The Sea 3220/2281
The land or earth 1093
Walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The sea represents the world in which men live. As we continue our study, we shall see how it especially represents the evil of the world, those things in the world that are dangerous snares to our faith.
And Jesus was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” And he began to entreat Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there was a big herd of swine feeding there on the mountain. And the demons entreated Him saying, “Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.” And He gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowning in the sea.
Here in this passage we find a parable of the Lord’s deliverance of the captives, and how the powers of darkness that once oppressed them come to oppress the swine, those pigs who after having been washed go back to wallowing in the mire (2 Pet 2:22)‑‑i.e., religious folks who after being redeemed turn back to Egypt and their bondage to sin. In this way they are drowning in the sea, the world and the things in the world.
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves (which threaten to engulf them and drown them, just like in the days of Noah), men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf (or waves or raging) of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
These men (false prophets) are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
Consider that just as the physical wind stirs up the waters of the sea to form wild waves, so do the spiritual winds, the powers of darkness, stir up the world and the things of the world to produce those doubters the false prophets, with the result that all of their lusts and perversions threaten to engulf us.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.
And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” And He said to them, “Why are you timid, you men of little faith?” Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
This is just how it is today. We are in a boat with the Lord Jesus in the sea of the world and a terrible storm is raging so that the waves of the sea threaten to engulf us. The waves are those doubters who are tossed here and there by the winds of demons and their perverted doctrines. Like the disciples we cry out, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” And yet if our faith was not so little we would find rest, just like Jesus, even in the midst of the storm. For then we would know that Jesus has authority over every wind and wave and when we are in the boat with Jesus the raging of the sea cannot engulf us as it does those who are drowning in the world. As it is Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves and makes it perfectly calm, so that we might have faith to enter into His rest.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
After He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already many stadia away from the land, tormented (same root word used in Mat 18:34 and Rev 9:5) by the waves; for the wind was contrary (i.e., against them). And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea (a picture of how Jesus has overcome the world, Jn 16:33). And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were frightened, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water (above the sea, in which a carnal man of the flesh would drown) and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
Here we see that we are just like Peter and the disciples. We are in a boat upon the sea of the world, straining against the contrary winds of our day and tormented by the waves of false teachers and their doctrines, so that we fear for our very lives lest we be engulfed and drowned. Then in the darkest part of our night Jesus comes to us, walking above the sea of the world, so that we are troubled, perhaps frightened, wondering if it is really Him. But we want to come to Jesus, and so we cry out to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”. For we know that only if He calls us will we ever be able to walk above the world and its lusts and come to Him. And so Jesus calls us and we obey; we get out of the boat of our own security and in faith walk above the world and its lusts towards Jesus. But if our faith is slight, then, like Peter, we are liable to take our eyes off of Him and see the wind, those powers of the heavens that stir up the sea of the world against us. When that happens we will become afraid and begin to sink. Unless we cry out, “Lord, save me!” we will drown; but if we do cry out Jesus is right there to stretch out His hand and take hold of us. When at last we are safely inside of the boat with Jesus the wind must stop, so that our only response will be to worship Him. For then, like those first disciples, we will know for certain that Jesus is the Son of God.
And when they came to the multitude, a man came up to Him, falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic, and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water.”
Both fire and water cleanse or refine, often by destroying. Thus it was that the antediluvian world was destroyed by water and the present world shall be destroyed by fire (2 Pet 3:6-7). As the demon in this case cast the boy into the fire and water to destroy him, so do the powers of darkness today cast the ungodly into the spiritual fire and the spiritual water to destroy them (cf. Is 42:25).
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this (spiritual) mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the (spiritual) sea,” it shall happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
And He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
This is a picture of Jesus’ whole ministry; he was always right there in the midst of the world, ministering to the people who were lost there, but himself untouched by it.
If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree (a tree of the field that represents people), “Be uprooted and be planted in the sea“; and it would obey you.
The wind (pneuma) blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. And it had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. And the sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When therefore they had rowed about three or four miles, they beheld Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. (We cross the sea immediately by accepting Jesus, receiving Him into our boat).
The next day the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that his disciples had gone away alone. There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs (like Jesus miraculously crossing the sea), but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal (which is the Holy Spirit, cf. Jn 1:31-33).”
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (as opposed to rivers of dead water which are the perverted doctrines of demons).
That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on [the garment of salvation] (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea (where Jesus had just directed them to catch a great number of fish).
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind (pnoee), and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea…
1 Corinthians 10:1-2
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. (So too must we in faith pass through the sea of the world as if on dry ground without being drowned by the lusts and perversions of it.)
In a physical sense the seas are the holding basin for all the brackish waters of the earth, representing the cesspool of the world’s perverted understanding and teachings. And as James reminds us,
Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh (sweet, the truth) and bitter water (perverted doctrines)? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.
