12) Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp
13) and in the midst of the seven lamp stands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down
to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14) His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15) His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many
16) He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword, and His
countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
John has heard the loud voice that in verse 10 he says sounded like the trumpet which blew from the temple to call everyone to prayer. John turns in the direction of the voice to see who or what it is. We must remember that this voice was very loud. The first thing he sees is not the speaker but seven golden lamp stands. No one is quite sure what kind of lamps these were. Some people think it was a menorah, the lamp that was in the holy place (not in the Holy of Holys, where the ark was located, but in the outer room where the table for the show bread and the bronze incense altar were). One conflict with this thought is that John said he was in the Spirit, not that he had been transported to the temple. Conflict number two is that the temple had been destroyed for about 20 years. A third discrepancy is that the person he saw was in the midst of the lamp stands. The menorah is a single piece, and John says that there are seven lamp stands. The menorah is a single stand with eight lamps spreading out like limbs, four on each side of a center lamp. The four lamps on each side are shifted toward the center lamp to acknowledge their dependence upon the central lamp as the source of their light. As you may, guess the center lamp represents God. Some have said that this vision was of a menorah, and Jesus was the central light. The problem is that the menorah has eight lamps not seven. Could it have been seven menorahs? Most definitely, because when we read the description of Jesus in the next verse, they had to have been very bright to have been noticed before the Lord.
John says that in the midst of the seven lamp stands is one like the Son of Man. This is a term Jesus uses to speak about Himself in the Gospels. Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man 34 times in the Gospels – 19 times in the Gospel of Matthew, 2 times in the Gospel of Mark, 5 times in the Gospel of Luke, and 8 times in the Gospel of John. It takes on Messianic significance in the Old Testament in Daniel 7:13&14, where Daniel says: “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, ‘One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!’ He came to the Ancient of Days (God), and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away. And His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.”
‘Son’ in the Greek, is the word uihos, pronounced hwee-os’. It means a true son, not adopted or illegitimate. The Greek word for man is anthropos, pronounced anth’-ro-pos. It means a true human being, an individual of the human race. We have heard it said that Jesus was totally human and totally divine. This may be hard to perceive, but both parts are necessary for the plan of salvation. As Paul tells us that Jesus is the second Adam, He came to put right and reclaim what Adam lost to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Since Adam was 100% human, Jesus had to be 100% human to accomplish the task: when He was tempted in the wilderness, when He was tempted and tested by the scribes and pharisees,
when He was tested by the Sadducees, when He was tested by His disciples’ little faith and in the Garden of Gethsemane., when he was beaten and being scourged, and with His death, resurrection and ascension. If Jesus wasn’t 100% human it would have all been for naught.
You may think – okay, so what about the 100% God part? It is really not important to the understanding of this part of scripture. Jesus has paid the price, He has been resurrected and ascended
to the right hand of the Father. The 100% God part is significance for salvation. Throughout both the Old and New Testament, from the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve sinned to the Cross of Christ, THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS WITHOUT BLOOD. What was the first thing God did after He found Adam and Eve in the garden after their sin? They had covered themselves with leaves. That represents humanity’s attempt to cover their own sinfulness. God killed an animal and covered them with its skin. I am sure that God did not cure and tan the hide before giving it to them. Thus, the skin was covered in what? The animals blood!
Link this idea this with the offerings of Cain and Able, and you can understand why Cain’s offering was not pleasing in the eyes of God.
But you say Mary was the mother. Yes, but God was the Father. It shouldn’t be too hard to understand. Today there is a medical process where a doctor can take a healthy egg from a woman who cannot successfully carry a child, impregnate it with the sperm of the father, and place it in a healthy woman who can carry a child. After the surrogate has carried the baby full tern, it is born. When it is born, it carries the blood and the DNA of the egg and sperm donor, not the surrogate mother. Also, did you know that oftentimes a natural mother and her baby can have different blood types, and that the blood type can be that of the father? This could cause problems if through the umbilical cord the baby and the mother share blood. But it has been scientifically proven that the baby and mother do not share blood through the umbilical cord. The mother shares nutrients with the baby and the baby shares its waste with the mother. So what does all of this mean? God the Father created in Mary’s womb Jesus Christ, the Son. The most important part is that the blood of Jesus was not the blood of bulls or goats or human, but God’s blood! Blood that is able to completely cleanse and take away sin. If a doctor today can take the egg from one woman and impregnate it with the sperm of her male counterpart, place it into the womb of a surrogate mother, and successfully deliver a baby 9 months later, why can’t the Creator of the universe create a baby in the womb of a woman that has His blood? (This rabbit hole was not necessary for this portion of scripture, but I felt it was necessary for us to move beyond Son of Man.)
