Copyright ©2018 Keith Holder, Rays of Light Bible Lessons. All Rights Reserved.

Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Rev 1:17-20 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: 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. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Also See Rev. 1:12-16)

In the lesson text, John had just heard a voice behind him that gave him instructions about witnessing the prophetic visions that he was about to see, recording them in a book, and sending them to the seven churches of Christ in Asia. Beginning with verse twelve, of the five verses preceding the lesson text, we find John turning around to see the voice that spake with him. What he saw was seven golden candlesticks. This wasn't a candelabra having individual sconces to hold candles, but seven individual candlesticks. Since lamps or lanterns were used to illuminate most homes at this time, candlesticks were used more for decorative purposes. However, in this instance they held a symbolic religious meaning; they represented the light of the gospel preached to, and, in turn, taught by the churches of Christ, which were represented by the seven churches of Asia. Just as Jesus was the light of the world (John 8:12), so were His followers (Matt. 5:14).

(A)nd and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man. Standing among the emblems of the seven churches of Asia, which He died to establish, and encircled by their light, John saw, and immediately recognized the image as Christ Jesus. He was dead, but now He is alive for evermore (Rev. 1:18). Jesus was clothed with a garment down to the foot - a long robe normally worn by the high priest. Around the mid-section of this garment, He wore a golden girdle, which was always worn by a person of extremely high rank, such as an emperor or a king.

Indeed, John saw the Lord and Savior, as He truly is to all Christians today, in clothing that assures us that He is our High Priest and King. John further describes the image of Jesus as having hair on His head like wool, as white as snow. Because of the agelessness of the spiritual side of Christ, this physical feature of His image was certainly not the result of age, as humans often consider it to be, but a sign of purity. His eyes were bright, able to pierce through every human mind and discern what is righteous from that which is sinful. They appeared as a flame of fire, denoting His omnipotence; His unlimited authority, and His omniscience; His infinite knowledge.

And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace. The original word, here translated as "fine brass," carries an even more precious description. Bible scholars of prior ages tell us that a better translation is a kind of amber, more precious than gold, having great fame and value. This element was noted for its strength, and when exposed to the intense heat of a furnace, obtained a dazzling, burnished radiance.

His voice as the sound of many waters, was filled with authority, like the loud roar of many rivers converging together and heard distinctly at a great distance. He had in His right hand seven stars, which represented the angels of the seven churches (Vs. 20). With His hand He, not only lifts His churches up, and gives them unerring support, but He also protects them from all evils that seek to harm and destroy them.

(A)nd out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. In Ephesians 6:17, Paul describes God's word as the sword of the Spirit, which the Hebrew writer told us was sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). Such are the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose countenance, that is His face, shone as if it were a splendid reflection of the sun on a cloudless day. His face mirrored the pure righteousness of God, His Heavenly Father. Such was the magnificent description of Jesus, the Son of man, as seen on that day by John, while exiled on the isle of Patmos.

Continuing in the lesson text, John says that when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. Totally overcome with reverential awe in the presence of his resurrected Lord and Savior, John humbly fell prostrate at His feet. Such will be the reaction of every man and woman that comes before Him on the Day of Judgment. We will see, and know, Him as the Son of God, and our eternal reward will rest with His judgment, which begs the question: what will His answer be? Let us all pray that He will receive us in the same way and will utter the same words to us, as He did to the apostle John on that day. Of himself, John wrote that Jesus laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last. One can only imagine the loving, caring, "touch of Jesus," followed by His comforting, forgiving words, "Fear not." Oh, that the world of all ages could have seen and heard Jesus, the first and the last; (the) Alpha and Omega, as did John on that day.

Jesus was sent, by His Heavenly Father, to earth. There He was humanly born of woman, to live among His earthly beings, experience all possible human joy and pain, suffer an anguishing death on the cross of Calvary, be buried in a borrowed tomb, come forth from the grave after three days of death, be witnesses by hundreds, and finally ascend back into His heavenly home, and there to be seated on the right hand of God, and reign over His kingdom forever. All this evidence is contained in these words of Christ: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Having completed His mission on earth, the spiritual nature of Christ Jesus is now, and will remain alive forever. Amen. Not only was Jesus victorious over Satan, and human death brought into the world by him, but He also holds the keys to the hadean world. And with the keys to its gates, He has the power to deliver all faithful Christians from its eternal punishment, and reserve it for the eternal wrath God holds in store for those that reject the salvation He offered the world, through His Sonand our Savior,Christ Jesus.

This was Jesus' commandment to His beloved apostle, John: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. The things which John witnessed in an inspired vision were to be recorded, including the things presently taking place in the churches of Christ of Asia, and also the things that are to take place hereafter within His kingdom on earth. Again, Jesus tells John, as well as us today, that the seven stars and the seven golden candlesticks were symbols of the seven churches of Asia, and, by inference, they represent the universal kingdom of Christ throughout all ages.