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Featured Stars are angels

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In robycop’s “seven church ages” false doctrine... thread, member 37818 mentioned that the seven angels in Revelation 1-3 are the seven pastors of the seven churches of Asia. I asked him what he based that on. A few others answered.
    Since that subject diverges from the main theme of the opening post – that of the seven churches representing seven distinct church ages – I decided to start a separate thread regarding the angels of Revelation chapters 1-3.
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Cf. Revelation 2:1, 2:8, 2:12, et al.)

    Who are the ‘angels’ in Revelation 2-3? A common interpretation – perhaps the most common – is that the seven angels represent the seven pastors of each of the seven churches of Asia. The notion that angels represent pastors runs deep in our mindset. However, the deep-seated nature of that interpretation may disguise the proof or lack thereof that pastors are angels or that angels are pastors.

    Revelation 1:20 is a verse in which the explanation or interpretation is supplied. John hears a voice, sees a vision. He sees the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, holding seven stars in His hand. The vision ends with a command to write and an explanation of the mystery of the seven stars and seven candlesticks. The seven candlesticks are the seven churches of Asia to whom John is commanded to write. The seven stars are the angels of those seven churches. Has Jesus given the interpretation of the mystery, or has He only interpreted half and left the other half for us to decide? Many accept “angels” as the interpretation on the surface – an angel is a messenger and the messenger surely must be the pastor of the church.

    The interpretation of Jesus is that the stars are angels (or messengers, if you wish). Jesus did not use any of the words for the office, pastor, elder, or bishop. If the stars are not angels, but rather pastors, that leaves the interpretation provided by our Lord as no interpretation or explanation at all. If stars are angels and candlesticks are churches, the mystery is revealed and there is no need to extend Jesus’s interpretation.

    The most common use of “angel” (Gk. ἄγγελος) means angelic/spiritual beings, ministering spirits. According a search engine I consulted, angel or angels occur 75 times in the King James version of the book of Revelation. Sixty-seven occurrences unquestionably refer to angelic beings. If 1:20, 2:1,8,12,18, 3:1,7,14 do not refer to angelic beings, they are exceptions to the rule throughout the book. Chapter 1 opens with an angel who is an angel. Chapters 2-3 do not clearly indicate any reason for a difference from the other usage throughout the book, either before or after. It is unlikely that angel differs only in chapters 2-3, with no explanation. Everywhere in the book of Revelation, the angels are angels.

    Stars that are angels are mentioned elsewhere in Revelation – and the stars who are angels in Revelation 12:3-9 are angelic spirit beings, not human beings. The dragon drew a third of the stars of heaven, verse 4. In verses 7 through 9 we find that the dragon is the Devil, and the stars are the angels who followed him.

    The “pastor” interpretation breaks down. Rather than following the interpretation given by the Lord himself, one must continue to reinterpret it. Jesus says the stars are angels. Men say the stars are pastors who are only called angels. If pastors are called angels here, we find no confirmation of it elsewhere in the Scriptures. Pastors/elders/bishops are not called angels in the Bible.

    Angel pastors make the salutations of the letters to the seven churches of Asia inconsistent with the greetings of other church letters found in the New Testament. No other New Testament church letter is written to the pastor alone. Rather, they were written to the church, i.e., the entire local congregation of saints in a particular place. Compare some of the other salutations: 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; and Philippians 1:1.

    If the angels are single pastors (angel is singular in the letter to each church) the condition of these churches in Revelation is not consistent with the rest of the New Testament practice. In Acts 20:17, for example, the church at Ephesus had several overseers/elders. They were preaching/teaching elders (Cf. Acts 20:28). So, under the “angel=pastor interpretation” the church at Ephesus in Revelation has only one messenger/pastor, while the history of the church in Acts shows that they have plural elders/pastors. Local assemblies in the Bible are consistently portrayed as led by elders, plural.

