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Angels are one of those fun topics. I love learning about God’s messengers and how they function in the spirit realm. I have created a 3 part blog post series on the topic. The other posts can be found here:
I also believe in understanding how angels operate is important for Christians. Too many times we think angels are just going around about the earth watching people and protecting them. And in some cases yes they are protecting, but that’s only a small part of what they can and will do.
Let’s build a little foundation before we start!
The Hebrew word for angel is mal’ak and the greek is angelos (you can see here where we get our English word from.) These words both mean the same thing… “messenger.” Simply stated angels are messengers of God.
We also need to realize that angels are so much more than our personal bodyguards (Daniel 6:22). They act as God’s agents on the Earth.
- They guide us – Exodus 23:20
- They do the will of God and help us accomplish God’s will – Psalm 103:19-22
- Encourage and minister to us – Hebrews 1:14, Judges 6
- Send a message from God to us – Luke 1:13
- And much more! (Just read the word and be amazed!)
When God created the heaven and the Scripture we can see five types of angels. We’re going to crack open our Bibles and take a look.
The 5 Types of Angels
The word arch means, “Chief.” This gives us the idea that there is ranking or classes of angels in heaven. (Colossians 1:16-17, Ephesians 3:9-10)
The word archangel is only seen twice in scripture and both times in the New Testament.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” – Jude 1:9
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. –Thessalonians 4:16
Most of the time we think cherubs as these cute little-naked babies flying around with wings.At least that’s what renaissance artist depicted. But that’s not what we see in scripture. The prophet Ezekiel describes these amazing spiritual beings as:
And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another.
Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.
Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning. Ezekiel 1
Cherubs are seen throughout scripture as angels who guard (as in the garden of Eden) and surround the ark of the covenant, tabernacle, and temple.
These angels are all about the presence of God. They fly around the throne room of God declaring the holiness of God.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” – Isaiah 6:1-8
The Living Creatures
These angels are also known as “living beasts” or “the four beasts.” They minister by worshipping and glorifying God.
Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, -Revelation 4:6-9
This may seem like a broad way to categorize angels, but these angels don’t seem to fall into an angelic type or rank. This doesn’t mean they are not powerful beings. They still work for God.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
I love this verse cuz it means they are working among us. We can also see this in the account of Peter and his angel. Acts 12:15
Those are the 5 types of angels found in the Bible. If you would like to learn more don’t forget to check out these blog posts as well: