revelation 1:20 meaning

The exact meaning of the term here is uncertain. These are compared by Daniel (Daniel 12:3) to stars. Haeres. 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? This raises the question of the existence of episcopacy towards the close of the first century. By the church of Pergamos, all the Christian churches till antichrist got up into the saddle, and the Albigenses and Waldenses were so persecuted. 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. He was clothed with a robe down to the feet, perhaps representing his righteousness and priesthood, as Mediator. 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. And Daniel must either obey the king’s edict regarding prayer or be thrown into the lion’s den. If … What are the keys of death (Revelation 1:18)? Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. 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. Words of instruction; telling who thus appeared. 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 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. 7. These were mere clerks or readers; so that their position does not answer to that of the angels presiding over the churches. (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 … Who are the Nicolaitans mentioned in Revelation 2:6, 14-15? This verse beautifully illustrates the principle of literal interpretation: when symbols are used, their meaning is explained. 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? 4. 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. Stars symbolize lordship (Nu 24:17; compare Da 12:3, of faithful teachers; Re 8:10; 12:4; Jude 13).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. Stars symbolize lordship (Nu 24:17; compare Da 12:3, of faithful teachers; Re 8:10; 12:4; Jude 13). 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. 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. Matthew Poole's Commentary The mystery of the seven stars, and the seven golden candlesticks: see Revelation 1:12,16. 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 vest was girt with a golden girdle, which may denote how precious are his love and affection for his people. 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. 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. Angels proper Heavenly guardians of the churches. 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. See also Haggai 1:13. (3) it cannot be proved that the reference is to a prelatical bishop presiding over a group or circle of churches, called a diocese; for: (a) There is nothing in the word "angel," as used in this connection, which would be especially applicable to such a personage - it being as applicable to a pastor of a single church, as to a bishop of many churches. 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. It is not probable that these epistles would have been ushered in with such a vision, if they had been merely historical and didactic, not prophetical also. Mystery signifies the hidden truth, veiled under this symbol, and now revealed; its correlative is revelation. Revelation 1:1-20 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. Symbols of pre-eminence and authority. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. or that the pastors of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand? 2. (14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the particulars of the vision before going. Lack of scriptural evidence for the personification of congregations of believers. That is what happens if you read the entire Bible and fail to read the book of Revelation. "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!" (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. Revelation 1:20, NASB: "'As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven 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. Clarke's Revelation 1:20 Bible Commentary The mystery - That is, the allegorical explanation of the seven stars is the seven angels or ministers of the Churches; and the allegorical meaning of the seven golden lamps is the seven Churches themselves. The book of Revelation tells us how the story ends. The number seven is a number used to signify perfection. Revelation 1:20 tells us that the “seven golden candlesticks” represent the seven churches. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. Personifications of the churches 20. See the notes on Matthew 26:26. 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? 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. Revelation 1:20 This is the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and … 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. 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. 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. His eyes as a flame of fire, may represent his knowledge of the secrets of all hearts, and of the most distant events. ­ The revelation - singular, not plural "revelations." This is a picture of Christ watching over and guiding His Church, and ministering as High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary. 191-199, London edition). 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? His resurrection and life; I have conquered death, and am partaker of endless life. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches. 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? John hears a loud … 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). The angels of the seven churches - Greek, "Angels of the seven churches:" the article being missing. (4-8) Declares when, where, and how, the revelation was made to him. When disclosed, it may be as clear, and as capable of comprehension, as any other truth. His countenance was like the sun, when it shines clearly and powerfully; its strength too bright and dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. 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 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." 191-199, London edition). 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. The seven stars were emblems of the ministers of the seven churches to which the apostle was ordered to write, and whom Christ upheld and directed. There has been much diversity of opinion in regard to the meaning of the word "angels" here. They argue from Revelation 1:19, where John is bid to write not only what is, but what shall come to pass. or that the pastors of those churches were the only ones Christ holds in his right hand? 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. His head and hairs white like wool and as snow, may signify his majesty, purity, and eternity. 