Christ The Judge – Revelation 1
John the Beloved disciple was given visions which are recorded in the book of Revelation. John was on the barren isle of Patmos where they dumped criminals. He was put there for the word of God and for testimony of Jesus Christ (1:9). In spirit he was taken to the Lord’s day, Christ’s day to reign. He heard a great voice behind him as of a trumpet and he turned to see the voice and saw seven golden candlesticks (vs. 10-12). Verse 20 tells us the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.
Looking back from the view point of the Lord’s day, John was seeing the Church Age. He sees Jesus in the midst of the churches, as Judge. He is judging believers and will give His verdict at the judgment seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10). He judges by His Word. A nine-fold description of Christ as Judge is in Vs. 13-16.
1. “Clothed (or endued) with a garment down to the foot.” Jesus Christ has been endued with the authority and power to Judge – (Jn. 5:22). When Christ was raised from the dead, God gave Him to be the Head, the Authority over the church, the body of Christ. He has the right to judge the church, for He gave His life for the church– (Eph. 1:20-23; 5:23,25).
2. “Girt about the paps (or breasts) with a golden girdle.” Breasts are for nourishment, love and mercy, but as judge Christ cannot show mercy, so the breasts are girded up with a golden girdle, gold speaks of deity. When God judges our flesh by the Word, He does not show mercy. Later on in the book of Revelation the saints are girt about the same way, agreeing with Christ when He comes to judge the world.
3. “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” White speaks of purity and holiness and white hair of His eternal being (ageless), Compare Dan. 7:9 where He is called the Ancient of Days. In Revelation He is seen as “God manifested in the flesh,” in the capacity of His majesty, the Judge.
4. “His eyes were as a flame of fire.” His eyes scrutinize and sees the hypocrisy of men. Heb. 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
5. “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Brass in scripture speaks of judgment. The brazen altar was made of brass, where the sacrifical animals were slain and burned, the judgment of God on the sacrifice, instead of on the people picturing the sacrifice of Christ. Also Moses was told to put a brazen serpent on a pole. When the snake bit people looked on the brazen serpent, they were healed. Christ likens Himself to that brazen serpent on that pole in Jn. 3:14. Fine brass speaks of intricate judgment, Christ judges thoroughly as He walks among the churches.
6. “His voice as the sound of many waters.” Dan. 10:6 likewise describes the voice of the Judge sounding like many waters. A great water falls makes a mighty roar.
7. “He had in His right hand seven stars.” V. 20 tells us these stars are the angels or messengers (pastors) of the churches. Christ holds them in His right hand, that means they are responsible to Him. Which is more serious then the responsibility to the people. Heb. 13:17, “they must give account.” Acts 20:28, Pastors are responsible to feed the saints which Christ has purchased with His own blood.
8. “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” Heb. 4:12, the sword is the Word of God. The sword going out of His mouth speaks of the Word by which He judges. He is the Word of God, the Word made flesh. He speaks the Word or causes others to speak it. We are responsible for the Word we hear, no matter who the vessel is that gives it forth. We are responsible to heed the Word and to let it judge us. The Word cuts back the flesh, but the Holy Spirit heals the hurt.
9. “His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” His countenance is very bright, for He is the True Light – Jn. 1:4-5,9. Paul saw Him at noon and His countenance was brighter than the noon day sun. Compare Jn. 3:19-21 & 8:12.
John fell at His feet, seeing the awesome Personage of Christ as Judge – V. 17-19. Christ touched John and encouraged him. “Fear not,” I am the Eternal One. Write the things thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be thereafter.
Next issue: Christ’s message to the churches