The Patmos Vision.
John on Patmos.
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The Patmos Vision.
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
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. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
This series of visions of the Revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ was given to John while he was banished to the Isle of Patmos. This small island is thirty miles off the coast of Asia Minor in the Aegean Sea. Being rocky and infested with snakes, lizards and scorpions, it had little commercial value, so it was used by the Roman Empire for a penal colony where were housed the more desperate criminals, political prisoners, etc.
You will notice that John has addressed himself to the Christians as a brother in tribulation. It was at this time that the early church was going through great persecutions. Their religion was not only "everywhere spoken against" but the people themselves were imprisoned and killed. John, like multitudes of others, was now suffering imprisonment for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. When arrested, they tried in vain to kill him by boiling him in oil for twenty-four hours. The enraged and powerless officials then sentenced him to Patmos as a witch. But God was with him, and he was spared to leave the island and return to Ephesus where he again continued as pastor until the time of his death.
Sevenfold Glory of His Person.
"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 two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."
How deeply moving and inspiring was the appearing of Jesus to John, who was in exile for the cause of the Word, and behold, the Living WORD now stands before him. What an illuminating vision, for every descriptive attribute has a significance. What a revelation of His glorious Being.
1.His Hair as White as Snow.
John first notices and mentions the whiteness of His hair. It was white, and as bright as snow. This was not because of His age. Oh, no. The brilliantly white hair does not signify age but experience, maturity, and wisdom. The Eternal One does not age. What is time to God? Time means little to God, but wisdom means much. It is as when Solomon called to God for wisdom to judge the people of Israel. Now He is coming, the Judge of all the earth. He will be crowned with wisdom. That is what the white and glistening hair signifies.
He was the Judge opening the books and judging out of them. Daniel saw Him coming in clouds. That is exactly what John saw. They both saw Him exactly the same. They saw the Judge with His judgment girdle over His shoulders, standing pure and holy, full of wisdom, fully qualified to judge the world in righteousness. Hallelujah.
2. His Eyes as Fire.
Think of it. Those eyes that were once dimmed with tears of sorrow and pity. Those eyes that wept with compassion at the grave of Lazarus. Those eyes that saw not the evil of the murderers who hanged Him on a cross but in sorrow cried, "Father forgive them." Now those eyes are a flame of fire, the eyes of the Judge Who will recompence those who rejected Him. Of all the human emotions He manifested the most when He appeared as the Son of Man was this one, He wept often. Yet behind that weeping and that sorrow there was still God. Those same eyes saw visions. They looked deep within the hearts of men and read their very thoughts and knew all their various ways. Blazing out of mortal eyes was God, Who cried to those who knew Him not for what He was, "... If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24. "If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do (the works of My Father), though ye believe not Me, believe the works..." John 10:37,38. Like Jeremiah of old, He was the weeping prophet, for men received not the Word of God and thrust aside the revelation.
Those fiery flaming eyes of the Judge are even now recording the lives of all flesh. Running to and fro throughout the earth, there is nothing He does not know. He knows the desires of the heart and what each one intends to do. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, for all things are naked before Him with Whom we have to do. Think of it, He knows even now what you are thinking.
Yes, there He stands as Judge with flaming eyes to mete out judgment. The day of mercy is over. Oh, that men might repent and seek His face in righteousness while there is yet time. That they might make His bosom their pillow ere the world dissolves in fire.
3. The Feet of Brass.
"And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace." Brass is noted for its remarkable hardness. There is nothing that is known that you can put with it to temper it. But this brass that describes His feet is more remarkable yet in that it has stood the test of the fiery furnace, a test that no other one has gone through. And that is exactly right. For brass signifies Divine Judgment: a judgment that God decreed and brought to pass. Numbers 21:8,9, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Israel had sinned. Sin had to be judged. So God commanded Moses to place a brazen serpent on a pole, and he who looked was saved from the penalty of his sin.
But some day those feet of brass will stand upon the earth. And the Judge of all the earth He shall be, and with equity and perfection will He judge mankind. And there will be no evading that judgment. No turning of that justice. There will be no tempering of it. He that is unjust will be unjust still; he that is filthy will be filthy still. The Unchanging One will not change then, for He never has and never will. Those feet of brass will crush the enemy. They will destroy the antichrist, the beast and the image and all that is vile in His sight. He will destroy the church systems that have taken His Name only to corrupt its brilliance and crush them along with the antichrist. All the wicked, the atheists, the agnostics, the modernists, the liberals, will all be there. Death, hell, and the grave will be there. Yes they will. For when He comes, the books will be opened. That is when even the lukewarm church and the five foolish virgins will appear. He will separate the sheep from the goats. When He comes He will take over the kingdom, for it is His, and with Him will be the thousands times ten thousands, His Bride, who come to minister to Him. Glory! Oh, it is now or never. Repent before it is too late. Wake up from amongst the dead and seek God to be filled with His Spirit or you will miss eternal life. Do it now while there is time.
