FRIDAY MORNING MANNA 

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN – Part 8

The Seven Churches and Seven Stars of Revelation

Lord God Creator and the Lord’s Day.– It was on “the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10)—each seventh-day of the week, starting from His completed six literal days of creation, that the Creator rested, blessed, and sanctified the first seventh day of that first week and made the day for man, created the day before, christening the seventh day, and that day alone, with a proper name, the Sabbath day,” as thememorial day of the literal 6-day creation week (Exo. 20: 8-12).  Thus, from the very beginning, following the rule-of-first-mention, none need to be confused or misled as to what “the Lord’s day” refers to.

It is God’s “sign,” “seal,” or “mark” between Him and His people” “that they might know that I am the Lord your God that sanctifies you. ” (Eze. 20: 12, 20). In this context, the Sabbath day is the day of sanctification. Jesus declared in the Gospels: “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is the Lord of the Sabbath day” (Matt. 12: 8; Mark 2: 27, 28; Luke 6: 5). Many Christians egregiously assert that “Jesus is the Sabbath,” skipping in the same breath the word “day.” Absurd, to say the least. Now, if done intentionally is blasphemy. No rational mind will ever say, “I am my birthday.” Your actual birthday or birth date permanently marks the precise calendar day you were physically born into this sinful world and provides/proves the factual, legal, and historical reference of your existence, age reckoning, and progression thereafter till your demise. But again, the day is never the person! Infinitely more so, the Creator of heaven and earth “and all that in them is,” is never an inanimate day, even it alone has been blessed sanctified by Lord of the Sabbath–the Life giver!

To call God what He isn’t and never will be, no matter how sincere the intentions are, is the height of folly and ignorance.  As has been said, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Even constant repetition for centuries in the “high places of the earth” and deft deflection techniques never changes a lie into a truth and vice versa. As they say, “How dare!” But to intentionally choose not to keep the seventh day Sabbath holy, as the Lord of the Sabbath spoke, wrote, commanded, and repeated by way of stark reminders, is nothing but bold rebellion against Him and His divine authority. Worse, to premeditatedly and willfully attempt to replace/substitute it with “another sabbath day” of the week, none of which He rested on, blessed, sanctified, and hallowed (set apart for a holy use and activities, is the height of apostasy.

     “But when the fullness of the time had come” the “mystery of Godliness” the Creator permanently incarnated into the flesh and blood nature “in the fullness of timeJesus Christ, “Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1: 21, 24)— fallen mankind’s only Savior, Intercessor,  Mediator, and Judge, also identified as “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” “the Beginning and the End”  who bade John the beloved to write down the amazing things that were to be opened to his astonished eyes amidst the desolate surroundings of Island of Patmos. “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.” Rev. 1: 9-11, N.K.V.V.

    “The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian era[C.E.] The number seven indicates completeness, and symbolic of the fact that the messages [to all seven churches] extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church atdifferent periods in the history of the world.” – E. G. White, Acts of the Apostles, “The Revelation” LVII, Pacific Press Publishing Asso., Mountain View,  CA, 1911, p. 585.

The final messages of the gospel for the churches and the world were given to John at the opening of the Christian era until the close of earth’s probation,—and in turn, the faithful would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to become His ambassadors, co-laborers, servants, and witnesses. However, in “the time of the end” (1798) and on to 1880 to 1844, the last part of these messages were to be proclaimed in “trumpet tones” and in a “loud voice,” meaning, with increasing intensity, scope, magnitude, and detail by the unwonted power and wisdom imparted by the Holy Spirit, to all churches, religions, denominations, and inhabitants of the earth Indeed, “unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” Rev. chaps. 13, 14, 18.

So why are the Roman Catholic (universal) Church and the mainstream Christian  Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Reformed “mega churches”  not proclaiming it? Ask them, as Jesus did the religious leaders of His time. And if not satisfied with their answers (for you will certainly get different ones, prominent of which is, “it is a closed book” or be regaled with Futuristic interpretations which contradict the Biblical specifications for studying prophecies), then importune for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and enlightenment.

Turn to the Fountain of Truth–the precious Bible, specifically Daniel and the Revelation. All who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5: 6) as “the deer panteth after the waters” (Ps. 42:1) will be filled with “the water of life.”  “Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened to you.” See Luke 11: 1-13. This is Christ’s specified way to pray for the Holy Spirit in the “Lord’s prayer.” Read these verses again. Perhaps, though we pray, hopefully at least three times a day during madhouse daily schedule, we are still so destitute at this late hour, of the divine power, wisdom, grace, and strength to overcome secret, cherished sins, all our inherited weaknesses and tendencies! Why? We do not “ask, seek, and knock” with importunity for the greatest gift Christ could give to His waiting disciples upon His ascension—the Holy Spirit—as much as we do other material and temporal “good things” from God!

