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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Angels

The word angel comes from the Greek “angelos” meaning “messenger.”

Despite numerous references in the Bible to angels, none says explicitly that they have wings.

Angels are numberless and arranged in angelic orders. There are nine orders Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones contemplate God and reflect his glory.
Dominions, Virtues and Powers regulate the stars and the universe
Principalities, Archangels and angels who minister to humanity. (Ephesians 1 v21)

The devil is an angel- a fallen angel. He led the angelic revolt.

There is no known reference to a female angel- maybe they are genderless.

Archangel Michael is the most senior angel, with Gabriel ranked below him. Both are mentioned in the Bible. Other high ranking angels include Raphael (who is mentioned in the Apocrypha) and Unez, Chamuel, Jophiel and Zadkiel (who are all mentioned in Enoch).

Angels are powerful. 2 Kings 19 tells us that only one angel was needed to wipe out 185,000 Assyrians in a single night.

St Patrick spent 40 days in retreat on the Crough Patrick Mountain, fasting and praying with tears that Ireland might be delivered from the hands of the pagans. Every night an angel appeared to him with more and more promises from God arising from his prayers. Patrick stubbornly refused to leave the mountain until all his prayers were answered including that at the last judgement Patrick himself should be appointed to pronounce judgement on the Irish people. Finally he was assured by the angel that all his prayers had been heard and he descended the mountain pausing only to preach a sermon in which he cast the snakes (meaning the serpent symbolism of the Irish pagans) out of Ireland.

In 596 Pope Gregory I spotted some Angles (British) boys who have been bought to Rome and being told they are pagan “angli” the pope exclaimed “They are not Angles but Angels”. Inspired he instructed the respected abbot, Augustine to lead a mission to convert Britain. Within a few years much of southern Britain was Christianised.

According to 14th century members of the Jewish Kabbalah sect, the total number of angels is 301,655,722.

William Blake (1757-1827), the painter, engraver and mystic described in later life the visionary experiences he had as a child, including visions of angels in a tree and the prophet, Ezekiel in a field.

The Angels of Mons became famous after a Fleet Street description by Arthur Machen of an angelic vision during the British retreat from Mons in 1914. Machen later said he made the story up, but many soldiers described a similar experience.

The first Russian astronaut told his communist masters that he didn’t see any angels when he went into space.

Pope John Paul II confirmed his belief in angels in 1986 when he explained: “They are invisible, for they are purely spiritual beings.”

Two Quotes: GK Chesterton: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”
Psalm 91 v11 “For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

Here's a list of songs about angels on Songfacts.com

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