Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Holiness of God

Rap, rap, rap. “I am here,” a voice says on the other side of the door. Do you answer the caller or simply walk away, ignoring the guest?

John answered the caller and walked through the open door to a heavenly experience. Before him stood a mighty throne with the majestic One sitting on it. Bursts of light glittered about Him as if through a crystal clear diamond and a blood red ruby. Even though flashes of lightning and peals of thunder emanated from the throne, an emerald-hued rainbow arched around it (Revelation 4). Peaceful assurance filled John’s spirit.

An outer ring of twenty-four smaller thrones 
surrounded the predominant Throne. On each of the smaller thrones sat elders clothed in white, wearing golden crowns upon their heads. Nearby the throne of the glorious One were four living creatures, each with bodies covered in eyes and having six wings. Three of the creatures resembled a lion, a calf, and a flying eagle. One creature’s face looked like a man. Even though these creatures appeared mythical, they certainly recognized the Holy God before them. Unceasingly they praised the Holy One saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

The awesome Presence of the Holy God caused the twenty-four elders to fall down before Him casting their crowns and proclaiming,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

What a scene to witness! The holiness of God revealed once again to one of God’s servants, this time to John the apostle. Scripture says nothing about John feeling unworthy and fearful as Isaiah did when he witnessed the Lord in the temple (Isaiah 6). Why? 

Isaiah’s firsthand witness of the absolute holiness of God caused him to recognize his own sin and shame. He was undone and despaired over his wretched life until an angel placed a hot coal from the altar of the temple upon his lips absolving him from sins. 

John had already seen this Holy One after he arrived on the island of Patmos. While many of his companions had been executed for their faith in Jesus Christ, he was exiled to this island because of his belief and testimony about the risen Lord Jesus. 

Soon after his arrival, he heard a Mighty Voice commissioning him to write what he saw and suddenly he fell like a dead man before the vision in front of his eyes. He encountered the Mighty One, the risen Christ Jesus. Christ placed His right hand upon John and said, “Don’t be afraid! Though I am the First and Last, the Living One who died, who is now alive forevermore, who has the keys of hell and death—don’t be afraid! (Revelation 1)

This experience confirmed his faith in Jesus, the faith that landed him on Patmos. For three years he and the other disciples followed Jesus, learning about the kingdom of God. John saw Jesus die on a cross and then witnessed His resurrected body before He ascended into heaven. Now here he stood before his Friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, and he understood the pardoning of sins by a righteous God. 

So when John encountered the Holy One upon that glorious throne, he stood in reverent awe before his Mighty Savior. Even though he observed an incredible scene, almost more than a human could bear, he confidently stood with firm faith before the One he believed in. Why? What made it possible for John to approach this resplendent throne of glory with confidence? How could he, a sinner, stand before this holy, holy, holy God? The answer—God’s mercy through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

John knew the Hebrew Scriptures. Even as he looked upon the One on the throne of judgment, John recognized God’s rainbow of mercy encircling it. Because he believed in the salvation of Jesus Christ, his sins were forgiven. The blood of his righteous Savior made him worthy. He had nothing to fear. God’s grace allowed him to stand with courageous reverence before this holy and awesome Spirit of the Living God. 

John lived on the finished side of the cross, as we do today. John received forgiveness of sins through God’s Son, the mighty One on the throne, the Savior Jesus Christ, as we can today. John answered the guest at the door, allowing Jesus to enter his heart, receiving deliverance from sin and shame. Have you answered the Caller knocking at your door?

The Caller stands at the door of your heart and knocks (Revelation 3:20). He is Jesus Christ. If you let Him in, He will exchange His righteous for your filthiness. The judgment you deserve will be replaced with His gracious mercy when you believe in the saving power of His Name. And like John, you’ll be able to stand with confident boldness before the holy Presence of God, rendering praises for His powerful salvation. 

Go ahead—grab the doorknob, open the door, and let Him in. Receive His salvation and join the throng of worshipers who offer continuous praises to a holy, holy, holy God. 

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)

"When I Look into Your Holiness" by Maranatha

 I Worship You, Almighty God (There is none like you)- Sondra Corbett with Lyrics

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