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.
Of the seven churches Jesus addressed through John's pen five were given a rebuke. What a loss! Ephesus had lost their love for the LORD. Pergamos had begun to accommodate some unbelief in their midst. Thyatira fell into sickly compromise with worldliness even allowing false teachers to propagate their lies. Sardis was so corrupt that the Living Christ said they were mostly dead. His final rebuke was to the terribly apathetic Laodicean Church. They had all fallen so far! When our love for Christ wanes, we often begin to make accommodations for sin in our lives which leads us into lives of compromise barely clinging to anything of the Living Savior while we grow terribly apathetic. What a wretched condition.
Many note that there is something missing in this verse from Haggai 1:8, "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD." There should be five letters in the phrase, "I will be glorified,"(grace) but there are only four (world). The letter "hey" is missing which can mean "Behold". "Behold, you are not walking as a son or daughter of grace but as a worldling!"
Some teach that the reason a letter "hey" is missing from God's statement is that it points to the loss of 5 things between the first and second temples. Like the faltering churches above, there was loss. Scripture never mentions the Ark of the Covenant as being in the second temple. Also missing were the holy, heavenly fire on the altar, the shekinah glory cloud, the Divine Spirit who had left in Ezekiel's vision, and the urim, thummim and breastplate. What a wretched condition.
Can you notice the parallels? They seem obvious. When we accept second best in our relationship with the Lord, we are the losers. Our lives begin to lack many of the things God wishes us to have to be the effective witness to the world. Like Ephesus, when our love grows cold the spirit of mercy, loving kindness, and favor begins to disappear from our lives. Like the Ark missing from the second best temple, we lose track out on the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. When Pergamos accommodated the world, they began to lose the fire of ever present prayer. How can one pray effectively while harboring sin? Thyatira’s compromise led to a loss similar to the missing glory of the second best temple. When we are carried away by the world, a dead corrupt church just like the second best temple loses the gifts of the Spirit in operation. God's Divine presence is conspicuously absent. Apathy leads also to a very real lack of discernment--that is what the urim and thummim were used for. Also, an apathetic church does not stand in the gap for a lost world. Like the second best temple, they have no breastplate of a priest. Are we not to be Kings and Priests?
Make a change in your relationship with Jesus today. Instead of allowing coldness to reign fall in love with Jesus all over again. Refuse to allow the world to come in, so be obliging of the Lord's presence. Don't compromise--walk in truth! Rather than allowing death and corruption, return to striving for purity and holiness of life with His Divine guidance and direction. Remove apathy. Become zealous for the Lord once again. If we choose to accept the best, we shall have what we desire in Him!
Will you accept second best in your relationship with Jesus? Or will you be one of those who allow His glorious presence to tabernacle with you. Remember, you are the temple of God. It is that time when Jesus wishes to dwell richly in your heart--to tabernacle with you. "Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand, John 7:2." Don't let Ichabod, thy glory has departed, be written above your relationship with Yeshua! Remember, HE is Soon2Come!
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
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