Bible Studies - Colossians 3

12 - Confronted By God's Holiness: Isaiah in the Throne Room of Heaven

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
God took Isaiah into the throne room of heaven as He called him to do a tremendous, eternal work.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

God took Isaiah into the very throne room of heaven as He called him to do a tremendous and eternal work.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

Throughout the pages of Scripture we see God calling His people to set their minds on things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God, and to divorce our way of thinking and our way of living from the things of earth which are perishing.

God did so in a very striking way in the case of the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter six, we find the prophet taken into the very throne room of heaven, as God calls Isaiah to do a tremendous and eternal work for Him:

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. 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.

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.

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."

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from 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."

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 6:1 -8)

God's Way of Preparing Isaiah

Note that this account takes place "in the year that King Uzziah died." Isaiah prophesied during the time of four kings of Judah - Uzziah, his son Jotham, his son Ahaz, and his son Hezekiah. Great events were going to take place during Isaiah's lifetime, and Isaiah would be directly involved in them.

There was a time of great revival and reformation under Hezekiah, but there was also a time of great paganism and idolatry under Ahaz. During the time of Hezekiah, the nation was nearly destroyed. During all of Isaiah's many years as God's prophet, the kingdom never completely forsook pagan idolatry, even in the best of times, even in a time of great revival.

In the verses immediately following the ones above, God tells Isaiah that in his own time much of his proclamation as the spokesman for Jehovah would fall on deaf ears. The Lord told Isaiah that this would continue until God would finally send Judah off into captivity because of the people's stiff-necked refusal to obey God consistently. But in the throne-room of Heaven, God prepares Isaiah to do a great work - not merely for Isaiah's own generation, or for the few generations remaining before Judah would go into captivity. God was giving Isaiah a work to do that would have eternal consequences.

God Has Also Given You a Work to Do

Dear friend, do you think about the fact that God gives each of His people a work to do that will have eternal consequences - heavenly consequences? It is God's desire and plan to use His people as His instruments in saving others for eternity. It is God's desire and plan to use His people as His instruments to build up a people in the true faith, so that they will be prepared for eternity. Isaiah lived in a time of great crisis and tumult on earth, but in order for Isaiah to do the work that God had called him to do, God first of all focused Isaiah's attention on things above.

So it must be for every believer today. If you are to do a work for God in the place to which He has called you - your home, your workplace, your community, your church - you also must "set your mind on things above" - literally, synchronize your mind with things above - "where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God."

How does God accomplish this? Through His written Word. In His great prayer of John 17, Jesus asked the Father,

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

I do not pray for these alone [His present disciples], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:17-21)

Have you been confronted by the truth of the holiness of God, as Isaiah was? That truth is the essence of "things above." Nothing but that truth will lift you up to give you a vision of your holy God in the throne-room of Heaven. Nothing but that truth will truly equip you for life in this present evil world, and for life in the world to come, in the service of the One who has commanded holiness - set-apartness, sanctification - on the part of His people:

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16)

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