John, A Puzzling Vision of the Father.
THE OPEN DOOR
A question arises; why would there be a door open ( perfect participle passive (pfpp)– it was opened and remains open ) into heaven for a mortal man to have access? Four reasons: 1) prophecy – Ezekiel 1:1; 2) instruction in righteousness – Revelation 2 & 3; 3) testimony – Acts 7:55-58; 4) to anoint our Lord Jesus – Luke 3:21-22 & John 1:32-34.. When John wrote of his transport in the spirit to heaven, he writes that the door was already open which begs the question; when did the door open? Per John 10:7, Jesus states that He is the door of the Sheep (true believers); in Acts 7:56 Stephen say “Behold, I see the Heavens opened (pfpp), and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God”; and Paul writes in Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:18 & 3:12 &Hebrews 10:19-20, that we NOW have an access to the Father that did not exist until after our Lord's resurrection and ascension into the heavenly. Another thing, after John heard the command to “come up hither”, John was immediately in the Spirit which brings up another point. Prior to conversion our hearts are of stone and our spirits are dead, but we who believe have had our spirits quickened (made alive); Ephesians 2:1,5. Remember, that which is spiritual is real and eternal; that which is mortal is only temporary. Can anyone really explain what this statement "in the spirit" means outside of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 or John. I think not; we can only theorize or speculate which in itself can be dangerous.
THE THRONE of the FATHER
Hows does one describe the indescribable in terms a mere mortal could fathom of the FATHER upon His throne. “He that sat (upon the throne) was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone. The pictures to the right show that the jasper comes in many varied colors from a rich dark brown, to a light almost white or yellowish, to a deep earthy red color and on a rare occasion; green. As the picture also demonstrates, many jasper stones contain multiple colors in one stone. The sardine stone is generally a bright or fiery red color, brilliant to the eye with flashes of light. Our Lord's words “Let us make man in our image” may shed some light on mankinds makeup of races and skin colors, for every shade of “man” is found in the various jasper stones. He is neither black, white, yellow nor red; He is all colors with NONE favored above the rest. The sardine stone speaks of His nature; one of intellect, dazzling beauty and being full of life. The fiery color of the sardine stone may also reflect upon His hatred of evil and of judgment upon the wicked. Per Exodus 28:17-21,30 the jasper and sardine are the “first and the last” stones of the high priest's urim & thummin. Israel's (Jacob's) first son was Rueben – behold a son and his last Benjamin – son of my right hand clearly identifies Israel as God's chosen people. Even though the throne itself is not described we are told that it is surrounded by a green, like an emerald, rainbow. I do not envision this as an earthly rainbow in a perfect arc but more like the sun's corona as witnessed during an eclipse; massive brilliant green light emanating from the area of the throne, lighting all around Him in a calming green glow. Green is the color of the center of our visible spectrum of light and it is the green grasses and trees of earth that support the majority of all life on this planet whether as food or the air we breathe. I would not be surprised at all if the new earth's dominate color will be a million shades of green.
The Four Living Beings and the Seven Spirits
Note: the 24 elders will be addressed in the my next blog titled, "Where is the Church". It will deal with both the presence of the church in heaven along with my view and its biblical basis for the rapture; so stayed tuned.
Attendant to the Father are the 24 elders which represent the Bride (the Church) along with the Four Beasts (Living Ones) and the Seven Spirits of God.
The Sea of Glass
The reigning Pharohs, Kings and various monarchs of history placed their thrones in the midst of a floor covered with polished semi-precious stone or beautifully glazed ceramic tiles; often gilded with gold, silver and precious gems; it truly would shine as a sea of glass. As in the Book of Esther; for anyone to step on the “Sea of Glass” without the king's permission, was subject to a possible death sentence. You were only allowed upon it if one was commanded by the king himself to approach the throne. Esther was truly risking her life when she approached Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) without first asking his permission. As it pertains to you and I; we have a standing invitation awaiting us in heaven to approach our God's throne.
The Four Living Ones
These are four specific angels and by their description will be a wonder to behold; each representing a characteristic of their God. The first like a lion – power and majesty; the second like a calf (young bullock) – sacrificial; the third had a face as a man (Ezekiel 1:5 where he describes the “seraphim of Isaiah 6:2” - “they had the likeness of a man”) - intellect and reason; the fourth was like an eagle – sovereign above all. Their duty is to ascribe holiness to our God (Isaiah 6:3)and to call all to worship. Their eyes speak of the omniscience of God as 2 Chronicles 16:9 - “His eyes move to and fro about the earth...” and per Ezekiel 1, they move like lightning. Another thing; they never rest because our Father never rests. They are forever identified with Israel. In Numbers chapter 2, the four tribes were stationed on the four sides of the wilderness tabernacle; Judah, Reuben, Ephraim and Dan. Each of the tribes had their own standard (flag / pennant) posted near the tabernacle:
- Judah - East - Lion
- Reuben - South - Man
- Ephraim - West - Bullock
- Dan - North - Eagle
Deuteronomy 7:6-10; Israel is the chosen race to whom much was given and much has been and will be required from them in the very near future.
The Seven Spirits
Judgment is at hand. The scene is anything but peaceful and serene; lightnings, thunder and voices; a recurring theme for most of the balance of the book of Revelation. In the midst of all this commotion and noise stands the seven angels of God; prepared and ready for this day and hour. These seven stand before the throne and I believe will be ones to carry the final and full wrath of God as pictured in chapter 16. It is the Father that commissions the final judgment prior to the return of Christ and His seven shall perfectly carry out His orders. As we shall see, angels play a significant roll in the 70th week.