The Revelation of Jesus Christ Pt 4, 1:9-16

These eight verses, in alignment with the title of the book, give us a glimpse of the resurrected Christ in heaven. We see the glory and beauty of Jesus from John’s own eyes, and from it we can take comfort, encouragement, and hope.

VERSE 9

"I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and endurance of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

Apart from the obvious, that John is a brother in Christ and on Patmos due to His witness of Jesus (he’s there because of persecution), we can glean several other truths. John tells us that he is a companion in three things. The word companion means to be a partaker, a co-partner, a joint-sharer

  1. Tribulation
    • Most of us would like to agree with John in saying we are brothers, but to be a partaker of tribulation is not something that comes easy. Nevertheless, it remains true. Each of us are to “take part in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” [2 Tim 2:3] [Click here ‘Being a Soldier of Jesus Christ‘]
    • We are called to this: it is a necessary part of being a Christian and we have been given an example by Jesus. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”
    • Through tribulation though we must endure. The apostles of our dear faith encouraged the disciples in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” [Acts 14:22] Paul tells the Philippians that not only are we graciously given faith toward salvation but also to suffer for the sake of Jesus our King.
  2. The Kingdom [of Jesus Christ]
    • Jesus has prepared us a kingdom! He is our King, and one day He will return. We are all partakers of this glorious kingdom that will one day be manifest on earth when Jesus returns in the flesh. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” [Heb 13:13-15]
  3. [The] endurance of Jesus Christ
    • Finally, we are partakers of the endurance of Christ. Like Jesus endured His life and sufferings for our sake, we too are called to take up our cross daily and follow Him, enduring until the very end.
    • Pray to God for strength, for endurance. That He would, “impart ability with all might according to His glorious dominion, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joyfulness” and that He would, “exactly direct/guide your hearts into the love of God, and into the endurance of The Christ.” [Col 1:11, 2 Thess 3:5]

Even in this verse, The Holy Spirit encourages us, reminding us that we are a family, beloved brethren of each other and of our Elder Brother Jesus Christ; and that we are called to tribulation, a kingdom, and endurance – all of which Jesus Christ is center, and fully able to help us.

VERSE 10-11

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, 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."

I am of the opinion that “The Lord’s day” refers to The Day of The LORD, as mentioned in the Old Testament. Though some take it to mean Saturday or Sunday. Either way, the application remains the same.

Jesus is again given the title Alpha and Omega, The First and The Last. [See Pt 3, 1:7-8]

Take note of the voice: it was “as of a trumpet.” The voice of a trumpet is one to be feared. This is the same type of voice which spoke upon Mount Sinai. Moses tells us, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” It was in fact so terrifying that “Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake,” and after hearing the voice, “they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more.” [Heb 12:19-21]

Contrast the voice of a trumpet here with the voice of many waters in verse fifteen. This is after John “turned to see the voice that spake with [him].” [Rev 1:12] We see then, that when our backs are turned to The Lord, the voice is fearful and in judgment but when we turn to face Him it is no longer in judgment. Be encouraged, “for ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest…But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem,…and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant…” [Heb 12:18; 22-24]

VERSE 12-16

"And I turned to see the voice that had been speaking with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden lampstands; And in the midst of the seven lampstands one like unto the Son of Man, having been clothed down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto orichalcum, as if having been glowing in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And holding in His right hand seven stars: and coming out of His mouth a sharp twoedged rhomphaia: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."

John turns to see Jesus, the Son of Man, in the midst of seven golden lampstands. Not candlesticks, but more appropriately lampstands: light bearers. Jesus defines these for us in verse twenty, “the seven lampstands which thou sawest are the seven churches.” These were foreshadowed in the tabernacle, Moses being told to create a lampstand with seven arms. The lampstand was to be made of one piece of beaten gold and it was the source of light within the tabernacle. One thing this symbolizes is that the Church is formed through the crushing of a single divine element. Jesus Christ was crushed for us, and through His suffering the Church was created. Zechariah shows us in his vision the lampstand, but there are pipes connected to it, giving it a continuous supply of oil. Signifying, among other things, the eternal indwelling of The Holy Spirit, given to us through Jesus Christ; that one day, The Father would remove the old priesthood and Jesus Christ His Son would minister as our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, filling us continuously with His Holy Spirit.

