Revelation 1:17

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Rev 1:17 I Fell At His Feet As Dead
Rev 1:17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Introduction

Last week we saw that this whole revelation of Jesus Christ is really the living out of the admonition contained in the third verse of this chapter one:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

We saw all the scriptures which demonstrate that the “one on the throne” in chapter four, is Christ, “by whom and for whom all things were created.” But we also saw the expansion of Christ into “the Christ” when “the lamb came and took the book out of Christ’s hand to opened its seven seals and to “show these things” in this book, to those who would be “keeping the things written therein.” In other words, Christ, which means God’s anointed, gave this book to His Christ, His anointed,   who “fill up in their bodies what is behind of the afflictions of the Christ.” ‘The Christ,’ being the seven angels of the seven churches, who are in the right hand of Christ, and to whom this whole book is addressed and which seven angels “show us these things.” Here again are the verses which make this clear:

1Co 12:12 For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, thus also is the Christ. (CLV).
Rev 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

So it is John and his “fellowservants”  who keep the things written therein who will be “showing these things” to the seven churches. Here are the verses which tell us that this is so:

Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door [ was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee t he judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him [ The angels which showed John the judgment of the great whore of chapeters 17-18]. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Rev 21:9  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Rev 22:10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

The seven angels show all of  this revelation of Jesus Christ to John, and then they tell John that they are are his fellowservant, of John’s brothers, and of them which keep the sayings of this book.”

  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

Now we will learn that the only way to become John’s fellowservant and keep the sayings of this book, and find our lives, is if we first forfeit our lives and are crucified with Christ, and become dead at His feet. “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” Which is just a confirmation of all of these verses of scripture:

Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Joh 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [ in the likeness] of [ his] resurrection:
Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [ him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Col 1:22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

So we, as we keep the thing that are written therein, must “fall at His feet as dead.” We are “at His feet” because we place ourselves and our flesh, “under His feet” in the same sense as we are the earth under his feet as His footstool.

1Ch 28:2  Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:

It is an interesting thing to note that King David refers to God’s house of rest as also being His footstool. It is one and all Christ. But what we are seeing is that the secret which has been hidden from the generations and from the aions is “Christ in us.”

Psa 99:5  Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

This is a privilege reserved for the overcomers, and for those who keep the things written therein.”

Rev 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

So we are both His temple, “the house of [ His] rest”  and “His footstool,” at which our enemies will bow themselves to Christ.

That is what it means to “fall at His feet as dead.”

And he laid his right hand upon me,

What does it mean to have Christ’s right hand laid upon us? We have just covered what is the symbolism of Christ’s right hand, and we saw that it was the symbol of His power, His righteousness, and His salvation.
We saw that being held in Christ’s right hand is to be in His Father’s hand and to be in His power, favor, and protection, just as Christ and those in Christ are protected of His Father. 

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

That is what is meant when we are told that the seven stars are in Christ’s right hand. But what is meant when we are told that right hand is laid upon us?
We saw last week what was the significance of Jacob laying his right hand upon Ephraim, when Joseph had arranged for His father’s right hand to be laid on Manasseh. What we learned from that event was that the physical ‘firstborn’ will be ruled over by the spiritual firstborn. That is the significance of the younger son being greater than the elder son. What we learned is that those on whom Christ lays His right hand will be the first to become “that which is spiritual,” ahead of those who would appear to be the firstborn of God:

1Co 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

That is what we are being told here. We are being told what Jacob told Joseph:

Gen 48:17  And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
Gen 48:18  And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this [ is] the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
Gen 48:19  And his father refused, and said, I know [ it], my son, I know [ it]: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

We are all like Joseph here and like Abraham when God revealed to Abraham that Abraham’s first born was not to be his heir. “Oh that Ishmael might live before thee,” and “Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head” is the refrain of us all as we struggle to let go of the things of our flesh:

Gen 17:18  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

We cry out for the preservation of our flesh:

Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

But while the flesh serves a great and vital service to the man of the spirit, nevertheless God has no covenant with the flesh. His covenant is with the risen new man; the man of promise; the man of the spirit who is symbolized by Isaac.

Gen 17:20  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Gen 17:21  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Both Ishmael and Esau developed into kingdoms with cities and kings, many hundreds of years before Jacob came up out of Egypt to establish the kingdom of Israel. This tells us that our flesh always prospers and matures into a great nation, long before our spiritual man even begins to mature, which places our spirit at the mercy of our flesh for so very long. Jacob bowed down to Esau “seven times, and called him “My lord” seven times, as he was returning to Canaan from Haran.

Gen 33:3  And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

… and called him “My lord” seven times as he was returning to Canaan from Haran.

Gen 32:4, 5, 18, and Gen 33:8, 13, 14, and 15.

Gen 32:4  And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
Gen 32:18  Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.

