“When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.” Revelation 1:12-16
John saw a vision of the glorified Christ. The seven lampstands represent the seven churches that would receive the book. Each local church is the bearer of God’s light in this dark world. Christ’s garments are those of a Judge-King, One with honor and authority. The white hair symbolizes His eternality as “the Ancient of Days”. His eyes see all enabling Him to judge righteously. His feet of burning brass also suggest judgment, since the brazen altar was the place where the “fire consumed the sin offering. The Lord had come to judge the churches, and He would also judge the evil world system. The “sound of many waters” makes me think of water falls where you can hear nothing but the mighty water flowing.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12) He speaks with power and authority and must be heard. The sword from His mouth certainly represents the living Word of God. He fights His enemies by using His Word.
The sun is a familiar image of God in the Old Testament. “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. (Ps. 84:11), reminding us not only of blessing, but also of judgment. The sun can burn as well as bless! This vision of Christ was totally different in appearance from the Savior that John knew “in the flesh” when He was ministering on earth. He was not the “gentle Jewish carpenter” that sentimentalists like to sing about. He is the risen, glorified, exalted Son of God, the Priest-King who has the authority to judge all men, beginning with His own people “For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” (1 Peter 4:17)