4. His Voice Was as the Sound of Many Waters.
Now what do the waters represent? Hear it in Revelation 17:15, "... the waters which thou sawest,... are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." His voice was as the sound of multitudes speaking. What is it? It is the judgment. For these are the voices of the multitudes of witnesses, who by the Holy Spirit all through the ages have testified to Christ and preached His Gospel. It will be the voice of every man rising in judgment against the sinner who would not take warning. The voices of the seven messengers will be heard loud and clear. Those faithful preachers who preached the saving power of Jesus, who preached water baptism in Jesus' Name, who preached the in-filling and power of the Holy Ghost, who stood with the Word more than they stood with their own lives; all of them were the voice of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost down through the ages. John 17:20, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word."
Oh, if you would only see it. It was the waters that destroyed the world, but it was the same waters that saved Noah and also saved the whole earth for Noah. Listen to His voice, the voice of His servants, as it calls to repentance and life.
5. In His Right Hand Were Seven Stars.
"And He had in His right hand seven stars." Now of course we already know from verse twenty what the seven stars actually are. "And the mystery of the seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches." Now we couldn't make a mistake here on any account, as He interprets it for us. These seven stars are the messengers to the seven successive church ages. They are not called by name. They are just set forth as seven, one to each age. From the Ephesian Age on down to this Laodicean Age each messenger brought the message of truth to the people, never failing to keep it the Word of God to that particular church age. Each one held to it. They were steadfast in their loyalty to the original light. As each age pulled away from God, His faithful messenger turned that age back to the Word. Their strength was from the Lord or they never could have stemmed the tide. They were safe in His care, for nothing could pluck them out of His hand, and neither could anything separate them from the love of God, let it be sickness, peril, nakedness, famine, sword, life or death. They were truly yielded to Him and kept by His omnipotence. They were not concerned about the persecution that came their way. Pain and derision was but cause to give glory to God that they were counted worthy to suffer for Him. And in thankfulness for His salvation they burned with the light of His life and reflected His love, patience, meekness, temperance, gentleness, faithfulness. And God backed them up with wonders, signs, and miracles. They were accused of being fanatics, and holy-rollers. They were denounced by organizations and held in mockery, but they kept true to the Word.
And this comfort is not for the seven church age messengers only. Every true believer is in the hand of God and can draw from His love and power, and receive the full benefit of all that God is to the believer. What God gives the messenger, and how He blesses and uses the messenger, is an example to all believers of His goodness and care to ALL members of His body. Amen.
6. The Two-edged Sword.
"And out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword." In Hebrews 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." Out of His mouth went the sharp two-edged sword which is the WORD OF GOD.
Now Paul said that the Word came in power as well as voice. The Word preached actually demonstrated itself. Like a flaming, cutting sword it went to the consciences of men, and like a surgeon's knife it cut out the diseases and set captives free. Everywhere those early believers went, "they went preaching the Gospel (Word) and God confirmed that Word with signs following." The sick were healed, devils were cast out, and they spoke in new tongues. That was the Word in action. That Word has never failed in the mouths of believing Christians. And in this last age it is here stronger and greater than ever in the true Word bride. Oh, little flock, you little minority, hold on to the Word, fill your mouth and heart with it, and some day God will give you the kingdom.
7. His Face Like The Sun.
In Revelation 21:23, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." This is the New Jerusalem. The Lamb will be in that city, and because of His presence, there will be no light needed. The sun won't rise and shine there, for He is the Sun and Light thereof, Himself. The nations that come into it will walk in His light. Aren't you happy that day is upon us? John saw that day coming. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!
Malachi 4:1-3, "For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts." There it is again. The SUN shining out in all its strength. Oh, the strength of the Son of God shining in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. There He stands, the Judge, the One who suffered and died for us. He took the wrath of Divine judgment upon Himself. He tread the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God alone. As we have already stated, to the sinner His voice is as the sound of the cataract or the surf pounding in waves of death upon the rocky shores. But to the saint, His voice is as the sound of the sweetly singing brook as you lie at rest, satisfied in Christ. Shining upon us with His warming rays of love He says, "Fear not, I am He Which Was, Which Is, Which Is To Come; I am the Almighty. Beside Me there is no other. I am the Alpha and Omega, the ALL of it." He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star. He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. Yes, that great day is ready to break and the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings.
Read the full account in... The Patmos Vision.