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A fallen angel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic mythology is an angel who has been exiled or banished from Heaven.

Often such banishment is a punishment for disobeying or rebelling against God (see War in Heaven).

Main article: angel (Judaism) The mention of the "sons of God" in Genesis 6:2 ("The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose") has sometimes been interpreted, both in Judaism and in Christianity, as a reference to fallen angels. The pre-Christian apocryphal Book of Enoch recounts that a group of 200 rebellious angels, or Watchers, left heaven and came down to Earth to marry human women and have children with them.[1]

[edit] New Testament

[edit] 2 Peter and Jude
The only explicit references to "angels that sinned" in the New Testament are found in the Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude where a "fall" from heaven is implied from "left their own habitation", which is one of three places where Jude quotes explicitly from the pseudepigraphical First Book of Enoch:

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. - Jude 1:6, KJV

The Unitarian Joseph Priestley suggested that the passages refer to Korah.[2] William Graham (1772) suggested that it referred to the spies in Canaan.[3] These passages are generally held today to be commentary, either positive or neutral or negative, on Jewish traditions concerning Enoch circulating in the Early Church.[4]

[edit] Other possible New Testament examples

The New Testament contains two other possible allusions to fallen angels. The "war in heaven" of Revelation 12, and Christ's reference to the "everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" at judgement in Matthew 25. These two examples do not specifically mention a "fall" of angels, but this may be implied in the use of apocalyptic Jewish themes.[5] An explicit reference to a "fall" is found in Luke 10:18, often read as concerning the "fall" of Satan himself, although the New Testament never explicitly identifies Satan himself as an "angel".[6] The translation "fall from heaven, like lightning" or "fall, like lightning from heaven" is disputed.[7]

[edit] Early Christianity

Main article: Lucifer From the 5th Century CE, literature develops about Lucifer, a name frequently attributed to the Devil in Christian belief. This usage stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:320, by Origen and others,[8] that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven. The Latin word lucifer, "shining one", however, does not refer to Satan anywhere in the Bible. Some see the passage as using this name to describe the king of Babylon, who had exalted himself as being deity himself, after which God would cast him down. Similar terminology is used in Ezekiel to describe the king of Tyre. The Greek word used in the Septuagint of Isaiah 14;12 is (Heosphoros, "dawn-bearer"),[9][10][11] not , the etymological synonym of Latin lucifer,[12][13] used in 2 Peter 1:19 of the morning star, which is mentioned also elsewhere in the Bible with no reference to Satan. Satan is called Lucifer in many later writings, notably John Milton's Paradise Lost (7.131134, etc.), in which Milton writes that Satan was "brighter once amidst the host of Angels, than the sun amidst the stars."[14]

[edit] Islam
The Quran mentions angels (malak )around ninety times, usually in the plural and referring to obedient angels. The Quran states that Satan was a Jinn (as in Islam, angels do not have free will and act only as instruments of Allah) though he is addressed with the angels in verses (2:34,[15] 7:11, 15:29, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 38:71) prior to his fall. Satan (also called Iblis from Greek diabolos, "the devil") rebelled and was banished on earth, and he vowed to create mischief on earth after being given respite by Allah till the Day of Judgment, according to verses (80-85:38).[16] Apparently Jinns, like humans, have a choice about which side to be on, and will be judged on the last day. Harut and Marut (Arabic: ) are two angels sent to test the people of Babylon. That there are fallen angels is not explicit in the Quran, but occurs in Tafsir, even though the Qur'an explicitly states angels have no free will, but are like appendages of Allah.[17][18]

[edit] Prospects of salvation of fallen angels

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of "the fall of the angels" not in spatial terms but as a radical and irrevocable rejection of God and his reign by some angels who, though created as good beings, freely chose evil, their sin being unforgivable because of the irrevocable character of their choice, not because of any defect in the infinite divine mercy.[19] 19th-century Universalists such as Thomas Allin (1891)[20] claimed that Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Gregory of Nyssa taught that even the Devil and fallen angels will eventually be saved.[21] I. Preliminary considerations. A. That there is an order of beings quite distinct from humanity and from the Godhead, who occupy an exalted state, is the teaching of much of Scripture.

1. 2. B.

They are referred to at least 108X in the Old Testament and 165X in the New Testament. It is from this body of Scripture that we construct the Doctrine of Angels.




The designation "angel", whether %a'l.m; (mal-ak) of the Old Testament, or a;ggeloj (aggelos) of the New Testament, means "messenger". 1. The holy angels carry out the purpose of the One they serve. 2. The fallen angels are messengers of Satan whom they have chosen to serve. C. Angels as created beings more closely resemble God in their make up than man. Angels combine the material with the immaterial. 1. Angels are thus designated "spirits". 2. These generally unseen creatures not only observe the activities of men, but the good angels minister to man (Heb.1:14). 3. The evil angels wage war against man (Eph.6:12). The creation of angels. A. The Son of God, the Father's agent in creation, created the angels (Col.1:16,17; Neh.9:6; Ps.148:2,5). 1. All angels were created simultaneously in eternity past. 2. None will be added to their number. 3. They do not procreate and are not subject to death (Mt.22:28-30). B. The angels were created before the universe. They were worshipping spectators when the world was founded (Job.38:4-7). C. As to the number of the angels, it is unstated, but it is a multitude (Heb.12:22; 1Kgs.22:19; Ps.68:17; Dan.7:10; Rev.5:11). The nature of angels. A. They are incorporeal beings (i.e., having no material body; Ps.104:4 "He makes the winds His messengers"; Eph.6:12). B. However, they can reveal themselves in bodily form (Gen.18-219; Mt.1:20; Jn.20:12; Heb.13:2). C. They are greater than man in knowledge, but are not omniscient (2Sam.14:20; Mt.24:36; 1Pet.1:12). D. They are stronger than man, but are not omnipotent (Ps.103:20; 2Pet.2:11; 2Thess.1:7). E. Angels possess volition, as seen in the fall of Satan. The fall of angels. A. The fact of their fall. 1. Angels were all created perfect and sinless, as the case with Satan makes apparent (Ezek.28:15). 2. Satan's fall is described in Ezek.28:15-17 (cp. Isa.14:12). 3. Satan took with him one-third of all angels (Rev.12:4). 4. Scripture represents some of the angels as evil (Mt.25:41). B. The time of their fall was before man's creation and sometime after original creation. Gen.1:2 speaks of the pre-restoration chaos of planet earth, and Gen.3 speaks of man's temptation and fall under Satan. C. The cause of their fall. 1. Angels, being created perfect but with volition, individually chose to follow Satan's lead and revolt against God (Ezek.28:15-17; Rev.12:4). 2. God is not the cause of their fall, as that would make Him the author of evil in the universe (Jam.1:13; 1Jn.1:5).


