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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

38- Angels & messengers

 

[1] This Is One Of The Titles Of The Clergy. It Was Clearly Given To John The Baptist. The Priest Of The Transitional Era Between The Two Testaments

John the Baptist, the priest and son of Zacharias was so called; messenger:

(Mal 3:1) "Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," Says the LORD of hosts.

(Mark 1:2) As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You."

An angel is a messenger from heaven to earth. Saint Paul describes the angels as follows:

(Heb 1:14) Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

So the clergy, are they not messengers, sent to serve the ones who will inherit salvation.

[2] The Title of Angel Was Given To The Bishops Of The Seven Churches In The Book Of Revelations

We note that Our Lord Jesus was the one who uttered this title:

St-Takla.org Image: Ancient icon of Saint John the Baptist, Youhanna El Me3medan صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: القديس يوحنا المعمدان، أيقونة أثرية

St-Takla.org Image: Ancient icon of Saint John the Baptist, Youhanna El Me3medan

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: القديس يوحنا المعمدان، أيقونة أثرية

(Rev 2:1) "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

It is evident that not all the believers could be called angels or vicars of the Church, so they should not think of themselves more highly than they ought to.

(Rom 12:3) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

[3] But Some May Ask How Can We Call The Bishops, Angels While They Are Not Infallible

The Lord called the bishops angels and at the same place in the book of Revelation, He exposes and enumerates their mistakes?

So those who object, are objecting of the Lord Himself.

The Lord admonishes the angel of the Church of Ephesus saying;

(Rev 2:5) "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place; unless you repent.

Also to angel of the Church of Sardis He says

(Rev 3:1) "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

This was addressed to the angel of the Church who fell to a very regrettable state.

Also the Angel of the Church of Laodiceans, received the same admonition:

(Rev 3:16) "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

(a) We should differentiate between the priestly office and the behaviour or conduct of its bearer.

(b) The office of a priest does not mend Mans sinful state

(c) While we believe in the authority of the priesthood, we do not subscribe or believe in the teaching of priesthood infallibility.

[4]Infallibility Is For God Alone He Is The Just Judge He Is The Only Judge of Behaviour

(Rom 14:4) Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

(Rev 2:23) "I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

[5] So If You Stumbled Through The Fault Of A Clergyman, then Remember The Following:

(James 5:17) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

So Elijah who shut the skies from raining and subsequently opened it, was still under the same yoke of human weakness.

[6] Even Joshua Was Not Stripped From His Title of Chief Priest In Spite of His Sinful State

Here we see a chief priest who was in a state of sin was still regarded as a chief priest

(Zec 3:1-7) Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. {2} And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" {3} Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. {4} Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." {5} And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by. {6} Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, {7} "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.

Here we note the Lord did not strip him from his title, but rather helped this chief priest to repent.

As the priest is the angel of the church, he is robed in white during the services, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. He should be as pure as an angel. But even if he committed a sin he is still the angel of the church.

[7] King Saul Retained His Title As The Anointed of God In Spite of His Sinful State

Samuel the Prophet anointed Saul to be a king over Israel. From this point onward Saul retained this title, in spite of his sin and after being rejected by God. (1 Sam 16:14) and afflicted with an evil spirit (1 Sam 16:23).

Saul persecuted David wanting to kill him. But David never forgot the fact that Saul is the Anointed of God, and rebuked his men when they implored him to kill Saul who fell in his hands.

(1 Sam 24:6) And he said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."

Davids love and respect for Saul extended even after Sauls death.

He rebuked the man who killed Saul saying:

(2 Sam 1:14) So David said to him, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?"

Here we observe how Sauls title the Anointed of God was not removed from him, even though God had rejected him because of the multitude of his sins.


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