Types of Angels

Angels are quite a popular image in Christianity. They are human-like beings with rays of light around them, some of them having halos and crowns, and most of them having feathered wings. However, is this the proper depiction of angels as mentioned in the Bible? Well, not exactly.

Most of what we know about angels has been made by painters, authors, and storytellers. It is believed that each one of us has our very own guardian angel protecting and guiding us all our lives. But do they really exist? And most importantly, what does the Bible say about them?

This article will talk about the different types of angels as depicted in the Bible, as well as what the Word of God really reveals about these beings.

What are Angels?

The common image depicted in society with regards to angels ranges from cute little babies with wings, to perfectly chiseled adult men adorned in white robes, to spirits emitting rays of light.

However, these popular images of angels are not exactly true. There are different types of angels in the Bible and they are a far cry from what society has made us believe they look like. In fact, many of the angels mentioned in the Bible do not resemble their popular image.

In Christianity, angels are actually based on the concept of angels depicted in Judaism. These angels are said to be messengers or armies of God, who carry out His missions, teachings, and messages to people on Earth.

Angels are the messengers between God and humans, and they are used by the Almighty to deliver messages or judgments to us here on Earth.

There are 9 different kinds of angels mentioned in the Bible. They have a hierarchy based on their closeness to God and humans, as well as their duties. This different hierarchy is called angelic choirs, which are also differentiated into three groups.

Let’s discuss the different types of angels as mentioned in the Bible.

The Types of Angels or Angelic Choirs in the Bible

1. The First Sphere of Angels

The First Sphere of Angels is the highest hierarchy in the angelic choir. This group makes up the Seraphims, Cherubims, and the Thrones.

They are closest to God and furthest from humans, and they are considered to be the direct servants of God.

  • Seraphim

“Seraph” means the burning ones. They are so passionate about their love of God that they literally burn with a fiery love for God. They are seen on the throne of God, singing praises and worshipping God at all times.

They are mentioned in Isaiah 6:1 to 8 and depicted as having 6 wings. These wings consist of 2 to cover their faces, 2 to cover their feet, and 2 to make them fly.

  • Cherubim

Cherubims are depicted in modern society as baby angels with cute and fluffy cheeks, as well as having curly blond hair. But unfortunately, this is not how the Bible depicts them. The truth is, they have 4 faces, which are an ox, a lion, an eagle, and a human. They are mistakenly depicted as baby angels when painters in the Baroque era painted them as such.

Cherubims are mentioned in the book of Genesis, the book of Exodus, Ezekiel, 1 King, and 2 Chronicles.

Cherubims are said to be angels that protected the tree of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. They are also known to be keepers of celestial records, which hold the knowledge of God. They are also known to be messengers of the most important tasks to accomplish.

Cherubims are also described as having 4 wings.

  • Thrones

The Thrones are mentioned by Paul the Apostle in the book of Colossians. Thrones are defined as being two wheels that have many eyes, or a chariot of God. They also glow and serve God as a chariot and carry out some of God’s judgments.

They also have 4 wings like Cherubims and have 4 faces as well. The Thrones represent peace, humility, and submission.

2. The Second Sphere of Angels

The Second Sphere of Angels is also known as the celestial governors. Their job is to rule over Earth and preside over the lower hierarchy of angels. They consist of the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers.

  • Dominions

The Dominions are also known as the Lordships. They have great power and autonomy over humans but do not come in close contact with us. Their leader is Tsadkiel, who helps in emergencies when humans invoke him. If there is a conflict or emergency, or someone needs immediate help, the Dominions are the ones who can help us.

They are also in charge of sending duties of the lower angels.

  • Virtues

Virtues are in charge of removing negative energies on Earth. They represent purity and royalty and miracles are attributed to them. They are the type of angels that help us recognize that there is a God and that He has a hand on all the things that happen to us.

The prince of the Virtues is said to be Raphael, who has the power to heal and relieve pain. He is given the strength to encourage humans to have faith in God, and given the capacity to intervene in the affairs of humans.

