ITEMS OF THE ISSUE
First of all, at the end of this age God will have local churches on this earth which are lampstands. The term local church is not mentioned in Revelation, but in 1:11 John writes to the seven churches in seven cities, indicating that seven churches are equal to seven cities. John did not write to a street church or a home church or a community church or a church on the campus. John wrote to seven churches in seven cities. Asia was an ancient province of the old Roman Empire. It was like a state. As a province it could have more than one church. But each city within this province could have only one church. According to history Ephesus was a large city at that time, but it had only one church.
HIM WHO WAS, WHO IS, AND WHO IS COMING
John’s tone in his greeting to the churches is different from Paul’s greetings in his Epistles. For example in Galatians 1:3 Paul says, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." But John in Revelation 1:4-5 says, "Grace to you and peace from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming, and from the seven Spirits Who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth." Who is the One Who is and Who was and Who is coming? This is Jehovah of the Old Testament. This is the Jehovah who is the great I Am. When Moses asked the name of God, God answered, "I Am. that I Am." He is the verb To Be. He is the great To Be Besides Him, everything is nothing. He is the only existing One. In the past He Was, in the present He Is, and in the coming days He Will Be. He is To Be. This is Jehovah.
THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD
In the book of Revelation the one Spirit of God becomes the seven Spirits (1:4; 4:5). How can the one Spirit become seven? In this book the seven Spirits are the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (Rev. 4:5). The lampstand has two aspects. Looking from the top you may count seven lamps, but looking from the bottom there is one lampstand. This means the lampstand is seven-one and one-seven. A good illustration is a three-way lamp. If you only need a little light you turn the switch in one way. If you need more light you turn the switch again. If you need still more light you turn the switch once more. How marvelous it would be if we could buy a seven-way lamp! The shining of the lampstand in Revelation is intensified seven times because today is a day of darkness and the sight of God’s people is so weak. In the Gospels God’s Spirit was uniquely one, but in Revelation this one Spirit becomes seven. This is not seven in substance, but seven in function. It is still one, but its function is sevenfold intensified. The Spirit of God today is the seven Spirits.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)