L40 STARS IN HIS HAND
And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength.
Revelation 1: 16
When John looked to see who was talking to Him, He saw Jesus with white hair, a white robe and a golden belt on His breast. He was walking in the middle of seven golden lampstands. In verse twenty of chapter one it says that the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Revelation 1: 12- 20).
This picture of Jesus shows that He is constantly, diligently watching His church. Ellen White says it most eloquently. He is "walking from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from heart to heart." (Lift Him Up, p. 318) God does not sleep. If He left this work to a person, the lights would often flicker and go out. But God has not given His church into the hands of men. He is the Watchman of the house.
Each lamp is watched with intense interest to see whether they are in a condition spiritually that they can advance His kingdom. "Christ is present in every assembly of the church ... He knows those whose hearts He can fill with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ in our world, representing in word and works the character of God, fulfilling the Lord's purpose for them, are in His sight very precious. Christ takes pleasure in them as a man takes pleasure in a well-kept garden and the fragrance of the flowers he has planted." (Amazing Grace, p. 95)
STARS IN HIS HAND
In Revelation 1: 16 John describes Jesus as holding seven stars in His right hand. These seven stars represent each person who shares the gospel with others. They are ministers. Jesus promises to protect and keep these helpers from falling. They do His work as He gives them power. Their starlight comes from Him. Ellen White also talks about these seven stars:
"Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in His right hand. This assures us that no church faithful to its trust need fear coming to nought, for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked out of the hand of Christ.
... The stars of Heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world." (Acts of the Apostles, p. 586)
In Revelation 1: 18 John wrote that Jesus told him not to be afraid. Then Jesus described Himself as the One who had always been. He was the beginning, like the first letter of the alphabet and the last like the end of the alphabet. He was alive. He had died and He had the power to open the grave. He had the keys of death.