Archangels: God's Leading Angels

Who Archangels Are and What They Do

Aachen cathedral, mosaic of archangel by Antonio Salviati, Aachen, Germany
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Archangels are the highest-ranking angels in heaven. God gives them the most important responsibilities, and they travel back and forth between the heavenly and earthly dimensions as they work on missions from God to help human beings. In the process, each archangel supervises angels with different types of specialties -- from healing to wisdom -- who work together on the light ray frequencies that correspond to the type of work they do.

By definition, the word "archangel" comes from the Greek words "arche" (ruler) and "angelos" (messenger), signifying archangels' dual duties: ruling over the other angels, while also delivering messages from God to human beings.

Archangels in World Religions

Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all give some information about the archangels in their various religious texts and traditions.

However, while the different religions all say that archangels are incredibly powerful, they don’t agree on the details of what the archangels are like.

Some religious texts mention just a few archangels by name; others mention more. While religious texts usually refer to archangels as male, that may be just a default way of referring to them. Many people believe that angels don't have a specific gender and can appear to humans in any form they choose, according to what will best accomplish the purpose of each of their missions.

Some scriptures imply that there are too many angels for humans to count. Only God knows how many archangels lead the angels that he has made.

In the Spiritual Realm

In heaven, archangels have the honor of enjoying time directly in God’s presence, praising God and checking in with him often to get new assignments for their work on Earth helping people.

Archangels also spend time elsewhere in the spiritual realm fighting evil. One archangel in particular -- Michael -- directs the archangels and often takes the lead to battle evil with good, according to accounts in the Torah, Bible, and Qur’an.

On Earth

Believers say that God has assigned guardian angels to protect each individual person on Earth, but he often sends archangels to accomplish earthly tasks of a larger scale. For example, the archangel Gabriel is known for his appearances delivering major messages to people throughout history. Christians believe that God sent Gabriel to inform the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ on Earth, while Muslims believe that Gabriel communicated the entire Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad.

Seven archangels supervise other angels who work in teams to help answer prayers from people according to the type of help for which they're praying. Since the angels travel through the universe using the energy of light rays to do this work, various rays represent the kinds of angelic specialties. They are:

* Blue (power, protection, faith, courage, and strength - led by Archangel Michael)

* Yellow (wisdom for decisions - led by Archangel Jophiel)

* Pink (representing love and peace - led by Archangel Chamuel)

* White (representing the purity and harmony of holiness - led by Archangel Gabriel)

* Green (representing healing and prosperity - led by Archangel Raphael)

* Red (representing wise service - led by Archangel Uriel)

* Purple (representing mercy and transformation - led by Archangel Zadkiel)

Their Names Represent Their Contributions

People have given names to the archangels who have interacted with humans throughout history. Most of the archangels' names end with the suffix "el" ("in God"). Beyond that, each archangel's name has a meaning that signifies the unique type of work that he or she does in the world. For example, archangel Raphael’s name means “God heals,” because God often uses Raphael to deliver healing to people who are suffering spiritually, physically, emotionally, or mentally.

Another example is the archangel Uriel’s name, which means “God is my light.” God charges Uriel with shining the light of divine truth on the darkness of people’s confusion, helping them seek wisdom.