In the New Testament #1

Fred R. Coulter

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The New Testament pattern of Holiness and understanding of the Holiness of God follows right along the same lines as the Old Testament, but then develops into a much closer relationship later. Remember the aspects of Holiness that we covered:

  • the Holiness of God and fire
  • the Holiness of God and glory and power
  • the Holiness of God and wrath
  • the Holiness of God and majesty
  • the Holiness of God and cleanliness & purity
  • the Holiness of God and exaltation
  • the Holiness of God and the Holy Spirit

There is the big differentiation between the Old and the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is mentioned three times in the Old Testament:

  • Psalm 51:11
  • Isaiah 63:10-11

When you get to the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is mentioned 91 times. That's a whole separate study in itself. Getting into the Holiness of God we won't get into a deep study on the Holy Spirit of God.

The Holiness of God and Fire:

Luke 3 has to do with what is called the baptism of fire. It's amazing how people like to get doctrine and they have the baptism by fire. That's not the kind of baptism they would want, because obviously that's going into the Lake of Fire.

Here are all those coming to him wanting to be baptized; John the Baptist was not really a very nice guy:

Luke 3:7: "For this reason, he said to the multitudes who were coming out to be baptized by him, 'You offspring of vipers… [you people are a bunch of 'snakes in the grass'] …who has forewarned you to flee from the coming wrath?'" You're not down here to serve God, you're down here to save your neck.

Verse 8: "Therefore, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance… [to show a change of heart; that's what God is concerned about] …and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' because I tell you that God has the power to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. But the axe is already being laid to the roots of the trees. Therefore, every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire" (vs 8-9). That's how God is going to take care of it. Yet:

  • God is a God of love
  • God is a God of Holiness
  • God is a God of mercy

But see what He's dealing with here, that attitude, that incalcitrant choice of human nature.

It's really something how that in our lives—we have a certain routine to our lives: every Sabbath we meet, we don't go out an associate very much with people in the world. A lot of things to us are completely foreign and strange because we're not living in sin. So, some of these things are very hard for us to imagine how that people can have such a hard-hearted attitude and just be totally adamant against God.

John let them have it here, v 10: "And the multitudes asked him, saying, 'What then shall we do?' And he answered and said to them, 'The one who has two coats, let him give to the one who has none…'" (vs 10-11). In other words, help, serve, have an attitude of giving, not taking, etc. All of those things are there.

"…and the one who has food, let him do the same.' Now, the tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, 'Master, what shall we do?' And he said to them, 'Exact nothing beyond that which is appointed to you'" (vs 11-13)—as tax collectors.

No one likes tax collectors. I don't like tax collectors. I suppose being a minister and working as a loan broker that I'm in two of the most hated positions around. I've gotten it from some of these people. I've had to sit there and really take it on the chin.

I remember working on a loan and it was one that everything was hinging right there, and this fellow had a little too much to drink and he said, 'All you loan brokers are alike.' They don't think about their bad credit for ten years and all these other things, and the loan broker gets the package and they want the loan yesterday!

They don't think that six months ago that they could have done something about it. Then they come and they dump all their wrath on you and if it cost them more for the loan you're really a dirty rat. Sometimes they do leverage against people and take advantage and so forth. I don't do that, and it helps me get some repeat business.

God sees that we get just enough month to month and week to week, and we get along just fine, and what the Church provides for us God has been able to see us through it.

Here in this situation, here's the tax collector coming down. There's one thing that you never want to do, you never want to give more taxes than is due. But a lot of the tax collectors were taking more money saying that you have to pay so much more.

I was talking with a broker and he was saying, 'If we can get this for 69% instead of 72% would you protect me in it?' I said, 'No! Whatever you want you put a demand into escrow; we will quote what is net to the person. But if you want another 3% you go to the bar and say, 'I want another 3 %' and put your demand in escrow. We're not going to do this behind the scene and then split up the spoils afterward.' No way! That's going to get yourself in trouble.

They came and said, "…'Master, what shall we do?' And he said to them, 'Exact nothing beyond that which is appointed to you.' Then those who were soldiers also asked him, saying, 'And we, what shall we do?'…." (vs 12-14). Notice that John say to leave the army.

"…And he said to them, 'Do not oppress…'" (v 14). I'm sure that in reference to this that has 'other than your duty to fight against soldiers.'