Through Daniel and Ezekiel, the title “Son of Man” became the proper title for the Messiah. God, Who comes from heaven in human form. Thus you can see why the religious leaders would get upset when Jesus referred to Himself in this way. John is telling us that in the midst of the lamps is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the risen resurrected and enthroned Lord.
John begins to describe how Jesus looks. John tells us that he is clothed in a single-piece garment from His neck to the top of His feet. Remember Jesus on the cross? His garment was a single piece, woven without a seam, such work that the soldiers didn’t want to rip it apart, but instead they cast lots for it. Do you see the similarities? He has a gold band around His chest. Gold represented truth, honor, integrity, faithfulness. It is wrapped around His chest. What is in our chest? Our heart! This signifies that Jesus had proven Himself to be faithful and true to God’s calling, to God’s will, by paying the price for salvation. His skin and hair is white as snow. There is not much in this world that is as bright and clean white as new-fallen snow. This represents His purity, His victory over sin, the blameless unblemished Lamb of God.
John tells us His eyes were like a flame of fire. When Jesus was walking the earth during His earthly ministry, can you conceive of His eyes as being like a flame of fire? Remember the Jesus who told the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you – go and sin no more.” Think of the Jesus who met the leper after the sermon on the mount and hugged him and healed him. Recall the Jesus who wept when Mary met Him before He raised Lazarus from the grave, or the Jesus who looked down from the cross and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know what they do.” See the Jesus looking into the eyes of Peter by the sea of Galilee and saying. “Feed my sheep” I don’t think any of us see
Jesus with eyes like a flame of fire.… But this Revelation is not that Jesus. This is the second-coming Jesus, the time-of-judgment Jesus, the end-times Jesus. That is what the “eyes of fire” description tells us.
His feet were like fine brass refined in the furnace. The imagery of the bronzed feet comes from two Old Testament scriptures. The first is Ezekiel I:7, here Ezekiel is sharing his vision from God about the four-headed creatures that God has sent to survey the world at the end time. The creatures had the appearance of a man, even though they had four heads, and legs of burnished or refined bronze. The second reference comes from Daniel 10:6. Here, Daniel gives His description of the Messiah and says, “His body was like beryl, His face like the appearance of lightning, His eyes like torches of fire,(there are the eyes again!), His arms and feet like burnished bronze.” The feet and legs are what? Our foundation. Burnished and refined mean that they are purified and strengthened. This is direct contradiction of the image in Daniel 2:33-34, where he says, “Its legs of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them into pieces.” Unlike that image, the Son of Man is the solid foundation.
Again John talks about the voice, saying it was as the sound of many waters. John has already told us how loud it was before he turned around to see. But here John returns to the imagery of Daniel and Ezekiel. Daniel 10:7c, “And the sound of His words were like the voice of the multitude.” Then in Ezekiel 1:24, “When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army.” The voice is not only very loud but also powerful.
He had in His right hand seven stars. I won’t go into the seven stars at this time, but if you want to read ahead to verse 20, John tells what they are. Then John tells us that in His mouth was a sharp two-edged sword. This represents the word and judgment of God. The two edges means that it cuts in all directions – sharp enough to cut away all falsehood, able to cleanly separate muscle from cartilage and cartilage from bone. Nothing that is false, untrue, unholy, or unrighteous can escape the power of God’s word or God’s judgment.
Finally, His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. In the Greek, the word shining is phaino, pronounced fah’ee-no. It means to be surrounded physically by the illumination of the Spirit, the Almighty energy, the power and strength of God. The word for strength in the Greek is hedraioma, pronounced hed-rah’-yo-mah. It is derived from the Greek word hedraios, pronounced hed-eah’-yos. It means a support that is immovable and steadfast. To sum up the last four verses, the might, power, strength, and authority of God, His word and His will, are so exemplified in the person of Jesus that it cannot be held just inside but pours out to envelope His entire being. In his vision, John sees the One who is faithful. The One to whom every knee shall bow and to which every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In this vision, John sees the truth of Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
1. The voice which spoke was very loud, very powerful, the sound of many waters.
2. He was seen among seven lamp stands whose brightness hides Him at first.
3. All the features by which He is described speak to His power, strength, authority and position.
Until next time.
Remember to pray Psalm 91 in the first person.