Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 10 December 2018

The Multitudinous Christ Revelation 1

The vision concerns one like unto the Son of Man, displayed as a man of many parts, obviously symbolises the multitudinous Christ, of whom the Lord himself is the Head of the Body and the Alpha and Omega

The son of man is a Corporate Being

Verse 13 - "In the midst … one like unto the Son of Man." Not actually the Lord Jesus Christ himself, but a symbolic vision representing the "one body" of Christ multitudinous, the "perfect man " (Eph. 4:13), "the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ." The voice was "as the sound of many waters," and waters in the vision represent multitudes (17:15).

Each member of that glorious, multitudinous Body will be "like him" (1 John 3:2). The title
Son of Man is very significant. It not only denotes origin, in that every member will be a descendant of Adam, but is also the title of the Lord as judge (John 5:27), and the vision reveals the multitudinous Christ in the work of judgement.

The prophecy of the Son of Man recorded in Daniel 7 (cp. v. 13) is one of judgement.

"Clothed." The first clothing was a covering for sin (Gen. 3:21). The clothing of the priesthood was symbolic of righteousness and a change from the mortal to the divine nature (compare Zech. 3:3-10). Christ's "servants" "put on Christ" in baptism, and if they walk as he walked, they will be "clothed upon” with their "house which is from heaven," that mortality may be swallowed up of life (2 Cor. 5:2,4). Compare Rev. 19:8.

Verse 14 - "His hairs were white like wool, white as snow." The hair represents a multitude who are one with the head. The Lamb of God has washed this multitude from their sins in his own blood. See Isa. 1:18; contrast Isa. 7:20; also see Ezek. 5:1-6; Jer. 7:29; Dan. 7:9. Christ is the head of the
multitudinous body (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23), every member of which should be motivated by His thinking (Phil. 2:5). Ultimately every member of the Body must appear as he is, and be united as one to the head (John 17:21).

"His eyes as a flame of fire." "Our God is a consuming fire." The eyes represent the saints in the execution of the judgements written. Compare the wheels of Ezekiel 1; the stone of Zech. 3:9, and the living creatures of Rev. 4. eyes of the multitudinous Christ as flashing with anger. The stubborn wickedness of the world will induce this reaction, so that the "people of the name" (Acts 15:14), are represented as going forth in anger to discipline it (Isa. 30:27). The saints will "execute the judgments written"

In the past, the angels have acted as the eyes of Yahweh, supervising the development and destiny of men and nations for the ultimate benefit of the elect (see Gen. 11:5; 18:21; 2 Chron. 16:9; Dan. 4:17). In the future age, the saints will occupy that position (Zech. 4:10; Heb. 2:5).

"His voice as the sound of many waters," showing that the symbolic ''one like unto the Son of Man'' represents a multitude. "The wicked are like the troubled sea." The purified nations are like "a sea of glass" (Rev. 15:2). "The waters … are peoples" (17:15). But these waters are saved peoples "redeemed from the earth" (14:2,3).

"Out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword." Another evidence that it is not the Lord Jesus personally that John sees. A real person would have had the sword in the hand like "the captain of Yahweh's army" before Jericho (Josh. 5:13). The word of the Lord will command the sword of judgement in the day of his coming. "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked" (Isa. 11:4). Compare Rev. 19:15.

"His countenance as the sun." Not merely his face - his "whole appearance"  (Rotherham), the "general external aspect of the whole figure" (Dr. Thomas).

Compare the Transfiguration, and the words of Jesus, "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:43). He is "the Sun of Righteousness," and they are to be "like him". His brightness was above that of the sun when he revealed himself to Saul of Tarsus. His aspect was "very terrible." Sun scorching is a figure of tribulation, whether for the saints or for their enemies (7:16; 16:8,9).

Verse 16 - "In his right hand seven stars," explained to represent the "angels" of the churches - that is, the men sent of God to guide and direct them.

The stars are the "angels," and the candlesticks are the churches. "Angel" here, as will appear later, is a noun of multitude, and does not signify one individual. 

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