"'…or falsely accuse anyone…'" (v 14). How did most of the soldiers make their money and things. They would go in and rob, pillage, spoil and do violence to innocent citizens.

Look in the Old Testament and they had armies, guards. God said that if your army would chase a hundred of your army, 'if you're right with Me we will chase ten thousand of them. But if you're not right with me, five of them will chase a hundred of you.'

I'm sure that this has to do with doing things against civilians that they shouldn't.

"'…and be satisfied with your wages.' But as the people were filled with expectation, and they were all reasoning in their hearts about John, whether or not he might be the Christ, John [the Baptist] answered all of them, saying, 'I indeed baptize you with water; but He is coming Who is mightier than I, of Whom I am not fit to loose the thong of His sandals. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire'" (vs 14-16). That's how God is going to take care of all sin; He's going to burn it away!

There's nothing more purifying than fire! Absolutely nothing!

Verse 17: "Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His granary; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."

There in the presence of God, concerning sin, is fire! Of course, in Acts 2 is another aspect of it, which is a little bit different, this has to do with the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:4: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…" How did it come down to them?

Verse 3: "And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them." They had to see it! It looked like fire coming down, but it didn't burn!

It must have been a manifestation of God's Spirit much like the burning bush that didn't burn. They had to see it; how else would they know? You're not going to look at something invisible and say it came down like tongues of fire. At this point God had do something miraculous to show that He was doing something different than He had ever done before!

This is why He did it. It wasn't the kind of fire that burned up. If you had fire land on your hair you'd have it all scorched and burned up. So, this was a manifestation of God's Spirit as fire!

Verse 4: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim."

Now we'll see another Scripture that ties in exactly with what it talks about concerning God in the Old Testament.

Hebrews 12:29: "For our God is indeed a consuming fire." That's why when we went through Exo. 34 God told Moses that no man, no human being in the flesh, can come in the presence of God and see God! He's so powerful that you would be disintegrated. You'd just be literally burned up, because "…our God is indeed a consuming fire."

Here's a vision of God's throne, Revelation 4:5: "And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning before the throne." This is to symbolize the power of God, to show the power that God has.

I'm sure that to see God literally… Go back to Rev. 1 and the vision that John saw of Christ: His countenance was as the sun shining in its full strength. There we have in the New Testament the Holiness of God associated with fire.

Holiness of God with Glory and Power:

What was the authority of the Old Testament based upon? The authority in the Old Testament is God, and the one that He dealt with—the human being—to reveal His authority and power to the children of Israel was Moses. {note sermon: That Prophet}

What did God do for Moses? Moses was called; remember it was said of Moses, 'there had not arisen in Israel a prophet like unto Moses unto this day.' Then when Christ came they were looking for one who was that prophet.

What were the experiences that Moses had that established the authority of God to Moses?

  • in the burning bush, God talked to him
  • he went up on the mountain and talked with God face-to-face
  • he saw the backside of the glory of God

God put him way back in a cave, a cleft in the rock, and 'I will let you look upon Me, and I will pass by you.' What he saw was the backside of God!

God was going to establish something in the New Testament Church that had to, beyond the shadow of doubt, have the same signs of authority that was dealt with Moses. Otherwise, how do you prove that it's the same God? A lot of people never thought of it that way before. What did the Pharisees say? We have Abraham and we keep Moses' Law. Moses was the greatest because he saw God face-to-face and in His glory!

Now let's see what God did with Peter, James and John and why this took place.

Mark 9:1: "And He said to them, 'Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power.'" That's quite a statement—isn't it? Spiritual power!

Wherever Jesus was, that's where the Kingdom of God was. How many times did Jesus say that the Kingdom of God has come upon you, not shall come upon you? Has come upon you, because of healing and His presence!

What did He tell the Pharisees when they were all gathered around Him and said, 'Tell us when the Kingdom of God will come.' He said, 'It doesn't come by observation, it doesn't come by proclaiming it is here. The Kingdom of God is standing right in the middle of you.' Himself! The Protestants say that it's in your heart. No! The Kingdom of God is never in anyone's heart.

Verse 2: "And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, leading them alone up into a high mountain by themselves…." Who were Peter, James and John? The main apostles! Even after James was martyred, James the brother of Jesus was one of those three mentioned. It was James, Peter and John (Gal. 2). So, He took them "…up into a high mountain by themselves…."

What did God do with Moses? He said, 'Moses, you come up here!' He let the elders stay down below, and then Moses and Joshua came up a little higher, and then 'you leave Joshua there and come up and talk with Me.' That's the sequence of events when you put it all together.

