Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Man in the Opening Vision

In my last post, we considered what the voice that John heard said to him. In this post, we will consider what John saw.

"Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength." (Revelation 1:12-16 - New King James Version)

As soon as John heard the voice, he did what any of us would have done. He turned around to see who was speaking to him.

The first thing that caught his eye was seven lamp stands. In verse twenty, we are told that these lamp stands represent the seven churches. A lamp stand is a fitting symbol for a local church.

Jesus told his followers, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:14 - King James Version) Christians are to be a light shining forth in the moral and spiritual darkness of this world. We are to illuminate the way to God through Christ.
A city on a hill can picture a local church. A church is to be a visible united group of Christians influencing those around them.

The Apostle Paul uses a similar figure of speech in his letter to the Philippians. He wrote, ". . . that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; . . ." (Philippians 2:15 - King James Version)

In the midst of these seven lamp stands was standing a man dressed like a king of the ancient Middle East. He was wearing a long flowing robe that went down to his ankles. Around his chest was wrapped a wide cloth decorated with gold.

The man's hair was pure white. His eyes were bright, penetrating and lively. John felt like those eyes could look right into and through him. The man's feet were of a whitish and brilliant color. His voice was not only loud but also exhibited a wide range of tone and feeling.

His right hand was outstretched and upon it there appeared to be seven stars. These stars according to verse twenty represent the angels of the seven churches. The word angel means messenger.

The heavenly angels are God's messengers and servants. However, the word can also be used in its wider meaning of anyone who takes a message for another. The angels referred to here and throughout chapters two and three, I believe, are the pastors of the seven churches.

A pastor has the duty of sharing God's message from the Bible with his congregation. The pastors of these seven churches also had the special responsibility of sharing this Revelation with their congregation once they received it.

The pastors are in the hand of Jesus, for that is Who the man in the vision is. This indicates that they are totally dependent upon Christ. A pastor stands and falls according to how much he learns to rely upon the Lord. The successful spiritual work of ministry depends upon the blessing of Christ.

Jesus also had coming from His mouth a double edged sword. This is the strangest part of this initial vision. The sword itself represents the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The exact appearance of this sword we cannot now know.

Christ's face shone with a brilliance like the noon day sun.

The total impact of this vision was that of power, glory and majesty. Jesus appeared as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He had come to walk among the seven churches of Asia in order to examine them and judge them, as well as their pastors whom He held in His hand.


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