God has dedicated Israel as His people. They are “holy” by their relationship to the “holy” God. All of the people are in a sense “holy,” as members of the covenant community, irrespective of their faith and obedience: “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” (Num. 16:3). God’s intent was to use this “holy” nation as a “holy,” royal priesthood amongst the nations (Exod. 19:6). Based on the intimate nature of the relationship, God expected His people to live up to His “holy” expectations and, thus, to demonstrate that they were a “holy nation”: “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Lev. 20:26).
The priests were chosen to officiate at the Holy Place of the tabernacle temple. Because of their function as intermediaries between God and Israel and because of their proximity to the temple, they were dedicated by God to the office of priest: “They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy” (Lev. 21:6-8). Aaron as the high priest was “the holy one of the Lord (Ps. 106:16).
The Old Testament clearly and emphatically teaches that God is “holy.” He is “the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 1:4), the “holy God” (Isa. 5:16), and “the Holy One” (Isa. 40:25). His name is “Holy”:“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15). The negative statement, “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none besides thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2), explains that He is most “holy” and that no one is as “holy” as He is. Also the angels in the heavenly entourage are “holy”: “And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him” (Zech. 14:5), REVISED STANDARD VERSION. The seraphim proclaimed to each other the holiness of God: “And one cried unto another, and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3).
qadesh ^6942^ (Strong’s number), or qadash ^6942^, “to be holy; to sanctify.” This verb, which occurs 175 times, can mean “to be holy” (Exod. 29:37; Lev. 6:18) or “to sanctify”: “Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place” (2 Chr. 29:5).
qodesh ^6944^, “holiness; holy thing; sanctuary.” This noun occurs 469 times with the meanings: “holiness” (Exod. 15:11); “holy thing” (Num. 4:15); and “sanctuary” (Exod. 36:4).
Another noun, qadesh, means “temple-prosti- tute” or “sodomite”: “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (Deut. 23:17). The noun is found 11 times.
1. hagiasmos ^38^, translated “holiness” in the KJV of (Rom. 6:19,22; 1 Thes. 4:7; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14), is always rendered “sanctification” in the RV. It signifies (a) separation to God, (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2); (b) the resultant state, the conduct befitting those so separated, (1 Thes. 4:3,4, 7), and the four other places mentioned above. “Sanctification” is thus the state predetermined by God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Disciple course and so pursue it. Hence they are called “disciples.”
Note: The corresponding verb hagiazo denotes “to set apart to God.”
2. hagiosune ^42^ denotes the manifestation of the quality of “holiness” in personal conduct; (a) it is used in (Rom. 1:4), of the absolute “holiness” of Christ in the days of His flesh, which distinguished Him from all merely human beings; this (which is indicated in the phrase “the spirit of holiness”) and (in vindication of it) His resurrection from the dead, marked Him out as (He was “declared to be”) the Son of God; (b) believers are to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” (2 Cor. 7:1), i. e., bringing “holiness” to its predestined end, whereby (c) they may be found “unblameable in holiness” in the Second Coming of Jesus (1 Thes. 3:13).
“In each place character is in view, perfect in the case of the Lord Jesus, growing toward perfection in the case of the disciple. Here the exercise of love is declared to be the means God uses to develop likeness to Jesus in His children. The sentence may be paraphrased thus:- The Lord enable you more and more to spend your lives in the ministry to others, in order that He may so establish you in Discipleship character now, that you may be vindicated from every charge that might possibly be brought against you at the Judgment-seat of Jesus; ‘cf. (1 John 4:16,17).”
3. hagiotes ^41^, “sanctity,” the abstract quality of “holiness,” is used (a) of God, (Heb. 12:10); (b) of the manifestation of it in the conduct of the apostle Paul and his fellow laborers, (2 Cor. 1:12)
4. hosiotes ^3742^ is to be distinguished from No. 3, as denoting that quality of “holiness” which is manifested in those who have regard equally to grace and truth; it involves a right relation to God; it is used in (Luke 1:75) and (Eph. 4:24), and in each place is associated with righteousness.
1. hagios ^40^, akin to A, Nos. 1 and 2, which are from the same root as hagnos (found in hazo, “to venerate”), fundamentally signifies “separated” (among the Greeks, dedicated to the gods), and hence, in Scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred.
