Isa. 52:14-15 π Ezek. 1:27 π Dan. 7:9-10 π Dan. 10:6 π Dan. 10:8-10 π Mt. 17:2 π Jn. 2:17 π Jn. 13:23 π Jn. 17:5 π 1 Cor. 15:55 π Heb. 2:14 π Heb. 4:12 π Heb. 6:20 π Heb. 7:25 π Heb. 12:29 π Rev. 1:1 π Rev. 1:9 π Rev. 1:10-11 π Rev. 1:11 π Rev. 1:13; 2nd π Rev. 1:14; 2nd π Rev. 1:15; 2nd π Rev. 1:16; 2nd π Rev. 1:17; 2nd π Rev. 1:18; 2nd π Rev. 1:20 π Rev. 2:2-4 π Rev. 2:9 π Rev. 2:13 π Rev. 2:24 π Rev. 3:1 π Rev. 3:16-17 π Rev. 3:21 π Rev. 3:22 π Rev. 6:15-16
The Apostle John had been banished to Patmos "for the word of God and the testimony to Jesus." ( Rev. 1:9; top ) It seemed that his work for the Master was ended! But in the plan of the Omnipotent Lord it turned out to be greater and wider service than he had ever dreamed of, and more far-reaching in its effects than any previous part of his life, for on the lonely Isle, cut off from all intercourse with other children of God, the Lord of glory Himself appeared to him, choosing him to be the channel for transmitting to His people a direct revelation of His will concerning them as the Glorified One enthroned on the right hand of the Majesty on high, and giving to him a wondrous unveiling of the history, and destiny of His people, with the concluding scenes which should wind up the dealings of God with the earth-planet, and usher in the glorious reign of the Son of God upon the earth.
It is written that the Apocalypse is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass. ( Rev. 1:1; top ) But He must find a human channel to convey it to His people. So it was for this purpose that the King of Kings permitted the devil to arouse the persecution which transferred the chosen vessel to the lonely Isle, where, away from the claims of active service, he is free to receive the message from on high.
The Apostle is "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," and suddenly hears a great voice, saying, "What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven Churches." ( Rev. 1:10-11; top ) He turns to see who it is that speaks to him, and there breaks upon his spiritual vision a wondrous revelation of Him Whom he had known on earth as the Man Christ Jesus; the very One he had seen hanging upon a cross of shame, despised and rejected of men; the One he had talked with after His resurrection; the very same Jesus he had seen pass into the clouds of heaven.
John sees Him "in the midst of the lampstands," ( Rev. 1:13 ) which are explained later on to be the seven Churches. ( Rev. 1:20 ) He is seen to be walking in the midst; walking as He walked in the temple at Jerusalem, first a silent onlooker, and then a cleanser of all that defiled His Father's House, for it was written of Him, "The zeal for Your house has eaten Me up." ( Jn. 2:17; top )
The Glorified Lord was clothed in garments denoting His High Priesthood within the veil, whither He went as a Forerunner for us, having become a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeck ( Heb. 6:20 ), and where He ever lives to make intercession for all who draw nigh to God through Him. ( Heb. 7:25 ) The golden girdle He wears ( Rev. 1:13 ) denotes the investiture of highest rank and power. His head and hair are white as white wool ( Rev. 1:14 ), signifying purity rather than age. It is remarkable that the same characteristic of hair like pure wool was seen by Daniel when he had the vision of the One Who sat upon a throne of fiery flames, when the judgment was set, and the books were opened. ( Dan. 7:9-10 ) "Glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was," ( Jn. 17:5; top ), prayed the God-Man on the eve of His Cross and Passion. The Father and the Son are One. The Ancient of Days, and the Christ Who appeared to John, with head and hair as white as wool, are One - blessed for evermore.
The Apostle says that "His eyes were as a flame of fire," ( Rev. 1:14 ), all-searching and consuming, and "His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace." ( Rev. 1:15 ) Fire is His very essence of being; fire of love toward perishing sinners; fire of wrath upon sin; fire which consumes and melts, and burns all that is not of its own nature, so as to transform all it touches into its own element. The Man on the Throne had, as it were, "the appearance of fire," when Ezekiel saw Him ( Ezek. 1:27 ), and the Man Who appeared to Daniel had eyes as "lamps of fire." ( Dan. 10:6 ) Yea, our God is a consuming fire. ( Heb. 12:29; top )
"His voice as the voice of many waters," ( Rev. 1:15 ) is always sweet to His Bride, but terrible to those who know Him not. "Out of His mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword," ( Rev. 1:16 ), for His mouth gives forth words "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." ( Heb. 4:12; top ) His Word acts as a sacrificial knife in all who yield to Him, and are laid upon the altar of His Cross in fellowship with Him - there to be continually consumed by the heavenly fire - a whole burnt offering to God.
