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Experiencing the Presence of God

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2022 4:00 am

Experiencing the Presence of God

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 18, 2022 4:00 am

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So God in the midst of the crisis to let Isaiah and his people know that all is not lost makes a personal appearance and Isaiah sees any cesium sitting upon a throne in the great and only when the whole world falls apart and everything seems to be going to pieces, God still there on indeed God wants you in fact expects you to thoroughly passionately enjoy him, but there's a problem before you can enjoy God, you need to know him intimately and accurately question how well do you really know God when you think of him. What comes to mind a frail grandfather astern schoolmaster of far-off ruler who doesn't know much or care much about his subjects will help bring your thoughts about God into clear, accurate biblical focus as John MacArthur continues his compelling study here on grace to you, simply titled enjoying God and now with the lesson.

Here's John, take your Bible and turn to the sixth chapter of Isaiah Isaiah chapter 6 and I want us to see the holiness of God.

As Isaiah relates it to us here in the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his robe filled the temple not stop right there.

I saw the Lord. He says I saw the Lord. Incredible state. Think about the situation.

You will notice the word Lord there.

Whenever you see in the Old Testament Lord with an uppercase L and lowercase letters. It's reflective of the Hebrew word Adonai when you see it.

For example, down in verse three, where all the letters are uppercase or capital capital. It is reflective of the word. Yahweh. Yahweh has reference to God's essential nature at an eye has reference to his sovereignty now that in mind to understand verse one in the year that we lost our human chain. I saw the real change never can be much panic set in. When you know God is still on the throne may have looked to Isaiah as if the whole thing was falling apart without an eye as a title meaning the sovereign one.

The human king was dead, but history doesn't depend on human kings but on the absolute monarchy, the supreme Lord Adonai, God himself. His kingship is infinitely superior to that of your desire or anyone else. So God in the midst of the crisis to let Isaiah and his people know that all is not lost makes a personal appearance and Isaiah sees any cesium sitting upon a throne in the great to know that God hadn't abdicated that when the whole world falls apart and everything seems to be going to pieces, God still there on the throne exalted. It says hi and lifted up his robe filled the temple. This of course is a picture of his majesty and his exaltation his glory and his power, and by the way, make a little note in the margin of that verse.

Write down John 1241 because in John 1241. The writer tells us that this was Christ really a pre-incarnate Christophe and he and appearance of Christ now givers to as Isaiah sees this vision. It says and above it that is above the throne, stood the seraphim, each one had six wings with two he covered his face with two he covered his feet, and with two she did fly. Now what is the seraphim or what are seraphim since its plural. They are fiery guardians of the holiness of God.

Incredible creatures but the most incredible thing about them is not what they look like.

It's what they said it's what they cried verse three and one cried unto another, that an intentional thing going back and forth and they said holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts below the earth is full of his glory now. Can you imagine angels just flying around forever saying that no you can't because you don't understand the worthiness nor the holiness of God, and you knew I but that's what seraphim do holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of your glory. Why holy, holy, holy say what's because that's where the song is written known song came later why holy holy holy summary says it's the Trinity, one for each member. Certainly the Trinity is thrice holy, but the Jews had a figure of speech a device they used when they want to emphasize something they had many literary devices they could use but one of them. They commonly used was repetition and that can be illustrated many many places in the Bible very frequently before Jesus would say some very important truth you would say to words what were the early verily what a need to savor or to we truly know what that word is main main amen and amen, I say now wait a minute, you're supposed to wait till then to say that right. In fact, in the Hebrew congregation. The rabbi stood up and the rabbi would teach and the people in response what endorses teaching by saying main me.

Jesus did not wait for such endorsement. He started out by saying main main first and then he spoke because he didn't need any humans to validate what he said but when he said it twice. He was affirming by repetition. The significance of what he was to say. Emphasis is the issue and when the Bible says holy, holy, holy, what it's trying to do is emphasize the holiness of God. We don't even know that God is willing, let alone holy, holy, holy, by the way, you know that that is the only attribute of God in all of the Scripture that is spoken of in repetition three times. Never does the Bible say God is love love love never does it say God is light, light, light, truth, truth Mercy Mercy Mercy rat ran red but says he's holy, holy, holy. This is an absolute priority people.

It is impossible to understand the fullness of it. And yet, you must understand as much as the Scripture gives us the absence of a clear understanding of God's holiness is the reason for our shallowness is the reason for our impotence. It is the reason for our selfishness is the reason for our weakness is the reason for our disobedience. We don't really understand how holy God is.

That's why we compromise that's why we are the worst kind of pragmatist to do only what fulfills our desires. One day the disciples came to Jesus, you know it, they said, teach us to pray said here's how to pray our father who art in heaven, what followed. Be thy name.

Your Halloween holy you want to pray.

Start out by our recognition of the holiness of God.

God is holy. RC Sproul made an interesting statement. He said any attempt to understand God apart from his holiness is idolatry.

