Angels are celestial beings who carry God's Divine Decrees to humans and who constantly battle the ~Sons of Darkness.~ They are messengers of God. They are the members of the lowest order of the ninefold celestial hierachy.
In Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Islam, angels are thought of as spiritual messengers or mediators between the sacred and profane realms.
Angel comes from the Greek word ~angelos,~ a word signifying, both in Hebrew and Greek, ~messenger,~ and hence used to denote any agent God sends forth to execute his purposes. The matching Hebrew word ~mal'ak~ has the same meaning.
It is used of an ordinary messenger ~Job1:14:~ ~1 Sam. 11:3;~ ~ Luke 7:24; 9:52~, of prophets ~Isa. 42:19;~ ~Hag.1:13~, of priests ~Mal. 2:7~, and ministers of the New Testament ~Rev. 1:20~. It is also applied to pestilence ~2 Sam. 24:16, 17;~ ~ 2 Kings 19:35~, the wind ~Ps. 104:4~.
During the Middle Ages a hierarchy of angels was developed. They were classified in the following nine ranks....
The Hierarchy Of Angels
Angels are good spirits. They have their counterpart in demons, or evil spirits. The word demon is derived from the Greek word daimon, meaning any supernatural being or spirit. Belief in spirits of all kinds was quite prevalent in the ancient world. When Christianity appeared, nearly 2,000 years ago, it condemned belief in such spirits and assigned them the name demon. Ever since, demons have been thought of as evil spirits.
Much of what angels do is communicate messages between the divine and mortals. Somtimes they inform us of the great events about to happen; other times they may warn us of the impending danger. But, most important, they watch over each of us
There are nine distinct orders of angels within three major headings known as choirs.
They were considered the highest order of the Hierarchy of Angels. They are the Angels of Love, Light, and Fire. Seraphim are the closest to God. In the Throne Room, several of the Seraphim were described as flying directly
above the Throne of God and constantly sing His praise. They are also called the ~Burning Ones~ because they are aflame with Love. Isaiah 6 in the Old Testament speaks of the Seraphim as ~having six wings; two covering the face, two covering the feet, and two were used for flying.~ There is said to be four of these angelic beings. They are listed as the four holy beasts in the book of Revelation and are also described as angels with four faces and six wings.
They are associated with the color of white.
The second highest Order of Angels. Their name stands for ~Wisdom~ or ~one who prays.~ In the Throne Room they stand next to the Throne of God. They are also depicted on the Ark of the Covenant as its Guardians. They are often sent to earth with the greatest of tasks; the expulsion of Man from the Garden of Eden and the Annunication of Christ were both performed by cherubim. Also, they are described as the ~charioteers of God,~ steering the Ophanim. Cherubs are the first Angels mentioned in the Bible when two Cherubs are placed by God to guard the gates to Eden with Flaming Swords. ~He drove out the man; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the Cherubim, and a Flaming Sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.~ ~Genesis 3:24~. The Cherubim were also
known as the record keepers of Heaven. They were not described as the cute little ~cupidlike~ angels depicted by painters, but instead are described as sphinx like creatures in Assyrian lore, or the angels gracing the Ark of the Covenant and Solomon's temple in biblical terms, having four wings..
The third ranking Order of Angels, also known as the Ophanim, serve the primary function of being God's chariot. They are also known as ~Wheels~ and ~the Many-eyed Ones.~ They are Angels of Justice as they carry out God's decisions. These Angels are deployed like charioteers around the Throne of God. They are described in~ Ezekiel 1:13-19 ~as having four wings and four faces and sparkle like the color of burnished brass. One explanation given for having this bizarre physical appearance, is that they mark the end of the first Choir, where the emanations of God begin to take on more material forms and exist in a state of transition. They receive their orders from the seraphim and cherubim and are responsible for ensuring that the cosmos remains in order. It is only with extreme rarity that they make themselves physically known to mortals, instead quietly concerning themselves with the details of existance.
