John Is Called To Write the Prophecy -4
v.12-16 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands 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 His 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 two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me.” In other words, the spoken word of Jesus Christ aroused John, and then he turned and saw Jesus. Okay, but note how this evolved. First, John accepted the situation and tribulation he was enduring on Patmos; secondly, he was worshiping (not petitioning); thirdly, he responded to the voice of Jesus. This is a lesson for us, dear ones; we cannot expect to see God with less trust, devotion, and obedience than what ruled John.
But far from the human form He embodied as the man John befriended and accompanied for more than three years, John sees Jesus wrapped inside symbolic images more vividly to illustrate Him glorified as He is today alongside the Father. This is not the babe in the manger, carpenter from Galilee, or slain Lamb on the cross that Jesus became on earth. John sees the King of Kings. Perhaps it explains what Paul meant when he spoke of knowing Christ and then remarked “yet now we know Him thus no longer” (2Cor.5;16).
Here are nine components of the vision with a short explanation for each. It provides us the only description given of Jesus in the New Testament.
- “I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man…” Because Jesus Himself interprets the lampstands later to be the “seven churches” (v.20), this illustrates that Jesus stands squarely in the midst of His church.
- “…clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.” These are the garments of the high priest (see Exodus 28:2-4); thus showing Jesus in His capacity as our great High Priest, the One who is the Intercessor between God and man (Heb.4:14-16).
- “His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow…” This identifies Jesus as the eternally existent Ancient of Days spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Dan.7:9).
- “…and His eyes like a flame of fire…” This speaks of our Lord’s penetrating insight into the hearts of men, and His ability to see all things openly, exposed, and with nothing hidden from His sight (Heb.4:13).
- “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace…” This symbolizes judgment. Brass was the material of the altar upon which judgment was made (Ex.27:1-8; Lev.4:1-35), and it will be the feet of Jesus that shall one day tread in judgment (Isa.63:3).
- “…and His voice as the sound of many waters…” This adheres to the way others have described the voice of God (see Ez.1:24; 43:2). It shows that His is the voice of authority.
- “He had in His right hand seven stars…” The seven stars are interpreted later by Jesus to mean the “seven pastors” of the seven churches (v.20); and the right hand is used elsewhere as the symbol of power and strength (see Ex.15:6; Ps.16:11). The image, therefore, is meant to show that Jesus upholds, by His power and by His strength, the pastors; who are the messengers of His Word, and the shepherds of His sheep.
- “…out of His mouth went a two-edged sword…” This characterizes the living power of His Word (Heb.4:12); and that by His Word, hearts and minds will be discerned, and judgment will be brought upon the nations (Rev.19:15).
- “…and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” This shows Jesus covered with the garment of glory; the glory that He had with the Father before the world was (Ps.104:2; John 17:5).