The instructions addressed to the disciples in these seven cities of Asia were designed for the benefit of "THE CHURCHES" of all countries as well as of all succeeding generations; and the whole imagery indicates that the vision is to be thus interpreted. If so, the angel of the Church must have occupied the same position as the angel of the synagogue, for the adoption of the same title indicated the possession of the same office. The church at Ephesus was strong in the areas of: hard work patience discerning false teaches. Much difficulty has been experienced in identifying the angels of the Seven Churches; and there have been various conjectures as to the station which they occupied, and the duties which they performed. Towards the close of the first century the Apostle John must have been regarded with extraordinary veneration by his Christian brethren. An “angel” is literally a “messenger.” These churches are located in Asia, modern Turkey, some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven … [264:3] But though the symbol of the stars has been thus interpreted by Christ, the interpretation itself has been the subject of considerable discussion. Let us begin with the seven stars. The Bible frequently uses stars as a symbol of divine beings. Seven was regarded by the Jews as the symbol of perfection; and it is somewhat remarkable that, on another occasion noticed in the New Testament, [271:4] we find exactly seven messengers deputed by the Churches of Greece and Asia Minor to convey their contributions to the indigent disciples in Jerusalem. What are the seven blessings of Revelation? "The seven stars," says He, "are the angels of the Seven Churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the Seven Churches." [269:1] In like manner, the individuals selected to convey, to the poor saints in Jerusalem, the contributions of the Gentile converts in Greece and Asia Minor, are called "the messengers of the Churches." [267:1] It is in vain then to attempt to recognise the predecessors of our modern diocesans in the angels of the Seven Churches. [264:2], In the foreground of this picture the Son of God stands conspicuous. What do the seven stars represent in Revelation? They are the angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20). It is obvious that the instructions contained in the epistles were designed, not merely for the angels individually, but for the communities of which they were members; and hence the exhortation with which each of them concludes -- "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches." And this is plainly declared by him that had them in his Hand, v. 20. of this Chapter. Whilst it reveals a concern for the welfare of John quite in keeping with the benevolent spirit of apostolic times, it is also simple and sufficient. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. The Spirit identifies the seven stars as the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands as the seven churches. The mystery of the seven stars, which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The Lord explicitly identifies the lampstands as the seven churches in 1:20. the seven angels are the single pastors of the seven churches. In Scripture, “stars” and angelic beings are closely related (Job 38:7; Daniel 8:10 cf. [269:5] All accounts concur in representing him as most amiable and warm-hearted; and as he had now far outlived the ordinary term of human existence, the snows of age must have imparted additional interest to a personage otherwise exceedingly attractive. The seven churches are symbolized as seven. [264:1] A vision so extraordinary as that which he describes, must have left upon his mind a permanent and most vivid impression. The Son of Man does not confine His care to the Seven Churches of Asia, for He who appears walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks is the same who said of old to the nation of Israel -- "I will set up my tabernacle among you, and my soul shall not abhor you, and I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people." The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. [264:4] According to others, the angel of a Church betokens the collective body of ministers connected with the society. Some say that they were angelic beings who represented the churches, just as angels represent nations … The angels of the Seven Churches were neither moderators, nor diocesans, nor precentors, but messengers sent on an errand of love to an apostle in tribulation. Origen explains that these "angels" are the guardian angels of the churches, a … He was instructed to write down what he saw, and to send it to the Seven Churches in Asia, "unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." In prophetic language a star usually signifies a ruler, and it is probable that the angels sent to Patmos were selected from among the elders, or rulers, of the Churches with which they were respectively connected; for, it is well known that, at an early period, elders, or presbyters, were frequently appointed to act as messengers or commissioners. But the basis on which all such theories are founded is a mere blunder as to the significance of an ecclesiastical title. He is bidden to write to the respective angels of those Churches and distribute to each his meed of … Nevertheless, many are still confused about the meaning of the seven stars. Angels of the churches. This minister seems, indeed, to have now spent no small portion of his time in travelling between Rome and Macedonia. And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches” (1:17-20). left their first love. This explanation satisfies all the conditions required by the laws of interpretation. St. John in the Apocalypse is shown seven candlesticks and in their midst, the Son of Man holding seven stars (Revelation 1:13, 20). What, then, can these angels be? The preceding statements demonstrate the folly of attempting to construct a system of ecclesiastical polity from such a highly-figurative portion of Scripture as the Apocalypse. "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches." John saw Jesus holding the seven stars which “are the angels of the seven churches.” Jesus instructed John to write his vision in a book and send it to the seven churches (verse 11). When bearing consolation to the aged minister, each one of them could enjoy the comfort of the promise -- "Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? The Subject of our first Inquiry is, The Mystery of the Seven Stars: What we are to understand thereby. In the angel of the Church some have believed they have discovered the moderator of a presbytery; others, the bishop of a diocese; and others, the minister of an Irvingite congregation. REVELATION 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you." In the beginning of this book we have an account of a glorious vision presented to the beloved disciple. Or the angels may be regarded as the personifications of the churches. But such explanations are very far from satisfactory. More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! Jesus appeared to John as “one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. It is thus apparent that, whatever the angels of the Seven Churches