(a) It is predicated of God (as the absolutely “Holy” One, in His purity, majesty and glory): of the Father, e. g., (Luke 1:49; John 17:11; 1 Pet. 1:15,16; Rev. 4:8; 6:10); of the Son, e. g., (Luke 1:35; Acts 3:14; 4:27,30; 1 John 2:20); of the Spirit, e. g., (Matt. 1:18) and frequently in all the Gospels, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Cor., Eph., 1 Thes.; also in (2 Tim. 1:14; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; Jude 20).
(b) It is used of men and things in so far as they are devoted to God. Indeed the quality, as attributed to God, is often presented in a way which involves divine demands upon the conduct of believers. These are called hagioi, “disciples,” i. e., “sanctified” or “holy” ones.
This disciplehood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men; yet believers are called to sanctify themselves (consistently with their calling, (2 Tim. 1:9)), cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, living a “holy” manner of life, (1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:11), and experiencing fellowship with God in His holiness. The disciples are thus figuratively spoken of as “a holy temple”, (1 Cor. 3:17) (a local church); (Eph. 2:21) (the whole Church), cp. (5:27); “a holy priesthood,” (1 Pet. 2:5); “a holy nation,” (2:9).
2. hosios ^3741^, akin to A, No. 4, signifies “religiously right, holy,” as opposed to what is unrighteous or polluted. It is commonly associated with righteousness (see A, No. 4). It is used “of God, (Rev. 15:4; 16:5); and of the body of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 2:27; 13:35), citations from (Ps. 16:10), Sept.; (Heb. 7:26); and of certain promises made to David, which could be fulfilled only in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 13:34). In (1 Tim. 2:8) and (Titus 1:8), it is used of the character of Disciples…. In the Sept., hosios frequently represents the Hebrew word chasid, which varies in meaning between `holy’ and `gracious,’ or `merciful; ‘cf. (Ps. 16:10) with (145:17).”
hagiazo ^37^, “to hallow, sanctify,” in the passive voice, “to be made holy, be sanctified,” is translated “let him be made holy” in (Rev. 22:11), the aorist or point tense expressing the definiteness and completeness of the divine act; elsewhere it is rendered by the verb “to sanctify.” Moral and ethical wholeness or perfection; freedom from moral evil. Holiness is one of the essential elements of God’s nature required of His people. Holiness may also be rendered “sanctification” or “Godliness.” The word holy denotes that which is “sanctified” or “set apart” for God’s service.
God instructed Moses to “consecrate Aaron and his sons” (Ex. 29:9) to the priesthood. The children of Israel were admonished to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). The “Holy of Holies” (or “Holiest of All”) was the most sacred place in the desert tabernacle and in the Temple at Jerusalem (Ex. 26:33; Heb. 9:1-9). Elisha was called a “holy man of God” (2 Kin. 4:9). Herod feared John the Baptist, “knowing that he was a just and holy man” (Mark 6:20).
While holy is sometimes used in a ceremonial sense, the main use is to describe God’s righteous nature or the ethical righteousness demanded of His followers (Is. 1:10-14; Matt. 12:7). Originating in God’s nature, holiness is a unique quality of His character. The Bible emphasizes this divine attribute. “Who is like you, O Lord?” (Ex. 15:11). “There is none holy like the Lord” (1 Sam. 2:2). “Who shall not fear You, O Lord… For You alone are holy” (Rev. 15:4). God’s high expectations of His people flow out of His own holy nature: “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6); “sanctify yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7).
Jesus is the very personification of holiness; He reinforces God’s demands for holiness by insisting that His disciples must have a higher quality of righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20). Like the prophets Amos and Hosea, Jesus appealed for more than ceremonial holiness: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hos. 6:6; Matt. 12:7).
The theme of sanctification, or growing into the likeness of Jesus, and being consecrated for His use, is prominent throughout the Bible. Like Jesus, the apostles taught that sanctification, or true holiness, expressed itself in patient and loving service while awaiting the Lord’s return. Peter urged the suffering Disciples of the Roman Empire to follow God’s example of holiness in their trials: “As He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15).
