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♣ Ceaseless Cry of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’

Holy Holy Holy

“From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” – Revelation 4:5-8.

THERE ARE FEW who haven’t contemplated the four living creatures endlessly crying out, “Holy, holy, holy…” and it comes with wonder as to what we really think about heaven. Many people, if they were honest, do not relish the thought of singing to God for eternity. Some churches may say, “Get used to it, get into practise; this is what you’re going to be doing for eternity.” In many instances, such will not be the case in glory; some lukewarm and half-dead worship services are abysmal and even blasphemous to be connected and compared to the worship that takes place in heaven. The closest we can know to what worship will be like in heaven is when God moves in revival. Revival is where God removes the veil from our inward eye and we feel immeasurably small and intensely insignificant to even kneel in the presence of God – that’s why many have fallen prostrate on their faces when God has drawn near. A sense of dread is a missing attribute from our modern definition of awe; the term awesome has been made so common we have lost its true meaning because we attach it to everyday situations, whether it be finding a great bargain when shopping, watching a box office hit movie, Super Bowl or even down to relishing a Starbucks Frappuccino with all the extra trimmings. God is the only One who we are to rightly ascribe the word awesome.

It is interesting to note what really captures the human heart when discussing heaven. What aspects about it excite us the most? Many want to travel incalculable distances in an instant and explore sights unimaginable when they get there; many look forward to being free from all human limitations, to fly and encounter the limitlessness of being there, but what kind of heaven is that like? Some hope that heaven will have certain foods they love or that even surpasses the best they have tasted. Some anticipate what kind of mansion and lands they will own, what they may create or reign over, while others are enthused at the prospect of meeting the apostles, great saints of old, book authors and loved ones passed on – but where does God really come into all of this?

Having mentioned the above, there are those who have been asked what they look forward to when arriving there. Such has been the reply, without hesitation, that heaven will be the place of looking upon God with naked eye; heaven will be dwelling uninterruptedly with God, to behold the Saviour Who bled for them to see His glory. Everything else is not worthy to even be put into second or third category. Of course we are going to see all things made new with unspeakable glory, but what is going to make all things astoundingly beautiful is God Himself. Heaven will need no sun because God shall be its light; we will not be driven by our limited physical appetites that some fear of losing because God Himself will be our manna.

Have you ever been so in tune with God, so preoccupied with His work, so taken up with Him in prayer and worship time, alone and with others, that you have lost all sense of time and bodily appetites? Nearly all of us have known acute excitement when as children we unwrapped our Christmas presents, that when coaxed to have breakfast by our Mom’s or Dad’s, we showed no interest; we didn’t feel hungry even for our favourite cereal because our appetites were swallowed up by greater things! Almost every one of us can recall the moments we first fell in love; such intensity was no sacrifice to lose sleep, skip a few meals, draw back from seeing our close friends, miss the final episodes of a widely-followed gripping TV series – even sitting in a theatre on your first date didn’t entail you were engrossed with the movie – far from it; the only wonder you were taken up with was the one you were enamoured with sitting next to you!

Iain Murray, co-founder of Banner of Truth, recalled the time when he sat under Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ ministry who preached through Revelation on the well-known Friday night Bible studies. It was the night before Iain’s wedding, when Lloyd-Jones preached so powerfully that all in the meeting were lifted to glory; so impressive was the glory and majesty of God, that all thoughts of the following day to be married were suspended by a profound sense of eternity. The glory of heaven will infinitely outshine the most loved and endeared aspects of earth.

The four living creatures around the throne of God never tire to behold His glory. Such an awesome sight that is ever-revelatory draws forth such ceaseless worship. These mighty looking creatures are in endless ecstasy with the grandeur and mysterious wonder of God. What an exposure of such beauty and magnificence it must be!

The unveiled glory of God before our very eyes will cause all other desires to be overshadowed; we will never come to finally understand and fathom the unending depths of God; He will always be revealing new facets of His glory, majesty and holiness – and that is what will constitute our unending and exultant worship. God is the summum bonum of heaven, the very brightness of heaven; why would we, in comparison, relish the thought of doing other things?

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