Green triangles are narrated and fully illustrated and will have simple animation added along the way. Yellow triangles have narration, but the illustrations aren't done yet. Videos with red triangles are planned. New and updated videos will be added very often.
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John, Jesus’ friend, spent his life telling lots of people about the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom. But, as usual, some people didn’t want to hear it. And eventually, John became a prisoner. They put him on a teeny, tiny island called Patmos.
One day John heard behind him a loud voice like a trumpet: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven Churches.”
John turned around to see the voice that was talking to him and saw seven golden lampstands. Among the lampstands was someone dressed in a looooong robe that went all the way down to His feet. He had a golden sash around His chest. He was like a Son of Man. (It was Jesus.) The hair on His head was white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like metal glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
In His right hand He held seven stars, and He had a sharp, double-edged sword. (We know that’s the Word of God, because His voice cuts to the heart with truth, just like a sword can cut skin.)
And His face — OHHH! It was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. Wow! Can you picture Him? He was stunning. Amazingly beautiful. Awesome. Waaaaay more amazing than anything we can show you in a picture! What do you think John did when he saw his friend with those blazing eyes and brilliant, shining face?
John was… terrified. He fell over. He lay on the ground and didn’t move. He was so still, it was almost like he was dead.
But Jesus reached down and touched John. “It’s okay, John,” Jesus said. “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, the A and the Z. I am the Living One! I was dead, and now look! — I am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys of death and hell.
“John, I want you to write down what you’ve seen and what you’re about to see. Let’s start with the mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the messengers of the seven Churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven Churches.
“Now hop up! Let’s go. I have stuff to show you.”
You know what a lampstand is, right? It’s something that holds a light.
Do you remember the olive trees and lampstand that Zechariah saw? And how oil from the olive trees flowed down into the lights. The Lampstand had a never-ending supply of oil because the olive trees get their oil from their roots planted along the River of Life.
God just told John that the Lampstands are the Churches. A lampstand, or a Church, holds up and exalts the Glory of God made to shine in the face of Jesus Christ as a city set on a hill for the whole world to see. A people who shine like stars in the universe.
That’s what church is. Read your Bible from cover to cover and you’ll never read anything about Jesus’ Church being a building or something to attend. Instead, His Church is a visible, supernatural display of His Daily Anointed-Life Together. It’s that holding up of the blaze of the Glory of God for all the world to see — the illuminating of the Christ of God.
Now, go to the next story to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.