Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:16 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:16

Revelation 1:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

[Right hand] The hand of strength, protection, honor, pronouncing the blessing

[Seven stars] Seven pastors or bishops of the seven churches

[Sharp two-edged sword] The Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God is termed the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17. This verse says, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

The Barnes’ Notes Commentary says “the two edges of the sword were designed to cut both ways; and such a sword is a striking emblem of the penetrating power of truth, or of words that proceed from the mouth; and this is designed undoubtedly to be the representation here – that there was some symbol which showed that his words, or his truth, had the power of cutting deep, or penetrating the soul.”

In Revelation 1:16, it says that the sword of the Spirit (or the Word of God) proceeded from Jesus’ mouth. He spoke the Word and it produced substance.

God has made us speaking spirits. When we speak what the Word says, we will see more answers to prayer. The Lord wants us to come into agreement with what His Word says and speak that only. Don’t speak the problem, or doubt and unbelief. Find Scriptures that pertain to your situation and confess that. The Word says that we will have what we say. Speak what you would like to see happen and watch God move in your situation.

2 Corinthians 4:13 says, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.”

[His countenance] Jesus’ face

[The sun shining in its strength] Full sun as on a clear summer day with no clouds. This is talking about the majesty and glory of God shining from His countenance.

When Moses had spent time with God on Mt. Sinai, when he came down from the mountain his face was so bright that he had to wear a veil when speaking to the Israelites (Exodus 34:32-35).

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Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:13-15 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:13-15

Revelation 1:13-15

13 And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;

15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters.

[Seven Lampstands] The seven lampstands are the seven churches, according to verse 20. These churches include:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

These churches were in geographical existence in John’s day and located in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Each of these churches was located along a major highway. To see maps of the seven churches, please go to: Pt. 24: Seven Churches – Maps of the Seven Churches…

[Son of Man] The Son of Man is another name for Jesus Christ. There are multiple references for this:

Matt 8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8,32,40; 13:37,41; 16:13,27-28; 17:9,12,22; 18:11; 19:28; 20:18,28; 24:27,30,37,39,44; 25:13,31; 26:2,24,45,64.  Mark 2:10,28; 8:31,38; 9:9; 12:31; 10:33,45; 13:26,34; 14:21,41,62.  Luke 5:24; 6:5; 7:34; 9:22,26,44,56,58; 11:30; 12:8,10,40; 17:22,24,26,30; 18:8,31; 19:10; 21:27,36; 22:22,48,69; 24:7.  John 1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6:27,53,62; 8:28; 12:23,34; 13:31.  Acts 7:56.  Rev 1:13; 14:14.  Daniel 7:13-14.

Daniel 7:13-14 is a cross reference to Revelation 1:13. This was Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man:

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

[Clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band] This is a description of a Priest-King. The garment is a long robe like the priest wears. The sash around His chest is regal. Jesus is our Great High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16, Revelation 17:14, 1 Timothy 6:15).

Daniel 10:5-6 is a cross reference to Revelation 1:13 (and also verses 14-15).

5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!

6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

[His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow] This verse corresponds to Daniel 7:9 which says, “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire.”

The white hair is an emblem of Jesus’ antiquity. Also, it’s His glory. The whiteness of His head and hair proceeded from the rays of bright light and glory emanating from Him.

[His eyes like a flame of fire] Jesus’ eyes are penetrating. When He looks at you, it’s a look where you know that He knows every secret and everything about you. There is nothing you can hide from Him. You feel completely exposed. Yet He loves and accepts you just the way you are.

In 2000 I had a dream where I saw Jesus and His eyes are what stood out the most. I could literally feel the weight of His stare. As He looked at me, I literally felt heat penetrating holes in my heart (but no pain), as if there were invisible laser beams coming from Jesus’ eyes. The fire also speaks of the Lord being a refining fire. He purges sin and all impurities from our lives through the refining process.

In Daniel 10:6, it is said of the man who appeared to the prophet on the banks of the river Hiddekel, that his eyes were “as lamps of fire.”

[His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace] This is an emblem of stability and permanence, as brass being the most durable of all metallic compounds. Brass is the color of amber. In Ezekiel 1:26-28, amber is associated with the Glory of God.

Ezekiel 1:26-28

26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.

27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.

28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

[His voice as the sound of many waters.] The same description is found in Ezekiel 43:2: The glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.

Daniel 10:6 says that the voice of His words is like the voice of a multitude.

His voice is loud and majestic.

Jesus speaks through His Church (Body of Christ). I’ve been in a church service where there were 2000 people present, and the whole church was praying outloud in small groups of 3 or 4 people. It sounded like the rushing of many waters.

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:12 Commentary

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:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

The symbolism of the Lampstand with seven stems represents:

  1. 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)
  1. The Lord Jesus Christ as the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)
  1. 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:

  1. Knops (or buds)
  2. Flowers
  3. 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.

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:10-11 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:10-11

Revelation 1:10-11

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

[I was in the Spirit] The Spirit of Prophecy; under the influence of the Holy Spirit; in a trance; shutting the outer world and everyone else out; in a state of ecstasy; the inner spirit of man being under total possession of the Holy Spirit, establishing an immediate connection with the invisible world.

