Different Types of Angels

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God created all types of angels, composed of spirit essence, simply by willing them into existence (Psalm 148:2, 5, see also Colossians 1:16). The Bible seems to indicate that these beings were made in order to fill different responsibilities and tasks that had already been determined (Ezekiel 28:13 - 15, Colossians 1:16). Angels were made by him before the creation of the physical universe and were all, at least initially, obedient to him.

Where were you (Job) when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare it, if you have understanding! . . . When the morning stars (symbolic of angels) sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4, 7, HBFV).

The Bible does not record exactly how many angels God created or how many total types of these spirits were brought into existence. We only that, to man, they seem innumerable.

But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; (Hebrews 12:22, HBFV).

The prophet Daniel describes a dream (vision?) he had where he was given an awesome view not only of the Eternal's throne but also of the countless righteous spirits who served him (Daniel 7:10). Taken literally, he records viewing one hundred million angels in heaven, but this large number may merely represent a group far bigger than could be counted.

The Archangel Gabriel
The Archangel Gabriel
Fra Angelico (1431 - 33)

A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him (the Ancient of Days). A thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court sat and the books were opened (Daniel 7:10, HBFV).

Two Broad Types

There are two very broad categories or types of angels. The first are those who followed Lucifer's lead and, because of their rebellion against the Eternal, became demons. The Bible strongly implies that one-third of all the spirits rebelled against their Creator (Revelation 12:4). The second are those who stayed loyal to God (righteous).

Special Divisions

Scripture also describes at least four special divisions or sub-types of spirit-composed angels. They are archangels, the cherubim, the seraphim, and the four living creatures. The total number of beings in the four categories likely only represent a small fraction of all obedient spirits in existence.

The Bible records the names of only two angels that we would consider a type of Archangel. Their names are Michael and Gabriel. Michael is specifically named as an Archangel in Jude 9.

Although Gabriel is not directly referred to as an Archangel, his involvement in major Bible events (announcing the births of Jesus and John the Baptist, directing Joseph on what to do, etc.) arguably puts him in this category. The privilege of heralding the resurrection of all the dead saints will be given to an archangel.

Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first (1Thessalonians 4:16, HBFV).


Cherubim have played an interesting role throughout Biblical history. They are the first class of angels mentioning in Scripture, as they were the ones to protect the tree of life after man sinned in Eden.

And He drove out the man, and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24, HBFV).

It was a Cherub named Lucifer who brought sin into the universe (Ezekiel 28:14 - 15). The Ark of the Covenant was built with the wings of two Cherubs stretched over it .

And the cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces, each toward the other; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat (Exodus 25:20, HBFV, see also verse 22, 37:7 - 9).

A picture of these cherubim was also woven into the blue, purple and scarlet curtains used in Israel's wilderness tabernacle (Exodus 26:1, 31, 36:8, 35). Ezekiel's great "wheel in the middle of a wheel" visions, in which he was shown God's throne room, had four cherubim in it. Each of the angels had four faces. They were the face of a man, lion, ox and eagle (Ezekiel 1, 10).


Seraphim, which means "burning or fiery" (Strong's Concordance #H8314), are only mentioned in the book of Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6:1 - 3).

In the year that King Uzziah died, I then saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another, and said, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory."

Other than what is revealed in Isaiah, which is that these types of angels were created to praise God and to act as a means of communication between the Lord and humans, not much else is known.

The last of the four types of angels are referred to as the "four living creatures." They are only mentioned in the book of Revelation. Their fulltime job is to praise God and his eternal glory continually.

And before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne and over the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind . . .

And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come." (Revelation 4:6, 8, HBFV).

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