2-16-2019 How Angels interact with Us Today
We’ve already seen how the Law of Moses and Ezekiel’s Valley of the Dry Bones interface with the three areas of spiritual warfare: the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man.
We all know about Michael and Gabriel, two of Father’s archangels and many believe in guardian angels. But how many of us realize that Father has also set angels into all three areas of spiritual warfare to provide help and protection.
What we ‘know’ about angels is derived from studies by the church scholars like Origen (184 AD – 254 AD), and Catholic traditions. Origen suggested that there are three choirs, (sub-groups) of angels set to each of the three spheres (primary groups) of angels set to do battle on our behalf in the natural, the spiritual and our heart.
But just what are some of the things these angels do?
Angels sit in the presence of God and worship Him (Rev. 4:1-11).
They are God’s Messengers as with Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
Angels of God are for our protection (Psalm 91:1-16). What they do for Jesus, they also do for us (Luke 10:18-20).
They minister God’s judgment (Rev. 9:12-21).
And they are God’s warriors (2 Kings 6:15-17).
For a basic understanding of their responsibilities, we will look at the three spheres starting with what we understand the best – us, the natural man. Then we’ll move through the second sphere finishing with the first sphere – our heart, our relationship with our Father.
The third sphere of angels deals with the natural man. Three choirs, in this sphere, are responsible for what goes on in this natural world around us and these choirs are: Principalities, Archangels and Angels.
The Greek word for “principality” is arche (746). Strong’s defines them as chief of order, time place or rank, the beginning, the corner, magistrate, power or rule.
We find references in Ephesians 1:20-23 where Jesus is given power over all things and is the head of the church. And we see we are complete in Christ who is the head of all principality and power (Col. 2:9-10)
In the New Testament Principalities refers to one type of spiritual beings which rule over specific areas pertaining to the earthly realm. Remember, demons are fallen angels, so it is logical that they, too, would have specific areas of responsibility and of course demons would be quite hostile to God and human beings. This is exampled in Daniel Chapter nine where the angel had to contend with the “Prince of Persia” (a demonic influence) to bring Daniel the answer to his prayer. Yet, Christ rules over everything, giving us salvation through His conquering sin and death at the cross, and giving the church access to this knowledge (Rom. 8:38; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:20-22; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:12-18; 2:10, 15). Understanding this should help when we read that we don’t wrestle against other people, but the spiritual forces that motivate them (Eph. 6:12)
Principalities, if you will, influence the “air” or “atmosphere” around us, here on earth.
Jesus will call us home with the voice of an archangel (1 Thess. 4:16 and Michael is referred to as an archangel (in scripture, Jude 9).
The Greek word used here is archaggellos (743) which Strong’s describes as a chief angel. Note that this word is derived from aggellos (32) which is one who brings tidings or a message or – could be, hold on to your hat, a ‘pastor’ (think about it).
Now, Gabriel is generally also considered an archangel. In fact, the book of Tobit (apocrypha from Catholic church bibles), Eastern Orthodox and some of the “lost” books of the bible suggest that there may be seven archangels. Raphael, Suriel, Zadkiel, Sarathiel, and Aniel are included along with Michael and Gabriel. I’m not going to get involved here, but some sources you may read may use some different names for the archangels or cite more than seven. Just letting you know, I wasn’t there.
Michael and Gabriel are the most familiar Archangels. The Archangels have a unique role as God's messenger to the people at critical times in history.
The angel Gabriel first appeared in the Old Testament in the prophesies of Daniel, he announced the prophecy of 70 weeks (Dan .9:21-27). He appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist (Luke 1:11). It was also Gabriel which proclaimed the Annunciation to Mary that she would be the mother of our Lord and Savior (Luke 1:26). Do we forget Michael fighting the dragon (Rev.12:7-9)?
An implication may be that archangels deal with major event for man.
Staying with the Greek the words for angel are aggellos (32) and age (33). To the definition mentioned earlier, age means to “go to”. So we may say that angels go to whomsoever God sends them.
These angels are closest to the material world and human begins. It is believed that they deliver man’s prayers to God and God's answers and other messages to humans. Tradition also says that they can access any and all other Angels at any time. They are the most caring and social to assist those who ask for help. Consider the two angels who visited Abraham and then Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:1-33, Gen. 19:1-22). And the answer to Daniels prayer (Dan. 10:1-14). Understand that, in Daniel, the “prince of Persia” was a spiritual entity who opposed God (a demonic force). Note also, in this passage, the angel with Daniel’s answer was not identified, but it was Gabriel who came and relieved him of his battle so he could deliver the prayer answer to Daniel.
