Revelation 1:20 gives us a glimpse into the mysterious symbolism and imagery found within the book of Revelation. In this verse, Jesus himself provides an explanation behind the seven stars and seven golden candlesticks, which was mentioned earlier in this chapter. The seven stars are identified as the angels of the seven churches, symbolizing their divine protection and guidance. They serve as intermediaries between God and his people, carrying messages from heaven to earth. Each star represents a specific church, highlighting their unique characteristics, virtues, and challenges. This imagery emphasizes God’s care for his followers, as well as His desire for people to stay faithful in this world plagued by darkness. On the other hand, the seven golden candlesticks signify the individual churches themselves. So what if I told you that Joseph Smith, the first prophet in Mormonism, changed the word “angels” to “servants” in this verse? Would you be ok with that? See below for differences in the King James Bible (KJV) and the Joseph Smith Translation (JST)…
Revelation 1:20 (KJV)
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Revelation 1:20 (Joseph Smith Translation)
20 This is the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the servants of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
As you can see, the main difference between the two versions of Revelation 1:20 is how the seven stars are represented. In the KJV Bible, the seven stars are described as “the angels of the seven churches.” In contrast, the JST Bible interprets the seven stars as “the servants of the seven churches.” In other words, the KJV portrays the stars as heavenly beings (angels), while the JST interprets them as earthly religious leaders (servants). Heavenly beings are not the same as earthly church leaders, and this change to the Biblical text is in violation to Revelation 22:18,19. According to those verses, altering the text of the book of Revelation, either by adding to or removing from the prophecy, would result in severe consequences. If a person adds to the prophecy, they will be afflicted with the plagues described in the Book of Revelation. If a person is removed from the blessings of this prophecy, they will be removed from the book of life, the holy city, and have no access to the blessings promised within the book. This is the punishment for Joseph Smith as you will see by those verses below…
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18,19)