Angelolatry - The veneration or worship of angels.Angelology - The study or science of angels. Angelophany
- The visible or otherwise tangible manifestation of angels to human beings.
Angels are spirits without bodies, who possess superior intelligence,
gigantic strength, and surpassing holiness. They enjoy an intimate relationship to God as His special adopted children, contemplating,
loving, and praising Him in heaven. Some of them are frequently sent as messengers to men from on high.
In many religions
such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is believed that between God and mankind there are intermediary beings, called
angels. They are bodiless entities that perform certain tasks for God and are commonly thought of as the messengers of God.
Angels are good spirits, unlike their counterparts the demons. They are usually portrayed as having a human form, being dressed
in long, white clothes, surrounded by a bright light and with long, swanlike wings. They were portrayed thus by artist, often
on Church command, to alert the faithful that angels are more than human. There are cases, however, where angels appeared
as ordinary men and were mistaken as such (the story of Lot, for instance).
In the early stages of mankind, the belief
in spirits was universal. The primitive man believed that there were no good or bad spirits. A spirit simply had powers, called
mana, with which it could do either good or evil. With the emerging of Christianity and other major religions, the belief
in these kind of spirits was condemned, and they became demons. The belief in angels and demons can be traced back to ancient
Persian religion where there were two supreme beings: Ahura Mazda and his eternal opponent Angra Mainyu. The first represents
good and the second represents evil. Both have followers and servants, angels serve Ahura Mazda, while demons (the Daevas)
serve Angra Mainyu. Here the distinction was first made between good and evil spirits.
In the Old Testament angels
play a prominent role as the messengers from God. Also in the Old Testament the leading demon, Satan, is introduced. However,
it was not until the New Testament that Satan was portrayed as Lucifer, the first of the fallen angels to rebel against God.
In the New Testament, angels are present at all the important events in the life of Jesus. Here, they became more than just
messengers; they are portrayed as the agents of God in bringing judgement to the world.
Until the New Testament there
were only two orders of angels; the Seraphim and Cherubim. St. Paul extended the number by adding seven new orders. They are,
arranged according to their importance: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels
and Angels. Archangels are higher in rank than Angels, but still they come eighth in the order of higher beings. Four of the
most important ones are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. In Islam, it is believed that there are four Archangels who guard
the throne of Allah.
The Nine Orders of Angels
(Click the link above for the descriptions of each order)
ANGELS OF PURE CONTEMPLATION:
Govern All Creation:
ANGELS OF THE COSMOS:
Govern All The Cosmos:
ANGELS OF THE WORLD:
Govern All The World:
SEVEN ANGELS STAND BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD:
THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD:
The Four Archangels in Charge of EarthThere are four angels and their innumerable retinues in charge of this world.
The Spirit of Wisdom
The Spirit of Counsel
The Spirit of Power
The Spirit of Knowledge
The Spirit of Righteousness
The Spirit of Divine Awfulness
The first is Gabriel and his armies. He is in charge of soldier-angels and revelation. Gabriel insures victory and is responsible for the extinction
of nations: human, animal, vegetal, or others, when God wills it.
The second is Michael and his armies, in charge of rain and vegetation. He conveys sustenance to nurture mankind.
The third is `Azra'il the angel of death and his assistants. They are in charge of seizing the souls of those who die.
The fourth is Israfil and his assistants, in charge of the Hour of the Day of Judgment.
When the earth has passed away God will order these
angels to bring forth their scrolls and they will bring them. Then God will order them to open the Book of Life. They will
then find that their scrolls are the same as it.
THE RAYS OF THE ARCHANGELS
Archangels In Other Faiths
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