By Brenda B Taylor
17 When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. 19 Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later. 20 This is the meaning of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” (NLT)
The Roman government had stepped up persecution of Christians. John probably wondered if the church could withstand the opposition and survive, and then Jesus appeared in all of His glory and splendor. The Lord reassured John that he and his fellow believers had access to God’s strength in overcoming their trials. When you face the trials and storms of life, remember you have the same power and strength available to overcome the difficulties. Turn to Jesus who is the power and the life. He will reveal Himself to you in powerful and mighty ways, guiding you through the storm.
Jesus died for your sins, but was resurrected to life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus now holds the keys to life and death. His death and resurrection freed you from the bondage of sin. When you believe on Him and accept His sacrifice, the same power that raised Him from the dead comes to dwell within you. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31a)
The Lord told John to record the things he had seen for the seven churches and future generations. John was given the task of proclaiming the great prophecy to the world. Each generation of believers from John’s time through present day looks forward to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is your hope. He will come again. He said he would and you can count on it.
The Lord Jesus explained to John who should receive the written prophecy. Jesus holds the seven stars, which represent the pastors of the seven churches of Asia, in His right hand. He calls and keeps His messengers to the churches. The seven gold lampstands represent the seven churches of Asia, and also all the churches throughout the Age of Grace. Jesus is ever-present in His churches. He knows every detail about them, keeps a constant watch, and guides and directs them. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ will continue until His coming, and then He will take His church to be with Him throughout eternity. No power on earth or plan of Satan can prevent the fulfillment of His prophecy.