An Encounter with the Enthroned Almighty

Title: An Encounter with the Enthroned Almighty

Bible Book: Isaiah 6 : 1-13

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: God, Encounter with



For many years now, Isaiah chapter six has been one of my favorite passages of scripture. It seems that though I have read it perhaps hundreds of times over the last twenty years or so, there still seems to be something new that can be learned from this passage. It's like looking at a famous, but familiar painting, like the Mona Lisa, and discovering some characteristic never before perceived. It's like becoming aware of a different aspect of your mate's personality, which was previously an unknown, even after years of marriage.

Of course, the possibility of discovering something new from God's Word is inherently characteristic. But I believe it is especially true of those passages of scripture dealing with God Himself. Though He is the God of the Ages, the Ancient of Days, He is ever new; He is ever now; He is beyond our complete comprehension.

You see folks, the point of our being in church today is not so much to learn the Word of God as it is to learn the God of the Word. God wants to reveal Himself to you in a fresh and forthright way today. He wants you to see Him as He is, in all His glory and holiness.

"But what is gained from a fresh glimpse of God?" you might ask. Perhaps much more than we have time to discuss. But in short, a fresh glimpse of God always results in a fresh look at ourselves-our unworthiness and neediness before Him. And if we respond rightly, it will also result in surrender and service to God. Dear folks, in a day when Christians and churches are cold, calloused, and corrupt, we desperately need a fresh look at God. It is imperative that we have a fresh encounter with the God of our salvation, not for regeneration, but for revival.

It's my prayer, that during this worship service, we will take a fresh look at God. It's my hope that we will be willing to examine ourselves honestly, as the Holy Spirit turns on the heavenly searchlight in our hearts. Then, may we respond with surrender and commitment to the God Who loves us.


A. He Saw The Holiness Of God's Person.

1. He saw God enthroned.

Isaiah 6:1a, "...I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne..."

It is rather significant that Isaiah mentions the fact that, it was after king Uzziah died that he had this encounter with God. Uzziah was the king who pridefully tried to usurp the place of the priests by attempting to personally offer a sacrifice on the temple altar. For his insolence, he was stricken with leprosy. Allegorically, we can apply this fact with the following statement: A proper perception of God begins with the death of pride. Leprosy is often viewed in scripture as a type of sin. Practically speaking, the disease always made one ceremonially unclean. This is the reason the priests physically ushered Uzziah out of the temple.

2. He saw God exalted.

Isaiah 6:1b "...I saw...the Lord...high and lifted up..."

When Isaiah saw God in all His holiness, it changed how he viewed the world, and everything around him. C.S. Lewis once noted:

How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets [the] real thing, it is irresistible.

C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady, New Bible Commentary, p. 28.

3. He saw God encompassed.

Isaiah 6:1c, "...his train filled the temple..."

The word "train" is defined in the margin as "skirts." The reference is to that which shrouded God's person. Most scholars agree that this is a reference to the Shekinah ("to settle, inhabit, or dwell"-Refers to the glorious presence of God-Taken from glory of God, which prevented mortal eyes from viewing the total essence of the person of God, which no man can behold and live (Ex.33: 20).

Notice that God's glory "filled the temple." In other words, the glory of God permeated and pervaded every part of the temple. Folks, we need to grasp this truth with our minds and hearts today. God's glory should encompass and energize every aspect of our lives, both spiritual and secular.

In Isaiah 6:2a we note that God's glory ought to be the ultimate goal of every song sung in our services.

In Isaiah 6:2b we see that God's glory ought to be the ultimate goal of every request we make in prayer.

In Isaiah 6:2c we find that God's glory ought to be the ultimate goal of every sermon preached from this pulpit, and every lesson taught within these walls.

In Isaiah 6:2d we discover that God's glory ought to be the ultimate goal of every matter of business conducted by this church.

What's my point? Simply this. God does not want to be merely a part of our life; He wants to be our life.

In I Corinthians 10:31 we read, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

B. He Saw The Holiness Of God Practiced.

1. The seraphs reverenced God's holiness by their attitude.

Isaiah 6:2a,b, "Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet..."

The seraphs covered their faces with two of their wings. This implies that even the holy angels of God viewed themselves as unworthy to look upon God, or to look into His affairs. God is of inestimable holiness.

The seraph's also reverenced God by covering their feet with two of their wings. This would have been significant to Isaiah since the custom of that day was for subjects to cover the lower part of their bodies with their robe when in the presence of a monarch. It was a sign of respect.

2. The seraphs honored God's holiness by their activity.

Isaiah 6:2c, "...and with twain he did fly."

The Bible indicates that the basic duty of the seraphim is continual praise toward God. Their flying about speaks of the fact that they were busy fulfilling the function for which they were brought into existence. If we truly believe that God is a holy God, and is worthy of our all, our service will tell the tale.

C. He Saw The Holiness Of God Proclaimed.

1. Notice what he heard.

Isaiah 6:3, "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."

