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The names of Jesus in the Book of Revelation – Part 19


Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Morever, God’s holiness is His first and foremost quality that is praised in this the first of many hymns/songs in Revelation.

This is God’s nature and character that is encountered most immediately when in His awesome presence. His almighty power (second line of the choral) and His eternal existence (third line) ensure that God’s holiness (first line) will triumph over all evil in human history and in the universe.

God is perfect and holy—i.e., He is completely without sin and absolutely righteous (Lev 11:44-45; Ps 85:13; 145:17; Mat 5:48). Adam and Eve were created without sin (cf Gen 1:31) but with the capability of sinning. God, on the other hand, cannot sin (Num 23:19; 2 Tim 2:13; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18).


His holiness also includes His dedication to carrying out His purposes and plan. Holiness is an eternal attribute of God; His holiness will never change.

Jesus is perfect and holy. In John 14:26, the Counselor (v16) is identified as the “Holy Spirit.” For the NT Christian the most important thing about the Holy Spirit is not His power (Acts 1:8), but that He is “Holy.”

His holy character along with the manifestation of that holy character in the lives of believers, is what matters most (cf Rom 1:4; Gal 5:22-26). Jesus is holy, sinless and pure. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus Christ and is imparted to us when He breathes into us (Jn 20:22).

HOLY: An overview
Biblical use of the term “holy” has to do primarily with God’s separating from the world that which He chooses to devote to Himself.

As God’s redemptive plan unfolded through the OT, the “holy” became associated with the character of God’s separated people conforming to His revealed law.

When the time became ripe for the saving work of Jesus Christ, His redeemed people came to be known as saints (literally, “holy ones”). The cross made this possible by inaugurating the fulfillment of the preparatory OT teachings on the holy, opening the way for God’s Holy Spirit to indwell His people.

God’s Unique Holiness as Separation. God alone is “majestic in holiness” (Exod. 15:11; cp. 1 Sam 2:2; Rev 15:4). The uniqueness of His holiness is stressed in the repetition of the seraphic cry: “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa 6:3; cp. Rev 4:8).

Indeed, the frequent title of choice for God in Isaiah is “the Holy One of Israel” (e.g., 12:6; 17:7). But God’s perfect holiness—the complete perfection of His attributes such as power and goodness—is a humbling and even terrifying thing when revealed to weak and sinful men (e.g., Isa. 6:5; Luke 5:8; Rev. 1: 17).

Those things that God separates to Himself become holy, too. These objects of the Lord’s choosing are set apart from the world.

For instance, the holy place in the tabernacle and the temple is hidden from the eyes of the people, and the most holy place (“holy of holies”) is only entered yearly by the high priest with the blood of atonement and a cloud of incense lest he die (Lev. 16).

The privilege of being “a holy people to the Lord your God” (Deut. 7:6; 14:2,21; 28:9) is thus seen to carry weighty responsibility.

Interestingly, not only can that which is holy be profaned (e.g., Lev. 21:6,12,15) but also contact with the holy transfers holiness to the profane (e.g., Ezek. 44:19; 46:20; cp. Exod. 29:37; 30:29; 1 Cor. 7:14).

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