A common mistaken idea about holiness is that is consists of observance to a prescribed list of religious rules and regulations. The holiness that God desires in His people is not the result of religious "do's and don'ts." It is God's very own holy nature which
is imparted to, and partaken of by those who love Him. "They looked
to Him and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed."
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory
of the Lord, are changed in to the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord. "Behold, what manner of
love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the
sons of God." (I John 3:1)
Love is the "Royal Law." That is to say, it is the Law of the King; it is the law of His Kingdom. God is love-total and consummate. All that He does is motivated by pure, unselfish, perfect love; and the end goal toward which He is working is the perfection of His love in a people to dwell with Him in His eternal Kingdom of Love. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28).
Love is perhaps the most used and the most misused word in our
language today, and it is very difficult to convey its true meaning
to "a crooked and perverse generation." To even begin to understand
the love of God, we must be born anew-born of God's own divine
nature. The natural man cannot perceive "the things of the Spirit of
God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned" (1Cor 2:14).
The Lord Jesus explained that the greatest love anyone can possibly attain to is "to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). Yet Jesus said, there is no divine merit in even that maximum expression of natural love, for degenerate sinners can demonstrate that degree of love (Mat 5:46).
The essential meaning of 'qadash'is separation unto God. Some
scholars suggest it may have come from a somewhat similar word
meaning to "cut," as something cut off from one sphere of being, to
be dedicated exclusively to God. Holiness is simply that which is
separated from the secular and profane and dedicated exclusively for
the service, purpose, pleasure, and glory of God.
When Yahweh Qadosh was manifest in flesh and dwelt among us, we beheld His glory - the glory of God shining through the face of Jesus Christ. Of Him it is written: Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners...consecrated for evermore.
Jesus Christ was examined by the devil, by the Jewish high priests, by the Roman governor, by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, by the common peoplem by His family and friends, by those who believed not, by His enemies, and by His false accusers; and no one could find any sin in Him. He belonged to God 100%, and God was His very righteousness.
Because He belonged to God, He did not belong to this world's system. He did not get involved with the power-politics of His day, nor with the business affairs of this life, nor with the fashions and passions of the day. He belonged to God. When all the glory of this world was offered to Him, He refused it. He was from God, He lived for God, and He went to God. He passed through this life as a stranger and pilgrim. He said, "I came forth from the Father, and am come in to the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. That is holiness - that is Yahweh Qadosh.
In praying for His disciples Jesus said, "They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (make them holy) through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth...And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Because He belonged to God and was filled with God and God alone, the devil, the god of this world, had no way to get at Him. "For the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me," He said.
Because He belonged only to God, He could not be coerced, compromised, or corrupted. "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously." Yes, because He committed Himself to the Most Holy One, He was kept holy and spotless.
When the bride of Christ can truly and fully say, "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine" then she is holy and perfect. "for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him."
The Bible says that "corruption is in the world through lust (desire)." As we turn from desiring the things of this world and commit ourselves fully to Jesus Christ in complete trust, desire Him and Him alone, and look to Him for our every need, we "are make partakers of His holiness."
A large part of Christianity today has rejected the truth of separation and therefore has been corrupted by the world and has lost the holiness of God. When the church embraces the world, the world responds with the kiss of death. The Lord's call, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." has fallen on deaf ears.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
As we separate ourselves unto the Lord and we allow Him to have His way in our lives, He will shape us with His own hands and make us "partakers of His holiness."
I will make My HOLY (QADOSH) NAME known in the midst of My people
and they will not pollute My HOLY (QADOSH) NAME any more;
and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the HOLY ONE
(YAHWEH QADOSH) in Israel.
Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their
detestable things, nor with any of their transgression: but I will save
them... and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people,
and I will be their God.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself
even as He is pure.
In Matthew 23 the Lord Jesus showed the meaning of true
sanctification (or holiness). Whatever is IN the temple of ON the
altar is sanctified by virtue of the holiness of the temple and the
altar. If the gold were taken from the temple or the gift removed
from the altar and used for personal purposes, it would no longer be
holy. Some Christians think they are holy by virtue of having been
born again, or receiving the Holy Spirit. Yet they live primarily
for themselves. They love the things of the world and do their own
will. In God's sight they are not holiness unto the Lord; they are
not the holy and glorious church He claims for His bride. They are
the harlot church:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world
is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is
the enemy of God.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and
will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
On the one hand multitudes of God's children walk hand with the world. On the other hand, there are some who try to be holy by observing religious form and rituals, such as monks and nuns various denominations and orders, whether Jewish, Christian, Buddist, Hindu, Muslim, or what-have-you. They may be holy in the eyes of their religion and have its approval, but withal still not be "Holiness unto the Lord." God is not a religion not a monastery. "Pure religion and undefiled before God is...To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."
True holiness is God's own righteousness which clothes those who are
totally His, those who "are hidden with Christ I God." On the Day of
Judgment the Lord will testify, "Their righteousness is of Me."
God's holiness is separation unto God by Christ Jesus, Who will keep
us from the contaminations of this world and fit us for every good
work that "they may see your good works and glorify your Father
which is in heaven."
The foundation of god standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are...vessels...some to honor and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also from youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
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