Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Conclusion of Revelation 1

Alright, so we are down to the final 2 verses of Revelation 1:

"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 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."

Growing up, or I guess I should say, in my early years of being a Believer, I always avoided reading the book of Revelation. I avoided it because I thought there was way too much symbolism for me to understand. But as I've studied it recently, I've realized that yes, there are a bunch of symbolic figures and visions, BUT I've found that most of them are explained right in the text. And we are seeing that here. In these 2 verses, Jesus is explaining to John what the vision of the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands are. A few verses earlier John sees "someone 'like a son of man'" walking among the lampstands and having seven stars "in his right hand."

The seven stars, according to Jesus, are the "angels of the seven churches." The word angels could also mean "messengers." Now there are 2 explanations for the word "angels" [or messengers]: It could be taken literally and that these seven churches actually had angels assigned [I guess that's the right word?] to their churches. Then I guess you can assume that there could be angels assigned to churches in today's time? The other possible explanation is that the word messenger refers to the pastors/preachers that are over the churches. I tend to go more with this explanation, but that's just me...

One of the most encouraging parts of this vision is Jesus ["son of man" - which is how Daniel described the person in his vision recorded in Daniel 7] walking among the lampstands. Here we can imagine Jesus walking between each lampstand, probably stopping by each one with a smile on His face. Maybe He reaches out and places His hand on the lampstand. You see, Jesus longs to be with His church, loves to reach out and touch His church, and for sure He loves it when His church welcomes Him in. The sad part is that there are many churches out there that have four walls, but Jesus is not found in them. The Holy Spirit is not taught on and He is certainly not allowed to minister. These churches are dead. They have the appearance of being alive, but in fact are quite dead. The Spirit is not living and dwelling within them! These churches have the fluff and flattery [ie. seeker-friendly] but lack the truth. It makes me so thankful to belong to a church where the Lord is free to do what He wants, when He wants and how He wants. I pray that the Lord would grab ahold of the messengers of these dead churches and put a fire in their bones to preach the Word, and to preach it boldly! If not, then it is my opinion that these will be the ones to fall away during the End Times that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24 [see also 2 Thess 2, Revelation 17]. Wake up churches!!

So I pray that wherever you are at, that Jesus would walk near you and reach out His mighty hand to touch your life exactly where you need/want Him to. I pray that you would see Him smile at you! There's nothing better...

Grace and peace.

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