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Friday, October 31, 2014
A Taste of Friday First Chapters with He Who Has An Ear by Laura J Davis
ABOUT THE BOOK: More than
two thousand years ago the Apostle John had a vision he received from the Lord.
He was told to write seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor. Out of the
seven churches only two received commendation from the Lord. The rest were
letters of warning.
disobedience, combined with a lack of knowledge of the Word of God, has placed
the 21st century church in a precarious situation. The letters to the seven
churches are a message for this generation during the last days. He who has an
ear will know what to do and act accordingly.
ho or what are the seven churches of
Revelation? Are they still in the world today? Were the seven churches in Asia
Minor real churches or do they represent a type of church (i.e.: Catholic,
Baptist, Pentecostal, etc.)? Are the warnings relevant to this generation? Are
they for each of us as individuals? As we look carefully through the letters of
Revelation, we will discover the answer to all these questions and more.
But before we can get
to any of the letters, we must determine who the angels were that the letters
were written to. It has been suggested that the angels represented the head or
bishop of each church. Others suggest the angels were actual celestial beings
that stood guard over these churches. First, let’s look at the word in both
Hebrew and Greek.
Angel in Hebrew is Malack and means messenger. Angel in
Greek is angelos and also means
messenger. So, what kind of messages do angels bring?
good news (Luke 2:8-14; Luke 1:26-38).
bring bad news (Genesis 19:15).
communicate God’s will to men. (They helped reveal the law to Moses [Acts
7:52-53] and served as the carriers for much of the material in Daniel and
instructions and act as guides (Matthew 1:20-21; Acts 8:26; Acts 10:1-8).
strengthen and encourage God’s people (Matthew 4:11; Acts 5:19-20; Acts
The most important thing about angels is that they continually praise
God and carry out His commands. They ascend and descend to earth frequently.
(John 1:51; Genesis 28:12; Revelation 7:2). We cannot see them, but they are
here watching over us for God and, I assume, reporting back to Him on how we
are doing (Job 1:6).
Besides being messengers for God, angels have different jobs. For
·God has used
angels to provide for physical needs such as food for Hagar (Genesis 21:17-20),
Elijah (1 Kings 19:6), and Christ after His temptation (Matthew 4:11).[ii]
·They act as
protectors (Daniel 3-6; Matthew 2:13).
deliver people from danger. They released the apostles from prison in Acts 5
and did the same for Peter in Acts 12.
for God’s people at the moment of their death (Luke 16:22).
also different types of angels:
Cherubim (Ezekiel 1)*
Seraphim (Isaiah 6)
Archangels—We know of two, Michael (Daniel
10:13; Jude 9) and Gabriel (Daniel 9:21; Luke 1:19; 26).
record, there is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate cherubim are cute little
babies. In fact, the reaction of most people who saw angels was to fall down in
fear, not reach out and say, “Coochie-coo!” The cherubs you see on Valentine’s
Day cards and at Christmas are from the minds of their human creators.
edict was given to write to the churches, John saw the following in his vision
in Revelation 1:12-16:
I turned around to
see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden
lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man dressed in a
robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The
hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like
blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was
like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and
coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the
sun shining in all its brilliance.
wonder that, in the next verse, John “fell at his feet as though dead.” But
Jesus touched him and said not to be afraid and then in verses 19-20 He said, “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what
is now and what will take place later. 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 are the
To be clear,
John wrote about the past, the present, and the future. Then Jesus explained
the mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars
are the angels of the seven churches and the lampstands are the seven churches.
appearance of angels was usually frightening enough to make people fall to the
ground, these supernatural beings sometimes took on human form. (In Genesis 18,
Abraham welcomed three visitors who appeared as men.)
Strong’s Concordance, the word for
messenger and angel were used interchangeably. For example, in Malachi 2:7 we
read, “For the lips of a priest ought to
preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger
of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.”
Hebrew word for angel, Malak, means
messenger. It should be no surprise to learn that the word messengerin Hebrew is also Malak. If we read the verse above with that in mind, we get, “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve
knowledge, because he is the angel of
the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.”
mean our pastors are angels? Not in the real sense of an angel, no. However, it
does reveal how important God considers those who bring messages from Him,
either through His Word or through prophecy. People, therefore, should not be
so quick to say, “I have a message from the Lord,” unless they are very sure it
is the Lord who is sending it and it lines up with the Bible.
While it is
possible that each of the seven angels referred to in Revelation are actual
angels disguised as humans, I think it is more plausible that they are the
elders of the churches. It would make no sense for John to write letters and
send them to real angels. For that matter, why would Jesus have John write
everything down when the angels were always before Him in heaven?
we must also remember that John was writing to real churches during his era.
The fact that these letters have been preserved for us is just a bonus. No, it
makes more sense that the angels are the messengers in the church who will read
the letters aloud to the congregations and thereby, bring forth the message
Now, here is
where confusion sets in. After the apostles died, other men who had known them
took up the reins to keep the church functioning. Catholic tradition suggests
there was a bishop for each church. For example, Ignatius was the bishop of
Antioch; Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna; Timothy was the bishop of Ephesus;
and so on. However, there is no mention in the Bible that Timothy was appointed
as a bishop, not by Paul or anyone else. In fact, there are no scriptural
references that say each church should have one man as a bishop. The truth is,
the role of a bishop over the church did not start until at least 154 A.D.,
more than fifty years after the Apostle John died. That’s plenty of time for
wrong doctrine to enter the church.
the angels referenced in the letters to the seven churches could not be bishops
because one bishop for each church did not exist at the time the Apostle John
wrote Revelation. And since most churches today don’t have bishops in the
formal sense like the Catholic Church, how do these letters relate to us? Who
are the bishops of the church today? We’ll discuss that in the next chapter.
[i] Dr. John Bechtle, “What is the Job Description for an Angel?” Christian Answers Network Website, URL http://christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t005.html#9
[ii] Dr. John Bechtle, “What is the Job Description for an Angel?” Christian Answers Network Website, URL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura J. Davis is
a former singer/songwriter who took to
writing full-time after emergency surgery
caused the loss of her singing voice. Her singing career had lasted for 30
years. Her first book, "Come to Me," won a Reader's Favourite Award. In 2013,
her bible study "Learning from the Master, Living a Surrendered Life," was
featured in Book Fun Magazine as the non-fiction book of the month first place
winner. She has had stories featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul Married Life
and Chicken Soup for the Soul the Dating Game. Her latest book, "He Who Has an
Ear," is a look at who the seven churches of Revelation are today. Laura is
currently featured in the Author's Network book, "50 Great Authors You Should be