About Those Angels of the Churches

Angels are heavenly beings who are representatives of the seven churches.

Angels are often seen in the Scriptures as those who transmit the word of God to His people. For instance, we are told that the written law was given to Moses by an angel (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2). Surely what is being communicated to these churches is that Jesus knows each congregation of them specifically. Thus, the unique, direct message that Jesus is speaking to each congregation is being written down, given to their representative angel to communicate to them through John, and then backed up by their authority.

 

In the first chapter of Revelation, the glorified Christ appears to John to give him messages for the seven churches of Asia. In addition to the description of his shining appearance, John sees Jesus standing among seven golden lampstands, holding seven stars in his right hand. Jesus tells John what these symbols represent.

As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20)

As Jesus then gives a message to each of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, he begins each address with the words “To the angel of the church in ________ write”, with the name of the church filling in the blank. This scene and these words raise the question: Who are these angels, and why does Jesus address the letters for the churches to them?

According to G.K. Beale in his commentary, four different interpretations are common. The angels are seen as either 1) heavenly beings in general, 2) heavenly beings who are representatives of or guardians over these seven churches, 3) human leaders or representatives of the churches, such as the pastor of the congregation, or 4) personifications of the prevailing spirit or character of the churches.

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