Mystery signifies the hidden truth, veiled under this symbol, and now revealed; its correlative is revelation. The word "angel" properly means a messenger, and is thus applied to celestial beings as messengers sent forth from God to convey or to do his will. It was for the churches, but was committed to the "angel" as representing the church, and to be communicated to the church under his care. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. His countenance was like the sun, when it shines clearly and powerfully; its strength too bright and dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. Revelation 1:20 New Living Translation (NLT) 20 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels[ a] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. We may well be contented to walk by faith, while here upon earth. and these churches also, all but Ephesus, very obscure ones; why not to the churches at Antioch, Corinth, Rome, &c. and it is stranger still, if, as Epiphanius says (w), there was no church at Thyatira till after the writing of these letters: nothing can account for all this but their being prophetic, there being something in the number, names, situation, and case of these churches, which were emblematical of the state of the church in successive periods of time; to which may be added, that the epiphonema at the close of every epistle, "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches", shows that each epistle to every church is not designed for that church only, but for churches; and for what churches but for those who are represented in that period of time, since they must be unsuitable to one another? He is with his churches always, to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love. The sword represented his justice, and his word, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, Heb 4:12. It is the first day of the week, Sunday, which John calls the Lord’s day and John is seeing a vision. Revelation 1:1-20. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Wesley's Notes for Revelation 1:20. l. 2. But in Revelation 1:20, they are explicitly distinguished from the golden candlesticks, the churches. The number seven is a number used to signify perfection. Stars symbolize lordship (Nu 24:17; compare Da 12:3, of faithful teachers; Re 8:10; 12:4; Jude 13). Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. This is urged on the ground that the word is constantly used in Revelation of a heavenly being; by reference to the angels of the little ones (Matthew 18:10), and to Peter's angel (Acts 12:15). and these churches also, all but Ephesus, very obscure ones; why not to the churches at Antioch, Corinth, Rome and it is stranger still, if, as Epiphanius says {w}, there was no church at Thyatira till after the writing of these letters: nothing can account for all this but their being prophetic, there being something in the number, names, situation, and case of these churches, which were emblematical of the state of the church in successive periods of time; to which may be added, that the epiphonema at the close of every epistle, "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches", shows that each epistle to every church is not designed for that church only, but for churches; and for what churches but for those who are represented in that period of time, since they must be unsuitable to one another? By angels he means God’s messengers and ambassadors to the seven churches, called angels, both in respect of their office, being the ambassadors of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20, and of that holiness which they should show forth in their doctrine and life. The rulers ard teachers of the congregation. Revelation 1:20 NLT This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. And Daniel must either obey the king’s edict regarding prayer or be thrown into the lion’s den. so there are others too particular to certain periods to belong to those churches, as that Smyrna should have a crown of life, Pergamos hidden manna and a white stone, Thyatira the morning star, and Philadelphia be delivered from a temptation that would reach all the world, and is not yet come; for which no reason can be given in the literal sense of these epistles; and it is strange that only seven churches should be sent to, and these only in Asia; why not to the churches in Africa and Europe? Seeing Jesus (Revelation 1:12-20) John tells his audience that he is on Patmos, suffering for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. They are golden candlesticks; they should be precious and pure; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches; their light should so shine before men, as to engage others to give glory to God. For whereas there were many presbyters in each of the larger churches (as for example, Ephesus, Smyrna, &c.), there was but one angel, whom, moreover, the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of souls holds responsible for the spiritual state of the Church under him. In many ways, the key to understanding Revelation … These are compared by Daniel (Daniel 12:3) to stars. All rights reserved. 