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Thread: Ranks of Angels?

  1. #1

    Ranks of Angels?

    Does anyone know about the ranks of angels? I have heard the Seraphim is the highest ranking and there are 10 ranks? and then there are archangels, is this correct?

    If anyone has information they would be willing to share, that would be great.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Does anyone know about the ranks of angels? I have heard the Seraphim is the highest ranking and there are 10 ranks? and then there are archangels, is this correct?

    If anyone has information they would be willing to share, that would be great.

    Thank you.
    I would believe that Archangels are the highest rank. Those being Michael (warfare), Gabriel (communication) and formerly Lucifer (worship).

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    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Does anyone know about the ranks of angels? I have heard the Seraphim is the highest ranking and there are 10 ranks? and then there are archangels, is this correct?

    If anyone has information they would be willing to share, that would be great.

    Thank you.
    As far as I'm aware, most significant angelology is found within Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions (the 9 choirs of angels, for example). If there are ranks and divisions of angels (re: purpose), then it would be possible for there to be different classes of highest order angels, e.g., Archangels are one class, Seraphs / Cherub are another, and so on. That said, I'm not particularly knowledgeable on the topic myself.

  4. #4

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Does anyone know about the ranks of angels? I have heard the Seraphim is the highest ranking and there are 10 ranks? and then there are archangels, is this correct?

    If anyone has information they would be willing to share, that would be great.

    Thank you.
    The Seraphim and the Cherubim are special angels around the throne of God. But as already mentioned, the archangels are the highest ranking angels.

    As to other rankings we are not give a great deal of information except for the fact that there are clearly hierarchies of angels within the angelic realm, whether among the holy angels or the evil angels.

    HOLY ANGELS
    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be [1] thrones, or [2] dominions, or [3] principalities, or [4] powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Col 1:16)

    EVIL ANGELS
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against [1]principalities, against [2]powers, against [3]the rulers of the darkness of this world, against [4] spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12).

    The Book of Enoch has a great deal more about angels, but it is not an inspired writing.

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    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    The idea of the ranks of Angels is from Medieval Mystical Theology, some of the titles are based off of ideas or titles found in Scripture. Most of it is based on fond things vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture.

    Most of what you are going to find out there on the subject is now based on the New Age Movement and rediscovered Gnosticism and Jewish Pseudepigrapha.

    So as it goes Seraphim are the highest order since they are caretakers of God's throne, they are mentioned in Isaiah 6:1-8. Cherubim are the 2nd highest order, found in Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:17-22; 2 Chronicles 3:7-14; Ezekiel 10:12-14, 28:14-16; and 1 Kings 6:23-28. 3rd would be Thrones, there is one possible reference to them in Scripture in Colossians 1:16 (but I don't think it really is meant to describe them). These three orders occupy the 1st Sphere of Angels.

    The 2nd Sphere contains the fourth rank Dominions or Lordships; again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Col. 1:16 and Eph. 1:21. The fifth rank are Virtues or Strongholds, nothing in Scripture but some think they are referenced in Eph. 1:21. The 6th rank are Powers or Authorities again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Eph 3:10 or 6:12. This whole Sphere is based off a thought in 2nd Temple Judaism that these angels were thought to take down everything that we as people do and record it and report on it to God. Thus the references to Col. 1:16-23 Jesus takes away their tools and makes peace with these angels by his blood and the cross.

    The 3rd Sphere is the lowest Sphere it contains the 7th rank Principalities or Rulers again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Eph. 1:21. The 8th rank are Archangels, angels who are named in Scripture, Michael. Gabriel has a lot of tradition around him and is believed to be the angel who announces to the Virgin Mary that she will bear Jesus. Raphael shows up in the book of Tobit (Deuterocanonical), so has Jewish tradition and is named by Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. It seems that these are the angels in the Bible who do things. There seems to be some debate between archangel and Archangel, where archangels would be ones who are in the 2nd lowest choir (rank). Whereas Archangel would be the angel(s) who are above all other angels, ie Michael would be the highest Angel. I believe tradition holds to the former view (it is also my personal view, not all the other ranks, but that Archangels are above angels and below the other Scripture named ranks, Cherubim and Seraphim). The 9th and lowest rank are angels, this would contain messengers (angel in Greek literally means messenger), like we see after the Resurrection, in Acts, and in Revelation. Guardian angels would also come from this rank, they watch over people. This order is thought to be the most concerned/involved in the affairs of the earth/people.

