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March 10, 2021 12:01 am
When Isaiah saw a vision of the sublime glory of God, it changed his life forever. Today, R.C. Sproul explains what the prophet witnessed when he gazed into the throne room of the Holy One.
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A vision of the true and living God changed Isaiah's life forever. He sees a vision of the one who is absolutely sovereign. He sees him after his coronation, he sees him occupying the throne, high and lifted up images of exultation.
Dr. Darcy's prose describing there is found in Isaiah chapter 6 this is a passage that had a profound impact: today here on Renewing Your Mind. We are continuing.
One of the most important teaching series RC produced a theme that propels us, for it is a ministry today.
McGladrey joint was entitled blazing with more as we continue our study of the holiness of God. We turn once again to the experience that is recorded by the prophet Isaiah, in which he speaks of the circumstances of his call of his moment of consecration to this divine task that God laid upon him. We recall that Isaiah begins his testimony by giving us the historical setting, saying that it was in the year that King use iodide a year when a ruler who had reigned for 52 years had passed from the scene, leaving the people of the land in a sense of fear and uncertainty.
This was an epic moment in the time of Israel affect some look back and say this is a watershed where from this day forward the decline of national prosperity national faith national hope began to accelerate and Israel's destiny as a nation was beginning to fall apart. One of the oddities the coincidences of history is that in the same year that King Uzziah died the same year that Isaiah was called and consecrated by God to become a prophet of village was founded and established on the shore's of the Tiber River in Italy.
It was the birth year of the city of Rome would be interesting just to trace the movement in history of the decline of Israel that coincided with the rise of the great Roman empire and at that crossroads in history was the moment that God appeared to Isaiah. He says in the year that King use iodide I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple is significant that when Isaiah speaks of this visionary experience. He says I saw something I can just hear something out and just imagine something hiding just read about something. I saw something I saw the Lord and I saw the Lord in a specific context.
I saw him in throne. I saw him occupying the seat of cosmic assortment. John tells us in the New Testament that the vision that Isaiah had was not a vision of God the father, but it was a vision of the heavenly presence, long before the incarnation. It was a vision of the heavenly presence of the exalted second person of the Trinity before Mary bore the child before Simeon held him up and declared that he was witnessing now in the flesh, the consolation of Israel.
Isaiah was privileged to peak behind the veil to look behind the curtain of God's destiny and God's plan for history to see seated in heaven in the heavenly Jerusalem in the heavenly Temple the King of the kings Lord of the Lord. He said in the year that King use iodide I saw the Lord. If you look in your Bible, you'll see that that word Lord is printed with this manner. It's L little O little our little D now if you look in your Scriptures and move down to verse three where we read, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.
You see the word Lord, there appears in all capital letters LORE is not because the printer has made a mistake here. The reason why one is in all uppercase letters and the other one is in lowercase letters is to give us a clue from the printer of the English edition of the Bible that even though the same English word Lord appears both in verse one and in verse three. There are different Hebrew words that are being translated whenever you see the word Lord all in capital letters. You can assume that in the Hebrew text. What is found, there is the sacred name of God, Yahweh, but when we see the Lord in lowercase letters as we do here in verse one. The Hebrew behind it is the Hebrew word Adam and I which means simply the sovereign one, the one who is vested with absolute authority. In fact, the title pattern I is higher than the title King because even the king in Israel was subject to to the sovereign God of heaven and earth, who raises up kings and who brings donkey and now the year that this most popular King Uzziah had died in the vacuum set in in the nation. Isaiah sees the Lord he sees. Adam and I he sees a vision of the one who is absolutely sovereign and he sees him in his investiture. He sees him after his coronation, he sees him occupying the throne, high and lifted up images of exultation images speak the glory of God the glory of the Lord's anointed. The glory of Christ, so it's in this context that he has this vision in the inner chambers of heaven itself. He says of this that the train of his robe filled the temple. Let me work backwards on that verse that he speaks of the garment of the sovereign Lord is all encompassing completely filling the temple what temple Isaiah doesn't tell us, and perhaps that Isaiah is having this experience in the earthly temple in Jerusalem. That's a possibility, but most Old Testament scholars agree that the vision that Isaiah is having is not something that simply takes place. It may have taken place in the earthly temple that he is seeing inside the heavenly temple, the ultimate temple of which the earthly temple is but a shadow or a pattern as he gazes now into the inner chambers of heaven itself into the throne room of God. He sees the deity established on his throne where the train of his robes fill the entire heavenly temple was the significance of we know kings today and kings then were very much concerned with their status symbols.