This is exactly what happened here. He left the rest of the disciples and took Peter, James and John up into a high mountain alone.

"…And He was transfigured in their presence… [He was changed] …and His garments became exceedingly white, like glistening snow, such a white as no bleacher of cloth on earth is able to make" (vs 2-3). That's someone who cleaning, scrubbing and so forth.

Verse 4: "Then appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus." People say that Elijah must have gone to heaven and is alive. It doesn't say that. This was a vision and transfiguration.

How many of you will watch television tonight? I guarantee you that you will watch some dead people. They're dead and buried, but you're going to see them alive and walking and talking right on the television screen.

  • Could God show Elijah as he will be in the Kingdom of God?
  • By vision that way with no problem?
  • Certainly!
  • Could He appear to have a conversation with them?
  • Certainly! No problem! Absolutely none!
  • Is Elijah dead and buried awaiting the resurrection?

Yes, Heb. 11 says that 'these all died in faith'! Which includes Enoch and Elijah. 'They all died in faith not having received the promises'! So, here this is vision (Matt. 17).

Verse 5: "And Peter responded by saying to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here. Now, let us make three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.'" Moses and Elijah were the two most powerful prophets that God had in the Old Testament.

What is Jesus doing here? He's establishing the authority of the apostles with the same endorsement given to them, the same privileges given to them, that God gave to Moses and to Elijah!

Verse 6: "For he did not know what he should say because they were terrified." I guess so! You get up on a mountain and something like that happened your hair would stand up on end and your knees would melt together. What would you say? I'm done in!

Verse 7: "Then a cloud came and overshadowed them; and there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him!' And suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with themselves. Now as they were descending from the mountain, He charged them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of man had risen from the dead. And they kept that saying among themselves, questioning what was the meaning of rising from the dead" (vs 7-10).

How much did the apostle know? They didn't know very much! What do you mean, raising from the dead? What is He talking about?

I imagine Peter, James and John get over here and now you have a group that's going to talk by themselves. 'I wonder what that was like? I can hardly look at that! Was that really Elijah and Moses? Here we have the same thing:

Matthew 17:1: "And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shined as the sun, and His garments became white as the light" (vs 1-2).

Even though I've read these things and gone over them many times, and have preached sermons about them many times, I still cannot in my own mind visualize how that is going to look. I can a little bit about the clothes. We have a enough television and moves so you can kind of picture what the white radiant clothes would look like. But to look on someone whose face is like the shining sun is just beyond me.

Verse 3: "Then behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with Him."

Verse 9: "Now, as they were descending from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one…'"

Part of it was reality with Jesus being there; He was there! Elijah and Moses were not there. When the vision was gone, who did they see? Only Jesus in His non-glorified form! How much did rely on this as authority?

2-Pet. 1—Peter goes through the first part saying that 'we are partakers of the Holy nature of God with His Holy Spirit. Then he talks about the teachings of the Kingdom of God (v 11), and then we come to:

2-Peter 1:16: "For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority…" If you want to read anything about the 'religions' of the world, you've got cunningly devised fables! We still have some modern ones today.

"…when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory" (v 16). They relied on that authority. Eyewitnesses! 'We saw Him!'

Verse 17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.' And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain" (vs 17-18).

That mountain became Holy because the presence of God was there! It probably isn't Holy today! Probably some Arab lives up on top of it now. But when Christ was there it was Holy.

Let's see what John wrote concerning Jesus, 1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning…" Who was in the beginning? In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God, and the Word was with God! Not anything came into existence except the Word created it! (John 1:1-2).

"…that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled…" (v 1). Remember after He was resurrected and the incident with Thomas?

"…concerning the Word of Life… [referring directly to Jesus] …(And the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you…" (vs 1-3). He went right back and in the same way relied on that authority that was given.

It's very important that Jesus established this kind of authority that would be greater than the authority given to Moses. Not only did they see Christ in His glorified form, but they were also given the dispensation of the Holy Spirit to preach and teach that on whomsoever they laid their hands, the Holy Spirit would come upon them, which is a greater ministry than the ministry of Moses. Far greater! Jesus had to do it to establish it with that power and authority.

Holiness of God as Related to Majesty:

We just read a little bit about it in 2-Peter 1, where it was the excellent majesty that they saw.