An angel of the Lord reassured Joseph it was okay to take Mary as his wife (Matt. 1:20-21) and it was an angel of the Lord who freed Peter from prison (Acts 12:6-11).
Yet, angels are generally “God’s messengers” and do God’s bidding.
The second sphere consists of dominions (lordships), virtues (strongholds) and powers (authorities) which deals with matter (creation) and ruling spirits. If you will – the heavenlies.
Four words are translated as ‘dominion’ in the New Testament: katakurieuo (2634) which to exercise dominion or lordship or overcome; kratos (2904) which is to have dominion, power or strength; kurieu (2961) have dominion or lord over, to exercise lordship over; and kuriotes (2963) which is a ruler or government.
These are Angels of Leadership. They regulate the duties of the angels, making known the commands of God. But the Strong’s definitions would also imply influence over the governments of man.
Jesus spoke to the disciples how man exercises authority over others but the disciples should exercise authority by serving those whom over they have authority (Matt. 20:25-27). Paul cautions the Romans not to let sin (spiritual wickedness) have dominion over them because we ae under grace, living for Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:8-18). Where our treasure is, that’s where our heart will be. We can’t serve two masters (Matt. 6:19-24), two masters cannot have dominion over us at the same time, so we give dominion over to Jesus (Rom. 6:16-19).
Two Greek words are used as virtues: arête (703) which is translated as praise, virtue or excellence and is akin to manliness; and dunamis (1411) which is ability, power (explosive), strength or miraculous work.
Virtues are known as the Spirits of Motion and control the elements. They are sometimes referred to as "the shining ones." They govern all nature. They have control over seasons, stars, moon; even the sun is subject to their command. Now, when I say control, they are the ones who implement God’s will over these things. They are also in charge of miracles and provide courage, grace, and valor.
When the multitude sought to be healed by Jesus virtue (power) went out of Him and healed them all (Luke 6:19). Because we know Jesus, He has called us to glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). That means to follow Him and His example! Paul followed Jesus and encourages us to do the same (1 Corinth. 11:1).
So, virtues help us to walk in the excellence of Jesus Christ. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting that angels replace the Holy Ghost. Angels don’t abide “in” us so whatever encouragement they bring is external whereas the Holy Ghost operates from within.
Two Greek words are translated as powers: one is dunamis (1411) which again is ability, power (explosive), strength or miraculous work; exousia (1849) Jurisdiction, liberty, power, right or strength.
Powers are Warrior Angels against evil defending the spiritual realm and humans. They are known as potentates. They fight against evil spirits who attempt to wreak chaos through or upon human beings. I again refer to Daniel chapter ten.
These angels reflect some of the characteristics of God as they perform their responsibilities. They obey and serve Father, not because they ‘have to’, but because they ‘desire to’ and they serve Him with all their God-given talents and abilities.
It would seem that they enable us to do the works of God because we also, desire to serve Father. The ruler of any nation should be influenced by the “powers”.
We see that there are powers are in the heavens for when tribulation comes, they shall be shaken (Mark 13:14-25). Father intends for us to know the powers and principalities we face (Eph. 3:9-12) and face them boldly. We should receive from God but reject those from the evil one.
The first sphere, the angels closest to the Father includes Seraphims who continually glorify and praise God, the Cherubims who protect God’s throne and then the Thrones who serve God’s justice and authority.
Think about it. When we enter God’s presence (spiritually we enter His throne room) and can’t help but praise Him. We enter His presence and we are under His protection. And when we enter His presence we willingly subject ourselves to His justice and authority which are administered (to us) only for our benefit. These are things that deal with our heart, our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Only one Hebrew word is used for seraphim. Saraph (8314) fiery (serpent) or seraph. They apparently appear as fire though it is suggested their color is more of a brilliant copper.
Interestingly seraphim are only mentioned in the Old Testament by name and described once in the book of Revelation. In the book of Isaiah, the seraphims were above God’s throne and cried to each other “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.” They are described as having six wings, two to cover the face, two covering the feet and two to fly with. Isaiah declared himself a man with unclean lips so the seraphim took a coal from the altar and purged Isaiah’s lips (Isaiah 4:1-7). The seraphim are not named in the book of Revelation, but rather described yet they cry out “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was and is and is to come,” giving glory and praise to Him who sat on the throne. John says that, along with the wings, they are like four beasts as a lion, a calf, the face as a man and a flying eagle, and full of eyes (Rev. 6:6-9).
