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Hierarchy of Angels in Heaven


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Hierarchy of Angels in Heaven

Angels have captivated society throughout history.
In the Bible, Angels are referenced roughly 196 times.
The Hierarchy of Angels demonstrates how God uses them to assist the Faithful in their walk with Him.

Fascination with the unseen has always dominated conversations and philosophical debates for centuries. Metaphysical entities have become the subjects for numerous movies, books, and television documentaries. People are drawn to the concept of Angels, even when they don't fully understand exactly what they are and why they were created. In the New American Standard Bible, angels are mentioned roughly 196 times. Scripture shows how God has used angles as messengers, protectors, and even comforters. From the first book of Genesis, to the last book of Revelations; angels are documented continuously as worshiping and or serving God both on Heaven and on earth.
There are nine orders of Angels described throughout scripture. These are then broke down into three hierarchies, with three categories of Angles in each hierarchy. These three hierarchies are most commonly known as: highest, intermediate and the lower.
In lower hierarchy are entities known as : Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. Principalities are in charge over the lands and the people. It is believed that they have various roles ranging from serving the needs of higher ranking Angles, to helping worthy individuals obtain offices and direct them in the areas of authority so that individuals maintain a service of honoring God and not honoring self. Archangels are the great messengers of God. They help in explaining prophecies, and knowledge that God wishes to deliver to individuals. St. Gregory the Dialogist, a noted Orthodox theologian on the Angel Doctrine states that "archangels strengthen people in the holy faith, enlightening their mind with the light of knowledge of the holy Gospel and revealing the mysteries of devout faith." The last group in this hierarchy is that known as "angles". These are the entities closest to man.
The Intermediate hierarchy consists of Dominions, Virtues, and Powers. Dominions are documented to have various duties, but are most noted for how they "teach how to control the senses" in order to ultimately control one's will to rise above temptations. Virtues are recognized as having divine strength and power. St. Gregory the Dialogist notes that "they are able to work very great miracles". The entities that have power against demons is that of Powers. They help protect individuals of faith by "strengthening the good ascetics in spiritual struggles" between individuals and demonic forces.
The last and highest positioned hierarchy is made up of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones.
This hierarchy is most documented for their special placement around the throne of God. They are found in most of the prophecies regarding Heaven and quoted as stating ... "Holy, Holy, Holy." Seraphs are described as having six wings and dancing around God on his throne. They are often referred to as the "fiery" angels. Their reverence of worship ignites them and thus they inspire the faithful for a heart for God. Cherubs are noted for their wisdom. They help individuals develop their spiritual understanding of God and God's Will for their lives. St. Gregory the Dialogist, lastly explains that Thrones are the Justice of God. Their main focus is to help earthly judges and governmental authorities to have the understanding and judgments of God.
In the very first scripture of the Bible, it states that God created both the Heavens and the earth. Since angels are recorded as being created prior to man, the Orthodox Church refers to them as elder brethren. These elder brethren offer tremendous guidance and support, thus proving that God is never far from our grasp.

SOURCES:
"Angelology: Doctrine of Angels, Demons, and Satan". n.d. Retrieved on May 27th, 2009 from
Quartz Hill School of Theology.
www.theology.edu
"What is a Seraphim". (2002 - 2009) Retrieved on May 27th, 2009 from
Got Questions Ministries.
www.gotquestions.org/seraphim.html
Blank, Wayne. N.d. "Cherubim" Retrieved on May 27th, 2009 from
Daily Bible Study
www.keyway.ca/htm2002/cherubim.htm

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