Paul’s prayer for the disciples at Thessalonica is timeless in its application to the church and individual believers: “And may the Lord make you increase in love and abound in love… so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His disciples” (1 Thes. 3:12-13).
*BE YE HOLY
“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”
(l Pet. 1: 15-16).
We are called according to His purpose; our life on earth is to be the reflection of His purpose for us in eternity. God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness–1 Thes. 4:7; Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it–5:24. He hath chosen us in Him, that we should be holy and without blame–Eph. 1:4……Through the sanctification of the Spirit–1 Pet. 1:2. The call is unto holiness–salvation through sanctification. God places holiness first in His call; we must place it first in our response; we must come to agreement with Him on this.
Our calling is before and above everything else: holiness–To be in His image and likeness, is to be consumed with His Presence and his Person, for He alone is holy. The Glory of His holiness is His person–His presence. Holiness is not something we can attain. It is imparted as the Spirit of Holiness gains possession of us. It is only by His power that the call to be holy will be effectual–He calls the things that are not as though they were, and by His Spirit they shall be.
The voice from the plains of Mamre is the same: be ye holy. The voice from the bush has not changed: be ye holy; the voice from Calvary silently pleads: be ye holy. He reveals His holiness to impart it to us. We must ask Him to reveal it. He will. We are born again: this time unto holiness. Holiness is found in the life at His feet.
“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
His Glory Is His holiness…in Jesus, so ours. It is the person of Jesus that is God’s provision for our holiness. To dwell in the secret place–His presence–is to dwell in Holiness. Holy: God Himself must open the depths of the word for us. It is the Spirit of Holiness that reveals the Lord Jesus: “I am holy; Be ye holy; Ye are holy in Jesus.”
God will reveal to us the unholiness of our nature. This revelation comes in His holy presence. It is the humility of Jesus in us that is the beauty of holiness. Holiness is the divineness of my position in Jesus.
HOLINESS WILL BRING REVELATION
And when the Lord saw that Moses turned aside to see, God called him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground….and Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Ex. 3: 4-6).
The ground was holy because God was there. It is the presence of God that makes holy. Only in connection with the Sabbath is the word holy mentioned in Genesis. Only with the calling of Moses is it mentioned in Exodus. After having in the flood exhibited His righteous judgment against sin, He calls Abraham to be the father of a chosen people. And as the foundation of all God’s dealings with that people, He teaches Abraham and his seed first of all the lesson of childlike trust–trust in Him as the Almighty, with whom nothing is too wonderful, and trust in Him as the Faithful One, whose oath could not be broken.
With the growth of Israel to a people we see the revelation advancing to a new stage. The simplicity of childhood gives way to the waywardness of youth, and God must now interfere with the discipline and restriction of law. Having gained a right to a place in their confidence as the God of their fathers, He prepares them for a further revelation. Of the God of Abraham the chief attribute was that He was the Almighty One; of the God of Israel, Jehovah, that He is the Holy One, the God of fulfillment and deliverance, the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
In the burning bush God makes Himself known as dwelling in the midst of the fire; Isaiah 10:17–”the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and the Holy One for a flame.” This fire can either purify or destruct. God’s holiness can come as judgment against sin, destroying the sinner who remains in it, and as mercy, freeing His people from it. Judgment and mercy are the two sides of the flame, and forever go together, but it is His fire of mercy that rejoices over His fire of judgment (James 2:13). His fire consumes and will take and change into His nature, rejecting as smoke and ashes what cannot be assimilated. We must remember that His holiness keeps Him from all that is not divine, and it is this holiness that He imparts to us that allows us union with Him. It is this same holiness that rejects all that will not yield itself to Him.
With Abraham and the Patriarchs, there had been little teaching about sin or redemption; the nearness of God was revealed. The law was then given to convict of sin, that man would see himself as a sinner, with the Spirit instilling a longing for the Holy God to come and make him holy. He will stay within the veil; He will be near to them, but yet at a distance. Moses hid his face when first confronted by God–that is what His holiness does–it produces fear and awe. Moses hiding his face shows us the effect of drawing near to His holiness. But we notice here, that there is further revelation given him by God.
