The earliest biblical reference to the seven archangels is in the Book of Enoch, a Book in some Jewish traditions that is largely rejected by Christianity. The seven archangels include Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Remiel (who fell from grace and was replaced by Phanuel), and Azrael (who is sometimes called Sariel). The key players vary slightly depending on the text and faith, but the common thread is that archangels are both the messengers of God and the mighty weapons of heaven. They aren’t the baby-faced, winged beings radiating an aura of calm that show up in the cherubic art of the Renaissance. Archangels are warriors in heaven and on Earth. Just take a look at some creepy pictures that might contain angels if you don't believe.
Tales of archangels fighting demons span across many cultures; the Book of Daniel, in particular, tells of angels and demons battling over the souls of mankind. There are even scary stories about archangels lashing out at humans. This list contains some of the occasions where archangels were far from the comforting celestial beings children are programmed to think they are.
When it comes to battles, the archangels Michael and Lucifer go way back. When Lucifer’s pride got the best of him, he decided to stage a full-on rebellion against God. He and a third of the angel population launched a war in heaven over the coveted throne.
Michael wasn’t having any of this nonsense, and he and his angels rose up against the threat in an angel-on-angel war that ended with Michael literally laying the smackdown and casting the rebels out of heaven. Lucifer was hurled from heaven down to Earth and was labeled "Satan," which means "adversary." This was also the time Lucifer was first called "devil," which means "accuser of the brethren."
The Book of Enoch tells of Raphael’s battle with the demon Azazel - and Azazel's fate at the hands of the archangel is so much worse than death. Under the orders of God, Raphael bound the demon’s hands and feet, found a hole full of rocks, dumped him in it, and buried him alive in the desert where Azazel awaits getting thrown into a fire and being burned alive:
Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgment he shall be cast into the fire.
Some say it was a true desire to slay Moses while others claim it was just a scare tactic. There is a peculiar tale of an angel of the lord (believed to be Uriel) getting sent to torment and essentially scare the foreskin off of Moses.
Apparently, Moses and his wife Zipporah had yet to circumcise their son, and this was a great offense to God, as circumcision is dictated in the Book of Genesis. Moses was allegedly milliseconds away from being slain when his wife took a sharp rock, circumcised their son, and cast the foreskin at her husband's feet. Moses was spared.
The recurring theme throughout many religious texts is that angels are messengers of God, as well as terrifying forces in their own right. The archangel Gabriel had the task of announcing the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah. When Zechariah’s initial reaction was one of protest, Gabriel’s anger escalated rather quickly:
I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words... you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.
Yep, this was his way of delivering good news.