    For a too long didn't read summary is the idea of the ranks of angels is mostly fictional, there are some Biblical orders/ranks of angels, but most of the ranks are based on vague Scripture references, Gnostic, Pseudepigrapha, Medieval Christian Mystics, and New Age fantasy. So you can read it for fun, but don't waste your time on it until you are very mature in your beliefs and understanding of Scripture.

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    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Jude calls Michael the archangel. Daniel 10 calls Michael the prince of Israel. He took over the fight with the prince of Persia so Daniel's lord could continue on his travel to talk to Daniel. Commentators disagree on whether Daniel's lord is Jesus. He is not all powerful but he looks like Jesus of Revelation 1. We know that Jesus is the King of Israel but was he the King of kings in the old testament? Israel was under exile by God's order for 70 years during this time. We also know that Satan is the prince of this world (John's gospel, Jesus said, "It is time for the prince of this world to be judged.") A prince is the son of a King. Who is the King? Hebrews 1:3,9 The Majesty that Jesus sits next to is the King of kings at this time in our history. Jesus will become the King of kings upon his return after the Father puts all of his enemies under his feet (Psalms 110:1). Jesus is anointed from his companions (Hebrews 1:9). The downfall of Satan is told in the downfall of Eve and Cain. Ezekiel 28:14-15 has Satan as the created anointed cherub but the same verses in the Septuagint have Satan created with the anointed cherub who then escorts Satan out of the Garden. The Septuagint was translated from Hebrew into Greek in 270 BC which locked the translation. Paul warns against this nonsense of hierarchy of angels and Jewish myths. I think because he taught it but it confused believers. Elohim is the plural form of God and requires a minimum of 3 persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit work nicely. For more on hierarchy of angels read Milton's "Paradise Lost" with commentary notes.

  7. #7

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    Does anyone know about the ranks of angels? I have heard the Seraphim is the highest ranking and there are 10 ranks? and then there are archangels, is this correct?

    If anyone has information they would be willing to share, that would be great.

    Thank you.
    We have the cherubim of Ezekiel--a strange vision indeed! And we have the seraphim of Isaiah 6. And we have the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders around the throne in Rev 4-5. Beyond that we have angels compared to the stars of heaven for their great multitude. We are indeed not alone in the universe!

    But we know from the experience with Satan in the Garden of Eden that angels are not all good. This one rebelled. And we read in Rev 12 that 1/3 of the angels in heaven rebelled with him.

    And so, we are warned not to listen to these evil celestial beings. In fact we are discouraged from any pagan ceremony or practice that puts us in touch with anything on a par with angelic communication. God must send good angels to us, and we should test them--though not insult them.

    I think God and Scriptures play down info on them because they excite in us something carnal. We long for an unhealthy transcendence, for a knowledge beyond ourselves. On the other hand, God makes no apology for their existence. We even entertain angels unaware at times. I may have had such an encounter. It's hard to tell under the circumstances except that the circumstances almost seem to demand it's an angel!

    So this is not just for fun and an unhealthy interest in entertainment. Rather, it's a serious thing, that we mind our own planet, and let these interplanetary or celestial beings come and go as God wills. It is our job to focus on earth, and to ignore or oppose anything that gets between God and us on this planet.

    I do find it interesting that there appears to be a parallel between the things that go on here and the things that exist in the heavens. Israel had 24 divisions of priests and 24 divisions of musical Levites in David's Kingdom. In the same way we read of 24 elders around God's throne in Rev 4. The worship on earth seems to parallel worship in Heaven. We also read that the earthly tabernacle was patterned after God's temple in heaven.

    When we read of Abraham's promise of a great multitude, like the stars for number and like the sands for volume, we notice that the same stars seem to be used to represent the multitude of angels.

    When we read of thrones/kings, dominions/governors, principalties/mayors, and powers/officials (my arbitrary assignments) we are struck by the fact Paul refers these same designations to angels, which may reflect different orders of authority in the heavens. It seems everything comes under the rule of God via angelic or human agencies?

    But we know that as the governmental agencies on earth are often evil and governed by evil angels in the heavens we also know that our governmental authority is higher--the throne of Christ, who is over all. And so we are redeemed by his authority. And if he calls for us to do anything we can look to his word alone as our badge of authority. This is the basis of our faith, and the certainty of our eternal inheritance with God.

