I visited a planetarium recently and I am puzzled by what I “learned.” The astronomers say the stars are whirling balls of different types of gases, in different stages of their life-cycle, and that they have very high surface temperatures in which life as we know it could not possibly exist.
If this is true, what about the angels? Where do they come from?
Astronomers build their science by relating what they know from studying our earth to what they see with their telescopes. They assume that like substances produce like effects and that like effects are produced by like substances or processes. This may be true, partly true, or not true at all. Our knowledge of worlds so far removed from us must be limited at best.
For example, scientists observe differences in the appearance of the various stars. Different stars appear to be different colors. Now scientists know that burning gases in our environment produce various colors; and when they see these same colors in the stars, they conclude that the same burning gas out there produces the same color of light. The same is true of their understanding of the lifecycle. Everything we are acquainted with has a lifecycle; hence, scientists conclude that the heavenly bodies are passing through a lifecycle. Some of their conclusions may be right to some extent.
When we think about the theories of the astronomers, which they state so confidently, we must realize the factors against them:
- Distance. The stars lie at distances so great that the light that leaves them this instant reaches our eye or our telescope anywhere from four years from now to ten thousand million years from now (and light travels at a rate of six trillion miles every year). One scientist during the past year, acclaiming the discovery of a “new galaxy,” said that observing this galaxy was like studying the light emitted by a 40-watt bulb at a distance of 600,000 miles!
- Mortality. The scientists themselves have such short life spans that observing changes or patterns in the heavens over a long period of time is impossible. And seeing any star or group of stars firsthand by any means known to us today is out of the question—the very nearest star, using present rockets for transportation, is nearly 100,000 years away!
- Knowledge. A few astronomers acknowledge God, but the majority prefer to be independent of any religious beliefs and figure out all the why’s and how’s without accepting what the great Creator has revealed about them. By so doing they are immediately limiting their views to what they themselves can imagine; and some of their conclusions, if we may judge, seem almost too childish to take seriously. If they would take what God has revealed about His creation, His purposes, and His overall plan, and fit what they know about the heavens into that framework, they would get a totally different picture of what is happening in the heavens.
We choose to stop with observing the what of the creation, and turn to the knowledge of God as revealed in His Word for our answers to why and when and how.
What the Bible Tells Us
The Bible does not tell us all we would like to know about the heavens and the visible creation, but of a few facts we may be sure:
God is the supreme Creator. He “made the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it” (Neh. 9:6).
God has a whole family in heaven, as well as in earth. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15).
God’s will is “done… in heaven” (Matt. 6:10)-which means that living beings are doing His will in heaven now.
From eternity past God has had beings on whom He has been bestowing His mercy. “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children; to such as keep his covenant” (Ps. 103:17-18). A God who has mercy from “everlasting to everlasting” has had someone on whom to bestow that mercy from “everlasting.”
God’s heavenly beings travel among different worlds in God’s vast creation, even between heavenly worlds and our earth. “And the angel answered and said to him [Zacharias] I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and was sent to speak to you” (Luke 1:19). The angel Gabriel had come from the “presence of God”—from the real abode of real beings, where dwells the great Creator Himself.
About the Angels
Although we are not told how worlds are created, or through what stages of development they pass, the Bible contains almost three hundred direct references to angels, real living beings who live somewhere in God’s limitless creation. And from what the Bible says about these heavenly beings, we may safely conclude that there are many, many of them inhabiting many, many worlds. Note these statements about the angels:
“The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them” (Ps. 68:17 KJV).
“Millions of angels were at his service.” (Dan. 7:10 Moffatt)
“You have come … to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Heb. 12:22), or “to countless hosts of angels,” “gathered thousands upon thousands,” “myriads,” “countless multitudes of angels” (other versions).
“Are not the angels all spirits in service, whom he sends on his errands for the good of those who are destined to possess salvation?” (Heb. 1:14, Am. Trans.).
God’s creation is not limited to this small planet; and His living beings are not limited to those we see here. We are only one small part of His “manifold wisdom,” according to His “eternal purpose” (Ps. 104:24; Eph. 3:10-11).
We are deeply grateful that He has made it possible for us to “see” a tiny corner of this vastness and are awed by its magnificence. But we choose to leave the unknowns with Him as part of the “secret things” not yet revealed. We choose to concentrate on the work He has assigned to us, preparing ourselves that we may have part in the scenes soon to be enacted on our Earth.