Hebrews 8:1: "Now, here is a summary of the things being discussed: We have such a High Priest Who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." {note: Rev. 4-5—talks about the throne of God, the Lamb Who is worthy to receive power, honor, glory and majesty.}

Verse 2: "A Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, and not man." There it talks about Him.

Let's see the exalted position that Jesus holds because of the Holiness of God:

Hebrews 7:26: "For it is fitting that we should have such a High Priest Who is Holy, blameless, undefiled, set apart from sinners and made higher than the heavens… [can't get higher than that] …Who has no need, as do the other high priests, to offer up sacrifices day by day, first for his own sins…" (vs 26-27). Here it shows that He is:

  • Holy
  • harmless
  • undefiled
  • separate from sinner
  • made higher than the heavens

Cleanliness and Purity:

We are told in 2-Corinthians 6:16: "And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?…." Idolatry is spiritual uncleanness.

"…For you are a temple of the living God… [because we have the Spirit of God in us; we're part of the temple of the living God] …exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord…" (vs 16-17). Of course, we could go through the Bible and make a tremendous case for being separate. We're to be:

  • separate from the world
  • unspotted from the world

"…'and touch not the unclean…'" (v 17); anything that's unclean. Just as an aside, this is an interesting Scripture, which shows that we should not eat unclean foods. Just one little side thing, as well as not get involved in idolatry, combining the religions of the world with that of God.

"'…touch not the unclean and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18).

Where does God want us to be clean? In our heart and mind! Sin and idolatry are the spiritual unclean things!

Luke 11:37: "Now, while He was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him; and He went in and sat down. But the Pharisee, seeing this, wondered why He had not first washed before dinner" (vs 37-38). He just went in and sat down and started picking up the food and eating it. He didn't go through all the ritual.

There are so many things that human beings do one to another to be accepted. The Masons go through all this proper and different handshakes. You're good guy if you're on this level, and I'm a better guy if I'm on this level. It's amazing what human beings do to be accepted.

Catholic women walk in and dip the water and dab themselves; I don't know what that does for them, but they do it, and if they don't have a hat they put on a shawl.

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Verse 39: "Then the Lord said to him, 'Now, you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish…'" There are a lot of people who look good outside; a lot of them sound good when you hear them.

"…but inside you are full of greediness and wickedness" (v 39). They had a synod of bishops in Rome and one of the women tried to tell them virtually the same thing, 'You bunch of men over here are a bunch of hypocrites. You discriminate against women more than any group in the whole world.' It didn't phase them! Same thing here.

If someone walked in and said, 'You're full of ravenings and wickedness' they wouldn't fall on their knees and repent to God. They would come after you screaming and yelling get that dirty rat.

Verse 40: "Fools, did not He Who made the outside also make the inside? Rather, give alms from the things that are within; and behold, all things are clean to you. But woe to you, Pharisees! For you pay tithes of mint and rue and every herb, but you pass over the judgment and the love of God…." (vs 40-42).

The love of God is more important than any of these other things. We know that! We've experience how much the love of God is worth in the things that we've gone through. Let's keep it there. Then He says, "…woe to you…" all the way through

Verse 43: "Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the chief seat in the synagogues and the salutations in the marketplaces." They're here eating! He's looking around and saying, 'You Pharisees! You're dirty, filthy and unclean and full of wickedness!

If a guest came in your house and insulted you, you might throw the gravy in his face. He certainly had to be protected of God!

Let's show what the inner action of God's Holy Spirit is to do to us inwardly! Here's what Christ is doing to us. This is why you overcome sin. This is why you go along and you have thoughts of sin that will come in your mind and you know you don't want there. You really didn't want to think of it; you really didn't think of it but there it was. That's a little bit of the scrubbing and cleansing to get it out of your system.

Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; so that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it… [the inner cleansing] …with the washing of the water by the Word" (vs 25-26).

  • What does that mean?
  • What is the Holy Spirit a type of? Water!

John 7:38: "…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The Holy Spirit is to act as a cleansing agent in our heart and mind to get rid of the evil.

There is nothing more powerful than water! It can cleanse, erode, wear down, destroy; all of that is all a part of the action of the Holy Spirit to cleanse our mind.

What does it say? To casting down strongholds, referring to the inward parts of our mind. Just picture the Holy Spirit as a big hydraulic hose, just wiping it out.

Ephesians 5:26: "…with the washing of the water by the Word…"—which tells you you're not going to get it unless you know the Word of God. You aren't going to be cleansed unless you study the Word of God.