So it is within us. We cannot be the temple of both God’s truth, and at the same time the temple of the lies of Babylon. Though the battle may seem to last a life time, only one one man will, in the end, be our master:

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

We thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” that by Him laying His right hand upon us, we are able to overcome Esau within us, and “No man will snatch us out of His hand.”

Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

It is knowing Christ that makes us “the son of the free woman.” It is Christ and knowing Him, that makes us free:

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

We “cast out the bondwoman and her son” when we reject the heresies of the bondwoman and her son. That is when we are “made free” by the power of the Truth of the word of God. That is what is meant by “He laid his right hand upon me.” That is why Christ then tells us:

Saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Nothing relieves us of fear and anxiety like the deep realization that Christ is both the first and the last. Those are His words, not mine. It is Christ who tells us that he is both the first and the last. It is He who is, who was, and who will be. He repeats this 12 times in this book of Revelation. That is just how important it is to understand this Truth.

Now if Christ is “the first and the last” as He claims,” what does that say about this verse of scripture:

1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

The first is but a necessary shadow of the last. But is Christ telling us that He is both? What does “I am the first and the last” mean? What “I am the first and the last means is this:

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God created the heaven and the earth “in the beginning.” It so happens that the Hebrew Word for ‘beginning’ is ‘reshiyth.’ Here is how this word ‘reshiyth’ is translated later in the book of Leviticus”

Lev 23:10  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

The “sheaf of the firstfruits” is Christ, and the word here for firstfruits is ‘reshiyth.’ That is right, the word ‘beginning’ is also translated as firstfruits. Both are Christ. God created all things “in the beginning,” that is, God created all things “in Christ.” So when Paul tells the Pagan Athenians…:

Act 17:28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

… he is referring to Christ. It is “in the beginning… in the sheaf of the firstfruits… in Christ, that the whole creation lives and moves and has its being. Paul goes to great lengths to make that very point:

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [ they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [ things] he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19  For it pleased [ the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;

Christ was before Abraham was because He was before Adam.

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

“It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” It should also please and comfort each of us to know that even the wicked are made for the day of evil, and that “all things [ including the day of evil] work together for good to them that are called of God…”

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [ his] purpose.
Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [ to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Rom 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

So it is that when we come to see ourselves as dead at His feet, He will always lay his powerful right hand, the hand with the seven angels and the book with seven seals in it, and He will tell us ‘Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death… fear not, I am the first and the last… fear no evil, for I am with you.’

Rev 1:17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Conclusion

We have seen in this study that we must all “fall at Christ’s feet as dead.” We must all place ourselves under our Savior, and consider this physical life as being lost, so we can find life in the spirit of Christ. We are to be “crucifed with Christ,” and “fall into the ground and die,” before we can hope to bring forth fruit. We must come to see ourselves as “dead to sin, but alive to righteousness,” before any one will every be caused to “come and worship at our feet.”
We have seen the spiritual significance of Christ laying his right hand upon us and making us to become, the “younger brother… that which is spiritual” which always comes after, and in the end rules over “that which is natural.” We saw too that having Christ’s right hand laid upon us delivers us from the power of the Adversary, to deceive and delude.
Consequently, since we are at Christ’s feet as dead, and since He has laid his right hand upon us, we can now see clearly that we have nothing to fear because He is the first and the last, and that even our sins and transgressions will all work to fulfill in us His predestined goal for our good.

Psa 74:16  The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Psa 80:17  Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
Psa 139:7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9  [ If] I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psa 139:11  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Psa 139:12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

God has everything written in His book, and He tells us, “Fear not,  I am the first and the last.”
Next week, Lord willing, we will cover verse 18, and maybe, because we have already covered so much, here at the beginning of the book of Revelation, we might  even cover more. Here is the rest of this first chapter:

Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Little Words 

Who in his mind has not probed the black water? – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

If you are like me, amazed by the intricacy with which God has woven the warp and woof of His creation, then read on. It is as if God beckons us to explore further, into the deep pools of the water of His word to give us opportunity to glorify Him in ever increasing ways.

I would like to examine for you four little words. They are all prepositions in the Greek language, none longer than three letters. To begin, let us look at Rom 11:36, a seemingly short and simple verse that encompasses the whole of the creation of God. In the KJV it is as follows:

“For of him and through him and to him are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

A couple of introductory comments and then we can address the prepositions, which I have underlined for identification. First, the verb forms of ‘to be’ that are in italics are not actually words written in the Greek text but implied and thus placed in the translation. Second, the phrase ‘all things’ is, in my opinion, an unfortunate translation into English because some people tend to differentiate what are things and what are not. There should be nothing left out of this idea so it would be best stated simply “all”.

Now, to the prepositions; as you can see I have identified them as the English words ‘of’, ‘through’, and ‘to’. I’ll make a little chart for you as sometimes it is easier to see relationships when they are illustrated.