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face;
–Shoes are the means of contact with the world, the means of how the flesh moves about and does its work. We must first realize how unfit we are to do business with the Almighty–no flesh will glory in His presence–put of thy shoes–put off the old man and put on the Lord Jesus. Die to your sin, and you will live unto holiness, for I will indwell you and make you holy. Holiness is that awesome and awful glory that separates God from all there is.
We are blind to just how unholy we are and just how unholy our sin is before a perfectly holy God. In drawing nigh to Him we are brought to the knowledge of our unholiness and all the stripping of us that must be done, a stripping that will settle for nothing less than death of the old man: “thus saith the high and lofty One, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place with Him that is of a contrite and humble Spirit”; That humble and contrite Spirit is the Lord Jesus, and through His Person of contrition, humility, fear and trembling, we shall dwell in the secret place of the Almighty, the place that is above all else, Holy. It is only here that the Holy flame will not kindle upon us–when the Lord Jesus is in us, and we in Him.
The burning bush is the crucified Jesus–crucified but not consumed–resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high; and as the old man dies with Him, we ascend with Him, by His Spirit: we are seated in heavenly places in Jesus; we receive that baptism of fire, which reveals in each of us what it means: I am the one who is holy and I am the only one who can make holy.
We must fear to look upon God, yet we must desire to see Him. To be made in His image, is to be made holy by the indwelling Jesus. The old man is not made holy–he is to be killed–dead, done away with. Our holiness is the New Man and the New Man only. It is here and here only, that mercy overcomes judgment. The fire will consume as much of us as we let it.
Holiness is beyond tongues–it is that place where you are so indwelt by Him that you cannot speak. A place where His holiness brings on that Godly fear, that lets you know there is none beside Him. There cannot be.
The Spirit of the fear of the Lord is the manifestation of the Spirit of Holiness. It is here we will find our comfort. It is the only place in all the experience of man where fear does comfort.
The connection between the fear of the Lord and holiness is witnessed throughout the Scriptures:
Ex. 15:11–Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises.
Ps. 5:7–In thy fear will I worship towards thy holy temple.
Ps. 29:2–Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, fear before Him all the earth.
II Cor. 7:1–Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.
There is no fear of the Lord apart from His presence and Person. It is the holiness of His presence and Person that brings the fear of Him–a reverent awe from the Spirit of Holiness who imparts holiness as He gains possession.
Holy fear works out the stillness of soul, which leads it to rest in God–the only place we will find holiness.
*HOLINESS: THE SILENT CRY OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS
“I have redeemed thee…thou art mine….” Isaiah 43:1
“Unto Him that loved us and washed us in His own Blood…” Rev. 1:5
God’s purpose of redemption is possession, and the purpose of possession is likeness to Him who is redeemer and owner. That likeness is holiness. Only redemption leads to holiness. Redemption is not only deliverance from sin and death, it is we being redeemed unto God Himself. It is not enough for us to possess the Holy Spirit, He must possess us. Only holiness brings the joy and assurance of redemption. Holiness is the chief object of redemption. The degree to which Holiness possesses me will be commensurate with what I let His fire consume.
Holiness is what there is of God in us. To us comes the call to be holy, to follow after holiness, to perfect holiness: to be filled with the Spirit of holiness. The whole life must be on His altar: “…..the way of holiness…..the redeemed shall walk therein…” Isa. 35: 9-10. “..Redemption through His Blood…´(Eph. 1:7); His Blood we meet at the threshold of the pathway of holiness. It is the blood of the sacrifice, which the fire of God consumed and yet could not consume. The power of holiness in His Blood is such that the Spirit says “Sanctified by His own Blood”–As long as we only think of the love of God as goodness, we may aim only at being good. We must aim for His presence and His Person and seize them to be holy as He is holy, for by nature we are Egyptians, enemies doomed to destruction; by Grace, Israelites, chosen for redemption.
“…Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Ex. 15:11
The tabernacle is sanctified by His glory (Ex. 29:43)–His glory filled the house: The temple and our bodies. In the holiness of God, His glory is hidden….in the glory of God His holiness is manifested. Holiness is not so much an attribute of God, but rather a comprehensive summary of all His perfections. God’s holiness is a fire that will consume what cannot be purified, and will purify what it does not consume. In me, the fire must consume and destroy. Only as judgment does its work, can mercy fully save.