God created the angels with volition knowing some would fall and bring evil into the universe, but God is not responsible for their sin (note the five "I will's" of Satan in Isa.14:13,14). D. The result of their fall. 1. They lost their original holiness and became corrupt in nature and conduct (Mt.10:1; Eph.6:11,12). 2. They were sentenced to hell but were not immediately sent there (Mt.25:41; cp. Rev.20:10). 3. They were left free to engage in opposition to: a. God (Isa.14:12-14). b. The work of the good angels (Dan.10:12,13,20,21; Jd.9). c. The people of God (1Chr.21:1; 1Pet.5:8; Eph.6:11; 2Tim.2:26). d. The nations (Isa.14:12). e. The unbeliever (Lk.8:12; 2Cor.4:3,4). 4. Satan, through the serpent in Eden, caused Adam's fall and has the power over death to mankind (Gen.3; Heb.2:14; 1Jn.3:8). 5. Satan and his angels continue to have an audience in heaven, during which they malign believers (Zech.3:1; Lk.22:31; Rev.12:10). Satan insinuated that God hired men like Job to love Him by making them rich (Job.1:6-12). 6. In the Tribulation they will be cast to the earth (Rev.12:8,9). Following their judgment by believers (1Cor.6:3), they will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:10). Classification of the angels. A. The good angels, called "elect" and "holy", are classified as (1Tim.5:21; Mk.8:38): 1. Angels, of which there are gradations, as indicated by Col.1:16. 2. Cherubim (meaning uncertain), which are angels chosen by God to guard and cover as seen in: a. Lucifer's pre-fall ministry as the cherub that covers (Ezek.28:14). b. The two cherubs sent to guard the entrance to Eden (Gen.3:24). c. The two cherubs on the top of the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle and temple, symbolizing support for God's throne. d. Seraphim, mentioned by name only in Isa.6:2,6 and stand above God and lead heaven in the worship of God. e. The "living creatures" of Rev.4 and 5 share aspects of both the cherubim of Ezek.1,10 and the seraphim of Isa.6. B. The evil angels are called "unclean" (Rev.16:13) and "evil" (Lk.8:2), and are classified as: 1. The angels who are kept in prison for their role in the Gen.6 infiltration, mentioned in 2Pet.2:4 and Jd.6, and are the same as those released to torment men in the Tribulation for five months (Rev.9:111). 2. The angels who remain free, usually mentioned in connection with Satan (Mt.25:41; Rev.12:7-9; cp. Rom.8:38). 3. The demons, a term used to describe all fallen angels (including Satan) and means a "lesser god" (Mt.12:24-28; 17:18; 1Cor.10:20,21; 1Tim.4:1; Jam.2:19; Rev.9:20; 18:2; Mk.1:32). 4. Having different ranks and functions under Satan (Eph.6:12).



Some individually named angels include: 1. Lucifer, son of the morning (pre-fall title), known as: a. Satan (adversary; 1Chr.21:1; Job.1:6; 2:1; Ps.109:6; Zech.3:1,2; Mt.4:10, et al.). b. The devil (slanderer or accuser; Mt.4:1). c. Serpent (which implies his guile; Rev.12:9). d. Dragon (which implies his power). e. Apollyon (meaning "destroyer"; Rev.9:11). f. The prince of this world. g. The prince of the power of the air. h. The god of this world. i. Beelzebub (which implies that he is prince of the demons; Mt.12:24). j. the evil one (Jn.17:15; 2.Thess.3:3; 1Jn.5:19). k. the tempter (1Thess.3:5). 2. Michael (meaning "who is like God?") is given the title archangel (Jd.9), and is seen as Israel's protector (Dan.10:11,21). He disputed with Satan over Moses' body and, with his angels, engages Satan and his angels midway through the Tribulation in a great "star wars", forcing Satan out of the heavens (Rev.12:7-12). 3. Gabriel (meaning "the mighty one") is always seen in the Bible as a messenger or revealer of God's purposes, as to Daniel (Dan.8:15-27; cp. 9:20-27) and to Zacharias and to the virgin Mary (Lk.1:26-3). D. Some other occurrences. 1. Angels of judgment (Gen.19:13; 2Sam.24:16; 2Kgs.19:35; Ps.78:49; Act.12:23). 2. Watchers (Dan.4:13,23). 3. Angel over fire (Rev.14:18). 4. Angel over waters (Rev.16:5). 5. Seven angels of the apocalypse (Rev.8:2). 6. Sons of the Most High (Ps.82:6); sons of God (in the OT only; Gen.6:24; Job.1:6; 38:7. 7. Gods (elohim; Ps.82:1 rulers; Ps.82:6 gods; Heb.2:7 elect angels). The ministry of the elect angels. A. They continually, night and day, offer praise and worship God in heaven (Isa.6:3; Ps.148:1,2; Rev.4:8; 5:11). B. They protect and deliver God's people (Heb.1:14; Dan.6:22; Ps.91:11; Gen.19:11; Act.12:11; Mt.18:10). C. They guide and encourage believers (Mt.28:5-7; Act.8:26; 27:23,24). D. They interpret God's Word to men (no longer an issue with the closing of the canon; Dan.7:16; 10:5,11; Zech.1:9,19; 4:1,5; 5:5-11; 6:4,5; the teaching angel of Revelation, Rev.1:1; 17:7; 22:16). E. Angels mediated the Law to Moses (Act.7:53; Gal.3:19). F. Angels carry the saved home when they die (Lk.16:22). G. They execute judgment on individuals and societies (Act.12:23; Gen.19:12,13; Ezek.9:1,5,7; note the active role they play in the judgments of the Tribulation, Rev.16). H. Angels were active in the life and ministry of Jesus. 1. Angels informed Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds of Christ's birth (Lk.1:26-38; Mt.1:20: Lk.2:8-15).



2. Angels ministered to Christ after His temptation (Mt.4:11). 3. An angel strengthened Him in Gethsemane (Lk.22:43). 4. Angels were poised to deliver Him from His enemies (Mt.26:53). 5. An angel rolled the stone from the empty tomb (Mt.28:2-7). 6. Angels ascended with Him into heaven (Act.1:11). I. Angels as spectators. 1. They rejoice when even one sinner is saved (Lk.15:10). 2. They actually learn Bible Doctrine from the local church, taking a keen interest in our assembly (Eph.3:10; 1Pet.1:12). 3. They observe all the affairs of men, and are pleased or offended, as the passage on hair suggests (1Cor.11:10). 4. They took great interest in the incarnation (1Tim.3:16). J. Angels have future ministries. 1. They will make important announcements during the Tribulation (Rev.14:6-11; 18:2,21). 2. They will protect (seal) God's servants and carry out the prescribed judgments of that time (Rev.7:1-3; 8:2-13; 9:1,2,13; 12:7-9; 14:14-16; 15:1;16). 3. They will be associated with the Second Advent (Mt.13:37-39,49,50; 2Thess.1:7; Heb.1:6; Dan.7:9,10). 4. They will stand before the gates of the New Jerusalem as a kind of honorary body of sentinels, as if to guarantee that nothing that is unclean will ever enter that city (Rev.21:12). The relationship of men and angels. A. Angels were created superior to man in both position and inherent qualities (Ps.8:4,5; Heb.2:6,7). B. Christ was made lower than angels for a little while by assuming a human form so as to redeem fallen man (Heb.2:5-13). C. The very fact that He did not partake of the nature of angels (becoming a "God-Angel"), but did partake of human nature (becoming God-Man), has led the author of Hebrews to conclude that salvation was not provided for fallen angels, but only for man (Heb.2:15-18). Put another way, if He had to partake of humanity to be a high priest to man, would He not have had to partake of angelic nature to do likewise for angels? D. Furthermore, we are not to worship angels (Col.2:18; Rev.22:8,9), but to view them as our servants (Heb.1:14). E. Our final position will constitute us superior to angels in every way, for as He is so shall we be (Heb.1,2; Phil.3:21). At present, we are positionally superior to angels, being His Body and Bride.

