were actually angels whom God had sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (18:20–22; 19:1). Abraham entertained these strangers without knowing that they came bearing the provision of God for the miracle that Sarah and he needed—the ability to conceive well past the age of childbearing (Romans 4:18–21). Angels are also spirit beings, and the same is true of demons—who are fallen angels. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul describes these fallen angels as “spiritual forces of wickedness”: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 

 

 

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