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 Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 8) (verses 13-15)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 8) (verses 13-15)   Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:00 am

Revelation Chapter 1 (Part Cool (verses 13-15)

Verse 13 reads, “…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.” This is referring to Jesus. Last time we learned that the lampstands stood for the 7 churches. This verse says that Jesus is “among the lampstands.” This passage (verses 12-16) is not the Rapture, but rather the Second Advent of Jesus. This happens at the end of the tribulation. If you skipped some previous readings, you might be asking, “How can this be the end of the Tribulation when we just started the book and haven’t talked about the Tribulation yet?” That is because Revelation chapter 1 is the table of contents for the entire book. Verse 7 also referred to the Second Advent where it says, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him…” We mentioned before, but you can refer again to Daniel 7:13-14 concerning this.

Jesus is called both the Son of man and the Son of God in the bible. Interestingly, the Son of man part of Jesus had to be stressed in certain parts of the bible especially by the gospel scribes because in the early days, when the New Testament was first scribed, one of the prevailing arguments was that Jesus was fully divine and not human at all. This is completely opposite of what we often argue these days. These days we often find ourselves defending that Jesus is divine and the human part is understood. Jesus is fully man and fully God at the same time. Jesus referred to himself most as “the Son of man” than any other title. Notice what he is wearing in verse 13: he is dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet with a golden sash around his chest. He is dressed like a high priest. High priests wore full-length robes and a sash (Exodus 28:4) except, I don’t think that the high priests’ sashes were made of gold (cf. Exodus 39:29). Jesus is, as Hebrews tells us, the Most High Priest. He high priest’s job was to be the people’s mediator to have access to Yahweh by purifying the people. They had to first purify themselves. Look at what Jesus is wearing in Isaiah 11:5: “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”

Verse 14 reads, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” I digress: I heard Muslims say from this verse (interestingly, they know some Christian verses) that Jesus was a black man because this verse says that his hair was coarse like wool, and no white man’s hair is like wool. This is not only absurd, but also a misuse of this verse. John is not describing here how Jesus looked while on Earth. He is describing a glorified Christ, during his Second Advent, who is coming to judge. They don’t consider the entire verse when they make that assumption. To consider the entire verse, they would have to say that when Jesus was on Earth, he had coarse hair, his eyes were like blazing fire, his feet were like bronze glowing in the furnace, his voice was like the sound of rushing waters, he held 7 stars in his right hand, whenever he opened his mouth, out came a sharp double-edged sword to kill, and his face shone bright like the sun. No…they only pick out the wool part. God blessed us by not giving a skin color reference of Jesus. Had he done that, that race would become vain and claim to be the superior race. (We do have the veil of Jesus, which I believe is real, but the skin color is not inferred from that.)

Interesting side note: Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian based on how he looked in Acts 21:38, which suggests his skin color may have been dark skinned (if Egyptians 2,000 years ago were typically dark-skinned, but that has been sharply debated). Skin color, though, is not important at all, and we humans have sinned by equating skin color to a person’s worth or ability. And we sin whenever we discriminate. God sees only 2 races of people: those covered with the crimson blood of Christ, and those without. With that said, as we will later see in Revelation, God did not forget his chosen people Israel, who are a special race of people simply because God chose them to bring the Messiah to Earth. Jews, by the way, came in many shades by the time of Jesus. And even then, there was nothing special about the Jews in and of themselves to make God choose them as opposed to a different nation. God could have chosen any nation. He wanted the Jews to know this. Deuteronomy 9:4-6 says (partially quoted), “After the LORD your God has driven them [Anakites/Canaanites] out before you, do not say to yourself, ‘The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.’ No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you…”

Since I digressed, I’ll re-quote the verse we were looking at: “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” White, woolish hair represents a judge. In Daniel 7:9, we have the only reference to Yahweh in the bible appearing in the form of a man. If one reads it quickly one would assume it is talking about Jesus instead. In this verse it calls the Father “Ancient of Days”. Later in verse 13, it is talking about Jesus, and Jesus enters into the presence of the “Ancient of Days.” So the “Ancient of Days” in verse 9 is indeed referring to Yahweh. It reads, “As I [Daniel] looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire…” This verse has Yahweh with wooly white hair. And the context is that Yahweh is sitting down to judge. The end of Daniel 7:19 says, “The court was seated and the books were opened.” So back to Revelation, Jesus is dressed as a most high priest and a judge. White symbolizes purity and sinlessness in the bible. And fire often refers to judgment. His eyes were like blazing fire. He sees through the defendant to the truth. There is no lying to him. There is no pulling the wool over his eyes (I had to throw in a pun here, sorry). He is the righteous judge. He will judge in wisdom and purity. He will make the correct judgment every time.

We will end with the next verse. Revelation 1:15 reads, “His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.” This is no longer the passive, lowly, humble Messiah on a donkey. All will literally fear him at this time. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” To be righteous, God must judge sin. To let the guilty go free is unrighteous. God paid the payment for guilt here in history through Christ. The judgment we are reading here is not of believers, but of unbelievers, as we will later see and prove. The word “bronze” here can also be translated as “brass”. Brass or bronze in the Old Testament referred to judgment. The altar in the tabernacle was made of brass. Brass at the time of Jesus was also used as military weaponry. We will see next time that he does have a weapon. Another great reference to bronze was the snake Moses was commanded to make in Numbers 21:9. The bronze snake ultimately represented Jesus being lifted up on the cross, and the venom of the snakes represented sin. God often used real life situations for opportunities for prophesy illustrations.

Jesus will be formidable during his Second Advent. When he speaks his voice will be like the sound of tidal waves. We will see next time that his words will have cutting power. Whatever he says will occur. We’ve seen this during his first time on Earth. The raging storm had the disciples in fear, and Jesus looked to the skies and said, “Peace, be still.” And the bible says “immediately” the storm stopped and all was sunny. Jesus said, “Lazarus, get up.” And immediately Lazarus got up from the dead. Jesus is going to speak to his enemies during his Second Advent. If he speaks against the armies gathering against him and says “die” that is all it would take for them to die. The battle of Armageddon will not be that much of a battle. It will be the quickest battle in history.

I’ll leave you with one last passage. Perhaps the verses we looked at today are what the prophet Jeremiah foresaw when he prophesied in Jeremiah 25:30-31: “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: ‘The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth. The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,’ declares the LORD.”
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Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 8) (verses 13-15)
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