Lesson 2: Among the Lampstands
Revelation describes the ultimate culmination of the plan of salvation that God has been trying to explain throughout the scriptures. The focus of the book is on the many facets of Jesus and His relationship with His church. The 1888 message gives the clearest explanation of how Christ fulfills His mission to make His bride ready for the great celestial wedding.
Revelation 1:12-18 (which parallels Daniel 10:5-12) gives a comprehensive description of Christ's person as seen in vision by both Daniel and John. Space allows us to consider only a few of the details.
Christ's feet are described as being like burnished bronze. Metal is polished (burnished) by rubbing it to a shiny reflective surface. Ancient Israel used bronze or copper to make looking glasses or mirrors. Exodus 38:8 tells us that the ladies who served the tabernacle builders donated their looking glasses to be melted down to make the base of the bronze laver. The priests were required to wash their hands and feet in the laver when they entered the sanctuary "that they may not die" (Ex. 30:21).
In the sign language of the scriptures, mirrors illustrate a function of God's law (James 1:23-25, 2 Cor. 3:17, 18). Perhaps the significance of Christ's shining feet suggests that His law is still in effect in His government. "The humanity of Jesus of Nazareth is the celestial Mirror in which we see reflected both God's Ideal for mankind and the condition in which we really are." When we understand the humanity of Christ, we see the incarnation of love and realize our natures can never achieve the perfection that the law requires. Because His government is still based on His law, we can never be a part of it without help.
It was to provide this help to us that Christ, who was immortal, came in the likeness of sinful flesh. E. J. Waggoner, one of the 1888 "messengers," explains this in simple terms: "We cannot understand how Christ could be God in the beginning, sharing equal glory with the Father, before the world was, and still be born a babe in Bethlehem. The mystery of the crucifixion and resurrection is but the mystery of the incarnation. ... We cannot understand how He could create the world from nothing, nor how He can raise the dead, nor yet how it is that He works by His Spirit in our own hearts; yet we believe and know these things." 
This inability to understand can be a stumbling point with many. They want to understand the mind of God before they can "believe and know these things." Mostly, the difficulty is a matter of control. It is so difficult to truly accept "not I, but Christ." Yet, Christ is not only our High Priest, He must also be our King. The Greek word translated "robe" in Revelation 1:13 is used to describe priestly attire, but it was wrapped with a golden girdle which is kingly apparel.
Another aspect of the imagery of Christ's feet is that feet symbolize dominion. In Job 1:7, Satan brags to God that he had come from roaming the earth and "walking around on it." God did not challenge the possessory implication of Satan's statement. In Daniel 7:12-14, the Ancient of Days gave the kingdom and the power and the dominion to "one like a Son of Man." At the cross, Christ redeemed and ransomed the human race; we now belong to Him. Christ is not trespassing when He walks among His churches. He has won the right to be there.
As Ruler of this world, Christ has consecrated a specific way to save mankind, as explains A. T. Jones, the other 1888 "messenger": "For He 'gave Himself for us.' Titus 2:14. This 'price' was paid for every soul that is on earth, and for every one who ever was or ever shall be on earth; for 'He died for all.' Having died for all; having paid the wondrous price for all; having given Himself for all, it is certainly a fact that all are His. ... And as our whole self is sin and sin only, in order to get us, in order to buy us, He had to buy our sins also ... because He bought us with that great price, so also our sins are His." 
It is ironic; we are not responsible for resolving our own sin problem. Someone may say, but the formula is "if we confess our sins, He will forgive them" (1 John 1:9). They also misinterpret James 2:14 as supporting a "balanced" view of faith and works.
But Paul is clear that "by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9). Would James or John contradict Paul? "The apparent conflict (it troubles many) is resolved as clear as sunlight: salvation is totally of grace through faith, but the 'faith' is not dead; it's a living faith 'which works.' Its fruit: obedience to all the commandments of God (Gal. 5:6)." "There's no 'balance' between righteousness by faith and righteousness by works. (Laodicean lukewarmness, hot and cold water 'balanced,' this confusion is Laodicea's problem.)" 
Christ is not only our forgiving High Priest, but He has also earned the right to be our King and Ruler. Our works count for nothing because He has done it all. Praise God for His overwhelming grace.
 Leslie Hardinge,With Jesus in His Sanctuary, p. 110; American Christian Ministries, (1991).
 E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 27; Glad Tidings ed. (1999).
 A. T. Jones, The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, pp. 5, 6; Glad Tidings ed. (2003).
 Robert J. Wieland, "Dial Daily Bread," July 28, 2012.
Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at: https://youtu.be/IdjRolpAMWo
"Sabbath School Today" is on the Internet at: http://1888message.org/sst.htm