Friday, July 17, 2020

What is So Important About the Sea in Heaven?

The Book of Revelation has more Old Testament symbolism, verses, metaphors, and facts than any book of the Bible. So when we talk about a sea of glass, we are talking about things that are in heaven, and we see things as it were right now as in a glass dimly, we see just enough. We are going to see the reality of it all, and all of these things represent God's eternal truth of course, but they are copies and symbols given to us in the New Testament Scriptures. But there is the reality and John is seeing that reality. What does a sea of glass look like? What does it feel like? What does it sound like?

When he talks about these thrones and the throne of God and all these sounds, the seraphim and cherubim before the throne of God, these angelic beings with their heads and faces, with their wings and eyes. Don't tell me you know what that looks like! Because you don't. You and I are going to walk around heaven, and if you have ever been on a tour, you spend the first few hours or days, stumbling around with your mouth hanging wide open, we are going to be like that for a couple hundred of thousands of years just in awe of what Heaven is, what is there and being in the presence of God Almighty and Jesus along with everyone else. Nothing can prepare us for what awaits us. We are continuing our study today into Revelation 4:4-11

Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Revelation 4:4-11 ~ "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Judgment is soon coming upon the earth. Notice what John sees in heaven and this should be exciting!

Revelation 4:6 ~ " From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. "

What is important is this? What God showed Moses regarding the tabernacle, the menorah, the show bread, the Ark of the Covenant, the cheribum on top of the mercy seat, the Ten Commandments inside along with Aaron's rod and the manna, all those things that were with the children of Israel in the Egyptian or Judahian wilderness, and even as they crossed over from the Jordan River, they carried it with them until there was a home for it, meaning the temple in Jerusalem. All of that, and the Bible says in the Book of Hebrews was a type or symbol of that which is in heaven.

It says that Jesus Christ, having been crucified on the cross and resurrected from the dead, entered into the Holy of Holies in Heaven not made with human hands. You might say, "Well I thought the Holy of Holies was in the tabernacle in the temple?" Nope! I mean, Yes, but it was only a type. What about the high priest going in, wasn't that special? Sure it was special, but the Bible says they were acting out a type of what Christ is to us, our Great High Priest! But again, it's just a type or symbol of the glory of God that is in Heaven.  As the Scriptures tells us that Jesus entered that place, not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood, He entered in and is now appearing on our behalf.

No one can break into the throne room of heaven and steal your salvation. They can't tear down the temple and destroy it by an invading army. It's in heaven! Aren't you glad that Jesus Christ represents your salvation? Where moths and rust and thieves can not steal? So what about this sea of crystal or this sea of glass? This is most significant. The Bible tells us in Exodus 30 regarding this sea or basin of water before the throne.

Exodus 30:19-21 ~ "Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come."

What this is saying is in the wildness before the tabernacle was a big brass laver or basin filled with water, it was also referred to as the "sea." And before someone could meet with the Lord, that person had to wash their hands and feet, before they went in. Even before that there was a ceremonial process, but right before they entered into the presence of the Lord, They had to wash their hands and feet. Keep that in mind. That is what God said you must do. If you don't do it, you are going to die. So what do you think Aaron and his sons were faithful to do? Wash their hands and feet.

Exodus 40:30-32 ~ "He placed the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing and Moses and Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and feet. They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar, as the LORD commanded Moses."

You might say, so what's the big deal. Before the entrance before the throne room of God is this basin of water. Yes, but that is not what it says in Revelation. That is exactly right. It says before the throne of there was a sea of glass. Every Jew who knows the Old Testament, knows what this is referencing. They got it. You and I may not get it. Maybe you need to look at a picture of the tabernacle or temple. John is talking about how we would have to wash before we could go in. That is what the priests would have to do. Not only that is says like crystal, it means it was solid. Solid and transparent. Now that is different. The laver on earth, was water. We are commanded to wash. In heaven, it's solid before the throne of God. You can walk on it. It's transparent, its beautiful but no one gets a washing in heaven.

John 13:3-10 ~ "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part of me." "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "Not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, thought not every one of you."

Before the meal, you would wash your hands so Jesus didn't wash their hands. Do you think Jesus knew that? He knew that! What was not washed? Their feet! As they are into the supper, Jesus now begins to minister the washing of their feet. Have you ever had someone wash your feet? It's the most humbling experience you can have. These were men who walked in sandals as fisherman all day. No one else said anything except for good old Peter. Meaning in this life, you and I get our feet dirty. we will have a nasty thought or an angry thought. We will have a temper flare up or whatever it might be. Selfishness, sin, whatever it is when we get up each morning and we dedicate our life to Him, and you might have a really great day and just before you lay down at night, and you smack your toe on the corner of the bed and a word comes out, and you think, "Oh Lord, I was doing so good today and I blew it."

