Church Letters

Seven Stars

God gave Jesus a revelation "to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place" (Rev 1:1) which "He sent . . . by His angel" (:1). John said he heard it introduced "behind me [in] a loud voice" (:10) coming from "one like a son of man" (:13). Since it was the risen Jesus speaking it was not an angel (:1) because Jesus has "become as much better than the angels" (Heb 1:4). Therefore, in this sense, Jesus was being sent supernaturally to deliver the message. Angels are "ministering spirits, sent out to render service" (:14). John was to write the letter to the "seven churches" (Rev 1:11) but each section was addressed to "the angel of [that] church" (2:1). It doesn't seem logical that God would have to write a material letter to an angel because "'angels in heaven continually behold the face of My father who is in heaven'" (Mt 18:10). So the recipient of the letter must have had an official ministry. But obviously larger cities would have had multiple congregations and the Bible doesn't say that each city would have had only one mega-church with a single head pastor. One study Bible said "angel" could be the spiritual representation of a church. They would have comprehended this because when a knock at the door and Peter's voice was heard they rationalized, "'It must be his angel'" (Ac 12:15). John saw that, "In His right hand He held seven stars" (Rev 1:16). Jesus explained, "'the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches'" (:20). The fact that Jesus is holding them signifies that "'no one is able to snatch them out of My hand'" (Jn 10:28) and because it is his right hand it speaks of his power and authority.

This book is "the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him" (Rev 1:1). John received it "who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ" (:2). It was a "prophecy" (:3) of "things which must soon take place" (:1). He was to "'write in a book what you see'" (:11) so that "he who reads and those who hear . . . heed the things which are written" (:3). He was also told to send it to the "seven churches" (:11) in Asia Minor. They were grouped together connected by a Roman postal route. John is said to be the last apostle living and the testimony is revealed in a timely way "and we know that his testimony is true" (Jn 21:24). It's as if Peter's question was answered by Jesus saying "'If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?'" (:23).