Behold the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
For if God did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly…
2 Peter 2:5
They are willfully ignorant of this fact, that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
2 Peter 3:5-6
So is it for the wicked today–they are drowned in the depths of the world and its lusts, destroyed by the curses of the law that rage against them like waves of the sea as they live in a sea of iniquity. Like the wind which stirs up the sea and its waves, so are the powers of darkness the instruments of God’s wrath to stir up the curses and bring them upon the ungodly.
The stars (which represent spiritual entities of light) of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
And the second angel sounded, and something like a great (spiritual) mountain burning with fire (i.e., with judgement) was thrown into the sea (i.e., into the midst of the peoples); and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the (spiritual) ships were destroyed. (Just as God provided for Noah a ship to deliver he and his family from the flood of waters, so does the false religion of man provide its followers “ships” in which they can be carried above the waters and weather the storms at sea without being completely drowned, at least immediately. For all such ships of men are only a temporary security. They may indeed provide a measure of refuge for a time, but will never carry them safely to the celestial shores. As we begin to see here, such ships will in the end be destroyed.)
And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
The springs of waters represent the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who are sources of spiritual truth. Their source is the rain from heaven, i.e., the Holy Spirit of the living and abiding Word of God Whom God pours out upon the (spiritual) mountains. Water from the springs flow together to become a river, and the rivers flow throughout the earth to water and nourish it, to make it fruitful, to bring forth seed for the sower and bread for the eater. However, the farther it flows from its source the more it collects together and the more salts and silts of the world does it carry along with it, until it finally empties into the sea of the world. (cf. Ps 104:10-17, Is 55:10-11).
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great (spiritual) river Euphrates” (which represents the Church of our Lord). And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind.
And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great (spiritual) river, the Euphrates; and its (life-giving, spiritual) water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the (spiritual) kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world (earth), to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. (Megiddo was one of the cities given to the sons of Manasseh by Joshua “but the sons of Manasseh could not take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land”, Joshua 17:12-13, Judges 1:27, 2:1-3. Thus the mountain of Megiddo represents those places where the sons of Israel have not come to possess the land. Precisely at those places they will be destroyed by the wrath of God. Cf. also 2 Chron 35:20-24 where Josiah, a godly king, was destroyed by God at Megiddo for interfering with what God was doing through the king of Egypt.)
Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have ears, but hear not. ‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do you not tremble in My presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it. (I.e., the sand restrains the sea). But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and departed.’ (I.e., they have not restrained that evil in the world of which the sea is a type).
Let no one in any way deceive you, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now (most literally, “holds him fast”), so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way…
2 Thessalonians 2:3-7
The true saints of God through the Spirit of Christ within them are what hold fast and restrain the man of lawlessness–through their prayers to God and righteousness (cf. Gen 18:22-33, 19:23-29). But when the apostasy comes and so many have fallen away, then the Spirit of Christ will depart from His temple just as in the days of Ezekiel. In this way the great spiritual river Euphrates is dried up so that the man of lawlessness may be revealed.
And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire (this is the angel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is over the three spheres of creation: heaven and earth and sea); and he had in his hand a little book which was open. And he placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land (like a footstool); and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. And when the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it (the heaven and the earth and the sea are the three spheres or mediums in which the created order lives, cf. Gen 1:20-26), that there shall be delay no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. And the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” And I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it, and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.
And the serpent poured (spiritual) water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured (threw) out of his mouth.
Just as there is a physical heaven, earth and sea, so too is there a spiritual heaven, earth and sea. The spiritual heaven is where the spiritual birds (i.e., the angels of God) dwell; the spiritual earth is where the spiritual cattle and creeping things and other beasts dwell; and the spiritual sea is where dwell the swarms of spiritual creatures whose lives depend upon spiritual water. And just as man was given authority over the physical heaven and earth and sea (cf. Gen 1:20-28), so too is the Son of Man given all authority over the spiritual heaven and earth and sea. For His kingdom is not of this physical world, but of the spiritual world (cf. Jn 18:36).
And he (the dragon) stood on the sand of the sea (just as Jesus did, Mk 4:1). And I saw a beast coming up out of the (spiritual) sea (the false Jesus arises from the world and is according to its ways), having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names….And I saw another beast coming up out of the (spiritual) earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth (i.e., those who abide only in the natural realm of their carnal flesh as opposed to those who abide in Christ and dwell in the shelter of the Most High; cf. 6:10, 17:2,8) to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth (i.e., from the lusts and perversions of the inhabited world). These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (the springs of waters are the sources of spiritual truth; the water is the living water of the Holy Spirit, see Jn 4:14, 7:37-39).
And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.
And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous art Thou, who are and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments.”
And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality….The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.…And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth“.
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality….And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of ther burning….And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more.
And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “What city is like the great city?” And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, “Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!” Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”
And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.”
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Water is what causes seeds to grow. There are good seeds and bad seeds. Water is the teaching, the rain from heaven.
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The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?