Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
August 2018 (2)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

ANGELS: WINDOWS ON THE HOLINESS OF GOD
by Philip Owen

How is it that we so little esteem the holiness of God?  Before anyone takes offense, I repeat “we.”  As a youngster and for some considerable time thereafter, the holiness of God held very little interest for me, and I suspect that I was not too different from most believers.  Two passages, one from each Testament, will explain my question.  First, in Isaiah, we read of his vision of “the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.  Seraphim stood above Him . . . .  And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory’” (6:1-3).  Second, in the Revelation, John describes a scene in heaven involving “the four living creatures [angels] . . . day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come’” (4:8). 

Consider the nature of angels.  We know that we humans are presently inferior to the angels because the writer of Hebrews explains that during the time of Christ’s incarnation God “made Him for a little while lower than the angels” (2:7).  We have no means of measuring exactly how much lower than angels we are at the present time, but several points will give us some indication of the magnitude of the disparity between us.  First, angels are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14), so we know immediately that they are not bound by the limits of physical flesh.  Yet, second, they have the power to appear in material bodies (Lk. 1:26; John 20:12) presumably at will (according to God’s purposes) and in unlimited forms.  Third, they do not die (Lk. 20:34-36).  Fourth, though they are not omniscient and though there may be some things pertaining to salvation that saints understand better than the angels, they possess vast knowledge and wisdom having dwelt in the presence of God, observed His work, and absorbed His instruction for more than six millennia (II Sam. 14:20; consider also the immense knowledge and cunning of Satan, a fallen angel).  Fifth, they possess supernatural strength (II Pet. 2:11; Psa. 103:20; II Thess. 1:7).  Sixth, they can seemingly suspend the laws of physics, apparently moving faster even than the speed of light (Gen. 28:12; Dan. 9:21-23).  Seventh, they retain great administrative abilities (Dan. 10:13). The ramifications of these seven superiorities could be extended, but the point is clear:  though we will be superior to the angels in our glorified state, there is presently no question about which creatures, men or angels, are superior.

Consider the reality of the ministry that consumes those angels we have cited in the first paragraph.  Not only are they happy, content, and fulfilled to do nothing but proclaim the holiness of God day and night unceasingly, but they are consumed with their proclamation.  The very thing that, if we are honest, has bored most of us at one time or another utterly enthralls beings who are our intellectual superiors.  How long might you and I meditate on the holiness of God?  How long might that attribute of God occupy our thoughts?  How long would we be content to do nothing but declare, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty”?  

The second paragraph clearly demonstrates that such a declaration occupies the minds of the angels, not because they are mechanical robots or possessed of diminished mental capacity.  On the contrary, it seems that so great is the holiness of God that our human minds can barely begin to appreciate it.  What we might be tempted to dismiss because of our present human inadequacies fills the angels with purpose and glory. 

In its simplest but also perhaps profoundest expression, God’s holiness may be said to be the essence of His Being as set apart, not just from sin, but from everything and every creature, including the angels.  He is infinitely different and distinct from everything else in the universe, transcendent.  We may be sure that we will require eternity to appreciate the heights and depths of God’s holiness.   

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page

Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 372-8692 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com