Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
John first heard the voice in verse 10. Now John turns to see what he heard. The desire of our spirit is always to see what we hear. Paul teaches us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It is true that our spirit hears what our ears cannot. The eyes of our spirit see what our flesh eyes cannot see. It is important to note that while in the spirit, John first heard the voice, then turned to see the voice. God is always looking for a man to respond to Him. It is our response that activates more depth and revelation from the Lord. Every action of God demands a response from man. The question is, how will we respond? The people of Israel heard His voice and hid. Adam and Eve in the garden heard His voice and hid. John turned to see the voice. Our response to the callings and voice of God determines the revelation that we will receive. The significance of John’s turning seems to be pivotal to the understanding of what he heard. We cannot build our entire relationship with Christ around simply hearing what He says. We must allow what He says to dictate our movements in every aspect of our life. Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. Turning indicates so many things. To reverse direction or course. To change. Hearing created movement. What God says must produce movement, change, and a reversal of direction in our lives.
When John turned to see the voice, he saw first the seven golden candlesticks. It is interesting that it was the candlesticks He saw first. As glorious and all-powerful as our Lord is, John mentions the candlesticks first. This teaches us that God shows us what He wants us to see. John needed to see the Church. Today, we need to see the Church. We need to see what the Church looks like in the world today. We need to see how the Church is responding in our day today. We need to see what is happening inside the Church today. John describes the Church as the golden candlesticks. Jesus taught us that we are the light of the world. We need to see how bright our light is shining in this darkened world today. If we were to take an honest look at the condition of the Church today, what would we say about it? Like the Prophet Habakkuk said, who is left that saw the Church in her former glory, and how do you see it now? This is the question that I believe is facing us now. There are places around the world where the fire is burning bright with the people of God worshipping and praising our God. Here in America, the influence of the Church has been affected by our desire to become more like the world and less like what Jesus called us to be. Instead of us shining light in the darkness, we are growing dimmer and more confused over the very calling of Christ to the Church. John will describe for us in the next two chapters the condition of the Church in full. In that reflection, we should take note of the conditions that surround us and how we respond. When in the presence of Christ, we should never let go of what He wants us to see. Often what we want to see is not what Jesus wants us to see. We are looking for something that will build us up when Christ wants us to see what we should repent for. Just be sure that your eyes are ready and open to behold what Christ wants you to see when He speaks.
John tells us what he sees. He saw seven golden candlesticks. Revelation 1:20 gives us the identity of the seven golden candlesticks. They represent the seven churches. The Old Testament sanctuary had within it seven candlesticks, according to Ex 25:37. The concluding principle of this last line would be that when we activate by turning to hear the voice, then we see clearly the Church as it is. It is the voice of God that brings discernment, judgment, and a clear prophetic vision of what’s ahead.