Revelation 4:4-5 – Sea of Glass – Part 1

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Rev 4:6 The Sea Of Glass Before The Throne

Rev 4:6 And before the throne [ there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [ were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Introduction

Let us not forget our study on the first verse of this chapter concerning an “open door in heaven.”

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.

In that study we learned that ‘heaven’ is a spiritual realm into which we enter with Christ when the holy spirit comes upon us, and we also learned that an “open door in heaven” is the opening up of our understanding to see and understand the things concerning the kingdom of heaven which is within us. So remember that this “throne in heaven” is within us, and all the things we studied last week, the “four and twenty seats [ thrones]” about the “throne in heaven,” are all within.  I should have pointed out last week that the word ‘seats’ in verse 4 is the exact same word translated ‘throne’ in the same verse. So it should read “Round about the throne were four and twenty thrones…” and this is all taking place within our heavens within us. That is where are the elders who sit on those 24 thrones, their white raiment and their golden crowns. It is all within the kingdom of God, and “the kingdom of God is within you” living out all of Christ’s parables about “the mysteries of the kingdom of God,” and living out this entire book about the mysteries of the establishing of the kingdom of God with you and me.

Rev 4:4 And round about the throne [ Greek, thronos] were four and twenty seats [ Same Greek word, thronos]: and upon the seats [ thrones] I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [ there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

So what we are seeing in this revelation of Jesus Christ, how Christ is revealed to us, in the heavens of our hearts and minds. That is why we are told:

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.

So “the time is at hand to realize and to live out, what is the sea of glass and the “four beasts full of eyes, in the middle of, and round about the throne.”

The Progression Of Biblical Revelation

Remember what we read about the heavens in the book of Hebrews earlier:

Heb 8:5 Who [ the priests in the temple] serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

It is not revealed in the Old Testament that the priests and the tabernacle with all of its furnishings and all of its services were patterns and shadows of heavenly things. Here is all God said to Moses concerning the purpose for the building of the tabernacle.

Exo 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Exo 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
Exo 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

“The pattern that was shown you in the mount” is a type of Christ, but  the tabernacle of Moses is presented to Moses and to Israel as “a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” It is presented more as God living on earth, rather than man ascending into God’s heavens. But the New Testament reveals to us that the tabernacle of Moses was a shadow of heavenly things, so God wanted it to be exactly as he had revealed it to Moses. He simply did not reveal to Moses that it was a pattern of the true heavens.

Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Heb 9:21  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Heb 9:23  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

“The heavenly things themselves” are you and me and all in whom the Father and Christ dwell. The blood of calves and goats was not sufficient to cleanse us. That requires the blood of the true “Lamb of God.” “The heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

The temple that Solomon built was also constructed after the pattern his father David had given Him, but the spirit revealed much more to King David. By this time much more detail is being added to the pattern of the things shown to Moses in the mount. Here is a brief description of the temple pattern as it was given to King David to give to his son Solomon.

1Ch 28:11  Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
1Ch 28:12  And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
1Ch 28:13  Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.

We could say that God had given King David a vision of an “open door to heaven” and had vastly increased King David’s knowledge of the things of the heavens, except that God still did not reveal to King David that these are patterns of heavenly things. He simply expands King David’s knowledge of His dwelling place exponentially. The tabernacle of Moses had no “porch and houses thereof, no treasuries thereof, nor any upper chambers.” All that was revealed to Moses was the two “inner parlors, and the place of the mercy seat.” It was not given to the Old Testament patriarchs, kings or prophets to understand the spiritual meaning of their own words:

1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1Pe 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

There was only Aaron and his four sons which very soon became two sons, so there was no revelation about the “courses of the priests.” It was all rather elementary when compared with the revelation given King David concerning the building of a permanent house where God would dwell in. Many years later, during the times of the prophets, we will learn much more about the things of the heavens and about the temple that would one day be God’s final dwelling place. Yet God did not reveal what was the meaning of their own visions of the things of the heavens, not even to the prophets. It all culminates with this revelation we are now being given about the things in the heavens, and what we are learning is that it is all but types and shadows of “the heavenly things themselves” within us.

Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Heb 9:20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Heb 9:21  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Heb 9:23  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Every Word Is For Every Man

Christ is entered into you and me, and everything we are reading about in this Revelation of Jesus Christ is taking place “in heaven.” It is all taking place with Christ’s elect at this time, and since His words “never pass away,” it will all, in its own appointed time take place within the heavens of every man who has ever lived or who ever will live:

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The heaven and earth which pass away, will be replaced with a “new heavens and a new earth,” in which it will be manifestly evident that that new earth is, as we now know, but a very special and beautiful part of the the heavens themselves; “the dwelling place of God Himself.”

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

“The sea” symbolizes all flesh and is the waters out of which the beast arises, upon which beast the great harlot sits.

Rev 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The revelation of Jesus Christ is incremental, and it is the sum of God’s word, because Christ is that Truth which comprises “the sum of God’s Word. It is line upon line and precept upon precept,” throughout the Bible.

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.
Isa 28:9  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isa 28:11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Isa 28:12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [ is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Isa 28:13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [ and] there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

This progressive form of revelation, applies not only to this open door to the things of heaven in this chapter, but it applies also to this entire revelation with all of its symbols of the seven seals upon this book, the seven trumpets which form the last seal, and the seven vials which make up the last trumpet. It is “all line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” This progressive form of revelation is to be found in all the symbols within those three parts of this book. It begins in Genesis and every additional book of God’s inspired scriptures add to and expound upon that revelation. The expression of the mysteries of the kingdom of God require all the parables and all of the symbols of this book and all the rest  of scripture to be fully understood. It is inexhaustible and we will be learning of this revelation till the day we draw our last breath of physical air.

What Is This “Sea of Glass?”

Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal:

The Bible makes it very clear that anything within the heavens themselves has been through the purifying fires of the word of God:

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Rev 11:3  And I will give [ power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [ and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

It is the Truth which burns and devours the enemies of God’s elect. As I have said before, God’s Word is a purifying fire, and the only way to get to the tree of life is through that purifying fire, and that fire will burn out of us, all the wood, hay, stubble and tares, which all represent the weaknesses of the flesh and the lies of Babylon and any and everything which cannot withstand that purifying fire.

1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [ that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

It is common knowledge that “gold, silver and precious stones” are all formed under extreme heat. Spiritual gold, silver and precious stones are formed under the extreme heat of the Word of God. But what we may not have considered is the fact that this is also true of glass. Glass and crystal are also formed right out of “the sand of the sea” being put into the heat of the fire of the word of God in the heavens of God’s people.

Psa 19:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psa 19:2  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
Psa 19:3  There is no speech nor language, where their [ the heavens] voice is not heard.
Psa 19:4  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them [ the heavens] hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Psa 19:5  Which [ Sun] is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Psa 19:6  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

What we are studying is all “from the end of heaven. His circuit is unto the ends of it, and there is nothing hid from the heat of the Sun.” That ‘Sun’ is also the ‘Son.’ In the heat of His words even “the sand of the sea” is melted to form “a sea of glass like unto a crystal.”

Later in this revelation we are told that this “sea of glass” is “mingled with fire,” and that ‘fire’ is revealed as the wrath of God which is poured out on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, to the spiritual Jew first and also to the spiritual Gentiles.

Rev 15:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [ and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 2:9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Rom 2:10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Rom 2:11  For there is no respect of persons with God.

We have all “believed not… been ungodly and unrighteous,” and it is only those who have endured that ‘fire,’ the fire of the word of God, who “stand on that sea of glass mingled with fire.” But when it is finished with its work, the unstable waters of the sea will all become “a sea of [ very stable] glass.” All men will have endured that fire and all that can be burned up will have been burned up, and there will be only a sea of glass, and there will be “no more sea.”

