Archive for October, 2012

Isaiah 6:2 Seraphim in the Throne Room

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , on October 28, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 6:2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

This passage is one of the better verses in the Bible to physically describe what a seraph looks like. The Hebrew word is seraph. Seraphim is the plural form of the word. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word isdefined asserpent, fiery serpent, poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison). The word literally means burning one.

There are other terms for angels in the Bible. They include: sons of God, holy ones, morning stars, cherubim, ministering spirits, and watchers.

The creature has six wings. One interesting note is the part of the verse in reference to covering his feet. Some scholars have suggested this is an idiomatic reference to genitals. Revelation 4 does mention creatures with six wings in the throne room of Heaven. Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. Previous verses in Revelation indicate the faces of the creatures are different from each other.

The word seraph can also be translated as a poisonous snake. See Numbers 21:6 The LORD sent fiery serpents (seraph) among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. A second example is Deuteronomy 8:15. “He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents (seraph) and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.

In Isaiah 14:29, seraph is translated as a flying snake. “Do not rejoice, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod that struck you is broken; for from the serpent’s root a viper will come out, and its fruit will be a flying serpent (seraph).

The Hebrew word for angel is malak in the Old Testament. Malak defined means: messenger, representative, angel, the theophanic angel or the Angel of the Lord.

The Greek word for angel is aggelos in the New Testament. Aggelos defined means: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God.

Heaven’s Throne Room

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2012 by paulthepoke

Expanding on Isaiah 6:1, what does the throne room of Heaven look like? There are other references to the physical description of the Heavenly throne in Scripture. The majority of the physical description noted is about God Himself. One of the references is in the Old Testament and one of the references is in the New Testament.

The first example is from Revelation. The apostle John who is imprisoned on Patmos is the author and he is the one in the Spirit.

Revelation 4:2-3 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.

The two stones of jasper and sardius are of interest as they describe God. Jasper is defined as a precious stone of various colors (purple, blue, green, white, clear, and brass in color). Sardius is a precious stone that is fleshly colored.

The color of the throne room is a green, gem like emerald. The rainbow encompasses the throne.

Verse 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 

Imagine the visual and acoustic environment this would create. Lightning and thunder are emanating from the throne.  Lamps representing the Spirit of God are blazing with fire in front of the throne. The number seven is symbolic of completeness, fullness, perfection.

Verse 6a and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal… 

The Old Testament description is provided by the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:26-28 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.

The throne is compared to lapis luzuli. What is that? It is translated as a sapphire stone in some cases. Sapphires can come in many colors. The most common color is blue.

The Ezekiel passage discusses the physical appearance of God. He looks like a man. God told us in the Genesis creation account that humanity was made in His image. Ezekiel confirms this with his observation. God looks like a man.

The physical description of God is consistent with fire. Fire is a symbol of judgment and purification.

Genesis 9:9-17, God establishes a covenant and a promise with man and all living creatures. Notice, man’s actions affect the living environment around him. The rainbow is a reminder and a symbol of God’s mercy. Specifically, Genesis 9:15 indicatesand I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

The Triune God is present in the throne room in Heaven. The Father is seated on the throne. The Spirit is present as lampstands. The Son is the One who will open the scrolls later in the scene in Revelation 5. 

The symbols and description of God in the throne room depict: strength, power, beauty, judgment, preciousness, and mercy.

Isaiah 6:1 A Shift in Scenery

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by paulthepoke

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.  

Isaiah 6, the scene shifts to the throne room of Heaven.

King Uzziah was the tenth king of Judah. His name means: strength of Jehovah according to Strong’s Concordance. 2 Chronicles 26:1 And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 2 Chronicles 26:3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem…He generally did what the Lord approved according to 26:4. Military strength was a hallmark of his reign. Later in life, his pride got the best of him. 2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. In 2 Kings 15:1-8, Uzziah is also called Azariah. King Uzziah is in the family tree of Jesus (Matthew 1:8-9). His death is estimated to be in the year 740 BC.

The Hebrew word for Lord is adonai. It can be a reference to men or to God. In the case of God, it is capitalized. It means master or sovereign according to Strong’s. Adonai is plural and it recognizes His greatness and majesty (Systematic Theology, Chester McCalley).

The greatness and majesty is also emphasized with the throne room in Heaven. The adjectives that describe the throne room include: dignity, authority, power, lofty, and exalted. The robe filling the throne room is another symbol of His greatness.

Isaiah 5:28 Lion, King of the Beasts

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by paulthepoke

Its roaring is like a lioness, and it roars like young lions; it growls as it seizes the prey and carries it off with no one to deliver it. And it will growl over it in that day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, there is darkness and distress; even the light is darkened by its clouds. 

This is the description of the army invading Israel. Culturally in Israel, lions were known as the king of the beasts with their size and strength. Lions generally are not man eaters. If a lion eats a man, it is a threat to eat a man again. Lions once were in the land of Israel. This is not the case at this point in time.

Look at the different ways Scripture describes a lion. Proverbs 19:12a The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion… A roaring lion is like a king’s rage and fury. Proverbs 20:2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life. A growling lion is dreadful and fearsome. When angered, it will cost you your life. Proverbs 28:1b …But the righteous are bold as a lion. Confidence is exuded by the lion. Proverbs 30:30 The lion which is mighty among beasts and does not retreat before any…There is no fear in the lion. The lion bows to nobody and keeps coming. Jeremiah 2:30b …Your sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion. The lion is compared to an eating and consuming lion.

When one looks at the idiomatic description of the invading army to a lion, you get rage, fury, wrath, terror, dread, fear, and death. The army is confident, bold, pressing, consuming, and devouring.

Finally, darkness has fallen upon the land. Scholars debate whether this darkness is literal or idiomatic. With all the death and destruction caused by this destructive army, it is easy to understand how this could be idiomatic. It would be figuratively dark with the level of death described in these verses.

It could also be a physical reality. The book of Joel describes a time in the future during “The Day of the Lord” when Israel is visited by an invading army and the physical world is literally darkened.  Joel 2:2a A day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness. Joel 2:10 Before them the earth quakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and the moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness. Joel 3:15 The sun and moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness. Remember these same references to the progression of physical darkness in Revelation. The culmination of darkness occurs in Revelation 9:2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Jesus Himself references the physical darkness on the earth prior to His coming in Mark 13:24. Jesus is quoting Joel 2:10, 3:15.

It does not have to be one or the other, the darkness can be both figurative and literal.

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