4 - The Vision of Christ
The Vision of Christ
Revelation 1:9 - 20 (KJV) 9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20The 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.
Intro: Verse nine begins the first major division based on the outline in verse 19. You will remember that we have divided the book into three major sections.
- PAST - Have seen… Chapter 1
- PRESENT - Things which are… Chapters 2-3
- FUTURE - Things which shall come to pass… Chapters 4-22
Of course the keynote of the book is the promise of vs. 7 “Behold He cometh…”
Christ is seen as the Alpha and the Omega he is the revealer of truth.
In Verse 9 we shall see a vision. The vision we are about to see is a beautiful vision because it focuses upon our Lord. In this section we shall see the…
- The Prelude vs. 9-11
- The Portrait of Christ vs. 12-16
- The Pronouncement of the Risen Christ vs. 17-20
1. The Prelude - Revelation 1:9 - 11 (KJV) 9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
a. The Identification of the Recipient of the Vision
i. “I John” – The beloved disciple. The author of this book, and four other NT books. An Apostle chosen by Jesus Christ. The earliest disciple to appear and the last disciple to leave. The only disciple to die a natural death.
ii. “Your Brother” – Member of God’s Family, God is is heavenly father, and all other Christians become his brother.
iii. “Companion” – Fellow partaker in three things…
1. Tribulation – Exiled to a barren rock because of his faith. Persecution for Christ's sake, and illustrated by John's own banishment.
2. Kingdom – The anticipated hope of all believers. The earthly kingdom that Christ shall bring. now within the kingdom of Christ - under Christ's sovereignty, fighting the good fight under His leadership - which gives hope and courage and patience. The kingdom of God is a present energy
3. Patience – The patient perseverance that comes from hope, that Jesus will right all wrongs. (James 5:7-11)
iv. “of Jesus Christ” – Three ingredients involved with being in Christ, present tribulation, future kingdom, and abiding patience.
b. The Location of the Vision
i. Patmos – small island in the Aegean Sea Now called Patmo and Palmosa.
ii. In the Aegean, one of the group of the Sporades, about twenty-eight miles S. S.W. of Samos.
iii. It is about ten miles long by six in breadth. The island is volcanic, and is bare and rocky throughout; the hills, of which the highest rises to nearly a thousand feet, commanding a magnificent view of the neighboring sea and islands.
iv. The exile was due to John’s failure to acknowledge Caesar as God.
v. “For the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
vi. He was there as a slave. Forced to work underground in the mines that dotted the island.
vii. When Domician died John was released from Patmos. He returned to Ephesus where in time he died a very old man.
c. The Occasion of the Vision (vs. 10)
i. “I was in the Spirit “- This phrase occurs three other times in the Revelation
1. Rev 4:2 – The phrase denotes a state or trance or spiritual ecstasy.
2. Rev 17:3 - It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.... But this sublime condition is not of permanent duration.
3. Rev 21:10 –
ii. “On the Lord’s Day”
1. The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. The first day of the week, the festival of the Lord's resurrection.
2. Not, as some, the day of judgment, which in the New Testament is expressed by ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ Κυρίου the day of the Lord (2Th_2:2); or ἡμέρα Κυρίου the day of the Lord, the article being omitted (2Pe_3:10); or ἡμέρα Χριστοῦ the day of Christ (Phi_2:16).
3. The usual New Testament expression for the first day of the week is ἡ μία τῶν σαββάτων (Luk_24:1; see on Act_20:7).
4. Behind me - The unexpected, overpowering entrance of the divine voice. Compare Eze_3:12.
5. Of a trumpet (σάλπιγγος) - Properly, a war trumpet, a trumpet of command and authority.
d. The Instruction of the Vision (vs. 11)
i. What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia
ii. Write (γράψον) The aorist imperative, denoting instantaneous action. Write at once, promptly.
iii. In a book (εἰς βιβλίον) Lit., into. Commit in writing to a book. For book see on Mat_19:7; see on Mar_10:4; see on Luk_4:17. The command to write is given twelve times in Revelation.
2. The Portrait of the Christ (vs. 12-16) And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; Rev 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Rev 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; Rev 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength
a. To see the voice - The voice is put for the speaker.
i. That spake (ἥτις) - The compound relative has a qualitative force: of what sort.
ii. With me (μετ' ἐμοῦ) - The preposition implies conversation and not mere address.
iii. Candlesticks (λυχνίας)
1. See on Mat_5:15. We are at once reminded of the seven-branched candlestick of the tabernacle (Exo_25:31; Heb_9:2; compare Zec_4:2).
2. Here there is not one candlestick with seven branches, but seven candlesticks, representing the Christian Church.
3. The Jewish Church was one, as being the Church of a single people. The Christian Church, though essentially one, is a Church composed of many peoples.
