“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;” (Revelations 1:12)
As stated in an earlier post about Revelations 1:10 where John “heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” we understand that what is behind us is in the past, and the great voice he heard was from Jesus and his Word – the word that agrees with the scriptures already recorded in the past, and is consistent. Now here in Revelations 1:12 John twice emphasizes the need to turn around to see what he saw: “I turned to see… …And being turned, I saw…” But this was Jesus’ voice he was turning to, and the reason he needs to turn is because Jesus’ word never changes. What Jesus speaks today agrees perfectly with what Jesus has spoken of in the past. The whole word of God is this way, because it is God’s word and he does not change. Consequently to understand his word, including Revelations, you must understand and obey the rest of his word that has been recorded in the past.
- “For I am the LORD, I change not…” (Malachi 3:6)
- “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations…” (Psalms 119:89-90)
- “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines…” (Heb 13:8-9)
- “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)
And when he turned, he saw something very familiar from the past: The seven candles or lamps of the candlestick of the Old Testament Tabernacle. The golden candlestick was used as the light for the priests to be able to worship by in the Tabernacle.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick. And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses. And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had showed Moses, so he made the candlestick.” (Numbers 8:1-4)
“The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light,” (Exodus 35:14)
In the New Testament, Jesus taught that the church was to be the light to the world so people could see how to worship. In Matthew 5:14-16 we read: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto 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.” Again note the intention of that light. So people may “glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (So people would worship God!) And again, that light Jesus compared to a city. The cumulative light that comes from a city that is set on a hill, in the open where everyone can clearly see it.
But the light that the church has comes from Jesus being in the midst of the church: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
As very clearly stated by Jesus later in Revelations 1:20, the church is represented by the candlestick. The candlestick by itself has no light, but it is a vessel designed to bear the light by the burning oil that is fed to the lamps of the candlestick. The oil comes from the “two anointed ones”: God’s Word and His Spirit working through the church.
“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.” (Zachariah 4:11-14)
If we want to clearly see the revelation of Jesus Christ and his body, the church, we must “turn” to see and read the scriptures as they were originally given and intended by Jesus. If we depend upon: modern interpretations, modern preachers who don’t live holy and obedient to the word, or depend upon the multitude of churches today that don’t closely follow the word – then we will never see Jesus nor his true church. We must get into the Word of God ourselves and pray sincerely to God to show us “his way” and not what we want or some fake preacher wants to tell us. We must “turn” – and get back to the blessed old Bible for our life!