Revelation 1:14–20 (NKJV)

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 waters; 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. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Revelation 1:14-20

In this passage, John continues to describe the Son of Man figure from his vision. His head and hair were white like wool, even as white as snow. This characteristic is an obvious sign of His purity. His eyes were like a flame of fire, signifying the piercing depth of God’s power and knowledge, seeing all and knowing all. His feet were like fine brass, showing that His travel and His actions are pure and right in every work of God. He is pure like metal refined in the fire. His voice was like the sound of many waters, or a raging river or ocean. In His right hand, the hand of power, He held seven stars. These stars, according to most scholars, can either represent the seven planets known to be in the solar system at that time, or either the stars of Ursa Major or Pleiades in non-Biblical writings. This signifies the power of God over nature and the galaxy. Out of His mouth came a two-edged sword, representing the power of His words and His judgment. The last trait of the Son of Man was His countenance, shining like the sun. This describes His holiness and His strength. This figure was impressive and awe-inspiring, with a powerful persona.

John was so moved by His appearance and presence, that he fell at His feet as if he was dead. The vision of Jesus Christ was ominous, but yet the response of Christ was merciful and personal. He laid His right hand on John and said that he should not be afraid, and then identified Himself by the same phrasing already used twice before in this chapter, the First and the Last, the past, present, and future one who overcame death. His eternal life was an innate feature of His divinity. He further states His power over death and hell by speaking of the confrontation with Satan in which He took the keys to death and hell. John then receives instruction to write the things he had seen (again), and all the things that would take place later. The seven stars and the seven golden lampstands are definitely identified as representing the seven angels of the seven churches (stars), and the seven churches themselves (lampstands). This passage begins to lay out the picture John saw in His vision from the Holy Spirit. This awesome image sets the stage for the words of Christ to be related to the churches. It gives the words credence and makes them more easy to be heard by the churches and by us today!

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