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Monday, March 8, 2010

Angels We Know.

ANGELS - Angels are the messengers of God. When portrayed in art, they are always beardless, are sexless, have wings and are barefooted. Angels are used by God for a wide variety of purposes. The following is a list of things angels have been seen carrying or doing in art and architecture: palm branch, scroll, parchment or book (messenger); sword (archangel); musical instruments (praising God); palm branch, sprig of olive leaves (bringer of victory/peace); placing a wreath of laurel onto a person (bringing heavenly honor); oak leaf wreath (strength); leaves (immortality); cypress leaves (mourning); lily (purity, virginity, or the Annunciation); sword or flaming sword (God's judgment); blunted sword (justice and mercy); pair of scales (justice); hands folded in prayer (intercession); kneeling before equilateral triangle (worship of the Trinity); right hand extended with open palm (guardian).

ARCHANGELS - Archangels are the most powerful angels created by God. (It is thought that Satan, before his fall, was an archangel.) Archangels have wings and human bodies and are clad in armor. They carry either swords or trumpets. They guard the innocent and the just. How many archangels there are is often disputed. The Protestant Scriptures speak of one, Michael, or two depending on the classification of Gabriel. Revelation 8:2 mentions seven angels standing before the throne. Some scholars believe these to be seven archangels. Legend tells us the names of the three additional archangels: Jophiel, Chamuel and Zadkiel. (Notice that every archangel's name ends in "el" meaning "in God".) These seven angels will blow the seven trumpets during the last days. In the descriptions that follow all seven archangels have been included; however, the information for Jophiel, Chamuel and Zadkiel is taken from tradition and carries absolutely no authority in any orthodox Christian church.

Archangel Chamuel
CHAMUEL (one who sees God) – Tradition tells us that Chamuel was one of the seven archangels. He was the angel who comforted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The items that identify Chamuel are the cup and staff.
URIEL (the light of God) Uriel is an angel mentioned in several Old Testament Apocrypha books, including Enoch and Esdras. He is also mentioned in the New Testament Apocryphal book the Apocalypse of Peter. When a fourth archangel is needed in art to stand at each of the four compass directions, Uriel is the fourth, standing with Michael, Gabriel and Ralphael. The item Uriel carries is a scroll or book symbolizing his wisdom

Archangel Gabriel
GABRIEL (God is my strength)Gabriel is the messenger of God. The Bible tells of three instances where Gabriel brought a Heavenly message. The first instance was the bringing of two messages for Daniel to help him interpret dreams (Daniel 8:15-17 & 9:21-22). The second instance was an appearance to Zacharias (Luke 1:19). Gabriel proclaimed to him the coming birth of John the Baptist to he and his wife Elizabeth. The third instance was his appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26). He proclaimed to her that although she had never been with a man, she was with child. This child would be the Son of God. The third visit is called "the Annunciation". In art, Gabriel is adorned in white and has beautiful, multi-colored wings. The items used to represent Gabriel are the lily, scepter and sometimes a scroll bearing the message he is delivering.

Archangel Jophiel
JOPHIEL (the beauty of God) – Tradition tells us that Jophiel was one of the seven archangels. He is the angel who drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Jophiel is said to guard the "Tree of Knowledge". He protects and helps those seeking knowledge. The item Jophiel carries is the flaming sword.

Archangel  Michael
MICHAEL (like unto God)Michael is said to be the captain of the archangels and the leader of the angelic host. He is often thought of in militaristic ways and is the defender and guardian of souls. He is the protector When portrayed in art, Michael is often young and beautiful but stern and powerful. Early representations have him wearing a white robe with multi-colored wings. Later artwork replaces the plain robe with splendid armor, including mail, shield and helmet. A popular pose is Michael standing on the head or body of a defeated Satan with his spear or sword held aloft, ready to strike a death blow to the enemy of God. The items that Michael carries are the scepter, lance, sword and scales, symbolizing his great power and authority.

Archangel Raphael
RAPHAEL (the medicine of God) - Mentioned in the Old Testament Apocryphal book of Tobit, Raphael is the chief of the guarding angels. He is the guardian of the young and watches over the pilgrim and traveler. When displayed in art, Raphael wears traveler's attire with sandals, walking staff and water bottle or gourd.

As a traveler his wings are not shown. When he is being portrayed as a guardian angel, he will have a sword in his hand. Often Raphael is portrayed with a young man. This would be Tobias from the story of Tobit. The Tobit story was very popular with artists of the middle ages.

Archangel Zadkiel
ZADKIEL (righteousness of God) – An angel found in tradition only, Zadkiel is the archangel of mercy. He is thought to be the angel that held back Abraham's hand from killing Isaac (Genesis 22). (Some traditions believe it was Michael). The item Zadkiel carries is the knife.

Bible Facts About Angels

Angels are mentioned 273 times in the Bible. Les take a look  what the Bible says about angels (not all instance listed...).

Angels were created by God:  Genesis 2:1, Colossians 1:16
Angels were created to live for eternity:  Luke 20:36, Revelation 4:8
Angels were present when God created the world:  Job 38:1-7
Angels do not marry:  Matthew 22:30
Angels are wise and intelligent:  2 Samuel 14:17, Daniel 9:21-22
Angels have knowledge of, and interest in, the affairs of men: Daniel 10:14, Luke 15:10
Angels are faster than men:  Daniel 9:21, Revelation 14:6
Angels are spiritual beings: Psalm 104:4, Ephesians 3:10
Some angels are invisible: Job 4:15-18
Angels are not meant to be worshipped: Revelation 19:10
Angels have a will: Isaiah 14:12-14, Jude 1:6
Angels are subject to Christ: 1 Peter 3:22
Angels express emotions like joy and longing: Job 38:7, 1 Peter 1:12
Angels are not omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient: Daniel 10:12-13 , Jude 1:9
Angels are too numerous to count: Psalm 68:17 , Hebrews 12:22
Most angels remained faithful to God: Revelation 5:11-12
Angels were created to glorify and worship God the Father and God the Son:  Revelation 4:8, Hebrews 1:6
Angels report to God: Job 1:6 , Job 2:1
Angels observe God's people: Luke 12:8-9, 1 Corinthians 4:9, 1 Timothy 5:21
Angels announced the birth of Jesus:  Luke 2:10-14
Angels perform the will of God:  Psalm 104:4
Angels ministered to Jesus: Matthew 4:11, Luke 22:43
Angels help humans: Hebrews 1:14
Angels minister to humans: Daniel, Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, Philip
Angels rejoice in God's work of creation: Job 38:1-7 , Revelation 4:11
Angels rejoice in God's work of salvation: Luke 15:10
Angels will join all believers in the heavenly kingdom: Hebrews 12:22-23

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