Revelation 1:19
Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this.
The Vision of the LordS. Conway Revelation 1:9-20
The Vision of the Son of ManR. Green Revelation 1:9-20
Christ the TruthCanon Knox Little.Revelation 1:13-20
Christ's Countenance Compared to the SunJames Durham.Revelation 1:13-20
Lessons from the Christ of PatmosC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 1:13-20
St. John's VisionW. Cardall, B. A.Revelation 1:13-20
The Administration of ChristJames Stark.Revelation 1:13-20
The Christ of PatmosC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 1:13-20
The Exalted SaviourJames Young.Revelation 1:13-20
The First Scene in the Great RevelationEvan Lewis, B. A.Revelation 1:13-20
The Introductory VisionG. Rogers.Revelation 1:13-20
The Offices of Christ Continued in HeavenJames Durham.Revelation 1:13-20
The Power of an Objective FaithCanon T. T. Carter.Revelation 1:13-20
The Son of Man Amid the CandlesticksJames Young.Revelation 1:13-20
The Voice of ChristW. D. Killen, D. D.Revelation 1:13-20
The White Hair of JesusT. De Witt Talmage.Revelation 1:13-20
The World's Great High PriestJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 1:13-20
A Funeral SermonD. Merrill.Revelation 1:17-20
A Living Christ Explains Christian HistoryCanon Liddon.Revelation 1:17-20
An Apocalyptic Vision of ChristA. M. Fairbairn, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
An Easter SermonBp. Phillips Brooks.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ a Living SaviourR. W. Dale, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ Destroys the Believer's FearsG. Philip.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ the King of Death and HadesT. J. Choate.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ Wielding the Keys of Death, and of the World UnseenDean Goulburn.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ with the Keys of Death and HellC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ's Life in HeavenHomilistRevelation 1:17-20
Christ's Sovereignty Over the Invisible WorldW. J. Chapman, M. A.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ's Words of Good CheerG. A. Chadwick, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
Fear NotW. L. Watkinson.Revelation 1:17-20
Fear NotJ. Trapp.Revelation 1:17-20
Hades, or the UnseenG. Gilfillan, M. A.Revelation 1:17-20
Infallible Antidotes Against Unbelieving FearsT. Boston, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
Jesus Christ and the Nineteenth CenturyW. Lloyd, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
Jesus Living for EverE. Brown.Revelation 1:17-20
ReverenceCanon Liddon.Revelation 1:17-20
Sudden RevelationsJ. Parker, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
The Christ of History and EternityC. A. Berry.Revelation 1:17-20
The Fear of GodG. MacDonald.Revelation 1:17-20
The Glorious Master and the Swooning DiscipleC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 1:17-20
The Kingdom and the KeysA. Raleigh, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
The Life of Christ in HeavenAbp. Magee.Revelation 1:17-20
The Living ChristP. T. Forsyth, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
The Living LordW. Clarkson, B. A.Revelation 1:17-20
The Living OneR. Roberts.Revelation 1:17-20
The Living One Who Became DeadA. Maclaren, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
The Nature and Design of the VisionG. Rogers.Revelation 1:17-20
The Prostrate ApostleJames Young.Revelation 1:17-20
The Royal Prerogatives of the Living RedeemerJ. H. Hill.Revelation 1:17-20
The Soul's Vision of ChristJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 1:17-20
Through Death to LifeW. Brock, D. D.Revelation 1:17-20
Christ Enjoining the Record of His Revelation to Man and Explaining its MeaningD. Thomas Revelation 1:19, 20
Christ Enjoining the Record of His Revelation to Man and Explaining its MeaningD. Thomas, D. D.Revelation 1:19-20
Concerning WritingJames Durham.Revelation 1:19-20
Sacred LiteratureJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 1:19-20
The Seven Golden CandlesticksJ. H. Norton.Revelation 1:19-20
The Seven Golden LampstandsA. Maclaren, D. D.Revelation 1:19-20
The Stars and CandlesticksJ. A. Seiss, D. D.Revelation 1:19-20
Things Common to All ChurchesJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 1:19-20
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter, etc. These words suggest two general remarks concerning Christ.