So what do you do now. Do you wait to get saved all over again?  Do you wait until Sunday morning to give your heart to the Jesus again? Nope! You've already been washed. What do you do? You say this, "Lord, I ask you to forgive me for what I just thought, said or did. I ask You to forgive me now. And Lord, if I have offended anyone with what I did, give me the humility to go to them now and settle it. Lord forgive me." What do you think that happens to the Christian when that takes place?

1 John 1:9 ~ "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Dirty feet. We get dirty feet moving around this world. What are we supposed to do? Get our feet washed. Why? Because before the throne of God, that sea has been frozen so to speak. Like crystal.
The joy that's here for the careful reader. In the Old Testament, the Laver or Sea was filled with water for the cleansing of the man who was to approach the Lord. In Heaven, what was once the basin, laver or sea of water, is now solid glass, like crystal. It means no more cleansing in heaven. No more battles with sin. No more need to confess to the Lord anymore wrongs. There is nothing to confess. The sinful nature is gone. That is the only way, by rapture or by death that the sinful nature is removed. Did you know that?  None of us can understand what having your sinful nature removed. We don't know what that is like. You've already been washed. John sees a sea that is no longer in use. It has been perfected by the blood of Christ. All those in heaven are free from guilt. Free from sin. You can have that as well if you are willing to enter into that with faith in Jesus Christ.

Heaven and what it is going to be like? It's all about glory.

Revelation 4:6b-8a ~ "In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings."

These angels, these things, these living creatures are before the throne of God in the heavenly scene right now. Scholars differ in opinions whether these are cheribum or seraphim, it doesn't matter. They are spectacular beings. Don't be scared or afraid, thinking they are very science fiction looking. They are spectacular and beautiful. I don't see how but we know they are beautiful before the throne of God. They are very strange to us and we are going to see them. Why these four? Why these four manifestation of faces on them?

The Bible communicates to us in Matthew's gospel that Jesus Christ is the King. When you read about Jesus Christ in Matthew's gospel you will be hearing all about Jesus being the King. It is interesting that all throughout history, the lion has been associated with being a king or kingship, the lion. Scholars say the four gospels present these four faces. Jesus Christ being the King in Matthew, symbolized by the angelic presence before the throne of God reflects the face of this lion.

Mark's gospel communicates Jesus as a servant. Smallest and shortest of the gospels, but with the most miracles. Jesus came to serve in Mark's gospel. Isn't it interesting that there is a face of a calf or an ox. An animal of service represented.

In Luke's gospel declares Jesus as the Sovereign or righteous man, or Jesus Christ in His humanity. And thirdly what do we see, a face of a man.

In John's gospel, he communicates Jesus' ministry of that of God come to earth in human flesh. The Bible tells us in John's gospel in chapter 1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Jesus Christ.

In John 1:14 ~ "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth."

That is represented as the eagle. The Lord speaks of Himself as a representation of an eagle. That is very interesting. You can see this manifestation throughout the book of Ezekiel (1:22-24 and 10:14-17) and through the prophet Isaiah 6:2-3 " Above the throne stood seraphim; each one had six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts. the whole earth is full of His glory."

These angels are minsters of judgment to a Christ-rejecting world.

If you look down upon the children of Israel from an elevated altitude, did you know that during the wilderness wanderings of Israel, when they left Egypt, and they crossed over the Rea Sea, and when they went into the areas that today are southern Jordan, the country and all that, where they resided. If you got up on a mountain top and looked down at the encampments of Israel, cause you know the Bible gives you exact details, these tribes are to camp this way, these tribes count that way, and so forth, north, south, east and west. If you look at their encampments that were extremely organized, it was in the shape of a perfect cross. And when they camped, the arrangement of it, was very interesting, because when they advanced towards the Promised Land, you would see a cross from a helicopter advancing towards the Promised Land every night in which they camped.

Wait, it gets better! On the north end and on the southern end, and on the east end and the west end, were the outer tribes. There were four of them. They had a banner. Every tribe had a banner. They had a symbol or sign on their banner. The flags of those tribes, the manifestations of them match exactly the faces of those seraphim before the throne of God, which corresponds directly with the gospels. That's very romantic biblically, I love God's detail of it all.

Heaven and what it is like when we get there is that worship is for all time and eternity.

Revelation 4:8b ~ " Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come."

They never stop because they cannot. They don't rest. They are in worship. Eternity is about worship. We have to perfect worship. We need to apply ourselves. It is what blesses God. It's what we will be doing in heaven for an eternity. You need to figure out who you are to worship. He is the LORD, God Almighty. So awesome, holy, beautiful and wonderful is the Lord, that those beings closest to God and His throne must worship! How can you tell if someone is close to the Lord? There is something beautiful, wonderful, holy and awesome about them. It's the angels of heaven worshiping the Almighty God, the one who was, and is, and is to come.They really mean it every second of it. They know something I don't and they have seen something I haven't seen. If you have a loved one that has died in the Lord, this is what they are seeing right now. No wonder, they don't want to come back.

 Monday we will learn more about the four living creatures tomorrow in detail!

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