When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 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. Revelation 1:17-20
I wonder if God has appointed an actual angelic being to every local church? That is a fascinating idea. The word angel can have broad application, meaning simply “messenger”. In the midst of a deep prayer experience, John (while “in the spirit”), hears a voice behind him, turns and sees One who identifies Himself as having been dead, but now alive forevermore. It is of course, Jesus. He identifies Himself as the first and last (a title reserved for the godhead). And he frames what will be disclosed to the apostle John in the vision- the things John had seen already, what he was seeing at the time, and what will take place in the future. This letter contains the timeless description of Jesus future appearing. Lastly, if churches are lampstands, they are intended to give light and show the way forward. What a noble and unique calling in our world. Government cannot save you. Only the Savior can. And the church, then is that great collection of believers, worldwide, throughout the ages, who have been ‘mini-lights’ within those lampstands.
What kind of messenger am I? Does my life shine as a light that gives testimony to God’s grace, love and mercy?
God, as this day begins- I am excited and grateful for so much. As our country suffers and recovers, grant patience to all of us. Thank you for the reminder that John received this grand revelation while under house arrest and imprisonment on an island. You can speak to us anywhere, under any circumstances. In that I rejoice. Please heal the disease of our day. Guard our leaders, local and statewide from pride, arrogance, and overreach. Help freedom loving Americans cherish their God-given rights, but act peaceably.