Thursday, July 8, 2010

Seven Lampstands, Seven Angels

Rev. 1:17-20 (ESV)
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, [18] and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. [19] Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. [20] As for the mystery of the seven stars that 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.

John falls to his feet. No one stands in the presence of God until God raises him up. That is the way it is. We have no ability to stand in his presence. Jesus comforts John then. He is the First an the last, he has conquered death, he has authority over death and Hades, he holds the keys.
The seven stars are the seven angels. Debate rages over what is meant here by angels. It may mean that every church has its own cherub assigned to it. The word angel though is not a one for one meaning cherub or seraph. It means messenger. And here it may also mean pastor, the one who communicates God’s word in the churches. They are held in his right hand, protected by his mercy. I know for one that pastors need that! It is a great responsibility to be a pastor, one can only do it by the mercy of God. If forgiveness, if the death and resurrection of Christ is not what is needed for salvation, if there is something more required, it is us pastors who are most to be pitied.

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