In response to last months column, many Beliefnet members sent comments and questions about Satans sin, asking how and why he was cast out of heaven. Some readers expressed dissenting views, saying that Lucifer had been misinterpreted, and he is really one of Gods beloved angels. Although Satan appears frequently in the Scriptures, the Bible does not tell us a great deal about the fall of Satan and his angels. "Falling from heaven" does not refer to geography such as going from heaven to hell; Satan still had access to Gods throne in heaven (Job 1:6, 12; 2:1,7). Instead, the term "falling from heaven" is a Near Eastern way of saying that someone has suffered defeat, and it was also used in ancient non-biblical literature to describe the fall

of gods from power. It is similar to our expression "falling from grace." Falling from heaven, then, means to lose ones role or power. In this column, divided into two parts, I will discuss only the initial fall of Satan. When Jesus said, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" in Luke 10:18, he was referring to how Satan had been defeated when Jesus sent out 72 disciples on a successful mission. In Revelation 12, when Satan is hurled down during the war in heaven, the chapter is not retelling the story of Satan being original cast out of heaven--the chapter is retelling his final exclusion. Part 1: Bible Verses That Refer Directly to Satans Fall 1 Timothy 3:6 indicates that pride caused Satans downfall. For many Christians the verse is one of the few that speaks directly about the fall of Satan. No wonder John Calvin felt compelled to write that many "grumble that Scripture does not in numerous passages set forth systematically and clearly the fall of the devils." Still, in the "Institutes of the Christian Religion," Calvin writes that the Bible reveals all we need to know about the fall of angels, and that "we should be content with this concise information." Other Biblical scholars find Satans fall described in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18. Jewish interpretation of these verses state that in Isaiah the verses are about the King of Babylon, while in Ezekiel the verses are about the prophecy against the King of Tyre. However, many but not all Christians see a double reference in these verses and believe they describe both the ancient kings and the fall of Satan. Part 2: Bible Verses That Have Double Meanings Isaiah 14:3-4 foretells the end of the Babylonian captivity and describes Israel mocking the King of Babylon after his fall. While verses 4-11 and 16-23 clearly refer to the King of Babylon, some believe verses 12-15 have a double reference to the fall of the Babylonian king and the fall of Satan. Read more: (v. 12a) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn. Instead of "morning star" some translations have "Lucifer," even though Lucifer is not a Hebrew name that would have been written in a Hebrew manuscript. How, then, did a Latin name get substituted for the words "morning star"? Since the time of Jesus the early church developed a new understanding of the war between good and evil that differed from Old Testament Jewish concepts. For the church, Satan (or the devil) was understood to be a fallen angel and the personification of evil. When Jerome translated the Bible into Latin he used the term "Lucifer," which meant Venus, to translate "morning star." Jeromes translation made "morning star" a proper name and the name of Satan. The translators of the King James Bible used Jeromes translation, and Lucifer became a part of the English language. Satans name, then, became Helel in Hebrew, Lucifer in Latin, and Morning Star in English. This verse is the only place in the Bible where the word "Lucifer" has been substituted for Satan as a name. Many English translations have stopped using "Lucifer" in this verse in favor of literally translating the Hebrew as "morning star." (v. 12b)You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

(v. 13) You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.' (v. 14) I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (v. 15) But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Is the prophet Isaiah only saying that the King of Babylon was evil like the devil? Or are we to interpret these verses as recording the fall of Satan? If the latter is true, then the five "I will" declarations depict the sin of Satan and show his rebellion and desire to be like God. The following verses from Ezekiel 28 may also have a double meaning: (v.11) The word of the Lord came to me: (v. 12) Son of man, take up a lament concerning the King of Tyre and say to him, This is what the sovereign Lord says: You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty'. (v. 13) You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. (v. 14) You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. (v. 15) You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Read more: (v. 16) Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. (v. 17) Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to earth; I made you a spectacle of you before kings. Using poetic imagery, Ezekiel describes the ruler of Tyre as the first man created in Eden, a fully clothed priest (the stones are those worn by the priest), and a guardian cherub. Yet this sentence also be read as having a double meaning; the verses can be interpreted as a description of Satan as someone who was full of wisdom, beauty, and splendor in the beginning but who later became corrupted by pride. Verses 14 and 16 are the basis for believing Satan was a cherub. Even if we accept the passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel as having double meanings, the Scriptures still tell us very little about the fall of Satan. But other theologians have extrapolated from the Bible (is this what he means?) to answer the questions in their own ways. One of the questions Beliefnet members have also raised is: How could an angel that was created as a "good angel" sin? The Bible does not tell us, but Thomas Aquinas gave a classic answer in his book "Summa Theologica." Even while most Christians think his answer makes sense, please remember this

is conjecture, not gospel. The Bible teaches that God created the angels, and like all of Gods creations they were "good," but that did not mean they were incapable of sin. To be incapable of sin, Aquinas wrote, the angels would need to be in a state of bliss that he defined as "seeing the essence of God" and being "confirmed in goodness by Gods grace.... No angel could of his own will turn toward that bliss unless aided by grace.... The fall of some angels shows that the angelic nature was not created in that state." His view was that the angels who chose to follow God demonstrated a willingness to receive Gods grace. Once this choice was made, these angels were blessed, confirmed in goodness, and lost the capacity to sin. In Aquinass view the angels who sinned exercised their free will. At first they did not seek evil. Rather, they chose to do good but in a way that fed their selfish pride. Satan wanted to find bliss through his own actions rather than through Gods love and grace. This, then, was a major cause of his downfall. When Did Satan Fall? The Bible does not tell us. What we do know is that the angels were created before the Earth (Job 38-4-7). Satan fell before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The fall must have occurred somewhere between. Read more: II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS 391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268 392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271 393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272 394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God. 395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence

which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275 Paragraph 7. The Fall 385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,257 and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".258 The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.259 We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260
One such cute notion is that when we die we become an angel and do good for others. This is certainly the view of Oprah Winfrey, but I am not sure where this idea comes from except that I remember people using it as a way of explaining what happens after death to young children. In any event, it contradicts the Biblical understanding of the Angelic which informs us that we will "Judge the Angels." It would seem that these ideas come from early folklore and fairy tales which have their roots in a European pre-Christian era. This would no doubt be the reason why so many Christians have rejected their existence as childish notions unbecoming of an intelligent adult. However, in spite of this, the angelic has become very popular in recent years with the advent of the New Age Movement. Its adherents often use Christian terminology such as "Guardian Angels" to describe consultation with the dead or evil spirits. The angels they are referring to, were until recent years, called "Spirit Guides" or "Familiar Spirits" and are clearly demonic, pagan and occult in origin. In an attempt to clear up this confusion for Christians is the reason for this article. I hope that it will spread some light on the reality and truth of God's Holy Angels whose role is to minister to God and His people.

Ministering Spirits.
These angels whom the Bible calls "Ministering Spirits" (Heb.1:14) have many varying different roles and functions to assist the Christian here on the earth. Not only do they minister to God before the Throne day and night but they also convey God's messages to His people. Some have specific roles and are created to perform specific tasks such as the Guardian Angels of countries, territories and individuals. Although this subject is too vast to enter into here, perhaps this short article will allow you to study the subject further.

The Luciferic Rebellion and The War in Heaven.

The Bible only mentions the names of four angels from the countless millions that have been created. They are, Gabrielle, whose name means, "God is Mighty", Michael, whose name means, "Like God", Raphael, whose name means, "God Heals", and Lucifer, whose name means, "Light Bearer". All of them were created good! It was Lucifer who rebelled against God and who through pride, coveted the Throne of God and the worship that belonged to God alone. This resulted in a mighty war in Heaven. Lucifer, along

with one third of the angelic host was defeated by the Archangel Michael and was cast down from Heaven to the earth where he became known as "Satan", a name which literally means; "Adversary" as well as "Devil", which means, "Accuser of the brethren."

