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What is the sea of glass?


Where is the "sea of glass" referred to and what does it mean?

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‘Sea of glass’ occurs 3 Times in Revelation.

Revelation 4:6 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.

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.

The Greek word ‘hualinos’ translated ‘glass’ is an adjective, descriptive of the sea; meaning that the sea was translucent, like glass. The word translated crystal ‘krustallos’ is derived from ‘kruos’ (frost) and is perhaps intended to indicate as clear as ice.

Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal , proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

The word ‘thalassa’ translated ‘sea’ is used some 22 times in Revelation, mostly (but not always) symbolically.

In the case of the ‘sea of glass’ the ‘sea’ is perhaps most reasonably understood to represent the wickedness of mankind.

Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

I believe that Jesus walked upon the Sea of Galilee not just because he had the power to do so but as a symbol of his victory over the wickedness of mankind.

Matthew 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

By his righteousness he had gained the victory.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In the prophecy given on the Mount of Olives Jesus describes the distress of nations as ‘the sea and waves roaring’.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

James likens unbelief in terms of the waves of the sea.

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Jude describes ungodly men as waves of the sea.

Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

The beast is seen arising from the sea. This is symbolic of a political power arising out of ungodly nations.

Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

At the end of the millennial reign of Christ when the new heavens and earth are established, there is no more sea. We are not to suppose that the heaven and the earth are literally and physically replaced, rather it is symbolic of a new order of government and governed, where all are immortal and God dwells among them. In this sense there is no more sea, meaning no more ungodly nations or wickedness of mankind on the earth.

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

To return to the verses in question:

Revelation 4:6 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.

If the sea represents the wickedness of mankind, the symbol of transparency would indicate that all is known to the one who sits upon the throne and the future is to be unveiled when the scroll is opened. The vision is 'doubled' as it were, by the four living creatures being 'full of eyes before and behind'.

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

In chapter 15 we are shown in symbol the victory of the faithful.

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.

Fire is used as a symbol for the judgments of God poured out on the nations.

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Those who stand on the sea are those who by faith their master have overcome the world.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless,
Glenn,
thisisyourbible.com

 
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