The Archangels are called the great heralds of good news, announcing the great and most glorious. Their service (as St. Dionysius the Areopagite says) consists in revealing prophecies, knowledge, and understanding of God's will which they receive from the higher orders of angels and announce to the lower order, i.e., the angels, and through them, to men. St. Gregory the Dialogist says that the archangels strengthen people in the holy faith, enlightening their minds with the light of knowledge of the holy Gospel and revealing the mysteries of devout faith.
As it is shown in the Book of the Holy Prophet Ezekiel throughout (compare with the Book of Revelation), the first four Archangels (Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel) are the ones that stand in the four corners of The Great Throne of God (the Ma'aseh Merkabah). Together with them stand the four six-winged Living Creatures (Ayyot), the four many-eyed Cherubim, -having four arms, four wings and four faces each-, and the four many-eyed Wheels (Ophannim) or Storm-Winds (Galgallim), which Christians, (according to the example of the Great Apostle Paul and that of his illustrious Disciple, St. Dionysius the Areopagite) call Thrones. These four Archangels are the ones that protected the four camps of the people of Israel in the wilderness : to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West. They are the Angels of the four winds, according to the Scripture that says : "You, Who make Your Angels spirits (winds), and Your servants pears of flaming fire". The ancient Rabbis allways connected the seven Archangels with the seven then-so-called Planets : the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, and the Church Fathers have allways thaught and taught that God rules this Universe through his Celestial Armies. (See Angels)
There are three (irreducible) lists of these seven Archangels : one from the Book of Enoch, (which is accepted as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who, in its turn, is representative of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which are all of semitic origins : Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian); the second from the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, (which, interestingly enough, coincides with that of the Gnostics -- who were an Eastern Christian sect, to begin with); and a third from such Great Church Fathers as St. Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Gregory the Dialogist.
("Who is like unto God?" Dan. 10:13; 12:1; Jude v. 9; Rev. 12:7-8) See Archangel Michael.
("The Powerful or Strong Man of God", "The Power or Strength of God" Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19-26) See Archangel Gabriel.
("The Healing of God" Tobit 3:17; 12:15) Another name for this Archangel is : Israfel.
("The Light or Fire of God" A.V. II Esdras 4:1) Other names for this Archangel are : Sariel, Suriel, Muriel.
("The Blessings of God") Another name for this Archangel is : Varachiel.
Lucifer / Satan
("The Light-Bearer" or "The Morning-Star" Isaiah 14:12; "The Enemy" Jude 1:9, Revelation 12:9) Other names for this fallen Archangel (or his unfortunate companions) are : Azazel, Azrael, Izrael, Izreel, Camael, Chamuel, Samael, Shemuel, Simiel, Samiaza, Satanael, Uzziel.
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|First Hierarchy: Seraphim | Cherubim | Thrones|
|Second Hierarchy: Powers | Dominions | Principalities|
|Third Hierarchy: Virtues | Archangels | Angels|