  8. #8

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    I would believe that Archangels are the highest rank. Those being Michael (warfare), Gabriel (communication) and formerly Lucifer (worship).
    Oh cool, I did not know they had assignments! Thanks!

  9. #9

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athanasius View Post
    As far as I'm aware, most significant angelology is found within Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions (the 9 choirs of angels, for example). If there are ranks and divisions of angels (re: purpose), then it would be possible for there to be different classes of highest order angels, e.g., Archangels are one class, Seraphs / Cherub are another, and so on. That said, I'm not particularly knowledgeable on the topic myself.
    Ok, well thanks. At least I know there are at least 3 now,

  10. #10

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel567 View Post
    The Seraphim and the Cherubim are special angels around the throne of God. But as already mentioned, the archangels are the highest ranking angels.

    As to other rankings we are not give a great deal of information except for the fact that there are clearly hierarchies of angels within the angelic realm, whether among the holy angels or the evil angels.

    HOLY ANGELS
    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be [1] thrones, or [2] dominions, or [3] principalities, or [4] powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Col 1:16)

    EVIL ANGELS
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against [1]principalities, against [2]powers, against [3]the rulers of the darkness of this world, against [4] spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12).

    The Book of Enoch has a great deal more about angels, but it is not an inspired writing.
    I did know there were hiearchy evil angels and plan to study those, too. It's good to know your enemy, right? ☺
    Thanks!

  11. #11

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br. Barnabas View Post
    The idea of the ranks of Angels is from Medieval Mystical Theology, some of the titles are based off of ideas or titles found in Scripture. Most of it is based on fond things vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture.

    Most of what you are going to find out there on the subject is now based on the New Age Movement and rediscovered Gnosticism and Jewish Pseudepigrapha.

    So as it goes Seraphim are the highest order since they are caretakers of God's throne, they are mentioned in Isaiah 6:1-8. Cherubim are the 2nd highest order, found in Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:17-22; 2 Chronicles 3:7-14; Ezekiel 10:12-14, 28:14-16; and 1 Kings 6:23-28. 3rd would be Thrones, there is one possible reference to them in Scripture in Colossians 1:16 (but I don't think it really is meant to describe them). These three orders occupy the 1st Sphere of Angels.

    The 2nd Sphere contains the fourth rank Dominions or Lordships; again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Col. 1:16 and Eph. 1:21. The fifth rank are Virtues or Strongholds, nothing in Scripture but some think they are referenced in Eph. 1:21. The 6th rank are Powers or Authorities again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Eph 3:10 or 6:12. This whole Sphere is based off a thought in 2nd Temple Judaism that these angels were thought to take down everything that we as people do and record it and report on it to God. Thus the references to Col. 1:16-23 Jesus takes away their tools and makes peace with these angels by his blood and the cross.

    The 3rd Sphere is the lowest Sphere it contains the 7th rank Principalities or Rulers again nothing really in Scripture but again some people will reference Eph. 1:21. The 8th rank are Archangels, angels who are named in Scripture, Michael. Gabriel has a lot of tradition around him and is believed to be the angel who announces to the Virgin Mary that she will bear Jesus. Raphael shows up in the book of Tobit (Deuterocanonical), so has Jewish tradition and is named by Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. It seems that these are the angels in the Bible who do things. There seems to be some debate between archangel and Archangel, where archangels would be ones who are in the 2nd lowest choir (rank). Whereas Archangel would be the angel(s) who are above all other angels, ie Michael would be the highest Angel. I believe tradition holds to the former view (it is also my personal view, not all the other ranks, but that Archangels are above angels and below the other Scripture named ranks, Cherubim and Seraphim). The 9th and lowest rank are angels, this would contain messengers (angel in Greek literally means messenger), like we see after the Resurrection, in Acts, and in Revelation. Guardian angels would also come from this rank, they watch over people. This order is thought to be the most concerned/involved in the affairs of the earth/people.

    For a too long didn't read summary is the idea of the ranks of angels is mostly fictional, there are some Biblical orders/ranks of angels, but most of the ranks are based on vague Scripture references, Gnostic, Pseudepigrapha, Medieval Christian Mystics, and New Age fantasy. So you can read it for fun, but don't waste your time on it until you are very mature in your beliefs and understanding of Scripture.
    Hey thanks, it's good to know there is false information out there to beware of. I heard the seraphims were highest ranking too, so it is interesting CBH and A mentioned the archangels being higher, it will be interesting to find out more about them.

