The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. [270:1] We may thus perceive, too, why the letters are addressed to the angels, for in this case they were the official organs of communication between the apostle and the religious societies which they had been deputed to represent. 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. More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! Angels of the Seven Churches Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary , the most advanced Bible dictionary. 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." And this is plainly declared by him that had them in his Hand, v. 20. of this Chapter. [264:1] A vision so extraordinary as that which he describes, must have left upon his mind a permanent and most vivid impression. The Scriptures nowhere teach that each Christian community is under the care of its own angelic guardian; neither is it to be supposed that an angel represents the ministry of a Church, for one symbol would not be interpreted by another symbol of dubious signification. 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. Or the angels may be regarded as the personifications of the churches. 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. What, then, can these angels be? He later explains that “the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches” (1:20). Had the Spirit of God in the Apocalypse bestowed upon them such a title, it never would have been laid aside. The Seven Churches "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves." [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. It was, no doubt, thought that the messengers undertook a most perilous errand when they engaged to visit a distinguished Christian minister who had been driven into banishment by a jealous tyrant; but they are taught by the vision that they are under the special care of Him who is "the Prince of the kings of the earth;" for the Saviour appears holding them in His right hand as He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. In Revelation 1-3, John is told to write to the "angels" of seven churches in Asia Minor. The Subject of our first Inquiry is, The Mystery of the Seven Stars: What we are to understand thereby. [269:2] The practice of sending messengers to visit and comfort the saints in poverty, in confinement, or in exile, may be traced for centuries in the history of the Church. Towards the close of the first century the Apostle John must have been regarded with extraordinary veneration by his Christian brethren. Jesus walks among seven lampstands, and has seven stars in His hand. What was Jesus’ message to the church in Laodicea in Revelation. The last makes a great deal of sense. The seven stars in John’s vision (Rev 1-3) were interpreted to him by the spiritual guest to mean seven angels. REVELATION 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. These churches are located in Asia, modern Turkey, some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven … According to some they were literally angelic beings who had the special charge of the Seven Churches. Let us begin with the seven stars. The angels or messengers of the seven churches are symbolized as seven. 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. This explanation satisfies all the conditions required by the laws of interpretation. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." 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. If then the angel of the Church discharged the same functions as the angel of the synagogue, it would follow that, towards the termination of the first century, there was only one Christian congregation in each of the seven cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. 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. 6 ). The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. About forty years before, the Word of God "grew mightily and prevailed" [266:4] in that great metropolis; and, among its inhabitants, Paul had persuaded "much people" [266:5] to become disciples of Christ. Why are they gathered into the right hand of the Son of Man? 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 seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. 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." Each letter is entrusted to the “angel” of the intended church. The message of each of the seven letters is directed to the angel of the particular church that is mentioned. It is not to be supposed that such a man was permitted in apostolic times to pine away unheeded in solitary exile. St. John in the Apocalypse is shown seven candlesticks and in their midst, the Son of Man holding seven stars (Revelation 1:13, 20). "The seven stars," says He, "are the angels of the Seven Churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the Seven Churches." It was, therefore, by no means extraordinary that seven messengers from seven neighbouring Churches, to all of which he was well known, are found together in Patmos on a visit to the venerable confessor. 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. Nevertheless, many are still confused about the meaning of the seven stars. 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.