How big was there throne. How large was their domain, how glorious was their scepter comedy gold vessels could they boast of owning. There was a sense in which all of the status was focused on the luxury of their garments. There was a royal die, a purple that was reserved only for monarchs but not only the color of their robes distinguished their status but also the kind of material that was used. Some had me some head chinchilla some heads sable some head urban and one's greatness was related to the kind of precious for that was used in addition to the size of the row was everything. I remember one of the first internationally televised events broadcast television in America was the coronation of Princess Elizabeth to become the Queen a monarch of the British Empire and the pomp and circumstance that only the British can bring to bear was magnificent. On that occasion and the commentators were speaking about the regal stature of the princes as she came to Westminster Abbey and approached the front and it should process down the aisle. She was wearing this glorious dress and magnificent robe whose train was so long that it required pages to walk along behind her holding up her gown.
Her robe, lest it be soiled from the group. I don't remember the exact length of that train of her robe 10 feet 12 feet notes. I remember my wedding day and I remember the tradition in America but the groom is not allowed to see the bride on the day of the wedding until she processes to the bridal March the beginning of the service I had gone with my wife for eight years, bright years. We planned this way, she went out with her mother and bought her wedding gown. I didn't play I saw that I wasn't allowed to see and I remember coming out of the side of the church and walking to the front of the chancel steps with the best man in the minister and standing there listening to the organ music and joyous anticipation and in going through the whole process of the procession of the bridesmaids in their beautiful dresses and then finally the strains of the organ changed in the full diapason, then the sound of the wedding march was announced. Mother stood up congregation rose and my wife appeared at the back of the church on the arm of her father standing beside her and she marched on the island, I began to seem like a little kid and I was overcome with this magnificent grass. The bridal I just grin from ear to ear is still something that we treasure on our 25th anniversary. We got our pictures taken to commemorate our marriage and I went out and rented a tuxedo. My wife just went upstairs and opened the box and got out her wedding right into it. I couldn't get into the tuxedo that I was married, but we make such a fuss and celebrate such matters of appropriate and proper dress for special case of the row that Isaiah saw furled down from the shoulders of the king spilling out over the sides of the throne and then in gigantic. Came down into the sanctuary moving across the floor and up the sides of the wall completely golf whole of the heavenly temple, there's never been a robe like that on earth the image in the symbolic significance of what Isaiah gazes upon here with the outfit of the king calls attention to a kind of majesty that knows no parallel on earth. It is a transcendent majesty that he observed the train of his garment build the temple and then Isaiah describes the accompanying beings that surround the king, he says, and above him stood seraphim, each one had six wings with two he covered his face with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew Isaiah takes the time to give us a detailed description of the anatomical structure of these heavenly beings. These angelic beings that are mentioned only here in Scripture we hear throughout the Bible of various kinds of angels and archangels and cherubim that the Renaissance painters depicted us are like baby angels here we have the description of the seraph creatures created by God with six wings. Why six wings that in the six wings to fly are the other four wings just unnecessary appendages vestigial remnants that were useless. No, there was a purpose for these wings with two wings they covered their face with two wings they covered their feet, and with two wings they flew. Why did they covered their face you see the purpose and the function for which these creatures were made was to serve in the immediate presence of God. The seraphim are an integral part of the heavenly host angels who attend God. Every moment, and these angelic beings are so equipped by their Creator to be able to adapt to their environment. That's the way God makes things when he creates for she gives them fins and gives them gills because their natural habitat is the water when he creates birds he gives them feathers. He gives them wings because they are designed specifically for an environment in which they can fly through the year but what is the habitat.
What is the environment of the seraph. It is the immediate presence of God. And so God equips them with appendages that are designed to cover their face, but we know that in Scripture that it is said of human beings, that no man can see God and live.
We remember how Moses earnestly sought the beatific vision to be able to gaze directly into the unveiled face of God did experience the presence of God. He knew the power of God. He was an eyewitness to tremendous miracles of redemption in the battle was Pharaoh, but Moses wasn't satisfied with that.
