Christ’s Letters to the Church (Part 2)

As you are aware, I would like to unpack the messages to the Seven Churches in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation

Rev 1:9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

Yesterday we started to see the backdrop to the Book, skimming through chapter 1. We are not done yet. We looked at John and his environment and what he needed to do for the Lord Jesus … now we need to see exactly who the Lord Jesus is. Before we look at the rest of the chapter, please remember that Revelation is filled with symbols, pictures and imagery. The believers of the First Century fully and clearly understood the terms used and we able to understand the Book’s message easily. Today many see many things in this Book that God did not intend. When people see the fanciful things they do in Revelation, interpretation becomes complicated and complex. I approach the Book from a Reformed and Evangelical doctrinal perspective. Exactly whom did John see? Remember John is having a vision. It was the Lord’s Day. He was a prisoner of Rome, banished in his old age to hard labour … and whilst in this vision he hears this loud voice sounding like a trumpet. As a trumpet drew attention so did this voice and John turns to identify whose voice it is.

Rev 1:12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and hair were 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 out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

(1) The first thing he sees are seven golden lamp stands. What does this image symbolize? In verse 20 we read … 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 first thing he sees is the Seven Churches of chapters 2-3. The number seven is a complete number, so although there were seven “churches” in the next two chapters, most commentators agree that “seven” refers to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ from its inception until He returns. The word “golden” symbolizes purity. God requires His Church to be pure … and His invisible, eternal Church is just that … fully righteous, holy and pure. This is what we need to pray for, seek and work towards. A pure Church is a Church that is revived and reforming.

(2) The second we see are the attributes of the “Son of Man”. The title Son of Man is a title from Daniel 7 that Jesus used for Himself. This was His preferred title. Don’t you love it when Scripture interprets Scripture? Look at this

Da 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Do you see why Jesus used this title? It was because it is who He is and what He does and receives as King of His Kingdom. Look at how John describes what he sees … and remember the Son of Man he sees is the Risen, Ascended and Reigning Lord Jesus Christ!

(a) Jesus’ dress … “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.” This refers to Jesus’ High-Priestly office … the flowing robe and sash … it encompasses the past and present … and since His earthly ministry in completed, His present ministry in glory is interceding for the saints. (The saints are all born again souls).

(b) Jesus’ head

“Da 7:14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow.”

The whiteness speaks of purity, deity and eternity of the Ancient of Days. Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity … He is God, the Ancient of Days. The picture is that He never grows old or loses His omnipotence.

(c) Jesus’ eyes … and his eyes were like blazing fire. His gaze is omniscient. He sees and knows everything all the time … past, present and future.

(d) Jesus’ feet

Da 7:15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace.

Here we have a picture of how enemies were treated a picture of Jesus’ authority over His enemies and the way He executes all His judgments.

(e) Jesus’ voice … 10 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet … and

Da 7:15b and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.

“The Victoria Falls situated on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, is 1.6km wide and is formed as the Zambezi River plummets into a narrow chasm. The thick mist and loud roar produced are perceptible from a distance of about 40km.” ( The noise generated by the Victoria Falls or the Niagara Falls are soft compared to the sound of Jesus’ voice! Just think of His voice coming in salvation and comfort, warning and judgment! (We will leave the stars in verse 16 till later).

(e) Jesus’ mouth

Rev 1:16 and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. Here is a reference to the Bible.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s Word (Jesus’ Word) is authoritative and powerful. It teaches and judges. It is penetrative and nothing in the world will prevent the Word {Gospel} from doing its work in salvation and judgment, in new birth and in condemnation!

(f) Jesus’ face … His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. No one is worthy to see this sight (v17) … unless he or she is clothes with the righteousness and holiness of Jesus!

Heb 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

We will have to pick up the next few verses tomorrow.

Lord Jesus, we stand amazed at Glorious Divinity. Help us to meditate upon your attributes. Amen.

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