© Copyright 2010-2015
© Copyright 2010-2019

Revelation 1:16-20
John responds to seeing Christ amid the seven golden candlesticks!
By Brother Mike (1-18-19; 30 minutes)
   

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength .
17
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last :
18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death .
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter ;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches .


INTRODUCTION    

In these last several verses of Revelation 1, we see the apostle John's response to seeing Christ amid the seven golden candlesticks. They read, And He [Christ] had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance [was] as the sun shineth in His strength. And when I [John] saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last. Now, with respect to these verses, what are the seven stars that Christ had in His right hand? And, why are they said to be in His right hand? And, what is the two-edged sword protruding from Christ's mouth? And, why is His countenance said to be as the sun shines in His strength? Furthermore, why does John fall at Christ's feet upon seeing Him? And, why does Christ then lay His right hand upon John, and tell him to fear not; I am the first and the last?  

Then, Christ further says to John, I[am] He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. What does it mean for John and all the elect that Christ was dead but now lives forevermore? And, what does it mean that Christ has the keys of hell and death?  

The answers to these questions and more can be found in this short study. May the Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant to us wisdom and insight into His Word, Amen. 


Revelation 1:16
:  

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength

In this verse, we first read, And he had in his right hand seven stars. Actually, in the Greek, this sentence is not in the past tense as the King James Version has it translated, but it is in the present tense and should read, And he has [not had in the past tense, but has in the present tense] in his right hand seven stars. The question we first ask is, why does this verse state that the seven stars are in his right hand? Well, to be in the hand of God is to be under His control or in His will since the hand or hands of God in the Bible are what carry out His will. So, for the seven stars to be in His hand means that they are under His complete control or will. Yet, for these seven stars to be not only in His hand but in His right hand not only means that they are under Christ's control or will, but they are also in a place of great blessing even as Christ now is ever since He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God as we find in Ephesians 1 where we read, 

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places ,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come . . . 

You see, to be at the right hand of God is to be at a place of great blessing so that when our verse says that Christ has in His right hand seven stars, it means that these seven stars are in a great place of blessing. 

But, now, what are these seven stars? We are given the answer down in verse 20 of Revelation chapter one where we read,  

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches .  

Thus, we are told right out what the 7 stars represent, namely the 7 churches. And, since we have already learned that the 7 churches represent all the churches that would ever come into being during the Church Age, by all these churches being in the right hand of Jesus Christ means that they were all in a place of great blessing, and under the complete control or will of Jesus Christ. 

Now, as we continue to see a vision of Christ amid the candlesticks, we read, and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. We learn what this sharp two-edged sword represents in Hebrews 4 where we read,   

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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 .  

Notice that it is the Word of God that is here compared to a two-edged sword. Obviously, then, the sharp two-edged sword is the Word of God, and, therefore, it is said to come out of the mouth of Jesus Christ because that is from whose mouth the Word of God comes. Indeed, the sharp two-edged sword is the Word of God that comes out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. It is a two-edged sword because it cuts the listeners to the Word of God in two possible directions: One is to eternal life, and the other is to damnation. To those who were chosen unto salvation, the Word of God brings eternal life, but to those who were not chosen to salvation, the Word of God brings damnation. So, the Word of God impacts people unto salvation or unto damnation, and, therefore, it is symbolized as a two-edged sword.  

Now, our verse finishes by saying, and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength. That is, the countenance, which is the outward appearance of Jesus Christ, is as the sun shines in His strength. And, the reason why Christ's countenance is as the sun shines in His strength is because the sun in the Bible represents, you got it, Christ Himself. For instance, we read in Malachi 4, 

Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun [S-u-n not S-o-n] of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall .   

Clearly, the Sun of righteousness [S-u-n of righteousness] in this verse is a description of Christ so that we can see that the Sun itself represents Christ. And, just as the literal sun arises to bring life on the earth, so also did Christ rise during the Church Age with healing or salvation in His wings for the nations. So, when our verse says, and His countenance is as the sun shines in His strength, it is a picture of Christ shining forth salvation or eternal life to the nations from the midst of all the Christian churches during the Church Age.   