When he went up to Sinai, he said to God, oh God, show me your glory and it will suffice. Remember what God said. He said Moses, I will speak to you man-to-man face-to-face is at war and I will come over here and I will carve out a hollow space in the rock, and I will place you in that niche in the rock that I will allow my glory to pass by but I will cover you and I will allow you to see literally what it says in the Hebrew the hindquarters or the backward parts of Yahweh but Moses my face shall not be seen for no man can see God and live. It's not because he's invisible that we can see in this not because there's a deficiency with our eyes, it's because there's a deficiency in our character as a deficiency in our heart. We are not pure in heart, and because of sin, we are not allowed to gaze on the unveiled presence of God will not, suggesting that the seraphim were fallen creatures that that they were sinners. But even these unfallen spotless heavenly beings are equipped to shield their eyes from the leasing burning glory of God. Think of it, even the Angels must shield their eyes from the light that is brighter than the noon day's and they are given to more wings to cover their feet. Why again Moses when he entered into the presence of God.
When God appeared to him in the Midianite wilderness and spoke to him from the burning bush said to Moses. Moses put off thy shoes from off thy feet for the ground were on the stand.
This is holy ground wasn't holy because Moses was there. It was holy because God was in our feet are the feet of creatures feet of clay and our feet indicate are being bound to earth and Moses is called to take off his shoes, a symbolic gesture to acknowledge that now he is a creature stands in the presence of Almighty God. Even the angels, whose natural habitat is heaven itself. Creatures and when they come into the presence of God. They must cover the sign of their creature. They cover their eyes to shield them from the blazing glory they cover the feet to acknowledge in humility. They are creatures before the living with the love of the purpose of this description of the seraphim is not to tell us so much about their anatomy but rather to tell us of the task to give us a message of the nature that's the heart of this experience were the angels cry and Tiffany response one to another is it's the message of the seraphim that we will explore in greater depth tomorrow. We do hope you make plans to join us.
You're listening to Renewing Your Mind. I believe Webb and we are pleased to feature this week. Dr. RC Sproul's classic series, the holiness of God. RC believe that if were able to catch just a glimpse of God's perfection changes the way we live our lives and that was the focus of RC's ministry for nearly 50 years a resource for today will help you gain that perspective, it's the 25th anniversary edition of the book by the same title.
The holiness of God. It's a beautiful silver hardback book with black embossed lettering and that you chores for your gift of Eddie about when you call us at 800-435-4343. You can also make your request and give your gift online and Renewing Your Mind.work we are listener supported ministry, and that your gifts truly do make a difference.
They help people around the world have access to this kind of clear biblical teaching. So we are grateful to you will so many people have been influenced by the series as well is the book over the years Dr. Steven Lawson being one of them was a longtime friend of Dr. Sproles, a student of his at one time. And of course he's one of our teaching fellows Dr. Lawson as we hear RC teach this lesson, what are your thoughts well I think about how that message which I first read in its book, the holiness of God is what drew me to sit under his teaching and seminary.
I never met Dr. scroll had never seen Dr. Strahl but I could read the holiness of God, not distinctly remember the portion of the book is covered in this message that we heard today and like I'm off to the flying. I was just drawn to get in my car, drive to where he was teaching so I could sit under this influence, and it wasn't just what he said but it was how he said it.
As Dr. scroll preached and taught that there were such deep convictions in his soul and it came out with such passion that it literally just grabbed me by the lapels and drew me in my seat to get more careful attention to who God is.
Just hearing his voice and this message today. It just so continues to resonate with my soul and I will be forever grateful that that this influence has been placed upon my life and it continues to this day. Thank you Dr. Lawson. I agree, it had a profound impact on me as well.
I remember sitting in an adult Sunday school class and the church said that we had just begun attending 31 years ago and they were featuring this teaching series. My life is not been the same since.
So we invite you to request a copy of Dr. scroll's book the holiness of God. You can call us with your gift of any amount at 800-435-4343. You can also reach us firstname.lastname@example.org and before we go today with your final thought from Dr. scroll in our courtroom diode thought for today I want us to think about some of the words that we choose in our language to express things that we consider extraordinary or wonderful or great words that are used so often that they become. For a while the catchwords the buzzwords of a generation until they simply died the death of Triton us in staleness. Words like in the 40s that became popular like swell and then in the 50s. It was the word cool.
It seems like every generation has one of those words today. I think the stale word of the decade is the word awesome when we see the Michael Jordan's of this world perform an uncommon greatness.
We say we hear a remarkably gifted singer and say she or he is awesome. If ever a word was misused is the word awesome awesome is that which provokes bite sure being a sense of dread sense of reverence, hushed stillness, sense of all properly speaking, only God deserves that only God is truly an ultimately awesome and what I say is cease and what Isaiah feels is adjoining into the of the angels themselves as they contemplate the presence of God, and we hope you'll join us tomorrow as we will hear what the Angels are singing around the throne of God and some of Thursday addition of Renewing Your Mind. We hope to see you