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Bible Studies in the Book of Revelation Study 2

Revelation 1.12-20          One like the Son of Man

John sees the vision of the voice. He is reminded of who it is that he is seeing, it is Jesus, the one on whom he rested in the Upper Room many years before. He remembers what he has done, He is the one who died for sin, His blood cleanses 1.5, redeems 7.14, and overcomes 12.11, but when he sees Jesus as the glorified one, he falls at His feet as dead. To begin to comprehend what this book is about, we must start by worshipping the one who is its focus, Jesus Christ in His glory. Although John falls as dead, by 21.4, there is no more death as Christ has finally triumphed and put away sin forever.

What caused him to fall as dead? He looked to see whose voice had spoken and sees among the seven candlesticks:

  • Someone like a Son of Man – His humanity was seen in Heaven. Look at Daniel 7.9-14 for a description of a vision that Daniel had and compare it with the one that John saw. See also Daniel 10.6
  • Wearing a full length robe – a robe of a king
  • A golden sash around his chest – symbol of authority of the High Priest
  • Hair white like wool – pure and cleansed
  • Hair as white as snow – white in purity emphasising His life
  • Eyes like blazing fire – challenge to the defeated power of sin
  • Feet like bronze in a furnace – a firm foundation with no dross, there is purity in His judgments
  • Voice like torrents of water – the sound of authority that drowns all other voices
  • In his hand seven stars – explained later as the angels of the churches
  • Out of his mouth a sharp double-edged sword – the sword is the word of God, the power of His message
  • A face that shone like the brilliance of the full force of the sun – He is glorious and outshines all others

No wonder that when faced with such a vision that John falls at His feet and worships Him. Jesus has lost none of his tender love, which he has shown to the people while he was on earth, as he reaches down and touches John on the shoulder to reassure him and comfort him. Whenever there is fear, God gives strength, remember the angels to the shepherds, Jesus to the disciples in the storm on the lake, to the women at the cross, to the dying thief, to the disciples at his ascension and many more. He instructs John not to be afraid! Then he starts the Revelation with a statement of his position and authority using words that John and anyone else can understand.

  • I am the First and the Last – links with the Alpha and Omega used previously, but also states that he was the beginning, before creation and will be the final one after the rapture, after the judgment and will be with his people for eternity.
  • I am the living One – there is no doubt about His resurrection, he could be seen as living and was a man in heaven
  • I was dead but now am alive for eternity – confirmation of his cross experience when he died for the sin of the world but rose again never to need to die again, his work of redemption was complete
  • I hold the keys of death and Hades – if the previous statement shows his finished work of salvation, these words confirm that he has conquered death, the result of sin and has control over power of sin

John then is told to write what you have seen, the past, what is now, the present and what is to come, the future. It was to be a first-hand account of the revelation that Jesus was going to give him. It starts immediately by revealing what the stars and the candlesticks that he has seen represent:

  • It is a mystery, which means it is not easily understood, not something John could have been expected to readily understand.
  • The seven stars represent the seven angels of the churches – this assures John that heavenly powers are with the churches.  The fact that they are stars show that they are in the heavens but shining to the earth, they should be seen as focussing light and power to the churches.
  • The seven lampstands represent the seven churches – churches that John knew well and would be familiar with their needs. The lamps would be fed by an oil supply, see Zechariah 4, lamps fed with oil through channels, and the words of the Lord are, ‘Not by might not by power, but by my Spirit.’ The Spirit and power of God, not man’s efforts, feed the churches. The churches are lamps and should be sending light out into the world.

Next study begins to look at the messages to the seven churches and its relevance for today.

Page last updated: Saturday 16th April 2016 4:37 PM
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