Doctrine of Angelic Hierarchy

August 4, 2015


A. Introduction.
1. The billions of angelic creatures fall into two categories: the elect angels and the fallen angels. Operational fallen angels are called demons.
2. The angelic hierarchy of elect angels is divided into two categories: the college of heralds and the angelic order of battle. There is order and rank among both elect and fallen angels.
3. Prior to the fall of Satan, the cherub was the highest rank of angel. Most angels do not have wings. Cherubim have four wings, plus the uniform of wisdom, Gen 3:24; Ezek 1, 10, 28ff. Wings are an insignia of rank. Satan was a cherub. A new rank of angels called seraphs was created after the fall of Satan and the fallen angels. Seraphs have the highest rank with six wings, Isa 6:2; Rev 4:8. Only elect angels are seraphs.
4. Satan and all fallen angels were tried and sentenced by the justice of God to the Lake of Fire. Satan appealed the sentence and God permitted an appeal trial. Man was created to provide evidence and resolve the appeal. God restored Satan’s headquarters (planet earth) for man’s occupation. Man was created physically inferior to angels but having a similar soul (mentality, volition, a conscience, emotion). Every dispensation is a different set of circumstances similar to what existed for angelic creatures in prehistoric times. Every dispensation reproduces the same situations the angels had. In the Old Testament, we have the formal trial of Satan’s appeal. In the Church Age we have God’s rebuttal to Satan’s appeal. In the Tribulation we have Satan’s rebuttal – violence. The Second Advent of Christ terminates the appeal trial. We are here to glorify God by the execution of His plan, to have an invisible impact on history, to evangelize the human race, and perform certain spiritual functions (teaching doctrine) in order to resolve the angelic conflict.
a. At the point of the fall of mankind, Satan complained throughout the Old Testament formal trial that God did not sentence fallen mankind to the Lake of Fire like Satan and the fallen angels. Adam and the women were not sentenced to the Lake of Fire because they took the redemption solution provided by God.
b. The divine institution of marriage then became a corporate witness against Satan. The corporate testimony of two believers against Satan is critical during the Church Age, because when both execute the spiritual life of the Church Age that slams the door on Satan’s appeal.
5. The fallen angels function under the command of Satan to hinder the success outcome of any part of the appeal trial. The elect angels function under the command of the Lord Jesus Christ for the divine purposes related to human history.

B. Order of Rank in the College of Heralds.
1. The angel of the Lord, or Jesus Christ, is an appearance of Christ as an Old Testament theophany. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ruler of all elect angels, as seen in the title in Rev 19:16, “Lord of lords.” There are four categories of our Lord’s appearance in human history.
a. As a theophany. A theophany is an appearance of Christ before the first Advent in angelic form. He took upon Himself an angelic body. Passages which identify the angel of the Lord as God include: Gen 16:713, 22:1118, 31:1113, 48:1516; Ex 3:1ff cf Acts 7:3035; Ex 13:21, 14:19; Jud 6:1123, 13:920.
b. The Incarnation. Jesus appeared as a man during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
c. As a christophany. A christophany is a manifestation of Jesus Christ in resurrection body during the forty days He was on earth between His resurrection and ascension.
d. The Second Advent. Jesus Christ appears as the God-man in resurrected, glorified body.
e. The angel of the Lord is revealed as being distinct from God the Father as Adonai in Gen 24:7, 40; Num 20:16; Zech 1:12f.
f. Jesus Christ is the visible God of the New Testament, Jn 1:18, 6:46; 1 Tim 6:16.
2. At the time of the judgment of Satan and the fallen angels, the elect angels received their eternal awards. Cherubs were the highest creation of angel from God prior to the fall of angels. Seraphs were designated a higher category after the fall of angels. Cherubs have four wings and seraphs have six wings. Wings are a badge of rank. Angels are made of light, and so can be visible or invisible. The college of heralds is a whole system of aristocracy.
3. Seraphs have six wings and the highest rank among all angels. They have two categories:
a. The King of Arms or Officer of Arms, Isa 6:6; also called the “powerful angel” of Rev 5:2; 10:1; 14:18; 18:21; 19:5, 17.
b. Under the king of arms are the angelic heralds of Rev 4:68, called “the living creatures.”
4. Cherubs or Pursuivant Officers.
a. Gen 3:24 mentions the cherubs who guard the gates of Eden.
b. Ezek 1 and 10 mentions the four cherubs of the chariot of fire.
c. The four cherubs who command the wind cells and the weather, Rev 7:1-2.
d. Satan is a cherub who was courtmartialed, Ezek 28:14.
e. The angel with the golden shovel of Rev 8:3.
f. The messenger of judgment in 2 Sam 22:11, Ps 18:10.
g. The seven Thunders are teachers of eschatology, Rev 10:3-4.
h. The evangelistic cherub in charge of all evangelism in the Tribulation, Rev 14:6.
i. The cherub or pursuivant officer who announces the fall of ecumenical religion in the Tribulation, Rev 14:8.
j. The cherub who warns the human race about the consequences of being converted to ecumenical religion during the Tribulation, Rev 14:9.
k. The cherub who carries a sickle and administers judgment in the last half of the Tribulation as a representative of the supreme court of heaven, Rev 14:17.
l. The cherub commanding the judgment or execution squad, Rev 14:17, 19, who administers the bowl judgments of Rev 16.
5. Pursuivant messengers are also wingless elect angels.
a. Angelic messengers who spent the night with Lot and destroyed Sodom the next day, Gen 19:13.
b. The destroying angel of 2 Sam 24:16.
c. The destroying angels of Ps 78:49.
d. Executioners of the degenerate in Jerusalem, Ezek 9:1.
e. The man clothed in linen, Ezek 10:6. The messenger for the chariot of fire.
f. The four weather angels who hold back the four winds of judgment, Rev 7:1. The messengers from the east, Rev 7:2.
g. The angels with the seven trumpets, Rev 8:6ff.
h. Guardian angels for believers and children, Mt 18:10.
i. The angels with the seven plagues or bowls or Rev 15:1.