God’s holiness as glory: God is glorified in the holiness of His people. True holiness always gives glory to God alone. Live to the glory of God: that is holiness. Live a holy life: that will glorify God.
Our holiness as praise: Praise gives glory to God, and is thus an element of holiness. “Thou art holy, that inhabitest the praises of Israel”.
*HOLINESS AND OBEDIENCE
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people…ye shall be unto me, an holy nation” (Ex. 19:4-6)
God’s purpose in redemption is holiness. His will is the expression of His holiness; as we do His will we come into contact with His holiness. The link between redemption and holiness is obedience. When his will becomes our will we become holy. Obedience is the path to His presence, therefore it is the path to holiness. Obedience itself is not holiness–it opens the way for the impartation of His presence and His will–His holiness. Obedience brings the revelation and communication of Himself and His blessed nature: His presence.
The will of God must be done–”If ye obey My voice”; “do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God” (Num. 15:40). “I am the Lord which hallow you”– (Lev. 22:32). God wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven. This alone is obedience. We must be ready at any sacrifice. Holiness is not something God imparts to us–it is God imparting Himself to us. Action alone proves my love for Him. Grace progressively restores us to the paths of God’s will through obedience unto holiness. Obedience unto God allows the Spirit of Holiness to build up and clothe the inner man, with the beauty of His Holiness. Obedience is the law of life unto the holiness and power of Almighty God. This obedience is possible through the gift of the Lord Jesus–not by your might, not by your power, but by His Spirit. It is full and complete surrender to Him. Your highest activity becomes one of passive surrender as you sit at His feet, hear His voice, then rise in quietness and confidence to only do His will. This is being led by the Spirit–” I have brought you unto Myself, If you will obey my voice indeed, ye shall be unto Me an holy nation.
The word ‘voice’ is more than the law or a book; it always implies a living person, and communication with Him. This is the secret of obedience: hearing the voice of the exalted Jesus, and then doing what He says. It is a process to be sure, but it matures equally to the amount of time we spend at His feet. This maturity comes when His presence goes with us, leading us minute by minute, hour by hour: the Lord is always before my face: David, Psalm 16:8.
This development of the relationship is something of which you cannot conceive, until it starts to happen. We must wait on Him–blessed are they that wait on the Lord the Psalmist says. The glory of the Lord will start to fill your temple–your Body, mind, soul and spirit–”I will sanctify it by my glory.” It is here the union of will and life is realized. It is here He possesses you and you are holy as He is holy.
In perfect obedience Jesus sanctified Himself, thus becoming my sanctification. This life I live in the flesh becomes a manifestation of He who is perfect and He who alone, is holy. Our meat must be to do His will–it will draw down God’s nourishment for our spirit and soul–His presence. Obedience depends upon hearing His voice. Do not imagine you know the will of God. Pray and wait for the inward teaching of the Spirit. In Jesus, I am declared Holy by His obedience. In Jesus, I become holy by my obedience to the will of God.
His indwelling presence alone makes us holy. Because God dwelt in the camp of the Israelites, it was holy, all uncleanness was to be removed from it. Holiness in the court of the tabernacle was even greater, uncleanness would not be tolerated. The holy place was still holier, because it was closer to where He dwelt. The inner sanctuary–where His presence dwelt on the mercy seat–was the holiest of holies, the holiest of all because God dwelt there: the measure of holiness is its nearness to God–the more of His presence, the more true holiness. Perfect indwelling would be perfect holiness. None is holy nor is there holiness but He. We have only as much holiness as we have of God Himself.
As His indwelling us becomes a matter of longing and faith, the soul will be able to obey the command: “Let them make me a holy place that I may dwell among them.” It is the Father within us, He doeth the work: He hallows me by His revelation of the indwelling Jesus through His Spirit of Holiness, which is my Father. All is typlified by the tabernacle, revealed by the Son, communicated by the Spirit, manifested in His glory.
The tabernacle with its three divisions was, as pictured in other spiritual truths, the image of man’s threefold nature. Our spirit is the holiest of all, where God is meant to dwell, where the Holy Spirit is given. The life of the soul, with its powers of feeling, knowing, and willing, is the holy place. And the outer life of the body, of conduct and action, is the outer court. Faith knows His dwelling place and lives there, serving Him with Holy fear.
HOLINESS: SEPARATION AND CONSECRATION
“And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it Holiness to the Lord…And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.” Exodus 28:36,38.
The center of the revelation of His holy and holy-making presence is found in the person of the high priest, in his double capacity of representing God with man, and man with God. He is the embodiment of the divine holiness in human form, and of human holiness as a divine gift, as far as the dispensation of symbol and shadow could offer and express it. In him God came near to sanctify and bless the people. In him the people came their very nearest to God. The priest was a symbol of the coming Savior, who would make the holiness of God, a portion for His people.
We are positionally holy in Jesus, our great High Priest–He, as our indwelling Savior, makes us holy; As we enter in and abide in the holiness of Jesus, the holiness of Jesus will abide in us. It is here that holiness proves its power. Do not attempt to grasp this with the intellect. Just believe it and look in simplicity to Jesus, trusting Him to bring it to pass–Faithful is He who has called you, He will do it.
“I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people….And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” Lev. 20:24-26.
Separation is not holiness, but the way to it. Though there can be no holiness without separation, separation must lead to holiness. The idea of holiness does include separation, but it is much higher than that. Being set apart to God and consecration to His service are just the beginning.
Not what I am or what I do, or, what I give, makes me holy. God alone is holy, and He–His presence alone–is what makes anything holy. Eight times in Leviticus we read–”Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Holiness encompasses all that He is, so to make us holy as He is holy, will obviously be a process. Remember, that is why we are redeemed–the end of redemption is holiness–His holiness. Separation is where possession by Him starts to take place. Holiness is the divine filling without which we remain empty: be filled with the Spirit–the Holy Spirit–for the Spirit is the Lord. This is the purpose of the separation of Israel–”ye shall be unto me an holy nation.”
We find this in the life of the Nazarite (Num. 6). He was to be separated from the life around him, unto the Lord–”all the days of his separation, he is holy unto the Lord.” This separation included three things: temperance–no wine; humiliation–not cutting or shaving his hair; self-sacrifice–not defiling himself for even father or mother on their death. This separation was not from things unlawful, but from things lawful. The Spirit desires a separation that gives up not only what can be proved to be sin, but all that may hinder the full intensity of our surrender into God’s hands to make us holy.
God wants each of us all to Himself that He may give us all Himself–”that ye should be mine.” Remember, separation never has any value in itself…some have used it to become more spiritual than the rest of the body. Division is usually the result. When God separates us unto Himself, He gives us Himself that we may be holy as He is holy, and that we may pass on this sum of perfections for the edification and exhortation of the body. We come apart to God to give to Him and to receive Him; we then come apart from God to give Him to the body.
God separates from all that does not lead us into His holiness and fellowship. The power of separation will work in us as much as we yield ourselves to God. As we yield, He takes possession, and we grow into His holiness–”in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isa. 30:15). We remain separate though together with the Body–the Spirit of holiness seals our separation unto God, as His presence, for The Spirit is the Lord. Though we are individually sealed by the Spirit unto God, we are unified because we all possess the same Spirit: the Spirit of Holiness–the Holy Spirit. It is the conscious presence of God that separates us from the world, though we are in it; it separates us from ourselves and gives us heart knowledge of our crucifixion with Jesus though we live this Life in the flesh. His Life is the Life that lives in my flesh–it is His Life, and His Life separates even more mightily. All we are must become filled with all He is…this begins separation from self; and when God gets true possession of self, separation from the world results; it is through this process we begin to realize we are truly separated…this is the sanctification process that works unto holiness and leads us to dwell in the secret place of the Almighty–the holiness of His presence–holiness that works to edify the Body and glorify the Lord.
Separation from the external is necessary for the internal to be real and strong. All who have forsaken all, have heard and heeded this call of separation–it is the call by the Spirit of Holiness to total self-sacrificing love……when you awaken with this you will truly be satisfied for you will have truly awaken with His likeness. My first responsibility is to minister to Him……it is here He imparts Himself to me, that I might minister Him to the Body.
God’s holiness is what separates Him…….when He gets full possession, it will be what separates me.
God’s Holiness will produce in us:
Restfulness: Gen. 2:3–God sanctified the seventh day and rested.