But, not only did Christ shine forth salvation during the Church Age, but He also shined forth damnation. So, when our verse says, and His countenance is as the sun shines in His strength, it is not only a picture of Christ shining forth salvation or eternal life to the nations, but also damnation.


Revelation 1:17
:   

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last . . .   

In this verse, John writes, And when I saw him, I fell at His feet as dead. Here, the apostle John is a picture of what would happen to every person who saw God. They would fall at His feet as a dead person because, upon seeing God, they would immediately be judged as a sinner, and they would be immediately sentenced to death because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). So, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and, thus, all are worthy of death, everyone who saw God would instantly fall at God's feet as dead because they would be immediately judged to death due to their sins. And, the only way in which they could come back to life is if Jesus Christ had paid for their sins, and He brings them back to life.  

Now, our verse continues by saying, And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not. This is a picture of what God spiritually does and says to all His elect in salvation. Apart from Christ, we all deserved to die because of our sins, but in due time at a time leading up to May 21, 2011, before eternal salvation came to an end, He laid His right hand upon each one of us, and saved us, and He spiritually said to us, Fear not because He had paid for our sins on the cross in 33 AD, and, so, we have no reason to fear death any longer. Yes, Christ died in our place to pay the price for us, His elect, so that we no longer must die for our sins, and Christ says to us, Fear not, for we have been brought to spiritual life when Christ laid His right hand upon us through the hearing of the Word during the day when God was still saving, which, of course, He is no longer doing as we are now in Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011 according to the Biblical Timeline

Well, why do we read that Christ laid His right hand upon John? Remember, we already said in verse 16 of Revelation 1 that the right hand is symbolic of great blessing, and to be in His hand is to be under His control or will. So, when Christ laid His right hand upon John, it was a picture of Christ imparting to John great blessing through eternal salvation, and this was all under the complete control or will of Jesus Christ just as it was when anyone of the elect became eternally saved before May 21, 2011.  

Next, why does Christ, after He laid His right hand upon John, say to John, Fear not; I am the first and the last? Well, it was to comfort John, of course, in that his sins had been paid for, and, so, he need not fear death any longer. And, in addition, Christ told John that He is the first and the last, which we learned in previous studies means that Christ is eternal God. Thus, Christ tells John to not fear because He has imparted to him great blessing in salvation with His right hand, and, additionally, He is eternal God so that there is no one mightier than Him who could change what He has decreed; nor change what He has done in paying for John's sins. 


Revelation 1:18
:  

18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death .   /

In this verse, we first read, I [am] He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen. A more literal translation reads like this: and the one living, and I was dead; and, behold, living, I am, into the eons of the eons, Amen. By saying this, Christ is making it clear that, yes, He was once dead, and we know that this was for to pay for the sins of His elect, but, now, He is living forevermore. In other words, Christ is saying that He suffered death to pay for the sins of the elect, yet He did not stay dead, but He rose from the dead to guarantee that His elect would also rise from the dead as He did. So, He is saying to John and all the elect, fear not because I was once dead to pay for your sins, but I am now alive. That is, I took your place in hell so that you will never have to die for your sins. Thus, do not fear any longer, for saving you by the great blessing of my right hand, you are no longer under my wrath, but you are now guaranteed to live forevermore even as do I, amen. And, amen means so be it, truly, this is true. Yes, Christ was dead in the depths of hell, but now He is alive forevermore. Truly, so be it, this is true!   

Now, our verse ends by saying, and I [Christ] have the keys of hell and death, which means that Christ can free people from hell and death, and He can keep them bound in hell and death. He freed many people from hell and death through eternal salvation in Jesus Christ until May 21, 2011 when He stopped freeing people from hell and death so that, now, everyone who was not eternally saved by May 21, 2011 are locked in hell and death forevermore. They cannot escape because it is Christ who holds the keys, and He has locked the door of hell and death upon them forevermore. Yes, the one who holds the keys of hell and death wields all the power, for it is He who determines whether people remain bound in hell and death, or whether they are freed from hell or death. During the Gospel Age, He unlocked the door from hell and death for many, but, now, during Judgment Day, He has locked the door from hell and death for everyone who were not already freed by May 21, 2011. Indeed, Christ has the keys of hell and death.  


Revelation 1:19
:    

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter . . .  

