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Back To The Future
THE LORD OF GLORY
Intro: The last time we saw our friend John, he was “in the Spirit, on the Lord’s Day”, v. 10. As he worships, John hears a voice behind him that sounds like a great trumpet. This voice arrests his attention and he turns to see the source of this sound.
John turns around, he sees two things.
First, he sees seven golden lamp stands, v. 12. Then, he sees an
individual he describes as looking like “the Son of Man”, v. 13.
This phrase appears in the Old Testament, and in Dan. 7:13-14 it is used to speak of the coming Messiah. This title was also the favorite title of the
Lord Jesus when He spoke of Himself in the New Testament. Jesus used this phrase 81 times in the
Gospels. When Stephen was being stoned,
he looked into the heavens and he saw Jesus, Whom he referred to as “the
Son of man”,
when John turns, he sees Jesus Christ.
Now, this is the first time John has seen the Lord in over 60 years. And, He sure doesn’t look anything like He
used to! John knew Jesus very well. The Bible seems to indicate in
In this passage, John sees Jesus as he had never seen him before. In these verses John sees the Lord of Glory. He sees the glorified Christ, and John attempts to do the impossible; he attempts to describe the Lord of Glory to us. I want to join John as he gazes in wonder at The Lord of Glory. I would like for us to read about the One we will see for ourselves at the end of the road of life. Let’s notice the ways John describes The Lord of Glory for us today.
A. v. 12-13a He
Is Majestic In His Activity – When John turns, he sees seven golden
candlesticks. These candlesticks, or lampstands,
were where portable oil lamps were placed to light rooms. The Jews call them “menorah”. The menorah has seven branches and was used
in the Tabernacle, Ex. 25:31. The lampstands were made of gold, the most
precious of metals, and were filled with oil in which was placed a wick that
was lit to produce the light. The lampstand
represented the Holy Spirit and His ability to bring light into the world. The lampstand was a type of Christ. Jesus came into this world as a man, but a
man Who was filled with the Spirit of God, and Who served as the Light of the
Here, we see Jesus in the “midst of the seven candlesticks”. The lampstands in this passage are identified for us in verse 20. We are told that they represent the seven churches mentioned in Rev. 1:11.
The lampstands are gold, representing the precious nature of the church. There is no institution on the earth as precious and as beautiful as the church! The church is so precious to God that Jesus was willing to purchase it with His Own blood!
There are seven of the lampstands. Again, seven is the number of completeness or perfection. These lampstands stand for real churches, but they also represent all local churches down through the ages.
The real message of the lampstands, however, is in their purpose. The lampstands picture the church as the “light of the world”, Phil. 2:15; Eph. 5:8; Matt. 5:16.
So, that brings me to what I wanted to say about this verse. Jesus is in pictured as being in the midst of His churches. When we gather, He is always here with us, Matt. 18:20. He is here helping us; speaking to us; protecting us; directing us; blessing us; encouraging us and challenging us. He is in the midst of His people as we live, worship and move toward glory. There are times when we can recognize His presence and there are times when we forget that He is here. Still, He is with us all the same. If we could ever forget about our agenda; our order of serve; our concerns; and recognize the presence of the Lord in His church it would transform our worship services.
Thank God He loves us and desires to meet with us! You and I may not show up at the place of worship, but Jesus never misses a service!
B. v. 13b-16 He Is Majestic In His Appearance – Here is where John begins to attempt the impossible. He is going endeavor to describe The Lord Of Glory in terms that we can understand.
1. v. 13b His Garments – Jesus appears “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” This is the attire of both a King and a Priest. As a King, Jesus is the Sovereign Lord. He is in absolute control and He rules today, even though the world does not recognize Him, Rev. 17:14. Jesus is sovereign over His churches and over His world.
As a Priest, Jesus is our “man
on the inside”. He is our
Intercessor; the One Who prays for us in Heaven day by day, Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34;
2. v. 14a His
Head and His Hair – This speaks of His purity and of His antiquity. We are reminded that He is sinless, Heb. 7:26;
John talks about his head. That head was laid on Mary’s breast for comfort as a child. That head had no place to rest itself as an adult. That head was crowned with thorns and His Own blood mixed with the spittle of His enemies. That head was laid in a cold, dark tomb and covered with a napkin. One day, one glorious day, that head will be adorned with many crowns!
