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Exploring Revelation
263
“John's Glorious View of Jesus (Pt 1)”
by Art Sadlier   
July 15th, 2007

We want to consider John's  Circumstances as he has this vision of Christ.

"I, John --- was in the Isle called Patmos," (notice the reason) "for the Word of God and for the Testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9). John is saying, I am exiled on this Island because of what I believe and teach, and because I am faithful to Christ! We are living in a day when we will suffer if are faithful to the Word of God and to Christ.

Patmos is a barren, rocky place, it belongs to a group of about 50 Islands in the Aegean Sea. It is about 10 miles long and 5 miles wide and is 40 miles west of Ephesus.

Sir William Ramsey, the great Historian says, and I quote, "John's banishment would have been preceded by scourging, marked by perpetual chains, scanty clothing, insufficient sleep on bare ground or in a dark prison cave with the lash of a military overseer."

Understand, the cost of being a follower of Jesus Christ is a very high price to pay! Jesus said: "He that forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be my disciple." "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." Today we see a lot of people claiming to be followers of Christ, but the marks of discipleship are not evident in their lives.

The Patmos of Persecuting-Rome was suddenly the door to the most glorious and most sublime communication man has ever had with Heaven. Doomed to exile on the Rock of Patmos, the apostle soared on the wings of prophetic revelation to the very throne room of Heaven.

In these terrible circumstances John was given the most extensive revelation of Heaven ever given. That is often God's way, we gain the deepest kowledge of God through the deepest suffering.

"And heard behind me a great voice, a of a trumpet." This is the voice of Jesus Christ, verse 18 confirms that!

In verse 11 we read, "What thou seest write in a book." Twelve times in the book, John is told to write something down, and send it unto the Seven Churches." That tells us to whom the Book of Revelation was written. It was sent to the representative churches of the whole Church Age - that makes it personal for you and I who are members of the church of Jesus Christ.

John Sees Christ

In verse 12, John says, "and I turned to see the voice that spake with me." John had his back to the voice, "I turned," and when he turned he saw the Glorified Lord Jesus Christ!

There are two revelations of the Glorified Christ in the book. In chapter 19:11-16 we see the Glorified Lord coming to the earth in power and glory to destroy His enemies. In chapter one we see Christ in His present ministry to the church, a ministry that was going on then, now, and until the church is raptured.

This view of Christ, will open our eyes to see our Lord as He is, "The Lord of the Church."

John saw something else. "I saw seven golden candlesticks." What are these candlesticks? We see here a principle of Biblical interpretation. Never arbitrarily assign a meaning to a symbol. Look at verse twenty - it tells us what the candlesticks represent: "the seven golden candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."

John is viewing the churches. The churches are seen as candlesticks from which the light of life shines in a dark world. Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world." Each church is a light in its own location.

Notice verse 20, "the seven golden candlesticks". Why are the churches represented as being golden? Because, gold was the most precious metal in John's day. The church of Christ is not only to be a light in a dark world, but it is most beautiful, most precious, most valuable to the heart of God. The church is so precious to God that He gave his Son, who shed His blood for the church. How encouraging to know that your church is so precious to the Lord.

"Seven Churches," Why Seven? Seven is the number of completeness, the Seven Churches represent the complete spectrum of the church, symbolic of the whole church.

"In the midst of the seven candlesticks" (vs.13). What does John see in the midst of the candlesticks (churches)? "One like unto the Son of Man", literally, one who is the Son of Man. That's the revelation of a great truth, the Lord of the church is in the midst of His church, and in the midst of each individual church.

Let's pause carefully here and consider this great truth! In Revelation 2:1 He is walking in the midst of the churches. Next Lord's Day, as you gather together with your local church, consider that Christ is present in your midst in a special way. Chapters two and three shed more light on what He will be doing in your midst next Sunday.

Next Sunday He will be evaluating your church. He will be observing and evaluating your worship. Is it sincere? Does it come from the heart? Is it contaminated by unconfessed sin? Is it according to knowledge, or is it just emotion based on ignorance of what true worship is?

Do worldly values enter in? Does worldly music with shallow lyrics destroy your worship? Is your giving an act of worship, or a duty performed? Does your worship bring joy to the great heart of God?

Understand, worship is an individual act, the churches worship is the sum of the worship of individuals. Christ will be going from seat to seat, and heart to heart, to evaluate the worship of your church.

Understand further, you cannot worship the Lord on Sunday unless you worship Him all week. Worship comes not only out of your heart, but out of your life. Forget about a Worship Team, nothing destroys worship as effectively as a Worship Team, and such a concept of worship, a concept that seeks to manipulate emotions and call it worship!

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