This week, let me take you on a journey to the Throne Room of God, which is His most holy dwelling place. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet recorded an amazing vision he had early in his ministry. He dated the vision as occurring in the same year that King Uzziah died.
Isaiah began the account by writing:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1 NKJV).
Many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me that Isaiah had been caught up into Heaven. The temple he referred to in this verse was not the temple on earth, but the temple in Heaven. The Apostle John referred to this temple, when he wrote:
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple” (see Revelation 11:19 NKJV).
Next the prophet Isaiah continued in his description of what he saw:
“Above it 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 6:2 NKJV).
This was very similar to what the Apostle John saw in Heaven, when he visited the Throne Room of God. In his vision, he saw “four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back” (Revelation 4:6). Isaiah called them “seraphim,” although John did not give a name for the living creatures he saw. The word “seraphim” means “fiery creatures.” Personally, I had considered that this was just a description, rather than a name. The cherubim that Ezekiel saw were also described as fiery beings:
“As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning” (Ezekiel 1:13 NKJV).
You can imagine how striking these blazing creatures were to the eyes of Isaiah. Whether they were cherubim, or separate creatures called seraphim, I do not know. I do know that many ministers believe that they are two separate and distinct creatures in Heaven. It is true that Ezekiel described the cherubim as having only four wings, whereas the seraphim had six.
“And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6:3-4 NKJV).
When I read about the posts of the door being shaken by the voice of the seraph, I couldn’t picture what Isaiah was describing. When I asked the Holy Spirit, He showed me that Isaiah was standing in that doorway, and that is why he noticed the effect of the thunderous voice on the posts of the door. Similarly, the Apostle John also saw a door in Heaven:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne” (Revelation 4:1-2 NKJV).
Can you see the similarity between the two visions? Both of them referred to a door, which seemed to have given them access to the Throne Room of God.
In Isaiah’s vision, he saw the temple filled with smoke. The smoke rose up from the golden altar of incense before the God’s throne. The smoke was the incense, mingled with the prayers of the saints, which ascended before the face of God. This means that the prayers of the saints are a sweet-smelling fragrance to the nostrils of God!
The Apostle John wrote:
“Then another angel, having a golden censor, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand” (Revelation 8:3-4 NKJV).
As a believer, you are a saint and, according to this Scripture, your prayers ascend before God’s throne as a sweet-smelling fragrance before Him. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know? The next time you spend time worshipping and praising God, imagine your prayers as a sweet-smelling fragrance rising up before Him, as He sits upon His throne. Every day your prayers are ascending from the golden altar of incense in Heaven!
When Isaiah saw this amazing sight in Heaven, he was completely overwhelmed and shaken to the core of his being.
“So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts’ ” (Isaiah 6:5 NKJV).
Amidst the sight of the seraphim, and the billows of smoke from the golden altar of incense, Isaiah’s eyes are transfixed by the sight of the Lord sitting upon His throne. He was high and lifted up far, far above him, in the brilliant light of His glorious splendor and majesty. No wonder Isaiah felt completely undone!
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs off the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged’ ” (Isaiah 6:6-7 NKJV).
For years I could not understand why a live coal from the altar could purge away the sins of Isaiah. However, when the Holy Spirit showed me that this event took place in Heaven, then it all made sense. The burning coal was a spiritual coal from a spiritual altar, that is why it had a spiritual effect upon the lips of Isaiah.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’ ” (Isaiah 6:8 NKJV).
After Isaiah’s sins were purged, he finds himself eager and ready to respond to the cry of the Lord, and he said, “Here I am! Send me.” That is the kind of person that God is looking for!
From this vision we see that the seraphim are constantly declaring the holiness of God. We need to understand that it is not so important to recognize our holiness in Christ, but to acknowledge His holiness. I frequently lift my hand before God, and say, “You are holy, You are holy, O Lord!” By declaring His holiness, I find it reinforces who I am in Christ. I am holy because He is holy! Does that make sense to you?
There may be times that we feel unqualified to be servants of the Lord. Like Isaiah, we must ask God to purge us from every sin in our lives, and then cry out, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]