Followers of ‘the Way’ (Part 4) – The Golden Candlestick
John, writing to the seven churches and to us, who at times are tempted to feel orphaned and abandoned in this world, begins by greeting us with grace and peace from God our Father. He reminds the church of Christ’s love displayed at the cross when He ‘washed us from our sins in His own blood’ (Rev 1:5) and of the seven Spirits of God which will not leave His church in any age (Rev 1:4; Mt 28:20).
By this introduction, John is alluding to the altar of sacrifice and the laver of washing and the realities they prefigured. John is leading our minds to the sanctuary.
He tells us, ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice… saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’’ (Rev 1:10-11). When John turns, he sees our Lord – glorified and clothed with linen and gold, with eyes of flaming fire and feet of burnished brass, and out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword. But more than all this, it is where John sees Jesus –in the midst of the seven lampstands and in His right hand are the seven stars.
The seven stars are the messengers of the seven churches (Rev 1:20) – Christ’s pastors, leaders and teachers – in the grip of the Almighty. No one is able to snatch them out of His hand (Jn 10:28-29). More than this, Jesus is in the midst of the seven lampstands, which are the seven churches themselves.
Jesus has fulfilled His promise, ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you,’ ‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them’ (Jn 14:18; Mt 18:20). Jesus is in our midst through His Spirit. He is not far from His church. He has not forgotten us. On the contrary, He is preparing a place for us. And in His ministry at the golden candlesticks, He is preparing us, so ‘that where [He is], there [we] may be also’ (John 14:3).