Isaiah saw the Lord elevated upon His throne with the hem of His robe filling the temple. He saw the burning ones – seraphim – and the Glory filled the temple. Isaiah heard the sound of Glory, a combination of the roar of God’s consuming fire, the swoosh of the fiery ones who rush around Him with constant movements of flaming urgency, and the deep tremors of Glory that shook the door, or the temple’s full measurements, (the Hebrew word for “cubits”).
Isaiah heard the restoration of the sound of Glory in the place marked for its release. The temple had been without the sound of Glory, and Isaiah sees what Israel and her temple should be like. More importantly, he experiences the reality of the nation chosen as God’s heritage among the nations in its cultural norm. The one place on the earth where Glory was supposed to be was now experiencing Glory again.
Remember, when Solomon dedicated this temple, God’s fire lit the altars and Glory filled the temple so even the priests could not enter it. Isaiah sees what happened: seraphim and cherubim accompanied His presence at the moment of dedication, and Israel saw the reality that the architecture represented. The inner walls of the temple revealed both palm trees and cherubim, and the cherubim carry Glory on their shoulders, a heavenly chariot carrying Glory where God wishes to go. This is specific to the Hebrew in verse 1: “lifted up” translates “nasah,” which means, “carried or lifted.”
When Glory arrives, carried by cherubim, the seraphim accompany Glory. The fiery ones move quickly with a “swoosh” as their wings cut the spiritual atmosphere and the fire propels them about with continual motion. They operate all around Glory, precede and accompany with Glory, and announce Glory by altering the atmosphere before and around Glory with fire.
And, a sound dominates Isaiah’s experience – roaring, shouting, burning, thunder, shaking that vibrates the entire structures – the vibration makes Isaiah a soundboard, and Isaiah experiences the sound of Glory!
The Sound of Glory
Glory has a spiritual sound, heard by spiritual ears. The sights and sounds of Glory manifest when God reveals Himself so “the knowledge of Glory” becomes available. However, Glory fills the entire earth. So, we are hearing Isaiah describe a spiritual experience in which He experiences Glory, and one predominant theme of Glory: the sound of Glory with the roar of God and burning fire.
The sound of Glory comes from who God is because Glory is manifestation of His character. The seraphim cry one to the other as an announcement of spiritual realty, “Holy and Holy of Holies is the Lord or armies!” These words shift the atmosphere with the power of prophetic or revelatory declaration, just as our worship can shift atmosphere when our worship declares the character of God.
As this declaration is released, accompanied with the roar of God’s glory and fire, the dimensions of the temple shake and tremble. (The Hebrew word for “posts of the door” is the word, “cubits.”) The sound shakes them! “At the voice of the one who cried” clearly points to the shaking, as the sound of announcement, in the atmosphere of Glory, with the release of fire, the entire structure from foundation to roof responds to the spiritual vibrations.
“The entire earth is filled with His glory!” This phrase declares the design and desire of God to manifest His glory or have it manifested everywhere. God chooses Israel as His heritage so that He will have a nation through which to release and reveal His character and Glory, and the temple was the place from which this manifestation was to begin. He always wanted all the nations to come and appear before Him, but He could not dwell in the temple if His heritage was not worshipping Him with holy hearts and lives.
Isaiah sees a restoration and reset of the Glory and kingdom by a reset of its purpose: to fill the entire earth with God’s Glory by investing His Glory in the temple and culture of one nation, Israel. The sound of Glory and fire completely alters the atmosphere of a place and the character of the people of that place.
A few years ago in Sao Paulo, Brasil, as we were worshipping prophetically, the roar of God came into the building. Coming in from behind the platform, the worship team was first impacted. The sound of Glory moved steadily into the right side and then the left side. People immediately experienced the roar of God as it came up to the row in which they were standing in worship, and their response was observable. People were worshipping in one way declaring Glory, then they were responding to Glory as the roar of God moved from the front to the row where they were standing.
As the roar came through the right side, among the many things happening all at once, a lady seated on that side – the only person sitting down – seemed to be untouched by Glory. I remember stepping to the very edge of the stage and speaking to her. “Stand up!” I said, but she didn’t understand English. My interpreter was not functional at this point because of the Glory. I said again, “Stand up!” with a commanding voice. I was being motivated in speech by the Glory, with an insistent boldness. “Stand up!” I said again. I didn’t know that she could not stand up, had come in wheelchair and been helped to her seat.
Her daughter next to her realized what I was saying and leaned down to tell her what I was saying. As I watched, her face changed with understanding that my words were words of response to the Glory, so she could respond to Glory. She stood up! Healed and strong!
This was only one of hundreds of things going on at the same time as the roar of God came into the room. Glory has a sound!
Immediately the roar of God manifested, Isaiah experiences revelation of God’s character and the judgment of the sound coming from Isaiah and the culture of Israel. The stark contrast between God’s character and theirs becomes immediately apparent.
“Woe is me! I am silent, emptied out, turned inside out, and revealed!”
“Woe” means “hopeless despair.” Isaiah understands his powerless incapability to be as God is and as God would design and desire Him to be, and the hopeless despair of Israel being what God designed and desire the culture to be. What is the source of this revelation? The sights and sounds of Glory!
The Hebrew word can be understood as “cease to be, cut off, or silent.” The sense of Isaiah’s cry would be one of unworthiness but much more. He is not simply recognizing his unworthiness, but his inability to be what Glory expects him to be.
