Choirs of Angels


Angel (Hebrew: malach/malachim; Greek: aggelos/aggelois; Latin: angelus/ angeli) means messenger or one who is deputed. It can refer to angels of the lowest choir, who have the greatest interaction with mankind, to the angelic nature of any spiritual creature who comes to man in God´s name, or even to a human messenger.

The word ‘Angels’ is derived from the Greek word “Angelos” meaning “messenger”. Angels are said to be the Messengers of God. Different religious faiths refer to them by different names. They are highly spiritual beings.

Since the beginning of time, the angels have brought messages to humans. It was Archangel Gabriel who told Virgin Mary that she was going to have a baby, and that the child was the Son of God. In Indian Mythology, angels are known as Devatas, Apsaras, Gandharvas and other such names based on their hierarchy.

Traditionally there are said to be seven archangels – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Jophiel, Chamuel, Uriel and Raguel.

The rich imagery of Isaiah reveals that the Seraphim are closest to the throne of God. This means that they perceive God in the richest way possible for a created being and thus they have an unmatched intellect, will and love.

1. Seraphim, 2. Cherubin, 3. Thrones – closest to heaven concern themselves with contemplating the glory of God. It is the 6-winged Seraphim who sing the Sanctus, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts” (Isaias 6:3).

Seraphim (singular “Seraph”), mentioned in Isaiah 6:1-7 serve as the caretakers of God’s throne and continuously shout praises: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. All the earth is filled with His Glory.” The name Seraphim means “the burning ones.” It is said that the charity of the Seraphim burns like white heat in a flame. The Seraphim have six wings; two covering their faces, two covering their genitals (“feet”), and two with which they fly.

Cherubim have four faces: one of each a man, an ox, a lion, and a griffon vulture. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, and they have ox’s feet. Cherubim guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14-16). — The cherubim are mentioned in Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:17-22; 2 Chronicles 3:7-14; Ezekiel 10:12–14, 28:14-16; 1 Kings 6:23–28; and Revelation 4:6-8. Cherubim are also the angels often depicted as babies with wings in Christian art.

The “Thrones” (Gr. thronos) or Elders, are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 1:16 (New Testament). They are living symbols of God’s justice and authority, and have as one of their symbols the throne. These high celestial beings appear to be mentioned again in Revelation 11:16. Also see Ezekiel 10:17, and vision of Daniel 7 – 9).

4. Domininations, 5. Virtues, 6. Powers. The second order of angels are charged with governing and ordering the laws of the created universe.

The “Dominions” (lat. dominatio, plural dominationes, also translated from the Greek term kyriotites as “Lordships”) are presented as the hierarchy of celestial beings “Lordships” in the De Coelesti Hierarchia. The Dominions, regulate the duties of lower angels. It is only with extreme rarity that they make themselves physically known to humans and are believed to look like beautiful humans with feathered wings as shown in art. They are also the angels who preside over nations.

The “Virtues” or “Strongholds” lie beyond the ophanim (Thrones/Wheels). Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies in order to ensure that the cosmos remains in order. The term also appears to be linked to the attribute “might”, from a Greek root. In Ephesians 1:21, which is also translated as “Virtue”. They are charged with giving the power with which to accomplish the ordering of Nature.

The “Powers” (lat. potestas (f), pl. potestates), or “Authorities”, from the Greek exousies, (see Greek root in Eph 3:10) appear to collaborate, in power and authority, with the Principalities (Rulers). They are bearers of conscience and keepers of history. They are also the warrior angels created to be completely loyal to God. Their duty is to oversee the distribution of power among humankind, hence their name. Finally, the choir of Powers are given the duty to order out how to execute what has been commanded. The choir of Powers direct the lower choirs on how to order creation.

The Hierarchy of AngelsTHIRD CHOIR
7. Principalities, 8. Archangels, 9. Angels (closest to earth) concern themselves with creation and are the most familiar to us.

“Principalities” (lat. principatus, pl. principats) also translated as “Princedoms” and “Rulers”, from the Greek arche (see Greek root in Eph 3:10), appear to collaborate, in power and authority with the Powers (Authorities). Shown wearing a crown and carrying a sceptre, their duty is also said to be to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and bequeath blessings to the material world. Their task is to oversee groups of people. They are the educators and guardians of the realm of earth. Like beings related to the world of the germinal ideas, they are said to inspire living things to many things such as art or science. Principalities are the leaders of the last order, and direct the actual implementation of God’s will.

The word “arch-angel” comes from the Greek (archangls), meaning chief angel, a translation of the Hebrew (rav-mal’ákh) It derives from the Greek arch, meaning to be first in rank or power; which means messenger. The word is only used twice in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 1:9. Only archangels Michael and Gabriel are mentioned by name in the New Testament.

The “angels”, (malakhim Greek for messengers), are the lowest order of the angels, and the most recognized and are most concerned with the affairs of living things. In this category of angels, there are many different kinds with different functions. Archangels and Angels actually carry out and execute what is to be done. They are the messengers to mankind. This is why angels (such as Gabriel and Raphael) are the choir sent to communicate with man.

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Filed under Angelology: The Doctrine of Angels, Demons and Satan, House of the Nazarene's Posts

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