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
- “I will remove your candlestick out of its place.”
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 threatened with removal. 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 reveals more on this matter.
“I will remove your candlestick out of its place.”
The churches, called candlesticks, are either given words of affirmation and comfort or warned with being “removed out of its place.”
Why are they removed and in what manner?
These are removed because they do not follow the true Lord, Jesus and those who He has appointed. Rather, they follow the ways of Satan and his minsters who have done as Jesus said in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matthew 13).
Those who follow Satan and his ministers hate the truth of Jesus Christ and all that He taught. Rather, “they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them” (Isaiah 66).
Paul echoes this idea in his second epistle to the Thessalonians:
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
This is the method by which the candlesticks are “removed out of their place.”
These are “taken” by great deception, even the great deception of the false prophet. These become the fullness of the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon. In joining with Satan—who they already love and worship, though they call themselves Christian—they commit great whoredom because they accept the false christ as God and join with him in persecution of the saints and true church of Jesus Christ.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together (Matthew 24:23-28).
Also see Luke 17.
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together (Luke 17:34-37).
This is the same event as the Battle of Armageddon: a time when the beast and false prophet make war against the saints and the Lamb of God. They will not prevail.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Revelation 19:19-21).
We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work (2 Thessalonians 2: 13-17).
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, 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.” Not us. Though, there is a time of vengeance that is taken up by the two candlesticks not removed, also called the Two Witnesses. As of now, there is time to repent, and we should.
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.
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