Let us examine more closely this angelic war and its outcome.
In Revelations chapter 12 we find the event. A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. *And there was war in heaven.* Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled downthat ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short. When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpents reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspringthose who obey Gods commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelations 12 1-17) Chapter 7 to 9, *And there was war in heaven* refers to the events prior to the creation of Adam. We find this in Genesis 2: 9, where God warns about two trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Cast down before the creation of Adam, Lucifer, referred to as the serpent is already on the earth. The two trees with either eternal life or eternal death were there before the creation of Adam, and so God did not tempt Adam with the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil as many might think, but simply warned Adam of the danger and consequence already present. Later in Luke 10: 17 - 20, the seventy-two disciples return from a mission with joy and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on

snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Jesus referred to the war in heaven because he was there. Jesus is the Word Incarnate; the Word that created all things, including Lucifer and it is against Jesus, the Word; truth, that Lucifer rebelled, and that war continues to this very day. Again, in Revelations 22: 1-6, we find the end of the story regarding the triumph of the Tree of Life and its consequence for us if we accept Jesus. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place." Scripture also refers to Lucifer by many other names all of which describe his "fallen nature." These names are, "Beelzebub", "Prince of Darkness", "King of Tyre", "Father of Lies". "Day Star", "The Thief", "god of this world" (cosmos: Gr. world system) but, never Lucifer again. He is no longer entitled to that name which described his original nature and ministry. Perhaps this would be a good time to put Satan in his proper place and perspective because in these days he is being worshipped as a god by many people around the world.

It becomes clear; Satan is not an equal and opposite of God as claimed by many!
Just like all the other angels he was created by God and therefore by definition, he is not God. Satan is a creature and therefore he is subject to God like all else in heaven and earth and he has no more rights or power than God allows. Demons manifest and shriek as Catholic Evangelist, Popular (New Age) thought adopts the Eddie Russell FMI preaches at a conference in concept of Yin and Yang and believe this Uganda. Not for the faint hearted. to be perfect balance and harmony. However, it is self evident that this is erroneous thinking; even the law of physics testifies to this in that darkness is merely and absence of light, and therefore, unlike light dispelling darkness, darkness cannot enter light nor extinguish it. The only outcome of the war between good and evil in this thinking is perpetual war due to the neutralizing of this equality. Hence there will never be peace with a Yin and Yang concept or any other New Age or occult philosophy, but, it does keep us entertained and Hollywood in business. The beginning chapters of the Book of Job show the true inequality very clearly (Job 1:6-12 Job 2:1-7) and even though Satan has the effrontery to enter God's presence with the other angels (sons) he does so to "accuse" God's people. However, you will notice that Satan can do no more than God allows him to do. "And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your

power, only do not lay a hand upon his person" (Job 1:12) and of course Satan did not because he could not! These are comforting thoughts when we are faced with such evils as we see in the world today, but because of the "New Covenant" in the Blood of Christ each Christian is given authority by God over all the "works" of the adversary. In fact we are "commissioned" by God to "announce" the Good News of the Kingdom, and to bring the captives out of darkness into His wonderful light and so in Mark 16:17, we read, "In my name (Jesus) they will expel demons." The authority that the Father gave to Jesus is now transferred to His Church. Unfortunately, just like all the good angels, the evil ones and the Devil himself have also been relegated to the area of myth by many Christians whilst the non-believers are very much aware of his reality.

Satan worship is on the increase.

Hiding in myth is a good trick if he can get away with it. It suits his purpose when the only ones who do not believe that he exists are the only ones who can dislodge him from his strongholds. His "new look" is called the "New Age." This is just new packaging for a very old thing: Sorcery. It's selling well at the moment and it has even got through to Christians who have lowered their defences against a subtle sales pitch aimed at a spiritual void. One of the most nefarious examples today is the message of Marilyn Manson's "Anti Christ Superstar." This album solicits acceptance of Manson as a saviour. It calls young people to kill their parents and whoever else they see as their enemy and then kill themselves. According to Manson, this is how they get saved and set free. In addition, The Church of Satan is well established under law in the USA and possibly elsewhere too. Television proliferates these beliefs through such programmes as Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural and many other witchcraft programmes that are very popular with our youth.

We are able to call on the angelic to assist us when we need help.

Along with the Word of God, the Power, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit working on our behalf, we also have countless millions of angels at our disposal in the same way that Jesus did when he was arrested in Gethsemane.... "do you not suppose that I can call on my Father to provide at a moment's notice more than twelve legions of angels" (Mat 26:53). Psalm 91 is worth reading and studying because it refers to the protection the Father provides for all His children who find themselves in dangerous circumstances. It informs us that by remaining in a close relationship with God. He promises to rescue us from: the snare of the Fowler, the destroying pestilence, the terror by night, the arrow by day, and from plagues, the wicked, evil, and affliction. Then, in verse 11, it says, "for to His angels He has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways." And again in verse 13, it says: "you shall tread upon the asp and the viper; you shall trample down the lion and the dragon." Notice that it says, "you will". It is "we" who do it! By what power? By the power of God, of course. That is "our" authority and, let's face it, "if God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31) It stands to reason that if God is for us everything that is of God is for us too. We are never alone as much as we may think that we are. God's angels are ever present to help us in all that we do.

Angels are countless in number. (Rev.5:11)

"Their cavalry troops whose count I heard were two hundred million in number." (Rev 9:16) Angels are immortal Celestial Spirits created by God. They are created to represent Him and to guard His interests (Ps.148: 5-6). Angels were created before God created the world (Job.1:6,). Angels do not have corporal bodies but they can manifest themselves in human form. An example of this is seen in the account of Lot regarding Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19, Acts.10:30, Tobit 12:11-22). I recommend that you read the whole book of Tobit where you will see the wonderful deeds of the Archangel Raphael on his behalf. Raphael is one of the seven spirits before the Throne of God. He seems to be the angel who protects the family. In this account, you will see how he saves Raguel from the wicked demon, Asmodeus (Arabic: "the destroyer") who has killed seven of her husbands before they could consummate the marriage and how he heals Tobit of his blindness and helps Tobit's son Tobias to successfully marry Raguel. Then in the ending chapters he reveals a truth about his angelic nature.
(Although non Catholics do not accept this book as Canon of Scripture, the book of Tobit is a magnificent insight into the role of Angels that was richly expressed in Hebrew Angelology and belief. The Catholic Church accepts Tobit as part of the Canon of Scripture).

Celestial Beauty.
Occasionally angels will appear in all their celestial beauty and glory (Matt 28:3, Dan.10:5-6). In Daniel 10: 12-14, and verses 20-21, you will see Gabrielle and Michael in their role of bringing an answer to prayer and how they deal with the demonic angel of the kingdom of Persia.

Angels do not marry.

They are pure spirit beings and are referred to as a 'company' rather than a 'race'. They are always referred to in the masculine gender. (Matt.22:30, Luke 20: 34-36). St. Thomas Aguinas tells us that because angels are referred to as a company and not a race they cannot procreate; they are pure spirit beings with no need of a body or its attributes. In wahtever body they might have appeared are only apparant bodies for our comfort when encountering them.

Angels have different functions.

Angels have different functions and are created for specific tasks and they have various levels of authority which include: "Thrones", "Dominions", "Seraphim", "Cherubim", "Angels", "Archangels", and "Guardian Angels" (Col. 1:16, Jude 9.). Guardian Angels are given to children when they are born and are there to minister to them throughout their life (Matt. 18; 10).

Angelic worship.
Angels worship before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night (Ps. 148: 2, Tobit 12:15, Heb. 1:6, Rev. 4: 5-8). The angels celebrate before the Throne of God every time a sinner repents and turns to God. (Luke 15; 10,) Just think how much Heaven will rejoice when we really get moving with Evangelisation!