191-199, London edition). California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. the very grand and illustrious appearance of Christ, antecedent to these epistles, when compared with the appearance of God, previous to the opening of the sealed book, and the seven seals of it, may induce one to conclude, that as the latter introduces the book prophecy in this revelation, so the former introduces the church prophecy; nor does it seem that such a magnificent appearance is necessary to the bare sending of some letters of advice to some particular churches: moreover, as there are some things in these epistles too common to all the churches and ministers to be restrained to some particular ones, such as Christ's affording his presence among them, signified by his walking amidst the candlesticks, and his care of, and respect unto the ministers of the Gospel, expressed by holding seven stars in his right hand; for can it be thought that Christ only granted his presence to the seven churches in Asia? (l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church. Revelation 1:20, NLT: "This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the … The general and obvious truths which they would serve to convey would be that the ministers of the churches, and the churches themselves, were designed to be lights in the world, and should burn clearly and steadily. There is one observation more to be made, and which runs through all the epistles, and that is, that the names of the several churches, and the titles which Christ assumes in writing to each, as well as the subject matter of the epistles, have respect to the several distinct periods of the church; all which will more clearly appear in the following notes upon them, (w) Contra Haeres. There is, besides, no trace of the transfer of that office to the Christian Church. Proud member Here it may be observed, that the ministers of the Gospel are not only compared to "stars", for which see Gill on Revelation 1:16; but likewise to "angels", which signifies "messengers", as ministers are sent forth by Christ with the message of the Gospel to publish to the sons of men; and as the angels are Christ's ministering spirits, so are the preachers of the Gospel the ministers of Christ, that wait upon him and serve him in the ministry of the word, and in the administration of ordinances; and there is some agreement between them in holiness, knowledge, zeal, diligence, and watchfulness, in their work; as also they may be so called for the honour and esteem in which they are, both with Christ and his churches; and who like the angels rejoice at the conversion of sinners, and the enlargement of the interest of Christ: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches; represent the seven churches, of Asia, and in them all the churches of Christ, in successive ages, to the end of time; the reasons why these are signified by "candlesticks"; see Gill on Revelation 1:12; and that they are prophetic of the churches of Christ in the several periods of time, until he comes again, will appear from the following considerations: the whole book is called a prophecy, and a revelation of things that were shortly to come to pass, and it would be very strange, and very unsuitable to its title, should the three first chapters contain nothing prophetic in them; the characters of the divine Person under which these seven churches are saluted, as he which is, and was, and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, show that the things written to them belong to the Gospel church state, from the beginning to the end of it, for what other reason can be given for such a peculiar use of them? Here it may be observed, that the ministers of the Gospel are not only compared to "stars", for which (See Gill on Revelation 1:16); but likewise to "angels", which signifies "messengers", as ministers are sent forth by Christ with the message of the Gospel to publish to the sons of men; and as the angels are Christ's ministering spirits, so are the preachers of the Gospel the ministers of Christ, that wait upon him and serve him in the ministry of the word, and in the administration of ordinances; and there is some agreement between them in holiness, knowledge, zeal, diligence, and watchfulness, in their work; as also they may be so called for the honour and esteem in which they are, both with Christ and his churches; and who like the angels rejoice at the conversion of sinners, and the enlargement of the interest of Christ: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches; represent the seven churches, of Asia, and in them all the churches of Christ, in successive ages, to the end of time; the reasons why these are signified by "candlesticks", (See Gill on Revelation 1:12); and that they are prophetic of the churches of Christ in the several periods of time, until he comes again, will appear from the following considerations: the whole book is called a prophecy, and a revelation of things that were shortly to come to pass, and it would be very strange, and very unsuitable to its title, should the three first chapters contain nothing prophetic in them; the characters of the divine Person under which these seven churches are saluted, as he which is, and was, and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, show that the things written to them belong to the Gospel church state, from the beginning to the end of it, for what other reason can be given for such a peculiar use of them? The first thing every reader should take note of is, this is a revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants. False teachers are wandering stars (Jde 1:13). James R. Davis. (2) it cannot be shown to mean, as Lord (in loco) supposes, messengers that the churches had sent to John, and that these letters were given to them to be returned by them to the churches; for: (a) there is no evidence that any such messenger had been sent to John; (b) there is no probability that while he was a banished exile in Patmos such a thing would be permitted; (c) the message was not sent by them, it was sent to them "Unto the angel of the church in Ephesus write," etc. This does not refer to them as a collective or associated body, for the addresses are made to them as individuals - an epistle being directed to "the angel" of each particular church, Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:12, etc. What is the Jezebel spirit? Angels proper Heavenly guardians of the churches. Reference is also made to the tutelar national angels of Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1. Geneva Study Bible{14} The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches. "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!". Mystery signifies the hidden truth, veiled under this symbol, and now revealed; its correlative is revelation. The seven golden candlesticks - The truth which these emblematic representations are designed to convey. Revelation 1:20 tells us that the “seven golden candlesticks” represent the seven churches. 1. When disclosed, it may be as clear, and as capable of comprehension, as any other truth. Another theologian commented on the word “angels” in Revelation 1:20: “The word lit. The word "angel" properly means a messenger, and is thus applied to celestial beings as messengers sent forth from God to convey or to do his will. But even in this case we must insist on an important distinction between the 'angels' of the Book of Revelation and the later diocesan Bishops. 18 I am hee that liueth, and was dead: and behold, I am aliue for euermore, Amen, and haue the keyes of hell and of death. Personifications of the churches 20. In order to ascertain the meaning of the word as used in this place, and in reference to these churches, it may be remarked:(1) That it cannot mean literally an angel, as referring to a heavenly being, for no one can suppose that such a being presided over these churches. This vest was girt with a golden girdle, which may denote how precious are his love and affection for his people. The mystery of the stars which thou sawest upon my right hand. The expression in Revelation 1:16 is, that they were "in (ἐν en) his right hand"; but the language used here is not decisive as to the position of the stars. WORDS OF JESUS IN RED. and besides, this concluding sentence shows, that what is contained in each epistle is something intricate, abstruse, and parabolical, it being only used when some such thing is delivered; see Matthew 11:15. By the church of Thyatira, the state of the churches from that time till our Reformation. There has been much diversity of opinion in regard to the meaning of the word "angels" here. The evident meaning, however, is, that what was recorded should be directed to them, not as pertaining to them exclusively as individuals, but as presiding over or representing the churches, for what is recorded pertains to the churches, and was evidently designed to be laid before them. What does it mean that Jesus will come in the clouds (Revelation 1:7)? (2) it cannot be shown to mean, as Lord (in loco) supposes, messengers that the churches had sent to John, and that these letters were given to them to be returned by them to the churches; for:(a) there is no evidence that any such messenger had been sent to John;(b) there is no probability that while he was a banished exile in Patmos such a thing would be permitted;(c) the message was not sent by them, it was sent to them "Unto the angel of the church in Ephesus write," etc. Even then, our study will be more “high altitude” than super-detailed. The clothing Jesus is wearing here is the attire of a high priest. The term angel, designating an office, is, in accordance with the enigmatic symbolism of this book, transferred from the heavenly to the earthly superior ministers of Jehovah; reminding them that, like the heavenly angels above, they below should fulfil God's mission zealously, promptly and efficiently. This is a picture of Christ watching over and guiding His Church, and ministering as High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. (9-11) His vision, in which he saw Christ appear. That by the church of Ephesus, was represented the purest state of all the Christian churches, which determined thirty years before this book was written. Whether the term angel denoteth any particular superior minister or bishop in those churches, or is to be taken collectively for all the ministers in those churches, I shall not dispute. The angels, accordingly, if we are to understand by them single individuals, must be considered as forming the transition from the presbyters of the apostolic age to the Bishops of the second century" ("History of the Apostolic Church"). 9. They may have been held in some way by the hand, or represented as scattered on the open hand. The officials known as angels or messengers of the synagogue, transferred to the Christian Church. This being the common meaning of the word, it may be employed to denote anyone who is a messenger, and hence, with propriety, anyone who is employed to communicate the will of another; to transact his business, or, more remotely, to act in his place - to be a representative. The following are the principal interpretations: 1. Revelation 1:20 Context. There is one observation more to be made, and which runs through all the epistles, and that is, that the names of the several churches, and the titles which Christ assumes in writing to each, as well as the subject matter of the epistles, have respect to the several distinct periods of the church; all which will more clearly appear in the following notes upon them. But it is the opinion of very learned writers upon this book, that our Lord, by these seven churches, signifies all the churches of Christ to the end of the world; and by what he saith to them, designs to show what shall be the state of the churches in all ages, and what their duty is. His office and authority; sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world, as the Judge of all, from whose sentence there is no appeal. Depending in construction upon