I. THAT HE REQUIRES MEN TO RECORD THE REVELATIONS HE MAKES TO THEM. He is the great Revealer of God to humanity, and his revelations are ever recurring and constant. And here we are taught that they are not only to be taught and studied, but to be recorded. The revelations here referred to are of three classes.

1. Those which had been experienced. "The things which thou hast seen." What things John had already seen! How manifold, wonderful, significant! What man of any reflection or conscience has not seen things from God?

2. Those things which were now present. "The things which are." Things that were at hand, that came within his observation and consciousness. There are eternal principles that underlie and shape all human history. These principles are as present as the air we breathe, although the majority of the race are unconscious of them. There are some which reveal themselves in vivid consciousness - these shall be recorded, their images shall be photographed on the heart.

3. Those which were approaching. "The things which shall be hereafter." With that inspiration of him who sees the end from the beginning, the human soul may catch a glimpse of all future times. The divinely inspired genius becomes to some extent independent of all space and time, overleaps all boundaries, geographic and chronologic. It seems to have been so with John on this occasion. In his visions the future ages of the world appeared down to the final trump of doom. John seems to have

"Dipt into the future, far as human eye could see;
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonders that would be." Now, these three classes of things John had to write down - those that had unfolded themselves, those that were unfolding themselves, and those that would be to the end of time. Whatever maul has seen or will see of the Divine, he is bound to record. "Write." Literature, though sadly corrupted and the source of enormous mischief, is a Divine institution. Rightly employed, it is one of the grandest forces in human life. Truth orally communicated is inexpressibly important and immeasurably influential. He who speaks truth rationally, faithfully, earnestly, devoutly, touches the deepest springs in the great world of mind. What bloodless and brilliant victories the truth has won in all ages! Albeit truth written has some advantages over truth spoken, for man seems to multiply himself by the book he has written. His book is a kind of second incarnation, in which he may live and work ages after the fingers that held his pen are mouldered into dust. Thank God for books, our best companions, always ready with their counsel and their comfort. They are arks that have borne down to us, over the floods of centuries, the vital germs of departed ages. Let men write them, but let their subjects be not the trashy things of time and sensual pleasure, the visions of a wild fancy or the speculations of a reckless intellect, but the revelations that Christ has made.

II. THAT HE EXPLAINS TO MEN THE MEANING OF THE REVELATION HE MAKES TO THEM. "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks." There are two kinds of mystery, the knowable and unknowable.

(1) The unknown of the knowable. It is conceivable that the whole created universe is knowable, even to the intellect of finite man. Yet what the most enlightened man knows is but a fraction of what to him is still unknown - a mystery. Hence every step in the advance of an earnest inquirer is turning the mystery of today into an intelligible fact of tomorrow. What is mystery to one man is not so to another; and what is mystery to a man today is no mystery tomorrow. The other kind of mystery is

(2) the unknown of the Unknowable. He whom we call God is the great Mystery, the absolutely Unknowable - whom no man "hath seen or can see." Now, in the former sense the meaning of the word "mystery" is here employed, In Christ's explanation here we have two things worth note.

1. The ideal Christian pastor. "The seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches." Who the angels were is a matter of speculation. Every settled Christian community, whether religious or not, has some leading person or persons amongst them. In these Christian congregations in Asia Minor there seems to have been some leading man. He was, no doubt, like Timothy in Ephesus - the pastor. Every true Christian minister or angel is a "star." His light is borrowed, but borrowed from the primal source - the "Sun of Righteousness." His orbit is Divine. Faithful teachers are stars that shall shine forever (Daniel 12:3); false teachers are wandering stars (Jude 1:13), or stars which fall from heaven (Revelation 8:10; Revelation 6:13; Revelation 12:4).

