The bible speaks of the types of Angels in part and about their rankings. Angels are described as messengers, Archangels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Virtues, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Wheels and Principalities.
The hierarchy of Angels is described as choirs or spheres. These choirs are broken up into three levels with three orders under each hierarchy. The first hierarchy is the highest order of Angels.
They are ranked in order of their office and their area of service.
The singular form is Seraph, meaning those who see most clearly. They are described as…“having six wings, with two he covered his face, two his feet, and with two he flies”(Isaiah 6: 1-7). They serve as caretakers of God’s Throne and continuously shout praises to God.
The name Seraph means the burning ones, in the Apocrypha, two of the Seraphim are named Seraphiel and Metatron. Seraphiel is said to have a head of an Eagle. It is written, that such a bright light emanates from them that nothing, not even other Angelic beings, can look upon them. It is written that four Seraphim surround God’s Throne, where they burn with light eternally from the Love and zeal for God Himself.
The singular form is Cherub, meaning fullness of knowledge. They are described in (Ezekiel 1:1-13; 10:12-14, 20-22). They are covered with eyes and have four faces, a man, lion, eagle, and a calf, also referred to as a face of the Cherub. They have four wings with the hands of a man. Cherub guard the way to the Garden of Eden and the tree of life (Genesis 3:4). They guard the outside courtyard of God’s Throne room (Rev. 4:4-9). Lucifer was a Cherub before being cast out of Heaven (Ezekiel 28:13-19; Isaiah 14:12-19).
The likeness of Cherubim was used to decorate the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:17-22). They were also used to decorate Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:23-29; 2 Chronicles 3:7-14).
They are also referred to as Ophanim, meaning divine justice. They are described in (Ezekiel 10:9-11). These Angels are unusual compared to the other Angelic beings described in scripture. They are the color of beryl stones – Topaz (Ezekiel 10:9). Wheels appear to look translucent, so that one looks like it is inside of another, a Wheel within a Wheel (Ezekiel 10:10).
They are closely connected to Cherubim (Ezekiel 10:11). They are also associated with Jesus in Heaven (Daniel 7:9). The purpose and the functions of these Angels is unknown, other than they precede Jesus and the Cherubim when they move about. They appear to operate as the Sergeant of Arms to the President of the United States, walking before him when he enters a room and announcing his presence in some manner.
The second Hierarchy of Angels work as Heavenly Governors:
Providence and miracles are enacted through them. Providence is when God uses existing circumstances and people around that circumstance to answer prayers. Miracles are when God answer prayers by going beyond the rules of nature that He has set in place, like raising someone from the dead, or turning water into blood or making the blind see. Providence for example involves people changing their minds without knowing why in order to help one of God’s people. Dominions are the Angels that enact these manifestations. The Greek word for Dominions is “kyriotites” meaning Lordship (Colossians 1:16). They are also known as Hashmallim and they regulate the duties of lower Angels.
Only on rare occasions do Dominions make themselves known to humans, extremely rare occasions. They also preside over nations. Dominions appear as beautiful Angels with feathered wings. They are distinguished from other Angels by their sword or scepters of light.
They are also known as Strongholds. They are responsible for the movements of Heavenly bodies which is everything in the air, clouds, atmospheric conditions, lightening, asteroids, meteors, etc. They are also linked to the attribute “Might” (Ephesians 1:21). Their primary duty is to supervise the movement of Heavenly bodies in order to ensure the Cosmos remain in order. They may be directly involved during the tribulation, directing asteroids and meteors into the atmosphere and removing the atmospheric transparency of the Ozone layers to permit more direct solar radiation on the planet.
Authorities governing the precise enactments of God’s will on Earth. The Greek word for Power is “Exousies” (Ephesians 3:10). Powers are the bearers of conscience and keepers of history. They are warrior Angels, created completely loyal to God. They are the only Angels that do not have free will. Their duty is to oversee the distribution of power among humankind. There is no person at any time that has come into power as King, Prince, Caesar, Magistrate, Governor, President, Prime Minister or otherwise that was not ordained of God for His purposes (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-15).
When Paul said “far above all principality and power and might and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21), he was speaking of both Heaven and humanity on Earth.
The Third Hierarchy are Angels that function as messengers and soldiers:
They are rulers over the welfare of human affairs. The Greek word for principality is “Arche” meaning Princedoms, area of rule. They carry out orders given to them by Dominion Angels and they bequeath blessings to the material world. They oversee groups of people that are given authority, like a Senate, Congress, House of Commons, Knights Templar, etc. They are the educators and guardians of the earth realm. They inspire art and science in man.
They are concerned with the bigger picture issues that affect mankind. They are the guardians of the messenger Angels and assure God’s work be done on earth with respect to man. They directly intervene when Demons interfere with God’s will for man.
