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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Does Each Church Have an Individual Angel Watching over It?

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Don Stewart
There is a statement found in the Book of Revelation that some Bible students believe may teach that each individual church has an angel watching over it.

As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands (Revelation 1:20,2:1).

It is argued that the "angel" referred to here may represent an individual heavenly being that protects and watches over each church. Yet this is not possible from the context. These same angels that carried the message to the various churches are included in the rebuke of Jesus. They participated in the same sinful conduct as the churches to whom the messages were brought. They are also urged to repent.

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent (Revelation 2:4,5).

Since good angels do not sin, nor do they have need of repenting, this rules them out as the persons described in this passage. Other solutions will need to be found for the identity of these angels.

Great Number Of Angels

Instead of one particular angel watching over each church, it seems more consistent with Scripture that each church has a great number of angels watching over them. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy.

I charge you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality (1 Timothy 5:21).

Paul indicated that many angels are watching what goes on in the church.

For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10).


While it is possible that each church has a special angel looking over it, the word translated "angel" in Revelation 2 and 3 cannot refer to such beings. The angels, or "messengers," under consideration here are included in the sinful deeds of the churches to whom they bring the message of Christ. They are commanded to repent. Since good angels do not sin, or need repentance, some other persons must be in view in this passage. Scripture also hints that a number of angels are watching over each church, rather than one individual angel. However, there is no specific passage that makes this clear one way or the other.
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