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.
In this account, the information about Angels was gleaned from the Bible, the Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the public writings on Angels at the Vatican Library in Rome.
Hierarchy of Angels
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 this discourse in order of their office and their area of service.
The First Hierarchy
1. Seraphim, 2. Cherubim, 3. Wheels
The second Hierarchy of Angels work as Heavenly Governors:
1. Dominions, 2. Virtues, 3. Powers
The Third Hierarchy are Angels that function as messengers and soldiers:
1. Principalities, 2. Archangels and 3. Messenger Angels
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.
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.
The most substantive attributions are found in the Catholic Church’s Vatican Library in Rome dated during the period of the Prophets and the Early Church of the first century. In addition, there are writings that date to the time of the Pharaohs that shed some light on the subject, surrounding the book of the dead. Not with respect to the spells and incantations, but the gods that are described that resemble visions of Angelic beings attributed by the priest as gods.
The most reliable information about Angels is found in the Bible. The most detail found about Angels is in the Apocrypha.
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.