(1.15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

 

1.   Brass speaks of judgment in Godís Word. This adds to the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ being the judge, for you may remember that the altar in front of the tabernacle in the wilderness, which contained the Ark of the Covenant, was a brass altar. The laver that the priests cleaned themselves with before they entered the tabernacle was also brass. This speaks of recognizing, judging, and dealing with sin in the believerís daily life.

 

2.   ďand His voice as the sound of many watersĒ  

 

a.   How many of you have ever been down on a gray, windswept beach just as a storm was brewing? Or, how many of you have ever been in a hurricane or close enough to a tornado to hear it? Or, how many of you have listened to the sound of a giant waterfall? What impression is given in each of those situations? Do you not you get the feeling of raw power being demonstrated? That is the image John conveys here. Great power. Infinite power. It is this infinite power, which is Godís through His Word.

 

b.   Turn to Psalm 29 and read along silently while I read aloud:

 

1      Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

2     Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3      The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

4     The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5     The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

6     He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

7     The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

8     The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

9     The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10   The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

11   The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

 

Can you not imagine Johnís readers remembering this psalm? So, when John describes the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, his readerís minds would naturally go to this psalm and its six verses describing the voice of the LORD. Another allusion of Christís deity.

 

c.   When professional strong men do feats of strength they are usually accompanied by a lot of grunting and groaning. I am quite sure, from having once been a weight lifter and a discus thrower myself, that when someone begins to approach the limits of his strength he groans as he lifts. Or, when charlatan faith healers do their thing before large crowds they usually put on a display of great effort. Ever notice that?

 

d.   But God works by merely speaking. God speaks and worlds come into being. When God speaks all creation, except mankind, listens. But in time, even man will attend unto the words of the Son of Man. We will learn of that time in our study of Revelation, when the following passages will be fulfilled: Isaiah 45.23; Romans 14.10-12; Philippians 2.9-11.

 

(1.16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

1.   ďAnd he had in His right hand seven starsĒ  

 

In Scripture, the right hand is the hand of power, the hand of favor, the hand of honor and prestige. So, whatever the seven stars are, they are in a special place, indeed. We will come back to this phrase as we see the significance of the seven stars.

 

2.   ďand out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged swordĒ

 

a.   What is this sword? I believe it to be the Word of God. Turn to Hebrews 4.12 and read:

 

ďFor the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Ē

 

b.   In Hebrews 4.12 the word for sword implies a sword for doing fine work. It is like a small, very sharp, blade that discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. But the sword in Revelation 1.16 is a completely different Greek word, telling us that a different kind of sword is referred to, though I believe the Word of God is still in mind. In the verse which we are examining John uses a word that describes an instrument of death, romfaia, a long and heavy broad sword such as was used by barbarians and symbolizes the irresistible power of divine judgment.[1]

 

c.   In the Roman world there were two ways of using a sword. You can use it the wrong way or the Roman way. The wrong way to use a sword, according to the Romans, was to slash and hack with the sword, which can only wound an adversary most of the time. The Roman way, which proved to be the most lethal way, was to thrust, thrust, thrust, always thrust.

 

d.   Used in such a way the sword would do its job quickly and efficiently. So will the Word of God, coming from the mouth of the Son of God, do its job quickly, precisely, and efficiently. We will see it in Johnís Revelation, executing judgment upon all unbelievers.

 

3.   ďAnd his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strengthĒ 

 

a.   Countenance speaks of facial appearance. It is not beauty or looks, but the outward glow of an inner fire. For Christians, it is supposed to be the countenance that is the important thing, not beauty. An ugly person can have a radiantly beautiful countenance, just as a beautiful person can have a fallen and sullen countenance.

 

b.   Let us consider some of the significant countenances in the Bible.

 

1)   First, there is the fallen countenance of Cain (Genesis 4.6)

 

2)   Then, there is the glowing countenance of Moses (Exodus 34.29)

 

3)   Third, Stephenís angel-like countenance (Acts 6.15)

 

4)   Finally, the Lordís countenance on the Mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17.1-2)

 

c.   In Revelation 1.16 the countenance of the Lord Jesus Christ is as the sun, but more so. The bright blinding light is wonderful to His Own, but those who are of the darkness will try to hide from this radiance of holiness and judgment.



[1] Fritz Reinecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 814.

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