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The Angels of the Church

Submitted: 9/18/2004
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Question: In the beginning of the Book of Revelation, the LORD refers to the 'Angel of the Church' in seven different cities. Many believe the angel refers to the one pastor who oversees the assembly. However, this theory actually contradicts the leadership model of a plurality of elders throughout the Book of Acts. The word 'angel' comes from the Greek word 'apostolos.' This is where we get the word 'apostle.' An apostle is actually a messenger of the New Covenant. I do not believe these angels were actually apostles; or, the Bible would refer to them as apostles. I also do not beieve these angels of the local Church were the autocratic pastors; or, the Bible would refer to them as bishops, elders, or pastors. Rather, these angels seem to be actual messengers or missionaries to the local assembly. They probably did not qualify to be actual apostles because they did not meet the criteria detailed in Acts 1:21-25. Yet, these angels are not elders because the Bible would refer to them as it did throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles. This is my position. How would you explain the angels of the Churches in the Book of Revelation? This is a great web site. I believe true Apostolic leadership must be restored to experience a true harvest of souls in these last days.

Answer: The Greek word translated 'angel' is actually angelos (also spelled aggelos), not apostolos. We do not believe the angels of Revelation 2 and 3 refer to human leaders of any kind. We have posted an article on this website called The Angels of the Seven Churches. This paper was presented in March 2004 at the Urshan Graduate School Symposium. It can be found by looking in the Apostolic Free Library on Shelf 5, Traditions of Men.