Question 7e – What Is God?
“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!” – Rev 4:8 ESV
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, As the seraphim in Isa 6:2 with two of which they might cover their faces as they did, testifying thereby their reverence of God, when in his presence; and with the other two cover their feet, signifying their sense of their sinfulness, weakness, and imperfection, in their conversation, even in their best works, and in the ministry of the word; and with the other two fly about, as denoting their readiness to minister the word and ordinances, to visit the members of the church, and do all good offices of love and service to them that lie in their power:
and they were full of eyes within; to look into the sin and corruption of their own hearts, which is a means of keeping them humble amidst all their attainments, gifts, and graces, and of qualifying them to speak aptly of the cases of others; and they have eyes within, to look into and consult their own experience; for besides the word of God, which lies before them, they have a testimony in themselves of the truth of the doctrines of the Gospel, which they do well to attend unto; and they have these inward eyes to look into that treasure which God has put into their earthen vessels, in order to bring out of it things new and old.
And they rest not day and night; they give up themselves to the ministry of the word, and prayer; are wholly in these things, meditate on the word continually, and preach the Gospel in season, and out of season:
saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come; living under a continual sense of the holiness of God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and how necessary holiness is in themselves, who bear the vessels of the Lord, and in the churches and house of God; taking care that all their doctrines are according to godliness, and serve to promote holiness of life and conversation; and also under a sense of the power of God, and of their need of it, to carry them through their work, and make their ministry successful; and of the eternity and immutability of God, which is a wonderful support unto them amidst all the difficulties and troubles that attend them. The word “holy” is three times used here, as by the seraphim in Isa 6:3; and in some copies it is repeated six times, and in others nine times, as in the Complutensian edition. [Gill]
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” – Rev 15:4 ESV
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, At this time the people of the Jews shall seek after Christ, and fear him and his goodness; the forces of the Gentiles shall be brought into Zion, whose heart shall then fear, and be enlarged; the fear of the Lord will be in all places, and in all men, both Jews and Gentiles, Hos 3:5
and glorify thy name? by ascribing all divine perfections to him, giving him divine worship and adoration, and attributing the whole of salvation to him, and the glory of all that is done for his church, and against its enemies:
for thou only art holy; not only perfectly holy, as man, but infinitely and essentially holy, as God, and the fountain of holiness to his people, as Mediator: this character seems to be given in opposition to antichrist, who arrogantly assumes the title of holiness to himself, when it only belongs to Christ.
For all nations shall come and worship before thee; the Gospel shall now be preached to all nations, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of it; the kingdoms of this world will become Christ’s, and his kingdom shall be to the ends of the earth, and all people shall obey him: the words seem to be taken, with some other phrases before used, out of Ps 86:8
for thy judgments are made manifest; or “thy justifications”, or “righteousnesses”; the perfect righteousness of Christ, and the doctrine of justification by it, will now be most clearly revealed, and generally received, in opposition to the Popish doctrine of merits, works of supererogation, &c. or the judgments of the King of saints upon antichrist, who will now avenge their blood, which he has shed; see Rev 17:1 and the justice and righteousness of his proceedings against the man of sin will be notorious and manifest to all, and be acknowledged, as in Rev 16:5. [Gill]
“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,’” – Exo 34:6 ESV
And the Lord passed by before him, Or caused his Shechinah, his divine Majesty, and the glory of it, to pass before him, as the Targums; his glory and goodness, which he had promised should pass before him, Exod 33:19 and it is but a transient passing view the greatest of men, God’s peculiar favourites, have of him in this life:
and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God; the Jerusalem Targum wrongly paraphrases the words as a prayer of Moses thus, “and Moses prayed, and said, O Lord, Lord”; and so the Vulgate Latin version; but it is quite clear, and beyond all doubt, from Num 14:17 that what follow are the words of God, and not of Moses: the sense is, that the Lord, as he passed by Moses, to raise and fix his attention, declared it was Jehovah that passed by; which is repeated the more to excite his attention, and is the name by which he had made himself known to Moses, even when he sent him into Egypt; for “I am that I am” is an explanation of this name, see Exod 3:14 and the word “El”, translated “God”, signifies mighty and powerful, and is true of all the three divine Persons, to whom respect may be had in the use of these three words. What is proclaimed or declared concerning God is, that he is
merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; first “merciful”, and he is so in the most tender and affectionate manner; he is rich and plenteous in mercy, freely giving it, delights in bestowing it, constantly shows it to his people; it is manifested and displayed in Christ, the mercy seat; and it lays a foundation for faith and hope, and is the spring of all good things in time, and to eternity: and he is also “gracious”, good and kind to men, without any merit or desert of theirs, but bestows good things on them freely, of his own free grace, favour, and good will, as appears by various acts of his; in the eternal choice of them to everlasting happiness; in providing a Saviour for them, and giving all grace and spiritual blessings to them in him; by giving Christ to them, and for them, justifying them freely by his righteousness, pardoning their sins according to the riches of his grace, regenerating, calling, preserving, and saving them by it: likewise “longsuffering”; both towards wicked men, the vessels of wrath, by whom his patience and longsuffering are abused and despised; and towards his elect, on whom he waits to be gracious, not willing that any of them should perish, but all be brought to repentance; and his longsuffering is their salvation: and it follows, “abundant in goodness and truth”; in providential goodness to all men; in special goodness to his chosen people, which he has laid up, and wrought out for them, and shown them in Christ; in his truth and faithfulness, in fulfilling his promises, both with respect to the mission of his Son into the world, to be the Saviour of it, and with respect to all other things promised, whether relating to this life, or that to come, to grace or glory; he never suffers his truth and faithfulness to fail; his promises are all yea and amen in Christ. [Gill]
Answer – God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal; and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.
Previously on ThM: Question 7d – What Is God?