Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Vision of Christ

In the midst of the seven lampstands stood 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. 1:13-16 


The Son of Man


    The words, Son of Man, very distinctly refer to Christ, our Savior, judging by the description given in 13-18.  Even so, The American Standard Version writes, a son of man, and Wuest says, like a son of man (human).  Verses 18-20 very pointedly tell us that it is Christ who holds the seven stars in His right hand, and therefore we cannot accept the idea that this refers to a mere human.


His clothing


This very beautiful, awesome picture of Christ, fills the imagination with admiration.  Christ is wearing a long gown, as was the custom, in John's day, for men in eastern cultures.  The color of it is not given here, but later we read of Him as wearing a vesture dipped in blood. 19:13


It is a picture of Christ wearing a robe, now dipped in blood, to remind us of Calvary.  Around His chest, he is wearing a gold colored sash; portraying royalty.
  

His hair


He has beautiful, long hair which were white like wool, as white as snow.  His white hair is in striking contrast to his golden sash; and his eyes are a flame of fire.  O!  Those eyes; penetrating the human soul, seeing all the sinful motives of the degenerate heart.

His Feet 


Throughout the Bible, brass speaks of judgment.  Here we read that His feet were like fine (refined) brass; He is prepared to judge; to trample with his feet; to rule with a rod of iron: He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:15.  

The word, refined, is surely a picture that tells us that his judgment is pure, altogether without flaw.  For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity. Psalm 98:9,


His Voice


His voice was as the sound of many waters.  His voice is a commanding voice.  It is a voice of authority.  Like a giant waterfall demands our attention, so the voice of Christ will someday demand the attention of every human, then, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Phil. 2:10-11.


The seven stars

     
He had in his right hand seven stars. 1:20 plainly says, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.  The word, angel, in 1:20 and in chapters 2&3, has various interpretations.  Origen and Jerome both believed that each church had its own angel and that these letters were written to the angelic beings that were responsible for their particular church.  It does seem somewhat unlikely though that Jehovah would use a human to write letters to heavenly angels. 

  
The current trend of thought concerning this is that the word angel, which means, messenger, should be understood as being a human messenger; the preacher of a congregation.  There are some groups that believe that it is wrong for a congregation to have a designated minister.   It seems from this that Saint John had no problem with that idea.

  It is altogether fitting that preachers of the Word of God should be called stars; Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3. 

   It is no mere coincidence that a sharp two-edged sword, which is the "Word of God", is mentioned immediately after the stars; those who are the preachers of the Word of truth.  Any preacher, who will shine like a star and turn many to righteousness, must be in close association with the Word of God.