He Walks Among His Lampstands – Part 1
He is still walking among His lampstands today. The messages addressed to those seven churches of Asia still apply to His church. It is noteworthy that the Lord Jesus Himself addresses John while he is a prisoner under an oppressive hand. We might say that the Lord arranged these unfavorable circumstances purposely to get John alone and undistracted. However, that perspective would ignore the presence of our enemy. While satan and wicked men meant it for evil, God meant it for good. Such was the platform the Lord used to open John’s eyes to this awesome revelation of Himself and what was to take place. Jesus uses the word mystery in His introduction. It is our glory to search out the hidden things of God, of His purposes. A divine revelation is needed. The Lord responded as John was seeking Him. And I am sure John was not expecting the awesome adventure that was about to begin.
How easily we can run after such knowledge or experience and leave Him behind. That was His message to the Ephesians. They are the first church which is addressed. Jesus first acknowledges things pleasing to Him. It strikes me that He included perseverance which we often see as critical for our lives. Without Him, all our works come to nothing. Ephesus was the church which Paul wrote to some years before. That letter is filled with wonderful understanding of the Lord’s working and purpose in us His people. Yet this first church addressed by Jesus has left their first love. I am thinking they were so caught up in the understanding they had, they had lost Him. The Lord tells them to do the first works. What were these? Prayer? Seeking Him? Loving Him? I am not certain but I expect all these were part of it. One word to today’s church is; we are His bride and He is looking for deep, intimate relationship. He is worthy of all our love and affection.
The lampstand was the light within the holy place of the tabernacle and then the temple. The fuel for the light was oil formulated from detailed divine specifications. It is not hard to understand that the oil represents the Holy Spirit, the oil which anoints and is the very presence of the Lord. For the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is release. I used the word release in place of the usual word liberty. Liberty in our culture has often meant license. Do what seems good to you is not the way God’s kingdom operates. We need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead. The Spirit shines the true light. We have all at one time or another distorted that light. We learn and seek a pure light to shine through us. The lampstand is that which represents the Lord Himself. It is another picture of us as true ambassadors of the kingdom of God. It represents a true witness, a true testimony of Jesus Christ.
This passage from Revelation addresses churches, groups of believers, and each message is directed to those in a particular region. For me, in the day in which we live, I believe the Lord Himself brought these particular messages knowing they would all apply to His churches, His lampstands, in these final days. The church, His bride, is yet being matured and finished. She is the vessel through which He shines into the earth to attract whoever is willing to come to Him. The regional aspect I see as showing us that He the Lord Jesus views His people this way. It is critically important that we have a personal, intimate relationship to Him. He is displaying His glory to principalities and powers over regions and is displacing them as we grow together unto Him. We are like trees (see Ps. 1), even great redwoods, reaching toward the One who is our light, like the sun is for the natural tree.
And He is also the ground, the foundation into which our individual and corporate roots must grow down. That growing down speaks of the need for a greater and greater humility. It is all about the Lamb receiving glory and honor and all that He has paid for. I believe that as each message closes with this call, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says,” the Lord is addressing individuals within those regional churches. Will we hear, will we listen, will we continue on to overcome whatever the hindrances may be? Will we receive His correction? I see this as corporate as well as individual overcoming. We are overcoming together.
Do we see this? Living connections within the body of Christ are essential. We need true fellowship with others who have ears to hear, and are responding to the Lord. More and more I am challenged that my walk matches the reality of who Christ is and what He has accomplished. I want to see His lampstands flourish and be rightly connected. If we say He abides in us we should walk even as He walked. We are called to walk, to conduct ourselves, worthy of the calling with which he called us. In all humility, preferring one another. This is the taking up of our cross daily. Not according to our own thinking but as led by His Spirit. We must hear what the Spirit is saying. If we are seeking Him, He will surely give us those ears to hear. May He open our eyes to see like John saw.