Revelation 1:10-20: The First Vision: Part Two
What is the church? If we ask the world, the church is an antiquated organization that has caused more harm than good, and who they want to retask as a charity arm to benefit people’s physical needs. The church is despised, shrinking, weak, polluted, compromised, abused, persecuted, divided, at least that is how it appears outwardly to the casual observer. The whole point of the book of Revelation is to show the first century Christians that things are not as they appear. Rome looks unbeatable and the church looks like it is on the soon-to-be-extinct list. We have spoken about how God is seeking to encourage His church and give them true insights into how things really stand and how they will turn out. Christ has revealed Himself as the continuing prophet, priest and king who acts and judges on behalf of His church. Now we want to focus in on what God wants the church to think about themselves. We will go over the same ground this time paying special attention to what God is showing the church about themselves and its relevance for life.
Since John is using the 7 churches as a representative number for the whole church, what we will see here applies not only in the first century but for ourselves as well. Two things stand out that we want to explore, firstly the seven golden lampstands, and secondly, the seven stars.