Heirarchy of Angels
Bonnie Moss 2003
Some sort of hierarchy of angelic beings is indicated
in the Bible, although it doesn't give specific details.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Lord of Hosts,
the Chief Commander of All Angelic Beings.
Colossians 1:16 says,
For by Him all
things were created things in heaven and on
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
powers or rulers or authorities; all things
were created by Him and for Him.
In Ephesians 6:12, we note that there are at least
4 rankings of fallen angels; it says
For we do
not wrestle against flesh and blood but against
principalities, against powers, against rulers of
darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the heavenly places.
In 1 Peter 3: 22, we find another different ranking
of the angelic hosts: Jesus Christ has gone into heaven
and is at God's right hand with angels, authorities
and powers in submission to Him.
The hierarchy of angels may be ranked from highest to
lowest into nine (9) orders or choirs.
SERAPHIM are the highest order of the Hierarchy of Angels.
These angelic beings spend their time worshiping and
praising God. The prophet Isaiah vividly describes them
in his vision of God: He quotes: In the year that
King Uzziah died, 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).
CHERUBIM are the second highest order. The Bible
depicts Cherubim as powerful and majestic angelic
creatures who surround God's throne (see Ezekiel l :5 - l 4; 28: l 2).
They are also depicted on the Ark of the Covenant as
its Guardians. God sent them to guard Eden after the
expulsion of Adam and Eve:
After He drove
the man out, He placed on the east side of the
Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword
flashing back and forth to guard the way to
the tree of life. (Genesis :24).
THRONES are the third ranking order of angels.
They were also known as Wheels and the Many-eyed
Ones. These Angels were often believed to be
deployed like charioteers around the Throne of God.
They were described in Ezekiel 1:13-19 as having
four wings and four faces. They sparkled like the
color of barnished brass. They had the hands of
a man under their wings. Their wings were joined
one to the other and they did not turn when they
traveled -they all went straight forward.
They had four faces. They had the face of a man
as well as three other faces on their helmets - that
of a lion, an ox, and an eagle. They moved on
wheels in the middle of wheels, blue-green in color.
Above their heads the likeness of the firmament,
which was the color of crystal,and under this were
their wings, two on each side of their bodies. The
noise of their wings was like the noise of great waters.
RULERS are the fourth ranking order of angels.
This Order of Guardian Angels decide the success
or failure of nations. Dominations have been
described as wearing long albs, or gowns reaching
to their feet, hitched with a golden belt and adorned
with a green sole. They carry golden staffs
in the right hand and the Seal of God in the left.
At other times, they are said to hold an orb
or a specter.
VIRTUES are the fifth ranking Order of Angels.
They have been called "The Brilliant or
Shining Ones.They were called the Angels of
miracles, encouragement, and blessings. They
were particularly involved with people struggling
with their faith. Virtues have been said to be the
chief bestowers of grace and valor. The two Angels
at the Ascension of Jesus were traditionally
believed to be from the Order of Virtues. Virtues
were usually represented in a group.
POWERS are the sixth ranking Order of Angels.
Powers have been credited as being the first Order
of Angels created by God. They are responsible
for maintaining the border between Heaven and Earth.
Acting as a sort of elite guard, they constantly watch
for demonic attack. They are the major line of defense
and battle during heavenly warfare. It is their duty to
protect the world from the infiltration of demons. They
protect our souls from these evil beings and act as
ministers of God who avenge evil in the world. It was
also believed that at death, the Powers guide our
transition to Heaven.
PRINCIPALITIES OR PRINCES are the seventh ranking
Order of Angels. The Principalities were considered to
be the guardians over the nations and the leaders of
the world. It is believed that they are given more freedom
to act than the lesser angels below them. They are
responsible for carrying out divine acts concerning their
area of jurisdiction. It was from this Order that the Angel
who aided David in his task of slaying Goliath was thought
to have come. Finally, they are given to the task of
managing the duties of the angels. Principalities have
been described as being dressed in soldier's uniforms
with golden girdles.
ARCHANGELS are eighth ranking order of angels.
Archangel Michael is believed to be the highest ranking
warring angel in God's heavenly host. He will play a
special role in the end time: For the Lord Himself will
come down from heaven, with a loud command, with
the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of
God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that,
we who are still alive and are left will be caught up
together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in
the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever
. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-1 7). As powerful as
Michael is, he does keep to his proper domain (Jude 1:6)
and does not over-exert his authority over his adversary,
Lucifer. But even the archangel Michael, when he
was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses,
did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against
him. He said, 'The Lord rebuke you!(Jude l: 9).
Ultimately, however, Scripture says that he will prevail
over Satan (see Revelation 12: 79).
Archangel Gabriel is a highest ranking messenger
who brought special messages to God's people. In the
Scripture we find him bringing messages to: Daniel to
reveal the future events to him (Daniel 8:16; 9:21).
He went to Zacharias regarding the birth of John
the Baptist, (Luke 1 :19) and to Mary to announce
the birth of Jesus (Luke l :30).
GUARDIAN ANGELS are the last order of angels.
They are believed to be ministering angels sent forth
to minister for those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
Within the orders of angels, only archangels and angels
(the lowest categories in the hierarchy) are traditionally
said to interact with man and woman in the course of
daily life. In some cases, the angel serves only as a
messenger, but in others, the angel lingers in visible
form, taking responsibility for the well-being of individuals
in trouble, guarding them from harm, offering them
sustenance, or leading them out of danger.
Nowadays they are still busy ministering to us.
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