     “Christ is spoken of as ‘walking in the midst of the [seven] golden candlesticks [Rev. 1: 13]. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches. He is in constant communication with His [faithful] people. He knows their true state [or condition]. He observes their order, piety, their devotion. Although He is High Priest and Mediator in the sanctuary above [See Heb. chaps. 8, 9, 10, etc.], yet He is represented as walking up and down in their midst on the earth [through the Holy Spirit, His appointed Vicegerent after His resurrection]. With untiring wakefulness and unremitting vigilance, He watches to see whether the light of any of His sentinels is burning dim or going out. If the [seven] candlesticks were left to mere human care, the flickering flame would languish and die; but He is the true watchman in the Lord’s house [church], the true Warden of the temple courts. His continued care and sustaining grace are the source of life and light.

– Ibid, p. 686.

The seven stars: who or what are they?  “’These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.’ (Rev. 2:1) These things are spoken to the teachers of the church,— those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities.

    “Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in His right hand [position of ultimate power and authority, not literal directions]. This assures us that no church [since the first century, C.E.] faithful to its trust need fear coming to naught; for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked out from the hands of Christ ]. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God’s ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The [literal] stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with [literal] light. He guides and directs their movements [and orbits, etc]. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars.    

     “So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth. The Savior is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father, they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world.”- Ibid, pp. 586-587.

The familiar word “grace,” is translated from the Greek charis, meaning: “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” – Strong’s Comprehensive Greek Concordance. Thus the “light,” “brightness,” and “glory” of Christ, and His law, are first and foremost, spiritual. Read this definition of “grace” into those half-quoted, misread  verses where contentious debates over what it is, what is supposed to do, who receive, and, manifest it! “By their fruits you shall know them.” Matt. 12: 33-37.

Apostle Paul was the only one of the apostles who, in vision, “was taken up to the third heavens”—the home of God and the angels! There, he says, he “heard words that were not lawful to speak on earth.”Thus he could write with humble authority: “Eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.”1 Cor. 2: 9, 10.  And, as serious warning to the churches:

     “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to wake out of sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand, Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof [indulging carnal passions and desires].” Rom. 13: 11-14, NKJV.

This clearly reveals what it means “to put on Christ”— that is, if one still professes to have faith in and loyalty to Jesus Christ—the Son of God and the Son of man. Otherwise it is nothing but self-deceiving lip-service and “taking the name of the Lord in vain” for it is “having the form of godliness but denying its power.” Exo. 20 5; 2 Tim. 3: 5.

  

Why focus now on Revelation in these confusing, chaotic, calamitous times?  “In the Revelation are portrayed the deep things of God. The very name given to its inspired pages, ‘The Revelation,’contradicts the statement that this is a sealed book. A revelation is something revealed. The Lord Himself revealed to His servant the mysteries contained in this book, and He designs that they shall beopen to the study of all. [not closed and mischaracterized as “sealed” and “not understandable!”] Its truths are addressed to those living in the last days of this earth’s history [and all reading this, are!], as well as to those living in the days of John.

     “Some of the scenes depicted in this prophecy are in the past, some are now taking place; some bring to view the close of the great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven [Satan is described as “the prince of this earth’], and some reveal the triumphs and joys of the redeemed in the earth made new.’

NOTE: Many Christians, both teachers and believers, fail to emphasize or actually do not realize that the final destination of the eternally redeemed is not merely heaven itself—the home of God and the angels” but the earth redeemed and perfectly restored to its primeval glory, “the earth made new” in the Revelation. It is the heavenly Canaan, for, planet Earth and every perfect thing in it, both animate and inanimate, were originally created for man as his kingdom and the garden of Eden his home to be replicated by Adam and Eve’s children as they “multiplied and replenished the earth” even before the fall! Revelation ch. 21; compare to Isaiah 66: 22-24, etc.]

Special promise to the diligent searcher for the mysteries of Revelation. “Let none think, because they cannot explain meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is useless for them to search this book in an effort to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The One who revealed these mysteries to John will give to the diligent searcher for the truth a foretaste of heavenly things. Those whose hearts are open to the reception of truth will be enabled to understand its teachings, and will be granted the blessing promised to those who ‘hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand [near].’ Rev. 1: 2.

    “In the Revelation all the [66] books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of book of Daniel. One [Daniel] is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation [as many religious leaders and commentators egregiously allege], but that portions of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days. The angel [Gabriel] commanded, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.’ Dan. 12: 4, KJV.

                                                                                                (To be continued next week.)