They are the strongest in physical strength of all the Angels. The Greek work for Archangel is “Archangelos” meaning Chief Angel. The first in rank and power, they are messengers though highly ranked. There are no Angels of higher rank than Jesus, although Jesus is called the Lord of Host, which all Angels are the Host of Heaven. Jesus Himself is not an Angel. Like the President of the United States, he is Commander in Chief, but he is not in the military. Only Michael is named as an Archangel expressly in the Bible’s 66 books (Daniel 10:13; Jude 9). In Daniel, Michael is referred to as “one” of the Chief Princes (one, meaning there are others). The word Prince in Hebrew is “Sar” meaning head person, a chief, a general. Gabriel is thought to be an Archangel, but the scripture in the 1st Cannon of the Bible, does not support the assertion or designation. The name Gabriel means Champion of God, the word Archangel appears twice in the Bible, with the exception of the Apocrypha (1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9).
The name Raphael appears in the book of Tobit, there he is referred to as an Archangel (Tobit 12:15). Tobit is Deuterocanonical, meaning second cannon, which books were included in the Bible prior to the mid-1600s. Tobit is still part of the Bible for Roman Catholics, Eastern and Western rites, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christians. It is also read by Anglicans and Lutherans, but not reformed Baptist. In the book of Tobit, Raphael says to Tobias that He is one of Seven Archangels that stand before the Lord, Michael being one of them. A third Archangel in the Apocrypha is named Uriel, whose name means fire of God. Uriel’s name is the only name not mentioned in the Lutheran Bible. He is prominent with Anglican and Russian Orthodox Christians (2 Esdras; 4 Esdras, and in the Latin Vulgate). Gabriel is also referred to as an Archangel in the Apocrypha.
The Seven Archangels are also referred to as the seven Spirits of God, in the disputed Apocryphal book of Enoch, where Michael is called the protector of Israel.
Messenger Angels are responsible for individual affairs of mankind. The lowest order of Angels and the most recognized by mankind. They are the Angels that appear to mankind most often. They are responsible for man on an individual basis. They are also referred to as guardian Angels. They record the details of a man’s life as man will be judged out of Gods four books.
Angels have free will and they are curious about the relationship the Holy Spirit has with man (1 Peter 1:12). Angels can sin, but when they do they are instantly judged by God. Angels do not have forgiveness, they have no faith because they know God face to face and have seen and know the host of Heaven. Man alone, operates in faith.
Angels left Heaven and changed their natural estate as Spirits and had sex with women. This is to say that they possessed and used men, having sex using men’s bodies. Their children were giants (Genesis 6:1-4; Jude 6). People today that are seven feet tall or larger, are from this lineage. At one time men were over ten feet tall. Goliath was six cubits and a span tall (1 Samuel 17:4). A cubit is between 18-21 inches a span is 9 inches. Therefore the smallest Goliath could have been was between 9 feet 9 inches and 11 feet 3 inches tall. The tallest man on record in 2012 was 8 feet 3 inches tall. There are bones of men that have been found in the middle east that are 15 feet tall.
In addition to this sin of possession and mating with woman, this group of fallen Angels, according to the book of Enoch, taught men forbidden knowledge of God and were locked up in chains and put in darkness until the day of judgment (Jude 6). These Angels were part of a larger number of Angels that fought in Heaven and were cast into immediate punishment (2 Peter 2:4). Those of this group that remain are what man encounters in the earth. These Angels, or Demons that are in the earth are not as evil despite the evil they do, as the ones that were locked up immediately and forbidden to be on the Earth at all.
Angels are not to be worshipped (Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10). As depicted in the 66 Books of the Bible, there are no clear accounts of Angels appearing to man, prior to the time of Abraham. Angels have had increasingly less interaction with man since the ascension of Christ and the advent of the Holy Spirit’s role with man.
The Hierarchy of Angels has been written about by over 300 religions for thousands of years. This account has been rendered with consideration to the writings on Angels in antiquity, rather than the more modern writings on the subject.
The reason for making this distinction, is the older writings appear to be more consistent with the recorded accounts of the manifestations of both Angels and Demons to mankind. In other words, when discussing with people today, in the forms of interviews, spiritual encounters of casting Demons out of people, and those who reported on interviews conducted about encounters with Angels or Demons, today’s physical encounters are more consistent with the Biblical accounts of antiquity, than they are with modern writings on the subject that are not biblically based.
No one really knows the full scope of any Angel’s charge or the scope of their complete capacity. Angels don’t give interviews, so what we know about them is the result of the consolidation of information about Angels over thousands of years.
The amount of time man has been amassing information about Angels and Demons does not correspond to the depth of our understanding about them. This account is intended to simplify the information and attempt to discuss certain aspects about Angels in some reasonably Biblically based fashion. This account of course, is not all inclusive.