True, this is affirmed in the 10 Commandments where we are to have no other gods before us and under no circumstances are we ever to use the name of the Lord God in vain is holy, holy, holy, the entire earth is filled with his glory and we have to acknowledge that, see how Isaiah reacted in verse four, first in the posts or the pillars or perhaps it's best the foundations of the door at the voice of him who cried and the house was filled with smoke.

Now this is getting pretty dramatic. The place begins to shake the whole vision is like Mount Saint Helens.

Everything begins to move. It's like interrupting volcano the foundations of the place, begin to shake and fire and smoke which could either be emanating from the altar or could be a manifestation of the fiery presence of God is at Mount Sinai. In other words, we begin to see a holy God of judgment. This is not a manifestation, particularly of God's mercy, but I was tremendous majestic holiness is awful is fearful is like sine die, it is us is a statement to Isaiah and his people that God is a consuming fire and you can't toy around with God. You will be consuming was Isaiah's reaction verse five was Randy say I have had a vision. I'm I get myself a new wardrobe and go on a road or what he say I now what I want to do is analyzes thing. This need some analysis to think this through categorically for disable.

Now if you think I was truly a messenger of God. Let me tell you now. I've seen it. None of the above was his reaction.

Verse five then said I will is me. That's enough folks feet insanely else get the whole picture. That's not just a sign of despair. Although I think there's disparate for more than that, she in the Old Testament prophets gave pronouncements they gave announcement sometimes called oracles and their prophetic announcements were very often preceded by the statement, thus says the Lord in their statements could be positive or negative when they were positive that often say blessed when they were negative they would often say what will will. Isaiah uses the word wall at least 10 times in his prophecy to refer to God's judgment on others. Jeremiah used Ezekiel used name used it. Amos used it a back accused it Hosea used it Zephaniah used it. Zachariah used it.

Micah used it.

Jesus used in Matthew 24 said wool to you, scribes and Pharisees and the angels of judgment in Revelation use it is a word of cursing and here is an amazing thing a prophet of God pronounces a curse on himself credible and correct. This is the best man in the land. This is a servant of God. But when he sees the holiness of God he can. But pronounce a curse upon his own head. You can only see his defilement, not his goodness, and then he says this for I am undone mid-May fee from the root word which means in the passive, to be lost or to perish or to be annihilated or to be destroyed by I am destroyed I am devastated by the holiness of God wiped out from falling apart. I'm coming loose at the seams I'm disintegrating.

Why because he saw God when he saw God for the first time in his life.

He saw Isaiah you are rich may have been a secure fella before this everybody on it and patted him on the back. Everybody was godly said he was the best of men, spiritual leader voice of God, obedient St. servant of the Lord.

One glimpse of God's holiness and the man was a rich, in his own eyes, was the most important element of the prophet was the most important instrument of profit.

His mouth right his mouth to speak, but when he says I am a man of unclean lips.

Not that means I have a dirty mouth me the prophet of God should open my mouth to speak of God. I've got a dirty mouth and I dwell in the midst of a people who have dirty mouths. How do you know this mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Houston for the first time I see myself dirty men have a dirty mouth I've seen Yahweh of hosts love and no one can stand in the presence of God without becoming profoundly and devastatingly aware of his own wretchedness sinfulness. That's what I'm telling you, if we don't understand the holiness of God. We don't understand our sinfulness and we don't understand how heinous it is and we don't understand the consequences of this even the smallest glimpse of God's holiness is to be devastated, devastated. No one ever comes before the holiness of God without devastation.

Luke chapter 8 Luke chapter 8 verse 22 came to pass on a certain day Jesus went into a boat with his disciples and said to them, let's go over the other side of the lake and wants forth as a sale. He fell asleep there came down a storm of wind on the lake and they were filled with water and they were in jeopardy and they came to him and welcome say master master would perish were drowned out here. He rose, he rebuked the wind and the raising of the sea and they ceased, and there was a calm to care and he said to them where's your face and they being what afraid marveled, saying one to another, what manner of man is this 40 commanders even the winds and water and they obey one awesome they were 10 times more afraid when they saw his power.

Then when they saw the sea raging because instantly they knew they were in the presence of God. And that's cause for panic, they would take the storm rather than that they were shattered because they knew their hearts were open books to his missions back up to chapter 5, verse one came to pass as people pressed on him to hear the word of God. He stood by the lake of goodness shirt or the sea of Galilee.

Same thing. Saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen were going out of them washing their nets.

Unit one of the boats which was Simons and asked him that he would thrust out a little from the land and he sat down and taught the people out of the boat when it ceased speaking. He said to Simon, watch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draft Simon answering he always had and answered any master we've been fishing all night and what we haven't caught him is no fish around here. Nevertheless at your word. All it down.

It and when they had done this to enclose a great multitude of fish in the net wrote in the back and other partners were in the other boat they should come and help them and they came and filled both the boat so that they began to sink inside of your Sawhney fell down at Jesus knees and said all thanks so much for the fish. He said what he say depart from me, go away got here go away. Why are you telling I'm a sinful man, oh what Lord he realized in that moment by that incredible miracle that he was standing in the presence of God go away. I want to be so exposed. He was astonished. He knew God was there.