Humility: Ex. 3:4-6–”Put off thy shoes….the place whereon thou standest is holy ground….”
Surrender: Lev. 11:45–”Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy”….Isa. 43:1–”I have redeemed thee, thou art mine…”
Adoration: Ex. 15:11–Who is like Thee O Lord?…glorious in holiness.
Obedience: Ex. 19:4-6: ”…If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant………ye shall be unto me ..an holy nation.”
Ex. 15:11-who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
1 Chr 16:29–worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Ps. 96:9; 29:2
2 Chr. 31:20–for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.
Ps. 30:4–give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness..97:12
Ps. 47:8–God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.
Ps. 48:1–great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our god, in the mountain of His holiness
Ps. 60:6—God hath spoken in his holiness.
Ps. 93:5–holiness becometh thine house, o Lord, forever..
Ps. 110:3–thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness
Isa. 35:8-9–a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness……the redeemed shall walk there……
Jer. 23:9–mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; i am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome because of the Lord, and because of the words of His holiness.
Rom. 6:19–yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
2 Cor. 7:1–let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of god.
1 Thes. 4:7–god hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.
Heb. 12:10–He chastens us for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
Heb 12 :14–follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which, no man shall see the Lord.
*HOLINESS UNTO HUMILITY
Humility is defined as a freedom from arrogance that grows out of the recognition that all we have and are comes from God. The Greek philosophers despised humility because it implied inadequacy, lack of dignity, and worthlessness to them. This is not the meaning of humility as defined by the Bible. Jesus is the supreme example of humility (Matt. 11:29; Mark 10:45; John 13:4-17; Phil. 2:5-8), and He is completely adequate and of infinite dignity and worth. Biblical humility is not a belittling of oneself (Matt. 6:16-18; Rom. 12:3), but an exalting or praising of others, especially God and Christ (John 3:30; Phil. 2:3). A humble person, then, focuses more on God and others than on himself.
Biblical humility is also a recognition that by ourselves we are nothing, without dignity and worthless. Yet, because we are created in God’s image and because believers are in Jesus, we have infinite worth and dignity (1 Cor. 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). True humility does not produce pride but gratitude. Since God is both our Creator and Redeemer, our existence and righteousness depend on Him (John 15:5; Acts 17:28; Eph. 2:8-10).
“……I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people which walketh in a way that was not good after their own thoughts……….”
Humility is the place of entire surrender and dependence of the created on the Creator. As such, it forms the foundation for the entrance of all the other virtues–the Person of Jesus. Pride is its direct opposite. The difference between the two is as wide as the gulf between Lazarus and the rich man. Evil has its beginning in pride and will end nowhere but in humility. The one is death, the other is Life Himself. It is humility that brought Him from heaven and it is what He brings to earth. It is this humility that gives His death its value. His humility is our salvation, His salvation our humility. His grace can only take root in the soil of humility. Reconciliation of all has in its root, the humility of all. Without it, true reconciliation cannot take place.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
It was pride that the serpent injected into the human race in the garden. All of our ambition, selfishness, wars, rumors of wars–all that is destructive to the human race has its roots in pride. Pride is the original sin and it is what made redemption necessary. Jesus is the humility of God embodied in human nature–the Incarnate Humility. And only the Incarnate Humility can save us from ourselves and the root of evil–pride–that permeates all who are Adam’s. Pride is darkness, humility is light, and the kingdoms of the two are at war for the eternal possession of men. Pride is a spirit, and seeks nothing but its father, often to the complete ignorance of its beholder. Pride is the carnal mind that, however unwittingly, seeks the pathway to death. Humility is also a Spirit, who seeks to impart Himself to men to the glory of His Father.
2 Chr 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
1 Pet 5:5
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
True humility is complete and entire subordination and surrender to the Lord that He may resurrect in His fullness in our mortal flesh, to do of His will and good pleasure, bringing Him the honor and glory due His name:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise…..”
”I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me……”
“I receive not honour from men……..”
”For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me…….”
”……….I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things…….”
Jesus said unto them, ”If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me………..”
“And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth……………………”
”He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me…..”