Jesus stands in the midst of us, tending to our flames, taking care of us. He is our Great High Priest. And He is gentle in that ministry, as Isaiah says, “…a smoldering wick shall He not extinguish…”

ONE LIKE UNTO THE SON OF MAN

The title Son of Man is referencing a vision in Daniel, which says,

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." [Dan 7:13-14]

Ezekiel also sees a vision of the Son of Man, seeing Jesus on His throne. We find very similar descriptions in Revelation 4.

"And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." [Ezek 1:26-29]

There are nine descriptions of Jesus here.

  1. Having been clothed down to the foot
  2. Girt about the breasts with a golden girdle
    • The High Priests would wear a girdle as well, which held the ephod together at the waist. It was weaved together of variously colored threads: gold, cerulean-purple, reddish-purple, crimson, and byssus. [Ex 28:8]
    • Something encouraging about this comes from the word “paps,” which means “breasts.” It is exclusively used for women’s breasts in the New Testament. Notice the difference in Greek here and compared with John 13:25.
      • This is not saying that Jesus has breasts, but it speaks of Jesus’ comfort, which He shows toward us like a mother. Isaiah explains, “as one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Is it not a beautiful and wonderful thing that our Precious Lord comforts us? What a glorious truth. Again, The Lord encourages us in Isaiah, “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for The LORD hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted…Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
    • Application: Jesus is our comforter, who “...comforteth those that are cast down.” Humble yourself under God’s hand and cast your care upon Him, for He cares for us. [1 Pe 5:6-7]
  3. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow
  4. His eyes were as a flame of fire
    • The same description of Jesus’ eyes when He comes to pour out The Father’s wrath upon the earth. Jesus’ eyes are perfect in judgment. He discerns perfectly. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we must give account.” [Heb 4:13] Nothing can be hidden from Jesus: our sinfulness, our weakness, our failings – all of them are naked before His burning eyes. For “the eyes of The LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” [Prov 15:3]
    • Application: Jesus’ fire, though we will not experience the wrath of it, it will discern between our works. Jesus will one day “bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the wills/determinations/designs of the hearts…” [1 Cor 4:5] and “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” [2 Cor 5:10] This, as Paul states next, is “the terror of The Lord.” You cannot hide your motives, what you hold to, what influences your actions. One day it will become plain and Jesus Christ will judge you. This is for the Christian. It is imperative that we die to this life and serve Christ Jesus faithfully while we still have time.
      • “But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” [Mal 3:2]
      • “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” [2 Jn 1:8]
  5. His feet like unto orichalcum, as if having been glowing in a furnace
    • Orichalcum perhaps is what is intended. Most seem to think whatever it is, it is like a bright whitish or goldfish bronze alloy. The Greek word comes from two words: brass and frankincense. This speaks of Jesus’ judgment but also the wonderful fragrance from His role as High Priest. He judges, yes, He will come to earth again in wrath, yes, but He does not crush us who collectively form His bride. And so we have judgment mixed with hope.
    • Application:Seeing that we as Jesus’ bride will not experience the crushing aspect of His judgment, I believe Paul gives us the application: “Ye are all children of the light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore we should not sleep, as do others; but we should be vigilant and sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But since we are of the day, we should be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  6. His voice as the sound of many waters
  7. Holding in His right hand seven stars
    • These seven stars are defined for us by Jesus in verse 20. They are “the messengers of the seven churches.” The word “Angel” just means a messenger. It makes sense that this would refer to the leader/pastor/messenger of each church; after all, why would Jesus write epistles to angels? That doesn’t make much sense, but He wrote to human beings, messengers of each church.
    • Jesus holds each messenger that He has sent out in His right hand. He tenderly and carefully watches each one.
    • Application: Each of us are under the authority of someone. Recognize that and that Jesus holds them. You can trust Jesus. We are also each held by Jesus and The Father: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” [Jn 10:28-30]
  8. Coming out of His mouth a sharp twoedged rhomphaia
    • The word for sword is rhomphaia. It is a long, thracian sword. This sword, different from the word used in Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17 which liken the Word of God to a makhaira. Rhomphaia is the nature of Jesus’ words which pierce and judge.
    • Application: When Jesus convicts us of something, we should follow the adive given in Rev 2:16, “Repent: or else I will come unto thee in quickness, and will fight against them with the rhomphaia of my mouth.
  9. His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength

2 thoughts on “The Revelation of Jesus Christ Pt 4, 1:9-16

  1. Pingback: The Revelation of Jesus Christ Pt 8, 2:12-17 – Bright And Morning Star

  2. Pingback: The Revelation of Jesus Christ Pt 9, 2:18-29 – Bright And Morning Star

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