Love you cannot say something is that it is literally the grace of God that you and I are not this moment consumed by the fire of his wrath is a all why is it that there's so much trouble in the world with God is a God of love, why listen if you weren't a God of love only one sin by one individual one time would be the end of everything we want to God is nonthreatening. That's not the God of the Bible there afraid of it.

One awesome. I have a godly fear in my heart when I would fall into a sin. I since God's holiness be hates evil and I don't want to pay the consequence. What happened now look at this verse six. This man is devastated.

This man is shattered is God going to leave and that way we can leave and that waiver six. Then flew one of the seraphim on the me having alive: his hand which he taken with the tongs from off the older I wanted. Elated upon my mouth and said hello.

This hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away and I soon is purged in order takes to get to that point where you're purged. It takes a broken and a contrite heart in the face of the holiness of God. He was there no cheap grace here folks. No easy believers him. There is pain involved in proving redemptionů Sensitive, tender, in fact, in expressing affection to one another.

We use the lips because of their tenderness and sensitivity, and it is that very part of the body that the angel places alive: Sears, the flash, I believe the true salvation is painful.

There is a wrestling there's a pain, but his iniquity was taken away the sin was purged or think about John Bunyan's said before he had the sense of knowing Jesus Christ. He agonized over to sin, for no less than 18 months was painful.

Studies takes a broken a shattered heart and the pain of giving up sin and embracing the sovereign God, but once it's done then verse eight. This is so wonderful. Also, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us then said I get this ambivalence here. My send me you your undone euro also your shirt you've got a dirty mouth you have people with a dirty mouth yeah but but I been click. See the last statement he made was a declaration of his lack of worthiness, analysis, Lord, you needed but go I'll go. The only way a man is fit to serve as when is cleansed by the grace of God go. Verse nine and he said what go all the stop right there said good purged man 11. I think all of this looks at the cross, don't you. I think all of this looks at the cross. I think the cross is the live cold touches our lips.

The cross is the thing that purges us. You and I could never stand in the presence of a holy God. We would be consuming. That's why the Pharisees had to kill Jesus when they had to kill him. He ruined the average he came along and he was God and his holiness was so real that there suppose it holiness was exposed and they had a killer and when he died he died not because they had to kill them, but because God had to let him die for arson. The cross touches us, makes us pure. He died because God is holy and had to pour out his fury on some you took your place that cause for rejoicing spring. Oh God, we know your holy, may we not be so foolish as to toy with your holiness. We know also that there is no greater manifestation of your holiness than at Calvary see a great hatred of sin because you even to take the life of your own son. May we see there to your grace.

May we see the crosses that live cold touches our unclean lips makes us pure so that we can hear your call.

Speak to every that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, highlighting what Scripture teaches about the holiness of God and how his holiness should compel us to worship today's lesson is part of John's current study on grace to you titled enjoying God not thinking about what we saw today about God's holiness and while I think many today would want a God who is nonthreatening. I know that you would say John God's holiness is actually a refuge for those who know and love him. Yes, God's holiness is a refuge for those who know and love him because he has provided forgiveness for our sins. If there was no forgiveness for our sins, God would not be a refuge in God is not a refuge for those who are not forgiven because they don't believe in in the Lord Jesus Christ. So yes II think to realize that God is absolutely holy, holy, holy, holy, and yet we can as the writer of Hebrews says boldly enter into his presence is an amazing expression of how much he loves us because in order to receive us to himself. He had to overcome the barrier of our sin by providing his own son is the sacrifice you paid the price for our sin, so that his holiness would not destroy us, but his love could receive us. We were looking at what enjoying God means and what it should mean, for every Christian pursuing a deeper knowledge of the God who created us to saves us. The God who sanctifies us.

The God who one day will glorify us.

The God who showers us with spiritual blessings all spiritual blessings in heavenly's in Christ Jesus.

Learning about God and all that he does for the believers now and eternally should elicit immense joy in every true Christian's heart that the world is full of false views of God limited views of God, the Bible, however, reveals to us who he really is and as we look at the reality of God and how he loves us as a father loves us and loves us enough to send his own son to take our place and receive the punishment for our sins so that we can be one day in his holy presence made holy ourselves is the great great truth of the Christian religion. So let me commend the messages in this study. Again, you can avail yourself of them into MP3 downloads website. Transcripts are also available there as well.

That's right, friend. This would be a great series to review with your family and if you've benefited from John series on enjoying God. We love to hear about it. Your letters encourage John and the whole staff when you have time. John a note and send it our way.

You can email your feedback to or send your letter to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412, and here's our email address one more time. and remember our website,, there are thousands of free resources available for you have a question about how to honor God. How to honor your spouse in your marriage what the issue of sovereign election is all about how to deal with the trials you face or how to minister to a loved one who is suffering for all of those issues, and countless others.

You will find biblical answers in the grace to you.

Sermon archive.

That's 3500 full-length sermons available for free download right now. You also find daily devotionals and insightful blog articles and much more. Web address again now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to watch grace to you television this Sunday and then be here next week when John starts a study on the incredible blessings you have in Christ. It's titled complete in Christ and it comes your way with another half hour of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on grace

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