The Lord on One of His Thrones




“Besides this divine appearance which Ezekiel saw (Ezek. 1:28), the Bible describes God enthroned on three other occasions — once as seen by Isaiah, and twice as seen by John the Revelator; to wit:

(1) “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried and the house was filled with smoke.” Isa. 6:1-4.

(2) “And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne… And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns

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of gold… 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.” Rev. 4:2, 4-6.

(3) “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.” Rev. 22:1.

Since the throne seen by Isaiah was a “train” (retinue), and since as it entered into the temple, “the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke” (Isa. 6:1, 4), it therefore is a traveling throne, whereas both the one of Revelation 4, having the “sea of glass” before it, and the one of Revelation 22, having the “river…of life” before it, are stationary thrones.

Though the one which Ezekiel saw is similar to the one which Isaiah was shown, yet they are distinct and separate thrones, for each of the “seraphims” of Isaiah’s vision has six wings, while each of the “cherubims” of Ezekiel’s vision has but four. In the latter, moreover, the cherubims stood under the throne, whereas in the former, they stood above it. On record, therefore, are four thrones — two stationary, and two traveling.

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In determining the location of the throne of Revelation 4, and the one of Revelation 22, we note to begin with that the latter, the one from which the “river…of life” proceeds, is, says the Revelator, “the throne of God and of the Lamb” — that upon which Christ sat at the right hand of God after His resurrection. The former, the one having the sea of glass before it, is (also according to John’s view) in the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, for John saw before it “seven lamps of fire” (Rev. 4:5) — a sanctuary fixture. “As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven he beheld there ‘seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.’ ” — The Great Controversy, p. 414.

Then, concerning the Father and the Son’s moving from the throne of God and of the Lamb — the one where the river of life is — to the throne where the sea of glass is, we read: “I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne,… Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat.” — Early Writings, p. 55.

Recording the same event as he saw it, Daniel says: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of days did sit,

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Whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Dan. 7:9, 10.

Our greatest interest, however, at this point, is to know the location and the mission of the throne which Ezekiel saw, and concerning which he says: “…I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north.” Ezek. 1:4. The fact that the “whirlwind,” enveloping the throne, “came,” says Ezekiel, shows that this throne, just as with the one of Isaiah 6, is a moving one, and that it came to the banks of the river Chebar.

“This is the living creature,” continues Ezekiel, “that I saw under the God of Israel [Who is “above the cherubims”], by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.” “And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight.” Ezek. 10:20, 19.

As the chariot’s mounting “up from the earth” shows that in this particular throne, God visits the earth and then, when His mission is accomplished, returns to heaven, naturally our uppermost desire is to know the answer to the question,

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When Will This Prophetic Vision Be Fulfilled?

According to Ezekiel 2:3; 3:1, 4, 5, 7, the prophet was to bear his message to the whole “house of Israel” (the term “house of Israel,” denoting either all twelve tribes or only the ten tribes as the case might be). Yet he did not understand the meaning of the vision. Had he he would have explained it, rather than declaring: “I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.” Ezek. 3:15.

Since at the time of the vision, the house of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom, was in captivity in the land of the Chaldeans, and the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom, was in dispersion among the nations whither it had been carried away and scattered some years before (2 Kings 17:6), there was no possibility of Ezekiel’s delivering the message to them. And as it is to both the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Ezek. 9:9), — the twelve tribes, — consequently it was prophetic in Ezekiel’s time.

The Jewish nation, moreover, up to the time of Christ, had no light on this prophecy, and it appeared to them as too complicated to understand, and even unsafe for an ordinary mind to read. “All this chapter appeared so obscure and full of mysteries, to the ancient Hebrews, that, as we learn

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from St. Jerome (Ep. ad Paulin.,) they suffered none to read it before they were thirty years old.” Douay Version, footnote to Ezekiel 1:5. And having seen no light in this scripture until the present time, the Christian church has made little or no attempt to explain it.

And finally as no slaughter such as the one described in Ezekiel 9 has ever occurred, its fulfillment is obviously yet future.

Plainly, therefore, the vision was prophetic in Ezekiel’s time, and has been prophetic ever since. And if it is ever to be fulfilled, and not remain a useless and unprofitable writing, — a thing which God never creates, — then its mystery must, of course, now be unveiled, and its action executed in the near future.

In the clear light of these facts, chapter nine is seen to hold the climactic scene of the vision. Describing the awful work which the Lord is to do when, with the cherubim, He visits the earth, it shows the fearsome consequences to those who reject its message: its blessings missed, the kingdom lost! Tragic, frightful experience, it shall be the fate of all who refuse now to awake and to know about it, but who choose rather to remain in ignorance of its truth, and of

The Object of the Lord’s Coming In His Throne.” (Tract 1 , p. 7-12)

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