I’m sure you’ve all seen a lamb at some stage, whether in the animal pavilions at the Royal Adelaide Show or in a paddock while driving in the countryside, and maybe you’ve even had the opportunity of bottle-feeding one. They are kind of cute and cuddly. But imagine how you would feel if someone showed you a picture of one with seven horns and seven eyes. I’m sure you’d be thinking that someone had photoshopped the image. But that is the exact image that was revealed to John, the writer of the book of Revelation (Revelation 5:6).
It was shown to him in a vision and it was a symbolic picture of Jesus as the Messiah at the time of his second coming. In the Bible, seven stands for the number of completeness or perfection. The book of Revelation also speaks of the seven spirits of God, understood to mean the seven-fold Spirit or the perfect and complete Spirit of God in comparison to the incomplete or imperfect spirit of man. It also speaks of seven stars which are the seven angels who are consigned to protect each of the seven churches in Asia Minor which is modern day Turkey.
At the time John wrote Revelation, there were more than seven churches in Asia Minor. Some scholars believe these seven churches were chosen to represent all churches across the globe for all time. It indicates the highs and lows that all churches experience yet, because of the atoning death of Jesus, they can be presented to God complete and perfect at the time of his second coming.
The picture of the perfect church was given to these seven churches because they lived in a region of great persecution and the images in the book were revealed to them to hearten them of their ultimate destination. They would be the pure church of God’s people in the new, complete and perfect city of Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-4). The promise is ours as well!
From Frank Eames