  • What is really in our mind?
  • What do we operate with?
    • we have the spirit of man
    • we have the physical brain that works
      • What is it that makes us have intelligence? The concept of words and speaking!

This how, with God's Word, we put into our mind and coupled with God's Spirit gives that cleansing action of the mind.

This is how we're to become as newborn babes. They don't have evil in their mind, and this is all part of the cleansing and purity that comes from God.

Heb. 9 shows the two main differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant" Hebrews 9:13: "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who aredefiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh… [the outward part] …to a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (vs 13-14). That's what God's Holy Spirit does. Through the blood of Christ will purge your conscience.

That's quite a thing! There's nothing harder to changed than the inward part of a person's mind. God's Spirit will do that interacting with God's Word and God's Spirit, and your drawing close to God. Take all the other things and combine with it:

  • hunger and thirst after God's Word
  • love God's Word
  • love the Father
  • love Christ
  • love each other

Put all these things together and this will—with God's Spirit and power—purge our conscience. That's pretty nice.

What was it said of Nathaniel? Behold an Israelite, indeed, in whom there is no guile! It can be done!

The Holiness of God and Wrath:

God is going to take out His wrath and vengeance!

Roman 1:18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them; for the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse" (vs 18-20).

My wife said she watched someone on television who said that 'no one can prove that God exists.' God says He has a whole creation here that proves He exists.

Someone ought to ask the host of that show: What if you went home and the front door of your apartment was smashed in? You walked in and you saw that everything was strewn around, the drawers where all your valuables were kept were empty, the jewelry is gone, some of the certificates of deposit you had stored away in your safe are gone—the safe was broken into, but you didn't see the one who did it.

What would you conclude when you saw it? A robber has been here! He would know and have proof that someone came there and stole something.

  • Did he see him?
  • Did he know who it was?
  • No!

That's what God is going to tell this host when he's resurrected. 'I didn't know You existed, God.' I made the world, dear friend! What more do you want!

The more you study the things that God has created, they're absolutely amazing and fantastic, awesome! I mean, even some of these little microscopic things, they're absolutely amazing! I like to watch these nature things, absolutely fantastic!

God has shown it to them, and He's going to bring wrath upon them!

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance? But you, according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart, are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment" (vs 4-5). God is Holy, true and just!

Holiness of God Reflects the Character of God:

What I want to do in going back over these Scriptures is to tie the two together, so we have a very clear understanding of what we're doing here.

Hebrews 1:2; talking about Christ: "Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the ages; Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person…" (vs 2-3). Moffatt translates that: Stamped with God's own character.  

"…and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3). This shows the tremendous and awesome things of God and of Christ; upholding all of this!

The more I go over these… I have found, brethren, the Scriptures that I go over the most, if I really let them germinate in my mind and think on it, the Scriptures are such that if you go over and over these things, what it should do is really reinforce and bring into your mind a greater concept of God, a greater concept God's being and presence.
All of these things we've been learning and building and building over the years, it would be very difficult for me to go back to a whole brand new group of people who don't even know where to find the book of Matthew and tell them 'you have to do this and that' to go back and really teach them those very, very basic things.

Remember the Scripture we went over: Let us leave the principles, which be the principles of Christ, which are the beginning, basic things! You don't forget them, you go on to grow!

When I read that He is "…in the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His own power…" (v 3), it just has that power and authority and the very Word—isn't that His name? The Word upholds everything: the worlds, the universe and everything there is.

They talk about putting huge telescopes up in a satellite stations and then they're really going to know what the heavens look like. No they aren't! They're going to find out that it's a lot bigger and further than what they ever figure it to be. I know that some stupid scientist is going to say, 'We didn't see God.' Someone is going to say that!

Not only is God upholding the world by His own power, "…when He had by Himself…"—all alone! I don't think we realize the tremendous thing that God has done in giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. It says, "…by Himself…"; that means alone!

"…purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (v 3). What a tremendous and exalted thing that is.

Revelation 4:8: "And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come.' And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him Who sits on the throne, Who lives into the ages of eternity, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne; and they worship Him Who lives into the ages of eternity, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'Worthy are You, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power… [no human being is worthy of that, but Christ is] …because You did create all things, and for Your will they were created and exist'" (vs 8-11). This is not pleasure (KJV) in the sense of having fun, but for God's will and desire!