  12. #12

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    We have the cherubim of Ezekiel--a strange vision indeed! And we have the seraphim of Isaiah 6. And we have the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders around the throne in Rev 4-5. Beyond that we have angels compared to the stars of heaven for their great multitude. We are indeed not alone in the universe!

    But we know from the experience with Satan in the Garden of Eden that angels are not all good. This one rebelled. And we read in Rev 12 that 1/3 of the angels in heaven rebelled with him.

    And so, we are warned not to listen to these evil celestial beings. In fact we are discouraged from any pagan ceremony or practice that puts us in touch with anything on a par with angelic communication. God must send good angels to us, and we should test them--though not insult them.

    I think God and Scriptures play down info on them because they excite in us something carnal. We long for an unhealthy transcendence, for a knowledge beyond ourselves. On the other hand, God makes no apology for their existence. We even entertain angels unaware at times. I may have had such an encounter. It's hard to tell under the circumstances except that the circumstances almost seem to demand it's an angel!

    So this is not just for fun and an unhealthy interest in entertainment. Rather, it's a serious thing, that we mind our own planet, and let these interplanetary or celestial beings come and go as God wills. It is our job to focus on earth, and to ignore or oppose anything that gets between God and us on this planet.

    I do find it interesting that there appears to be a parallel between the things that go on here and the things that exist in the heavens. Israel had 24 divisions of priests and 24 divisions of musical Levites in David's Kingdom. In the same way we read of 24 elders around God's throne in Rev 4. The worship on earth seems to parallel worship in Heaven. We also read that the earthly tabernacle was patterned after God's temple in heaven.

    When we read of Abraham's promise of a great multitude, like the stars for number and like the sands for volume, we notice that the same stars seem to be used to represent the multitude of angels.

    When we read of thrones/kings, dominions/governors, principalties/mayors, and powers/officials (my arbitrary assignments) we are struck by the fact Paul refers these same designations to angels, which may reflect different orders of authority in the heavens. It seems everything comes under the rule of God via angelic or human agencies?

    But we know that as the governmental agencies on earth are often evil and governed by evil angels in the heavens we also know that our governmental authority is higher--the throne of Christ, who is over all. And so we are redeemed by his authority. And if he calls for us to do anything we can look to his word alone as our badge of authority. This is the basis of our faith, and the certainty of our eternal inheritance with God.
    You brought up quit a bit of information I will have to explore. It is interesting about the parallels, I will have to look those verses up.

    I also want to lewrn about the hierarchies of evil angels too as we should know our enemy. Our battle is with them.

    I think we have guardian angels too.

  13. #13

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    You brought up quit a bit of information I will have to explore. It is interesting about the parallels, I will have to look those verses up.

    I also want to lewrn about the hierarchies of evil angels too as we should know our enemy. Our battle is with them.

    I think we have guardian angels too.
    I don't know why some have contact with them, and others don't? It may have to do with what we're involved with. I know my brother, who used to be a pastor, saw an enormous angel in the front of a church. It likely had to do with his position in the ministry at that time.

    On the other hand, my one encounter with an angel (besides dreams) was when I promised God I would stop speeding on the road. I picked up a hitchhiker and entertained him with my speed and motorcycle prowess. He wasn't impressed, I think.

    A cop pulled me over, and as I apologized to the hitchhiker on the back of the motorcycle I noticed he was no longer there. Neither did the cop see him! The ticket was expensive....

  14. #14

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    I think I need to back up, are Cherubims actual angels? The Bible refers to them as spiritual beings, are these the same as angels? I am thinking they are different spiritual beings?

    Does this sound right?
    Satan was a Cherubim, the anointed cherub that covered, Eze 28:14.
    He also had greater authority than an archangel Jude 8,9.

    Does anyone think there is a significance to how many faces and wings the cherubims have? Is this a sign of order or rank?

    Seraphims have six wings, Isa 6:2 and these were involved with worship Isa 6:6

    Sound right?
    Thanks.

  15. #15

    Re: Ranks of Angels?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    I think I need to back up, are Cherubims actual angels? The Bible refers to them as spiritual beings, are these the same as angels?
    All spirit beings in Heaven are angelic beings. So yes, the Cherubim and the Seraphim are angelic beings of a special order and with special duties. And the are not identical either. That is why there is only a limited number of them, versus the countless other angels

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