Angels escort Christians to heaven

when they die (Luke 16:22)

The angels record our deeds, good and bad, in a book that will be opened at the final Judgement (Mal.3:16, Rev.20:12). Angels have the authority to execute God's Judgement on Cities, Nations and People (Eccl. 5:6, Ezek. 9:1-6, Ps. 33:4-6, Kings 19:35, Acts 12:23).

Angels are Messengers of God not ascended masters.

Angels are messengers of God to His people (Zech. 1: 9, 13-14, 19 Luke 1:11-20, Luke. 1:26-38) and it is this encounter that dominates our Christmas celebration. However, appearances of the angels are usually brief and formal. They are aimed at improving our relationship with the Lord rather than attracting attention to themselves (Revelation 22: 8-9)

We will judge the Angels.

Until we enter the fullness of our redemption the angels enjoy a superior position to us, but they will then serve under us as the Bride of Christ when we become the elite of all God's creation (Rev. 21: 9-14, 2Tim.2:12). We will even judge the angels (1Cor.6:3). However, because angels are so magnificent, people have fallen into the sin of angel-worship. To us they may seem like God Himself, but to God they are as far away from His perfection as your dog is to you. We must always remember that the angels, good and bad, are creatures, they are not gods. Saint Thomas Aquinas points out that the angels are not supernatural simply because the condition of an angel as a created being is natural to his state. God and God alone is the only supernatural being. So the Bible warns us not to worship angels (Col. 1:18, - Rev. 19: 10). No holy angel of God will accept homage or worship from humans. If one ever does, it is a clear sign that it is a demon in disguise.

God's Holy Angels are ever present to help us.

It is comforting to know whom and what you have working on your side. Angels and Christians are partners and allies in the spiritual warfare in which we find ourselves. They assist us to dislodge Satan from his stronghold in the world. When Intercessors come together and prayer prevails it brings powerful angels to aid and assist us to hinder the workings of Satan (Hebrews 1:4, Daniel 10:12-13).

We must not confuse the works of the angels with the role of the Holy Spirit.
The role of the angels and the role of the Holy Spirit are very different even though they are companion roles in our lives by assisting us to build the Church and in establishing the Kingdom of God where we live. The difference lies in that the role of the angels is to administer material affairs. The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the mind of God and to make Jesus known. Matthew 4:11 shows this distinction clearly; Jesus was "led" by the Spirit, "taught" by the Spirit, and "filled" with the Spirit, but He was "defended" and 'fed' by the angels.

Angels are also territorial spirits and are assigned to particular earthly territories.
The Archangel Michael is the Guardian Angel of Israel (and ours too). The Bible shows us that cities are under angelic guardianship (Dan. 12:1, Ezek. 9:1, Acts.16:9, Acts.10:30). When we read Revelations Chapters 2 and 3, we can see this clearly: "To the presiding spirit of the Church in Ephesus". The "presiding spirit" = literally; angels. (NAB footnotes). Angels were thought of as being in charge of whole communities and individuals alike. (Matt. 18:10, Acts 12:15). "Only God is home for the love of the angels, just as he is for us. The angels must make their way home, for love's fire is the Divine Flame, or there is no warmth." (St Thomas Aquinas Summa
Theologica / Hebrews. 1:7).

It was love's flame that warmed the heart of a young virgin when the Archangel Gabrielle came to announce the good saviour was to be born. It is Gabrielle that God sends to announce "Good News."

Every major proclamation of God was announced by Gabrielle and considering that Mary would have been well acqua angelic tradition of her faith such as we have looked at here. It's not so surprising that she was a little afraid when sh confronted with such a being as Gabrielle although her fear was that of respect rather than that born of a lack of fai faith to say yes that brought about the greatest miracle of God in all of history, past, present and future. When the time came for the Saviour to enter into the world, angels appeared to shepherds and proclaimed the "good news" of a Saviour born. The Glory of God shone around them with an angelic multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and peace to those on whom His favour rests" (Luke.2:9-14). The Shepherds saw that Glory on that first Christmas night and Mary treasured these things in her heart (Luke 2:19).

Archangel ( /rkendl/) is a term meaning an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels by Judaism and by most Christians. The book of Tobit mentions Raphael, who is also considered by some to be an archangel; Tobit is recognized in the Catholic and Orthodox versions of the Bible, but considered apocryphal by Protestants. The archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are venerated in the Roman Catholic Church with a feast on September 29 (formerly March 24 for Gabriel and 24 October for Raphael). The named archangels in Islam are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Azrael. In Zoroastrianism, sacred texts allude to the six great Amesha Spenta (literally "divine sparks") of Ahura Mazda. Other traditions have identified a group of seven Archangels, the names of which vary, depending on the source. The word archangel derives from the Greek archangelos.

In Judaism
See also: Angel Jacob wrestling with the Angel by Gustave Dor 1885

The Hebrew Bible uses the terms ( malakhi Elohim; Angels of God),[1] "The Hebrew word for angel is "malach," which means messenger, for the angels are God's messengers to perform various missions." ( malakhi Adonai; Angels of the Lord),[2] ( b'nai elohim; sons of God) and ( ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angelic messengers. Other terms are used in later texts, such as ( ha-elyonim, the upper ones, or the Ultimate ones). Indeed, angels are uncommon except in later works like Daniel, though they are mentioned briefly in the stories of Jacob (who, according to several interpretations, wrestled with an angel) and Lot (who was warned by angels of the impending destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name.[3] It is therefore widely speculated that Jewish interest in angels developed during the Babylonian captivity.[4] According to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish of Tiberias (230270 AD), all the specific names for the angels were brought back by the Jews from Babylon. There are no explicit references to archangels in the canonical texts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkavah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,[5] and figures prominently in Merkavah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13) is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud,[6] as well as many Merkavah mystical texts. The earliest references to archangels are in the literature of the intertestamental periods (e.g., 4 Esdras 4:36). Within the rabbinic tradition, the Kabbalah, and the Book of Enoch chapter 20, and the Life of Adam and Eve, the usual number of archangels given is at least seven, who are the focal angels. Three higher archangels are also commonly referenced: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. There is confusion about one of the following eight names, concerning which one listed is not truly an archangel. They are: Uriel, Sariel, Raguel, and Remiel (possibly the Ramiel of the Apocalypse of Baruch, said to preside over true visions), Zadkiel, Jophiel, Haniel and Chamuel.[7] Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides made a Jewish angelic hierarchy. In addition, traditional homes often sing a song of welcome to the angels before beginning Friday night (Shabbat) dinner. It is entitled Shalom Aleichem, meaning "peace onto you." This is based on a statement attributed to Rabbi Jose ben Judah that two angels accompany each worshiper home from the Friday evening synagogue service,[8] These angels are associated with the good inclination yetzir ha-tov and the evil inclination yetzir ha-ra.[9]

[edit] In Christianity
Guido Reni's Archangel Michael Trampling Satan, 1636. The New Testament speaks frequently of angels (for example, angels giving messages to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds; angels ministering to Christ after his temptation in the wilderness, an angel visiting Christ in his agony, angels at the tomb of the risen Christ, the

angels who liberate the Apostles Peter and Paul from prison); however, it uses the word "archangel" only twice: "When the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you'" (Jude 1:9; and "The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God" (1 Thessalonians 4:16.

