Let’s talk about angels. Angels, just common ones or guardians are at the bottom of the list. Archangels are at the top. Michael is the archangel we are most familiar with, he is over Israel, and we read about him in Daniel. He is the angel accompanying the Lord at His return.
Gabriel is the only other named one in the Bible, the other named ones are fallen. There are many traditional names including Raphael which means healer. I believe it is possible there are angels who bring healing and strength just as they did to Jesus. But I am also wary of just anyone’s account of angels, the Holy Spirit has to lead.
Principalities or “princes” comes from the Greek arche (plural is archai) which comes from archomai, meaning “beginning” or “commencement.” The Latin is princeps and principates. The Hebrew sar has the same meaning. Principalities are over territories, they would rank under the archangel.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers…” will separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:38
“so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.” Ephesians 3:10
“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:12
That’s something we are familiar with as believers, spiritual warfare. And it is easy t forget that our struggle is not with people, but with the spirits that oppress them or cause them to oppress us.
While God created all angels and spirits, He did not created them to use against us they fell because of pride and rebellion and followed Lucifer. Hell was made for them and not people.
“despoiling the principalities and the powers, He made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it.” Colossians. 2:15 Jesus destroyed the devil on the cross and will ultimately by His coming agin.
“Power” comes from the Greek exousia, which literally means power that is “out of” (ex) the “substantial being” . The Latin is potestatem. Powers are the next in the ranks of angels.
“far above every principality, power, virtue, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:21 Jesus name is above it all. Period! Never hesitate to use His name if you are under attack in the spiritual or for real. I have read of many women who have avoided trouble by using that name above all.
“who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, powers and virtues subject to Him.” 1 Peter 3:22
The word “virtue” comes from the Greek dunamis which connotes strength and the ability to do something powerful. The Latin is virtus . We read this word in the account of the woman who and the issue of blood. Virtue went out of Him, strength and power from the Spirit, perhaps angelic assistance for her.
The word dominion comes from the Greek kyriotes and connotes lordship, authority and sovereignty. The source word Kyrios is used to refer to God in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint). In the New Testament, such as Luke 1:43, where Elizabeth asks Mary, “How is it that the mother of my Kyrios (Lord) should come to me?” This is why Catholics call Mary the “Mother of God” because God inspired Elizabeth to say the same thing. Don’t get hung up on this one, Mother By God may have been a little more accurate, but it is just respect not disrespect for God.
So dominions have authority over certain things, like the phrase drug lord. A dominion has control over people like that, they see that sin abounds in cities or neighborhoods.
The word “thrones” comes from the Greek thronos and refers to the seat of majesty, which God shares with His angels (see Ex. 3; 13:21; 14:19; 33:14; Judges 6; 13; Acts 7:31-33).
“For in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16
The word “cherubim” probably comes from the Hebrew word qareb which means “near,” which is usually used in the context of coming near to God to offer worship or sacrifice. So angels are near to sacrifices in the Old Testament, and of course Jesus and to us, as living sacrifices.
“When He expelled the man, He settled Him east of the garden of Eden; and He stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24 They are not just cute little figurines.
“Shepherd of Israel, listen, guide of the flock of Joseph! From your throne upon the cherubim reveal yourself.” Psalm 80:1
“The LORD is king, the peoples tremble; God is enthroned on the cherubim, the earth quakes.” Psalm 99:1
“O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth.” Isaiah 37:16
“Then I looked, and behold, on the firmament that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in form resembling a throne. And he said to the man clothed in linen, Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim; fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. And he went in before my eyes. Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house, when the man went in; and a cloud filled the inner court.” 4-22.Ezekiel 10:1-4:
“Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” Daniel 3:55
The word “seraphim” is from the Hebrew sarap which means “to burn.” Thus, seraphim are known as the “burning ones” which reflect their burning love for God.
“Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.” Isaiah 6:2
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.” Isaiah 6:6
“In among the living creatures something like burning coals of fire could be seen; they seemed like torches, moving to and fro among the living creatures. The fire gleamed, and from it came forth flashes of lightning.”
They are around the throne and above it , crying holy, holy holy, in Revelation
This is the story of the brass serpent as it represents Christ’s sacrifice. While the word serpent here is seraph, the fiery or burning one, it is different to the glory or the other seraph, the fallen enemy is a striking serpent Numbers. 21:4-9
Jesus took so much for us, didn’t He. Let’s not murmur and complain and be snake bitten, when He already too our place on a cross. I hope this helps a little to know about angels and how they work. And remember, God is over them, Jesus’ name above them and they follow the Holy Spirit, who helps you discern.
St. Cecilia and the Angels