Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational | Seminary: none

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Names and titles of the Unfallen

1. The Hebrew word for "angel" is "malak" which means "messenger" and in some instances "ambassador." In Greek, "angel" is "angelos" which means "messenger" and "envoy". What other descriptive titles are used for unfallen angels? Take a look at: Genesis 28:12, Acts 10:3, Isaiah 63:9, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 2 Samuel 24:16, Matthew 28:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Psalms 68:17, Daniel 10:13, Daniel 12:1, 2 Chronicles 18:18, Luke 2:13, Daniel 4:13, Genesis 19:2, Zechariah 6:4, Genesis 18:2, Mark 16:5, Hebrews 1:14, Job 38:7, Daniel 10:21, Job 4:18, Psalms 29:1, and Job 4:15.

2. What other forms do angels come in and what do they do? Study Genesis 3:22-24; Exodus 25:18-22; 1 Kings 6:19-35; Ezekiel 1:4-28, 10:1-22; Isaiah 6:2-6; and Revelation 4:4-8.

There are 2 angelic forms that the Bible calls "living creatures": cherubim and seraphim.

Cherubim, as described in Ezekiel, have 4 faces (human, lion, bull, and eagle), 4 wings, human hands, and hoofed feet. These angels have served as guardians of Eden, flanking God’s throne, and figuratively described as the chariot of God. Closely associated with God and His presence, God instructed that images of cherubim be made of gold at the two ends of the mercy seat on top of the Ark during its construction. And, in the construction of the inner most rooms of Solomon’s Temple, large cherubs (up to 10 cubits in height) were carved and adorned the walls of the Holy of Holies (where the Ark was kept) and the Holy Place.

The root words for the Hebrew term "cherub" and its plural "cherubim" are uncertain.

Seraphim, as described in Isaiah 6:2-6 and Revelation 4:4-8, have 1 face (human, lion, calf, or eagle) human hands, and 6 wings. Some have speculated whether seraphim are a special group within cherubim. Seraphim are significant for unceasingly praising the Lord (holy, holy, holy is the Lord), hovering about the throne of God, or standing before Him. There is perhaps a suggestion that they serve the heavenly court.

The Hebrew word "seraphim" is only found twice in the Bible and has a couple possible etymologies based on the verb or noun form of "saraph". The verb derivation, which means "to burn" or "to consume with fire", refers to the fire used to purify Isaiah’s lips. The noun derivation refers to seraphim as a "a fiery and flying serpent."

3. What is an archangel? Study 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 1:9, Revelation 12:7, Daniel 10:13; 12:1.

The Bible is not clear about what an archangel is; however, the title is associated with the angel Michael, who fights Satan (Jude 1:9, Rev 12:7), defends the Jews in spiritual warfare (Dan 10:13; 12:1), and accompanies the Lord in His second coming (1 Thess 4:16).

Thus, by this association, an archangel is perceived to be an angel of higher rank or power.

Aside from Michael and Gabriel, the Bible does not inform us about the names of others, and little is really known about unfallen angels. Understanding their descriptive titles help us gain a better sense of what they are; however, one must bear in mind the limitations of inferences from the data.

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