In the last Monthly View, "The Ezekiel Wheel Project" helped us to visualize that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. 1 We read about these men of faith in Hebrews, chapter 11. They were men who walked by faith in God, not by sight. 2They dared to believe in the invisible God, Who created them for a personal realization of Him in the Spirit. Today, they are our heroes of faith.
The Throne's Seven Levels
These heroes help us to see the seven levels of God's throne, which are illustrated on the Ezekiel Wheel Project chart. The center core, the first level, is revealed in Revelation 4:2,3 by the Apostle John saying, "...I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne." The invisible God Almighty [El Shaddai] became visible to him, "And He who sat there was like a jasper [red, yellow or brown opaque quartz] and a sardius [reddish brown] stone in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald [deep green]." John saw God's throne in its entirety in this one verse, the throne of God on the highest level to the rainbow, or the outer seventh level. Can you see the view from where you sit?
The Prophet Ezekiel saw this highest first level of the throne to be "...the appearance of a man from his waste up, he looked like gleaming amber [yellowish orange], flickering like a fire. And from his waste down, he looked like burning flame, shining with splendor. All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining through the clouds." 3
The second level begins in Revelation 4:6, "Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal." Ezekiel describes this level around God as a blue sapphire stone. 4 The Hebrew word for sapphire refers to lapis lazuli, a deep blue stone with golden specks. John saw us, the Saints, standing on the sea of glass, 5 but we are seated there spiritually right now and are promised to sit with Jesus on His throne as overcomers. 6
The firmament, mentioned only by Ezekiel, is the third level separating the living creatures from the throne. "The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal [brilliant sparkling ice when the sun shines on it] stretched out over their heads ... their wings, like the voice of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty ... And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne." 7
The Four Living Creatures
The Apostle John also describes the fourth level in Revelation 4:6, "And around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back." They never rest day or night from serving and praising the Lord God Almighty. Ezekiel describes these creatures as a wheel in the middle of a wheel. These four living creatures have four faces [lion, calf, man and eagle] representing God's rule over all creation, moving with the Spirit, full of eyes, lamps and horns, each inside the sevenfold Spirit, capable of moving in any direction throughout the entire earth.8 Ezekiel saw one of their four faces being a cherub and the creature having four wings. John describes instead, the face of a man and the creatures being seraphim's with six wings. One can receive a clearer description of these creatures by reading Ezekiel chapter 1 and 10 in the New Living Translation.
John saw the fifth level in Revelation 4:5, "...Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." Then, in chapter 5, verse 6, he mentions the Lamb [Jesus Christ] in the midst of the throne "...having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth [all-present]." That is, each of the sevenfold Spirit has a horn [all-power and authority] and an eye [all-knowing]. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied these sevenfold attributes of the Spirit of the Lord, which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear and righteousness. 9
Inside the emerald rainbow, John saw the sixth level in Revelation 4:4, which he
describes as: "...twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes, and they had crowns of gold on their heads." These
elders are mentioned by John again in chapter 21, whose names are written on the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, "...the twelve tribes of the children of Israel" (vs.12). Also, the names written on the twelve foundations are "...the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (vs.14). John says about the New Jerusalem, "Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, no one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life" (vs.27).
The Emerald Rainbow
Lastly, John saw the seventh or outer level in Revelation 4:3, "...a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald." Normally, we think of a rainbow as an arch of colors in the sky, but a rainbow is a circle. This is God's covenant rainbow, which is emerald green representing His promise of life. The color is caused by light passing through moisture in the air. It represents the glorious presence of God and reminds us that His mercy and grace will finally triumph. When the bride of Christ is removed from the Earth, the rainbow will turn to bright-amber, releasing the wrath of God as in the days of Ezekiel.
The Lord will show his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the Earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. 10
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and Earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything began, and He holds all of creation together. 11
A Worldly View
It may be hard for you to come to a realization of the invisible God. But this fact remains: the truth about God is known by you instinctively, for He has put this knowledge in your heart. I have met many people who know the truth about God religiously, but they do not know Him personally. They turn away from God making excuses. They act like they are satisfied in this world, living life on a lower plane.
It is easy to get a commercial view of things, during the Christmas season, instead of celebrating the birth of our Savior. Do you remember the story of the shepherds, when the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and the Lord's glory surrounded them? The angel said, "Don't be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!! The Savior--Messiah, the Lord has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth! Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others, the armies of heaven, praising God: 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all who God favors."' 12
The Christmas story is what this season is all about. The biblical account of Christmas is vastly different from the one presented to us in the world today. John, the Apostle, said rather harshly to: "Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father, They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God you will live forever." 13
The Apostle John is not talking about being a legalistic Scrooge, who lives an ascetic life, trying to become righteous through strict discipline and firm restraint. He was reiterating that we are to live in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with the Father, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, will cleanse us from every sin. 14 And again, "...if we confess our sins to Him, he is faithful and just to have forgiven us and to have cleansed us from every wrong 2000 years ago at Calvary's cross." 15 This understanding of our faith is what gives us the ability to live a victorious life, "...because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." 16
A Prayer For You...
"Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, I ask for every reader that you would confirm what is true in this throne room vision, and cancel out what may be false. I pray that the fog of indifference to eternal things would be lifted, and that the reality of heaven and hell would become clear. I pray that the focus of Christ in history would become plain, and that his passion would be seen as the most important event that ever happened. Grant us to walk along the cliff of eternity, where the wind blows crystal clear with truth. For many, these things are new. May they be patient to consider them carefully. And would you grant understanding and insight, in Jesus Name. Amen!"