The word "holy" is repeated three times. This is because God is a thrice holy God-holy God the Father, holy God the Son, and holy God the Holy Spirit. Our God is the great Three In One.

"The whole earth is full of his glory" refers to the fact that creation gives God praise because it is the outward evidence of His greatness.

2. Notice what happened.

Isaiah 6:4, "And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke."

Isaiah was getting a fresh glimpse of God. He was seeing God praised and worshiped with all the exuberance and enthusiasm that His awesome holiness demanded. Don't miss the significance of the fact that when God was properly praised and worshiped, the house was shaken. The Word of God says that God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps.22: 3). That being the case, maybe our churches would best be served by spending more time praising God than pushing our programs.

Isn't it sad that many Christians are more uninhibited about shouting their lungs out at a high school football game than they are about praising God at church?


A. Isaiah's Perception.

Isaiah 6:5, "Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."

Folks, please don't miss the progression brought out here.

In Isaiah 6:1a, we note that Isaiah, via a vision, has seen God in all His splendor and holiness. He has just beheld the unspeakable awesomeness of almighty God. What an overwhelming sight that must have been.

In Isaiah 6:1b, he has just witnessed the glory of God consuming and permeating the temple.

Isaiah 6:1c, when Isaiah took a fresh look at God, he was forced to take a fresh look at himself. All he could say was, "Woe is me! for I am undone" (v.5).

Folks, how is it that so many Christians are so flippant about their unkindness, dishonesty, casual attitude about church attendance and serving God? I submit to you dear people that it's because God, in all His awesome holiness, has faded from view.

Too often these days folks have the attitude, "Well, God is a good ole God, and He understands how I am." And that statement is essentially true. But nothing will ever change the fact that God is holy. And His holiness says to us, "Ye shall be holy; for I am holy" (Lev.11: 44a). A lot of folks are worried these days about America's enemies attacking her. But folks, I agree with the following statement from some years back: "The greatest enemy of America isn't Russia. It's God." (Leonard Ravenhill).

B. Isaiah's Purging.

Isaiah 6:6-7, "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."

Isaiah's cleansing did not take place until he was willing to see himself in contrast to a holy God. The holiness of God is always the standard, not our friends and acquaintances, or the general consensus of society.

Isaiah's cleansing came via a coal from the altar. This implies a sacrifice had been made. In the Bible, fire is always viewed as a cleansing agent. These two thoughts relate very well to what Christ has done for us. On the altar of Calvary, Jesus suffered God's wrath against sin so that you and I could be saved from our sins, and thereby know continual fellowship with God.


A. Isaiah's Surrender.

Isaiah 6:8, "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

Let me point out once again the progression involved here. A right concept of the holiness of God resulted in confession of sin. Confession of sin resulted in commitment to service. (Concept, Confession, Commitment)

B. Isaiah's Sermon.

Isaiah 6: 9, "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not."

Isaiah's message was to be one of rebuke, a wakeup call to a sinful and backslidden people. In essence, they had often heard God's word to them through the prophets, but had not grasped its meaning and application to them. They had seen many demonstrations of God's power among them, but had not laid hold of God on a personal level. However, this was intentional on Israel's part, not incidental.

C. Isaiah's Sorrow.

1. The response to Isaiah's preaching.

Isaiah 6:10, "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

This was not a pretty picture of God's people. In essence, God was telling Isaiah right up front, that his preaching would result in more spiritual blindness and rebellion. But the people would not be able to say that they had not been warned. The fact was judgment was inevitable; it was a foregone conclusion. Isaiah could not control the results of his service, but he could serve faithfully. And that's all God expected of him.

Some people will not be moved by even the most impassioned pleas. Their mind is already made up. Their course is set, and they will not be dissuaded from their chosen path. Such was the case with rebellious Israel. What they needed was a good dose of good old-fashioned repentance. The same could be said of a lot of rebellious church members of our day.

In his book "I Surrender," Patrick Morley writes that the church's integrity problem is in the misconception "that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief without a change in behavior." He goes on to say, "It is revival without reformation, without repentance." Quoted by C. Swindoll, John The Baptizer, Bible Study Guide, p. 16.

2. The request of the preacher.

Isaiah 6:11-12, "Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land."

3. There would be a remnant who would return, according to God's promise.

Isaiah 6:13, "But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil (terebinth) tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof."

Though the judgment brought upon God's people would result in the total depopulation of Judah, God promised that a remnant would return. But the words, "shall be eaten," indicate that even that returning remnant would be consumed by warfare and captivity. This did in fact happen via the Syrian ruler, Antiochus IV.

The overall message of this verse is one of hope. Though the judgment of Judah would result in terrible decimation, they would not be totally destroyed. Just as the terebinth and oak tree often sprout shoots from their stumps, even so, God would preserve a remnant of Israel, even through judgment. Even in judgment God shows mercy.


Posted in


Scroll to Top