We did note the interesting connection between Revelation chapter 1 and Mt Sinai; that on both occasions:
The trumpet sounded
In the midst of a kingdom of priests
Announcing a revelation
From the presence of God
There was one great prohibition in Exodus chapter 19 + 20 that of drawing close to God, that of seeing the God who spoke!
“And he said, I beseech thee, show me -- thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious -- to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy -- on whom I will show mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see -- my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away -- mine hand, and thou shalt see -- my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:18-23
But here we ‘see that voice’
Consistent with the priestly / high priestly / great high priestly appearance of Jesus!!
“no man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten who is in the bosom of the father He has declared Him…”
Here then is something hid from Sinai (v12); a glimpse of the glory of God!
It is finally here in Revelation chapter 1 that we are able to catch a glimpse of God, a glimpse of Glory, a glimpse of Christ!
Appearance – Priest
Activity – Prophet
Attributes – King
His identity is as that at Sinai: ‘behold your God’
“9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Daniel 7:9
Appearance – that of the Priest:
In the midst of the 7 lampstands
With the girdle (v13) – the use of the girdle associated with the office of priest (Exodus 28) and prophet (eg Elijah and John the Baptist).
Golden girdle, cf Isaiah 11:5 – ‘righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of His reins’
‘Gold’ is linked in the OT with righteousness, and holiness (Mal 3:2; Ex 28:36)
The garment ‘down to the foot’ (v13) – same word is used of the High Priest in Exodus 28:4 (LXX)
As we progress through His ministry to the 7 churches and in the remainder of the book, the priestly ministry of Christ emerges in its completeness:
He is the one who “liveth and was dead” (1:18; 2:8) – the qualification par excellence for our High Priest (Heb 2:14ff; Rev 2:8)
He is able to meet our needs (Rev 2:7)
Marked by an intercessory ministry (3:5,10)
We see the care and protection of His own in chps 7 and 14.
He Succours, Sympathises and Saves as He does in the Hebrew epistle
“eyes as a flame of fire” (v14)
The perception of Jesus – He knows, He knows all
Cf the man of Daniel 10:5ff
“out of His mouth a sharp two edged sword” (v16)
Discernment – To discern
“feet like fine brass” (v15)
Judgment – to judge
Known for its strength and resilience, used for the structure of the tabernacle – the sockets of brass for the boards of the altar
Used for armour and protection
The material of choice and often found in connection with sacrifice and offering:
Resistant to fire and flame
Used for the altar and the instruments attached to the altar
Used for laver for washing
It is the vehicle, the container of Divine judgment
Here is a 2nd great distinction with Sinai, a distinction between the old and New testaments.
Old – static – law
New – dynamic – Spirit
The scriptures speak of the deadness which flows from the law (Rom 7:6; 8:3); or the powerlessness of the law to make alive.
The OT – static – at Sinai the law is given
Here Christ is encountered and the reality of the Divine standard encountered dynamically in a living relationship and experience of Christ.
@ Sinai Moses encountered the law
@ Sinai the nation encountered the law
Here in Revelation we encounter the law giver
This is not a set of dry, dead rules for you to keep, this is a relationship for you to experience.
You become sensitive to the Divine standard, feel the pain, the distance, the sorrow in your heart because of that vital relationship with Christ cf. Romans 8:2-4
“2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4
The Divine standard is worked out in the Christian life by the Spirit of God!
Practically here is one of the ways by which this happens; the reality of relationship, of a daily encounter with Jesus Christ!
The reality of a relationship maintained / disturbed / disrupted.
The description here in Rev 1:14-15 is reminiscent of the man of Daniel 10:5-6.
An encounter with Christ will result in a 3 fold experience:
Perception (v14) – eyes as a flame of fire – knowledge and understanding
1 Kings 15:5; 16:25
2 Chron 16:9 “for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth”
2 Chron 29:6
He knows all
He is not passive in His knowledge
He is not agreeable with all I do and say
Everything is not ‘ok’
What He knows He discerns
Cf Heb 4:12
From His mouth comes the 2 edged sword:
“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.” Hebrews 4:12
Cf Rev 19:15
Cf Isaiah 49:2
The 2 edged sword ‘distomos’ is used in Rev 1:16; 2:12 and Heb 4:12 and in the LXX in Ps 149:6; Prov 5:4; Isa 49:2
“fine brass in a furnace”
His feet – His means of moving
As He walks and moves His feet are like burning brass; fine brass or copper (Rev 1:15; 2:18) same word as Dan 10:6; Ezek 1:4,7; 1:27
It is used to describe the man in the Sapphire throne (Ezek 1:27)
Brass in the OT:
Structural – noted for its strength and resilience; used in the sockets of the tabernacle (Ex 26; 27; 36; 38) and for the hooks and the tacks (Ex 26)
Strength – Lev 26:19; Judges 16:21; 2 Kings 25:7; Job 40:18; Isa 48:4
Sacrifice – those parts of the tabernacle pertaining to the sacrifice and to the work of expiation – the satisfaction of the flames of judgment on the sacrifice of the altar of burnt offering; the items pertaining to it – fire resistant – the pans and shovels and grate (Ex 27; 28; 39)
Satisfaction – to check on the purity of the priest, the laver was made of brass (Ex 30)