The Book of Revelation is not just an inspired book of the bible but an ‘unveiling’, ‘uncovering’ or ‘revealing’ of divine truth which God gave to John – hence the name, Revelation. In this post, The 9 symbolic revelation of Jesus Christ and their meaning, I will share with you from few selected verses, 1-3, 10-16,
- John’s declaration
- The description of the risen and glorified Christ which he saw
- The symbolic meaning of what he described.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him to show unto his servants things that must shortly come to pass.”
This prologue to the book of Revelation establishes the authority for the entire writing by stating that this uncovering — ”revelation” — is from Jesus Christ, given by God to John, which John bare record and promises blessing to those that read and keep the prophecy contained in it (therein). – vs. 2-3
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw…“
The Description of the Risen and Glorified Christ
Before John turned to see the voice that spake with him, he has already received a command to write the things that he saw in a book to testify to the churches. This revelation John saw, was also given to Daniel in Daniel chapter 10, and a preview also to Peter, James and John when Christ took them apart to a high mountain and was there transfigured before them to validate the testimony of his coming glory. Which they heard a voice that spake with them out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son, hear him.”
Being turned, here is the description of what John the Beloved saw.
“seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 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.” – (Revelation 1:12-16)
Beyond the physical description John described, there is a lot more symbolic messages to be known in the appearance of Christ as he revealed himself to John. These symbolic meaning is explained below
The symbolic meaning of Christ’s appearance
Recap: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw…“
1. Seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man
Meaning – According to Revelation 1, the seven candlesticks represents the seven churches in Asia which God was commanding John to write messages to. These churches include, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and the Laodicean church. The Son of man in the midst of the seven candlesticks symbolizes Christ’s presence in his Church and his Lordship over them. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” These seven golden candlesticks is another symbol of Christ’s church that is expected to give her light to shine in a dark and corrupt world as we see in Matthew 5:15-16 and to remain pure.
2. Clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle
Meaning – This picture of Christ here portrays an emblem of his everlasting priesthood which he wore for beauty and glory.
In the Old Testament, Christ gave Moses a charge to clothe Aaron and his sons with holy garments to minister in the priests office. He separated them (the Levites) for this purpose to bear the burden of the people in approaching God on their behalf and in making atonement for their sins. This was a pointer of his everlasting priesthood and his enduring atonement for the sins of mankind.
“And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.” (Exodus 28:2,40)
Today, Christ has made the final sacrifice for our sin and has become our high priest after the order of Melchizedek who makes atonement for sins not with the blood of goats or of bulls like the priests of the Old Testament, but with his own blood. and he ever lives making intercession for the saints.
3. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow
Meaning – This symbolizes the purity of his words and truth and his perfect righteousness. In Daniel 7:9, the prophet Daniel wrote that he saw the Ancient of Days, describing Him as having hair that resembled wool. Seen as having such a resemblance to God the Father. Christ is a representative of God and will not speak of himself but whatsoever the Father says, that he speak.
There is no error in God and his words are 100% true.
The Psalmist says in Psalm 19:7-9, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
4. His eyes were as a flame of fire
Meaning – This symbolizes the searching eyes of the Almighty which not only sees but penetrates the heart, prunes and purifies. His eyes like fire searches every activity going on in his church, beholding the good and the evil. No one can feign innocence in His presence and succeed with the hypocrisy
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
5. His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace
Meaning – This symbolizes God’s judgment for sin. Christ is going to judge sin at the end of the world and there will be no hiding place for any man when we all appear before the Bema seat and will be judged, every man according to his works. (Rev. 20:11-15)
6. His voice as the sound of many waters
Meaning – This symbolizes Christ’s majesty, power and dominion over everything or circumstances. Nobody can teach Him knowledge. He has victory over all things.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” – Psalm 19:1-6
7. In his right hand seven stars
Meaning – The seven stars represent God’s ministers in those seven churches. And they being in his right hand shows his sovereign power in preserving them despite oppositions in ministry.
The Son of God seated on the right hand of the Father holds every true and faithful minister (child of God) with this same right hand of power.
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5
Those whom God has appointed to be his ministers here on earth has no need of fear, for their lives is preserved.
8. Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword
Meaning – This symbolizes the word of God that can pierce the heart, melt it and covert the soul. This two edged sword is one of the armors of God according to Ephesians 6.
9. His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength
Meaning- This symbolizes his shekinah glory. His awesome presence as dazzling as the sun when it gives her light in its strength that makes it impossible to fully look upon.
This was the Light that appeared to Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, whose brightness blindfolded him. He confessed to King Agrippa,
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee” — Acts 26:13-16, 19
These are the symbolic meaning of the revealed Christ which John saw and described.
When John saw these things, he fell down at his feet as one dead. But God gave him the words of peace, “Fear not…”
This is also telling us that no man can stand God, but they can court his mercy.
Greater fear awaits those who are yet to see the other side of God. We must obtain the same mercy John the beloved, Daniel and all the saints of God obtained through repentance, forgiveness and walking with Christ to receive this same words of peace when he shall come in his glory.
This post has given you a revelation of Jesus Christ according to Revelation 1:12-16 as he sends John to the seven churches. Today, God’s ministers are still sending messages of hope, warning and repentance not just to the church but to the world, we are expected to receive His messages with penitent hearts and submit to him in obedience so we can be partakers of divine mercy when he shall come.