VIDEO The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “a sea of glass mingled with fire”

Rev 15:2 KJV

“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.”

John sees a sea of glass mingled with fire proceeding from the throne of God. To better understand this symbol we need to look at this sea where it is first mentioned in Revelation 4:5-6…

“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. 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.”

In this passage, the sea of glass is symbolic of salvation through the gospel message which is the water of life. This sea proceeds from, and leads to, the throne of God, which is representative of acceptance by God and entering into His presence having an eternal relationship with Him.

The seven Spirits of God, symbolic of the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit, line this sea of glass lighting the way to the throne. This helps us to understand that it is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, revealing and applying the Word to the sin-hardened heart of man, that we can come to a saving faith in Christ through His Word.

If we turn our attention to our original text, we can see that the phrase “the sea of glass mingled with fire” is describing the sea of glass reflecting light from the seven lamps (the Holy Spirit). Also, we are told those who have gotten the victory over Satan and his kingdom are standing upon the sea. This helps us to see that those who are victors are saved individuals who are now enjoying the blessings of eternal communion with God.

What a wonderful thought … the living water (the gospel message) when illuminated by the Holy Spirit will lead men to a relationship with God Himself. What a wonderful blessing to know that those of us who have been saved through faith have entered into a relationship with Almighty God and will be in His presence praising, glorifying, and worshipping Him as His wrath falls upon lost mankind.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

Make Your Life Count

Ephesians 1:13-21

What I do doesn’t count. Perhaps you sometimes have that thought—and you would be correct if your action is your idea, done your way. We have nothing to offer others when we rely on our own abilities and efforts. But as born-again believers seeking to live obediently, we are wrong when we fall into that kind of thinking. Scripture makes it clear what matters to God. Let us seek to think the way God does about what counts.

• New Creation.
The Bible tells us that what counts is being a new creation (Galatians 6:15). We who have received Christ as our Lord and Savior are exactly that. Are you a new creation? If so, know that you are of great value to God.

• Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit indwelling us who makes what we do significant (John 6:63). Do you recognize His presence within you? He equips you to make your life count.

• Faith. A key ingredient in living a life that makes an impact is faith (Hebrews 11:6). This is not something we produce on our own—it is developed in us. Are you nourishing your soul through God’s Word in order to grow strong in faith?

• Love. Without love, faith rings hollow and discordant (1 Corinthians 13:1). Is godly love seasoning your words as well as your actions?

• Obedience. Following the Lord’s commands is what truly counts (John 15:10). Have you yielded your ways in order to obey His Word?

When we live God’s way, what we do counts in the eyes of the only One who matters—God Himself.

Unexpected Attacks and Spiritual Battles

pearl harbor

The use of surprise is always quite handy in any war.

If the enemy can catch you off guard, they have a real advantage. This was certainly the case on Sunday December 7, 1941 at 7:48a.m when 353 Japanese airplanes attacked Pearl Harbor.

The two waves of Japanese attacks were over in an hour and a half, but America paid a tremendous price during this brief but ferocious period. Nearly 20 warships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships. Some 2400 Americans were killed, as well as 1200 wounded.

Of course 70 years later in another surprise attack on American soil, 3000 lives were lost. I mention all this because moments ago I was lazing on the beaches of Hawaii. Although it was Waikiki Beach, it was also a Sunday morning. I, along with plenty of other folks, was enjoying the beach, the ocean, the views, the weather, the lifestyle.

Everyone was absorbed in this amazing strip of beach in Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the background. I could not help but think that things were much the same 74 years ago. Although it was a bit earlier in the morning, people back then were also enjoying the beach life, having a quiet Sunday morning, and just going about their business.

But all that was shattered as the Japanese planes did their worst. Things forever changed that morning. Within hours the US had declared war on Japan, and for four bloody years, war was on, ending on August 14, 1945, when Japan formally surrendered.

There could be no more business as usual after that fateful December morning. Things had to change, for the very survival of America and the free world was at stake. The same can be said of the spiritual realm. Planet earth is now under enemy occupation.