[edit] Roman Catholic

In Roman Catholicism, three are honoured by name:

St. Michael St. Gabriel St. Raphael

The last-named of these identifies himself in Tobit 12:15 thus: "I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.". Of these seven "archangels", which appear in the angelology of post-Exilic Judaism, only the above three, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, are mentioned in the Scriptures that the Catholic Church considers canonical. The others, according to the Book of Enoch, are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel, while from other apocryphal sources we get the variant names Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel instead of the last three in the other list.[10] The Fourth Book of Esdras, which mentions the angel Uriel (as well as others not in the above list), was popular in the West and was frequently quoted by Church Fathers, especially Ambrose, but was never considered part of the Scriptures.[11]

[edit] Eastern Orthodox

Eastern Orthodox Tradition mentions "thousands of archangels;[12] however, only seven archangels are venerated by name.[13] Uriel is included, and the other three are most often named Selaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (an eighth, Jeremiel, is sometimes included as archangel).[14] The Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers on November 8 of Stencyl the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, November 8 falls on November 21 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). Other feast days of the Archangels include the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel on March 26 (April 8), and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossae on September 6 (September 19). In addition, every Monday throughout the year is dedicated to the Angels, with special mention being made in the church hymns of Michael and Gabriel. In Orthodox iconography, each angel has a symbolic representation:[14] Russian icon of the Archangel Jegudiel.

Michael in the Hebrew language means "Who is like unto God?" or "Who is equal to God?" St. Michael has been depicted from earliest Christian times as a commander, who holds in his right hand a spear with which he attacks Lucifer/Satan, and in his left hand a green palm branch. At the top of the spear there is a linen ribbon with a red cross. The Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies.

Gabriel means "Man of God" or "Might of God." He is the herald of the mysteries of God, especially the Incarnation of God and all other mysteries related to it. He is depicted as follows: In his right hand, he holds a lantern with a lighted taper inside, and in his left hand, a mirror of green jasper. The mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery. Raphael means "God's healing" or "God the Healer" (Tobit 3:17, 12:15). Raphael is depicted leading Tobit (who is carrying a fish caught in the Tigris) with his right hand, and holding a physician's alabaster jar in his left hand. Uriel means "Fire of God," or "Light of God" (III Esdras 3:1, 5:20). He is depicted holding a sword against the Persians in his right hand, and a flame in his left. Sealtiel means "Intercessor of God" (III Esdras 5:16). He is depicted with his face and eyes lowered, holding his hands on his bosom in prayer. Jegudiel means "Glorifier of God." He is depicted bearing a golden wreath in his right hand and a triple-thonged whip in his left hand. Barachiel means "Blessing of God." He is depicted holding a white rose in his hand against his breast. (Jeremiel means "God's exaltation." He is venerated as an inspirer and awakener of exalted thoughts that raise a person toward God (III Ezra 4:36). As an eighth, he is sometimes included as archangel.)

Angelic Council ( ). Orthodox icon of the seven archangels. From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel, Selaphiel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of Christ-Emmanuel are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red). In the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, 1 Enoch describes Saraqael as one of the angels that watch over "the spirits that sin in the spirit." (20:7, 8).

[edit] Protestant
The Protestant Bible provides names for two angels: Archangel Michael and the Archangel Gabriel. Some Protestants view Michael as the sole archangel, as the only one explicitly described as such in the Protestant canon of the Bible (Jude 1:9). Gabriel is never called archangel in the Gospels. And the edition of the Bible used by Protestants, which does not accept as authoritative the apocrypha or deuterocanonical books, does not mention Raphael, who is therefore not recognized by them. Seventh-day Adventists hold that "Michael" is just another title for the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Michael is not a created being but the Eternal Word of God, "very God of very God, of the same substance as the Father". They interpret Presbyterian Matthew Henry as supporting this view.[15]

[edit] Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there is only one "archangel" in heaven, and in the Bible. Their position is that the term "arch-angel" in Greek literally means "highest" or "chief angel", and that there can be only one. They point to the fact the Bible uses the term

"archangel" only in the singular, never clearly in the plural. They teach that Michael is one of the names of Jesus has in heaven.[16] In this view, Michael is the first and greatest of all God's heavenly sons, the chief Messenger of Jehovah who takes the lead in vindicating the Heavenly Father's sovereignty, sanctifying the Heavenly Father's name, fighting the wicked forces of Satan and protecting God's covenant people on earth. (Revelation 12:7; 19:14,16 Daniel 12:1) This belief is held because of the prominence Michael has among the heavenly sons of God in the Bible, and as the prince of God's people, the similarity of Michaels and Jesus mission and the connection of Jesus with the archangelic office in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where it is said: "Because the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice." Taking also into account that the Bible refers to one archangel only using a definite article (Jude 9), Jehovah's Witnesses have concluded that Michael and the pre-human and post-resurrection Jesus are one and the same.[17]

[edit] Latter Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints interpret the term archangel as 'Chief Angel', [18] Michael is the only one so designated in the scriptures proper. (Jude 1:9 KJV). It is believed that he is the head of all of the angels.[19] It is also doctrinal belief amongst the Latter Day Saints that archangel Michael was also the first man, Adam (D&C 128:20-21) and that the angel Gabriel is Noah.[20] The angel identified as Raphael by other Christian traditions is also recognized as an angel of significant standing in LDS scripture.[21]

[edit] In Islam
This section requires expansion. In Islam, the named archangels include:

Gabriel (or Jibraaiyl or Jibril or Jibrail in Arabic). Gabriel is the Archangel responsible for revealing the Quran to Muhammad and inducing him to read it. Gabriel is known as the angel who communicates with the Prophets. This Angel has great importance in Islam as he is being narrated in various Hadiths about his role of delivering messages from the 'Almighty' to the Prophets. Michael (Mikhail or Mik'aaeel in Arabic). Michael is often depicted as the Archangel of mercy who is responsible for bringing rain and thunder to Earth. Raphael (Israfil or Israafiyl). According to the Hadith, Israfil is the Angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day by blowing a horn/trumpet. It translates in Hebrew as Raphael. Azrael, is usually regarded as the angel of death Malak al-Maut, in the Quran (Surah al-Sajdah [Qur'an 32:11]) is responsible to parting the soul from the body. Ridwan, The Guardian of Heaven. This Angel's name is often named for Muslim children in most of the countries as it is a name of great virtues. Maalik, The Guardian of the Hell where people doing misdeeds are sent to. Munkar and Nakir, The Two Angels who are believed to come to the Grave-yard to question the dead person as soon as the person's body is buried. The Angels are believed to interrogate about the person's faith in his religion. They ask him about the

Supreme Power the person follows, the moral-leader he follows and the book he follows . Kiraman and Katibeen, The Two Angels who are believed to record the Good-deeds and the mis-deeds of a Person in his entire lifetime.

