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. 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. His calling ministers angels, speaks this a prophecy, for that is a prophetical style. If … Revelation 1:20 . 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. 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. A full examination of this argument may be seen in my work on the Apostolic Church (pp. The angels of the seven churches - Greek, "Angels of the seven churches:" the article being missing. See also Haggai 1:13. We may well be contented to walk by faith, while here upon earth. or that the pastors of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand? Personifications of the churches 20. They argue from the matter of the epistles.—Let the curious reader see more of this in the authors themselves, as also in Mr. Brightman. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. The mystery of the seven stars, and the seven golden candlesticks: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches; τὸ μυστήριον τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀστέρων, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. 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? Certain it is, aggelov signifieth no more than is common to all ministers, viz. angels—not as Alford, from Origen [Homily 13 on Luke, and Homily 20 on Numbers], the guardian angels of the churches, just as individuals have their guardian angels. See the notes on Matthew 26:26.The angels of the seven churches - Greek, "Angels of the seven churches:" the article being missing. Geneva Study Bible{14} The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. Mystery signifies the hidden truth, veiled under this symbol, and now revealed; its correlative is revelation. Revelation 1:20 . The meaning here, as applied to the seven stars, is, that they were symbols, and that their meaning as symbols, without a suitable explanation, would remain hidden or unknown. 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. 1:20 Write first the mystery - The mysterious meaning of the seven stars - St. John knew better than we do, in how many respects these stars were a proper emblem of those angels: how nearly they resembled each other, and how far they differed in magnitude, brightness, aa& other circumstances. 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? The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, they signify the angels of the seven churches. Salem Media Group. The following are the principal interpretations: 1. And Daniel must either obey the king’s edict regarding prayer or be thrown into the lion’s den. And his Divine nature; the First and the Last. This verse beautifully illustrates the principle of literal interpretation: when symbols are used, their meaning is explained. The rulers ard teachers of the congregation. 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. 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? That is what happens if you read the entire Bible and fail to read the book of Revelation. The seven golden candlesticks - The truth which these emblematic representations are designed to convey. The clothing Jesus is wearing here is the attire of a high priest. 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? (c) The use of the word "church" in the singular, as applied to Ephesus, Smyrna, etc., rather implies that there was but a single church in each of those cities. For how could heavenly angels be charged with the delinquencies laid here to the charge of these angels? So you hang in limbo as to how the book ends. He is with his churches always, to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love. It is urged that, if an individual may have a guardian angel, so may a Church. See the notes on Matthew 26:26. This vest was girt with a golden girdle, which may denote how precious are his love and affection for his people. Then, if a human angel be meant (as the Old Testament analogy favors, Hag 1:13, "the Lord's Messenger in the Lord's message"; Mal 2:7; 3:1), the bishop, or superintendent pastor, must be the angel. He was clothed with a robe down to the feet, perhaps representing his righteousness and priesthood, as Mediator. The mentioning the same number of churches and ministers, as of the seals, speaks this part of the Revelation as comprehensive, with respect to time, as the other. (b) There is no evidence that there were any such groups of churches then as constitute an episcopal diocese. 1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. of They argue from Revelation 1:19, where John is bid to write not only what is, but what shall come to pass. (l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church. What is said of Christ’s walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks, having the stars in his right hand, &c., agreeth to him with reference to all churches, not to these seven only. (Revelation 2:4; Revelation 3:1, Revelation 3:16)? But why should the seer be instructed to write to heavenly messengers, with exhortations to repentance and fidelity, and describing them as "rich," "poor," "lukewarm," etc. (b) There is no evidence that there were any such groups of churches then as constitute an episcopal diocese. 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 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. 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. These are compared by Daniel (Daniel 12:3) to stars. 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. It is evidently implied that the meaning of these symbols would be beyond the ordinary powers of the human mind to arrive at with certainty, and hence John was directed to explain the symbol. Compare Isaiah 14:12. See Dr. More, Mr. Mede, Cocceius, and Forbes, as learned and diligent inquirers into the sense of this book as any have been, who give many reasons for this: 1. 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God a gave him b to show to his servants 1 the things that must soon take place. 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. 