3. 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. (l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand The sense is, that John was to write the mystery of these stars, or the mystical sense of them: and the seven golden candlesticks; the mystery, or mysterious sense of them also; for the words are in a continued connection with ( Revelation 1:19 ) , and have respect to the following interpretation of them, and to the epistles in the following chapter, which are mystical, and prophetical of the state of the churches in all succeeding ages: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, the seven stars which John saw in Christ's right hand, represent the angels, or pastors of the seven churches of Asia, and in them all the pastors and ministers of the churches in all the periods of time until Christ's second coming. KING JAMES VERSION (KJV) TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT. New International Version. 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? The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, they signify the angels of the seven churches. 2. Because no reason else can be given, why epistles should not be written to other churches as well as these. Revelation 1:1-20. (b) There is no evidence that there were any such groups of churches then as constitute an episcopal diocese. 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"). 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. 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. 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. His voice as the sound of many waters, may represent the power of his word, to remove or to destroy. “Stars” or … 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. There is, besides, no trace of the transfer of that office to the Christian Church. By the church of Smyrna, the state of all Christian churches till the year 300. 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? 5. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches. 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. To get what Revelation 1:20 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. The angels are a personification of the churches themselves: the Church being spoken of as if concentrated in its angel or messenger. 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 1:1-20. 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? His office and authority; sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world, as the Judge of all, from whose sentence there is no appeal. Geneva Study Bible{14} The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. 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. 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 * of the seven churches, and … See on Matthew 13:11. Mystery signifies the hidden truth, veiled under this symbol, and now revealed; its correlative is revelation. Revelation 1:20. that is, the seven stars which John saw in Christ's right hand, represent the angels, or pastors of the seven churches of Asia, and in them all the pastors and ministers of the churches in all the periods of time until Christ's second coming. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. A full examination of this argument may be seen in my work on the Apostolic Church (pp. This chapter contains the prologue of the book, followed by the vision and commission of John. Depending in construction upon the verb write, and in apposition with the things which thou sawest. His calling ministers angels, speaks this a prophecy, for that is a prophetical style. The seven stars are - That is, they represent, or they denote - in accordance with a common usage in the Scriptures. Romans 1:18-20. Revelation 1:20. 6. Scripture: Revelation 1:1-20, Isaiah 11:2, 2 … REVELATION 1:20. The mystery of the stars which thou sawest upon my right hand. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The word means, properly, "what is hidden, obscure, unknown" - until it is disclosed by one having the ability to do it, or by the course of events. Another theologian commented on the word “angels” in Revelation 1:20: “The word lit. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. 18:1-3 God Calls His People out of Babylon: Just before probation closes and the seven last plagues are poured out, “another angel” cries “mightily” and “the earth” is “lightened with his glory.” This angel represents a gracious message of salvation. The apostle was overpowered with the greatness of the lustre and glory in which Christ appeared. It is the final and most powerful warning given to the world. 51. 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. 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. Let us listen to the voice of Christ, and receive the tokens of his love, for what can he withhold from those for whose sins he has died? The seven golden candlesticks - The truth which these emblematic representations are designed to convey. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. 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. 1. (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. 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. 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 … 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 ) ( Matthew 13:9 Matthew 13:43 ) . A full examination of this argument may be seen in my work on the Apostolic Church (pp. He doth not call them the seven churches of Asia, but seven churches. For how could heavenly angels be charged with the delinquencies laid here to the charge of these angels? "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!". Revelation 1:20 ERV Here is the hidden meaning of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands that you saw: The seven lampstands are the seven churches. It is urged that, if an individual may have a guardian angel, so may a Church. Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches.” Thus, the candlesticks (or “lampstands”) symbolize literal churches, and the stars symbolize literal angels. Three Reasons for the Christian to be Encouraged – Revelation 1:4-20. 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. 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. He is with his churches always, to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love. For how could heavenly angels be charged with the delinquencies laid here to the charge of these angels? What does it mean that Jesus will come in the clouds (Revelation 1:7)? 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? 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