Tag Archives: heaven

Angels in the Bible: Guardian Angels for Children

Jesus mentioned guardian angels when talking about children.

Guardian angel, by Pietro da Cortona, 1656

Guardian angel, by Pietro da Cortona, 1656

Matthew 18:10

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

This tells me that guardian angels are connected to God even while they are protecting us.  Isn’t that comforting?

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A Convocation of Angels Plus Satan–Awkward!

Zuccaro drawing

Angels and Putti in the Clouds, chalk and graphite drawing, 1566, by Federico Zuccaro

Don’t you hate it when a miserable guest shows up and ruins a party?  That’s how the angels at the convocation in heaven (described in Job passage, below) must have felt when Satan barged into the meeting.  I’m amazed that God gave the devil an ear, but He did.  I have to figure, if Satan is our adversary, then he appears before God in a heavenly courtroom quite often to accuse us of our sins.  Of course, the ruling is always the same: Jesus died to forgive that sin–case closed!

Job 1:6-7

“Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it’.” 

Satan Is a Cherub–Really!

Heemskerck drawing

Satan Challenges God To Remove His Protection From Job, 1562, pen and ink on paper, Maerten van Heemskerck

I knew that Satan fell from heaven (or was kicked out ignominiously), but I never knew what kind of an angel he was.  See my post on Orders of Angels for more info on the different kinds of angels and demons out there.  I figured he might have been second in command or something.  Isn’t it always the generals who lead the coups?  Then I came across this passage in Ezekial.  (FYI: Ezekial is a great read, full of supernatural visions and creatures.)  Ostensibly, it’s describing the king of Tyre, but my study bible notes that this passage also applies to Satan.

Ezekial 28:12-17

“You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; . . . You were the annointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, ‘Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing, Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones, Your heart was proud because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground.”

Say what?  Satan is a Cherub?  Not the fat-baby-with-wings kind, but the kind of angel with four wings, eyes all over, and wheels for feet.  Wow.  That means he’s outranked by both Seraphim and Archangels.  He was way down the authority ladder, but he still wanted to rule.  Check out the ego on that guy.  I guess that’s why we say that pride goes before the fall.

Supernatural Orders of Angels (and Demons)

Guido Reni painting

Painting of the Archangel Michael stepping on Satan’s head by Guido Reni, 1636. Notice the wings on Satan.

There is a very strict hierarchy in heaven. God is very big on order. I don’t blame Him. The military loves it, too. Order is very efficient. A careful reading of the bible reveals that there is an angelic order. Many scholars who are much smarter than me have come up with official lists of angel ranks and titles. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the lists because I’m contrary like that. And because the bible isn’t totally explicit about angelic order, I can get away with making my own list that will serve the novel I’m writing.

1)  God – God has to be #1. I know He’s not an angel, but He is in charge of all the angels, and He created all the angels. So He gets to be #1. He sends angels to earth to fight, to deliver messages, to be His eyes and ears, and to protect the humans. He is worshipped by angels in the throne room. Once each day he takes a meeting with His Seraphim to hear reports of what’s going on down on earth. (I bet nobody’s texting during those meetings.)

2)  Archangels – These guys are 18 feet tall and very majestic with a bright, glowing appearance. Their voice is like many waters, whatever that means. It sounds like a Native American way to describe Barry White’s voice. Their waists are girded with gold. Their bodies are like beryl. Their arms and feet are like burnished bronze. They are so shiny. Their faces flash like lightning and their eyes are like torches of fire. No wonder people who encounter them fall flat on their faces. Archangels deliver messages from God. They also fight demons and lead the other holy angels. Names of archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Saraqael, and Remiel.

3)  Seraphim – They are stationed in the throne room. They have six wings and cover their faces before God. They fly to and fro across the earth making sure the Guardian angels are doing okay and calling in extra forces when needed. They have been known to wear a white linen ephod (old-testament way of describing a muumuu) with a golden sash running from shoulder to waist.

4)  Cherubim – These are not fat babies. Sorry to disillusion you. These are angels in the shape of really unusual creatures. They have four wings and wheels within wheels beneath their feet. These wheels may or may not be attached to the Cherubim physically but they propel the angels somehow. They act as God’s chariot. They have eyes all over their bodies: on their backs, wings, and even their wheels. Perhaps that is a symbol of how much they see and perceive. They carry flaming swords. They fight spiritual battles with the demons on behalf of God for the sake of the humans. They are God’s army. In the books of Revelation and Ezekial they are referred to as the four living beings with four-sided faces (eagle, calf, lion, and man). The four different faces may be symbolic of their character traits (swift, servile, powerful, and intelligent). They move like flashes of lightning. Satan is a Cherub which means that he is outranked by Seraphim and Archangels. That’s good news.

5)  Thrones or Ophanim – These angels are assigned to do nothing but worship God constantly. How nice! They probably have wings, but they may not. They are stationed in the throne room of heaven, a nice place to spend eternity. Do I sound jealous? Because I’m a little bit jealous.

6)  Dominions – These angels are the guardians of the humans. We more commonly refer to them as Guardian angels. They look like men and have been known to wear white linen ephods or tunics (the muumuu thing). They have two wings. Their faces glow like topaz. They keep believers’ feet from stumbling, protect them from harm, help them resist the devil and his temptations, and comfort the humans. Sometimes they physically intervene, but not often.

7) Authorities – These are the government-worker angels of heaven, taking care of running the place. I don’t know if they have wings or not. The bible doesn’t explicitly say. For the purpose of my novel, I’m giving all of the angels wings so that they are easily identified by the audience. You’re welcome.

8, 9, & 10) Principalities & Powers & Rulers – These are the fallen angels who work for Satan. I’m not clear on their order. They may be ranked according to their angel status. Since Satan is a Cherub, I have to assume that none of the Seraphim or Archangels rebelled or else we would have a different lead enemy. Some of the demons take the form of dragons. Others look like locusts with women’s heads. Some names of fallen angels have been written in the apocryphal Book of Enoch:  Samyaza (aka Shemyazaz), Araqiel, Râmêêl, Kokabiel, Tamiel, Dânêl, Chazaqiel, Baraqiel, Asael, Armaros, Batariel, Bezaliel, Ananiel, Zaqiel, Shamsiel, Satariel, Turiel, Yomiel, and Sariel. They’re a mouthful, aren’t they? No wonder they never caught on. The name Rameel (aka Azazel) is used to refer to Satan.

For more reading on this subject, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_angelic_hierarchy

Kid Who Went to Heaven

Colton Burpo, small boy who went to heaven as a child

Colton Burpo, small boy who went to heaven as a child

Colton Burpo almost died when he was four years old from a burst appendix. His parents admit they should have gotten a second opinion on the kid’s condition and sought treatment for him more quickly when he didn’t recover from his “flu.” Instead of dying, Colton got to spend a little time with Jesus in Heaven. That’s a sweet deal. His dad wrote a best-selling book about Colton’s encounter called Heaven is For Real. I didn’t find anything in Colton’s account that contradicts the Bible whatsoever.