Dionysius divided the host of heaven into nine distinct kinds of angels with three divisions, orders or columns. He listed in order and rank within the groupings: 1) Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; 2) Dominions/Lordships, Virtues/Powers, and Powers/Authorities; 3) Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The first hierarchy of beings encircle God’s throne. The first hierarchy were theorized to be the orders of the heavenly Mind of God streaming out His lawful knowledge and wisdom down through the other ranks and orders, and as it pertained to the authority and role of the lower orders. The Second Hierarchy in this theory administers the Power and Authority of God as the Divine Lordships, and as guided by the first hierarchy and the Mind of God. The Third Hierarchy, according to Dionysius, carry out the edicts of the higher orders. Dionysius noted that the archangels occupied the middle position in the third ranking and are equal in rank to principalities of the same hierarchy but are higher than the angels of the same hierarchy.
On the other hand, the status quo dogma set forth by Dionysius and generally accepted throughout the church age does not appear to logically explain the reporting functions set out in Colossians 1:16. Further, the standard dogma does not seem to logically explain how the lower orders report up hierarchy ranks, nor does the standard dogma logically explain the divisions of government, religion, and military, and the administering thereof throughout the lower orders led the first hierarchy of the seraphim, cherubim, and thrones. Colossians 1:16 lists thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers—four orders, not three. One might argue though that the thrones are the chief angels from the order they are listed, with the subsequent three reporting to the thrones. However, using the listing order to establish the rank in Colossians 1:16 places principalities higher than powers and conflicts with Dionysius’ hierarchy, and oddly does not include the balance of the archangels and messenger-class angels of third hierarchy of angels.