[edit] In Zoroastrianism
See also: Amesha Spenta An increasing number of experts in anthropology, theology and philosophy, believe that Zoroastrianism contains the earliest distillation of prehistoric belief in angels.[22] Zoroastrians believe, that as a complex the Amesha Spentas constitute a holy heptad made up of Ahura Mazda's, (Supreme God of Truth and Wisdom), most potent qualities. Simultaneously, they individually inhabit immortal bodies, that operate in the physical world, to protect guide and inspire humanity. The formless aspect of the Amesha Spentas dualfunctionality, might more easily be compared with Christianity's Holy Trinity or celestial Thrones but this in no way disqualifies them from being both divine hosts and archangelic archetypes. Along with tying up many other monotheist loose ends, the Zend Avesta explains the origin and nature of archangels, most cohesively. Zarathustra taught that the primary God, Ahura Mazda, shone with such radiance that his own shadow became enraptured by his beauty. This caused a deviation from the complimentary relationship between darkness and light. To maintain equilibrium, Ahura Mazda engaged in the first act of creation, distinguishing his Holy Spirit Spenta Mainyu, the Archangel of righteous choice. Ignorant of the harmonious balance between light and dark, the stray shadow-aspect chose to separate from spirit and challenge the one true God. Once an independent Demon, Angra Mainyu introduced falsehood, disease, suffering and death. In continued response to his growing aggressor, Ahura Mazda distinguished from himself six more Amesha Spentas, who along with Spenta Mainyu, aided in the creation of the physical universe. Then he oversaw the development of sixteen lands, each imbibed with a unique cultural catalyst, calculated to encourage the formation of distinct human populations. The Amesha Spentas were charged with protecting these holy lands and through their emanation, also believed to align each respective population in service to God. Zarathustra prophesied that Ahura Mazda orchestrated this guided transformation in order to demonstrate the supremacy of 'Asha', (Truth), beyond a shadow of a doubt. Angra Mainyu would sense no risk invading such seemingly helpless creatures as human beings. Yet through their decision to embrace 'Asha' over 'Drug' (falsehood), the universal demon could be trapped and forced to acknowledge his ignorance and deception. Only with human collaboration, could the Amesha Spentas defeat Angra Mainyu once and for all, returning darkness to its rightful place.[23] Amesha Spenta (Phl. Amahraspandan) 'Beneficent Immortals', these spiritual beings constitute the formal differentiation of Ahura Mazda's greatest attributes.

Spenta Mainyu (Phl. Spenamino): lit. 'Bountiful Spirit' Asha Vahishta (Phl. Ardwahisht): lit. 'Highest Truth'

Vohu Mano (Phl. Vohuman): lit. 'Righteous Mind' Khshathra Vairya (Phl. Shahrewar): lit. 'Desirable Dominion' Spenta Armaiti (Phl. Spandarmad): lit. 'Holy Devotion' Haurvatat (Phl. Hordad): lit. 'Perfection or Health' Ameretat (Phl. Amurdad): lit. 'Immortality'

[edit] Other traditions

Occultists sometimes associate archangels in Kabbalistic fashion with various seasons or elements, or even colors. In some Kabbalah-based systems of ceremonial magic, all four of the main archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel) are invoked as guarding the four quarters, or directions, and their corresponding colors are associated with magical properties.

In anthroposophy, based on teachings by Rudolf Steiner, there are many spirits belonging to the hierarchical level of archangel. In general, their task is to inspire and guard large groups of human beings, such as whole nations, peoples or ethnic groups. This reflects their rank above the angels who deal with individuals (the guardian angel) or smaller groups.[25] In Steiner's view, the main seven archangels with the names given by the esoteric christianism are Michael (Sun), Oriphiel (Saturn), Anael (Venus), Zachariel (Jupiter), Raphal (Mercury), Samael (Mars), Gabriel (Moon) have a special assignment to act as a global Zeitgeist ("time spirit" or, "spirit of the times/age"), each for periods of about 380 years.[26] According to this system, since 1879, Michael is the leading Time Spirit. Four important archangels also display periodic spiritual activity over the seasons: Spring is Raphael, Summer (Uriel), Autumn (Michael) and Winter is Gabriel. In anthroposophy, archangels may be good or evil; all beings who do not follow the cosmic evolution become source of evil. A type of spiritual forces are beneficial during a specific period. In the following period, another spiritual activity begin, early forces begin inapropriate, this is the birth of evil. Another Catholic variation lists them corresponding to the days of the week as: St Michael (Sunday), St Gabriel (Monday), St Raphael (Tuesday), St Uriel (Wednesday), St Sealtiel/Selaphiel (Thursday), St Jehudiel/Jhudiel (Friday), and St Barachiel (Saturday).[citation

In the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram,[27] the invocation includes the words "Before me Raphael; Behind me Gabriel; On my right hand Michael; On my left hand Auriel [Uriel]..." In art, archangels are sometimes depicted with larger wings and many eyes.[citation needed] Some of the more commonly represented archangels are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel.[28]

the archangels

The word 'angel is the name of an office not of a nature It must be realised that the word 'angel' is the name of an office, and not of a nature. For these holy spirits of our homeland in heaven are always spirits, but in no way can they

always be called 'angels' or 'messengers' since they are angels only when something is announced through them. Those who make minor announcements are called angels, those who make important ones are called archangels. Hence it is that not just any angel was sent to the Virgin Mary but that Gabriel the archangel was sent: it was right that the proper one for this role should be of the highest rank of angels since he was to announce the greatest news of all. Angels are known by proper names as well, to indicate their powers and their work. In that holy city where perfect knowledge is derived from the vision of Almighty God, if proper names are assigned to them, it is not that their persons could not be identified without names. But when angels come to minister to us, even the names by which we know them are taken from their ministry. Michael means 'Who is like God', Gabriel 'Strength of God', Raphael 'Healing of God.' Whenever a mighty deed is in question, Michael is assigned, so that by his actions and name it may be made known that no one can do what God can do. So in the case of our ancient enemy, who in his pride wanted to be like God when he said: 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will make myself like the Most High': when he is shown to be condemned to eternal punishment at the end of the world, he is described as about to do battle with Michael, as Saint John says: 'War broke out with Michael the archangel.' Gabriel was sent to Mary, for Gabriel means 'Strength of God'. He came to announce him who deigned to be lowly so as to wage war on the spiritual powers of the air. He who came as God of power and as one strong in battle was to be announced by Gabriel, the strength of God. Finally Raphael is interpreted, as we have said, as 'Healing of God', since he wiped away the shadows of blindness from Tobias when he touched his eyes to cure him. The one who is sent to cure, was indeed worthy of the name 'Healing of God'.


quis ut Deus - who is like God

September 29th
The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the war cry of the God's angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes Michael as one of the chief princes, and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honoured and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the earliest Christians. Although he is called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim. Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police and sickness. Michael's name is recorded four times in Scripture: Daniel 10:13. Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: "The Angel of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince"; Daniel 12, the Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people. the Epistle of St. Jude: When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, St Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, "De principiis"). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the "Revelation of Moses".

Revelation 12:7, And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. St. John speaks of the great war at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis iii, 24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).

Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives Michael four offices. To: fight against Satan rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death. be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment

Regarding his rank in the celestial hierarchy opinions vary; St. Basil and other Greek Fathers place Michael over all the angels, saying he is called archangel because he is the prince of the other angels. others believe he is the Prince of the Seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. But, according to Aquinas he is the prince of the last and lowest choir, the angels. The hymn of the Mozarabic Breviary places St. Michael even above the Twenty-four Elders. Its natural to Michael the champion of the Jewish people, to be the champion also of Christians, giving victory in war to those who invoke him. The early Christians regarded some of the martyrs as their military patrons: Sts George, Theodore, Demetrius, Sergius, etc. And to Michael they gave the care of their sick. At the spot where he was first venerated, in Phrygia, his prestige as angelic healer obscured his interposition in military affairs. It was from early times the centre of the true cult of the holy angels, and most particularly of Michael. Tradition tells us that St. Michael caused a healing spring to spout near Colossae, where all the sick who bathed there invoking the Holy Trinity and Michael were cured. Still more famous are the springs which St. Michael is said to have drawn from the rock at Colossae (Khonas, on the Lycus). The pagans directed a stream against the sanctuary of Michael to destroy it, but the archangel split the rock by lightning to give a new bed to the stream, and sanctified forever the waters which came from the gorge. At Pythia in Bithynia and elsewhere in Asia the hot springs were dedicated to Michael. At Constantinople Michael was venerated as the great heavenly physician. His principal sanctuary, the Michaelion, was at Sosthenion, fifty miles south of Constantinople. There the archangel appeared to the Constantine. The sick slept in this church at night to wait for a manifestation of Michael. Another famous church was within the walls of the city, at the thermal