3. v. 14b His
Eyes - They speak of His omniscience; intelligence and perception, Heb. 4:13; Pro. 15:3. Nothing is hidden from His gaze! Not a Zaccheaus in a tree, not a Peter by a
fire, not the heart of a critical Pharisees!
No, He sees every motive, sin and secret in our hearts and in our lives. Those eyes were damp with tears for Lazarus,
4. v. 15a His Feet – Brass, or bronze, in the Bible speaks of judgment. The “brazen serpent”, Num. 21, was a symbol of the sin of the people being judged by the chastisement of God. Jesus appears here in the midst of His churches as One having the authority to judge. He sees all and when He sees that which displeases Him, He exercise His authority as King and Lord and He moves in judgment to set things right.
Those precious feet of the Lord Jesus
touched this earth for the first time when He was but a baby. They carried Him along the dusty pathways of
5. v. 15b His Voice – When John first hears the Lord,
His voice is described as sounding like a trumpet, v. 10. His voice came
demanding John’s attention. Now, John
describes the voice of the Lord as “the sound of many waters”. I have never been to
Thus it is with the voice of Jesus. Today, men turn a deaf ear to His voice; but
there is coming a day when He will speak and His voice will be one that will
and cannot be ignored. One day, every
knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord at the sound of that
voice. This is the same voice that spoke
this world into existence. This is the
same voice that declared redemption’s work complete,
I am glad that I heard that voice call me to come to Him one day. I am glad that I hear that voice day by day as I travel toward glory. I am grateful that I will hear that voice at the end of the way as He says, “Welcome home!”
6. v. 16a His Hand – In His right hand, the hand that speaks of power, Jesus holds the seven stars. These stars are identified in verse 20. They are the “angels of the seven churches”. Some people believe these stars refer to a guardian angel that is given charge over each church. Others feel that the stars refer to the pastors of these churches. I personally lean toward the latter interpretation.
Jesus is pictured as holding His servants
in His hand, protecting them by His power.
The people John was writing to were undergoing severe persecution. They needed this reassurance as they
struggled. But, so do you and I! It comforts my heart to know that I am safe
in His hand,
7. v. 16b His Mouth – We are told that a “sharp two-edged sword” comes from the mouth of the glorified Christ. This reminds us that He is coming not with words of peace and blessing; but with words of righteousness and judgment. When Jesus came the first time, He came with a message of peace and salvation. The next time He comes, He will judge the world with a word from His mouth. Like the thrust of a sharp sword that can slice to the bone and bring instant death; one day Jesus will speak and His enemies will be utterly destroyed, Rev. 19:15. Just as He said, “Let there be light” and light appeared; He will speak and it will be done!
The Word of God, reviled by the atheist,
the agnostic, the infidel, and the liberal will one day be the standard by
which all men are judged! The Word of God will judge man some day, Rev. 20:12;
8. v. 16c His
Face – John says that the face of The Lord of Glory was like looking into
the full force of the sun. John had seen
this face before. When Jesus was
transfigured in Matt. 17, John was
there. When Jesus came to this earth and
was been in
When Jesus came the first time, His face
was that of a common man, Isa. 53:2. His enemies plucked the bread from His face
and they spit upon that face, Isa. 50:6. His face was beaten and streaked with His Own
blood. But, it was that face that caused
Isaiah to cry out and say, “Woe is me!”, Isa. 6:5. It was that face
that caused Job to say, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the
ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust
One day we will see that face! When we do, there will be no bruises, no
spittle, and no blood. When we see that
face, we will see Him in His glory and we will be able to behold His glory,
because we will be like Him in that day,
I. The Lord Of Glory In His Majesty
II. v. 17a THE LORD OF GLORY IN HIS MERCY
A. John’s Reaction – John does what
any sinner would do in the presence of the Lord: he faints dead away! Lost men make their boasts and shake their
puny fists in the face of God; but the day is coming when every God-hater and
Christ-rejecter will bend his or her knee in the presence of the Lord Jesus
Christ. John simply demonstrates for us
what all sinners will do one day. You
may not understand this now, but there is coming a day when Hell will be a
welcome relief for lost sinners who have to stand before Jesus in judgment some
By the way, I am glad that I have already bowed the knee to Him and acknowledged Him to be Lord, God and King! I am grateful that everyday I, without hesitation, bow my knees to Him and confess His as my Lord. What about you?