The Christian believes there is a real personal spiritual enemy, who attacks at will, often with surprise attacks. Yet most believers live as if there is no enemy, and there are no spiritual attacks. We just go about our business, enjoying what life has to offer, oblivious to the war going on all around us.

Because we are not on war footing, and are not even aware of the battles waging all around us, we are not even attuned to the moves of the enemy. So attacks come and go – whether surprise or not – and most of the church just sleeps through it all.

There are incessant attacks on marriage and family, on the sanctity of life, on the concept of truth, on morality, on the Christian faith itself. But how many believers live as if it were December 6, 1941, instead of December 7? We act as if we are in a time of peace, with no enemies.

We think life is a beach, and we can just take it easy. But the Christian life is never presented this way in Scripture. The Bible throughout presents the life of God’s child as one of conflict, of battles, of attacks, of incessant warfare. We have an enemy who is ever vigilant, ever seeking to derail our faith, silence our churches, and crush our spirituality.

Are we even aware of this? Or are we just living the good life on the beaches, unaware that a fleet of enemy aircraft are heading our way this very moment, seeking to inflict as much damage on us as possible? If we are in tune with the Spirit and the things of God, we will not be caught out by enemy attacks.

We will know that we have an aggressive enemy, we will be aware of his plans of attack, and we will have taken pre-emptive steps to deal with such attacks. We will not be blind-sided by the enemy, but have our own plan of attack put in place.

All the great saints have known of these truths. All have known of the place of battle and warfare in the Christian life. Because of this, they have not been surprised by enemy attacks, but have been properly prepared to fight for the faith.

Let me cite a few of these great champions of the faith:

“The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a scanty round of formal religious services once every week. But of the great spiritual warfare – its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests – of all this they appear to know nothing at all.” J C Ryle

“The Church of Christ is continually represented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of a peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel. Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering. And how is this? It is in the very order of things that so it must be. Truth could not be truth in this world if it were not a warring thing, and we should at once suspect that it were not true if error were friends with it. The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the blackness of heresy and lies.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Every Christian life is a constant fight against the pressures and pulls of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and his battle for Christlikeness (that is, habits of wisdom, devotion, love, and righteousness) is as grueling as it is unending. To suggest otherwise when evangelizing is a kind of confidence trick.” J. I. Packer

“The Christian life … is a warfare, it is a struggle. There is no grosser or greater misrepresentation of the Christian message than that which depicts it as offering a life of ease with no battle and struggle at all.” Martyn-Lloyd Jones

“When a nation calls its prime men to battle, homes are broken, weeping sweethearts say their good-byes, businesses are closed, college careers are wrecked, factories are refitted for wartime production, and rationing and discomforts are accepted—all for war. Can we do less for the greatest fight that this world has ever known outside of the cross—this end-time siege on sanity, morality and spirituality?” Leonard Ravenhill

Lastly, consider carefully the words of Charlotte Elliott’s Christian, Seek Not Yet Repose (1836):

1 Christian! seek not yet repose, Hear thy guardian angel say;
‘Thou art in the midst of foes: Watch and pray.’
2 Principalities and powers, Mustering their unseen array,
Wait for thy unguarded hours; ‘Watch and pray.’
3 Gird thy heavenly armor on, Wear it every night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one; ‘Watch and pray.’
4 Hear the victors who o’ercame; Still they mark each warrior’s way;
All with one clear voice exclaim, ‘Watch and pray.’
5 Hear, above all, hear thy Lord, Him thou lovest to obey;
Hide within thy heart His Word, ‘Watch and pray.’
6 Watch, as if on that alone Hung the issue of the day;
Pray that help may be sent down; ‘Watch and pray.’

by Bill Muehlenberg

No Other Image

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing.” (Exodus 20:4)

There are several reasons why idolatry is forbidden. The most obvious is that the triune Creator is too great to attempt to visualize (Exodus 34:5-7). There is no thing or experience in human existence that can represent the immortal and invisible Creator (1 Timothy 6:16).

Thus, God sees any effort to “picture” Him (idolatry) as rebellion (Jeremiah 5:19-25). It does not matter how we may attempt to “see” God. “Any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4) are all totally incapable of expressing God’s person.