Glory always reveals purpose. Glory reveals Isaiah to be radically short of purpose. Glory reveals Isaiah to be radically incapable of measuring up to purpose, just as the temple without Glory trembles in all its cubits when Glory restores its purpose.
Isaiah hears the sound of Glory and is emptied of the sound he has been producing as part of a culture called to release Glory that has lost the sound of Glory!
With despair of any hope, he cries out his last gasp of inadequacies, emptied of sound, and silent with, Isaiah stands in the atmosphere of quivering, trembling, resonating Glory.
As nearly all of you who know FreedomMinistry International are aware, we pray for everyone every session of a FreedomMinistry seminar, and I like to put on a CD or play worship music during this ministry time to allow everyone to receive ministry. For the first years of FMI, I used a particular worship CD that released anointing in me, that had the sound of Glory in it. Both in the US and the nations, we played this CD as we ministered to thousands of people.
One night as we prepared for ministry time, I said to the people in the sound booth, “Please put on the worship CD now. We are going to minister to every person in the building who wants ministry.” But when they music started, almost immediately I said, “Stop! Put on another CD, please.” The worship CD we had used hundreds of times had no sound of Glory on it anymore. I assumed it was simply time for a new worship sound.
About ten days later, returning to Jacksonville, I learned that at the very time the sound of Glory was no longer available on that worship CD, that worship leader had left his wife for another woman. He lost the sound of Glory from his voice, even from the CD’s through which God was releasing that sound into nations!
Isaiah recognizes that he has no Glory in his voice, and the entire culture of Israel has lost the sound of Glory from its culture. “I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips. I am emptied out because I have seen the King, the Lord of armies!”
Restoring the Sound of Glory
When Isaiah cries out his empting despair, the last vibrations of fleshly cacophony drained from his soul, a burning one rushes to the altar and picks up a coal with tongs, then rushes to Isaiah and puts that coal on Isaiah’s lips.
The seraph declares, “Your sin is atoned. Your iniquity removed.”
The sin of Isaiah and the culture of Israel? The failure to fulfill purpose, to live out assignment, misrepresenting the Lord of armies, and releasing a sound of religion and human opinion instead of the sound of Glory. The coal from the altar of atonement made Isaiah’s point of covenant breach the sacrifice for a consuming fire! The iniquity that served as the source of this sound was removed at the source! The restoration of the sound of Glory could now begin.
The temple was constructed, as the tabernacle before it, to represent in natural ways the reality of what Moses had seen in heaven while on the mountain of God in Sinai. “See that you build it exactly as I’ve shown you,” God says. The tabernacle and temple were built to represent the reality of heaven so the reality of Glory and fire could be housed on earth, so God could come and stay awhile.
However, even the appearances and perceptions of heaven, though prophetically accurate, cannot represent and release Glory and fire when the source of those sounds is iniquitous. The essence of our understanding of iniquity should be “recompense” or “limitation upon what should be expanded.” Iniquity and curse run along hand in hand. When we understand either and both properly, we understand that Glory and fire cannot be released and represented by people who substitute for that manifestation of God with their own glory and fire.
Glory will not stand misrepresentation. Glory will rest upon and surround imperfect people, but Glory cannot be released in mixture. The whole concept of cleansing iniquity speaks to ridding the source of release of substitution and mixture.
The seraph places the coal at the point of sacrifice, upon what must be submitted to God, surrendered to God, in order for it to become what it was designed and defined to be. This is the sense of “holy” that we must experience.
“Holy” means “uncommon.” The sense of “holy” is singular in purpose. “Holy” means that a specific purpose defines something and any other purpose for that something would violate or substituted for its purpose.
That is why you can do good things and be a good person, love and care, share and embrace, pray and sing, but never experience Glory – because Glory rests, releases, and represents purpose. If or when you choose your own purpose, no matter how wonderful that purpose may be, Glory watches and waits, on pause in terms of manifesting, because Glory manifests God in order to reveal His character and purpose.
“Holy, holy of holies,” is the King, the Lord of armies. He rules His purpose, fights for His purpose, and manifest Himself in His purpose, so the buildings, people, altars, words, prayers, and offerings that manifest His purpose are those that manifest the purpose for which He created them.
Who Will Represent Heaven?
Immediately Isaiah is purged of iniquity and atoned for sin, a restoration of the sound of Glory becomes available. This is why God shows up in the first place. God comes to reset the sound of Glory, and He starts with a representative of Glory.
“Who will I send to represent Us?” Isaiah, silent a moment before his encounter with purging fire, boldly responds from a new source of sound with in himself, “I will. Send me.”
To represent heaven, you need the sound of heaven within you. The sound of heaven represents heaven, manifests Glory, vibrates in your foundations, so it can vibrate the foundations in others. To shift the culture, God sends one person with the sound of Glory. In this case, as we read further, we understand that God is sending Isaiah to a people who will not hear, empty out, or respond, and Isaiah is sent with instructions to continually release the sound that rests with in him even though no one is listening. “Keep releasing that sound until there is not one there!” Perhaps the sense of these words continues to be: “Keep releasing the sound in hopes that someone will listen, Isaiah, but when they do not, keep releasing it anyway.”
You can concert, conference, convention, and conduct anything in His Name you wish, nobly and sincerely, with a history of understanding about what that looks, sounds, appears, and communicates, but until you pray, worship, prophesy, preach, live and breath a manifestation of Glory, you do not represent Jesus!