THE SEA OF GLASS

The television is a marvel of modern technology. We can see things on our TV that are happening all over the earth, and things that are even out in space. Where ever a camera is able to send back what it "sees" we can sit in our living room and with the power of a remote, we can view what ever it is that we choose. Can you imagine trying to explain this technology to someone who lived just 100 years ago? What if they lived 2000 years ago? It was about 2000 years ago that someone named John tried to explain things he saw that appeared on a huge piece of glass. He wrote down the visions, but he didn't understand the technology of all that appeared before him. He saw something that he called grasshoppers that we believe were actually helicopters. He was able to see things and events on that piece of glass that haven't happened even yet. It is this thing that he called the "sea of glass" that I would like to discuss.

There is a misunderstanding of what this "sea of glass" represents. Some are using it to support a doctrine or belief that God is going to take His people to heaven for the wedding of the Lamb, which takes place on this "Sea of Glass." In the book of Revelation is a description of the throne of God. In front of the throne is that "sea of glass" that John saw. So, let's look at a possible use, or purpose, for this mysterious, clear as crystal, surface. In Revelation 4:1, John wrote, "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 show thee things which must be hereafter" John was taken, in vision, up to heaven to be shown something that was to take place in the future.

The first thing that he saw, in vision, was the throne of God and he wrote down a description. In verse 6, he says, "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal..." The word "before," means, "in the presence (sight) of". This sea of glass can be seen in front of, or from the seated position of the throne of God. As little children we have been taught that God is omni present, or everywhere at the same time. The Bible records that God Himself is on His throne in heaven and it is His eyes that see things on the earth. A prophet once told Asa, king of Judah, that God saw the things that he had done. He said, back in II Chronicles 16:9, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth..." It is not God that runs to and fro throughout the whole earth: it is His eyes. God has something that He calls His eyes that run to and fro throughout the whole earth and whatever they see can be seen of God as though He were there. These "eyes" are also mentioned in Zechariah 4:10, "For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth." The word "with", is added. We are going to be able to see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, "with" or "by" or "through the use of" the seven eyes of the Lord.

Those seven eyes of the Lord have recorded, and saved to be viewed later, something that is despised as small things. In addition to these eyes that God has that run to and fro through the whole earth, He has eyes that are on a more stationary assignment. These eyes are not mentioned as running to and fro. Deuteronomy 11:11, "But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven; (12) A land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." These eyes of the Lord God are definitely not running to and fro through the whole earth. These eyes are "always" upon this land from the beginning of the year, to the end of the year. They also send back to God what they "see".

There are even more eyes that God has that are on permanent assignment with the righteous. Elihu mentions these eyes as being on the righteous. Job 36:7, "He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous..." Again, these eyes are not running to and fro through the earth. These are eyes that are always upon the righteous. David wrote a Psalm about this very thing, saying also that the Lord's eyes are upon the righteous and He hears their cry. Psalm 34:15, "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." God has eyes that run to and fro through the earth. He also has eyes that are on permanent assignment in the land of Canaan, and He has eyes that are always on the righteous.   In addition to all of these eyes, God also has eyes that are on the sinful Nations. Amos 9:8, "Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth..."

So, how does God see what all these different eyes see? I think the answer is found in something that God saw from His throne in heaven that was taking place on the earth. Not only was God able to see it, but also the host of heaven were able to see it and give advice to God about what they saw. The angelic host is not omni present. Anything that they see from heaven has to be visible to them from where they are standing. It was Micaiah the prophet that revealed to king Jehoshaphat and king Ahab something that he saw taking place in heaven. I Kings 22:19, "And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left." Here, God is sitting on His throne in heaven watching what is going on in Israel. The host of heaven is standing by Him, on His right hand and His left. All of them are watching king Ahab as though he were in heaven standing before the throne of God. The host of heaven is not standing in front of the throne because they would be blocking the view of the sea of glass. (Angels are not omni present, neither is Satan. Angels have to be in the presence of whatever it is they see.) The eyes of God that were upon Ahab sent back to God what they "saw". This is projected on the sea of glass. As you continue to read this account, you see that God asks for advice about what He should do to cause Ahab to go up to Ramothgilead. These angels could not give advice if they could not see what was happening. Since they are not omni present, they would have to be viewing the events on the sea of glass. It is on the sea of glass that God is able to see what His eyes, that run to and fro through the earth, send back to Him.

We are told in Hebrews, that we can come before the throne of God. We can actually be seen in front of God's throne in heaven as though we are there. Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Each time that we pray, the eyes of God that are on the righteous, send to God what they see. God can see us as though we are actually standing or kneeling before Him on the sea of glass, and His ears can hear our prayer. It is on this sea of glass that God can even see into the future. John was able to see, in vision, something on this sea of glass that hasn't happened yet. Revelation 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." This vision is seen on the sea of glass and it is mingled with fire. The tribulation is spoken of as a fiery trial and these are people that have lost their lives in it. This vision has not even happened yet, it is still in the future. Where it said, "stand on the sea of glass", the word "on" means to "superimpose" (Strongs #1909, ep-ee'; a prim. prep. prop. mean. superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.). This vision was superimposed on the sea of glass, it does not mean that these people are literally in heaven, anymore than we are in heaven when we kneel to pray before the throne of God.

Things that appear to God and the host of heaven on the sea of glass are the things that the eyes of God that run to and fro through the earth are sending back to them. God sees what they see as though He were there, just as we see things today on our TV. We can sit in our living room and see things as though they were taking place right there on our television. We can instantly go from something that is taking place, say, in Australia, to something that is taking place in Europe. Wherever cameras, acting as our eyes, are sent, we can see things as though they are in our living room. We see it all on a piece of glass that is a window to the universe. Just as God is able to do the same, sitting on His throne with technology far advanced beyond ours, watching all that is happening on the face of the earth as though it was happening in His "living room".

The book of Revelation is filled with metaphors and allegories. It is a list of the things that John saw in vision and was given by God to Jesus Christ "to reveal unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass". We are not to make doctrine, such as "we are all going to heaven", based on visions containing metaphors and allegories. God said to Cain that the "voice of thy brothers blood crieth unto me from the ground." We are not to conclude from that verse that blood has a voice, nor are we to conclude from a vision of a sea of glass in heaven on which people are seen that they are in heaven. The "Sea of Glass" is where God sees what is taking place on the earth as though it were in heaven.

I was taught clearly that we are not going to heaven, God is coming down to this earth just as it says in Revelation 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. (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..." Man is not going to heaven, he hasn't in the past, he is not in the future. This is something that I was taught back in the 60's and continue to believe to this day: It is God that is coming to this earth, it is Satan that wants to go to heaven.

Bill and Cheryl Nichols July 28, 2000 nichols2228@msn.com