The word “angel” means “messenger” and this word expresses the nature of angelic service to the human race.
The Creation of the Angels
In the Symbol of Faith we find the following words: “I believe in One God . . . the Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” The invisible, angelic world was created by God before the visible world. “When the stars were made, all My angels praised Me with a loud voice” (Job 38:7). The Apostle Paul writes: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16). Studying the first words of the Book of Genesis, “in the beginning God created heaven and earth”, some of the Fathers of the Church understand the word “heaven” as meaning not the firmament, which was created later, but the invisible heaven, the world of angels. Many teachers of the Church have expressed the thought that God created the angels long before the visible world (Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory the Great, Anastasius of Sinai) and that at the time when the material universe was created, they already stood before the face of the Creator and served Him. St. Gregory writes about this as follows: “As the goodness (or “love”) of God could not find satisfaction in contemplating Himself, He wished to spread this goodness ever further, so that the number of those who would enjoy it should be as great as possible (for such is the nature of the highest form of goodness) and so God first thought of the angelic heavenly powers, and thought became act, carried out by the Word and fulfilled by the Spirit. As His first creation was pleasing to Him, He then devised another world, material and visible, and a well-balanced unity between heaven and earth and that which is between them.” This idea of St. Gregory is echoed in the work of St. John of Damascus (Precise Confession of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, Chapter 3).
The Nature of the Angels
By their nature, angels are active spirits endowed with reason, will and knowledge; they serve God, fulfil the will of His Providence and praise Him. They are incorporeal spirits, and because they belong to the invisible world, cannot be seen by our bodily eyes. St. John of Damascus writes: “When it is the will of God that angels should appear to those who are worthy, they do not appear as they are in their essence, but, transformed, take on such an appearance as to be visible to physical eyes.” In the book of Tobit, the angel accompanying Tobit and his son says of himself: “All these days I was visible to you, but I neither ate nor drank, this only appeared to your eyes” (Tobit 12:19).
But St. John of Damascus also writes: “An angel can only be called incorporeal and non-material in comparison with us. For in comparison with God, Who alone is beyond compare, everything seems coarse and material, only the divinity is totally non-material -and incorporeal.”
The Conflict of the Good and Bad Angels
Those parts of God’s creation which are inanimate and not endowed with reason have no freedom and automatically do God’s will—they obey the rules He has laid down for them, which we call “the laws of nature.” But those beings which God has endowed with reason, He has honored with great gifts—language and free will—and it is free will which invests each action of a free being with moral value. To be free to choose to do good and perform the will of God, not merely be forced to do so by irresistible natural laws, is essential for there to be any moral value in one’s doing of good, and for obedience to the will of God to truly express love for God. However, to have the freedom to choose to do good, one must also be free to do evil, for without alternatives there can be no choice, and if there is no choice there is no moral value in doing good, it is simply an automatic reaction to irresistible force. Having the freedom to choose evil, one of the angels actually did so, and by so doing, from an angel of light became the devil. This took place before the creation of the visible world.
The devil, who is also called “Satan” or “the enemy,” was created as a mighty and beautiful archangel, one of the most perfect and radiant, and for this reason he was given the name Lucifer, “the light-bearer”. But when he chose not to do the will of God, he fell, lost his exalted qualities, and left his dwelling in heaven. St. Jude says: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude v. 6). Lucifer had been richly endowed by the Creator and should have ever held his eyes on the Lord, “as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress.” But instead he concentrated his attention on his own perfection, fell in love with it and was seized with pride. By doing this he left the path of truth, which united him with the Source of Life and Light, and entered the path of destruction. He forgot that he owed all to God, that all his perfections were the gift of God. He ascribed them to himself, and so seemed exceedingly great to himself. He was so blinded by the idea of his own greatness and considered, “is there any who is equal to me? Any angel … or God, even God Himself. I myself am divine, I myself am a divinity!” Satan rose against his Lord and took with him a large number of spirits who accepted his authority. The Archangel Michael took command of the angels who remained faithful to God, forming an army of angels, and entered into conflict with the fallen spirits. Long before the creation of the material world took place this war which was waged between the angels of light and the spirits of darkness. But light conquered darkness, and the rebels were hurled into the abyss.
The fall of the mighty spirit was horrifying and inevitable. “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” says Christ (Luke 10:18). And this fall, associated with increasing stubbornness and hardening of heart continues, further and further downwards, to this day. One sin leads to another, pride leads to envy and spite, whose weapons are lies, false witness and cunning. Darkness falls when we leave the Source of light, and this is what happened to the devil. From a light-bearing angel he was transformed into the prince of darkness. But can he not repent? Would not the merciful Lord receive his penitence? One hermit, who pondered over this problem, was granted a revelation. An angel brought him from heaven the answer that forgiveness is always possible for those who repent. The holy man repeated this comforting reply to the devil, when he appeared before him. The enemy of mankind burst into laughter and disappeared: every thought of repentance is comic to him, every suggestion of humility unbearable. Stubbornness, hardness of heart and pride which develops into a habit can reach such a level that a sinner no longer wishes to make use of the means of salvation. This is the curse of pride—that extreme pride no longer desires salvation and hence perishes.
Thus the angelic world of light divided; some angels, faithful to the Lord, remain in light, joy, love and gratitude, piously serve God and all the time continue to develop, to make progress towards perfection, to closer union with the Lord. And they have gone so far in their work and in the path of grace, and have developed such a habit of goodness, that none of them can or will rebel against God now. The leader of this holy army of heaven is the radiant Michael, whereas that other world of darkness and spite consists of Satan and the demons.
A Message of God, which GABRIEL brought on behalf of The Almighty God: The head Angels of God are being appointed, as these are exactly described in The Book of Enoch.
1 Enoch 20, verse 1 to 8
And these are the names of the holy angels who watch.
- Uriël, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus.
- Rafaël, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.
- Raguël, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.
- Michaël, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos.
- Saraqâêl, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit.
- Gabriël, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.
- Remiël, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.
Verily, thus there are many more angels of God who have been appointed.
Mysterious Priest Performs Miracle at Crash Site
Pinned inside her mangled Mercedes, seriously injured and fading fast, Katie Lentz turned to her rescuers on the lonely open stretch of Missouri highway and asked them to pray.
Struck head-on by a drunk driver on Sunday morning, emergency workers had been battling for an hour and a half to free Lentz, but to no avail.
But as they joined hands a Catholic priest appeared, even though there were no bystanders and the road was blocked, who offered a prayer and an instruction to the rescuers that they would now be able to free her.
Suddenly, heavy equipment needed to cut through the metal arrived from a nearby town and Lentz was pulled from the wreck in time to be saved – but when they turned to thank the priest, he was gone.