Isaiah was aware of the spiritual decay existent in the midst of the people and spoke against it. But when he saw the Lord, he also saw his own spiritual condition. That was the time when King Uzziah died. King Uzziah started well by doing what was right in the Lord’s sight, except the high places were not removed. The people sacrificed and burned incense still on the high places (II Kings 15:3-5). He was smitten by the Lord and he became a leper when he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense, a thing to be performed only by the priests. He died in that condition without repentance and contrition of heart. It was in that period of time that Isaiah saw the Lord, and as the Lord’s holiness reflected on him, he saw himself as “a man of unclean lips.” As he admitted his spiritual condition, one of the seraphim came to him with a live coal, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar. With that he touched Isaiah’s lips, and burned the iniquity and guilt and his sin was atoned for and forgiven (Isaiah 6: 6-7). Isaiah’s lips were touched by live coal, because they were the root cause of his guilt and iniquity. They were embedded in his sinful nature. His unclean lips were expressed by pride rooted in his words and attitude. Only a live coal could take away the power of those roots and free him to be forgiven because when he saw the holiness of God, he acknowledged his sin and repented.
The righteous of Job was not righteous enough before the holiness of God. In his trials he uttered things he said that he did not understand, things too wonderful for him, which he did not know. After having an encounter with God, when God asked many questions which Job could not answer for they were plainly understood that God, the Creator of all living things, God all powerful, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, His sovereignty was not be challenged. All His attributes are embedded in His holiness. Job, like Isaiah repented and was blessed beyond what he had been before. The Prophet Daniel approached the presence of God with contrition of heart when he was seeking God’s will for his people. He set his face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes (Daniel 9:3). Daniel, called greatly beloved by an angel, had an intimate relationship with God like no other prophet, according to my understanding. He experienced the holiness of God while seeking Him concerning the future of his people. He saw a vision which left him exhausted with no strength left in him, his flesh appearance was turned to pallor; he was weak and faint. At the sound of the words from the man dressed in linen, Daniel fall on his face in a deep sleep, with his face to the ground (Daniel 10). Even though the man described in his vision was not God Himself, his description is similar to the one in Revelation 1:12-16 and 19:6 on which they speak of our Lord YAHSHUA. It does not matter if that was not God, just being in His holy presence and in the presence of His holy angels, will cause us fear and dread of Him, for we are sinners and incapable of standing before Him, outside the perimeter of the saving grace of YAHSHUA.
The apostle John when seeing the vision of the Lord YAHSHUA fell at His feet as if dead. But YAHSHUA laid His right hand on him and said, Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Ever-living One. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:17). Although having walked with the Lord YAHSHUA for three years, while He was on earth, John could not face the holiness and the expression of YAHSHUA’S divinity and power. He saw Him clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast, His head and His hair were white like white wool, and His eyes like a flame of fire, His feet glowed like burnished bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday (Rev. 1:13-16). YAHSHUA had come to John not like the Son of Man to die for mankind, but as the Judge bringing the message of judgment. John feared all that YAHSHUA represented in His appearance. The beloved disciple did not associate with Him as such and fell at His feet as if dead. He could not stand on His feet and look at YAHSHUA as a man in his corrupt body. This is a similar description the Prophet Daniel gave of one of his visions. He said, I kept looking until thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days [God the eternal Father] took His seat, Whose garment was white as snow and the hair of His head like pure wool… (Daniel 7:9). Who can face the holiness of our God and not be affected by it? Paul went blind when he saw YAHSHUA’S holiness and was transformed from a hater of Him to a lover of Him to the extent of dying for Him. Once he was blind, but then he could see himself for what he was: a persecutor of those who followed YAHSHUA’S teachings, filled with murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord (Acts 9:1-2), a man who took part in the stoning death of God’s faithful servant, Stephen. Many Christians suffered under Paul’s breath. But at the end of his life, he could say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that day – not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (II Tim. 4:7-8).
Peter, James and John witnessed YAHSHUA’s transfiguration on a high mountain He had taken them to. Mark describes Him resplendent with divine brightness, His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them; Matthews describes His appearance to have a change in their presence; and His face shone clear and bright like the sun; and His clothing became as white as light; and Luke says, and as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered, and His raiment became dazzling white. The disciples meanwhile, found themselves weighted down with sleep. But when they awoke, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him (Moses and Elijah) (Luke 9:29,32). Although, the disciples missed part of YAHSHUA’S divine transfiguration for being asleep, they saw enough. They were embraced by heaven and heard God the Father’s voice introducing His Son saying, This is My son, My Chosen One or My Beloved; listen to and yield to and obey Him! (Luke 9: 35). These three disciples experienced God’s presence in the visible holiness of His Son and His voice. That was an experience one should not forget, never to deny Him, neither His divinity. On Mount Sinai Israel as a nation witnessed God’s holiness and trembled, for it came to them with thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people trembled. Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (Ex. 19:16,18). Later, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews described this experience as in fact, so awful and terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I am terrified (Heb. 12:21). The sinful world cannot and will not stand before God’s holiness. It is under the curse of iniquity of sin and guilt and cannot look at God’s holiness without feeling afraid, and terrified. The brightness of His holiness shows the darkness of our heart and soul. Lost in our sinful ways we hide from Him. But God, although holy, perfect and pure, loves us and desires a relationship with us. It is fitting for us to reverence Him and repent of our evil ways when in His presence. Isaiah and Job repented and He blessed them with forgiveness.
How about you, my friend have you accepted His Son YAHSHUA? That’s the only way you will be able to face Him and not feel condemned, for His Son was wounded for your transgressions, He was bruised for your guilt and iniquities, He took the punishment that was meant for you and gave you His peace. He covers you with His holiness and God the Father accepts us. His holiness will show your need to be holy as He is when in His presence, so that you will be transformed from degree of glory to another to the end of your journey on earth.