THE VISION OF JESUS CONTINUED--HIS GOLDEN GIRDLE
Revelation 1:13 (last part of verse)--“…One like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and GIRT about the breast with A GOLDEN GIRDLE.”
As Jesus appeared in a vision to the Apostle John, He was girt about the chest, the upper torso, with a golden girdle (or breastplate). To be GIRT means to be encircled all around. The golden GIRDLE, properly defined as a BREASTPLATE, encased Jesus around His chest and upper back, surrounding His upper body with a armor-plating made from pure gold.
The GOLDEN GIRDLE (breastplate) is yet another WORD PICTURE or REPRESENTATION of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus. We can allow the scripture, itself, to DEFINE this concept.
Isaiah 11:5--“And RIGHTEOUSNESS shall be the GIRDLE of His loins, and FAITHFULNESS the GIRDLE of His reins.”
REINS refer to STRENGTH, and this strength is in His loins. Even though the GIRDLE in THIS PASSAGE surrounds the area of the loins (the WAIST and THE SMALL OF THE BACK), we DO DISCOVER that THE GIRDLE represents RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The GOLD of this GIRDLE, or BREASTPLATE, shows DEITY, the GOLD representing GOD in all His glory. Thus the GIRDLE, or BREASTPLATE, upon Jesus REPRESENTS the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF DEITY, the righteousness of God Himself.
The GIRDLE, or BREASTPLATE, shows us the PRIESTLY ROLE of Jesus. To fully grasp this concept, we’ll turn to the Old Testament.
In Exodus 28:4, we find--“And these are the garments which they shall make (for the office of Tabernacle PRIEST); a BREASTPLATE, and an ephod, and a robe, a mitre, and A GIRDLE: and they shall make HOLY GARMENTS for Aaron your brother (Moses’ brother), and his sons, that they may MINISTER unto Me IN THE PRIEST’S OFFICE.”
There are many pictures, and MEANINGS, foreshadowed by the Tabernacle PRIESTS, attired in their Holy garments. Before entering the Holy Place, or before approaching the Throne of God (represented by the golden altar and mercy seat) in the Holy of Holies, the Priest had to go through sacrifices, ceremonial cleansings, and be covered from head to toe in Holy garments. If the Priest DID NOT follow this rigid preparation, he’d die from the POWER of God--Whose Spirit filled the Tabernacle.
THE WHOLE PROCESS, PERFORMED BY THE PRIESTS, FORESHADOWS THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS, THE CLEANSING AND THE COVERING FOR SINS--ALL THESE PROVIDED BY THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS--THAT WE MUST BELIEVE IN, RECEIVE--AND DO--BEFORE WE MAY BE READY TO APPROACH GOD’S THRONE. (We’ll venture deeper into these Priestly preparations later in our study of Revelation.)
The GIRDLE, which surrounds the upper chest, SHOWS Jesus’ ROLE as our GREAT HIGH PRIEST. We’ll examine a few more scriptures.
Hebrews 3:1--“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and HIGH PRIEST of our profession, Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 4:14-15--“Seeing then that we have a GREAT HIGH PRIEST, that IS PASSED INTO THE HEAVENS, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession). For we have NOT a HIGH PRIEST which CANNOT be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in ALL POINTS tempted like we are, yet WITHOUT SIN.”
Jesus is our GREAT HIGH PRIEST in His GIRDLE OF GOLD. In His role as our GREAT HIGH PRIEST, He's before God, making INTERSESSIONS for us.
Romans 8:34--“Who is he that condemns? IS it Christ that died?, yea rather, that is RISEN AGAIN, Who is even AT THE RIGHT A HAND God, Who makes INTERSESSIONS for us?”
The KEY thought is this--if Christ is INTERCEDING as a GREAT HIGH PRIEST, on our behalf at God’s Throne--He is CERTAINLY NOT condemning us!
The GIRDLE also carries with it the concept of GOVERNMENT. This becomes clear to us in another Old Testament scripture.
Isaiah 22:21 (In this passage, we see the office of Shebna as it closes, and the anointing of the office passes onto Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah.)--“And I will CLOTHE him WITH YOUR ROBE, and STRENGTHEN him with your GIRDLE, and I will commit YOUR GOVERNMENT into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.”
We see there how the GIRDLE includes the functioning of government.
To summarize, the GOLDEN GIRDLE which encases Jesus about the breasts SHOWS His DIETY (GOD) and RIGHTEOUSNESS. It SHOWS how Jesus is our GREAT HIGH PRIEST and that God’s GOVERNMENT is in His hands.