B. Christ’s Reassurance – When John
faints dead away, Jesus does what He always does: He speaks peace to His child! Think about this! Jesus takes His right hand, the hand in which
He protects His servants. He takes that
hand and He tenderly touches John. Then
He speaks to John. That same voice that
thunders with power and authority; that same voice that will one day judge the
nations; that same voice ministers peace to the heart of John! This was not the first time John has heard
Him say “Peace!” John had heard
Him say “Peace be still”,
Jesus may be the King of Kings; but He is our Friend! He may be the Sovereign Lord of the universe; but he is our elder Brother! He may be the God Who moves in power and glory, accomplishing things our minds cannot even comprehend; but He still has time to be touched by our needs, Heb. 4:15, and He still had time to extend His hand into our lives to encourage us and to speak peace to our hearts.
I. The Lord Of Glory In His Majesty
II. The Lord Of Glory In His Mercy
III. v. 17b-18 THE LORD OF GLORY IN HIS MINISTRY
A. He Is The Reigning One –I am the first and the last – John is reminded that Jesus is the “author and Finisher” of all things. He is the One Who has always been and the One Who will always be. Jesus stands as the great Bookend on either end of history. Kings may come and kings may go, but Jesus has, is and will reign forever. He is timeless and He is eternal!
B. He Is The Resurrected One –I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; - Jesus did something no one else has ever done: He entered death in His Own time and in His Own way and He walked out of Death again when He was ready. He died on the cross and then He rose again from the dead, Matt. 28:1-6. Thank God, “He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He live! He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!”
C. He Is The Redeeming One – “I am
He that liveth, and was dead” – Jesus died, but His death was like no
other death in the history of the world.
He died, not for Himself, but He died for others. He went to that cross to pay a price He did
not owe; for a people who owed a price they could not pay. He gave His all for those who had nothing to
offer. He paid the whole price to redeem
His people from their sins, Isa. 53:4-6;
D. He Is The Remaining One – I am alive for evermore – When every ruler and every subject has faded from the fabric of the ages; when every rich man and every poor man has been erased from the memory of time; when every kingdom and every deed has been forever diluted by the stream of history; Jesus Christ will still be Lord and He will still be God. He is the remaining One! Don’t worry about something happening to Him! When the dust of time has been swept into the dustbin of eternity, Jesus will still be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! That ought to bring comfort to every child of God and strike terror into the heart of every demon and sinner.
E. He Is The Releasing One – I…have the keys of hell and of death – Keys speak of access and authority. I have keys right here. Because I possess them, I have access to those things. Because I have those keys, I can go places others are not allowed to go. The same is true with Jesus!
Jesus Christ decides all the issues of life and death. He determines who lives and who dies. Because Jesus entered death and conquered it, He possesses the keys of death. Because He entered the place where the dead reside and walked out again, He holds the keys of Hell. Jesus is the Key Man! He is a good Man to know! Because I know Him, I cannot go to Hell, He has locked the door! Because I know Him, I can go to Heaven; He has unlocked the gates of that city for His children.
Did you know that He holds the keys to
every grave in the world? He is able to
raise your loved ones from the dead,
Conc: A father was attempting to read his Sunday paper. His little girl, as small children do, was constantly interrupting him and asking him questions. Finally, not wishing to be disturbed by his little girl any longer, he cut up a map of the world, gave it to her, and told her to put it together. He thought this would keep her busy for some time. However, in just a few minutes she returned with the map and every piece was in the right place.
The father was very much surprised and said: “How in the world did you put this puzzle together so quickly? You don't know anything about geography.” The little girl replied, “Well, daddy, there was a picture of Jesus on the other side, and I knew when I had Jesus in the right place, the whole world would be all right.”
a truth! That is what John is trying to
do here at the very start of the book of Revelation. He is trying to get us to see Jesus as He
really is! He is not the humble man of
Is there anything here for us? There’s this: Is Jesus in the right place in your heart and life? If He is, then that means you are saved and that you are humbly serving Him. If He isn’t, then it means that your life is out of balance and like a bad tire it wobbles out of control headed for destruction.
You and I have the opportunity to come before Him today to praise Him for Who He is. We have the opportunity to bow to Him; to thank Him and to honor Him. Today, we can do it voluntarily, then men will be compelled to bow.