One Rank of Angels in the Celestial Hierarchy
Dominions are one of the ranks of the different ranks of the company of angels spoken of in Hebrews 12:22 which have an indefinite number. It is important to know the classification of angels to better understand the organization of GOD.
There are thought to be nine celestial orders of Angels: Colossians 1:16
7. Virtues (Falsely Suggested)
9. Guardian Angels (Suggested by the Catholic Church)
There is however, no concrete Biblical proof of the exact ranking order or importance of the different angel groups. The same could be said of the members of the body...
“18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-21).
Only the Lord GOD can say what the orders of importance the angels take.
Seraphim, Cherubim and Archangels are identified in the Word of God with such detail that we can reliably know some of their characteristics and duties, and be somewhat assured of their responsibilities and rankings in Heaven.
We can not be as certain about Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Virtues and Guardian Angels. At best, we can examine the meanings of the words, and attach that value to describe the characteristics of the angels in those ranks.
Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers are identified as ranks of angels according to Colossians 1:16-17...
“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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col 1:16-17 AV)
This Scripture suggests that there is both a visible and established government on earth consisting of thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, and that there is an invisible but just as established government in Heaven, consisting of the same types of administration.
With this interpretation, the ranks of Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers for some of the angels in Heaven can be established with general attributes assigned. If we examine and compare the seen governments established by God on Earth, then we can easily imagine the unseen government of angels to have the same characteristics as the known. We cannot be certain of this, however, because the Word of God does not reveal knowledge of these things to us in great and confirming detail.
With this in mind, it is worthy to explore in general details the government of angels administering the different created places that are unseen by us, but seen and administered by the residents in Heaven.
Dominions - Strongs #2963 mastery, that is ruler; government (the power or right of governing and controlling). Possibly exercising command or control in the name of GOD by regulating the angel’s duties.
God has created all things, both in heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by GOD and for Jesus. (Colossians 1:16).
Christ is above all rule and authority and power and dominions and every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the age to come. (Ephesians 1:21).
Jesus Christ is at the right hand of GOD, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers have been subjected to Him. (1 Peters 3:22).
We are warned NOT TO WORSHIP ANGELS! Let no man defraud your reward by delighting in false humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. (Colossians 2:18).
John saw the prophecy of the book of revelations and after which he saw and heard all that he was permitted he fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which had showed him all those things. The angel told him NOT to bow down he was a fellow servant, and a brother of the prophets, he should worship the LORD GOD. (Revelation 22:8-9). We are warned not to get caught worshiping or serving the sun, moon, stars, or the host of heavens (angels). This is an abomination. Anyone worshiping the sun, moon, stars or the host of heavens shall be stoned till they die. (Deuteronomy 17:3-5; Deuteronomy 4:19).
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About the Authors
Joanne B. Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies teacher and author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is seeking a second degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology after completing her study of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling. She is well-known as a counsleor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on the history of development of the Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.