2. The ideal Christian Church. "The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven Churches." Observe:

(1) Christian congregations are lights. "Candlesticks."

(2) They are precious lights. They are "golden." They throw the best kind of information upon an ignorant world.

(3) They are imperfect lights. A lamp is a composite and requires constant care. No finite power can make the sun brighter or larger. Not so with the lamp. The lamp may grow dim and go out - the "golden candlestick" may be there, but no light issues therefrom. "It was thought by the ancients that if ever the fires which burned on the altar of Vesta became extinct, they could not be rekindled unless by being brought in contact with the sun." - D.T.

Write the things which thou hast seen. &&&
These words suggest two general remarks concerning Christ.


1. Those which had been experienced.

2. Those things which were now present.

3. Those which were approaching. Now these three classes of things John had to write down. Whatever man has seen, or will see of the Divine, he is bound to record — "Write." Literature, though sadly corrupted and the source of enormous mischief, is a Divine institution. Rightly employed it is one of the grandest forces in human life. Thank God for books, our best companions, always ready with their counsel and their comfort. They are arks that have borne down to us, over the floods of centuries, the vital germs of departed ages.


1. The unknown of the knowable. What is mystery to one man is not so to another; and what is mystery to a man to-day is no mystery to-morrow.

2. The unknown of the unknowable. He whom we call God is the great mystery, the absolutely unknowable — whom no man hath seen or can see. Now in the former sense the meaning of the word "mystery" is here employed.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)


1. Which men have seen with the eye of the body.

2. Things which the authors have seen with the eye of the mind.

3. Things which the authors have seen with the eye of the soul.

II. THAT IT CONTAINS THE RECORD OF THINGS WHICH ARE HAPPENING AROUND US. "And the things which are." The Bible records the history of the past ages, of a great antiquity, and in this coincides with our expectation; but it also touches the moral, political, and historic life of men to-day. God knew the ages before they commenced their march, and has enabled men to anticipate their meaning by the gift of a holy inspiration.


(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. That men may by writingcommunicate what light God gives them for the good of the Church. It is true the Gospel was at first spread and planted by preaching, that is more properly the means of conversion. There is reason also for this, if we consider(1) The relation that is amongst all the members of the Catholic Church, whereby all are tied, to be edifying one to another, etc.(2) The end wherefore God had given men gifts, which is to profit withal: and yet(3) That a man cannot by word make his gift forthcoming in the extent that he is obliged; there is therefore a necessity of using writing for that end, it being a singular gift of God for promoting edification.

2. That none should take on them to write anything, as the Lord's mind, for the edification of the Church, without a call to it: I mean not an extraordinary call, as John had; but this I mean, that as there is an ordinary call needful to the preaching of the Gospel, so, in the general, that same consequence will hold in respect of writing for such an end. And if we look through the Scripture, we will find a call for writing as well as for preaching. And to warrant writing, we would conceive so much to be necessary as may(1) Satisfy the man himself as to his being called to such an eminent duty by God, and therefore there must be somewhat to hold out to him that it is God's mind he should undertake such a task.(2) That men walk not by their own satisfaction alone; but that there may be so much as to convince others, that God put them on that work.

3. That a man therefore may have peace as to his undertaking, we conceive there is a concurrence of several things needful to be observed: As(1) There is a necessity of a single end, to wit, God's glory, others' edification; and in part may come in, his own exoneration as to such a duty. It is not self-seeking, nor getting of a name, nor strengthening such a particular party or opinion, that will give one peace in this matter.(2) It is necessary, not only that the thing be truth; but that it may be edifying, profitable, and pertinent, at such a time: God's call to anything, doth ever time it, and tryst it well, as most subservient to the scope of edification.(3) Besides these, there are circumstances in the concurrence of providences trysting together, in reference to the person writing, to the subject written of, the time wherein and occasion whereupon, and such like: which being observed, may contribute to give some light in the thing. As(a) If the person be called publicly to edify the Church; if he be of that weight, as his testimony may prove profitable in the Church for the strengthening and confirming of others, or the like considerations; though no new thing be brought forth by him: which ground, as a moral reason, Luke gives to Theophilus of his writing the Gospel (Luke 1:1).(b) Considerations may be drawn from the subject. As

(i.)If it be a necessary point that is controversed.

