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Monday, June 29, 2015

Ezekiel 1 -- Part 4


Voice of God and a Throne of Sapphire

Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure of that of a Man. Vv25-26 God/Jesus are in the third heaven -- the highest place. The level where the living beings are is one spiritual heaven; then there is another expanse and above that is the throne of God. These living spiritual beings were in a realm closest to the earth. In the third heaven, Ezekiel saw a figure like that of Man. Ezekiel saw a great expanse over the heads of these living beings that sparkled like ice and was awesome. v25 When the living beings were at rest and peace, God spoke through the Man in the highest place to His prophet Ezekiel from the throne of sapphire. Sapphire is blue and is the heavenly color. Ezekiel often described what he was seeing as “in the likeness of” because he wasn’t quite sure how to describe these spiritual visions he was seeing. How things work in the spiritual world is how God wants them to work on earth.

God spoke through the One described as the “likeness of Man.” God is giving Ezekiel a vision of Jesus who would come as Man but will also be God. Jesus is the Radiant One full of God’s glory, light and fire. Jesus came to earth in the “likeness of Man.“ Jesus revealed His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17 when His Divine glory within came without for the three disciples who drew closest to Jesus. Matthew describes Him as “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” v2 He was clothed in glory and light. Long before Jesus came to earth, God showed Ezekiel Jesus in the spiritual realm. The movement of these spiritual beings was directed by the voice (Word) of God coming from the One described as the “likeness of Man.”

Ezekiel tries to describe the appearance of this Man. “I saw that what appeared to be from His waist up He looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire and brilliant light surrounded Him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around Him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” vv 27-28

From the waist up, He looked like glowing, polished metal (golden--Divine). This is the Divine glory and fire of God. From the waist down, He looked like fire and brilliant light. Jesus who is a reflection of the Father is the Light of the world, and also carries the fire that destroys evil. In Ezekiel’s vision, Ezekiel is seeing the oneness of the Father and the Son. Jesus reflects the glory and light of the Father down to earth. Revelation 21:22-23 shows us that there is no temple in the heavenly dwelling place of God nor does it need the light of the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Again, Jesus and the Father work as One. Jesus reflects the Light of the Father.

Jesus is not only righteousness (Light), He is also justice (consuming fire). He illuminates, but He also eliminates sin from us by the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word.

The Radiant One

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around Him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. V25

Jesus is the radiance and fullness of God's glory and light. He is the Radiant One. A rainbow is a prism of seven colors. Seven is the number of perfection. Jesus the Perfect One makes believers white (pure).

The Apostle John had a similar experience in Revelation l when He saw Jesus in the spiritual realm. “His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.....His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead.” vv 15-17 Can you see some of the same description here as the living beings in Ezekiel’s vision? His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In Ezekiel, when the living beings moved with their wings, it was like the sound of rushing waters and a mighty army. The Apostle John is seeing Jesus in the spiritual realm after He died, was resurrected and ascended to the Father in glory. Ezekiel saw one body with four faces, but John the Revelator saw only Jesus! In Ezekiel’s vision, Jesus had not yet come to earth in the flesh to fulfill the four faces.

As John did when He saw Jesus in the spiritual realm, Ezekiel fell facedown when he “saw” and “heard” the holy, powerful Word of God. John and Ezekiel had to be in the Spirit to see these things. Flesh could not look the full glory and Light of the Father and Jesus full in the face without dying. Its brilliance and power would consume us! The Holy Spirit took both Ezekiel and John into the spiritual realm so they could withstand its light and glory to show them the future. John saw past, present and future but Ezekiel only saw the future because Jesus had not yet come in the form of Man to redeem the world.

The Rainbow

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around Him. v28

As Ezekiel saw a rainbow around the spiritual Man and the throne, the Apostle John also saw a rainbow around God’s throne and Jesus in Revelation. God told Noah that He would set a rainbow in the cloud as the sign of His covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth by water. Instead God sent the water of the Anointed Word to save the earth. This is the Father’s love and grace. At the end of time, God will destroy the earth by fire. He will honor His Word and covenant with Noah.

In Revelation 4:3, there is a rainbow around God's throne. And, in Revelation 10:1, there is a rainbow around the head of a “mighty angel” who is robed in a cloud; His face is like the sun, and His legs were like fiery pillars. He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in His hand. He planted His left foot in the sea, and His right foot on the land, and He gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When He shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. This Mighty Angel had one foot on the sea and the other on the land like a rainbow (arch) over them. Jesus is God’s Mighty Divine Messenger who came to earth and then returned to His place of glory with the Father. He rules over the land and the sea. Notice that He is on the sea in this scripture not sinking into it, just as Jesus walked on water in glory when He came to His disciples on the tumultuous sea. Job 9:8: He (God) alone spreads out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. Because Jesus is God, He walked on the waves of the sea.

Jesus is also the Mighty Spiritual Messenger of God who is robed in God's glory and brilliant Light, and whose Word is powerful like the roar of a lion. When King Jesus – the Lion of Judah -- shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. Thunder is loud and powerful. Jesus is the Perfect, powerful Word of God. He is the fulfillment of God's rainbow covenant with Noah and the One who holds the scroll of God's judgment in His Hand. Jesus and the Holy Spirit who are One can open the Word of God because He is the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.

Jesus came the first time to save the world. In Revelation, He will come with a reward in His Hand for those who love and serve Him, but He will come as Judge with judgment in His Hand for those who have rejected His saving grace. At the time of the end, Jesus will complete the restoration of all things back to the Father as it was in the beginning -- no sin or evil. Those who have believed in Him will have nothing to fear because they are washed by the blood of the Lamb and the Lamb is their Light in the temple of their hearts.

                                  Next week:  The Cherubim
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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