The Book of Isaiah
THE GLORY OF THE PREINCARNATE CHRIST
Text: ISAIAH 6:1-13
1. Isaiah 2—5 constitutes one long message from the prophet Isaiah (cf. 2:1).
2. In the end of chapter 5, the Lord promises to judge Israel and Judah (5:24, 25). The Lord says He would use the heathen nations (particularly the Assyrians and the Babylonians) as the instruments of His wrath (5:26-30; cf. 10:5, 6).
3. Then chapter 6 begins a new section. It was “the year that King Uzziah died” (6:1). King Uzziah died about 740 BC.
4. Isaiah saw the glory of the pre-incarnate Christ (cf. John 12:39-43).
5. Apparently this vision was given to the prophet in order to strengthen and encourage him (cf. Isa. 6:7-9). The temple (6:1) was the temple in heaven, not the temple in Jerusalem (cf. Rev. 15:5, 8).
6. This outline is not original:
I. “WOE” (6:5) HE SAW GOD – A VISION OF DEITY.
This is the vision that enthralled him.
II. “LO” (6:7) HE SAW HIMSELF – A VISION OF DEPRAVITY.
This is the vision that appalled him.
III. “GO” (6:9) HE SAW A LOST & DYING WORLD – A VISION OF DUTY.
This is the vision that called him.
I. “WOE” – ISAIAH SAW GOD – A VISION OF DEITY (6:1-5).
1. First we see Isaiah’s confession (6:5), then we see Isaiah’s cleansing (6:6, 7). Finally, we see Isaiah’s commission (6:8).
2. Let me say a few a words about his confession. Isaiah confessed that he had “seen the King, the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts” (6:5).
3. We know from the Gospel of John that he saw the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:39-41). I want to emphasize that first of all, one has to know Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Saviour.
4. Next, I would like to draw your attention to Isaiah 6:3 – “holy, holy, holy.” We do not hear much about the holiness of God these days. Holiness is the attribute of God most emphasized in the Bible (cf. Ps. 99). God wants us to be holy. Are you holy? (I Peter 1:15, 16)
5. Isaiah saw seraphim are around the throne of God (6:2). J. Vernon McGee said that, “The seraphim search out sin, and the cherubim protect the holiness of God” (6:3, 4).
6. This is the only reference to seraphim in the Bible. The word seraph means to burn; these angelic beings are literally “burning spirits.”
7. This vision produced deep conviction of sin in the prophet. And this conviction led to his confession (6:5). And he cried out, “Woe is me!” (6:5).
8. Isaiah was convicted of his sin, and yet he was a prophet of God. The closer we get to God the more sensitive to sin we ought to be.
9. D.L. Moody said: “Let us bear in mind that God is holy. The nearer we get to Him, the more we should think of His holiness and abhor ourselves.”
10. This morning I preached on conviction of sin in the life of the unsaved (Acts 7). Here we see conviction of sin in the life of a believer.
II. “LO” (6:7) ISAIAH SAW HIMSELF – A VISION OF DEPRAVITY
1. In the Bible, whenever someone is given a vision of God’s holiness, he always reacts the way Isaiah did (cf. Job 42:5, 6; Luke 5:8; Rev. 1:17).
2. Something happens to a person when they see themselves the way God sees them. It is not a pretty picture.
3. Isaiah saw himself as he really was before a holy God – “undone” and “unclean” (6:5).
4. This was the reaction of Job (42:5, 6), and Peter (Luke 5:8).
5. In fact, this should be the response of every Christian when he considers the holiness of God.
6. After Isaiah’s confession, came his cleansing (6:5-7). From the altar a hot coal touched his lips (6:6). The altar is where sin has been dealt with. The altar symbolizes Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. Sin was dealt with once for all at Calvary.
7. Has your sin been dealt with? Has your sin been “purged” (6:7b)?
III. “GO” – ISAIAH SAW A LOST & DYING WORLD – A VISION OF DUTY
1. First, Isaiah sees God. This is his vision that enthralled him.
2. Then Isaiah saw himself (the way God saw him). This was the vision that appalled him.
3. Now, Isaiah sees a lost and dying world (6:8). This is the vision that called him.
4. God said “Go,” and Isaiah went (6:9). Let me speak directly to our young people for a minute. There are billions of lost souls out there. There is no greater work than winning souls for Christ.
5. Some of you young people are not sure what you want to do with your life. Consider serving God. Isaiah saw a lost and dying world – multitudes dying and going to hell.
6. God said, “GO,” and Isaiah obeyed. God is still calling men and women, boys and girls, into His work. Most pastors and missionaries will tell you that they were called when they were quite young.
7. Some people have this notion that God only wants certain people in the ministry. That’s not true. If you are saved and you are obedient and you are consecrated, then God wants you in the ministry (cf. Numbers 11:25-29).
8. When God called me I was terrified. I was very nervous standing in front of people.
9. Some people are waiting for some mystical, mysterious, supernatural call, accompanied by thunder and lightning and signs from heaven. That never happens. Remember, God spoke to the prophet Elijah in a still small voice (I Kings 19:12).
10. The Bible is our only authority. God speaks to us through His Word. He is saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). If God calls you, will you answer the call? Or will you disobey God and mess up your life?
11. Isaiah 6:9, 10 are quoted six times in the NT (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:25-28; Rom. 11:8).
12. This is an important message. The more sinners resist the truth of God’s Word, the less able they are to receive it. Spiritual blindness gradually sets in (cf. John 9:39-41).
Some of you may recall one of my Bible college professors, who preached our missions conference back in 1998. And he visited us last summer during revival week. One time he ran into an old friend that he hadn’t seen in many years. He asked him how things were going. The friend replied, “Not so good. When I was young God called me to preach but I kept ignoring Him and putting it off and I never answered the call. And it’s been bothering me all these years.”