C. The Order of Battle in the Elect Army.
1. Order of battle means to deploy for battle. It also means the support for battle. It means logistics and support for those deployed for battle.
2. Jesus Christ, as the Lord of the Armies (TSEBAOTH means “armies” not “hosts”), is the commander of the armies of elect angels. 1 Sam 1:11; 2 Sam 6:2; 1 Chr 17:24; Ps 24:10; 46:7, 11; 59:5; Zech 1:6; 7:12f; 14:16f, and many more. The armies appeared at the birth of Christ and passed in review.
3. The archangels are seraphs and commanders of angelic armies. They are the guardian angels of any client nation to God.
a. Michael is the Prince of Israel, Dan 10:13, 21, 12:1. He defends all Jewish client nations. He defends the Jews in the Tribulation from the wrath of Satan, Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war.” He fought with Satan over the body of Moses, Jude 9; 2 Pet 2:11. Michael throws Satan and all the fallen angels out of heaven, which begins the last half of the Tribulation.
b. Gabriel is not only the army commander (possibly for Gentile client nations) in the angelic order of battle, but he also functions as one of the officer of arms in the angelic college of heralds. This implies that archangels are seraphs. Archangels are communicators of eschatological doctrine. In Dan 8:16 and 9:21, he was sent to explain Daniel’s vision. He announced the birth of John the Baptist, Lk 1:11, 19, and the birth of Jesus Christ, Lk 1:19, 26.
c. Extrabiblically (in the book of Enoch), Raphael and Uriel are mentioned as archangels. Also in this apocryphal book, Gabriel is mentioned as “one of the chief of all angels placed over all powers.”
4. The angelic general staff is composed of the twenty-four elders of Rev 4:4, 10; 5:11. They are all cherubs.
5. “Hosts” are the rank and file angels, all guardian angels, Ps 91:11f. The river of fire battalions are found in Dan 7:10. The function of the angelic armies described in Ps 103:21 is praising the Lord. Ps 148:2. When a pursuivant angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, he was joined by a multitude of heavenly armies praising God, Lk 2:13. The ministering spirits of Heb 1:14 are also rank and file angels.

D. The Guardian Angels.
1. There are three categories of guardian angels.
2. The guardian angels of children. All children have a guardian angel to protect them during their childhood. Mt 18:10, “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their guardian angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”
3. Angels are the guardians of Church Age believers who are superior to angels.
a. The function of guardian angels in explained in Ps 91:7-14, “A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only observe it with your eyes, and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling place [occupation with Christ], even the Lord who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, you will trample down the young lion and the snake. Because he loves Me, therefore I will rescue him; I will protect him, because he acknowledges My name.”
b. Heb 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit down at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet?’ Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to service those who inherit eternal salvation?”
4. There are guardian angels of client nations, Dan 10:13, 20.