baths of the Emperor Arcadius. The Christians of Egypt placed the Nile under the protection of Michael. On the twelfth of every month they celebrate a special commemoration of the archangel, but the 12th June, when the river commences to rise, they keep as the feast of Michael for the rising of the Nile. In Normandy Michael is the patron of mariners in the sanctuary at Mont-Saint-Michel. He is said to have appeared there in 708 to Aubert, Bishop of Avranches. His feast "S. Michaelis in periculo maris" or "in Monte Tumba" was universally celebrated on 18 Oct., the anniversary of the dedication of the first church, 16 Oct., 710. In Germany, after its evangelization, St. Michael replaced for the Christians the pagan god Wotan, to whom many mountains were sacred, hence the numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael all over Germany. In art Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield (often the shield bears the Latin inscription: Quis ut Deus), standing over the dragon, whom he sometimes pierces with a lance. He also holds a pair of scales in which he weighs the souls of the departed, or the book of life to show that he takes part in the judgment. In the middle ages, his feast (29 September) was celebrated as a holy day of obligation, but along with several other feasts it was gradually abolished since the eighteenth century. Michaelmas Day, in England and other countries, is one of the regular quarter-days for settling rents and accounts; but it is no longer remarkable for the hospitality with which it was formerly celebrated.

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Gabriel fortitudo Dei - the power (strength) of God

One of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible, only four appearances of Gabriel are recorded: Daniel viii, he explains the vision of the horned ram as portending the destruction of the Persian Empire by the Macedonian Alexander the Great, after whose death the kingdom will be divided up among his generals, from one of whom will spring Antiochus Epiphanes. In Chapter ix, after Daniel had prayed for Israel, we read that the man Gabriel . . . . flying swiftly touched me, and he communicated to him the mysterious prophecy of the "seventy weeks" of years which should elapse before the coming of Christ. In Chapter x, it is not clear whether the angel is Gabriel or not, but at any rate we may apply to

him the marvellous description in verses 5 and 6. he foretells to Zachary the birth of the Precursor (Luke 1 v8ff) at the Annunciation - to Mary (Luke 1:26)

He is the angel of the Incarnation and of Consolation, and so in Christian tradition Gabriel is ever the angel of mercy. At the same time Gabriel is, as his name suggests, the angel of the Power or strength of God, and it is worth while noting the frequency with which such words as "great", "might", "power", and "strength" occur in the passages referred to above. The Jews indeed seem to have dwelt particularly upon this feature in Gabriel's character, regarding him as the angel of judgment. Thus they attribute to Gabriel the destruction of Sodom and of the host of Sennacherib, though they also regard him as the angel who buried Moses, and as the one deputed to mark the figure Tau on the foreheads of the elect (Ezech., 4). In later Jewish literature the names of angels were considered to have a peculiar efficacy, and the British Museum possesses some magic bowls inscribed with Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac incantations in which the names of Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel occur. These bowls were found at Hillah, the site of Babylon. In apocryphal Christian literature the same names occur, cf. Enoch, ix, and the Apocalypse of the Blessed Virgin. Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, but it is not unreasonable to suppose with Christian tradition that it is he who appeared to Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was Gabriel who strengthened Jesus in the garden. Gabriel is generally termed only an archangel, but the expression used by Raphael, I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord (Tobit xii, 15), and Gabriel's own words, I am Gabriel, who stand before God (Luke 1, 19), have led some to think that these angels must belong to the highest rank. This is generally thought to mean their rank as the highest of God's messengers, and not as placing them among the Seraphim and Cherubim.

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Raphael God has healed (heals)

Raphael's name doesn't appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, and in the Septuagint only in the Book of Tobias. Here he first appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of the younger Tobias, calling himself Azarias the son of the great

Ananias. The story of the adventurous journey during which the protective influence of the angel is shown in many ways including the binding "in the desert of upper Egypt", of the demon who had previously slain seven husbands of Sara, daughter of Raguel, is graphically related in Tobit 5-11. After the return and the healing of the blindness of the elder Tobias, Azarias makes himself known as the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord (Tobit xii, 15. Cf. Apoc., viii, 2). Of these seven archangels who appear in the angelology of post-Exilic Judaism, only three, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, are mentioned in the canonical Scriptures. The others, according to the Book of Enoch (cf. xxi) are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel, while from other apocryphal sources we get the variant names Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel instead of the last three in the other list. Regarding the functions attributed to Raphael we have little more than his declaration to Tobias (Tobit 12) that when the latter was occupied in his works of mercy and charity, Raphael offered his prayer to the Lord, that he was sent by the Lord to heal him of his blindness and to deliver Sara, his son's wife, from the devil. The Jewish category of the archangels is recognized in the New Testament (I Thess., iv, 16; Jude, 9), but only Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name. Many scholars however, identify Raphael with the "angel of the Lord" mentioned in John 5. This assumption is based both on the significance of the name, and on the healing role attributed to Raphael in the Book of Tobias. It is widely thought that Raphael is the angel in John 5:1-4, at the pool called Bethzatha, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water. The blind, the lame and the paralysed were waiting for an angel of the Lord who, descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.

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God is light

Uriel is the Archangel of salvation. The name Uriel means God is Light; Radiation of God or Fire of God. He is one of the Archangels of rabbinical angelology. He was sent by God to answer the questions of Esdras (II Esdras iv), and is mentioned in I Enoch and IV Ezra, where he "watches over thunder and terror." In the Midrash 1, Uriel is said to be one of the four guardians of God's throne. In The Book of Adam and Eve he presides over repentance. Uriel is of the leading angels in non-canonical lore, and ranked

variously as a Seraph, Cherub, Regent of the Sun, Flame of God, and Angel of the Presence. As one of the most faithful and dedicated members of the host, Uriel was also placed in charge of Hades. He has been identified as one of the angels who helped bury Adam and Abel in Paradise, and is known as the dark angel who wrestled with Jacob at Peniel - the destroyer of the hosts of Sennacherib; the messenger sent by God to Noah to warn him of the impending deluge. Uriel is also said to have disclosed the mysteries of the heavenly arcana to Ezra; interpreted prophecies, and led Abraham out of Ur. In later Judaism we find Uriel as one of the four angels of the presence. Legend tells us that Uriel stands at the gate of the Lost Eden (forgetting to love God0, with a fiery sword. The fiery sword shows that negative matter (selfish and unpure desires) are destroyed when one truly focuses on God. In this, Uriel reminds mankind to love God by using the "fire of God" (by using the fiery sword). Uriel teaches the path of the heart, the fire of pure love. It is through Noah's devotion and love of God that Uriel is able to warn him of the flood. If Noah had been unable to express divine love and devotion to God, he would have been unable to hear Uriel's warning. This is how another attribute associated with Uriel has arisen, the attribute of Divine Vengeance and judgment. Only if the heart is ignited in devotion to God can one hear God's call. If one does not hear God's call, one will perish (in the flood). Uriel is said to have been the interpreter of Ezra's visions which also explains why Uriel means "God is the radiating principle of Light." Uriel's symbol of an open hand holding a flame depicts a great gift to humanity. It is the flame of Love to ignite the heart in service to God. Uriel holds out the flame of Love towards all souls. The soul by filling with the flame of Love becomes devoted to serving God's plan. Uriel's flame of Love, the fire and Light of God, purifies emotional and mental understanding.