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The Lord Himself explained the mystery of the seven stars and seven lampstands: “The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” The Lord not only made it plain to John the meaning of the seven stars and seven lampstands, at the same time, it was a fulfilment to the symbol of the seven lampstands and the seven lights used in the Old Testament Temple. The Lord in the book of Matthew, while giving the sermon of the mount, teaches that Christians are the light of the world. In the book of Philippians, we are told that we are the blameless and innocent children of God that shine like stars in the universe. Many of us may think that the “angels” of the seven churches were the representatives to receive the letters from John who would then communicate the messages to the believers in the seven churches. We have all been mistaken! The Lord had made it clear that these seven letters were written to the “angels,” they were not aids to help convey the messages, but they were the actual recipients of the letters. These recipients were neither angels nor church leaders, but they were the churches themselves. The church herself was the “messenger” of the Lord! These seven churches were the ones that had been sent by the Lord to this dark and sinful world to shine for Him as His messengers. These churches were the light of the world, not mere ordinary light but starlight – celestial and spiritual light radiated from the most glorious King of Heaven. Therefore the bible used “aggelos” a word to describe angels to describe the churches, it signified the status of the churches as the heavenly messengers sent from the spiritual kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Hence when the Lord wrote these letters to the seven churches, He evaluated the churches based on how well they fulfilled their role as the messengers of Christ in the world.

By rephrasing the bible verses concerning “angel,” will help us to understand what the Lord actually has to say:

The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the glory of the Lord made manifest by the messengers – the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

To the church in Ephesus the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Smyrna the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Pergamum the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Thyatira the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Sardis the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Philadelphia the messenger of Christ write:
To the church in Laodicea the messenger of Christ write:

The Church today, represents the seven stars held in our Lord’s hand to illumine this sinful world. Have we been faithful messengers of Christ, to shine forth the spiritual light that He has entrusted to us?