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Written by J.H. Fisher   

Chapter I -- The Candlesticks

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds."--2nd Cor. 10:4.

"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." -Rev 1:20.

This is the interpretation to John of the strange vision which he saw on the isle of Patmos. John was cast on this island as a matter of persecution for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. When God's servants are being unjustly opposed and denounced, then it is that God gives them more light and: liberty in the things of our Lord Jesus Christ. God overrules the persecution to the good of His poor servant, and sets the light over against the darkness. "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." "Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."--Matt. 5:11, 12.

How rejoiced was the dear Old servant, in that lonely isle, when he saw the wondrous vision and its meaning told to him, then saw that the God of Heaven had chosen him to write it and send it to the church, the Bride of Jesus. This is the last direct letter to the Bride, the church. It was a glorious message that was to be sent on down through the ages for the Lord's suffering children to prove to them that they are chosen witnesses to declare His glory to the people, and be a light around and in the church to give light and comfort in spite of the little foolish opposition of foolish men and wicked opposers. God is able to make His servant stand, in spite of all the opposition of men. Can you overthrow the work that God has sent His servants to do? I trow not.

The seven stars are the seven angels, preachers. They were seen in His right hand. John was here in the right hand of Jesus. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, was in the right hand of Jesus Christ. And so was Paul as he went preaching the glorious gospel of light that fed the people and instructed the people and pointed them in the right way. Unless they are in His right hand they can do nothing. But can do all things when in His right hand.

It is good to look at the preacher when he is in the right hand of the Lord Jesus. Then he appears in his right place, but if you gaze at him when not in the right hand of Jesus, you are sure then in the dark. When men are in the dark they are most sure to worship a preacher, and then confusion starts. O that all our true ministers might hide behind the Cross, so that Jesus and not self is seen in our preaching. The sun represents Jesus, and a star represents a minister of the gospel, but unless you see Him in the right hand of Jesus, he is out of place. The Savior said: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."--John 15:4. The Savior is so bright like the sun that it is daylight when you see the face of Jesus, but if you are looking at the preacher, as a star away from the sun, then you are in the dark. When we worship and gaze at the preacher (star), we are always in the dark. How foolish are we, when we are worshiping our preachers and how in the dark we are. But again, how good it is to love and reverence our preachers When they are seen in the right hand of Him who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Then there is light and joy and fellowship. The candlesticks are seven, which represents full number, completeness. Jesus walks in the midst of all His true candlesticks. He built them, and He furnishes the oil to keep them burning. They are as a city set upon a hill that can not be hid. "Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven." --Matt. 5:14-15-16.

The good works of God's children that walk in Jesus are light and bright because Jesus is seen in them, and He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. This then in blessed union, makes a two-fold light that is for teaching, preaching, feeding, comforting, guiding, directing the children in love, peace and obedience.

Different figures are used to represent the church. Some times a tree, or a mountain, a vine, a house, etc. But in this instance we have candlesticks--that is, a thing that is artifi cially made. So the candlestick is not to represent the im mediate fullness of grace not connected with works, but some thing that is connected with the works of God's people--I mean the organic church--that people are connected with it by obedience, being baptized and coming into direct fellow ship. Thus we see that the visible organization is associa ted with the acts of obedience, the works of God's obedient people, and is therefore illustrated by an artificial thing, candlestick. The star is not an artificial thing. God directly made the stars, and man's obedience was not connected with it in the least. The organic church here in the world is built up by men and women coming out of the world and confessing their sins, and taking up the Cross, and obeying the com mands of God as laid down in the Bible. They cannot do this without the grace of God, so a candlestick cannot give light, without the oil running through the pipes to the Wicks from the bowls to the flowers. This oil is no doubt the grace of God to keep up the church, and to enable the members to come together and let the light of the grace of God shine out in their works, and glorify the Father which 'm in heaven. So my friendly reader, this Book of Revelation is largely asso ciated with the sufferings and labors of God's children here in this world, and is in sharp contrast with the wickedness of the human race running after idolatry, and every form of wickedness. God's children are to come out of the world, and in joining in with the church they are to put their light on a high place so the light is more easily seen, others can follow on as they behold this light. Jesus was the first light that got the rest of it started, and since then others have seen and heard from the testimony of these on the candle stick. Jesus said to His Father, "I pray not for these alone, but for all those that shall believe on me through their word."

Now let me notice the stars and the candlestick together. In this figure we are to see the church and the ministry to gether. You cannot well see one without the other. The organic church can not well be seen in her various workings, without the ministry. The minister is to baptize and preach, and administer all the ordinances of the church, and as a voice to call them together, that they may walk together in the same direction, all headed the same way with the same purpose to accomplish. When they are perfectly joined in the same mind and same purpose, then Jesus is walking in their midst. If Jesus is not in their midst, then all is dead and helpless and nothing good can be done. He is their strength. "Without Him we can do nothing.