But His face! Ah, what words could describe His face? John says, "His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength." ( Rev. 1:16 ) Who can gaze into the face of the sun which was created by Him, and who can look with undimmed vision into His Face as it now is in the glory? The Face which was once more marred than any man's. The Face of the marred form, so marred that when it is revealed to seeking souls as that of "God manifest in the flesh," He startles nations. ( Isa. 52:14-15; top )
The Apostle saw the Son of Man, His clothing, His girdle His hair, His eyes, His feet, and heard the voice that spoke to him like a trumpet, or the sound of many waters, but when his eyes were raised, and he looked full toward His Face, and saw Him, then he fell at His feet as one dead. ( Rev. 1:17; top )
If the Apostle who knew Him on earth so well that he leaned upon His bosom in intimate fellowship and love ( Jn. 13:23 ), thus fell before Him at the sight of His heavenly glory, ah! what shall it be for those who reject Him now? Even kings of the earth and princes shall cry, "Hide us from the Face of Him that sits on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." ( Rev. 6:15-16; top )
But to the Apostle it was the very same Jesus that he had known on earth. He had not changed. The glory of that light which was always in Him, as shown on the Mount when He was transfigured before them, and His face did shine as the sun ( Mt. 17:2; top ), now shone out unveiled by the body of His humanity. He is still Man - the Son of Man - in the glory, as He quickly showed when He saw His loved Apostle lying prostrate at His feet.
How often the touch of His hand on earth had healed and blessed the touched ones. How sweetly His voice had said again and again, "Fear not - It is I, be not afraid," and once more the familiar words "Fear not" break on the ear of the prostrate man. He lies "as one dead," unable to help himself. Even as Daniel lay when, at the sight of the Lord of glory with eyes as lamps of fire, his earth-born comeliness [attractiveness, vigor] was turned into corruption in the light of heaven, and he fell into a deep sleep on his face toward the ground, until a hand touched him, and strengthened him to hear the Divine words. ( Dan. 10:8-10 ) The same hand, but now a hand which John had seen pierced, and nailed to the Cross, is laid upon the Apostle on Patmos, and the familiar voice speaks the old calming words, "Fear not." "Fear not; I am the First and the Last." ( Rev. 1:17 ) The beginning of all things, and the end of all the purposes of God. Changeless from all eternity. Manifest in the flesh. Received up into glory. I am
"I became dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore." ( Rev. 1:18 ) "Fear not, John, remember Calvary. You saw Me there. You witnessed My Cross and My Passion. You gazed upon the marred face, and the stricken form. You saw the hour and power of darkness working through the creatures of My hands. You saw Me in My resurrection body, and you talked with Me after My rising from the dead, but now behold Me as I am in the glory which I had with the Father before the world was, and know that I Who became dead for your sake, am now alive for evermore, and have the keys of death and the grave. Through death I have brought to nothing him who had the power of death. O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?" ( Rev. 1:18 , also see Heb. 2:14 , 1 Cor. 15:55; top )
And wherefore did the Lord of glory thus appear to John? He Who had sent the Holy Spirit to lead His redeemed ones into all the truth, now sends to them the call from heaven to overcome!
No message is sent to the unbelieving world, for God had already spoken by His Son, and given the full manifestation of His love to sinners in His death on Calvary. But an after-message comes from the glorified Lord in heaven to His own people. He had watched them in all their various circumstances, and noted their trials and temptations. He had walked in their midst, and seen the Holy Spirit grieved, and ofttimes quenched; the still small voice unheeded, the warning touch unnoticed, the restraining Providence unknown. He had observed the active service, and the decline of deep personal love to Him ( Rev. 2:2-4 ); He had noted with tenderness the tribulation and poverty of some ( Rev. 2:9 ); the dwelling even "where Satan's throne is" of others. ( Rev. 2:13 ) He Who had conquered Satan at Calvary, had watched the "deep things of Satan" being taught His servants ( Rev. 2:24 ); others with a name to live, yet dead before Him ( Rev. 3:1 ), and others luke-warm and self-satisfied. ( Rev. 3:16-17; top ) Yea, He had watched it all, and once more speaks from heaven to awaken His people, and bid them overcome.
The chosen vessel is drawn aside to wait before Him. The cloud which received Him out of sight once more opens, the veil is drawn aside, and the Lord of Glory appears. "What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches" is the command. ( Rev. 1:11 ) Tell them the "things you saw" - I am walking in their midst with eyes of fire; the them "the things which are" - I am the Risen Lord, High Priest of My people, and I know their ways; and "the things which shall come to pass hereafter" when if they overcome they shall reign with Me, and "sit down with Me in My Throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His Throne." ( Rev. 3:21; top )
May the Lord's sevenfold command reach every reader! "He who has an ear - the ear of the new creation formed within - let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches." ( Rev. 3:22; top )
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