Rev 1:12-20 Then I (John) turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven golden lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden sash. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. He had in right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore! Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden stands: The seven stars are the angels (mal’achim) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
–Yeshua is the High Priest of God’s Kingdom, our mediator as the Son of Man over His churches.
–Full of glory (Mt 17:2; ctr Phlp 2:5-11)
–Yeshua speaks the Word of God. (Heb 4:12-13)
–He is holy, and is in the midst of His churches.
–He is the Living One; the Victorious One
–There is an angel (messenger) over each of the churches under the authority of Jesus.
Ex 25:31-32, 40 You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
–pure gold, symbolizing divinity; base (foundation) and shaft (trunk) with its branches (the lampstand is in the design of an almond tree, a plant/tzemach); all of one piece (union/unity);
— made according to heavenly pattern shown to Moses on Mt. Sinai
Ex 27:20-21 And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the light to burn continually. In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before YHVH. It is a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.
–The High Priest and his sons (the other priests) were to keep the lights burning through the night, as a lasting ordinance (the Church is within the Commonwealth of Israel) inside the Holy Place of the Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle).
Ex 29:42-43 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting before YHVH, where I (YHVH) will meet you to speak with you. And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the Tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory.
–The Tabernacle of Meeting is where God would meet with His people at His appointed times, and Israel’s glory would be the presence of the glory of YHVH God with them. (1Cor 14:24-25)
Mal 2:5-7 My covenant was with him (Levi), of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he fear Me; and he feared Me, and was reverent before My name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger (mal’ach) of YHVH of Hosts.
–covenant of life and peace with Levi (priestly family); responsible for faithfully representing YHVH God of Hosts to the people and of maintaining their own holiness
–the priest is the messenger/angel of the LORD of Hosts (Jn 12:41)
The Church (with each believer) is now the active light in the world – the golden lampstand – while Israel has been temporarily removed, while still passively a light. (Her lampstand has been removed like the church of Ephesus was warned about.) While under the Law only the Levites of the children of Israel had access – with both privileges and responsibilities — to the Menorah (Lampstand) in the Holy Place, now the seven golden lampstands are the churches! In Messiah, the veil has been torn and all believers have been made priests unto God, and we have access – with privileges and responsibilities – into His presence. God meets with us when we assemble together in holiness and truth under the Lordship of our Great High Priest Yeshua.
The churches maintain a perpetual light for the truth of Yeshua – the testimony of Jesus. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. The symbolism of the lampstand perpetually burning through the night – whether as the moon (Israel) or as stars (believers) – also gives us to understand that these seven letters to the churches are written not only for/to them who lived at that time almost 2000 years ago, but also for us living today near the end of the age. The words of Jesus to them He is still speaking to churches today.
It is the testimony of Jesus – Who/What He Is – that He is maintaining in and through His churches – His Body, and calling His ‘angels’ (priests) to uphold – among ourselves and also to the world, as we hope-fully anticipate the revelation of Jesus Christ at His coming again!
Remember that the Menorah is of one piece – Yeshua the Head and central Light, joined to His people, lights in the world who are to shine upon Him: the glory of God is given to His people, and our glory is to give Him glory!
Next week, people around the world – believers and unbelievers alike – within the Church and without (the fishing net and the mustard tree) – will celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. It is for us to proclaim the testimony of Jesus as light in the world:
–Son of God
–Son of Man
–Son of David
–King of kings
–Lord of lords
–Messiah (Prophet, High Priest, King)
–The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God
–Victor/Overcomer over the works of the devil, of the world, and over sin, death, and hell
Rev 1:9-11 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches. . . .”