Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:12
Revelation 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden Lampstands.
The Lampstand (also called the Golden Candlestick) is the seven-branched Menorah.
In verse 20, Jesus explains that the seven Lampstands are the seven churches, which are:
The symbolism of the Lampstand with seven stems represents:
- The seven Spirits of God (which is the Holy Spirit). I go into more detail about this, as well as other 7’s in the book of Revelation and other places in the Bible, in my post: 12: Seven Churches – Significant Sevens (7’s)
- The Lord Jesus Christ as the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)
- The New Testament Church, both local and universal (Matthew 5:14-16 and Revelation 1:12, 20)
In Keven J. Connor’s book entitled The Tabernacle of Moses, City Bible Publishing, p. 41-46, he brings out some good points.
The Golden Candlestick did not have candles that burned. Rather, it was a Lampstand filled with oil and wicks that were trimmed daily. Candles burn by self-consumption, while lamps burn by the continual supply of the Oil of the Holy Spirit.
The chief purpose of the Lampstand was to give light and to illumine all that was in the Sanctuary.
Jesus is the light of the world and He has called us to let our light shine before men (Matthew 5:16).
The Lampstand was made out of pure gold. Gold symbolizes the Divinity of Christ. The gold of the Candlestick speaks to us of Deity and Divine nature as first seen in Christ, and second in the Church. It is in the Church that the Divine nature of Jesus will be revealed.
Gold is put through a refining process and impurities are removed. After the gold is brought to this point, it can be fashioned in the hands of the goldsmith. This process is typical of that which God works in His Church. God, by His Spirit, purifies and sanctifies the Church.
The Golden Candlestick was fashioned out of one piece of gold. It had a central shaft from which proceeded six branches – three on either side of the main shaft. This speaks to us that Jesus is the Vine (central shaft) and we are the branches (John 15).
The Lampstand burned continually. The flames never went out. In the same way, God wants us as individuals, and His Church, to burn continually for Him and to let our light shine.
The Candlestick had three types of ornamentation:
- Knops (or buds)
- Almond Bowls
The knop, or round unopened bud is a type of the Father God who is the source and beginning of everything.
The central flower is a type of the Son of God who was crushed as a flower emitting a sweet-smelling savor.
The almond bowl is a type of the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and produces fruitfulness in the people of God.
In Walter L. Wilson’s book entitled A Dictionary of Bible Types, Hendrickson Publishers, he says the following regarding the Candlestick:
The Candlestick is a type of the Holy Spirit illuminating all the things of God. The pure gold represents the purity of the Spirit and of His Word. The seven branches or stems represent the fullness and completeness of the revelation of the Spirit. The bowls represent the great provision of the Spirit. The flowers represent the beauty of the Spirit.
The Candlestick also represents God’s people (Revelation 1:12,20). In Revelation 1:20 we find a type of the church as she gives light on the Scriptures and reveals Christ by her ministries.
Numbers involved in the Lampstand:
One piece of gold – unity, oneness, one accord, one Body of Christ
Three knops – the Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Seven Lamps – fullness, completion and perfection. The Seven Spirits of God (Holy Spirit).
Nine Ornaments – In each of the six branches there were three bowls, three knops and three flowers. Each branch had nine ornaments in all. The number 9 is the number of the Holy Spirit. Nine fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-24). Nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12).
Twelve Ornaments – On the main shaft, there were four sets of three knops, three bowls and three flowers, totaling twelve ornaments. The number twelve speaks of Apostolic Fullness and Government.
Sixty-Six – When the knops, bowls and flowers on the branches and shaft are totaled, it adds up to sixty-six ornaments. Sixty-six speaks of the 66 books of the Canon (Bible).
The Canon is the sixty-six books of the bible recognized as God Breathed and written under Divine inspiration. Several very stringent guidelines and standards were put into place to determine, out of thousands of manuscripts dating back to the Old Testament and New Testament era, which ones were God Breathed. Only sixty-six of the writings met the strict criteria and were included in the Canon, or known today as the Holy Bible.