Christ in His Church

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 11. Revelation 1:12.

John continues, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me” (v. 12). The Holy Spirit, who has taken hold of John, turns him around—that is, turns him away from the natural, worldly gaze, away from the earthly. The natural man hears nothing of the things of the Spirit. They are foolishness to him (1 Cor. 2:14).

What does John see when he turns around? Does he now see the glorified Christ? Not at first, but instead, “And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks” (v. 12b). What are these golden candlesticks? Verse 20 says, “...the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” What immediately stands out here, is that before he sees the glory of the person Jesus, John first sees the church! This means that no one can see Jesus in glory, except through the true church. What a responsibility we have! “Ye are the light of the world,” said the Lord (Matt 5:14).

When a person, disappointed by the world’s deception, finally turns around, he looks first to the church. This is our high mission, because the church’s glory is Jesus Christ’s glory. Therefore, it must be said very seriously and very radically: The church of Jesus loses its right to exist if it is no longer the beginning of the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the great shame of our time that the world laughs at the church, at the believers and says, “What do they want? They’re not the slightest bit different from us!”

Seven is the divine number of completion. Gold is refined and pure, precious and permanent. Gold was considered sacred to God under the Old Covenant. Consider the high price of gold. This is the church that was bought at great price by the blood of Jesus! But even more: in the fact that John sees the church as a seven-armed candlestick, we see Israel’s calling as well. Israel’s modern symbol is the menorah: the seven-armed candlestick.

For a limited time—until the Rapture—the church of Jesus is given Israel’s calling as a bearer of light. The fact that John sees the church first proves the wonderful organic unity with the Lord Jesus Christ, whom He now sees. As it so clearly says, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man” (v. 13). This means that the church of Jesus is perfect, because Jesus Christ is in its midst.

Everything is confused and unclear when He’s no longer the center of your life. Is He at your center, as Paul testifies in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ”? It is the plight of so many that Jesus is pushed to the periphery; that so many other things and people are more important than Him. He was the center of Bethlehem’s stable. Countless angels sang. Scientists (wise men) came from far and wide to worship Him. So did the shepherds. Everyone searched for and found the child Jesus, and everyone spoke about Him. He was also the center of God’s actions on Calvary’s cross, because “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor 5:19).

He, the Lamb of God, will be the center of God’s glory and illuminate the new Jerusalem. He alone is the source, life, power, future, and Head of the church. That is why John sees the inseparability of Jesus and His church. It has no light without Him. It has no strength without Him. It cannot love without Him. Everything is from Him and through Him and to Him.

Isn’t it striking that John doesn’t describe the golden candlesticks in and of themselves? He only establishes their existence. His eyes immediately focus on the One who stands in the midst of the golden candlesticks, the actual source of light. We should never think that He remains passive at the center of our life or our church. No! Revelation 2:1 says that He walks “in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” This means that He doesn’t stop. He tests and searches each of His light bearers.

Let your light shine! He trims the wick and refills the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that you can shine.

Midnight Call - 06/2020

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety