September 5, 1999 pm
Michael F. Blume

Ezek 1:26-28  And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

We spoke much of the glory of God in the recent services. When the ark of the covenant was taken by the Philistines, Phinehas' wife went into labour for her child's birth when she heard that her husband and her father-in-law dies, and the ark of the covenant was taken. So, the Ark depicted God's glory.

But the ark returned after destroying Dagon's idol in three days, and plaguing all Philistia.

Notice what happened when the ark was taken:

  1. Phinehas died (Phinehas means "serpent mouth")
  2. Hophni died (Hophni means "fist fighter")
  3. Eli died, a fat man and an old man.
  4. Dagon was destroyed.
Contrast those events with the following:

Christ was taken by the enemy and crucified.

  1. When he died, my old sinful life died with Him -- the "serpent mouth" sinner I used to be.
  2. I was also carnal when in sin and like a fist-fighter, denying God.
  3. My old man died with Him (Ro. 6:6), and all that fleshliness of ungodliness died.
  4. Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.
And the Ark returned to Israel just like Jesus resurrected from the grave!

The ark was to be carried royally on the shoulders of priests using poles or staves to uphold it.

Ezekiel saw a vision of what the ark symbolized, in our opening text that we read.

The ark and the "glory of God" are representative of the same thing.

Ezekiel saw a throne above the heads of living creatures, or cherubims, as the ark was carried on the shoulders of priests.

One sat on the throne dressed with amber and fire. In Ezekiel's visions, the throne of the glory of God was SAPPHIRE stone.

I researched what the Hebrew word for SAPPHIRE is derived from, and found a fascinating truth.

Keep that in mind as we proceed.

The throne of the chariot of Ezekiel parallels the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

The blood that was sprinkled on the ark was foreshadowing the blood Jesus would shed to save mankind from sin. Christ is the one seated on the throne of sapphire. He will judge us on the seat of reckoning.

To reckon ourselves dead with Him, means that we must realize that God only saves those who see that Christ died as them.

No wonder sacrificial blood was put on something that represented the SAPPHIRE THRONE! The very foundation of Christ's KINGDOM is a SAPPHIRE THRONE-- reckoning.

The ark was first mentioned in Ezekiel 25:10 when God gave Moses instructions to build it.

But before this, we read:

Exod 24:1  And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
Exod 24:9-11  Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and [there was] under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in [his] clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
Moses saw the spiritual realm somehow, and there was a paved work of sapphire stone there! One day we are going to enter that actual place Moses saw. Our entire basis for an eternity with God is RECKONING OURSELVES DEAD WITH CHRIST.

We will stand forever BECAUSE OF THIS RECKONING.

Moses saw God and we read they did eat and drink.

Let's go ahead in time long past Ezekiel and Moses.
John 19:13-16  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led [him] away.
Jesus final judgment was carried out in a place called the PAVEMENT. I will never be judged for my sinful life before I found Christ again! Why do we sing how the blood of Jesus is against Satan? Where the blood was sprinkled we read this:
Exod 25:21-22  And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which [are] upon the ark of the testimony, of all [things] which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
THERE GOD WILL MEET WITH US. If you want to see God one day and be with Him for eternity, there's only one way.