Let us look at and study the sixth chapter of Isaiah: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto 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 moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.”
This was a revelation of the glory of Christ’s divinity. Note the humility of the seraphim before him. With their wings they veiled their faces and their feet. They were in the presence of Jesus. They saw the glory of God,—the King in his beauty,—and they covered themselves. And what effect did this view of the Lord’s glory have upon the mind of the prophet? “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. Then flew one of the seraphim 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. 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.”
Beholding the glory of the Son of God caused the prophet himself to appear very insignificant. He felt nothing but contempt for himself. “I abhor myself! Woe is me, for I am undone.” The more closely we view the Lord Jesus in his purity and loveliness, the less will we esteem self, the less will we strive for the mastery, or even for recognition. When the light of Jesus reveals the deformity of our souls, there will be no desire to lift up ourselves unto vanity. The appearance of self is most unpleasing. The more continuously the sinful man looks upon Jesus, the less he sees in himself to admire, and his soul is prostrated before God in contrition.
So many have this self satisfied feeling, and manifest this inclination to uplift self unto vanity, thus giving evidence that they are clothed with the filthy rags of their own self righteousness. If they do not seek most diligently for the heavenly anointing, they will not, cannot, see Jesus. Neither can they see their own poverty. Their spiritual defects are hidden from their eyes. They have a name to live, but give not the slightest evidence that their life proceeds from God. The true spiritual life is a reflection of the life of Christ. The meekness and lowliness of our Saviour are apparent in the daily lives of his true disciples. The gentleness of Christ is revealed. Such a life is constantly speaking of his love, and telling of the power of his grace. In beholding Christ, there is a continual change wrought in the human agent; his conversation is made fragrant with divine grace.
What a Saviour we have! It was he that revealed himself to John on the Isle of Patmos, and proclaimed, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” None but just such an ever-living, mighty God, could pay the ransom to save sinners from going down into the pit of death.
Bear in mind that the highest qualification of the mind will not, cannot, supply the place of true simplicity, of genuine piety. The Bible may be studied as a branch of human science would be; but its beauty, the evidence of its power to save souls that believe, is a lesson that is never thus learned. If the practise of the word is not brought into the life, then the sword of the Spirit has not wounded the natural heart. It has been shielded in the poetic fancy. Sentimentalism has so wrapped it about that the heart has not sufficiently felt the keenness of its edge, piercing and cutting away the sinful shrines where self is worshiped. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Many believe Jesus to be the world’s Redeemer; but is he your Redeemer? Is he your personal Saviour? Until the truth is brought into the soul-sanctuary, exploring, searching out the defiling things which spoil the life and character, that soul will never see the kingdom of God. For “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The law was given to man by his Creator to be the rule of his life. Adam transgressed that law, and fell from his high and holy state. Afterward, the law was proclaimed from Sinai, and God wrote it upon tables of stone with his own finger; for it was highly essential that his holy law should be placed in such form that it would never be lost to man, but ever kept prominently before the world. The life of Christ must be revealed in our life. Isaiah saw the glory of the lowly, self-denying life of Christ. His far-reaching, prophetic eye, like a living light, radiated the entire experience of Christ; and history is in perfect accord with the revelations of prophetic vision. Every act, every step of the way, was portrayed in living characters. Christ was revealed in and through humanity.
Jesus invites. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Jesus Christ has here presented this matter in a most beautiful light. He veiled his own divine personage in the garb of humanity, and humbled himself as a man. O never was humility like thy humility, thou Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! Looking unto Jesus will subdue hated self, which is ever striving for the supremacy. Let this prayer ascend to God: “Impress thine own image upon my soul.” And the spiritual eye can behold the glory of the character of Christ.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth…. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” This is the vital current that is to flow from the heart of Christ as living water into the human vessel, from whence it again flows in rich currents, revealing Jesus, the fountainhead. This is experimental Christianity.
The apostle Paul makes supplication to God: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” But the mind must first be made adaptable to the nature of the truth to be investigated. The eyes of the understanding must be enlightened, and heart and mind brought into harmony with God, who is truth. He who beholds Jesus with the eye of faith sees no glory in himself; for the glory of the Redeemer is reflected into the mind and heart. The atonement of his blood is realized, and the taking away of sin stirs his heart with gratitude. Being justified by Christ, the receiver of truth is constrained to make an entire surrender to God, and is admitted into the school of Christ, that he may learn of him who is meek and lowly of heart. A knowledge of the love of God is shed abroad in his heart. He exclaims, O, what love! What condescension! Grasping the rich promises of faith, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. His heart being emptied of self, the waters of life flow in, and the glory of the Lord shines forth. Perpetually looking unto Jesus, the human is assimilated by the divine. The believer is changed into his likeness.
“We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory [from character to character], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The human character is changed into the divine. It is the spiritual eye that discerns this glory. It is veiled, shrouded in mystery, until the Holy Spirit imparts this discernment to the soul. The reason of the natural man may seek to discern it, his intellect may think to comprehend it, but neither can behold it. Those who possess the greatest amount of knowledge are still ignorant of it, until God communicates light to the soul.
The Lord expects more of his children than we render to him. He says, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”
— E.G. White, Review and Herald, 2/18/1896