Seven Lamp stands – they are receptacles that hold the oil and wick and produce light. The lamp stand can do nothing of itself. Jesus told his disciples, “Without me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:4b) The priest was responsible for cleaning and polishing the lamp stand and making sure nothing impeded the free flow of oil into each branch of the menorah. He was to see there was an unending supply of oil so that the light would never be extinguished.
(Ex. 27:20-21). The light not only allowed the priests to see and perform their work within the windowless confines of the tabernacle/temple but also continually illuminated the witness displayed therein by the other articles of furniture and shimmered off the embroidered strands of blue, purple and scarlet woven into the veil before the Holy of Holies. “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”
(1 Peter 3:15)
Seven Angels - messengers = pastors = witness - that which bears testimony to the Truth.
Seven Churches in Asia – Turkey vs. Far East of today. Their location has been determined by archeology and history.
4 Ways to view the letters to the seven Churches.
- Local, to the churches actually addressed.
- Admonition, to all in churches in all times as tests by which their true spiritual state in the sight of God.
- Personal, in the exhortations to him “who has an ear,” and in the promises “to him who overcomes”.
- Prophetic, as disclosing in two areas the phases of church in history and spiritual condition.
(Adapted from notes – New Scofield Reference Bible page 1353)
Keys to Interpretation of the Letters to the Seven Churches
- Idealist : The entire book is to be spiritualized; it is symbolic of the unending struggle between good and evil.
- Preterist: The book symbolically presents conditions existing in the First Century and does not profess or predict the
- Historicist: The book symbolically represents the entire, continuous course of church history from John’s day to the
end of time. Each symbol portrays some event in history.
- Futurist: All the prophecies from 4:1 to the end of the book are to be fulfilled immediately before and immediately after the Second Advent of Christ.
As a dispensationalist this is my position and the approach that I will use in our study of the book of Revelation.