Revelation 1:12-20 / The Judge of the Church (Sermon notes & Audio)

Posted on January 16, 2015


This is the fifth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of January11, 2015. This message shows Jesus as being the judge of the church. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

Sermon Audio:
Revelation 1:12-20

Sermon Notes:
We previously saw that the lampstand with the seven branches represented the Holy Spirit.

Here we see seven individual lampstands, which represent the seven churches.

With the seven lampstands representing the seven churches, Christ is found right in the middle.

In the context of the letters we will soon see, we are to understand that Christ stands in the midst of His church – as her judge.

White– sinless purity. Also wise and eternal as the Ancient of Days.

Daniel 7:9

Eyes like fire – His penetrating insight. They reveal all, nothing is hidden.

In this case, the reference is to His witness of the life of the church – both good and bad – Christ stands as judge.

Refined brass feet – The image of judgment continues.

It was in the brazen altar that sin was judged by the refining fire.

The slain sacrifice, with the atoning blood already spilled, was placed onto the brazen altar, where the carcass was consumed by fire.

The sound of many waters – This is the voice of authority!

It is the voice that called the universe into existence, and the voice that will call His own from the grave.

The seven stars will be explained later.

The two-edged sword represents God’s word.

Hebrews 4:12

It is this mighty and powerfully piercing word, that will be the basis on which Christ judges the church.

Like the sun – Just as one cannot look upon the sun, Christ, in His Glory, is more than we can bear to gaze upon.

The effect that this vision had on John was nothing less than paralyzing.

However, the Lord brings John back to consciousness, because He has some things to say.

Notwithstanding a healthy fear of God which is necessary, and keeps one from sin, here John is given some reasons why a believer should not fear.

Christ is the First and the Last:

He is the eternal Almighty. He is the creator, and therefore in control.

He was dead but lives forevermore:

Christ has conquered death, and passes eternal life to all believers.

He has the keys. . .:

Christ is the judge. It is He who decides our fate. As such, He has provided eternal life for those who call upon Him.

Through His blood, He has taken away the sting of death.

Only by rejecting Him, will He unlock hell to admit another soul.

John is now instructed to record this vision.

This book is, no doubt, the very reason that John, of all the apostles, was spared martyrdom.

Though the most common usage of the word for angel refers to a heavenly messenger, that usage is not universal.

The word simply means messenger, and has been used in other ways.

2 Corinthians 12:7

James 2:25

It seems clear by the way that the following letters are addressed, that the angel/messenger in question is one who has authority, accountability and responsibility for the state of the church.

There is simply no biblical evidence that heavenly angels posses any such role in the church.

Therefore, the usage of angel in this case, must refer to the person who holds the ultimate accountability for the church (Pastor).

With this, Christ will begin to issue His letter to the churches.

He will stand as judge, and His word will e the standard.

We have no excuse not to follow His word.

We have been given the standard, told ahead of time as to how we will be judged.

We have received ample warning.

We know what He expects and requires, the rules have been carefully laid out.

We are without excuse. any rebuke or condemnation will be of our own making.

How will you respond?

Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons