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16. And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

     And in His right hand He held seven stars;

The right hand is the hand of authority. We know from Revelation 1:20 that the seven stars are the angels Revelation 2:12 or messengers to the churches. Thus, this symbol indicates that all true believer congregations have a messenger from God to guide and protect them. The congregation may make choices of their own, but when the members choose to work with God on spiritual tasks, this messenger is there to help.

This type of support and guidance is not unusual. Job indicates that the "morning stars sang together" (Job 38:7) as a praise support. Daniel says those who are faithful witnesses to God will shine brightly like the stars - Daniel 12:3.

It is important in Revelation to realize this angelic support. To the church at Ephesus, the "who's speaking" restates that the One who holds the stars is the One who walks in the midst of the lampstands - Revelation 2:1 . To the Sardis church in Revelation 3:1 , the seven Spirits are combined with the seven stars. This indicates support also from the Holy Spirit for God's churches.

     and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged SWORD;

The "who's speaking" to Pergamum (Revelation 2:12), emphasizes that while they have trouble distinguishing between the Truth and the false teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitians, the Word of God (or the sword) would separate the falsehoods from the truth. The Word of God is indeed a sword, Ephesians 6:17 gives the sword to the Spirit; Hebrews 4:12 uses the sword to get to our inner most thoughts and intentions.

Consider the strength of God's spoken word. No less than ten times in Genesis 1, God spoke and the universe, the sun, the earth and all contained therein were created. John clearly says the Word took on human form in the man called Jesus - John 1:14. This Jesus spoke and demons fled (Luke 8:26-34), diseases were healed (John 4:46-54), and death reversed (John 11:38-44).

Now in the Revelation, we see that ultimately this same Word (in the form of the sword) will put the nations to submission (Revelation 19:15) and will kill the armies of the beast (Revelation 19:21).

With such a POWERFUL Word supporting us, why is it so difficult for Christians to SPEAK of their faith?

     and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

This is not the first time John saw Christ this way. He was there at the mountain when Jesus was transfigured - Matthew 17:2. This probably caused John to recall what Christ had said earlier that "the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" - Matthew 13:43.

Others have experienced the brilliance of God's glory. Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) saw Him and was blinded - Acts 9:3-9.

So powerful was God's glory that Moses only could see the back of God ... otherwise he would have died - Exodus 33:18-23.

There is such purity in God's glory, that, as John puts it, "when we see Him, we will see Him as He is." - 1 John 3:1-3. He adds that that should be enough for us to want to purify ourselves.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only.