Messengers of His Power
This week we continue our study of Revelation with one of the most spectacular visions of the Lord ever given to man:
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
and in the middle of the lampstands I sawone like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength (Revelation 1:12-16).
The first thing John describes is where the Lord is standing—in the middle of the lampstands. He has seven stars in His right hand. As we are told in verse 20, “As for 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 are the seven churches.”
As the verse explains, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the lampstands are the seven churches. The word translated as “angel” can also be translated as “messenger.” This is because the Lord is not just speaking to these churches in Asia Minor, but to the whole church of this age. As we cover them, we will see that each one did have a messenger that carried the primary message of that age.
Also important is that these messengers are held in the Lord’s right hand. God’s right hand is often called “the right hand of power.” As He is the all-powerful One, we can infer that these are representatives of His power. We cannot truly represent Him as God without representing His power. We are redeemed, saved, delivered, healed, sustained, and transformed by His power into who we are called to be. The primary message of His messengers is knowing His power in all the ways we depend on it.
This being understood, we will also see how the message to each church age represented a different aspect of His power. Each message may be different, but we must see them all together. The seven make up the whole message. Likewise, each of the seven churches that together embody the whole church represents a unique part of the bride of Christ.
Even more important than seeing the lampstands is seeing the One who stands in their midst. With the Lord in their midst, who will be looking at the lampstands? For this reason, we must keep in mind that if the Lord is manifested in His church, it will not be the church that has our attention. What good is the most glorious temple if the Lord is not in it? If He is in it, the temple will not get our attention, regardless of how glorious it is.
The church is called to be magnificent, but not the center of attention. We will not be changed into what we are called to be by seeing the glory of the church, but by seeing the glory of the Lord. So again, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” The main thing is all things in Christ. He is the purpose of this revelation, of all creation, and being changed into His image. Having our lives summed up in Him is our purpose.
The church will become spectacular in the end. It will be a bride worthy to have, but only by seeing, loving, and following Him in all things can we ever become what we are called to be.