    In my opinion the popularity of the “angel=pastor interpretation” rises from two main reasons: 1). The angels as pastors just “makes sense”. Why would God send the message to the church to an angel? When Jesus’s simple explanation of Rev. 1:20 finds hard ground, it is carried away and another substituted for it. 2). Familiarity and commonality breeds popularity. It is the interpretation we hear most. It is the interpretation we have been taught. If it isn’t challenged, why should we seek another interpretation or try to strengthen the case to support it?
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.


    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 candlesticks;

    The Angel is to communicate the message to the church. Angel means messenger. Angels (God's heavenly ministers) do not speak to the church directly. The messenger of the church is the pastor. The other view has angels speaking directly to the people of the church. Of the two view the former is the most believable.
     
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  4. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Certainly a better explanation than the convoluted 'well, it violates my notion of mandatory plurality of elders!' one above.

    As I noted in the other thread, even the Geneva Bible note says it's the pastor!
     
  5. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    And cross-references to Malachi where the Hebrew word for angel is used for priests!
     
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  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    What I see in your explanation is that these "messengers" in Revelation 1-3 must be pastors because in some sense pastors deliver messages to churches. A human messenger who physically brought the letter to the church would be "most believable" if we want to go that route. The message is written (Revelation 1:11; 1:19; 3:1, et al.). It is not a sermon they are preaching.
    One point of several explanations in the above post, that apparently doesn't suit your view. However, we can turn the tables and say the other explanation (angel=single pastor) suits the notion you seem to have against plurality of pastors. BTW, "consistently portrayed" and "mandatory" are not the same thing.
    So you believe all the notes in the Geneva Bible just because they are in the Geneva Bible?
    Malachi 2:7 directly says the priest is the messenger of the Lord. Revelation 1:20 directly says stars are angels/messengers, not that stars are pastors.
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    "Some sense"? what in the word does that even mean?

    Of course. Not sure where the problem is.

    Sigh, Says who?
     
  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    May I suggest we discuss the messages and not the messenger?

    Should we actually not be more concerned over removal of the light from an assembly? The removal of the candlestick is the death of a group.

    Paul states that the people should not set aside the Holy Spirit by sinning, yet there is not an SBC, GARB, FBC, FIBC, NIFBC, NBC,... that has not done that very damage.

    Replacing the Holy Spirit with emotionalism, “what I think,” intellectualism, and tradition, there is yet to be an assembly found that is not embracing and excusing modernism and corruption.

    When was the last assembly in which the leaders of the community feared the Holy Spirit authority and light of even one local assembly?

    The local assembly cannot give light, for they have no light, the candlestick is removed.

    Interesting, to me, once removed there is no account of it ever being returned returned.
     
  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Since you are the one who said it, you need to define what you mean when you say the pastor is a messenger.
    The route to which I refer is looking for what is "most believable." That is a pretty sketchy standard that varies according to the person doing the believing. By "of course" do you mean the runner/delivery person who delivered the message? That is what I was referring to. Like the ones in New Testament who carried to the churches letters that were written to them.
    Says the Bible:
    "What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia..."
    "Write the things..."
     
  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Could not the interpretation of the messenger possibly affect the interpretation of the message? For example, if the message is to the singular messenger, might someone also expect that the singular "thous" and "thys" refer to that messenger, since their is numerical agreement in the noun and the pronouns?
     
  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I am surprised I need to explain this. When the pastor preaches from week to week the pastor has worked by prayer and study in the word to deliver the message God has for that church.



    There are only two options here.

    That says it is not a sermon? I don't think so. However it matters not. A message is a message whether one believes it is a sermon or something else.
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    And yet he is called a preacher, teacher, pastor, elder, shepherd, bishop, but nowhere called a messenger or angel in the sense that you apply it to Revelation 1-3.
    Which two, and why?
    Of course, it is a message. It is a written message given by Jesus Christ to John to the seven churches of Asia. We can toy with words if we wish, but I suspect if you receive a letter that is written to your church and read the letter, neither you nor your church would call it a sermon. No one is saying it is not a message. The disagreement is over who are the stars of Revelation 1:20.
     