Revelation 5:9: "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book, and to open its seals…'" If there's any revelation that's going to be given, Christ has to do it. No man is worthy to understand this!

  • Christ is worthy to open them
  • Christ must reveal it to His servants

"'…because You were slain, and did redeem us to God by Your own blood, out of every tribe and language and people and nation, and did make us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.' And I saw and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne, and the voices of the living creatures and the elders, and thousands of thousands" (vs 9-11).

It's absolutely amazing; this is the true reality because this is spiritual. What we see here is all physical; it's all going to pass away. This is the true reality! That's why the things that we go through are to be counted as nothing!

Verse 12: "Saying with a loud voice…" If you could just project yourself into hearing the loudest music you've ever heard in your life.

Just like an I-Max movie. You get in the middle and especially when it's going over the Grand Canyon, that really just stands your hair on end! Just picture yourself looking up to the throne of God on the Sea of Glass and there's thunder and lightning and everything coming out of it. Here is this magnificent scene and there are ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands, all singing! It says, "…with a loud voice…" that must be some sound!

"…'Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power… [this all part of the Holiness of God] …and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing" (v 12). That's a tremendous that God has called us to; it's magnificent!

Verse 13: "And every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and those that are on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying…" Can animals praise God? It says here that they do! I don't know how they will do it. Whatever sound it is that comes from the great whales, they make sounds. Could a whale be thankful to its Creator and make some kind of sound? Sure it could!

"…'To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, and honor, and glory, and sovereignty into the ages of eternity'" (v 13). Awesome sight! There's no way you could make a movie like that!

I've heard this section on The Messiah by Handel and it really goes into "…Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power…" and they have the big kettle drums beating away and all of the trumpets blasting. I've often thought that doesn't do justice to when you really read this and let God's Spirit be with you when you read it. That just doesn't do any justice to what it really is. Wouldn't it be fantastic if sometime there could some kind of music that could be composed that would give a little more justice to that? I'm sure you couldn't do it for singing, just some kind of symphony with singing to it. Just make it the greatest, most magnificent thing that has ever been. But we'll see the real thing!

Rev. 15 is where we're resurrected to meet Christ in the air on the Sea of Glass. He's called Lord God Almighty.

Revelation 15:4: "For You only are Holy…"

Revelation 19:1—and here again we see much the same thing going on: "And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying…" Obviously not human beings; the Greek is 'anthropos,' which can mean people, but obviously these are the ones who have been saved; they're in heaven. Are there any people in heaven? No people in heaven; these have to be the ones who have been saved! Where are they? Standing on the Sea of Glass! (Rev. 15).

"…'Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God…. [magnificent] …For true and righteous are His judgments; for He hasjudged the great whore…'" (vs 1-2). John wondered when he saw that, 'Oh, how can this be?' If he were resurrected today, he would say the same thing.

"'…who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.' And they said a second time, 'Hallelujah! And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity'" (vs 2-3).

There's going to be a time to cheer when evil is gone! You're going to be on God's side and when Satan is overcome and that's all put down, we'll stand there and cheer! It's done! Look at the smoke rise up! Hooray! It's over with!

Verse 4: "And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, Who sits on the throne, saying, 'Amen. Hallelujah!' And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.' And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying…" (vs 4-6).

When you tell all of them to sing, it's going to come as a mighty thundering.

"…'Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned. Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.' And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God'" (vs 6-9).

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 3:8-17
  • Acts 2:4, 3, 4
  • Hebrews 12:29
  • Revelation 4:5
  • Mark 9:1-10
  • Matthew 17:1-3, 9
  • 2 Peter 1:16-18
  • 1 John 1:1-3
  • Hebrews 8:1-2
  • Hebrews 7:26-27
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
  • Luke 11:37-43
  • Ephesians 5:25-26
  • John 7:38
  • Ephesians 5:26
  • Hebrews 9:13-14
  • Romans 1:18-20
  • Romans 2:4-5
  • Hebrews 1:2-3
  • Revelation 4:8-11
  • Revelation 5:9-13
  • Revelation 15:4
  • Revelation 19:1-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 51:11
  • Isaiah 63:10-11
  • Exodus 34
  • Revelation 1
  • Galatians 2
  • Hebrews 11
  • 2 Peter 1:11
  • John 1:1-2
  • Revelation 5

Also referenced: Sermon: That Prophet

Transcribed: 4/13/16