Seraphim or seraph, are around the throne of God praising and magnifying Him. When we want to praise and glorify God, it is most likely the seraphim helps us. After all when we don’t know how to pray, father helps us (Rom. 8:26-27) and reveals to us His deep things (1 Corinth. 2:9-12).
Again, except for Hebrews chapter nine, cherub o cherubims are only mentioned in the Old Testament and oddly enough, except for once in Ezra and once in Nehemiah, the same word is translated as either. The one word used only twice is keruwb (3742) which means cherub, but it is also translated ‘imaginary figure. The other word is Keruwb (3743) (note the capital ‘K’), otherwise, they are the same. Why Ezra and Nehemiah use the capital? I don’t know. Maybe a bible scholar can help us out.
Cherubim rank after the seraphim and are the second highest in the nine hierarchies and choirs of angels. The Old Testament does not reveal any evidence that the Jews considered them as intercessors or helpers of God but they were closely linked in God's glory. They are manlike in appearance and double-winged and are guardians of God's glory. They symbolized then, God's power and mobility. In the New Testament, they are alluded to as celestial attendants in the Apocalypse (Rev. 4:6). And an image of two cherubs was placed on the top of the Ark of the Covent with their wings stretched out over the mercy seat (Exod. 25:10-22). Catholic tradition describes them as angels who have an intimate knowledge of God and continually praise Him. Also, after Adam and Eve were expelled for the garden in Eden, Father set cherubims and a flaming sword (seraphim?) to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).
Two words are used in the Old Testament and one in the New.
In the Hebrew, kicce (3678) means covered or canopied, seat, stool or throne yet its root word kacah (3780) implies to hide for secrecy, cover, conceal or overwhelm. The other Hebrew word used is korce (3764), derived from kicce but means throne.
The Greek word thronos (2362) is a stately seat, seat or throne.
Thrones are the Angels of pure humility, peace and submission. They reside in the area of the heavens where material form begins to take shape. The lower Choir of Angels need the Thrones to access God (tradition).
So, as we see the first sphere, the seraphim, cherubim and thrones are closest to God’s throne in responsibility. The area that deals with man’s heart. The second sphere, the dominions, virtues and powers get a little closer to (our) home dealing with the realm between God’s throne and earth. While the third sphere, principalities, archangels and angels, deals more directly with us, the natural man.
Take note that each sphere deals with man’s three battlefronts, but each choir within each sphere has a level of responsibility in each front.
We’ve just done a cursory look at this but think about it. Not only does each sphere deal with a segment of man’s battlefield, but a choir in each sphere also deals with a phase of battle. Seraphims, dominions and principalities influence man’s heart; cherubim, virtues and archangels, carry responsibility over man’s spirituality; and thrones, powers and angels have a responsibility over man, himself. There is a link between man and God through each sphere and through the choirs in each sphere.
Another side item Father showed me (no extra charge) is how He has established the church in a similar fashion. He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists some pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry and edifying the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). The evangelist brings the natural man into the body of Christ, the pastor and teacher give us an understanding of our spirituality (how we live in Christ) and apostles and prophets expand and connect our relationship with our heavenly Father, our heart.
Don’t be fooled. Since God has established an hierarchy for His angels, Satan (a fallen angel) would most likely do the same. So we must fight the enemy (Satan and his devils) in three areas of our lives and Father has provided us angelic help in each of those areas. Paul tells us that we don’t wrestle against other people but rather the spiritual forces that motivate them (Eph. 6:10-13). So, Jesus tells us to pray for our fleshly enemies (Matt. 5:24) for Father would that none should perish but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Not all will receive, but those who hear and heed Father’s call will enter in (Matt. 7:13-14). Those who refuse the Lord into their lives are but mere pawns of the enemy.
Father has also given us the “natural” help (people) in this world which reflects the spiritual help He give us so we fight . That’s why when the body of Christ is unified (1 Corinth. 12:1-27), we have brothers and sisters who will stand with us contending with the enemy (Eph. 6:18, James, 2:15-18).
One last note: think of our spiritual warfare as being like an army going into battle. As a soldier, we’re handed a rifle (or a firearm of some sort), ammunition, grenades, etc. And we’re ready to go into battle. Right? But we have artillery, from both land and sea, supporting us and if that isn’t enough, we have air support through various aircraft. Think, angelic support in the natural, the spiritual and the heart of man??? No, it’s not an exact correlation, but it does help us to understand how God is with us. Yes?
OK, one more note: My prayer is that this stimulates your interest to know that angels do interact with us and some of the many ways (in general) they do so. I’m not equipped to go any farther with this, but, by the grace of God, it will stimulate come of us do a little thinking.