Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A Verse by Verse Study
My own personal journey
"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me!"

Jesus, His Church, Your Family

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which 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 which you saw[j] are the seven churches.

What is a mystery? Mesterion in Greek means a hidden thing that is not obvious.
The first word of this verse indicates that we are dealing in symbolism that goes beyond the obvious.  Yes, there were seven actual churches John’s letter would be delivered to but there was less obvious hidden meanings to the symbolism of the lampstands and stars.

Jesus told his disciples about mysteries in Matthew 13:11

He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, the King of Babylon recognized Daniel’s God as a revealer of mysteries.  Remember the same ability to understand mysteries was given to Joseph and is what brought the King of Egypt’s attention to him, eventually leading him to the 2nd highest office in the land.  Even foreign leaders are known to recognize that our God is a revealer of mysteries.  Here in the book of Revelation, John is being given the interpretation of a mystery and that is “The Church!”

Daniel 2:47 The king answered Daniel, Of a truth your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a Revealer of secret mysteries, seeing that you could reveal this secret mystery!

We know, we are supposed to be able to read the bible and understand mysteries so let’s look at the information given and try to understand, knowing that according to this, there ARE some hidden meanings.  He tells us the answer when he says, “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

ROMANS 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began…

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory!

God has given us the ability to know & speak the mysteries of God and here he reveals he’s speaking of His Church!  
In verse 11, he tells John he wants these letters delivered to THE SEVEN churches (which are in Asia,) and names them.  He doesn’t name every church that was in existence but the 7 in Asia:

Revelation 1:11
send it to the seven churches which are in Asia—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

We know there were seven candlesticks and seven stars. He clearly tells us the seven stars are angels of the churches and the candlesticks are the churches.  We read the scripture above that the gospel of Jesus Christ IS the mystery that the world did not know for thousands of years but now was made known.  That Christ came, gave his life so we could have eternal life was planned by God since before time began but was revealed through the gospel after Jesus death and resurrection.  That we could be saved and be made part of his body, his church is a mystery the bible tells us even angels desire to look into.

If these candlesticks are a Menorah (seven candlesticks on a base,) then we know this represents the WHOLE church.  Historically studies of the number seven usually reveal seven as God’s perfect number. It represents perfection, goodness, completion and wholeness. He created the earth in 6 days and on the 7th rested from his work. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and on the 7th day God finished his work (Genesis 2:2.)  Usually there’s a law of first mention in the bible that gives a frame of reference for interpretation.  On the 7th day, God rested and finished.  His work was complete.  

Hebrews 4:10
For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.

You could say, “In the beginning, God laid the foundation for his church and on the 7th day, his work in his church is complete!”  There is much revealed concerning the events of the last days in Revelation but there’s no Revelation of the exact day. A completed work in his church is revealed though and it causes us to cry out, “Even so come Lord Jesus!”  His work was complete on the 7th day of creation and he’s done a thorough work for his church.  Until he returns, he’s continuing to draw new people into his church through the preaching of the mystery through his church.  His mystery is spoken both in preaching and through their lives.  Through Jesus God’s work is finished.  Jesus sacrifice has given us rest and as we “Come to him,” we are able to lay down our weariness and burdens and rest in his love. 

There are really many ways to interpret why God addressed 7 churches but I think we can all agree he is addressing his entire, perfectly complete body; his church, his bride!  God doesn’t only desire to speak to 7 out of millions of churches or the people of seven churches, leaving out the millions in other churches.  God desires to speak to the entire body of Christ.  The candlesticks stand on a base. The base is the foundation and represents Christ.  Outside of Christ we are nothing.   Each church is a part of his body.  We know there were many churches in that day that weren’t mentioned yet we know that through letters written to and in the church, we as modern day Christians have the whole canon of Scripture.  I believe each church had different issues and through these issues God was able to in completion and perfection cover things that through the ages would reach his whole church.  The whole lampstand was seven but was one!  There was no candlestick broken off making the whole incomplete.  The base wasn’t missing.   There was nothing missing.  It represented “his churches,” and it was complete with one base.  Jesus walked among these candlesticks and had his angels assigned to each part of the candlestick.  There was one star (angel) for each church. There was no church without an angel.  I believe the whole of the 7 candlesticks, with one foundation (Christ,) with the angels of God assigned to them, represent the entire body of Christ then and through the ages and the entire body of Christ has the ability to know the mysteries of God found in his Revelation!  Now just think about that!  Each part of the body of Christ, Christ’s church has an angel assigned to it!  My friend, you have an angel assigned to you to help you and to carry out his Word over your life!  Whether the number 7 represents 7, 1000 year periods or 7 church age periods, to me is not the fullness of the Revelation but that God knows his church, has revealed himself and his will to his church, has placed angels on assignment for his church and walks among his church is the issue!!!  He addresses his church with the Revelation the church needs!  He calls out to his church and walks among her!  This Revelation is powerful because it shows God knows right where we are when we fail and when we succeed; when we are close and when we are slipping away.  He gives what we need to come to him and to walk with him in fullness and power. Even though he was dead, he was alive and he is alive today and walks among us!  If God’s church ever came into the full Revelation of who we are, the lost would quickly be saved and we’d see miracles in great numbers!  All Christians would be on fire, walking in close relationship with him on a personal basis and walking in great power and love. As he addresses us through his Word, what he has to say will speak to every member of the body of Christ no matter which church age we are in.  His Word is alive and powerful and is able to locate the condition of our heart and change us by his power.  Therefore in addition to understanding eschatology may we understand ourselves as we are found in him!  What good is it for us to understand all mysteries concerning his coming if we aren’t going to be found in him when he comes back.  May we understand where we stand and may we understand who we are.  May we look into his eyes and as John did see the fire within that burns for his bride, his church!  Let this book speak to us each on a personal level as part of the whole candlestick with angels assigned.  Let us see that when he had John write his letters to his churches, he was writing his letter to us!
Now let’s take this a step further and see that if we are “in him,” and he “in us,” then we should have the same love for one another that he has for us.  The “church,” the “body of Christ,” is a part of us.  We are brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Too often the church has become competitive and divisive.  How many ministers are estranged from one another over doctrine, or competitiveness or even misunderstanding? Brothers and sisters in Christ should be able to look past flaws as he did and see our need (as the great songwriter Dottie Rambo sang!)   When we look at one another we should be looking through the eyes of Christ filtered with the same love for one another as he has for us.  The bible says we are known of the world by our love for one another.  Therefore let’s take this Revelation of his church and purpose in our hearts to love one another as he has loved us which according to the bible, along with loving God sums up and fulfills all of the law of God!

John 13:35 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

Before going on to read what Jesus said to his churches, let’s first take the step to view the body of Christ as one body. Let’s recognize that Jesus has angels on assignment to his entire body.  Let’s recognize his will is that we be one and that we love one another.  It’s not his will that even one should be disconnected or left out.  Unity is truly one of the things that is lacking in the modern day church.  It’s also what makes the church powerful.  Little children, let us be one and let us love one another that the world may know that we are his disciples! Let us not hate over our differences but recognize that although we are all different, just as the 7 churches were different, we all are joined together through our base, Jesus Christ! Amen!