Seraphim, Cherubim and Angels: Spirits of Fire
The word Seraph means "to burn". When Isaiah saw the heavenly realm, he witnessed some fantastic spiritual beings but he could only use one word to describe them: Seraph - or "ones who burn" but the literal meaning of the word is perhaps a bit more thought provoking and enlightening than this.
The word is similar to the Hebrew word for "fiery serpent", but is not the same.
When Ezekiel describes his heavenly experience (Ezekiel 1), he describes the living creatures as having an appearance among them that looked like coals of fire. Their spirit appeared like fire.
Just as the seraphim looked like burning ones, so the living creatures also look like burning ones. Spirits in God's Kingdom are alight with the fire of his presence, for they radiate and reflect his glory.
The spirit beings are wonderful to behold in sight. The living creatures them selves had the appearance of four beings in one, the seraphim had six wings, the cherubim had four wings and angels often had the appearance of burning or a likeness to being clothed in lightning.
Spirit beings also have appearances that may shock us, depending on what we have been taught by church. Consider the Hebrew word used to describe the serpents that appeared among the Israelites during their exile in the desert. The Hebrew used to describe them is:
The dots and dashes are known as the "niqqud", which represents different pronunciations of the same word.
Consider the passage in Numbers 21:6-8. In Hebrew, it reads like this:
The Lord sent fiery serpents among them, the people confessed to Moses they had sinned and asked him to remove the serpents from them. So God instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent.
The word that God spoke to Moses concerning the serpents was a "fiery serpent" but the people saw and referred to them as "serpents". Why did God speak to Moses in terms of fiery serpents, when in the people's eyes they were serpents? If they were just serpents, God would have referred to them as serpents, whereas he did not. He referred to them as fiery serpents.
It may be reasonable to suggest these snakes were fiery serpent spiritual beings that manifested as normal looking snakes. To eyes able to see in the spirit, they were fiery, yet to the natural eye they were not.
In the book of Hebrews 1:7 angels and God's servants are flames of fire.
The Truth Concerning Demons
Contrary to some pop culture, it is reality that angels are fiery, not demons. In most fiction and perhaps some christian teaching and subconscious belief, demons are made up of fire. From my understanding of scripture, this doesn't seem to hold true on several accounts.
The effect of something alight and burning on fire, is to produce light. Demons and evil spirits do not possess light for God banished them from light and some have been chained in everlasting darkness, even in "the pit" or "the abyss". There is no light in an abyss, and there is no light in the chains of darkness, meaning these demons and evil spirits are not fiery spirits, for there is no light where they are. If they were fiery spirits, they would be a source of light where they are. No, they are in darkness.
Satan's natural appearance is not one of light, for he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). So it is not correct to think he still has the fire of God within him, as do the angels.
His natural appearance is one who has had the light of God removed from him, for the truth of God does not reside in him, nor in his companions and evil spirits.
The Fire of Angels
The angels often appear with a rip roaring sound in the spirit, and when people see them, they describe them as having a golden appearance or as light.
In my first encounter with the Arch Angel Michael, I saw an angel clothed in gold, from his head to his feet. They carry the very presence of God with them and so they are ablaze with his glory. No wonder then, when Isaiah encountered God in a heavenly experience, he exclaimed "woe am I, for I am a man of unclean lips", for when we are presented with the holy presence of the fire of God, our own hearts know how holy he is. Fear and awe awakens in our heart and we yearn to be holy like he is.
If the angels are fiery, carrying the very presence of God, and evil spirits, demons and so forth are not, we can take great comfort in the fact that light overcomes darkness. The presence of one Holy Angel, carrying the fiery presence of God can defend us so we need not be afraid when they manifest (2 Kings 6:16).
Elijah was not afraid of the forces amassed against them, for he saw the reality in the spirit realm. They were surrounded by a great army that looked like it was on fire, for the angelic armies of God carry his fiery, purifying, light-giving presence, and we are surrounded by such beings today, who have been sent to us with the sole purpose to minister to us!