19 Write[i] the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.20 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 which you saw[j] are the seven churches. Revelation 1:19-20
We must remember that all that John writes in the book of Revelation is from the vision he received from the Lord. This is why the Lord tells him to write all that he has seen. The Lord also begins to reveal to John what each things has meant that John has seen. We must also remember that this is a vision that John is seeing and many times in a vision, what the person seeing it is seeing actual symbols that have a much greater and deeper meaning. Usually that meaning is revealed by the Holy Spirit when we take time to meditate upon it and pray about it.
The Lord reveals the mystery about the seven stars and the seven lampstands. The seven stars are representative the seven angels who preside over the seven churches which are represented by the lampstands. We must remember that in God’s kingdom and in His word the number seven represents completion, maturity, or perfection. We see thing in God creating the world in seven days. Also when the Lord speaks of the seven spirits of God before His throne. The number seven is representative for perfection or completion.
So even though these seven churches are actually seven churches that existed during John’s day they also represent the body of Christ throughout the church age. These seven churches represent different spiritual conditions that exist within the body of Christ and have existed throughout the entire church age. You may find all seven of these conditions within the same local church depending on how large and diverse that church is.
The seven messages have been written down by John because they are meant to be studied and meditated on by the body of Christ. What is amazing is when we fail to study history we tend to repeat it. What is incredible is that those who fail to study and rightly divide God’s word will repeat the mistakes of the generations that have gone before them. God has given us examples of those who have gone before us to teach us and protect us.
Revelation is not meant to be a book that is to remain a mystery. Many fail to study and open it because they are simply scared of it and fail to take the time to truly seek the Lord upon the meaning of His word. God’s desire is to give us understanding in all things and He desires to pour out deep understanding into our hearts. But like a man searching after diamonds or gold we must mine it with all that is within us. Jesus Christ and His word must become the pursuit and obsession of our lives. When we seek after the Lord with our whole heart is when we will begin to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that understands.