by Christina Farris
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 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.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
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.
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. John is writing and he writes about vision he saw. He writes about the comfort God wants to give the church and his ministers. Comfort to know they are not alone in their suffering. That they are not alone in the pain they feel from the attacks of the outside world and Satan himself. John is part of also the kingdom of God and is facing the tribulation because he is a child of God. I never quite understood why God allows his children to suffer at the hands of the world. See the world says everyone belongs, unless you are a believer in Christ. The believer says why are we the outcast of society when the door to heaven is yours as much as mine, if you only will believe in Jesus. The door is for everyone that receive the testimony of God and Christ Jesus of who God is. The world would rather not believe in order to live their life in rebellion against God and the laws of love. Is God's way evil to the world, probably because the world wants control of every aspect of their life. To allow God to have control, is for someone to know what best for you and warn you when impeding danger is approaching. Those things that will harm the body and one's soul. The world is much like a fire fighter or soldier that has no issue running into danger, but the difference between the world and a fire fighter or soldier, is the fire fighter/soldier has protective gear on to help them face impeding danger. The world is naked facing the elements of the world with no protection beyond that which is common to man and that has been developed and designed for man's protection. For a believer we must believe that our armour is stronger and better then man's. Yet it does not mean we do not face tribulation, persecution, horrors of this world. It does not mean we do not go through the fire.
John is dealing with his own personal crisis while writting through his storm. A storm others only slightly hear about because of his imprisonment. They know he stuck on a island, but no clue what it like to live among people that are exiled there or if there anyone else there. How he forges for food daily, or if their is plenty to eat. No one see John's crisis but him. We do not know how many other prisoners may of been exiled on the island with John, what type of criminals they were. What we know is John was dealing with his own misery because of the testimony of Jesus and the word of God. Why is it important to note the word of God and the testimony of Jesus as being separate from each other, meaning two Words one God and one Christ. We need to know God testifies who he is and Christ testifies about God and who he is. John was only sharing these things with people when he was imprisoned for his faith. He faced his fait of human judgment as Christ did, not because God could of rescued but as a testimony that God's word would stand despite the enemies persecution.
Christ wants to give us hope in difficult as believers and that why we sometimes have visions and dreams from God. When a believer goes through persecution their faith must be stronger then in times of peace with others. God builds our faith at different speeds depending on our situation. Miracles can be for strengthen of faith as well. The vision of John was to strengthen the church. John is seeing Jesus in his glorious appearance. The description of Christ appearing old with wooly white hair. His voice sounded like many waters, I suspect if we translated today, it would be a voice that declare attention or respect at the sound of it. His clothing alone was brilliant and white and his feet were incased in boots of brass perhaps. His eyes were like fire. Perhaps piercing John's very soul. His voice spoke with a sharp two edge sword piercing John's heart to tell him yes it was Jesus the first and the last standing before him. This is a vision not actually appearance, what about transfiguration not being a vision but a reality. John was in the Spirit in trance like state or state of mediation as Jesus appears to him and begins to speak to him through a vision. Manifestation of Jesus not on earth in the physical since but in the spiritual sense he appeared to John in his royal outfit. In his hand is the seven candle sticks and seven stars. In hand is symbol of the churches and their pastors. The stars being the pastors and the candle sticks being the churches. What is Christ speaking to John about is that he is holding the churches and his ministers over the seven churches in his hands.
John falls to his very knees at this event. He prostrates out upon the floor. And Jesus loving reaches down and strokes his shoulder and says I am the first and the last, fear not. Then he tells John, he was the one alive and then dead and liveth forever more. He explains the objects in his hands and tell John to write it down. John finds himself in obedience as he writes it down, but also in awe of seeing his Savior who been absent in presents for who knows how long. Just because Jesus is not present physically does not mean he is not alive or can not communicate with us through vision giving us hope. I believe the white hair represents the passing of time and the aging process of man. There is no recorded of Christ hair color as he walked the earth I do not think because In most place I can recall that speaks of Christ hair is says it wooly.
Daniel has a prophetic vision of Christ before the coming of Christ. This vision of John's is after Christ resurrection and ascension into heaven. If we grasp the Savior was alive before and after his death and even before his birth we can fully appreciate Christ sacrifice on earth giving up his throne to teach us who he is. God desires to communicate to the church world about faith and hope and his protection for eternity. Perhaps he hold the candle stick in the palm of one's hand what we see is Christ holding us with ministers being a flame of fire for the Lord on top of the candle stick.
It is times when we feel God holding us that enables to press on. The embrace of friends, a parent, or spouse, is only one form of human comfort to each other, but it not the surpass embrace of the Spirit of God surrounds us in our time of grief, illness, persecution, and hope. We has believers need this reminder, Christ is still holding us in the palm of his hands.
Dear Heavenly Father my God grace hold us knowing we sit in the palm of our Savior hand trusting in your ability to comfort and protect us as you will it for our life. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:
Daniel 7:13 KJV I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.