Revelation 1:20 Index
"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."
Research Material

"The mystery..."

  • Or, "a secret," "a mystery," from a word meaning "one who has been initiated" (Romans 11:25). In early Christian usage the term "mystery" did not mean something that could not be understood, as it does today, but something that could be understood only by those who were initiated, that is, those who had the right to know. Thus Christ told His disciples that it was "given" unto them "to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," but not to the multitudes (Matthew 13:11). Paul speaks of the resurrection as a "mystery" (1 Corinthians 15:51), and often so refers to the plan of salvation itself (Romans 16:25, 26).... Here the term "mystery" is used of the seven "stars," a symbol thus far not explained. But now this symbol is termed a "mystery," in view of the fact that its interpretation about to be made known. Thus, in the book of Revelation, a "mystery" is a cryptic symbol about to be explained to those who consent to "keep" (Revelation 1:3) the things revealed in this book (Revelation 17:7, 9), or one which God wills to make known to them. The symbols of the the Revelation are also referred to as wonders (Revelation 12:1) and signs (Revelation 15:1). (7BC 740)

"...the seven stars..." (Revelation 1:11, 16)

  • The present verse is a bridge between Revelation 1:12-19 and the messages of Revelation 2 and Revelation 3. It explains the symbols of Revelation 1:12, 16 and prepares the way for the messages to the the individual churches. (7BC 740-741)

"...the seven stars are the angels..."

  • Literally "messengers," whether celestial or human. Aggeloi is applied to human beings in Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; Luke 9:52; II Corinthians 12:7. It has been suggest4ed that the "angels" of the seven churches are their respective elders, or overseers, in John's time, and that the Lord was addressing the messages to them for transmission to their respective congregations.... it seems unlikely that God would send messages to literal angels through John, and the identification of these "angels" with the leaders of the churches is therefore to be preferred (GW 13, 14; AA 586). (7BC 741)

"...seven candlesticks..." (Revelation 1:12)

"...the seven churches..." (Revelation 1:14, 11)

  • OUTLINE PROPHECY: ...What maybe called (an) outline prophecy, by which is meant a long sequence of epochs and events spanning the centuries, such as the four commonly recognized successive world powers of prophecy -- Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome -- as found in the great metallic image of the kingdom of man outlined in Daniel 2; or in the same world empires portrayed by the four beasts in Daniel 7. These are commonly recognized as covering the centuries, and reaching to the same great climax of the ages. A similar outline of epochs and events is several times repeated in the Revelation. Here the seven churches (Revelation 1:20), the seven seals (Revelation 5:1), and the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2) cover long stretches of time in chronological sequence, and each leads to the same final climax. (Froom 32)