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. By the advocates of Episcopacy, it has been argued that the use of this term proves that there was a presiding bishop over a circle or group of churches in Ephesus, in Smyrna, etc., since it is said that it cannot be supposed that there was but a single church in a city so large as Ephesus, or in the other cities mentioned. 191-199, London edition). It is generally agreed that the word ‘mystery’ here depends on ‘write,’ and that it is in apposition with the ‘things which thou sawest’ The word denotes what man cannot know by his natural powers, or without the help of Divine revelation. Revelation 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate. Depending in construction upon the verb write, and in apposition with the things which thou sawest. 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. 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. 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? Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches.” (c) The use of the word "church" in the singular, as applied to Ephesus, Smyrna, etc., rather implies that there was but a single church in each of those cities. (b) The word is used of the ministry collectively; the whole board of officers, including both presbyters and deacons, who represented and were responsible for the moral condition of the churches. 4. See on Matthew 13:11. These were mere clerks or readers; so that their position does not answer to that of the angels presiding over the churches. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary1:12-20 The churches receive their light from Christ and the gospel, and hold it forth to others. 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. or that the pastors of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand? Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. 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. means ‘messenger.’ Although it can mean angel—and does throughout the book—it cannot refer to angels here because angels are never leaders in the church. False teachers are wandering stars (Jde 1:13). 1. 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. 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. 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 sword represented his justice, and his word, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, Heb 4:12. 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. or that the pastors of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand? "the mystery … candlesticks—in apposition to, and explaining, "the things which thou hast seen," governed by "Write." 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? There has been much diversity of opinion in regard to the meaning of the word "angels" here. His feet like fine brass burning in a furnace, may denote the firmness of his appointments, and the excellence of his proceedings. The seven stars are the {l} angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!" (4-8) Declares when, where, and how, the revelation was made to him. 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. The angels are a personification of the churches themselves: the Church being spoken of as if concentrated in its angel or messenger. Revelation 1:20. 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. (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. Angels proper Heavenly guardians of the churches. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. John hears a loud … 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. 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. By the church of Smyrna, the state of all Christian churches till the year 300. 2. Haeres. "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!". His former sufferings; I was dead: the very same whom his disciples saw upon the cross. The book of Revelation tells us how the story ends. Wesley's Notes for Revelation 1:20. James R. Davis. They were designed to represent important truths, and John was directed to write down what they were intended in the circumstances to signify, and to send the explanation to the churches. Second, the angels, represented symbolically in Revelation 1:20 as seven stars in the hands of the glorified Christ, are distinct from the seven lampstands which represent the churches. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches. See Malachi 2:7, where the priest is called the messenger (angel) of the Lord; and Malachi 3:1, where the same word is used of the prophet. Revelation chapter 1. 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? Then, if a human angel be meant (as the Old Testament analogy favors, Hag 1:13, "the Lord's Messenger in the Lord's message"; Mal 2:7; 3:1), the bishop, or superintendent pastor, must be the angel. But in Revelation 1:20, they are explicitly distinguished from the golden candlesticks, the churches. 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 thou sawest are the seven churches. Compare Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:8,Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:18; see also similar language in regard to the church in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:2; in Antioch, Acts 13:1; at Laodicea, Colossians 4:16; and at Ephesus, Acts 20:28. the mystery … candlesticks—in apposition to, and explaining, "the things which thou hast seen," governed by "Write." Matthew Poole's Commentary The mystery of the seven stars, and the seven golden candlesticks: see Revelation 1:12,16. The exact meaning of the term here is uncertain. 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. What does it mean to have left your first love (Revelation 2:4)? All rights reserved. Revelation 1:1-20. 3. By the other three, the state of all churches for one hundred and fifty years last past, and which shall be to the end of the world. (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. 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. Christ speaks to the churches both in the singular and plural. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. (12-20) Commentary on Revelation 1:1-3 (Read Revelation 1:1-3) This book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ; the whole Bible is so; for all revelation comes through Christ, and all relates to …
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