The Book of Revelation – Chapter 1:14-20

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14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. – Revelation 1:14-20

In the previous post, I identified the one speaking with a loud voice like a trumpet, Jesus Christ himself. That he was in among the seven golden lampstands shows where he was (in The Most Holy, that is, in the presence of God) and what he was wearing in God’s presence, a long robe along with a golden sash around his chest. As you learned in a previous post, only the High Preist was allowed in The Most Holy. So, here we see Jesus Christ as High Priest.

The Hair On His Head

The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow …- Revelation 1:14

The Apostle John now goes on to describe High Priest, Jesus Christ. There are those who attempt to use John’s description of Jesus Christ as High Priest being of a particular race.

First of all, that would be pulling Christ and the Most High God down to the level of men. Secondly, Christ is no longer a man. He is in heaven and he is a mighty invisible spirit being. He is like his heavenly Brothers, the angels. However, he is the Chief or Archangel. (There is only one Archangel).

Later, you will see that before he was born of a woman, Jesus existed in heaven alongside his Father as God’s first creation, the first, oldest, and Chief (Arch) angel. You will also see that the name Jesus is the name given to him by his parents on earth. You will later see that before his Father in heaven dispatched him (inserted him) into the world of mankind through the womb of a woman, his name in heaven was not Jesus. Later, you will learn what his name was – and is now – since he returned back to the place from which he was sent. (See Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14)

Notice that the Apostle John did not say that the hair on his head was wool or was snow! He said that the hair on his head was white like wool and snow. The emphasis was not the material (wool and snow) but the color of his hair: White.

Since Jesus does not exist in heaven as a literal man, what John is describing is not literal but something symbolic. So, what is symbolized by Jesus Christ’s hair in this vision being white?

I hinted at it earlier. Gray hair is simply white hair mixed in with another hair color such as black hair. Gray hair indicates that a person is advanced in years. White hair means no other hair color blended in. White hair also indicates someone advanced in years. In the case of Jesus Christ in this instance, it indicates that he is the first and oldest of God’s creations. There are none older. No man. No angel. He is the first. He is the oldest. (Colossians 1:15)

His Eyes Were Like Blazing Fire

… and his eyes were like blazing fire. – Revelation 1:14

Again, the Apostle John does not say that Jesus’ eyes are fire, he says that they were like a blazing fire. What does that mean?

Recall that Jesus is seen in among the seven lampstands. The illumination from the burning golden lampstands would be reflected in his eyes. Jesus would be facing John and not have his back to him. Thus, they are facing each other.

Revelation 1:20 tells us that the seven lampstands mean the seven congregations in the Province of Asia to which John was told to send the revelation to. Therefore, that Jesus’ eyes are seen like a blazing fire, mean that his attention is focused on these seven congregations, they will be illuminated with knowing the truth of this revelation, and he will examine them for their endurance and faithfulness. Upon coming to an understanding of the truth and knowing that the revelation is from him, accepting it, they will be set free with a view of being granted everlasting life after a period of testing proving themselves his true disciples. (John 8:31 and John 10:22)

Note: Later, you will see that these seven congregations are not the ones back in John’s day. They are long gone. These seven congregations are yet future and will make up an entire world of individuals who were resurrected and lived through Christs 1000-year kingdom. Apparently, the entire earth in those days after Christs 1000-year kingdom ends and when Satan is released will be divided up into seven sections (provinces or districts). All within these districts will have been made perfect and righteous by the end of Christs 1000-year rule over them. Now, Satan, the original Serpent, is let loose upon them, a world just as it was in Adam’s day, without the need for a mediator. It ill be that time, after Christs 1000-year kingdom ends, that will call for faithful endurance in order for entry into God’s everlasting kingdom yet to come down. Satan will do all he can to deceive that future world to oppose the coming down of God’s Kingdom to the earth. 

When Jesus spoke at Matthew 10:22, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” This is what he was talking about. That if one faithfully endures that time period when Satan is released, they will be granted entry into God’s everlasting kingdom when it comes down to the earth. You will see as I progress through the discussion, that Satan will succeed with the majority as he will set up his own throne on earth and it will promise “peace and security” to all in it. In fact, the world in those future days will love it, support it, and believe it invincible. They will most likely view the coming down of God’s kingdom as a threat and will oppose it and go after those on earth in those days who refuse to support Satan’s throne on earth. This gets deep. I hope you can handle it. (Revelation 13:4)

You will see later that Jesus’ through his angel to John, addresses each congregation and gives them a warning.

Feet Were Like Bronze

His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, – Revelation 1:15

The Apostle John looks the High Priest Jesus Christ from head to feet. He describes his feet like bronze glowing in a furnace. 