They are also known to leave signs for faithful Christians, and can even perform miracles.

  • Powers

The Powers or Authorities are closely related to the Holy Ghost. They are known to help humans overcome temptations from Satan. They are protectors of humans and are usually depicted as warriors or soldiers with swords. They have power over evil forces and fight demons.

3. The Third Sphere of Angels

The Third Sphere of Angels is said to be angels that are closest to humans. They are the ones that we feel most connected to and their job is to guide and protect those who are on Earth. They consist of the Principalities, the Archangels, and the Guardian Angels.

  • Principalities or Princedoms or Rulers

They are defined as rays of light given the job of overseeing all things on Earth. They also wear crowns and scepters. They guide the world, cities, or small towns as well as oversees politicians and religion.

They are also given the task of sending other angels on a mission to help protect humans from possible danger.

  • Archangels

Archangels are some of the most popular angels known to man. However, only one name is mentioned in the Bible, and that is Michael. Archangels mean first in ranking and messenger, from the Greek words “archein,” meaning first in rank or power, and “Angelos,” meaning messenger or envoy.

Micheal is said to be the only Archangel because he is the only one mentioned in the Bible, but some also believe that Gabriel is also an Archangel, while others believe there are 3 or even 7 Archangels.

However, in the Book of Tobis, Raphael said to Tobias that he was one of 7 who stood before the Lord, where Michael and Gabriel considered to be the other two among the 7. It is believed that there are actually 7 archangels, whose names are not mentioned in the Bible but are mentioned in Judaism.

In fact, in the Book of Revelation and the Book of Enoch, 7 spirits are said to stand before the throne of God, which led to the belief that there are 7 Archangels in Christianity.

  • Guardian Angels

The guardian angels are the ones that we, humans, are most familiar with and are the closest to. They are the furthest away from God and work as God’s messengers to humans on Earth.

They are sent to protect us, guide us, and comfort us. However, they still give us free will and leave it up to us to make decisions.

Some Information on Angels

  • God Created Angels

Christians believe that God made the angels when He made the Earth. Angles did not always exist. Christians believe that it was in Genesis 1:1 that God made the heavens and Earth, and heaven is said to present the dwelling place of angels.

In Colossians 1:16, Paul tells humans that God created all things “visible and invisible” and uses the terms “dominions, principalities, and authorities.”

It is believed that angels are not visible or solid beings, but rather, spirits in being.

  • Only Two Names of Angels are Mentioned in the Bible

It might be hard to believe that only two names of angels are actually mentioned in the Bible. These names are Michael, mentioned in Jude 9, Daniel 10:13 and 21, and Revelation 12:7-8. Gabriel, on the other hand, is mentioned in Daniel 8:16, 9:21, and Luke 1.

  • Angels are Not Always Present

We’ve been made to believe that angels are always around us. Guardian angels, for example. are known to be around us from the moment we are born. However, this may not be true. In fact, they are believed to dwell in the heavens and only come to Earth when they have a task to fulfill, or when they are set to send us a message.

When you read stories about angels in the Bible, it’s always a story about angels traveling from one place to another. It’s always about God sending an angel, such as Gabriel being sent from God to a city of Galilee called Nazareth.

They are considered to be finite creatures, which are known to be limited to a place at one time.

Final Thoughts

The images and information most humans know about angels come from modern society. These beings with perfect hair and bodies, dressed in white robes, having halos, and glowing in a ray of light seem to be depicted in paintings and movies.

However, if you search the Bible for mentions of angels, these images are actually not found. Several mentions of angels in the BIble even depict them as objects or mere rays of light.

Nevertheless, angels are known to be messengers of God and God’s army. They are the perfect example of Christian obedience, as they are most loyal to God. They are the ones that surround God in heaven and are given tasks to fulfill, such as protecting us, sending us messages, and ruling over cities and towns.

As Christians, we are taught to be loyal and obedient to God, and be faithful to His word. We must look at angels to be the perfect depiction of complete surrender and loyalty to God, and when our time comes, we can be welcomed into the Kingdom of God just as the angels dwell in heaven.

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