These Things Saith He – Symbolism and Phrases Used in the Letters to the 7 Churches

Prophetic symbols and phrases convey ideas and meaning that goes beyond natural understanding. Some of these are explained explicitly while others are not, leaving room for interpretation based on what is revealed in scripture and by the Spirit of God.

This chapter considers the interpretation of symbols and phrases seen throughout the letters to the seven churches of Revelation as found in Revelation Chapters 2-3. These include:

  • Seven Stars and Seven Golden Candlesticks
  • The Synagogue of Satan
  • The Doctrine and Deeds of the Nicolaitans

The Seven Stars and the Seven Golden Candlesticks

The seven stars and seven golden candlesticks are introduced in Revelation Chapter 1. The meaning of this symbol is also given.

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches (Revelation 1:20).

The letters to the seven churches are written to the stars—or angels—of the seven churches.

The word, “angels” is translated from the Greek word, “aggelos.” This word means, messenger. This is generally used to describe a supernatural messenger.

The assertion made within “These Things Saith He” is that these messengers are not celestial beings exactly, but more like those we read about in Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians: 13-15).

As it is written, there are many false christs—many “Lucifers” also translated as “bright stars” and “sons of the dawn.” These attempt to usurp the roll of Jesus Christ who is the True Bright and Morning Star. Jesus Christ is the Angel of the Lord, and only He.

However, we can also assert that true apostles of Christ who are not falsely appointed are stars, and in a sense, types of the angel of the Lord—though not He explicitly—but adopted sons of God paid for by the blood of the First Begotten Son of God.

As you can read in Revelation Chapters 2-3, there are letters written to two of the angels that do not contain rebuke, and those who are led by them are not rebuked. These are apostles appointed by the Lord, Jesus Christ—and not of man or of the Adversary, also known as the Dragon, the Serpent, the Devil, and Satan:

The son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2).

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14).

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days (Mark 13:15-20).

The Synagogue of Satan

“The synagogue of Satan” is mentioned in the letters to the angels of the seven churches. These are “the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie.”

A synagogue of Satan is a gathering together of the followers of Satan and his ministers. Why are these called Jews?

There are a few ways one might look at this.

First, consider this scripture:

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God (Romans 2:28-29).

The opposite could be true for a synagogue of Satan. These are those who are outwardly religious, yet inwardly corrupt. These walk after the ways of the world and judge as according to the flesh and not the Spirit. These also seek glory for themselves and not for the Lord.

Jesus also said this:

I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.

Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:38-44).

Here are additional scriptures to consider:

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee (Romans 11:16-18).

As Christians, we are grafted into the natural olive tree, as Paul the apostle writes of in Romans 11. In that sense, we are Jews if we follow the Messiah of the Jews: Jesus Christ. If we claim to be Christians, but do not follow Jesus, then we are as those who claim to be Jews but are not.

We could also consider the idea that Christians are waiting for a Holy City: New Jerusalem. We might claim to be of that city falsely. This can occur in a spiritual sense as those who do not follow Jesus but instead follow Satan. This can also occur in a literal sense should the false christ establish his rule in the physical city of Jerusalem, which the scriptures seem to indicate, as seen above.

The Doctrine and Deeds of the Nicolaitans

In following suit with the ideas above, it is the opinion of the author of These Things Saith He that the “deeds” and “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” refers to the doings and teachings of carnal Christianity: the synagogue of Satan.

What do these teachings and deeds include? The letters to the angels of the seven churches reveal specific problems that we can consider, all of which leave one vulnerable to the devices of Satan, the beast system of Revelation, and the deception of the false prophet.  

In Conclusion

There are many “false apostles and deceitful workers” that lead many astray from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These are the synagogue of Satan, and in the end, part of the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon.

There are problems within the Christian world that make us prone to deception, and if we love these ways and not the truth of Jesus Christ, then we are going to be given into these delusions.

However, there is time to repent and we do so knowing this: we are all in part the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon and there is time to turn to Jesus more fully.

Although the false christ has not appeared in fullness, “the mystery of that wicked one does already work” and we can “come out of her my people that you partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues.”

Jesus is very merciful, slow to anger, and quick to kindness. He is faithful and He will not lose a single soul that belongs to Him.

Read John 8. There was a woman caught in the very act of adultery, and Jesus forgave her.

Friend, we are the same. At least in part. Therefore, “let he that is without sin among you cast the first stone at her.”

“Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.”

It is easy to look at the failings of the Christian world, but if it were not for our history, we would not be who we are. It is more profitable if we look to our own heart, pray for one another, and built one another up. It is the Great Whore who is “drunken with the blood of saints.”

If we pay attention to the timeless lessons of our Lord, Jesus as given in the letters to the 7 churches and throughout the entirety of the gospels and the epistles of the true apostles of Jesus Christ, we can repent and turn our hearts to Jesus more fully.

Though we are forgiven of sin by grace through faith in the blood of the Lamb of God, a heart that is not towards Him does not have faith in Him. We can be forgiven of a truth. Yet, as Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, “go and sin no more.”

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

Previous Chapter: These Things Saith He — Method of Interpretation

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