Note: Some translations render, “like copper.”

So the emphasis here is on the color of his feet. They glowed like bronze (or copper) in a furnace.

Note: Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper.

So, how does bronze or copper look when heated to the extent that they begin to glow while in the furnace? It has a yellow-orange color.

Again, the lampstands illuminated the image John saw in vision and his feet gave the appearance of bronze glowing in a furnace. Did this represent anything? I believe it does. I believe it represents Christ’s kingdom no longer standing. Bronze and copper are inferior to gold. As I mentioned earlier, what John is being shown in the revelation is what is to occur after Christ kingdom will have already ended. That is why John does not see a crown on Jesus’ head at this time, he sees only hair as white as wool and snow. He does not see Christ as king at this time, he sees him as High Priest in the presence of The Most Holy.

I also believe that the way Satan – when he is released after the 1000 year reign of Christ – is that he will not replace the foundation of Christ’s kingdom, but rather usurp it. That is, Satans kingdom will be mixed in with what Christ will have established on earth.

Remember, bronze is an alloy. That is, something is mixed with it. Thus, the entire world in those days will not believe that Christ’s kingdom has ended or extinguished and that Satan has been released. At the establishment of Satans throne, nothing on earth in those days will appear radically different initially and for quite some time.

Satan’s throne will be bright and glowing. It will be wonderful, for a time anyway. Yet, there will be an all-important message/announcement from an angel that will agitate the invisible deceiver and shake his throne – as if by a proverbial earthquake – and things will take a turn. Satan throne will become a dictatorship. Any refusing to support it will be punished and even put to death.

Those remembering Christ’s warning will know that Satan has entered in among them and deceived them. (Revelation 20:7-8 and Revelation 14:6)

His Voice Was Like The Sound of Rushing Waters

and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. – Revelation 1:15

Recall earlier the Apostle John said that the voice he heard behind him was like a loud trumpet. (Revelation 1:10) But when he turns around, he says that his voice (Jesus Christ) is like the sound of rushing waters. What’s going on?

First of all, let’s identify what the waters are. At Revelation Chapter 17, John writes about a woman he sees sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast and that this woman sits upon many waters. (I will explain her when we get to that chapter).

However, at Revelation 17:15, the angel tells John that the waters mean. He tells John …

Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.

So, the waters represent people, multitudes, nations, and languages. (This gets deep)

That Christ’s voice is here describes as sounding like rushing waters, shows what he is about to show John through his angel, mean that the world he fashioned – the people – during his 1000-year kingdom, will soon change as if by flood. But a flood of deception and lies that will weep across the entire earth (all seven districts) in those days. His voice like the sound of rushing waters will describe what will soon occur when Satan is released. The people in the world in those days when Satan is released will be carried away as if by an unexpected flood of deception and lies.

An urgent warning comes from the voice of Christ Jesus.

The Seven Stars In His Right Hand

In his right hand he held seven stars, – Revelation 1:16

The Apostle sees that Christ is holding seven stars in his right hand. Again let’s identify the meaning of the stars in this context.

If we look at Revelation 1:20, John is told that …

The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, 

That these seven stars or angels are in Christs right-hand means that he controls them and that they are under his authority. Each of the seven congregations will have appointed over them an angel – messengers or light-bearers – that will carry out Christ’s directives as we will see John describe next.

A Sharp, Double-Edged Sword

and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. – Revelation 1:16

The voice that sounded like rushing waters speaks the truth. John did not say that this voice of Christ was like a sharp double-edged sword, he said that what came out of Christ’s mouth was a sharp double-edged sword.

When on earth, Jesus told his disciples that he is “the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but by him (that is passing through him).” – John 14:6

At Genesis 3:24 we read of how God stationed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that turned continuously. Why? To guard the way to the “Tree of Life.”

I know that The Tree of Life is the Creator Himself. All life comes from Him. All life branches off from him. Coupled with what Jesus told his disciples at John 14:6 and what this same writer (John) sees at Revelation 1:16, it is clear that Christ is about to issue a warning to that future world that Satan will be among them, lie, and deceive them. But that what he had taught them during his 1000-year reign over the earth is not to be ignored. If ignored, one could die a second death (perish) for which there is no resurrection. The sword is an instrument of war and death. That it is double-edged shows that the people in those days had died once and were resurrected to live again (one edge), but will die again (second edge) permanently if his teachings are ignored because his teachings are the truth and only they lead to the Father whose kingdom will come down to the earth.