The fierce fighting beast in opposing this church, is seen fighting the ministers of Jesus. The church is upheld by Jesus, otherwise it will go down. Now the main thing about this figure is the idea of light for the instruction of others. So in this same line Jesus said to His disciples, "Go preach." That is, let your light shine. Preach the gospel to every creature. Tell what great things the Lord has done for us, whereof we are glad. A bankrupt might give you a note of one million dollars, but what is it worth? Nothing. If several millionaires were to sign a note to you of a million dollars, that would be worth its face value. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, said: "The promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are a far off, even to as many as the Lord, our God, shall Call." So this promise is today, and it is a safer and better promise than a note signed by a hundred millionaires, for Jesus is more able to pay what He has promised.

His promise to His Bride is good, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever." "I will not leave you comfort less, I will come to you." This and other sweet, precious promises are to the dear people of God that pray for His help and presence. If He is present and walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks they will have peace and joy.

A few more words on the candlesticks and stars. The idea here is light. This is what the human family needs. Watch this passage that shows the light. "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. "His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.

"And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. "And he had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength." This is the means of light that God originated to lighten those who have eyes to see. Even then they can not see till the light comes. Jesus is the greatest of all lights. All the other lights are dependent on Him. But we are to go forth in the light of the Savior, to teach, testify, warn, exhort, pray, feed, lead, guide, encourage, help, strengthen, build and direct as He leads in the great march; persuade men, instruct in the way of the Lord more perfectly. Thus the light is to go forth from Jerusalem, and the Word from Mount Zion.

If you had a light under a box it could not benefit those who wanted to read by it whatsoever. But if you had a stick about four or five feet long, and a hole in the one end so you could insert a tallow candle, put your candle in this hole and light it, then you could lift it aloft, so that people all around could see to read and also to walk. So the gift to the servant that makes him a church angel is to enable him to hold up the light so as to build, up the children of God. And the church in this way was to get its growth in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. This is the plan of the Savior to the end of this age, and we must accept it. Not as our means brethren have accepted it, for they are trying to bring their light to the dead sinner, that is blind and deaf and dead. He must have life first. But this light will in due time go forth to all the earth. Let us stand in our places as we see the latter days are nearing.

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John."--Rev. 1:1.

Here is God's witness and star in the hand of the Lord Jesus to give light to the people, and God has sent the little light from this dear old servant down the centuries through the dark time of infidelity, evolution and corruption. It is something to be "shown to His servants." It reveals some thing, and is therefore called a revelation. Something that had been covered up before this that is now to come out and be known. God is the One that is giving this revelation. We know then that it is true. It came from God, and not from the colleges, and universities, that are full of ignorance and darkness, and no light. Is it true that the big schools are steeped in darkness? I fear it is so, since they are so willing to contradict God's Revelation.

"If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness."

God gives messages to His servants for the benefit of His servants. The first one to receive it is to give it to others. Not keep it and suppress it. So John was to send it to the seven churches. He was to give it to the angels for the churches. Who is John? He is a true, devoted, persecuted preacher and apostle, who has been sent to teach, and preach, the gospel to every creature. Let the second verse in the Book of Revelation tell what John was. "Who bear record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw." Here we see that John was a chosen and qualified witness, and we know that a witness is not for the purpose of acquitting a guilty prisoner. But he is to tell what it is that does clear the guilty criminal. Is there any profit in learning and knowing the things of this Book or Revelation?

Let us read its third verse: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep these things that are written there in: for the time is at hand."

We see that this lesson to the church is to convey a blessing, which those do not have that know nothing about the message. For it says blessed is He that reads, hears and keeps those things that are written therein." How can we know what is written therein if we do not read and study it?

How can we be said to be blessed by it when we neither read it nor study it? How can we keep it, if we do not know what is written therein? And how find the blessing therein? Let us read the preface to the Book of Revelation: "John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are be fore the throne.

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.

"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

"Behold He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."--Rev. 1:4-8. Here is the whole gospel in sub stance. First showing who is the speaker, John. Who he got his message from, and to whom it is addressed the seven churches of Asia. Also the main subject matter. The things of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; just past, present and the great coming future. The second and next coming of Jesus, "Behold He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him." We are here taught to preach the future coming of Jesus. Not in some technical way, but the certainty and sure blessing of the fact to the comfort, help and great benefit to the churches. It is as light go all that have eyes to see. Teaching.

Now coming to the ninth verse in the first chapter, the history of this matter commences.

"I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last and, what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergames, and unto Thyatira and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.'" "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks. And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. And His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire.

"And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. "And  He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength. "And when I saw Him I fell at His feet as dead, And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me: fear not; I am he first and the last. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. 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."--Rev. 1.

The number seven represents fullness of all, completion. So I take it that seven churches stand for all the churches, or the Organic church in all of its different local congregations in the different parts of the world. But especially in Asia as here the candlesticks are to be first seen in their glory among the Gentiles.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 November 2006 )
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