Revelation 4-5

 

If we are going to understand Revelation, we have to understand the Old Testament.  In fact, I remember the first time I heard that Revelation does not explicitly teach a 7 year tribulation.  I was shocked and ready to debunk the whole thing.  But then I was told to read Daniel 9:25-27 and compare it to Revelation.  That made a lot more sense…assuming I am reading Daniel correctly!  And I tell you, it is a blast to read Revelation and then find a clear connection with an Old Testament passage!  (although sometimes it’s frustrating too).

Let me give you an example of a very fun connection between last week’s text and Ezekiel.  We read in Revelation 4:6 about a “sea of glass, clear as crystal.”  This “sea” is in front of the throne.  We don’t know how large it is or if it is fluid or solid.  John is just telling us what he sees.  He sees the floor of heaven, if you will.  

Now here is what Ezekiel sees.  A great windstorm rushes towards him and in the windstorm are four living creatures, very similar to the ones in Revelation 4.  Ezekiel 1:22 says that above the heads of these creatures is “an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome.”  Then verse 26 tells us that “above the expanse was what looking like a throne of sapphire and high above the throne was a figure like that of a man.”  Ezekiel sees the ceiling of earth, if you will.

So if I’m reading this correctly, John has a vision of the throne-room of God where he gets the view from inside.  So the “sea of glass” is in front of him.  Ezekiel gets his vision from below the “expanse, sparkling like ice.”  But both of them see the throne of God with the one sitting on it and mention that is resembles a rainbow.  

Now I don’t know what that all means, but it sparks my imagination as I hope it does yours.  This “sea of glass” is separating earth from the throne-room of God.  I hesitate to try to interpret any further.  I’ll let you think on that.

So to bring this full circle, the Old Testament certainly informs the book of Revelation.  And it makes perfect sense that Ezekiel and John saw similar things in the throne-room.  And even if it did look different, God has the right to rearrange his furniture!  The point is next time you get tempted to gloss over those cross-references in the margins of your Bible, take the time to look them up.  You’ll be glad you did!

One more thing: remember how I said it can be frustrating comparing the O.T. to Revelation.  This week we are talking about the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  These horsemen look very, very similar to the horsemen in Zechariah 6.  But beyond the physical description, I struggle to see how these horsemen are related.  But my frustration is not God’s fault!  I see through a mirror dimly!  If you have insight into that one, feel free to share it!

If we are going to understand Revelation, we have to understand the Old Testament.  In fact, I remember the first time I heard that Revelation does not explicitly teach a 7 year tribulation.  I was shocked and ready to debunk the whole thing.  But then I was told to read Daniel 9:25-27 and compare it to Revelation.  That made a lot more sense…assuming I am reading Daniel correctly!  And I tell you, it is a blast to read Revelation and then find a clear connection with an Old Testament passage!  (although sometimes it’s frustrating too)


Let me give you an example of a very fun connection between last week’s text and Ezekiel.  We read in Revelation 4:6 about a “sea of glass, clear as crystal.”  This “sea” is in front of the throne.  We don’t know how large it is or if it is fluid or solid.  John is just telling us what he sees.  He sees the floor of heaven, if you will.  

Now here is what Ezekiel sees.  A great windstorm rushes towards him and in the windstorm are four living creatures, very similar to the ones in Revelation 4.  Ezekiel 1:22 says that above the heads of these creatures is “an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome.”  Then verse 26 tells us that “above the expanse was what looking like a throne of sapphire and high above the throne was a figure like that of a man.”  Ezekiel sees the ceiling of earth, if you will.

So if I’m reading this correctly, John has a vision of the throne-room of God where he gets the view from inside.  So the “sea of glass” is in front of him.  Ezekiel gets his vision from below the “expanse, sparkling like ice.”  But both of them see the throne of God with the one sitting on it and mention that is resembles a rainbow.  

Now I don’t know what that all means, but it sparks my imagination as I hope it does yours.  This “sea of glass” is separating earth from the throne-room of God.  I hesitate to try to interpret any further.  I’ll let you think on that.

So to bring this full circle, the Old Testament certainly informs the book of Revelation.  And it makes perfect sense that Ezekiel and John saw similar things in the throne-room.  And even if it did look different, God has the right to rearrange his furniture!  The point is next time you get tempted to gloss over those cross-references in the margins of your Bible, take the time to look them up.  You’ll be glad you did!

One more thing: remember how I said it can be frustrating comparing the O.T. to Revelation.  This week we are talking about the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  These horsemen look very, very similar to the horsemen in Zechariah 6.  But beyond the physical description, I struggle to see how these horsemen are related.  But my frustration is not God’s fault!  I see through a mirror dimly!  If you have insight into that one, feel free to share it!