Romans 1:18-32 reveals the heart of an idolater. Those who hold the truth in unrighteousness (v. 18) will not glorify God as God (v. 21), even though they know Him by the creation itself (v. 20). Instead, they change God’s inestimable glory into an earthly creature (v. 23) and consciously change God’s truth into a lie (v. 25).

Thus, by open choice and willing rebellion, idolators worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (v. 25), thereby abandoning God for a despicable and unnatural lust, for an ungodliness that, in turn, causes them to despise the very thought of God in their knowledge (v. 28). Ultimately, the only pleasure they can find is among other idolaters (v. 32).

Paul taught the “philosophers” in Acts 17:22-29 that the heart of idolatry is rejection of God as Creator. Idolatry, in any form or practice, strikes at the heart of salvation, because “he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). HMM III

Why They Act Like Idiots

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. —Revelation 15:4

Without worship we go about miserable; that’s why we have all the troubles we have. You wonder why young people act like such idiots. Some young people have a lot of energy and don’t know what to do with it, so they go out and act like idiots; and that’s why gangsters and communists and sinners of all kinds do what they do. They are endowed by God Almighty with brilliant intelligence and an amazing store of energy, and because they don’t know what to do with it they do the wrong thing. That’s why I’m not angry with people when I see them go off the deep end, because I know that they have fallen from their first estate along with Adam’s brood and all of us together.

They haven’t been redeemed and so they have energy they don’t know what to do with; they have capacity they don’t know how to use. They have skills and don’t know where to put them, and so they go wild and police have to arrest sixteen-year-olds and put them in jail. If they had been taught that they came into the world in the first place to worship God and to enjoy Him forever and that when they fell Jesus Christ came to redeem them, to make worshipers out of them, they could by the Holy Ghost and the washing of the blood be made into worshiping saints and things would be so different.

Lord, I pray especially for young people today. Reveal Yourself this morning to some who really need to see You and need to see the purpose for which they came into the world. Amen.

A Spiritual Rule: Hot Furnace, Cool Chimney

Now we have received… the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12

In our Christian fellowship two opposite dangers are to be recognized and avoided: they are the cold heart and the hot head!

For downright harmful effects the hot head is often the worst of the two.

The human heart is heretical by nature. Unless well instructed in the Scriptures and fully enlightened by the indwelling Spirit, it may confuse the fervor of the Spirit with the heat of the flesh, and mistake the scintillations of the overheated imagination for the glow of the true Shekinah.

It may be said without qualification that there can never be too much fire if it is the true fire of God, and it can be said as certainly that there cannot be too much cool judgment in religious matters if that judgment is sanctified by the Spirit.

Among the gifts of the Spirit scarcely any one is of greater practical usefulness in these critical times than the gift of discernment. This spiritual gift should be highly valued and frankly sought.

Human sweat can add nothing to the work of the Spirit, especially when it is nerve sweat. The hottest fire of God is cool when it touches the redeemed intellect. It makes the heart glow but leaves the judgment completely calm.

Let love burn on with increasing fervor but bring every act to the test of quiet wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney!

Make God’s Will Our Will

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? ACTS 9:6

The mystery of man’s free will is far too great for us! God said to Adam and Eve: “Thou shalt not eat from this tree” (see Genesis 2:16-17). Here was a divine requirement calling for obedience on the part of those who had the power of choice and will. When they disobeyed, they usurped the right that was not theirs!

The poet Tennyson must have thought about this, for he wrote in his “In Memoriam”: “Our wills are ours, we know not how; our wills are ours to make them Thine!”

“We know not how;” then Tennyson girds himself and continues, “Our wills are ours to make them Thine!”

As created beings, that is our only right—to make our wills the will of God, to make the will of God our will! God is sovereign, and we are the creatures. He is the Creator and has the right to command us with the obligation that we should obey.

It is a happy obligation, I might say, for “His yoke is easy and His burden is light!” It is important to agree that true salvation restores the right of a Creator-creature relationship, acknowledging God’s right to our fellowship and communion!

Heavenly Father, intellectually it is easy to say that I want to do Your will, but to really do so I need Your Spirit’s help. Strengthen me, Lord. I am Yours.