may have been, they certainly were not diocesan bishops. But though the symbol of the stars has been thus interpreted by Christ, the interpretation itself has been the subject of considerable discussion. “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand” [Revelation 1:20]: the seven stars are the angeloi, translated here “angels” of the seven churches. How do they happen to possess the name they bear? The stars are seen, not distributed over the seven candlesticks, but collected together in the hand of Christ. "I saw," says he, "seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. It may, however, be fairly questioned whether the number of disciples in every one of these places was then so limited as such an inference would suggest. For ancient readers and hearers, “seven stars” would evoke a number of associations – the seven planets, the seven stars of Ursa Major, and the seven stars that make up the Pleiades. What do the seven churches in Revelation stand for? Are the “angels” of the churches in Revelation 1–3 real angels, or are they human messengers? Revelation 1:20, NASB: "'As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven … A few days ago, a reader emailed me asking about the angels in Revelation 2-3. In verse 20 Jesus explains, “The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” In the Believer’s Bible Commentary on pages 2354 and 2355 the following comments are made, “Various explanations of the angels have been offered. In it he happens to mention the angels of the seven churches: "In John, certain angels are spoken of in the Apocalypse as actually presiding over churches" ( ch. In the New Testament we have repeated references to the office-bearers of the synagogue; we are told of the rulers [265:2] or elders, the reader, [265:3] and the minister [265:4] or deacon; but the angel is never mentioned. In Revelation chapters 2-3, John is instructed to write seven letters to seven specific churches. In a book that is rich with symbols, these explanations are useful. Revelation 1:20 _____ The number seven in the Bible is the symbolic reference to perfection. Each letter is entrusted to the “angel” of the intended church. 6 ). The church at Ephesus was weak because they had. In His hand, Jesus holds seven stars (Revelation 1:13, 16). For example, Stephen charged the Israelites with worshiping the host of heaven, which included “the star of your god Remphan” (Acts 7:42-43). In later times there was, no doubt, in the synagogue an individual known by the name of the legate, or the angel; but there is no decisive evidence that an official with such a designation existed in the first century. The candlesticks represent the seven Churches of Asia; the stars, the angels of those Churches. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. Consequently, The message of each of the seven letters is directed to the angel of the particular church that is mentioned. They were seen in the right hand of Jesus in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, or churches. "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" (Revelation 1:20). Had bishops been originally called angels, they never would have parted with so complimentary a designation. John had long resided at Ephesus; and now that he was banished to the Isle of Patmos "for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ," it would appear that the Christian communities among which he had ministered so many years, sent trusty deputies to visit him, to assure him of their sympathy, and to tender to him their friendly offices. There is much in Revelation that is difficult to understand, and worrying about the recipients of these letters seems the least of our problems. The angel could not be in two places at the same time; and, as it was his duty to offer up the prayers of the assembled worshippers, it was impossible for him to minister to two congregations. Or the angels may be regarded as the personifications of the churches. All these questions admit of a very plain and satisfactory solution. The stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the lampstands are the churches themselves (1:20). In keeping with Bible terminology, “stars” and “angels” are … Revelation 2:1 King James Version (KJV) 1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden … And in any case, if the text says they are angels, then they must be angels. Related Topics: Age , Church , End Times , Mystery , Prophecy , Great Doctrines 1955 - 1956 , 1956 , Revelation The Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Churches; and the Seven Candlesticks are the Seven Churches, i. e. of Asia, which are Angels of the Seven Churches Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary , the most advanced Bible dictionary. candlesticks. The seven angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20) received seven letters, figurative letters, and therefore it would seem that the seven angels are also figurative and may refer to the seven bishops who presided over the seven churches of Asia. the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches revelation one in Jewish Gematria equals: 9468: t 100 h 8 e 5 0 s 90 e 5 v 700 e 5 n 40 0 s 90 t 100 a 1 r 80 s 90 0 a 1 r 80 e 5 0 t 100 h 8 e 5 0 a 1 n He was the last survivor of a band of men who had laid the foundations of the New Testament Church; and he was himself one of the most honoured members of the little fraternity, for he had enjoyed peculiarly intimate fellowship with his Divine Master. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. [264:3]. So the lampstands (or "candlesticks" in some translations) represent seven churches. It is not to be supposed that such a man was permitted in apostolic times to pine away unheeded in solitary exile. (Revelation 1:20) “20 The mystery of the seven stars which 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 which you saw are the seven churches.” (Zechariah 3:9) “9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven … Origen on the Angels of the Seven Churches Today, several years after I wrote this page, I ran across a book by Origen (c. 185-254) called On Prayer . The office of the angel of the synagogue had, in fact, no resemblance whatever to that of a prelate. But if the angel of the Church derived his title from the angel of the synagogue, and if the position of these two functionaries was the same, we are shut up to the conclusion that there was now only one congregation in the capital of the Proconsular Asia. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters -- and he had in his rigid hand seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." The angel was not the chief ruler of the synagogue; he occupied a subordinate position; and was amenable to the authority of the bench of elders. It seems clear that the angel of the Church is a single individual, and that he must have been a personage well known to the body with which he was connected at the time when the Apocalypse was written. No trace of it can be detected even in the second century. As we saw earlier, Revelation 1:20 says the “stars” of the seven churches (verse 16) are “angels.” Such is not the language of human messengers of God. 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