Before I close for today, I feel I need to DEFINE righteousness. This may be a familiar term, and Christians use it REGULARLY, but WHAT DOES RIGHTEOUSNESS MEAN?
RIGHTEOUSNESS is a Godly quality, a part of God’s character. We, as Christians, place our faith in the shed blood of Jesus, and God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is imputed (given) to us.
A Christian’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is NOT gained by SELF-EFFORT--it’s NOT something that we CAN WORK to achieve.
Rather, RIGHTEOUSNESS is like a covering, THUS THE WHITE GARMENTS. We GAIN that covering for our sin through our FAITH in Jesus Christ. BUT WE MAINTAIN the whiteness, the purity, of these garments by our daily confession of sins, which is the washing, the cleansing, that keeps our hearts in right standing with God, and enables us to live lives free of guilt or condemnation. In order to be part of the MARRIAGE of Jesus and His Bride (who is the Church), we MUST accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord and be covered in the white garments of God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS through Jesus.
I looked up RIGHTEOUSNESS in both Hebrew and Greek dictionaries (at the back of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). RIGHTEOUSNESS involves MANY facets, and I’ll do my best to define it.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is to be RIGHT, to be altogether JUST.
RIGHTNESS is accomplished in TOTAL ACCORDANCE to the law (upholding ALL of God’s laws and principles), and it’s an ADHERENCE to a STANDARD of RIGHTNESS which is PROPER, FIT and CORRECT.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is to be UPRIGHT, both morally and in honesty.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is "JUST"--meaning it’s FAIR and EVEN-HANDED. It’s IMPARTIAL.
RIGHTEOUSNESS includes RECTITUDE--it’s UPRIGHTNESS in principles or conduct BECAUSE of a LOVE of what is RIGHT, and THE DESIRE to follow what is RIGHT.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is the quality of being JUST--to RENDER what’s DUE or MERITED. On the GOOD side, REWARDS and BLESSINGS are given to those who MERIT or DESERVE an award, and it’s done with total FAIRNESS and IMPARTIALITY. On the NEGATIVE side (for rejecting Jesus), punishments and judgments are rendered in accordance to the degree of rebellion or sin--and these sentences are given with FAIRNESS and IMPARTIALITY. These DECISIONS are MADE with WISE DISCERNMENT, acting in a facet of RIGHTEOUSNESS known as GOOD JUDGMENT.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is LAWFUL. It’s VALID and AUTHENTIC, LEGAL, and LEGITIMATE--it’s those things which are RECOGNIZED and PERMITTED under the LAW. God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS is closely united with His LAWS, His MORAL precepts, His Godly PRINCIPLES.
HOLINESS is entwined with RIGHTEOUSNESS. God’s character will NOT allow any stain or smudge of sin or rebellion. The fallen, the impure, the prideful, the selfish (and ALL manner of CORRUPTION because of those things)--CANNOT abide in God’s POWERFUL and PURE presence.
Only the RIGHTEOUS may approach God’s Throne of Glory, and the ONLY WAY for mankind to be RIGHTEOUS is with GOD'S kind of RIGHTEOUSNESS. That kind of righteousness COMES THROUGH FAITH in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This is why believers receive a WHITE GARMENT, which covers their sinful flesh in the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST--and it’s WHY Jesus is pictured in Revelation 1:13 with the GARMENT of righteousness, and with the GOLDEN GIRDLE of righteousness and deity.
This is Jesus, our GREAT HIGH PRIEST, the One Who holds God’s GOVERNMENT in His hands (which is a RIGHTEOUS government).
Most simply expressed, RIGHTEOUSNESS is RIGHT (to BE RIGHT, to uphold what IS RIGHT--which is MORAL and PROPER).
May you be found in His RIGHTNESS; may you be rewarded for those things you do in His kingdom to support and maintain this RIGHTNESS. And it can be done ONLY through FAITH in Jesus!
I pray that you are clothed in WHITE GARMENTS. I pray that you are ready for HIS MARRIAGE FEAST, glorious in your WHITE GARMENTS.
Have a beautiful day! Yes, this might EVEN be THE DAY when our glorious SAVIOR descends into the air to Rapture His true Church! We'll exchange our old bodies for glorified ones and be CLOTHED in WHITE, like our Lord!
Even so, come quickly, Jesus!