Holy, Holy, Holy

Jun 04, 16 Holy, Holy, Holy

And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,

             Who was and is and is to come!”

                   – Revelation 4:8 nkjv

An Exegesis of this verse


The Book of Revelation, located in the New Testament (NT) portion of the Bible is identified as an apocalyptic / prophetic genre, using rich Judaic symbolism. Everything you need to interpret Revelation starts in the Hebrew scripture, the Old Testament (OT). Most reputable Bible scholars believe that Revelation was written by John, Jesus’ only disciple to survive to old age. All the others were successfully martyred for their belief in Jesus as Messiah / Savior, while John, who wouldn’t die (though they tried!), was finally vanquished to Patmos, a small island between Greece and Turkey. John was an old man by the time he penned Revelation. Because of its rich allegory, it was one of the few last Bible books to be canonized (authorized for inclusion in the NT), but because of the authenticity of John actually being its author and his closeness to Jesus as an actual disciple / student, it was deemed worthy to become part of our Bible.


Reading Revelation can seem daunting but it is truly a beautiful poetic book, full of promises for the believer, who is the person who has faith in Jesus. In the above Revelation Bible verse, the “they” in the verse are God’s holy angels, worshipping God. Some Bible scholars believe that each ‘Holy’ is directed to each of the persons of God. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7.


Christians refer to this as the “Godhead”. The very first glimpse of this concept in the Bible is in OT Book, Genesis 1:26a “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”. The Hebrew word used for God in this instance is Elihom, which is plural.


The “Word” is also referred to as “the Son”; we know him as Jesus, which is his human name while a man on earth. John identified Jesus as the “Word” in his Bible passage John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”


The “Who was” reference in the Revelation verse means that this God is from before time and the “and is” portion refers to his attribute of omnipresent, which basically means that He is not contained in the realm of “time”; He is always present, and was never created. The Jesus person of the Godhead, in fact is identified in the NT as creating all things (Bible verses: John 1:1-3 above; Colossians 1:16-18, Ephesians 3:9).


The last portion “and is to come!” means just that; Jesus is scheduled to come to earth again as its Mediator between each individual person and God: “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10b. To fully unpack these four little words, the reader is assumed to have already recognized that Jesus is also the “Lamb of God”, who two thousand years ago came to take away our sins (John 1:29). If you recall, sin entered mankind in the Garden of Eden, when satan / the devil lied to Eve, claiming that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would surely NOT die as God had forewarned them. Well, as Jesus told us, satan always lies: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44.


Adam and Eve did instantly suffer a spiritual death, losing their holy relationship with God and, as time passed, suffered physical death too. We as their offspring inherited their DNA, and these ramifications: spiritual and physical death and a sin nature, a propensity to trespass against God’s will for us. As it states in NT Bible verse, Ephesians 2:1, we are all dead in our trespasses and sins against a holy God.


BUT the ‘good news’ (which is the translation of the ancient Greek word ‘gospel’) is that God has done what He said He would, which is to save us from our terrible condition! He sent a Savior to redeem and restore mankind back into relationship with Him and that savior / messiah is Jesus (Christ is the Greek word for Messiah), God incarnate (God in the flesh). 1 John 3:5: And you know that He (Jesus) was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 1 John 3:8: He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.


Jesus Christ is deemed the only worthy sacrifice / payment to rectify our spiritually dead-state. He is just / holy / sinless and he is also the justifier, the one who by his actions can make us righteous, in right-standing, in his presence. This is clarified in one of my favorite Bible passages: Romans 3:23-26 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”


The bolded and then underlined words above denote the action required in order to become a believer of Jesus. Faith, as an action, is trust / belief in sinless Jesus as mankind’s ONLY Savior, who can restore a sin-ridden / impure believer to a spiritually alive relationship with a holy / pure God. Whether a person takes this action or not, has a direct bearing on Jesus’ reception of you upon his return; will you stand before him in your sin nature (and therefore, forever unrestored and spiritually dead) or stand before him, having accepted his gift of his righteous nature (and therefore eternal life in His presence)?


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