Every so often in the Bible, the curtain gets pulled back and we are given a glimpse of the magnificence of heaven. This was the case with God’s call of the prophet Isaiah, who would serve four kings of Judah, beginning with Uzziah. Isaiah was permitted to record the wonders he experienced when God chose him to be His representative to the nation.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:1-4 NKJV
Isaiah’s incredible account was the beginning a great ministry. Through his writings, the Lord has given us a treasure trove of prophecies – many already fulfilled, some partially, while others describe events that remain in our future. Many prophecies center around the ministry of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, including his birth, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and future return to reign as king in the Millennial Age.
These extraordinary visions of heaven are transcribed for us using the inherent limitations of a human prophet’s words and earth-bound concepts. Although most prophets’ visions describe a throne and a magnificent God who sits upon it, we are given diverse descriptions of the environment that encompasses Him. Sometimes earthly analogies are used to describe heavenly phenomena, such as the “sound of many waters” or a “sea of glass”.
Several prophets describe angelic beings that surround the throne in service to and worship of God. Here, Isaiah calls them seraphim, each with six wings. Other prophets see similar living creatures in their heavenly visions, often describing some unique aspect, such as Ezekiel’s wheels and diverse faces.
In his later years while in exile, the apostle John was given visions of heaven and the future by a visiting Jesus. Some of these visions included the six-winged angelic beings. John was instructed to write down and share with us most of the things he was told by Jesus and shown by angels. In fact, we are promised a blessing if we read his Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the final book in the Bible.
The apostle Paul was taken to heaven in a vision, perhaps while unconscious after he was attacked with stones by opponents of his gospel message. Unlike the others, he was not permitted to bring us back any information on what he saw – it was strictly to encourage him amidst such strong opposition – but he did give us a hint that we have not yet seen, heard, or imagined anything like it.
The purpose of these visions is to remind us that heaven is real, and that wondrous things await us if we seek God and follow Jesus Christ in our hearts. He is always with us and will provide us with the strength and favor we need to see us through all the challenges that come our way.
What are some of the challenges facing you today? Our heavenly Father is on the throne and longs for us to approach Him with our daily needs and thanksgiving for all that He does for us.
Lord, thank You for providing everything we need to live a good life in You. We ask for your help to address the problems, challenges and hardships that face us today. We know that You will get us through all of them. Help us to live in gratitude for your loving presence and favor today. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.