Sunday, July 19, 2009

Revelation 1:16-19

Verse 16 “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

Christ holds seven stars in His right hand. We will see what these stars are a few verses later. Out of his mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword. God’s Word (truth) is compared to a two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). The sword of the spirit is the word of God (Eph. 6:17) or truth. This is the sword of Jesus Christ who uses that truth to judge, “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword that with it He should smite the nations.” Rev. 19:15. This speaks of the sword of truth and judgment that Christ is going to wield, and the truth is that judgment is going to come. His face was like brilliant sunshine. Again, just as his feet shone with the Shekinah glory, so does His face.

Verse 17-18 “And 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 last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

John falls down as a dead man when He sees Christ in all His glory. He does shake in his boots so to speak. This is reminiscent of Daniel’s reaction in Daniel chapter 10 when he saw a man whose appearance resembles that of the description of Christ here. (as mentioned in verses 13-15) Christ lays his hand on John and tells him to not be afraid, and again reiterates that He is the first and the last. Again, he claims the same title as God the Father. In Isaiah 44:6 it says, “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” This scripture says that the Lord who is King of Israel, AND his Redeemer who is the Lord of hosts are the same first and last. They are both said to be God. This interchangeable name between the two of them shows their equality in the godhead and oneness of being. This is just one of many titles that they share. In Is. 9:6 it speaks specifically of Jesus but it calls him the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. They are one and the same.

Christ goes on to say that it is He that lives, that was dead, and will live forever more. Again the triune thought of was, is, and will be. Christ has the keys of hell and death. It is Christ who has the power over these things.

Verse 19 “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 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.”

Christ tells John that he is to write what he has seen, what he is seeing, and what he will see. Again notice the triune thought. So now he is instructed to write what he has already seen, what he has seen and written about in this first chapter. The things which Christ will tell him which exist at the moment (the churches’ condition) which will be chapters 2-3, and the things which will be in the future which is basically the rest of Revelation.

It will be seen that when symbols are used and cannot be taken literally, there is an explanation given as to what the symbols represent. This is exactly the position taken at the beginning of this study, that everything should be taken literally and when symbols are used, they will be explained. John is told for what the seven stars in Christ’s right hand and the seven candlesticks stand. The seven stars are the seven angels of the churches. We studied back in Genesis how the angels and stars are tied to each other. We saw that stars represent angels. It is now stated outright that the stars are angels. They are the angels of the seven churches. This would seem to indicate that every church has an angel assigned to them. This should not be surprising, given that nations, (Dan. 12:1) nature, (Rev. 7:1) and people have angels having charge over them (Matt. 18:10, Act. 12:15). Why shouldn’t churches? In fact we are told that angels sit in on worship services.(1 Cor. 11:10) The seven candlesticks stand for the seven churches themselves. At this time Christ is in the midst of them, meaning He was still presently among them. In the O.T. the High Priest tended the lamp stands in the Holy Place. It was his responsibility to keep them trimmed and burning brightly. This is what Christ our High Priest is doing here. Trimming (chastising) the churches to keep them burning brightly.

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