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for t he first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

So the symbolism of the “sea of glass” is the complete destruction of “the sea,” and ‘the sea’ is the symbol of the flesh of all mankind, out of which ‘sea’ the beast in us all “rises up.”

Rev 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Where Is This Sea Of Glass?

That is an easy question to answer:

Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal:

So the ‘sea of glass’ is not in the middle of the throne like the four beasts, neither is it round about the throne as the four and twenty elders. Rather it is “before the throne. Why is it “before the throne?” The pattern of the things in the heavens reveals to us why it is “before the throne instead of in and round about the throne. Here is the pattern of this “sea of glass.”

Exo 30:18  Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.

It is “between the tabernacle and the altar, that we are washed and cleansed of all the blood we have shed on the altar of God, which altar is the cross of Christ.

Luk 11:49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

As we have pointed out so many times, “this generation” is the generation reading and understanding these words. It has nothing at this time to do with those who do not read or understand. “This generation” is you and me and the blood of all the righteous men from Abel until today is required of the old Adam that is within our flesh. This is not addressed to someone else. It is addressed to “he that hath and ear to hear.”

The “heads, and horns and crowns” upon the beast are the old heavens and the old earth which are in the process of passing away and being replaced with the new heavens and the new earth “after the pattern shown us.”

Heb 8:5  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

That pattern is, of course, our Lord Himself, and “we have this treasure within” where He dwells on the throne of His entire kingdom and where we stand with Him on a sea of glass “between the temple and the altar.” It is all within the hearts and minds of His elect where He directs “all things after the counsel of His own will,” burning out the wood, hay and stubble as we stand with him on that sea of glass mingled with fire.”

Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [ and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So once again, we discover that the “sea of glass,” just like every other symbol through out the word of God, is part of the revelation of Jesus Christ, working all things within us after the counsel of His own will.

Summary

We did not get to the four beasts in the middle of and about the throne in heaven, this week. But we did see that the word ‘seats’ as in “24 seats around the throne” is the exact same Greek word ‘thronos’, which is also translated throne in the very same verse.

We have seen that God did not reveal the fullness of the meaning of the heavens or the meaning of the earth or the details of all the things that happen therein to the prophets or kings or patriarchs of the old testament. We have seen that revelation is accomplished incrementally throughout all scripture so that the entire process of salvation, from the physical realm with its birth and death, to the spiritual realm with its deaths and resurrections, are all being revealed in increments as each book is added to the scriptures.  The fact that there are both defiled and purified heavens is revealed only in the New Testament and that only through the sum of God’s Word. The fact that there are two resurrections is revealed fully only in the New Testament and that only through the sum of God’s Word. So it is with all of the symbols of this book of signs and symbols. It is being revealed to us and it will continue to be revealed to us until the day we draw our last breath of air.

Isa 28:9  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

We have seen that every word of this revelation of Jesus Christ is for every  man in his own appointed time, and that every man will learn of this revelation in the same incremental, line upon line, precept upon precept manner.

We have seen that the sea of glass is glass because it symbolizes the burning up of the things of the flesh, including all the lies and false doctrines of the unstable waters of the sea, out of which the beast arises, and upon which unstable waters of the sea the great harlot sits.

Rev 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
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 the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

We have seen that the sea of glass is located between the tabernacle and the altar, because this is the part of our walk in which we are baptized, and cleansed of all the blood we have shed upon the altar of the cross of Christ.

As always we have seen that even with all the symbolism of evil, including the very crucifixion of Christ which is contained in all these symbols of the things of the true heavens, it is all a necessary part of the beginning Adam, and the last Adam. It is all part of the revelation of Jesus Christ, in us, Christ in His Father and His Father in both Christ and in us. It is “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Rev 1:1)

Next week, Lord willing we will complete the coverage of these two verses:

Rev 4:6  And before the throne [ there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [ were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Rev 4:7  And the first beast [ was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [ was] like a flying eagle.
Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [ him]; and [ they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

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