Angels are heavenly beings superior to human beings in power and intelligence. However, seeing that they were created by God, they are not all-powerful or all-knowing; (Ps.103:20; 2 Thess. 1:7). Therefore, their knowledge is limited and does not compare to our Omniscient Creator.
Nevertheless, they have emotions and a will, and like all creatures, they are subject to the will of God. This is true of both good and evil angels (demons).
Good angels are ministering agents sent by God to minister to those who shall be heir of salvation. They are spirit beings without physical bodies, but they have personalities.
What are the different types of angels?
There are two categories of angels, “the fallen and the unfallen.” Unfallen angels are those who have remained holy throughout their existence and accordingly are referred to as “holy angels”; (Matt. 25:31).
By contrast, the fallen angels have not maintained their holiness. They are described as “fallen from their estate.” Led by satan, they rebelled against God and became sinful in their nature and work; (Isa. 14).
Fallen angels have been divided into two classes, “free and bound.” When satan fell from heaven, one-third of an innumerable company of angels chose to rebel with him; (Heb. 12:22).
Of these, some are held in chains, awaiting judgment day; (1 Cor. 6:3; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). The remainders are free demons or devils to whom constant reference is made throughout the New Testament; (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:30; 1 Tim. 4:1). They serve satan in his undertakings and share his doom; (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.” – 2nd Peter 2:4
God cast them down from heaven from their holy place. They were chained and placed in utter darkness. Though they excel vastly in strength, they are held in by Christ, who has the power of binding and loosing. As the judge of both men and devils, Christ will bring them forth and execute judgment and sentence on them.
Order of Angel Hierarchy
- Seraphim – Highest Rank, closest to God
- Archangels – Chief Angels
- Cherubim – Their image appears over the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies.
- Angels – lowest in rank
Seraphim – (fiery, burning ones) – angelic or heavenly beings associated with Isaiah’s vision of God in the Temple when he was called to his ministry; (Isa. 6:1-7). This is the only place in the Bible that mentions these mysterious creatures. Each seraph had six wings; two were used to cover their faces. Then a seraphim flew about the throne on which God was seated, singing His praises as they called special attention to His glory and majesty. These beings apparently also served as purification agents for Isaiah as he began his prophetic ministry. One placed hot coal against Isaiah’s lips with the word, “Your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged”; (Isa. 6:7).
Archangel – The word “archangel” comes from a Greek word meaning “chief angel.” In the celestial hierarchy, a spiritual being ranks above an angel. The word “archangel” occurs several times in the Bible. The voice of an archangel and the sound of the trumpet of God identified the coming of Christ (1 Thess. 4:16).
Second, the Archangel Michael is described as having great power and authority, and is the guardian of Israel; (Dan. 10:13, 21), especially in the “time of trouble” in the last days; (Dan. 12:1). Third, he disputed with the devil for the body of Moses; (Jude 9).
Cherubim – winged angelic beings, often associated with worship and praise of God. The cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Gen. 3:24. After evicting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God placed cherubim at the east of the garden, “and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Symbolic representations of cherubim were used in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Two cherubim made of gold were stationed at the two ends of the Mercy Seat, above the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies; (Ex. 25:17-22; 1 Chr. 28:18).
When building the Temple, Solomon ordered that two cherubim be made of olive wood and overlaid with gold. These gigantic cherubim were placed inside the inner sanctuary or in the Most Holy Place in the Temple. Their wings were spread over the Ark of the Covenant; (1Ki. 6:23-28; 8:6-7; 2 Chr. 3:10-13; 5:7-8).
Angels – God’s ministers or servants sent to His pleasure. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits sent to execute His commands. They are sent to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. Their ministry lies in both temporal and spiritual things concerning both body and soul. They assist in providing provisions, protection, and comfort for our souls. They put forth this office faithfully with diligence, executing it according to the will of Christ. They are sent to execute the divine command on behalf of the saved. Angels are to be respected and esteemed but not worshiped. There are times that humans serve as angels on the earth, and Scripture tells us to be kind to strangers because we could be entertaining angels unaware.
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Angels are in Service To:
- Praise and worship God; (Ps. 148:1-2; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:8-13).
- Rejoice in what God does; (Job 38:6-7).
- Minister to the heirs of salvation in service to God; (Ps. 103:20; Rev. 22:9).
- Appear before God; (Job 1:6; 2:1).
- Serve as instruments of God’s judgments; (Rev. 7:1; 8:2).
- Deliver messages/answers to prayers; (Acts 12:5-10).
- Aid in winning people (souls) to Christ; (Acts 8:26; 10:3).
- Observe Christian order; (1 Cor. 4:9; 11:10; Eph. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:12).
- Encouragers in times of danger; (Acts 27:23-24).
- Caring for the righteous at the time of death; (Luke 16:22).
Stay tuned for “Part Two” to this article, “What’s Angelic About You?” https://jeanieshepard.org/2015/01/09/whats-angelic-about-you/
*Additional Scripture Reference: Heb. 1:14; 2:7; 2 Sam. 14:17; 20; 2 Pet. 2:11; Ps. 103:20; 2 Thess. 1:7; Ps. 148:2, 5; Job 38:4-7. Matt. 8:29; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Pet. 1:12; Luke 2:13; Jam. 2:19; Rev. 12:17; Luke 8:28-31; 2 Tim. 2:26; Jude 6.
*Source References: Got Questions.org; Biblehub.com; Nelson’s Newly Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
*The photos do not belong to Jeanie Martin Ministries.