(ii.)If the Scripture opened be dark and obscure; and possibly not many satisfyingly writing of it.

(iii.)If the way of handling it be such as gives any new advantage to truth, or to the opening of that Scripture.(c) The time would be considered, if such a truth be presently controverted, or such a subject necessary to be spoken unto now; if such a person's interposing may be useful, if such a duty be neglected, or if such a Scripture be not made use of, and the like.(d) Occasion also may be, from God's putting one to have thoughts of such a subject when others are otherwise taken up, some not having access to be edifying otherwise; as when occasion of study is given, and the thing by public delivery or secret communication is known to others, and called for by them to be made public: or that they would set themselves to it, God giving occasion of health, quietness, means, etc., for it: the thing getting approbation from such as are single, and intelligent, judging such a thing useful; in this the spirits of God's servants would be subject to others.

(James Durham.)

It is the realm in which they are stationed, and its characteristics as indicated in the provision made for it. Where you see stars there is darkness. And how dark is that world, that kingdom, that community, that heart, into which the light of Christianity has not effectually penetrated? With all the splendour of its genius, all the glory of its arms, all the brilliancy of its power, how savage, how like a sepulchre, full of chilly gloom and festering death! When the Gospel first arose upon the world, in what state did it find mankind? Let the apostle answer (Romans 1:22-32). And when God's messengers came to them with the light of truth and righteousness, how were they treated? Let the same apostle answer (Hebrews 11:35-38). Even the Lord of the covenant was crucified and killed, and all His apostles martyred, and the Church's first age made one continuous baptism of blood by the enthroned malignity of the unsanctified heart. Such is humanity, unreached and unredeemed by the grace of God in Christ Jesus (Luke 10:3). Those stars and candlesticks have not been useless. Some hearts, communities, and kingdoms have been attracted by the light, and have learned to appreciate its transforming beauty, and are found to a greater or less degree walking and rejoicing in it. But still the world in the main is a dark and wicked world. The light sent of God is "a light that shineth in a dark place," and will so continue "until the day dawn" for the great consummation. Till then, therefore, we must expect to suffer and to fight.

(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)

I. A CHURCH'S BUSINESS IS TO HOLD UP THE LIGHT. A church which fails in aggressive evangelistic activity has failed utterly. What is the good of a lamp-post if there is no light in it? It is only a nuisance, for people to knock their heads against in the dark. A large number of the so-called Christian organisations of this day are lampstands without a light. But then, let us remember, too, that whilst thus one must strongly assert that the function of the Church is to lift up a light which is not its own, on the other hand, whosoever partakes of that light — which he cannot lift unless he loves — is changed into its nature. "Ye are the light of the world." They are made light by contact with the Light; as a mirror laid in the sunshine will reflect the beams that fall upon it, and will cast them into some corners which, without its intervention, they would not have reached, and will be capable of being gazed on with undazzled eye by some whose optics were too weak to look upon the light itself. Now the scope of this light-bearing and witnessing for Jesus Christ which is the purpose of the Church, and of each individual in it, is not to be unduly narrowed. The Christian community is bound to bring the principles of Christ's Gospel to bear upon all forms of life, individual, social, moral, and political, and sometimes economical. That is the function of the individual members of the Church because they are Christians. There is one more word I would like to say, and that is, if it is the purpose of a Christian Church to hold forth the light, how utterly irrelevant and puerile becomes the question whether we are to send the Gospel to distant lands, and how ridiculous the attempt to pit home against foreign evangelistic enterprise necessarily becomes. "Light is light, which radiates," and you may as well expect a sunbeam to elect upon which side it shall shine, and how far it shall travel, as try to prescribe to the expansive and outward-rushing instincts of Christian beneficence, the sphere within which they are to confine themselves. Where I can shine I am bound to shine, and England has not got the language that is going to fill the world in a century or two, and the religion which will bless humanity, only in order that with her worldwide empire she may have markets for her produce, or gather as in a net the riches of the nations.