English                                   Greek                                       Usage

OF

EK

SOURCE

THROUGH

DIA

AGENCY

TO

EIS

GOAL

Now remember, Paul is talking about “all” here in this verse. So, the source of all, the Greek word ‘ek’ (pronounced with a short ‘e’ as in ‘wet’) is translated here as ‘of’. But sometimes ‘ek’ is translated ‘out of’ or ‘from’ which makes it clearer that God, who is the subject of this passage (referenced in verse 32), is the source of all. ‘Dia'( pronounced ‘dee- ah’) is translated through and is clearly a statement of transition or agency, God being the one who effects all. ‘Eis’ (pronounced like ‘ice’) is translated ‘to’ but also as ‘into’ making God the ultimate goal of all which Paul says in 1Co 15:28  “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

What I have just illustrated and described to you is process. There are other verses in scripture which describe this process and can, God willing, help us get a better look at this process.

The next verse I want us to look at is Heb 2:10 “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, perfecting (aorist verb) the captain of their salvation through (‘dia’) sufferings.” The ‘him’ of this verse is the same as in our starting verse in Romans, God the Father and it echoes what we just saw. As we delve a little deeper into the sentence, this verse becomes quite interesting.

There are two ‘all things’ phrases and in the Greek they are practically identical, one following the other. The prepositions are the same, the word ‘dia’ which we saw before translated as ‘through’ and expressing the idea of agency, like ‘water through a pipe’. There is only one letter in each four Greek word phrase that is different in the two and it is in the pronouns, both translated ‘whom’ in most Bible versions. To get really technical, one pronoun is genitive and the other accusative. But the translators have chosen to translate the word ‘dia’ in quite a few different ways: ‘by’, ‘for’, ‘on account of’, ‘because of’, and ‘through’. All of these express agency in some fashion. Because of the pronouns, I think Wuest’s translation is closest where “For whom” is literally “on account of whom,” that is, for whose sake all things exist. God is the final reason for all things. “By whom” is literally “through whose agency” all things came into being.

However one chooses to translate it, this sentence has two personalities in view; God the father and God the son. I find it instructive in that it helps me to see the dual agency (two ‘dias’) that are involved in the creation of all.

Our next verse helps to make that point a little clearer: 1Co 8:6  “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” The phrases here are of (‘ek’, out of) the Father and by (‘dia’, through) the Lord Jesus Christ. The well know introduction to the Gospel of John in which the Word of God is introduced confirms Christ’s agency. Joh 1:3 “All things were made by (“dia”, through) him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

So far we have examined three prepositions in the process of the source, agency and goal of everything (all).  Now I want to introduce a final passage into this process which will bring in our fourth preposition; ‘en’ (pronounced with a short e sound) which can be translated as ‘in’, ‘by’, or ‘among’. It is the same word that starts off the Gospel of John: In (‘en’) the beginning was the word”.

We are going to look at a passage from Colossians which I hope will serve to bring all of this together. There are many prepositions in these six verses and I am going to embolden and underline those at which I want us to look. There are seven of them. 

Col 1:15-20 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by (‘en’) him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by (‘dia) him, and for (‘eis’) him: and he is before all things, and by (‘en’) him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in (‘en’) him should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by (‘dia’) him to reconcile all things unto himself; by (‘dia’) him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Our subject in this entire passage is the Lord Jesus Christ. In these verses, we have described for us the participation that Christ had with the Father in the creation of all.

By way of reminder, we started out in Romans with God being the first cause, the source of all as well as the agency and goal of all things. Here in our verses in Colossians you can see the Lord Jesus Christ as the agent in the word ‘dia’, which we addressed earlier, emphasized three times and especially strongly at the end of the passage. You will also notice that our word for the goal of the creation of all, the Greek word ‘eis’, is translated “for him” in this passage. These two statements echo what we have seen in the other passages, namely that Christ, along with the Father, is the agency of the creation of all as well as the goal. In what we have seen however, The Father God himself reserves the place as source as the title ‘Father’ describes.

Now to the little Greek word ‘en’. In the passage cited above, it is translated into two different English words; ‘by’ and ‘in’. The word itself has the primary idea of a fixed position in time, space or even state of being and as such is most frequently translated in the New Testament by the English words ‘among’ or ‘at’. Those two English words adequately convey the idea of being in a fixed state as in being stationary. The first two of the three occurrences of this word ‘en’ are a reference to Christ the creator and the things he created. So if we apply the idea of a fixed place in time, space or state to Christ, we see the echo of him who “is, was and will be”, the immutable and unchangeable God. Apply it to all he created and they are and remain in Him, the source of all that has been created.

The third occurrence of our word ‘en’ is translated “it is pleasing that in him should all the fullness dwell”. ‘In Him” is a fixed state of being, or to put it more Biblically, a place of rest. Christ ‘is, was and will be’ at rest in His Father and His Father, the Godhead is at rest in Him; the time will come when the all will be at rest in them.

SBM

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