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 Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 7) (verse 12)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 7) (verse 12)    Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:49 pm

Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 7) (verse 12)

Verses 12-13 reads: "I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, [13] and among the lampstands was someone 'like a son of man' dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest." The first thing of substance we come to here are the seven golden lampstands. Now I'm going to reveal to you the key to interpreting the book of Revelation. Most often the text itself interprets itself. If this is not the case, then most other times some other chapter or a different book of the bible will give clues to the meaning. We usually don't have to look far for the meaning. The book of Revelation is literal. Everything it says has a concrete meaning. But it often uses symbols to reference the literal objects. What are these seven golden lampstands? If we skip down, the text tells us in verse 20: "The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." I want you to see that we rarely have to guess what the symbols mean in the book because it often defines them somewhere else in the text. It says the seven lampstands are the seven churches, that is, those mentioned in verse 11. These are golden lampstands, which means they are valuable and expensive (expensive enough for Jesus to pay his blood to redeem them).

Most Christians know that the number 7 is God’s number. God completed creating the world in 6 days and on the 7th he rested. Seven represents the number of completion. (God loves the number 3 as well for some reason—Could it be because of the Trinity?). The purpose of lampstands are to hold candles/ or light. Jesus said that we, the church, are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). The world is dark because it does not have the illumination of truth from God. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. (John 8:12).” He also said “I am the Truth.” One of the church’s jobs is to be the light of the world and to promote the truth of Jesus. We are not to keep it to ourselves and within the comfort and confines of our stained glass windows. Light does a lot of things. I’ll cover just a few here. Light exposes. It exposes dirt (sin). Ephesians 5:11 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” To be light is not necessarily becoming pure. We have to first turn on the light to see what is wrong. Many Christians walk in darkness because they do not see anything wrong with themselves. God wants us to come into the light and confess and recognize our sins. Then we can become “brighter” because we now see and agree what is wrong and can clean it up. We need to be light for ourselves first before we can adequately be light to the world. Light is pure. Only God is fully light. 1 John 1:5 says, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." Light is the opposite of darkness. Darkness hides what is wrong. Darkness lies because it veils truth.

We have enough information now to introduce chapters 2 and 3. Jesus will be the speaker. He will address each church individually. These churches are 7 literal churches that existed at the time of John’s writing Revelation. Jesus will say what is good or bad about these churches. But in God’s prophetic power, these chapters are overlaid with double meaning. Each church represents a period of history (as we will clearly see). And each of the churches is in correct order of how history has unfolded. In case you are wondering, we are in the Laodicea era. We will see a lot of proof supporting this, but I just wanted to introduce here what is yet to come. With this said, the seven lampstands represents all churches throughout church history, starting from its inception from 33 AD. So what we have up to this point are “the seven spirits before his throne” in Revelation 1:4; John who represents the church becoming in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, commemorating the church now worshiping on Sunday in Revelation 1:10; and the seven golden lampstands, which Revelation verse 20 says are the 7 churches; and, it also says the seven stars (that we didn't look at yet) are the angels of the seven churches. The Holy Spirit represents “the seven spirits before his throne,” which can also be translated as "the sevenfold Spirit". He, the Holy Spirit, is intricately connected to all churches throughout history (of course, we know this). But what we might not know is that there is an angel assigned to each (legitimate) church throughout church history. Jesus will not address, necessarily, the churches themselves, but of each address he says, “To the angel of the church...” Angels in the bible are messengers. Since Jesus speaks to the angels of each of the churches, God is using angels to help convey these messages to the churches throughout each point of church history.

We will pick up at verse 13 next time.
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