Scripture Reading: Ezek. 1:22-28; Rev. 4:2; 1 Kings 22:19; Isa. 6:1; Dan. 7:9-10
I. “Over the heads of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the sight of awesome crystal, stretched forth over their heads above” (Ezek. 1:22):
A. Over the heads of the four living creatures, there is the firmament, the expanse, which we call the sky.
B. The sky above the living creatures is like a great expanse of awesome crystal, indicating that above them is a clear, open, and expanding heaven:
1. They have a thorough fellowship with the Lord vertically and also a clear fellowship among themselves horizontally; they have a wide and stable span of fellowship (1 John 1:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 1:9).
2. When we reach the point of having a clear, open, stable, and expanding heaven, there will be nothing between us and God, and nothing between us and one another.
C. The kind of sky we have as Christians depends on our conscience; our conscience is connected to our sky (Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12):
1. We need to maintain a clear sky with the Lord, that is, have a clear fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3, 6).
2. If we would have a clear sky, we need to deal with any offense or condemnation in our conscience (Acts 24:16).
3. When there is nothing between us and the Lord, our sky will be crystal clear, and we will have not only a good conscience but also a pure conscience (1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:3; cf. Matt. 5:8; Prov. 22:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).
II. “And under the expanse one pair of their wings went straight out, one toward the other; each had another pair covering their bodies on this side and on that side” (Ezek. 1:23):
A. The four living creatures stretch out two of their wings for coordination; this indicates that if we are under a clear, open, stable, and expanding sky, we can have a coordination that is altogether straight, with nothing crooked.
B. The four living creatures use the other two wings to cover themselves; this indicates that in the coordination we should not display ourselves but should hide ourselves under the Lord’s grace (2 Cor. 3:5-6; 12:9; Phil. 3:3).
III. “And I heard the sound of their wings, like the sound of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, as they went; it was the sound of a tumult, like the sound of an army” (Ezek. 1:24a):
A. The voice is not that of an individual but is strong, like the sound of great waters:
1. The voice comes out of the wings that are joined together.
2. The voice of the testimony of any local church should not be the voice of any individual believer; it must be the voice of a corporate, coordinated body, a voice that comes out of the proper coordination (cf. Acts 2:14).
B. The voice of a corporate body becomes the voice of the Almighty, the voice of God Himself.
C. The voice is also the voice of an army fighting the battle for God’s economy (cf. 2 Tim. 4:7).
IV. “Whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. And there was a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads. When they stood still, they dropped their wings” (Ezek. 1:24b-25):
A. When the living creatures hear a voice out of the clear sky above their heads, they stop and let down their wings:
1. This indicates that they know not only how to speak and sound forth their voice but also how to listen to God’s voice (1 Kings 19:11-12; cf. Exo. 21:5-6; Isa. 50:4-5; Luke 10:38-42).
2. Whenever they listen to God’s voice, they stop moving, stand still, and lower their wings.
3. They know how to give the voice by moving, and they know how to listen to God’s voice by stopping.
4. In spiritual things, seeing depends on hearing; hearing is deeper than seeing and more intimate than seeing (Rev. 2:7a; 1:10, 12; Isa. 50:4-5; Matt. 18:15-17).
B. A clear and open heaven, speaking for the Lord, and listening to the Lord are all matters of fellowship (1 John 1:7):
1. Genuine fellowship is related to genuine coordination.
2. When we have fellowship with God and with one another, there will be genuine coordination among us; then we can speak for God and also listen quietly to His speaking.
V. We need to see a vision of the throne of God for the divine administration throughout the universe (Rev. 4:2; 5:1; 6:16; 7:9; 8:3; 21:5; Dan. 7:9-10):
A. The book of Revelation unveils God’s universal administration; this book reveals that the universe operates according to God’s administration (4:2, 5).
B. The throne in Revelation 4 and 5 is the throne of divine authority:
1. God’s throne is related to His administration, which is a matter of His economy (Eph. 1:10; 3:9).
2. God on the throne is behind the scene, ruling over everyone and everything (Isa. 6:1; 1 Kings 22:19).
3. Everything in the world situation is decided on the throne; nothing can happen outside the rule of God’s throne (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; Luke 22:31-32).
VI. The highest point in our spiritual experience is having a clear sky with the throne above it (Ezek. 1:26-28):
A. The throne is the center of the universe, and it is where God is (Rev. 4:2):
1. The Lord’s presence is always with the throne and can never be separated from the throne.
2. The Lord’s throne is not only in the third heaven but also in our spirit; therefore, the Lord’s throne is always with us (Heb. 4:12, 16 and footnote 161).
B. If we have a clear sky, the throne will be present, and we will spontaneously be under the ruling and reigning of the throne.
C. For God to have the throne in us means that He has the position to reign in us.
D. To have the throne above a clear sky is to allow God to have the highest and most prominent position in our Christian life.
E. In our spiritual experience, to reach the point of having the throne above a clear sky means that in everything we are completely submissive to God’s authority and administration.
F. The clearer our sky is, the more we are under the throne; the more we have clear fellowship with the Lord, the more we will be under His authority (cf. Rev. 22:1).
G. If we have the throne above the clear sky, we are greatly blessed, and we should worship God for this blessing.
H. Today there are not many believers who are living completely under the ruling of God:
1. The goal of dealing with the conscience is to recover us from human rule through self-rule to God’s rule so that we may be directly under His control.
2. In His complete salvation God desires to recover us to divine rule so that we may live before God in simplicity and under His direct authority.
3. To be under God’s rule means that we live by the intuition of the spirit.
4. The more we are ruled by God, the more weighty and noble we become.
VII. The throne is not only for God to reign over us but also for Him to accomplish His eternal purpose (4:11; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:9, 11; 3:11):
A. God is a God of purpose, having a will according to His good pleasure (1:5, 9).
B. In His economy God administrates the universe to fulfill His purpose (Rev. 4:11).
C. If we have a throne in our spiritual life, God will not only rule over us but will also fulfill His purpose in us, with us, and through us (2 Tim. 1:9).
D. If we want God’s purpose and plan to be carried out in us and with us, we must submit to the throne.
VIII. The only authority in the church is the throne above the clear sky (Matt. 28:18-19; 20:20-28):
A. In the church there is no human authority (23:11; 20:25-27).
B. Instead of trying to rule over others, we should humble ourselves and remain under the throne above the clear sky.
C. If we are under a clear sky with the throne above it, genuine authority will be with us (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10).
D. Our weight before God depends on the degree of our subjection to God’s authority; the more we submit to the throne, the weightier we will be.
IX. In Ezekiel 1:26 “the likeness of a throne” is “like the appearance of a sapphire stone”:
A. A sapphire stone is blue in color, and blue is a heavenly color indicating the situation and condition of God’s presence (Exo. 24:10).
B. The throne being in the likeness of a sapphire stone indicates the presence of God in a heavenly situation.
C. If we have God’s throne above the clear sky, we will be in a heavenly situation, having the appearance of a sapphire stone with the heavenly situation, atmosphere, and condition of the Lord’s presence.
D. We should care only for the presence of the Lord, not for anything else; in other words, we care only for the clear sky with the throne above it.
X. The throne in the heavens is transmitted to the earth through and with the living creatures (Ezek. 1:5, 26):
A. Wherever they are, the throne is there, and wherever they go, the throne follows them.
B. In this way the throne in the heavens becomes one with the earth, for the throne is transmitted to the earth (Matt. 6:10; 16:19; 18:18).
C. This needs to be the situation among the local churches today, the situation among the overcomers, and the situation and condition of our daily Christian life.