The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah, pro-Truth, and pro-Grace. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

What the Torah Says About
Spirit Beings

The Scriptures teach that angels are created beings (Psalm 148:4-5), not deity, and are not to be worshipped (Exodus 34:14, Deut. 6:13, Luke 4:8); that they were created by HaShem to serve and worship Him (Psalm 148:4-5); that they are organized into different ranks and orders; and that there are now both holy and fallen angels.

Holy angels are “ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation“ (Heb. 1:14). They ministered extensively to Yeshua during His earthly life and ministry, and are involved in a general ministry to believers. Toward unbelievers, angels announce impending judgments, and will be actively involved in the judgments of the time of Ya'akov’s Trouble (the “Great Tribulation”).

HaSatan is also an angel, a cherub of the highest rank of all angelic creatures, that he sinned through the pride of self-will, and thereby became the author of sin and the cause of the fall of man. He is the open and declared enemy of both HaShem and man, and with his fallen angels (demons) is in a state of present and open warfare against HaShem and His saints. Some of the demons are presently being held captive “in chains” in Sheol. They will all be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire, which was created specifically for HaSatan and his demons.

Names for spirit beings

There are at least three classes of spirit beings described in Scripture: cherubim, seraphim, and angels. Other primary names for spirit beings include principalities and powers. Spirit beings are referred to in Scripture by many names, among which the following are included:

• powers / powers of heaven (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:25; Luke 21:26; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 6:12; 1Pet. 3:22)

• principalities (Rom. 8:38)

• authorities (1Pet. 3:22)

• spiritual forces of wickedness (Eph. 6:12)

• ministering spirits (Heb. 1:14)

• angels — The Hebrew and Greek words translated as “angels occur a total 389 times in Scripture (all word counts in this article are from the New American Standard Bible), but not always referring to spirit beings.

The Hebrew word מֲלְאָךְ (mal'ak) means a messenger or representative, and appears 213 times. It is translated as angel (101 times), angels (9), messengers (76), messenger (24), ambassadors (2), and envoys (1).

The Greek word ἄγγελος (angelos) means a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, or a messenger from HaShem. It appears 176 times, and is translated as angel (86 times), angels (80), angel’s (2), angelic (1), messenger (4), and messengers (3).

• cherubim — The Hebrew word כְּרוּב kherub (pl. כְּרֻבִ֗ים (kə·ru·ḇîm) appears 20 times in the NASB as cherub (pl. cherubim), and is used to denote (a) the guardians of Eden; (b) beings who are flanking HaShem’s throne; (c) the forms hovering over the Ark of the Covenant; and (d) figuratively, as the chariot of HaShem (Psalm 18:10). [Please note that the Hebrew “ch” is pronounced as a very breathy “kh” (like “kh” as in Yochan Sabastian Bach), not like “cherry.” The singular form of the word is kherub and the Hebrew plural form is kherubim. You sound really ignorant when you refer to “cherubims.”]

The prophet Yechezk'el (Ezekiel) provides us with a detailed description of the kherubim (Ezek.  10:4-14):

“The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man's hand under their wings. Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. When they moved, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went. Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.”

• seraphim — The Hebrew word שָׂרָף saraph (pl. שְׂרָפִ֨ים (śə·rā·p̄îm) appears only in the writings of the prophet Yesha'yahu (Isaiah 6:2, 6), and is closely related to the word used to describe the “fiery serpent” that Moshe had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:6-8). He provides us with the following description (Isa. 6:1-5)

“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.”

• demons — The Hebrew word שֵׁד shade appears only twice in the Tanakh (Deut 32:17; Ps 106:37), whereas the Greek word δαιμόνιον daimonion (evil spirits, or the messengers and ministers of HaSatan) appears in the Apostolic Writings 63 times, plus variations daimon daimon (demon 1); daimonizomai daimonizomai (demon-possessed 11, demoniacs 2); daimoniode? daimoniodes (demonic 1). All of the false gods of all of the religions of the world (Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism, to name but a few) are actually demons pretending to be gods.
   The Tanakh also uses the word לַשְּׂעִירִ֕ם (laś·śə·‘î·rim) in Lev 17:7 to refer to the “goat demons” (literally “hairy”) that come to us in mythology as a satyr.

