7 Church Angels????

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Lacy Evans, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    Who are the "angels" in Rev. Ch. 2,3?

    1) Are they literally angelic beings with some authoratative ministry over local churches?

    2) Are they "messengers of the churches" sent to comfort John during his exile?

    3) Are they "pastors" of the local churches.

    4) Is there another possibility?

    I know all of these have been taught but which one is the most easily supported with scripture and logical biblical precedents.

    My opinion is that the "pastor" interpretation is the most difficult one to prove.

    Lacy
     
  2. Watchman

    Watchman
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    A very good question Lacy, and I have heard various answers. There are those (Ray Steadman, etc.) who see these as literal angels. If so, this would be something rather unique, in that, a message previously, if angels were involved, was: from God, to angel, to man.
    But this would be: from God, to man, to angel, to man. Unprecedented, but not impossible.
    It is worthwhile to look at the Greek word there, and, not being a Greek scholar, I rely on Strong's definitions:
    aggelos (ang'-el-os)
    a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger.
    This pretty well leaves it open. So, I can only give my humble opinion: I don't feel that John would be writing to literal angels, so this must be to a significant person in each Church.
    Note that, at a different time, John himself would no doubt have been the significant person at Ephesus.
     
  3. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    The first church addressed (Rev 2) is Ephesus. Acts 20:16- 35 reveals the the church of ephesus was ruled by plural elders not one "angel".

    Notice the absolutely consistent use (In Acts 20) of the singular "Church", "flock" etc. coupled with the absolutely consistent use of plural "Elders", "Overseers", etc.


    Paul addresses and instructs "the elders" of Ephesus. Given that the New Testament faithfully uses the terms Bishop, Elder, Overseer, etc, in other places, it seems to me that if "Pastors" were the intended target of the messages in Rev. 2& 3, the Holy Spirit would have seen fit to either use a common word (pstor, elder, bishop) or establish (somewhere in scripture) a precedent for calling a pastor an angel.

    lacy
     
  4. pastorjeff

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    I agree with watchman on the fact that it would be odd to sent written words from a man to an angel. As for the second theory, there is no internal eviddence to support this ( I think this one is the hardest to prove). A single person speaking or teaching in a locakl church does not dismiss plurality of elders. Notice that there is a differance in the duties even in this plurality ( see I tim. 5:17, this verse would imply that not all elders were speackers.)

    While all are possibilities, I favor Pastor, or at the least, the main speaker or preacher of the churches.
     
  5. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    So in your opinion, even if "the angel" does mean "the pastor", it is not an absolute justification for the One-paster-only form of church government. Do I understand correctly?

    Lacy
     
  6. pastorjeff

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    Yes Lacy, I've always felt that way throughout all of these recent threads. I feel that there is a balance between a central leader, and co leaders that scripture provides a model for. Even in the picture of the Tri-unity of the Godhead they are compleatly God, each one, yet they take on different roles and even submit to each other in function. As I've said, there is a possibility that the scripture provides both Pastor and plurality of Elders. They do not contradict each other.
     
  7. MTA

    MTA
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    I agree with pastorjeff's comments. There appears to be an underlying theme of situational leadership that supports the primary or "head" elder premise.
     
  8. av1611jim

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    It appears to me to be the Pastors who are being addressed.
    The messages all use personal pronouns in the instructions for each church.
    I will take just one as an illustration.
    Rev 2:1-6
    thy works
    thy labour
    thy patience
    thou canst not bear them
    thou hast tried them
    hast found them to be liars
    hast bourne
    hast patience
    hast laboured and hast not fainted
    somewhat against thee
    thou hast left thy first love
    thou art fallen
    repent
    do the first works
    come unto thee
    remove thy candlestick
    except thou repent
    thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes

    Each of the messages to the churches are in the first person.
    I believe God is both encouraging and rebuking the pastors for their leadership of the churches. Or lack of leadership.
    I don't think it is that hard to prove at all that in this case "the angel of" is definitely the Pastor.
    Any reason why not?
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  9. av1611jim

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    Paul addresses and instructs "the elders" of Ephesus. Given that the New Testament faithfully uses the terms Bishop, Elder, Overseer, etc, in other places, it seems to me that if "Pastors" were the intended target of the messages in Rev. 2& 3, the Holy Spirit would have seen fit to either use a common word (pstor, elder, bishop) or establish (somewhere in scripture) a precedent for calling a pastor an angel.

    lacy

    Why do you say brother that there MUST be a precedent for this?
    Do we not agree that if God says it one time then it is authoritative just because He said it?
    Also; those references you speak of are all of Pauline origin. Since we know John to be a bit more, how shall we say, (mystical) than Paul would it not be within John's character to use "angel"?
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  10. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    Brother Jim,

    I think there should be a precedent because the question is, "Are the angels pastors?" We cannot just assume the thing to be proven. God doesn't say "Pastor". He says "angel". "Pastor" is an interpretation.

    The translators saw fit to use the term "angel". I must assume that the letters are written to "angels" unless there is some other evidence to suggest they are not angels.

    I know "angel" can mean "messenger" but John never uses it to refer to living human messengers. (Rev 22 being a possible exception but even if it is a living human messenger, there is no hint that it is a local church's head pastor.)

    I just don't see the idea of a single head honcho running a mature local church anywhere in scripture. I've been wrong before but the more I study this issue, the more I am convinced that plural eldership is the proper biblical model for church polity.

    God Bless,
    Lacy
     
  11. av1611jim

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    I see where this is going now.
    Ok, care to expound? This is new to me. It has been my understanding that the Pastor is Undershepherd of the flock. We don't see more than one man leading a flock very often. He may use dogs to help him but often it is one man.
    If indeed you see a plurality of men leading the flock then what happens to "tie-breakers"?
    It appears there would be chaos. I am open to instruction here but right now it does not make sense.
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  12. av1611jim

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    But IF plurality then what happens to the first person pronouns in this passage?
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  13. av1611jim

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    Oh yeah. one more thing.
    If 'angels', literally, then how can we explain things like "left thy first love"?
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  14. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    Obviously whether angels or pastors, the message is to the churches, not the individual.

    I recommend this book:

    http://www.nccn.net/~brennanp/BEphamphStrauch/PAMPHBEDOC.html

    More later.
     
  15. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    I've seen just as much Chaos in other governmental forms.

    Churches where the Deacons run the show have obvious serious problems.

    Churches where the Pastor is an absolute monarch are fine unless the pastor gets off or goes bad. Then they are very likely to be havens for abuse (a very real form of "chaos")

    In Acts 15, several of the leaders spoke and a unanimous decision was reached. I don't believe in tiebreakers or voting. I don't see democracy in scripture. Unity (unanimity) among the chosen elders is what I see.

    If you have a "dissenting vote", then pray and wait. How many times in the Bible is one man right and all the rest wrong. That one "dissenting vote" very well may have the mind of God on the issue. Patience, faith, prayer, and mutual submission would be necessary.


    Lacy
     
  16. James_Newman

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    Whats wrong with casting lots? [​IMG]
     
  17. av1611jim

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    Lacy;
    Makes sense to me...now.
    I will have to look into it further.
    I accessed the link you provided. Interesting and informative. Still, not convinced so will study a bit.
    Signing out for now.
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  18. Lacy Evans

    Lacy Evans
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    It's more scriptural than voting. ;)

    lacy
     

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