  13. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches..."​
    The body of the Revelation is to the seven assemblies, with specific emphasis to matters concerning them. That is seven copies was to be delivered - one to each assembly - and by extension they were distributed to the others.

    The word angels (messengers) are individual angelic beings placed in the individual churches. and by extension given to all true assemblies.

    I have no problem with God designating a specific angel as a messenger of the assembly, even those of this day.

    That messenger and lamp stand are either one in the same for each church, or separated by duty to each church - one dealing with distribution of communication, the other with the distribution of light.

    There is no credibility of the "pastor" being the angel, nor the lamp stand. That is just reading into the text.

    The Lord walks through the lamp stands (not just 7 but all assemblies given a lamp stand) and of all the lamp stands He selected 7 in which there were certain conditions all face. He presented the conditions and the warnings and rewards concerning them and by extension all assemblies.

    The under shepherd (pastor) is never considered either an angel or lamp stand, but a slave.

    Many modern and historical "pastors" were mockery to the ministry for they gathered prominence and praise from the Savior rather than remaining His slave to accomplish the expected service.

    When humans puff up a pastor as an authority, there is not far from the devil brining pride and destruction, haughtiness and a fall of both pastor and assembly - the lamp removed, messenger withdrawn.
     
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  14. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    In the letters to the seven church of Asia, we see a commendation and a condemnation from the Lord given to John to pass down to the angel of the seven churches... Is an angel going to convey this message to the churches?... Not according to how I understand it... In the presence of angels men became as dead men... Stars are the ruling Elders of the church... A heavenly message of commendation or condemnation, to a visible body of believers overseen by the over shepherd or leading Pastor of that particular church...

    I've known many preachers in my day and the Lord wants the preacher to preach what he tells him to, and sometimes the preacher steps on toes... If he is following the Lord, the Lord knows his people and he knows what type of preaching they need... Sometimes what the preacher, preaches is uncomfortable for the congregation but duty and church discipline must be preached as much or more than grace... How we are to live in this world and treat each other... These letters to the seven churches of Asia are just as applicable to today as they were then... If you don't root things out of the church that don't belong there, the Lord will do it for you... I can tell you by previous experience and heartful sorrowfulness, its not pretty... Brother Glen:(

    2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

    4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
     
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  15. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    How, exactly, would John be able to write a letter to an angel in heaven? I think Jesus would give instructions directly to angels in heaven, but chose John, as His last living Apostle to write letters to men.

    Peace to you
     
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  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    A preacher is a messenger. Period.

    I don't know what you are trying to do here but you gave the options for this discussion and now you are questioning that?

    Which is what you have been doing the entire time.
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    But the question before us is whether the pastor is this messenger (i.e. the one in the letters in Revelation).
    You, not I, are the one who wrote, "There are only two options here." Seems you should be able to explain what you meant. I do not limit the possible interpretations to two options, if that is what you mean, even if that is all that has been discussed. A person's interpretation is a person's interpretation, whatever it is.
    No. The average reader, even if he or she does not agree, can see that post #2 is a serious inquiry into the meaning of stars/angels in Revelation 1-3.
     
  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    You only gave two options originally I am just following that. Your options you gave are it is just angels or the angels are stars.

    Look either you have a new argument or I remain unconvinced of your position.
     
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    The stars are angels is the interpretation that Jesus gives. That is what I accept, and in that sense it is my only one option. However, I clearly stated in the OP that the (probably) most common interpretation is that the seven angels represent the seven pastors of each of the seven churches of Asia. That is an "option" different from the other "two" that you mention I gave in the quote above. Otherwise, I have no idea what you mean.
    "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." Feel free to remain unconvinced. I doubt you have any intention of considering "a new argument" (of which there are several more than one in the OP).
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    So now you are a mind reader. This attitude is why I am done. Its unnecessary and childish.
     
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