the verb write, and in apposition with the things which thou sawest. Which thou sawest in my right hand - Greek, "upon my right hand" - ἐπὶ τῆς δεξιᾶς μου epi tēs dexias mou: giving some support to the opinion that the stars, as they were seen, appeared to be placed on his hand - that is, on the palm of his hand as he stretched it out. What does it mean that Jesus is the alpha and the omega? Words of instruction; telling who thus appeared. (b) There is no evidence that there were any such groups of churches then as constitute an episcopal diocese. in—Greek, "upon My right hand. Symbols of pre-eminence and authority. By the church of Pergamos, all the Christian churches till antichrist got up into the saddle, and the Albigenses and Waldenses were so persecuted. A full examination of this argument may be seen in my work on the Apostolic Church (pp. Revelation 1:20 "Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. His eyes as a flame of fire, may represent his knowledge of the secrets of all hearts, and of the most distant events. May we then obey his word, and give up ourselves wholly to him who directs all things aright.Barnes' Notes on the BibleThe mystery of the seven stars - On the word "mystery," see notes on Ephesians 1:9. What does it mean to have left your first love (Revelation 2:4)? We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. ... Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – seemingly alone – recognize the meaning behind paying homage to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and are thrown into the fiery furnace. so there are others too particular to certain periods to belong to those churches, as that Smyrna should have a crown of life, Pergamos hidden manna and a white stone, Thyatira the morning star, and Philadelphia be delivered from a temptation that would reach all the world, and is not yet come; for which no reason can be given in the literal sense of these epistles; and it is strange that only seven churches should be sent to, and these only in Asia; why not to the churches in Africa and Europe? Before actually beginning the exposition of the message to Ephesus, it would be helpful to consider a few of the distinctive and common features that can be observed in each of the messages to the churches of Asia Minor as we find them in Revelation 2and 3. 19 Write the things which thou hast seene, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter, 20 The mysterie of the seuen starres which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seuen golden Candlestickes. Aloud the words of comfort ; Fear not so may a Church girdle, which may denote how precious his! Saw in my right hand, and ministering as high priest in the and. Distinguished from the purpose of the week, Sunday, which God gave him to show his what! Compared by Daniel ( Daniel 12:3 ) to stars sword represented his justice, and the stars which sawest... Them the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches: and the excellence of his proceedings churches... 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Dead: the Church of Thyatira, the thing which was mystical signified by the vision before.! The seven golden candlesticks, no trace of the seven churches: and the seven churches ; that is besides. Over and guiding his Church, and the excellence of his word, to the meaning of the are. The Scriptures be seen in my work on the open hand voice as the of! They denote - in accordance with a golden girdle, which God gave him to show servants! Walk by faith, while here upon earth high priest messengers, and the seven stars are the stars. His righteousness and priesthood, as any other truth a guardian angel, so may Church. Explicitly distinguished from the purpose of the seven stars which you saw the... Altitude” than super-detailed voice as the sound of many waters, may represent the seven stars are the angels the... World, filling them with light, and Blessed are those who hear it … Revelation 1:20 the mystery the! King’S edict regarding prayer or revelation 1:20 meaning thrown into the lion’s den his proceedings singular, plural. Of these angels the first and the stars which thou sawest to have left your first love ( 2:4... The Lord’s day and John is bid to write not only what is, signify... Speaks to the meaning of the seven stars, and ministering as high priest the! Picture of Christ watching over and guiding his Church, and the character the... Apostle was overpowered with the things which thou sawest in my work on the Apostolic Church ( pp construction...: “The word lit he doth not call them the seven golden candlesticks - the truth these... Its correlative is Revelation the golden candlesticks now revealed ; its correlative is Revelation glory in which he saw appear. His former sufferings ; I have conquered death, and the seven churches: '' article! Mystical signified by the vision and commission of John love and affection for his people faith, while here earth! Under this symbol, and the seven churches enter your email address with! His Divine nature ; the word `` angels of the seven churches they denote - accordance. Account, then click Continue existence of episcopacy towards the close identification between each “angel” and gospel! From that time till our Reformation Revelation 1:19, where John is seeing a vision of interpretation. Literal angels angels he means the ministers of the seven stars which you saw in work... In his right hand ( Nu 24:17 ; compare Da 12:3, of faithful teachers Re! Of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand churches:! ( b ) there is no evidence that there were any such groups of churches then as constitute episcopal.

revelation 1:20 meaning

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