Saturday, February 18, 2017

Paleo-Orthodoxy: Spiritual Warfare Part Four: Angels

No discussion of spiritual warfare would be at all complete or comprehensible were we to leave out a discussion of angels. After all, what we know as demons are in actuality fallen angels. Also, the holy angels help us in ways we perhaps do not even realize, as Sacred Scripture tells us. The word angel comes from the Greek angelos, and that from the Hebrew malakh, both meaning messenger. Angels are ministering spirits sent by God to do His will.


"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"- Hebrews 1:14

"Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels how they stand ready to minister to His will."- Clement of Rome

Angels are also created beings, which means they, like us, are limited in power, ability, etc.


"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him."- Colossians 1:16

Specific Types of Angels
There are at least two specific types of angels mentioned in scripture.

Cherubim- First mentioned in Genesis 3:24. They are also depicted on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-22). Ezekiel mentions these angels, and a far cry away from the cute little babies with wings we see in popular artistic depictions, they are anything but cute. He describes them as having four faces; the face of a lion, the face of an ox, the face of a man, and the face of an eagle.

As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. 13 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. 14 And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. 16 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.17 When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. 18 And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. 23 And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body.24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings.25 And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
26 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.- Ezekiel 1:4-28
Seraphim- These are mentioned in Isaiah 6:2,6. They are said to be positioned above the throne of God, in contrast to the position of the Cherubim who surround His throne. The duty of these angels seems to be to lead heaven in the worship of God.

Most Prominent Angels
There are two angels who are mentioned by name and feature prominently in Sacred Scripture.

Micahel- Michael the archangel is mentioned by name in Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; and Revelation 12:7. He is the only angel referred to as an archangel. He is represented as having charge over an army of angels in Revelation 12:7, and is said to be thr prince of the people of Israel in the Book of Daniel.

"The great and glorious angel Michael is he who has authority over this people, and governs them."- The Shepherd of Hermas

Gabriel- The meaning of his name is "mighty one". He is mentioned in Daniel 8:16; 9:21; and Luke 1:19, 26. He is always charged with the delivery of important messages from God. It is Gabriel who interpreted the vision of Daniel in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, and is the angel who announced the births of both John the Baptist and Jesus.

Angelic Attributes

  • They are spirits.- Heb. 1:14
  • They are sexless.- Luke 20:34-36
  • They are immortal.- Matt. 22:28-30
  • Have both visible and invisible forms.- Num. 22:22-35
  • Can appear as men.- Gen. 19:1-22
  • Possess emotional capacity.- Luke 15:1-10
  • Are glorified beings.- Luke 9:26
  • Possess intelligence.- 2 Samuel 14:20
  • Are meek.- Jude 9
  • Are powerful.- Psalms 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11
  • Travel at great speeds.- Rev. 8:13
  • Speak various languages.- 1 Cor. 13:1
  • Are innumerable.- Luke 213; Rev. 5:19
  • Do not marry or procreate.- Luke 20:34-36
  • Are obedient.- Psalms 103:20
  • Are holy.- Rev, 14:10; Mark 8:38

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