[Lord’s Day] The first day of the week; the Christian Sabbath; Sunday; the day of the week that Jesus rose from the dead. A distinction was made between the Sabbath Day and the Lord’s Day.

[I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet] Loud, clear, bright and distinct like a trumpet; the clarion call; the trumpet was used for calling assemblies together, for going to battle, summoning to religious feasts, etc.

[I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last] Please see my notes at Pt. 39: Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:8

[What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia] John was told to record on paper the visions God showed him. Journaling what the Lord shows you and speaks to you is very important. If you do not write things down, you may forget important details.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says:

2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.

3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, It will not delay.”

The seven churches are: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. These seven churches were in geographical existence in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) during that time. To see a map of the seven churches, please go to: Pt. 24: Seven Churches – Maps of the Seven Churches…

These seven churches represent churches and groups of Christians today. The messages given to each church applies to churches and groups of Christians. Seven is the number of totality and perfection.

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:9 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:9

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary says:

[Your brother] A Christian, begotten of God, and incorporated in the Heavenly family.

[Companion in tribulation] Suffering under the persecution in which you also suffer.

[In the kingdom] For we are a kingdom of priests unto God.

[And patience of Jesus] Meekly bearing all indignities, privations, and sufferings, for the sake and after the example of our Lord and Master.

[For the testimony of Jesus Christ.] For preaching Christianity, and converting pagans to the Lord Jesus.

Information below is derived from Adam Clarke’s Commentary and an article by Rick Renner entitled “A Light in Darkness”, June 2011 issue of Victory Magazine (Kenneth Copeland Believers Voice of Victory). The article is based on Rick Renner’s new book called “A Light in Darkness – Seven Messages to the Seven Churches”. A Light in Darkness by Rick Renner (Jan 3, 2011).

Patmos was a small, desolate island of about 30 miles in circumference. It belonged to a group of islands called the Sporades. It’s located in the Aegean in the region known as the Icarian Sea. Patmos is around 60 miles from Ephesus and 25 miles to the nearest coastline of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey).

Patmos was the “Alcatraz” of the first century. The worst of the common criminals (murderers, rapists) and political offenders were brought to this island. It was an open-air prison. Common criminals were fettered, scourged and treated very harshly. They had to do hard labor. Political offenders were treated with more respect and were allowed to roam the island freely. However, no food, clothing, supplies or medical care was provided. Political offenders formed communities to create a better chance of survival.

John was exiled to this island as a political offender for spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was here that John had the Vision and was caught up to Heaven (in his spirit).

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:8 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:8

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It looks exactly like an “A” in the English alphabet.

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. It is equivalent to the letter “Z” in the English alphabet.

Jesus is the A to the Z, and everything inbetween. To read about the Names of Jesus Christ from A-Z, please go to:

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A – B

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: C – E

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: F – I

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: J – L

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: M – Q

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: R – S

Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: T – Z

Glory of the Lord – A Name of Jesus Christ

Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus

“I am Alpha and Omega” – I am from eternity to eternity

“The Beginning and the End” – God is the establisher of all things and the end of all things. He has always existed and will always exist. He was there at the beginning of creation and will be there at the close of the world as we know it now.

The language in this verse implies Divinity, and can be applied to no one but the true living God. Jesus is God. In other writings of John, he establishes the Divinity of Jesus Christ. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is talking about Jesus.

“Who is” – God is in the present

“Who was” – God is in the past

“Who is to come” – God is in the future

God can be in the past, present and future all at the same time because He’s eternal.

If you have pressing needs that you are praying about, be assured that God has already worked it out for you. He’s prepared the way and gone ahead into your future, and already taken care of the matter. Not too long from now you’ll begin to see the manifestation of answered prayer.

“The Almighty” – The All-Powerful One. The Hebrew name for Almighty is El Shaddai.

Other references in which Jesus introduces Himself as the Alpha and Omega are:

Revelation 1:11

Revelation 21:6

Revelation 22:13

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:7 Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:7

Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Cross Reference:

Matthew 24:30-31

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Also see: Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

This coming of the Lord is His second coming. It could be talking about one of two things:

  1. The rapture, because it says that His angels shall gather together His elect from the four winds (four corners of the earth … worldwide extension … north, south, east, west).
  2. This verse could be talking about Jesus’ coming after the rapture has already occurred, when Jesus comes to set up His kingdom on this earth during the millennium.

The Lord, when He returns, will come accompanied with clouds. Clouds are symbols of Majesty and the Shekinah Glory.

God spoke from the Cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness.

Jesus will appear in the sky, in the literal clouds. In the same way He ascended to heaven, is the same way in which He will return to earth. Acts 1:9-11.

They who pierced Him is probably in reference to those who crucified Him (the Jewish people and the Gentiles). His feet and hands were pierced, as was His side. This is also in reference to those who have pierced His heart (figuratively speaking) through habitual sin, rebellion, rejection and wrong doing.

Every eye will be able to see Him … this is possible with modern-day media and satellite. His coming will be a visible appearing.

All the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. The Barnes’ Notes Commentary says they shall:

“Wail on account of their treatment of Jesus. The coming of the Savior will be an event which will call to remembrance the sins of the people and they will be overwhelmed with the apprehension of wrath to come.”

The word “Amen” means: so be it, assuredly, certainly. The word “Amen” in this verse is an affirmation of a certainty, rather than an expression of a wish.