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John’s Vision of Christ

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 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 the last:

18 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.


The person that John sees in this vision is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called the Son of Man here. The title is used eighty-eight times with reference to Christ. When referring to Christ, it always has the definite article. This same expression is used over one hundred times in the Old Testament and nearly always it is without the definite article.

When it is used of Christ, it denotes the last Adam and that He is taking the place of the first Adam over the works in God’s hand. The first Adam failed. As a result of the fall, the entire human race has suffered untold agony and still suffers today because of it. And, Satan has gained an upper hand. But when Jesus came as the last Adam, He redeemed man and did what the first Adam should have done. Jesus was successful!

The position of Christ is in the midst of the seven churches. He is, in fact, head of the Church (Eph. 1:20-23; 2:19-22; 5:21-32). His ministry now is in heaven as our Great High Priest sitting at the right hand of the Father.

There are eight characteristics of Christ that can be noted in verses 13-16. First, it says His body was "clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle." John is writing what he saw and there is no need to speculate on hidden meanings or symbolic ideas on the clothing. The symbolisms of the vision at this point are only the three symbols: the candlesticks, the stars, and the sword. The remainder is simply the glorified Christ seen by John, and a message is being imparted to him.

The second thing noted is that "His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as the snow." You can compare this to Dan. 7:9; 10:5-6. Thirdly, it is stated that "His eyes were as a flame of fire." See Heb. 4:12-13.

In the fourth characteristic, concerning His feet, it says they were "like as unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace" (Dan. 10: The fifth notation is that "His voice was as the sound of many waters." Several Scriptures bring out this characteristic of God: Psa. 29; Ezek. 1:24; 43:2; Jer. 25:30; Rev. 19:6. It is said, sixthly, that "He had in His right hand seven stars." See Psa. 17:7; 20:6; and Isa. 41:10; 48:13. Christ is pictured as upholding the ministry of the Church (Acts 20:26-30; Eph. 2:19-22; 4:7-16).

The destructive power of the Word of God is symbolized in the seventh expression, "Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword." The Word of God is very powerful. See Rev. 2:12, 16; 19:15, 21; Eph. 6:17; II Thess. 2:8; and Heb. 4:12. The Bible said, in the eighth characteristic, "His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength." See I Tim. 6:16; Dan. 10:6.

Now, what kind of effect did this vision have upon John? This was something new to him. He had seen Jesus in the days of His flesh and had walked with Him for about three and one-half years. He had seen great miracles done by the Lord; yet there was a tremendous fear that came upon him when he saw the Lord Jesus Christ in this particular state.

The presence of the Son of God is awe-inspiring! Jesus is alive and He has authority over death. He has conquered it. The word "gehenna" is usually translated "hell." The word used in this text is "Hades" which generally refers to the realm of the dead. Jesus is victor over death and the grave and is alive forevermore. Praise His holy name!

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