II. THIS OFFICE IS THE CONJOINT BUSINESS OF THE WHOLE CHURCH. You have sometimes seen methods of illumination by which a rough triangle of wood is dotted all over with tin sockets, and tapers stuck in them. That is not the way in which a Church is to do its evangelising work. The symbol of our text gives a better metaphor — one lampstand holding one light. Now that contains two thoughts.

1. One is the universal obligation. It is the whole Church which composes the stand for the lamp. It is the whole of any Church which is bound equally to evangelistic effort. We are all disposed to think that the Church should do a deal. What about A., B., C., the members of it? It is their business. And it only becomes the duty of the community because it is the duty of each individual within it.

2. A second thought is combined action. We must be contented often to be insignificant, to do functional work, to be one of the great crowd whose hand on the rope gives an indivisible but to Him up yonder not imperceptible pull to bring the vessel to shore. There are a myriad little spheres in the raindrops which make the rainbow, and each of them has a little rainbow in its own tiny depths, but they all fuse together into the sevenfold arch of perfect beauty that spans the sky.

III. THIS OFFICE IS DISCHARGED UNDER THE INSPECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. According to the vision of which the text is the interpretation Christ is, and according to the words of one of the letters He walks, in the midst of the seven candlesticks. The presence of the Christ is the condition of the churches discharging their functions. "He walks," says the letter already referred to, "in their midst," which is the emblem of His continual activity. In so far as we are lights, we are lights kindled, and therefore burning away. There must be a continual replenishing of the inward supply from which the power of illumination comes, as is set forth in another instance in the Old Testament in which this symbol appears — viz., in Zechariah's prophecy, where he sees the arrangements by which the oil is fed to the golden candlestick. The oil must be fed to us, in so far as we are not lampstands, but lamps. That is to say, the great High Priest of the Temple moves as His predecessors did in the ancient sanctuary, and trims the lamps, not quenching the smoking flax, but raising it to a clearer flame. That presence stimulates. It is a solemn thought that He walks in the midst. It is made more solemn when we remember how, in these letters that follow my text, there is in each case repeated, "I know thy works." That inspection of our acts is not all that He is here for, thank God! but He is here for that. Oh, if we believed it, what different people we should be, and what a different Church this would be!

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Your attention will be called to the striking symbol of the Church, as exhibited by the golden candlestick, which, like that which stood in the tabernacle, had its seven branches. We notice the fitness of this symbol of the golden candlestick.

I. IN ITS POSITION. The Church of Christ still waits without the veil, and sheds her blessed light to show to the world the Saviour.

II. THE OFFICE OF THE CHURCH. It does not sanctify, nor save, but it does hold forth the true light, and shed its brightness on a darkened world.





(J. H. Norton.)


1. That all Christian Churches should be presided over by a recognised pastor.

2. That the pastor is the head and representative of the Church to which he belongs.

3. That the pastor exercises a great moral influence upon the Church with which he is connected.


1. Christ knows the Church. This thought should solemnise our Church life, and make it reverent in its disposition of soul.

2. Christ rules the Church. His rulership is for the moral welfare and defence of the Church, and should be obediently acknowledged.

3. Christ passes judgment on the Church. He passes judgment on the works, the patience, the suffering, the discipline, the creed, and the enthusiasm of the Church, and condemns or approves accordingly.



1. That the ministerial office has the sanction of Heaven.

2. That Churches should be careful in the selection of their pastor.

3. That Churches should seek to cultivate a pure and fervent spiritual life.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

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