(Gen. 1, 1)
Heaven is that which covers both visible and invisible creations. For within him are the forces of the angels comprehended and confined only by the mind, and all that which is subject to the senses. Indescribably, only one Deity Who fills everything and embraces everything, and limits everything, because It is above all and created everything.
... Of course, that is born, is subject to destruction, in accordance with the sequence belonging to nature, also the heavens, but by the grace of God they are contained and preserved. The Deity alone is by nature - both beginninglessly and infinitely, and therefore it is said: "they will perish, but You will continue" (Psalm 101, 27). However, the heavens will not be destroyed until the end, for "they all will grow old like a garment, and as a garment you will change them and change" (Psalm 101, 27), and there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21, 1). ... He Himself is the Creator and Creator of the Angels, who brought them into being from non-being, who created them in the image of His incorporeal nature, as if by some spirit and immaterial fire, as the blessed David says: "You create with your angels Your spirits, Your ministers - fire (Psalm 103, 4), describing their lightness and ardor, and ardor, and very great insight, and the swiftness with which they desire God, I serve Him, their direction upward and freedom from any material thought.
So, the Angel is an essence, endowed with the mind, always moving, possessing free will, incorporeal, serving God, having by grace received for its nature immortality: only the Creator knows the form and definition of this essence. It is called the incorporeal and immaterial in comparison with us, for everything that is compared with God, which alone is incomparable to anything, turns out to be both gross and material, because only the Divine is truly unreal and incorporeal. So, the Angel is a reasonable and gifted nature with the mind, and possessing free will, changing at will, that is, capable of changing according to goodwill. For all that is created is changeable, invariably only that which has not been created. For all intelligent is free will. So the Angel, like nature endowed with reason and intelligent, has free will, and how created is changeable, having power and staying, and succeeding in good, and changing for the worse.
He is not capable of repentance, because he is incorporeal. For man has received remorse because of the infirmity of the body.
He is immortal, not by nature, but by grace. For all that swayed, also has an end in nature. But God alone is everlasting, or rather. He is even higher than eternity. For the Creator of the times is not time-dependent, but He is above time.
Angels are the second, intelligible only to the light, having light from the first and beginningless Light, lacking any need for language and hearing, but without speaking words communicating to each other their own thoughts and decisions.
Further, all the Angels were created through the Word and reached fullness with the help of the Holy Spirit through sanctification, according to their dignity and rank, having participation in light and grace.
They are described, for when they are in Heaven, they are not on earth, and God sends them to earth - they do not remain in Heaven, they are not limited to walls and doors, and door locks, and seals, for they are unlimited. Unlimited are called because they are people worthy, which God wants them to be, not as they are, but in a changed form, depending on how they can be perceived by their seers. For by nature and in the proper sense, only that which is not created is unlimited. For every creature is limited to God who created it. They are sanctified from the outside, and not from their own being: from the Spirit; they prophesy with the assistance of divine grace; have no need for marriage, since they are not mortal. And since they are intelligent, they are in places comprehended only by the mind, not described in a bodily manner - for as far as their nature is concerned, they do not take on the form of bodies and do not have a three-dimensional dimension - but that they are spiritually present and operate wherever they are ordered, and can not at the same time be here and there and act.
Whether they are essentially equal or different from each other-we do not know. This is known only by God who created them, who knows everything. They differ from each other by light and position - or, accordingly, the light has a position, or, accordingly, position participates in the light; and sanctify each other because of superiority of rank or nature. But it is clear that those Angels who stand above communicate light and knowledge to those below.
They are strong and ready to fulfill the Divine will, and due to the rapidity inherent in their nature, immediately everywhere they find themselves, wherever divine deception is commanded, and protect the regions of the earth, and govern nations and countries, according to how the Creator commanded them, and manage our affairs, and help us. In general, and according to Divine will, and according to Divine command they are above us and are always near God.
They are difficult to incline towards evil, although they are not steadfast, but now even unshakable, not by nature, but by grace and affection for only one good.
They see God as far as possible for them, and this is their food. Being above us as incorporeal and free from all bodily passion, they are not, however, dispassionate, for the Divine is dispassionate.
They are transformed in whatever the Lord God has commanded and thus are people and reveal to them Divine secrets.
They are in Heaven and have one lesson: to sing praises to God and serve His Divine will.
And as the holiest and most sacred, and the most excellent in theology, Dionysius the Areopagite, all theology, that is, the Divine Scripture, called the nine celestial entities; The divine sacred instructor divides them into three triple classes. And he says that the first class is the one that is always near God and who is allowed to be connected with Him in the closest possible way and directly: the class of the sixth-winged Seraphim, the many-feathered Cherubim and the Holy Thrones. The second is the class of Dominions, Powers and Powers, and the third and last class is the Beginnings, the Archangels and the Angels.
Some, of course, say that the Angels occurred before every creature, just as St. Gregory the Theologian says: First of all, He is plotting the angelic and heavenly Forces, and this thought has become a matter. Others say that they occurred after the first heaven appeared. And that they occurred before the formation of man, everyone agrees. I agree with the Theologian. For it was necessary, first of all, that the essence, comprehended only by the mind, was created and under such circumstances - the essence perceived by the feeling, and then a person consisting of the one and the other.
Those who say that the Angels are creators of any kind of essence, these are the mouth of their father - the devil. For, being creatures. Angels are not creators. The Creator of all things, both the Craftsman and the Guardian is God, who alone is ... uncreated, and we are singing and glorifying in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
... Of these angelic powers, that angel who stood at the head of the earthly order and whom God entrusted to the protection of the earth - not being born evil by nature, but being kind and having come for a good purpose, and completely not taking in himself from the Creator and a trace of depravity - without transferring both the light and the honor that the Creator bestowed upon him, he changed from his own will according to his will according to nature, to that which is against nature. He was arrogant against the God who created him, wishing to resist Him, and, first falling from the good, was in evil. For evil is not anything other than deprivation of good, just as darkness is the deprivation of light. For good is spiritual light, and spiritual darkness is evil. So, the light created by the Creator and what happened was good, for "God saw all that He created, and behold, it is very good" (Gen. 1, 31), by self-will, became darkness. But with him was carried away and followed him, and an infinite number of angels stood under his power. So, being of the same nature with the Angels, they became wicked, willingly rejecting the location of the heart from good to evil.
Further, they have neither authority nor power in relation to anyone unless they receive permission from God to fulfill the purposes of His House-building, just as it happened with Job (Job 1, 12), or as it is written in the Gospel of the swine (Mark 5, 13). When they are allowed by God, they also have power, and they change, and are transformed into the kind they want, according to their imagination.
And the future, of course, does not know the Angels of God, nor demons. However, they predict: Angels, when God reveals to them and commands them to predict, and therefore what they say comes true; Demons also predict: sometimes because they see what happens in the distance, sometimes because they guess; so they often lie and they do not need to believe, even if they say the truth many times in such a way as we said. They also know the Scriptures.
So, every vice was invented by them, as well as unclean passions, and although they are allowed to attack a person, they do not have power to do violence to anyone, because it is up to us to withstand an attack or not to endure; Therefore, the devil and his demons, as well as his followers, are prepared for the fire to be an unquenchable and eternal punishment.
It must be known that what exactly death serves for people, this is for angels a fall. For after the fall, repentance is impossible for them, just as it is impossible for people after death.The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. St. Petersburg, 1894, p. 49-55.