‘As John turned,’ describes our learning and growing realization of just who and what Christ is. Each day we study doctrine we learn a little more. At some point in our spiritual life, we come to see Christ and then we are speechless at the beauty, the awesome significance of the realities that the Bible has taught us over the many years we studied it, as well as the phenomenal extent that Christ went to for each of us.
Often, in our spiritual youth, we see and say things that are really superficial and are just outbursts of emotion. We don’t really understand the significance of life, but we are just happy about the possibilities that we think lie before us. Then as we continue turning around in life, as John is turning around in this passage, we experience some of the real power of God. We see or even participate in events in this world. Perhaps disasters affecting us or others. Perhaps a major accident where death is very real. Perhaps some type of loss or imminent loss to each of us personally, or even an actual loss.
Whatever the event is, we go through our mourning, grieving, bitterness reactions and so forth, but we continue studying doctrine and one day we come full circle, and the reality of Christ hits us right between the eyes.
John was confined to a horrible island prison, and yet doctrine came to him, and through doctrine, blessing.
No matter what our experiences in life, no matter what our decisions, no matter what our situation whether accidental or deserved, Bible doctrine is able to overcome all. If we do not lose our focus, if we do not allow our experiences in life to rule us, then we can turn any situation, any personal history, into a positive thing for our life.
And if we have experienced, then we presumably have learned. And if we have learned, then we have the potential for wisdom, and the opportunity to advance in our life, as well as the opportunity to help others. If God had not led us through our experiences, then we might not know or understand many things that happen in life or why they happen.
There is always a positive side to every bad experience. You just have to discover it.
As we study this Bible of ours, we cover many passages. Some are exciting with battles and dragons, or bringing someone back from the dead. Others are boring, like the specs of the temple construction, or the details of the Levitical offerings. But all are interconnected and we need to realize that there is only one God, one scripture, and that what was true in Genesis is true today and the reverse. With the only, and I repeat, only exceptions are those things that were reserved for the Church Age, or anything that was reserved for any given dispensation. But even still, those exceptions are linked together into one common, consistent, and coherent plan, which is Gods plan.
John saw and heard the following things which we have seen over and over again in the scriptures. The voice of doctrine calling to each of us, inviting us to turn toward God and the better life in doctrine.
Seven golden lamp stands which represent the churches as later mentioned in verse 20, but more than that, these are vessels of potential. Believers, that hold oil, which is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Oil in the golden lamp is hidden and cannot be seen. The lamp is not transparent. The Holy Spirits ministry is hidden and unseen and cannot be detected by the human senses, but it is very real in our lives, providing us with His power when we are in fellowship, teaching us doctrine when we study.
The light of the lamp is doctrine, Jesus Christ, our production from doctrine. Giving us the ability to see clearly where we are and where we are going. Lighting the way for us to follow in our daily lives.
The source is God the Father, given through Christ, and by means of the Holy Spirit. We are merely the vessel through which doctrine flows.
The lamps are symbolic, representing the seven churches, and represent the light of the world, Phil. 2:15.
The number of seven represents completion, Ex. 25:31-40, Zech. 4:2. And therefore, the seven lamps represent the completed whole church, which is currently in the process of being constructed during our current history, but here, in John’s vision, has been completed. This is a completed snapshot of the completed Church. The Church is the Royal Family, which pertains to this Church Age only.
The lamps are made of pure gold, which represents, beauty and value. And gold is something that possesses intrinsic value. Therefore, God places the highest value on the Church. The Church is a body of people, believers in Christ. Therefore, God has placed the highest value on you.
And you, with doctrine in your soul, are potentially the vessel which transmits the light of the world. A lamp is only useful when it is loaded with the oil that will burn bright for all to see. And even though you may flicker from time to time, the continuity and trend of your life is far more important than any stumble you may experience along the way.