• devils — As used in the King James Version, this is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew word שֵׁד shed or the Greek word δαιμόνιον daimonion. There is only one devil (Greek διάβολος, diabolos), HaSatan. A better translation for διάβολος would be “false accuser” or “slanderer,” as it is derived from the word διαβάλλω diaballó, to slander, accuse, defame, to bring charges (usually with hostile intent).

Names of Spirit Beings

In the Scriptures

Other than HaShem, there are only three spirit beings who are specifically named in the Scriptures: Mikha'el (Michael), Gavri'el (Gabriel), and (perhaps) Heylel (Lucifer) whose title (not name) is HaSatan (the accuser).

Mikha'el, מִיכָאֵל (“Who is Like God” — Michael) is an “Archangel,” the Sar Ri'shown (chief prince) of HaShem's heavenly army, the great prince who stands guard over the people of Israel. (See Dan. 10:13; 10:21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7)

Gavri'el, גַּבְרִיאֵל (“Warrior of God” — Gabriel), is also an archangel, the angel HaShem uses to send messages of great importance to man. He was sent to Daniel, to Zacharias, and to Mariam, the mother of Yeshua. (See Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19,26) It is assumed by most that it was Gavrie'l who also appeared to Yosef in Matt 1:20 and 2:13-19, but the text does not say so.

Heylel, הֵילֵל (literally, “Shining One,” also as Light Bringer or Light Bearer) is also know as Morning Star and Lucifer (in KJV). He is also called Beelzebul (Βεελζεβούλ) (Lord of the House, Beelzebub (בַּעַל זְבוּב, Ba'al (lord) of flies, a Philistine “god” in KJV) seven times in the Apostolic Writings (Matt. 10:25; 12:24; 12:27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15,18-19.). He is called Satan (adversary, one who withstands) 47 times in the NASB.

In Extra-Biblical Sources

From the Jewish Encyclopedia, entry “Angelology.”

Raphael (translation: God Heals), God's healing force

Uriel (translation: God is my light), leads us to destiny

Samael (translation: the severity of God), angel of death—see also Malach HaMavet (translation: the angel of death)

Sandalphon (translation: bringing together), battles Samael and brings mankind together

Jophiel (translation: Beauty of God), expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden holding a flaming sword and punishes those who transgress against God

Sataniel/Satan (translation: the adversary), tempts humans, serves as an adversary, and brings people's sins before them in the heavenly court

Metatron (translation is disputed, may mean "keeper of the watch", "guardian", or "he who sits behind the throne of Heaven"), God's heavenly scribe recording the deeds of all that is done in Earth and Heaven and all of Creation.

Angelic Hierarchy in Jewish Theology

Maimonides, in his Yad ha-Chazakah: Yesodei ha-Torah (Mishneh Torah), counts ten ranks of angels in the Jewish angelic hierarchy, beginning from the highest:

Rank Angel Class Notes
1 Chayot Ha Kodesh See Ezekiel chs. 1 and 10
2 Ophanim See Ezekiel chs. 1 and 10
3 Erelim See Isaiah 33:7
4 Hashmallim See Ezekiel 1:4
5 Seraphim See Isaiah 6
6 Malakim Messengers, angels
7 Elohim "Godly beings"
8 Bene Elohim "Sons of Godly beings"
9 Cherubim See Talmud Hagigah 13b
10 Ishim "manlike beings", see Genesis 18:2, Daniel 10:5


C. Arnold, Powers of Darkness
W. Carr, Angels and Principalities (1981)
C. F. Dickason, Angels: Elect and Evil
_____, Demon Possession and the Christian
Billy Graham, Angels: God’s Secret Agents (1975)
J. W. Montgomery, ed: Demon Possession
H. Schier, Principalities and Powers in the New Testament (1961)
M. Unger, Biblical Demonology;
_____, What Demons Can Do to Saints
M. Wink, Naming the Powers
_____, Unmasking the Powers
_____, Engaging the Power

Originally posted on Sunday, 28 November 2021

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