4. It is no longer outwardly one or in one place. According to the literal meaning of the word, lampstand, the several lampstands are bearers of the light (Mat_5:14, Mat_5:16), “holding forth the word of life” (Phi_2:15, Phi_2:16).
b. The Vision of Christ
i. The Location of Christ
1. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,
2. Made of Gold and filled with oil.
3. Rev 1:20 - and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
4. The church is bearing the light to the world. That is our responsibility
5. He is the light; we are to display Him to our friends and family.
6. This is symbolic of the Lord in the midst of His church.
7. The light is only able to bear light as it possesses oil. The church is too filled with oil or the HS.
ii. The Position of Christ
1. The Son of Man - “a son of Man.” But the reference is none the less to the Lord, and is not equivalent to a man. Daniel 7. He is the risen gloried son of God.
2. A garment down to the foot (ποδήρη) Compare Dan_10:5. From πούς, the foot, and ἄρω, to fasten: hence that which connects head and foot. The word is properly an adjective, reaching to the foot, with χίτων garment, understood.The long robe is the garment of dignity and honor. It may be either royal, or priestly, or both. Compare Isa_6:1.
3. Girt about the paps (περιεζωσμένον πρὸς τοῖς μαστοῖς), more correctly, “girt about at (πρὸς) the breasts.” Compare Rev_15:6. The ordinary girding was at the loins.
4. A golden girdle - The girdle is an Old Testament symbol of power, righteousness, truth (Isa_22:21; Job_12:18; Isa_11:5). Compare Eph_6:14, where the girdle of the Christian panoply is truth, which binds together the whole array of graces as the girdle does the upper and lower parts of the armor. The girdle suits equally Christ's kingly and priestly office. The girdle of the High-Priest was not golden, but only inwrought with gold. See Exo_28:8 : “curious girdle:” Rev., “cunningly woven band.” So Exo_29:5.
5. His clothing indicates, He is the Ascended Christ, The Authoritative Judge, and The Coming King
iii. The Description of Christ vs. 14 -
1. Purity and Holiness of the Judge - White (λευκαὶ) See on Luk_9:29. Compare Dan_7:9. Wool – snow This combination to represent whiteness occurs in Dan_7:9, and Isa_1:18. Snow, in Psa_51:7.
2. Penetrating into His church – Omniscient, He knows all…His eyes were like a Flame of fire - Compare Dan_10:6. Fire, in Scripture, is the expression of divine anger. The figure may include the thought of the clear and penetrating insight of the Son of Man; but it also expresses His indignation at the sin which His divine insight detects.
3. Trampling Unrighteousness - And his feet like unto fine brass,
4. Almighty God - His Voice as the sound of many waters - Powerful falls, roaring loudly.
5. Seven Stars – In his hand he holds the representatives of the local church. cf. John 10:28-29
6. A sharp, two-edged sword (ῥομφαία δίστομος ὀξεῖα) The (Greek order is a sword, two-edged, sharp. For the peculiar word for sword see on Luk_2:35. Two-edged is, literally, two-mouthed.
7. Countenance (ὄψις) Used by John only, and only three times: here, Joh_7:24; Joh_11:44. Not general appearance.
a. Shineth (φαίει) See on Joh_1:5.
b. In his strength - With the full power of the eastern sun at noonday.
3. The Pronouncement of the Risen Christ vs. 17-20
a. The Effect of The Vision - I fell Compare Exo_23:20; Eze_1:28; Dan_8:17 sqq.; Dan_10:7 sqq.; Luk_5:8; Rev_19:10.
i. Fear not, I AM – Christ Self Existence
ii. The first and the last - Eternal Lord This epithet is three times ascribed to Jehovah by Isaiah (Isa_41:4; Isa_44:6; Isa_48:12); three times in this book (here, Rev_2:8; Rev_22:13).
iii. I am He that liveth (καὶ ὁ ζῶν) Not a fresh sentence connected with the following words as in A.V., but connected with the first and the last by καὶ and. Rev., and the living One. Compare Joh_1:4; Joh_14:6; Joh_5:26. And l was dead (καὶ ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς) Strictly, I became. So Rev., in margin. Compare Phi_2:8, “became obedient unto death.
iv. The keys of Hell and Death - Rev., correctly, of Death and of Hades. Conceived as a prison-house or a walled city. See on Mat_16:18. The keys are the symbol of authority. See Mat_16:19; Rev_3:7; Rev_9:1; Rev_20:1. The Rabbinical proverb said: “There are four keys lodged in God's hand, which He committeth neither to angel nor to seraph: the key of the rain, the key of food, the key of the tombs, and the key of a barren woman.”