The Archangels

image There’s a hierarchy in heaven. There are not only angels, but also archangels, cherubim and seraphim. There are principalities, powers and dominions. Jesus even spoke of “legions of angels” which gives us some idea that angels are grouped in an organised kind of way.  Ranking over angels are the archangels. In some places I’ve read there are seven, but other writing mentions only four – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.

Notice the way that each name ends with ‘el’? I thought this was kind of interesting because the ‘el’ means ‘God,’ so each of the archangels refer to God some way in their name, and each of them has a particular role in God’s Kingdom. So looking at each one:

Michael – His name means ‘Who is like God.’ Michael appears in Daniel, Jude and Revelation. He is a warrior angel, the mighty commander of those angels who do warfare for God against evil. The ultimate example is where Michael fights against Satan in the great battle in Revelation 12, and Satan is cast out of heaven. The picture above is a stunning sculpture depicting this in St Michel in Paris.

Gabriel – His name means ‘Strength of God.’ Gabriel “stands in the presence of God” Luke 1:19 and has a major role in both Testaments. Gabriel is an angel of annunciation – he appears as God’s trusted and chief messenger, conveying God’s purposes to His people. It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary and announced that she was highly favoured and blessed among women, and that she would be Jesus’ mother. I just have to say that Gabriel is a special archangel to me, because my gorgeous nephew is named after him . 

Raphael – His name means ‘Healing of God.’ Raphael does not actually appear in the Bible but rather in the ancient Jewish texts. Here, Raphael appears as an angel of mercy and is attributed with a role of ministering God’s healing to those who are sick or suffering. Raphael is thought by some to have been one of the three who visited Abraham after his circumcision In Genesis 18. Also, some people evidently think it was Raphael who was the angel at the pool of Bethesda in John 5, stirring up the water so that people could be healed.

Uriel – His name means ‘Fire of God’ or ‘God is Light.’ I have written a little bit about him in a previous post – you can see this here.

Tomorrow’s post is about the angels that rebelled against God, the Fallen Angels.


~ by Birgit on May 21, 2008.

One Response to “The Archangels”

  1. I was once driving a former witch to ministry and this voice came out of her to turn around and not bother to continue. She is mine she has made a blood covenant with me. I was warned not to reply to any voice that might talk to me. In the end i got weary of this being repeated. So i broke ranks and answered it. The voice kept on with i know your name. But when i said o.k. what is it then. All i got was but i know your name, when i got to the ministry place i shared this with them. They smiled and said well he will not repeat your middle name will he? you see my middle name is Gabriel.I am just a man with that name. It goes to prove how frightful Satan and his host are of the real Gabriel. So how about when we use the name of Jesus and the power of his shed blood. amen! Cyril Almond


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