angels of the seven churches

Who are they and what does this mean? There is little data to help one understand the significance of these angels and their role with the seven churches. However, at the individual level of a Believer, the Bible does shed light on what unfallen angels do:

1. Angels are spectators of Christians; they witness how Christians live their lives especially in the service and worship of God. In their observations, there are some activities that elicit an emotional response from angels. For example, unfallen angels rejoice when one human being is saved (Luke 15:8-10; 1 Cor 4:9; 1 Tim 5:21).

2. Angels bring divine messages from God to guide Christians to the truth or appropriate action. For example, an angel validated Mary's claim of her virginity to Joseph (Matt 1:20-25), Philip was prompted to go to a road where an Ethiopian eunuch was trying to read Isaiah (Acts 8:26), and Cornelius was able to hear the Gospel as the result of obeying the angel's instruction to fetch Peter (Acts 10:1-8; 27:21-25).

3. While it is not entirely clear, angels serve as guardians over children and the nation of Israel. The Bible is not specific how this guardianship is assigned or exercised, but angels do protect Christians and by extension churches (Matt 18:10; Dan 10:18-21; 12:1; Ps 91:11-13).

4. Angels are used to answer prayers, and rescue Believers from physical harm. Some of the biblical examples include Lot who was saved from the judgment of Sodom (Gen 19:1-22), Elisha who was protected by an overwhelming number of angels from the king of Syria and his army (2 Ki 6:11-18), Daniel whose prayers of repentance was heard and was given revelation about the future of his people (Dan 9:20-23; 10:10-13), the apostles who were freed from the prison of the Sadducees, and Peter who was freed from the prison of Herod (Acts 5:17-20; 12:1-19).

5. Angels are used to serve believers by ministering and encouraging them (Heb 1:13-14). For example, Elijah, who was depressed in realizing that people would not change despite the spectacular reality of God's power on Mount Carmel, was given rest (1 Ki 19:4-7).

From Revelation: An Explication © A resource for learning how to read the Bible.