The fourth ranking Order of Angels. Also known as the Hashmallim, the dominations act like a middle management between the upper choir and the lower, holding the task of regulating the duties of lower angels.
According to Jewish traditions, the success or failure of nations was decided by this Order of Guardian Angels. 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 spectre.
The fifth ranking Order of Angels are also called ~The Brilliant or Shining Ones.~ They are the Angels of miracles, encouragement, and blessings, and particularly involved with people struggling with their faith. Virtues are the chief bestowers of grace and valor. They preside over the movements of the celestial bodies as well as events of weather including rain, snow, wind and the like. They also take the orders given to them and in turn convert them into miracles for God's favored. Also known as the ~Malakim~ and the ~Tarshishim.~ The two Angels at the Ascension of Jesus are traditionally believed to be from the Order of Virtues. Virtues are usually represented in a group.
The sixth ranking Order of Angels. Powers have been credited as being the first Order of Angels created by God. In ~Romans 13:1~ it is written that ~The Soul is subject to the Powers.~ Holding one of the most dangerous tasks, the powers are responsible for maintaining the border between Heaven and Earth. 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.
The seventh ranking Order of Angels. The head of the final choir, the principalities watch over the mortal world directly, guiding and protecting the earth's nations, cities and towns. The Principalities are described as the Angels who protect religions. It was from this Order that the Angel who aided David in his task of slaying Goliath was thought to have come. Principalities have been described as being dressed in soldier's uniforms with golden girdles.Finally, they are given to the task of managing the duties of the angels.
The eighth ranking Order of Angels. These Angels are in command of ministering to humans. They are also the most widely known Order of Angels, since the only Angels mentioned by name in the Bible
(Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael) come from this Order. They carry God's messages to humans and are ultimately in command of God's Armies of Angels who are constantly in spiritual warfare with the forces of evil and the fallen angels. Michael is universally believed to be their leader. The number of Archangels considered to be associated with our system of worlds is seven, as in the Seven Angels who stand before God in Revelation 8:2, which is often interpreted to mean the Seven Archangels. The Seven Beloved Archangels are Michael, Jophiel, Chamuel Gabriel,Raphael, Uriel, and Zadkiel.
The ninth ranking Order of Angels. Angels are the Order closest to humanity. The word angel derives from the Greek ~angelos~ meaning ~messenger.~ Angels are responsible for watching over the affairs of mortals in a more direct manner than the principalities. Instead of watching entire nations, angels watch over households and individual souls, guiding them subtlely and keeping them safe from demonic attack. Also, they are the carriers of God's word to mankind, acting as messengers and couriers to both God and the upper ranks of angel kind as well. In Hebrew, they are called mal'akh, meaning ~messenger,~ in Persian the word is angaros or ~courier.~
HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE
I was walking down life's highway a long time ago. One day I saw a sign that read,
~HEAVEN'S GROCERY STORE.~
As I got a little closer the door came open wide, and when I came to myself I
was standing inside.
I saw a host of ANGELS.
They were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said, ~My Child shop with care.~
Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store.
And all you couldn't carry, you could come back the next day for more.
First, I got some PATIENCE, LOVE was in the same row.
Further down was UNDERSTANDING, you need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH.
I just couldn't miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place.
I stopped to get some STRENGTH & COURAGE to help me run this race.
By then my basket was getting full, but I remembered I needed some GRACE.
I didn't forget SALVATION, for SALVATION was free, so I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill, for I thought I had everything to do the MASTER'S will.
As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER, and I just had to put that in, for I knew when I stepped outside, I would run into sin.
PEACE & JOY were plentiful; they were last on the shelf.
SONG & PRAISE were hanging near, so I just helped myself.
Then I said to the angel, "Now, how much do I owe?"
He smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you go."
Again, I smiled and said, "How much do I really owe?"
He smiled again and said,~MY CHILD, JESUS PAID YOUR BILL A LONG, LONG TIME AGO.~
~ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER YOU SHALL ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YOU SHALL RECEIVE.~ ~MATTHEW 21:22~