ANGELIC HIERARCHY

A. Introduction.

1. The billions of angelic creatures fall into two categories: the elect angels and the fallen angels. Operational fallen angels are called demons.

2. The angelic hierarchy of elect angels is divided into two categories: the college of heralds and the angelic army. There is rank among both elect and fallen angels.

 Most angels do not have wings. Wings are an insignia of rank. Seraphim have the highest rank with six wings, Isa 6:2; Rev 4:8. Cherubim have four wings, plus the uniform of wisdom, Gen 3:24; Ezek 1, 10, 28ff.

4. Satan and all fallen angels were sentenced by the justice of God to the Lake of Fire. Satan appealed the sentence and God permitted an appeal trial. Man was created to provide evidence and resolve the appeal. God restored Satan's headquarters (planet earth) for man's occupation. Man was created physically inferior to angels but having a similar soul (mentality, volition, a conscience, emotion). Every dispensation is a different set of circumstances whereby angelic creatures existed in prehistoric times. Every dispensation reproduces the same situations the angels had. We are here to glorify God by the execution of His plan, to have an invisible impact on history, to evangelize the human race and perform certain spiritual functions (teaching doctrine) in order to resolve the angelic conflict.

B. Order of Rank.

1. The angel of Jehovah, or Jesus Christ as an Old Testament Theophany, ranks the highest. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ruler of all elect angels. 

2. At the time of the judgment of Satan and the fallen angels, the elect angels received their eternal awards. Cherubs were the highest creation of angel from God prior to the fall of angels. Seraphs were designated a higher category after the fall of angels. Cherubs have four wings and seraphs have six wings. Wings are a badge of rank. Angels are made of light, and so can be visible or invisible. The college of heralds is a whole system of aristocracy.

3. Seraphs have six wings and the highest rank among all angels. They have two categories:

a. The King of Arms or Officer of Arms; also called the "powerful angel" of Rev 5:2; 10:1; 14:18; 18:21; 19:5, 17.

b. Under the king of arms are the angelic heralds of Rev 4:6-8, called "the living creatures."

4. Cherubs or Pursuivant Officers.

a. Gen 3:24 mentions the cherubs who guard the gates of Eden.

b. Ezek 1 and 10 mentions the four cherubs of the chariot of fire.

c. The four pursuivant officers who command the wind cells and the weather, Rev 7:1-2.

d. Satan is a cherub who was court-martialed, Ezek 28:14.

e. The angel with the golden shovel of Rev 8:3.

f. The messenger of judgment in 2 Sam 22:11, Ps 18:10.

g. The seven Thunders are teachers of eschatology, Rev 10:3-4.

h. The evangelistic pursuivant officer in charge of all evangelism in the Tribulation, Rev 14:6.

i. The pursuivant officer who announces the fall of ecumenical religion in the Tribulation, Rev 14:8.

j. The pursuivant officer who warns the human race about the consequences of being converted to ecumenical religion during the Tribulation, Rev 14:9.

k. The pursuivant officer who caries a sickle and administers judgment in the last half of the Tribulation as a representative of the supreme court of heaven, Rev 14:17.

l. The pursuivant officer commanding the judgment or execution squad, Rev 14:17, 19; Rev 16 the bowl judgments.

5. Pursuivant Messengers who are elect angels with no rank (wings).

a. Angelic messengers who destroyed Sodom, Gen 19:13.

b. The destroying angel of 2 Sam 24:16.

c. The destroying angels of Ps 78:49.

d. Executioners of degenerate in Jerusalem, Ezek 9:1.

e. The man clothed in linen, Ezek 10:6. The messenger for the chariot of fire.

f. The four weather angels who hold back the four winds of judgment, Rev 7:1. The messengers from the east, Rev 7:2.

g. The angels with the seven trumpets, Rev 8:6ff.

h. Guardian angels for believers and children, Mt 18:10.

i. The angels with the seven plagues or bowls of Rev 15:1.

C. The Order of Battle in the Elect Army.

1. Jesus Christ, as the Lord of the Armies, is the commander of the armies of elect angels. The armies appeared at the birth of Christ and passed in review.

2. The archangels are cherubs and commanders of angelic armies. They are the guardian angels of any client nation to God.

a. Michael is the Prince of Israel, Dan 10:21, 12:1. He defends all Jewish client nations. He defends the Jews in the Tribulation from the wrath of Satan, Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7, "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war." He fought with Satan over the body of Moses, Jude 9; 2 Pet 2:11.

b. Gabriel is also an army commander (possibly for Gentile client nations) who also functions as one of the kings of arms in the college of heralds. In Dan 8:16 and 9:21, he was sent to explain Daniel's vision. He announced the birth of John the Baptist, Lk 1:11, and the birth of Jesus Christ, Lk 1:19, 26.

c. Extra-biblically (in the book of Enoch), Raphael and Uriel are mentioned as archangels. Also in this apocryphal book, Gabriel is mentioned as "one of the chief of all angels placed over all powers."

3. The angelic general staff is composed of the twenty-four elders of Rev 4:4, 10; 5:11. They are all cherubs.

4. "Hosts" are the rank and file angels, all guardian angels, Ps 91:11f. The river of fire battalions are found in Dan 7:10. The function of the angelic armies described in Ps 103:21 is praising the Lord. Ps 148:2. When a pursuivant angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, he was joined by a multitude of heavenly armies praising God, Lk 2:13. The ministering spirits of Heb 1:14 are also rank and file angels.

D. The Guardian Angels.

1. Ps 91:7-14, "A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only observe it with your eyes, and see the punishment of the evil persons. If you make the Most High your dwelling place [use of the problem solving devices], even the Lord who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, you will trample down the young lion and the snake. Because he loves Me, therefore I will rescue him; I will protect him, because he acknowledges My name."

2. Heb 1:13-14, "But to which of the angels has He ever said, `Sit down at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet'? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to service those who inherit eternal salvation?" Angels are the guardians of Church Age believers who are superior to angels.

Source: R.B. Thieme Ministries

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