Holiness of God

By Pastor Nick Bibile

One of the major differences between Christianity and other religions is that God of the Bible is infinitely holy. The Hebrew word, "to be holy" is quadash, it is derived from the root word qud, which means to cut or separate. God is absolutely separated and is above from all his creatures and he is exalted above in infinite majesty."Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ? Who is like you; majestic in holiness, awesome in glory" (Exodus 15:11) In fact some of the most vivid displays of Gods holiness is displayed in the Old Testament. One of the greatest passages is found in Isaiah chapter six.


Isaiah prophesied during the reign of four kings over a period of sixty years. One of the kings that lived during Isaiahs time was king Uzziah. He became a king when he was 16 years old and reigned the nation for 52 years. Now that is a pretty long time. Its like American people experiencing 13 presidents ruling in their 4 year terms. It was like saying, long live the king, as generations have experienced the rule of Uzziah. But the king died. When he died, apparently the entire nation was feeling a sense of panic and fear, as their leader is dead. Isaiah the prophet went to the temple of God, and he sees another king, an eternal King, sitting on his throne.

"In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." (Isaiah 6:1)

When you see the word Lord, here it refers to Adhonay in Hebrew meaning the sovereignty of God. But when you see the word LORD in capital, it refers to the name of God, Yahweh.

The human king is dead but the sovereign king of the Universe is alive, His Kingship is forever and it never ends. This is a picture of His majesty, His glory and power. The exalted one who became a servant. Yes, he is the one who became flesh. Apostle John said, "Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus glory and spoke about him." (John 12:41)

Isaiah 6:2 says, "Above him were seraphs, each with six wings, with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying."

These angels were created and designed to proclaim the holiness of God. They were flying with two wings above the throne of God. This is the exaltation of his throne. Then it says that they covered their feet with two wings. Why did they cover their feet? In Exodus chapter three we see how God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. God said to Moses, "Do not come any closer; take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5) But this is just a normal place, where Moses is familiar with this area. Why is it that only now this spot suddenly became holy? Whenever Gods presence appears everything becomes sanctified. It was Gods presence that made the ground holy. When God descended in a fire to Mt. Sinai, prior to that he told the people to consecrate themselves. (Exodus 19) Here in Isaiah the angels cover their feet because of the presence of Gods holiness. Just imagine, if we see an angel, that would be awesome. But even the angels are covering their feet as Gods holiness brings his absolute majesty and glory.

Then it says with two wings they covered their face. Do you know why the angels cover their faces? In Exodus 33:18, Moses asked the Lord to show His glory. God said, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (Exodus 33:20) It is absolutely impossible to see the infinite glory of His majesty, not even the angelic creatures, How awesome is His glory! Then God told Moses, "You may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand, until I passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen." (Exodus 33:22-23) The God of the Universe is infinitely holy, even these angelic beings cannot see the full glory of Him.

Then in Isaiah 6:3, the angels were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

This is the only time in the Bible an attribute of God being repeated three times. The Bible say that God is love, but not love, love, love. According to Jewish custom, when they wanted to emphasize a point they repeated it two times. Jesus said, "Truly, truly I say unto you" This mean it is absolutely truly what he was going to say. But here in Isaiah Gods holiness is repeated not to the second degree but to the third degree, which means he is infinitely holy. On the other hand the Antichrist is called with the number 666, repeated to the third degree of evil.

The holiness of God is somewhat different than all His other attributes, as God is holy in all His attributes. He is holy in His Goodness, holy in his Justice, holy in His Wrath, etc., He is majestic in His Holiness, because His name is Holy. In the past the name of a person reflects the character of that individual. Gods name is holy, that means all what he thinks and does is holy. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name" (Matt. 6:9) "For this is what the high and lofty One says, who lives forever, whose name is holy; I live in high and holy place" (Isaiah 57:15)

The scribes who copied one manuscript to another, when it came to the name of God, they used another pen, and even if a king was passing by when he was writing the name of God, the scribe will not look at the king as the name of God is infinitely holy than anything else.

We can never fully understand the holiness of God. It is immeasurable. He is infinitely holy and the ten commandments reveal his holiness to mankind. Thats why no one can keep the commandments, we all fall short fall of His glory.

Lets go back to Isaiah 6:4
"At the sound of their voices the door posts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke."

The place began to shake, like an erupting volcano as Isaiah felt the fiery presence of the Lord. When the Lord descended to Mount Sinai, there was thunder and lightning, a loud trumpet blast, the mountain was covered with smoke and the whole mountain trembled violently, and the Israelites trembled. (Exodus 19) This is a manifestation of Gods holiness in the presence of His lowly creatures. It is awesome and fearful, as the Bible says, "God is a consuming fire." We cannot take God lightly and play games with Him according to our reasoning.

When Isaiah saw the awesome majesty of Gods holiness, he said, "Woe to me!"
This is the prophet of God, a good man and a righteous man, the servant of God, but when he saw the holiness of God, he saw his sinful nature, and instead of saying blessed unto me as I have seen the glory of God, he put a curse upon himself and said, woe unto me. The word "woe" is mentioned as a curse in the Bible. Isaiah saw that he was not good in Gods presence. The word of God says, there is no one righteous.no one good.. (Romans 3:10-12)

Then Isaiah said, "I am ruined!.." The Hebrew root word means, I am lost. It took only one glimpse of the holiness of God and Isaiah was brought to zero, as he saw how wretched he was in the presence of Gods holiness. Yes God is infinitely holy and we are infinitely un-holy. Isaiah was the best man in town as he was the prophet who speaks Gods word. His mouth was the channel for Gods word. But in the presence of God he realized that his lips were unclean. Before Isaiah could get ready for the ministry, his sin and guilt needed to be atoned. Then he was ready for the ministry, "Here I am send me!" We need to see that we are nothing but dust and ashes before the Lord Almighty, realize that we are broken before his majesty. Then understand that Christ atoned for our sins, and like Isaiah ready to serve the king of the Universe.

The holiness of God humbles our pride and unveils our hypocrisy, but demonstrates the absolute perfection of God. Repentance begins at the feet of the Holy God.