Here, the apostle John is told to Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. Since John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, which is a picture of Judgment Day, when he sees his vision, the things which he has seen are the things he has seen prior to Judgment Day. And, the things which he now sees are the things that he sees during Judgment Day. And, the things which he sees hereafter are the things he sees that come after Judgment Day. So, here, John is being told to write down the things that he saw in his vison that took place previous to Judgment Day, which, we will discover, are God's judgment upon all the churches as judgment must begin at the house of God (1Peter 4:17), and the things that he saw in his vision that take place on Judgment Day, which, we will discover, is God's judgment upon the entire world, and the things he sees that come after Judgment Day, which, we will discover, are the destruction of this earth and the creation of a new heaven and earth wherein the elect in their new resurrected bodies will dwell forevermore with their Lord and God, Jesus Christ.  


Revelation 1:20
:  

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches .    

In this verse, we first read, The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. For something to be a mystery means that it is not clearly understood, but it is hidden behind the symbolism of the seven stars and the seven golden candlesticks. The number 7 symbolizes perfection or totality (see Bible Number 7 ). Therefore, seven stars and seven candlesticks represent the totality of stars and the totality of candlesticks. But, then, what do stars and candlesticks symbolize? Stars, in the Bible, represent those who shine the light, or the truths of the Bible, to this dark world, and these are the elect who can also be called angels, for the word angels can be translated simply as messengers. Candlesticks, on the other hand, are also those who give light to this dark world, but they do not represent each individual elect as do each of the stars, but they represent groups of the elect, namely churches. Hence, we are told, The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches. That is, the seven stars are the totality of angels (the elect) of the 7 churches, and the seven candlesticks are the totality of churches of the seven churches. And, since the 7 churches symbolize the totality of all the churches during the Church Age, the seven stars are the totality of angels (elect) of all the churches during the Church Age, and the seven candlesticks are the totality of churches of all the churches that would ever arise during the Church Age.   


CONCLUSION   

We first learned that Christ amid the seven golden candlesticks had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shines in His strength. The seven stars in His right hand, we found, are the angels of the 7 churches who are the elect of all the churches that would ever arise during the Church Age. They are said to be in His right hand because they are under His control, and in a place of great blessing. Then, we learned that the sharp two-edged sword that came out from the mouth of Christ represented the Word of God which went forth from Christ who was in the churches during the Church Age. It was a two-edged sword because it either cut its hearers to eternal life, or it cut its hearers to damnation. Then, we learned that Christ's countenance was as the sun shines in His strength, namely that just as the sun shines in its strength to either bring life or death to this earth, depending on its intensity, so Christ shined in His strength during the Church Age to bring eternal life, or eternal damnation, depending on His intensity. 

Next, we learned that when John saw Christ amid the candlesticks, he fell at His feet as dead. And Christ laid His right hand upon him, saying unto him, Fear not; I am the first and the last. This, we found, was a picture of how each of the elect were eternally saved during the Church Age: when Christ was spiritually revealed to us, we immediately fell at His feet as dead because we were dead in our sins and trespasses. But, then, He laid His right hand of blessing upon us to spiritually bring us to eternal life, and He spiritually said to us, Fear not; I am the first and the last. Yes, He said, Fear not because no longer could our sins condemn us to hell, for He had paid for our sins when He sacrificed Himself on the cross. And, He said to us, I am the first and the last to let us know that He is eternal God. That is, Fear not because Christ who laid His right hand of blessing upon us is eternal God Himself, and no one else is strong enough to snatch us from His hand.  

Finally, we learned that Christ further said to John, I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. That Christ was dead refers to when He died for His elect on the cross, and that Christ is now alive forevermore refers to the fact that He overcame death so that His elect would also live forevermore. In addition, we learned that Christ has the keys of hell and of death, which means He determines when people can be freed from hell and death, and when people remain bound in hell and death. During the Church Age, Christ freed many from hell and death by eternally saving them, but, now, ever since May 21, 2011, He is freeing no one ever again. It is the day of God's wrath; it is Judgment Day. 


Now, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

1:1-5 
1:5-7 
1:7-9 
1:10-15  
1:16-20
2:1-7         

aaaaaaaaaaaaiii