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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 15

Section 2

2. The Glassy Sea



"And I saw as it were a glassy sea, which had been mingled with fire" - Verse 2.


The Apocalyptic sea is that aggregation of "many waters" Out of which the Beast having seven heads and ten horns arose (ch. 13:1); and upon which the Drunken Harlot-Mother of all the Gentile "Churches" sits (ch. 17:1,5,15). This sea of nations encircling the Mediterranean, or "Great Sea," is Apocalyptically exhibited in two states - in a state of storm; and in a state of transparent calm. When John stood upon its shore, and saw the Beast arise, it was in an uproarious and tempestuous agitation (Dan. 7:2). The dominions of the House of Esau, who lives by his sword (Gen. 27:40), do not arise in times of tranquillity and calm; these times ensue only when the tumult and tempest of war are hushed; and then the conqueror can stand upon it, and sing the song of victory. Dominions, in a world like this, can only be founded, and maintained by 'fire and brimstone". In the days of old, they were established by the sword, the spear, the battle-axe, and bow; but in modern times, victory is said to be on the side of the heaviest artillery; that is, where "the fire burning with brimstone" rages with the greatest intensity. Yahweh Tz'vaoth, in the days of Joshua, established His kingdom in the Holy Land, by the sword of Israel, strengthened by His judgments poured out upon the helpless inhabitants of the country: so also it is to be in the day of Jesus, called "the Day of his power;" the kingdom is to be established in the same country by "fire burning with brimstone" in the hands of Israel, commanded by the Saints; and strengthened with the Eternal Power, "who rideth upon the heaven in their help" (Deut. 33:26).


In the English Version, the text before us reads, "a sea of glass mingled with fire". In the original it is not a substantive, but an adjective, as hyalinen, glassy, that is, smooth and transparent; from hyalos, a transparent Stone, soft kind of crystal; also glass. "Mingled with fire" is also objectionable. This rendering represents the conquerors as stand-ing upon it, and singing the song of victory, while the fire is flashing in consuming flames from the sea. This would be to sing the song of victory before the victory is won! The Saints do not perpetrate such an anachronism as this. Flames of fire burning with brimstone were not flash-ing like lightning and with the roar of "the Seven Thunders," when John looked, and saw the Divine harpists standing victorious upon the sea. All this had passed away, and the sea which had been thus convulsed, and commingled with the lightnings and thunderings proceeding from the throne (ch. 4:5), was now "glassy like to crystal" (ch. 4:6). This is clearly indicated in the word memigmenen agreeing with thalassan, sea. Memigmenen, is the perfect participle passive, and signifies an action past: as, having been mingled, or which had been mingled. A sea lashed into fury by the four winds of the heaven, and the bursting flames of the Seven Lamps of fire, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth from the throne into all the earth (ch. 4:5; 5:6), is not a "glassy sea". A sea of Mediterranean nations, commingled with armies of valiant and lion-like Israelites, one of whom, like Samson of old, shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight (Deut. 32:30), commanded by the 144,000, and executing the tormenting judgments of the Second and Third Angels, upon Babylon and its Beast, and Image, and Mark, and number of its Name; and upon the dominions outlying, or "without the city," until the end of the Sixteen Hundred Furlongs of time - is a sea commingled with fire burning with brimstone; in other words, it is a "Lake of Fire"; in which, while "the war of that great day of the Almighty Deity" is in continuance, the Beast and his False Prophet, and the ejected wicked, slothful, and unprofitable servants of the One-Talent class of saints, are all being scorched and tormented in the presence of the Holy Angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: who shall tread these wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet (Mal. 4:3), which are then "as pillars of fire" "burning in a furnace" (Apoc. 10:1; 1:15). This is vengeance in the day of vengeance, affording a practical illustration of Paul's saying, that "the Deity is a consuming fire"; and that  "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31; 12:29). But, how different the condition of the called, and chosen, and faithful saints of the two-and-five-talent class at this time! In the day of His vengeance there are among the nations wailing, blaspheming, and gnashing of teeth; but, on the other hand, "the righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily there is Elohim judging in the earth" (Psa. 58:10-11).

The sea had been mingled with fire, by the Angel from the altar that had power over fire; but the wrath had now ceased to burn. The smoke from the glory of the Deity, and from his power, no longer filled the Nave, so that now the conquerors were able to enter into the peaceable possession and enjoyment of the kingdom, to stand upon the glassy sea, and to "rest from their labours". There was now, at the end of the forty vears. "before the throne a glassy sea like unto crystal". Henceforth, the sea remains at rest, perfectly calm, and smooth as glass. "The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Isa. 57:20). Such a sea as this is neither "glassy," nor "like to crvstal". There is no transparency about it. Its waters are dark and muddy; and no light can penetrate below its stormy surface. But, when the lightnings, and thunderings, and voices, which proceed from the throne on Mount Zion, where stand the Lamb and the 144,000, shall have done their work, the wicked, whom Yahweh hath made for the day of evil (Prov. 16:4), in all their temporal and spiritual organizations, as symbolized by the Beast, his Image, his Sign, and the number of his Name, will all have been purged from its waters; the mire and dirt will all have subsided in the abyss, and its surface will be unruffled and crystal-line for a thousand years.





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