Perhaps it will surprise you to learn that the congregations of Jesus’ ekklesia seem to have had their own overseeing angels. The only direct evidence we have of this fact are the beginnings of each of the seven letters in Revelation 2-3. (See those excerpts below.) Nowhere in the Bible is it explained what role these angels played, what authority they had, what powers they exerted (or not) on behalf of the congregation, to whom they reported, whether their positions were permanent, and so forth.
So here we have a major element of the functioning of the ekklesia, and yet we know only that this element existed; we know nothing of how it worked. And this is, of course, yet another evidence of irreplicable facets of the ekklesia, for no congregation today can go get itself an angel in order to emulate the original.
Here are the excerpts:
- Revelation 2:1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
- Revelation 2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
- Revelation 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
- Revelation 2:18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
- Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
- Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
- Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
Interestingly, some pretend that “angel” here should be translated as “elder”, which would indicate a human recipient for these letters. Of course, in no other place in the Revelation do they interpret “angel” to mean “elder”, but only here, where the word angel comes as a surprise to their errant model of the ekklesia.