In our last study, Part 1, we began filling in the portrait of our Lord on the canvas of Revelation chapter 1, when He returns in His glory. The word “revelation” is just another world for “unveiling.” Just as in an art gallery one might unveil a statue or portrait, the book of Revelation is the “unveiling” of the Lord Jesus Christ—what He will be like when He comes to rule and reign.
A Portrait of Our Coming King
All of us have wished at one time or another that we knew just what our Lord Jesus looks like. We have no sketches or portraits, and it’s just as well, for our tendency might be to focus on the portrait rather than the living Christ—His person and presence in our lives. But through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John pulls back the curtain to reveal certain facets of the appearance of our risen, returning and ruling Lord.
Remember that John had spent 3 to 3½ years, day and night, with the Lord Jesus Christ. They walked on foot for miles together. They ate together, slept together, talked together.
Have you ever been on a camping trip, “roughing it” with a friend? How well do you know your friend by the end of that trip? John had three years of side-by-side, eye-to-eye fellowship with Jesus. In addition, John was one of the “inner circle” of three disciples to whom Jesus was especially close. John was also known as “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23)
Within Revelation 1:12-18, John fills in 10 aspects of the portrait of the triumphant Christ who appeared in his vision. In our last study, we looked at #1 THE RESURRECTED CHRIST WITH UNDIMINISHED HUMANITY and #2 THE REIGNING CHRIST WITH UNRIVALED MAJESTY.
Let’s continue with the other aspects of our coming Savior:
#3 HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS CHRIST WITH UNBLEMISHED PURITY.
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;” Rev. 1:14
Throughout Revelation, whiteness represents purity and sinlessness. And Isaiah1:18 says,
“Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
Jesus is unsullied, sinless, absolutely pure and holy. And for this reason, He cannot overlook your sin. If you think you can get to heaven without Jesus, you do not know how holy God is and how sinful you are. Salvation does not come by learning lessons from the life of Christ, but by receiving life from the death of Christ.
#4 HE IS THE REVEALING CHRIST WITH UNHINDERED SCRUTINY.
14 “…His eyes as a flame of fire.”
Jesus can see through you to everything you hope is hidden. Hebrews 4:13 says,
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Your entire life is laid bare before the Lord Jesus Christ. One day you will stand before Him whose eyes are like a flame of fire. He cannot be deceived, disputed, or discredited. No one will be able to fool this Judge when they stand before Him.
#5 HE IS THE RELENTLESS CHRIST WITH UNTARNISHED INTEGRITY.
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace…
Brass is a symbol of judgment. In the tabernacle, all the vessels in the outer court were brass. On the brazen altar, sin was judged. Here our Lord with burning feet, relentless, is going forth to judge. His feet speak of progress. Nothing can stop Him. All Hell cannot stop Him.
So far, our portrait of The Coming King looks like this:
Paul describes this judgment to the Athenians when he stood in their marketplace and announced in Acts 17:30-31,
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
John then says (v. 17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.
This is not the gentle Jesus walking the shores of Galilee! John doesn’t lay his head on Jesus’ shoulder as he did before (John 13:23). No, he falls at His feet like a dead man.
#6 HE IS THE REGAL CHRIST WITH UNCHALLENGED AUTHORITY.
15… and His voice as the sound of many waters;
An unsaved person might think they’re going to stand before Jesus and talk back. But you may as well argue with ten thousand cascading Niagaras, as to speak against this One who comes with unchallenged authority. We won’t be arguing with this voice.
His voice will raise the dead:
“Marvel not at this for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice.” John 5:28
He is the regal Christ with unchallenged authority.
#7 HE IS THE RULING CHRIST WITH UNEQUALED MAJESTY.
16 He had in His right hand seven stars…
On my desk I have a little plaque that says, “Adrian, trust Me, I have everything under control. ~Jesus” I love that. He has EVERYTHING under control.
#8 HE’S THE REVENGING CHRIST WITH UNSPOILED VICTORY.
16 …out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword,
John speaks symbolically, for the “two-edged sword,” we learn in Hebrews 4:12, represents the Word of God.
His Word convicts our heart. His Word created all things. His Word will judge all men. What’s He going to do with that sword?
“…a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron.” Revelation 19:15, Amplified Bible
With His word He spoke the world into existence. There was light. The universe sprang into being. Galaxies came from His fingertips, and He dotted the mountains with flowers—all by the power of His Word. His Word is going to bring it full circle with victory.
#9 HE IS THE RESPLENDENT CHRIST WITH UNDIMMED GLORY.
16… and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Can you imagine looking into the face of the sun? The only way to look into the sun and not be blinded would be to have the same nature as the sun. When we see Him, we will be like Him (1 John 3:2), and we’ll be able to look upon Him.
Jesus is going to be all the light needed in heaven.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:23
We won’t need the sun, moon, or stars. Heaven’s two sources of light are the glory of God and the Lamb.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
Our hearts will be enlightened with the knowledge of the glory of God, and we will see it in the face of Jesus Christ.
#10 HE IS THE REASSURING CHRIST WITH UNDILUTED DEITY.
John gives us the final description of Christ.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Does this portrait make you fearful?
Jesus Himself says, “Do not be afraid” (v. 17).
If you are a Christian, this vision of Christ will cause you no fear. It will only inspire a for His coming all the more. The One who holds the keys to Hades and Death is—
To complete His portrait, go to each of these verses and view these aspects of Our King.
He stretches out His nail-pierced hands and says to you, “Come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
This is the portrait of the One we long for, whose return we await, Our Coming King.
Hallelujah! “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). Are you ready?
The Battle for the Soul of America contains timeless, foundational principles about human government, all rooted in biblical truth. Real truth never changes, and the truth about government is that it is God who ordains it, leaders who are responsible for it, and citizens who are accountable to it. In this book, pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers reminds us that the privilege of being called Americans comes with significant responsibilities—to God, to each other, and to the world.