Note: The contention in those future days after Christ’s kingdom ends and Satan is released will be over who has rightful soverignty over the earth and the people (waters) in it. Satan and his angels are very powerful. He will prove and demonstrate that power in those future days and the world at that time will not be able to fathom anything or anyone able to rival his power. So, a war on earth between two kingdoms will occur, that of Satans kingdom with that of God’s kingdom coming down. (Kingdom against Kingdom)

No carnal weapons will be used. The swords or weapons to wage this war will be with words. The words that Satan speaks through his false prophet to the inhabited earth in those days and the worlds that issued forth through God’s Son, Christ Jesus. Many will be so taken by Satan’s smooth tongue (Just as Eve was), they will ignore what Jesus had taught them.

BTW: You will learn that this war of words is at a place called Armageddon. (There is no such thing as “The War of Armageddon” as that expression does not exist in the revelation scroll). Rather, Armageddon is a place. You will learn later that this place is a future earth that is divided and agitated over a message from an angel.

A Face Like The Sun Shining

His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. – Revelation 1:16

When God created the earth and the things in it during His six creative days (epochs of time), He said at the end of each of them that “the evening and the morning was the … day.”

The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The face of The Lords Day was that of Christ himself. It would shine with brilliance and truth.

Recall when Jesus was with his disciples and he taught them …

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Christ, who will be the finisher of the seventh day, the completer of his Father’s work will usher in a new morning, a new day that will never wane into darkness. All out of love for His God and Father and to His Father’s glory.

John Falls As If Dead At His Feet

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. – Revelation 1:17-18

The Apostle John must have been emotionally overwhelmed at what he saw in this vision of Christ. Apparently, what John saw struck fear in him. It must have been absolutely awe-inspiring. So, John fell at the feet of His Master as if dead and lifeless.

John tells us that Christ places his right hand on him and tells him not to be afraid. Why? Because he (Christ) is the first and the last. First and last in what way? Christ answers …

I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! – Revelation 1:18

Jesus tells John that he was dead and now he is alive forever and ever. That he is the Living One. God is eternal and cannot die. But Jesus, the Son of God did die. He was dead! Who resurrected him? His Father in heaven did!

It is important that one does not ignore the forever and ever part. Jesus is not just merely talking about life and then dying. He is referring to something much more encompassing: His authority and power to bring the dead back to life with a view of living forever.

I had stated that anyone living within this day –  Lords Day, which we are in now – would have to literally die and be brought back to life again. The Apostle John died less than 2000 years ago. He is in a grave somewhere on earth awaiting a resurrection. So is Adam, Moses, Noah, etc. The Apostle John apparently died confident that one day his eyes would be opened again and he would breathe air again and be a living one again, too. The dead do not breathe. Once resurrected back to life again, the once dead “meet the Lord in the air.” That is, they breathe air again! They are no longer dead!

Jesus promised a resurrection of all of the dead back to life. (John 5:28-29)

So, Jesus Christ was the first man to ever be resurrected back to life by God directly and he will be the last. No other human will be resurrected by God Himself. The authority to resurrect will be through Christ himself as he tells John next.

And I hold the keys of death and Hades. – Revelation 1:18

This also shows that all of the dead will have already resurrected by the time of the start of the fulfillment of the revelation. That is, when his 1000-year kingdom ends and Satan is released. As the revelation is to show Christ’s servants what must soon take place after his 1000-year kingdom over the earth ends.

The Command To Write “What Was, What Is Now, and What Will Take Place”

19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

The Apostle John is given the command to write down everything. To write down what he has seen, what is now, and what will take place later.

When John initially hears a voice like a loud trumpet behind him that tells him to write in a scroll and send it to the seven congregations, John is seeing something that will have already passed. What is that? Christs 1000-year kingdom over the earth. (Even though it has not arrived yet). It is behind John (come and gone) at the start of his vision on The Lords Day. So, this a “Write what you have seen.”

John turns around to see the voice speaking to him. When he does that, he is showed what is now within that vision of the future. What is that? That Christ’s kingdom will have already ended. (Even though today it has not arrived yet). John does not see Christ with a crown. He sees him as a High Priest.

Then John is showed each event that will soon take place later. That is, what must soon occur after Christs 1000-year kingdom over the earth ends and Satan is released. (Revelation 1:1)

It is not until Revelation Chapter 4, that John gives us details about his vision.

The Mystery of the Seven Stars and the Seven Golden Lampstands

20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. – Revelation 1:19-20

The Apostle John is told what is represented by the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands as I explained earlier.

You will the golden lampstands mentioned again later in the discussion.

This concludes Revelation Chapter 1.

In Revelation Chapter 2 and 3, John is directed to write to the stars or angels of each congregation a specific message from Christ himself.

Those messages have far-reaching importance far beyond our time period today as they are not directed to anyone or anything existing today as you will see.

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R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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