The entire book of John gives us the meaning of true humility if we but look at the total submission of Jesus to the Father. He truly became nothing that the Father could be all, and work all in Him–even self defense and vindication was abandoned to the Father. It is in this disposition that He became the ultimate Servant. God was His portion because He chose to possess nothing else. This is the true meaning of the self-denial all seem to be seeking their quest for the anointing–it is not denying myself things so that others may have them–this sort of reasoning tends to focus on the prideful merit of abstinence, rather than the people being blessed and the Lord being glorified. In the kingdom of God, the lowest is the highest. He that humbles himself–that is our duty–shall be exalted–that is God’s duty.
Many will construe the number of religious duties performed, as being a show of humility. The disciples were victims of this. They walked with the Master, loved Him and performed much in the way of duty, but still fell victim to wanting to sit on His right hand and His left. Even at the Supper table on the eve of the crucifixion, there was argument as to who was the greatest. The tone of Jesus’ entire ministry whether He was addressing the disciples, scribes, or Pharisees, was that of humility–total subjection and dedication to the Father. Yet, there was the pride of Who’s the greatest, rearing its head on Passion’s Eve. This is why reformation of the old man will not work. This is why he must be crucified, dead and buried. The contention at the Supper table truly proved that even after being three years with the Master–face to face–the flesh was alive and well, and profiting nothing. Pentecost would prove to be the saving grace, it would be here that He would come to take possession. Is there any better witness than all of Holy Writ after the Gospels, that the Spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus had taken possession of His disciples?
To dwell on Adam opening the human race to the spirit of pride that prevails in it, is moot. It is there, and its told and untold carnage are evident to all. Just as pride came from another, so must humility. There is only One who is of a humble and contrite Spirit, and I must be crucified with that One to see the power of His resurrection grind that spirit of pride to powder. The reality of the Lord Jesus manifesting in our mortal bodies to destroy the works of the enemy, must be our experience–If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
I Jn 4:20-21
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Is it not true that humility before God is best reflected as pure and true when it manifests its same form before men? Is not our humility before men proof of our humility before God? It must needs be that it be one in the same, for He is unchangeable, and is not His resurrection in us our only hope of humility? Must not this humility live out as experience in our daily discourse? Does not the daily trivial prove a testing ground for the eternal, bringing to light what Spirit really possesses us? For even Jesus pleased not Himself (Rms. 15: 3a)–He never sought His own will……He emptied Himself and made Himself of no reputation. Any inclination of natural satisfaction was utterly foregone for the will of God, and the sake of the necessities and infirmities of the people. And in His humility, the reproaches of those that reproached God fell on Jesus (Rms. 15: 3b)–here is where the rubber meets the road–this is the true test of humility–when it brings reproach, what is the response? For Jesus, it was to set His face for Jerusalem–the Cross–that these people might be saved from the Hell, which certainly awaited such behavior. When true humility is reproached, intercession for the transgressors will be its fruit. When false humility is reproached, the work of the flesh will be made manifest.
The greatest danger to humility, is not the Pharisee without, though he despise as he might. The greatest danger is the Pharisee within, who strives to self-pity and to self-commendation, and to self exaltation. Let us beware, for as we dwell in the holiest, many times pride is lurking, seeking our destruction…..a haughty spirit is seeking to enter and possess:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also, in the midst of them Job 1: 6.
Pride can even clothe itself in the garments of praise and repentance.
The publican and the Pharisee both take up residence in the human heart, and as they approach God, we must beware. Not only the words of the Pharisee were condemned, but the spirit behind them as well. This is where we have to be as watchmen. Though the garment be that of the publican and the words of the Pharisee be squelched, the spirit will hover, trying to gain access. This access is much time granted in the area of holiness. It is here that pride can creep in most unawares. Holiness and humility increase together. They are inseparable. One without the other, will perish. Pride is the eye that cannot see Him, the ear that cannot hear His voice, and the heart that cannot understand–all rendering the person unhealable. The knees are of no consequence if the heart is still standing.
44 “…How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only”?
With this statement, the Master makes the obvious connection between humility and faith: pride can make faith impossible. The two are as totally opposite as their authors. And since the Lord Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, it would appear here that He is reluctant to disperse it in the face of seeking self-exaltation. That the Lord commands us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling is another indication that the very humility of Jesus must be longed for as the deer pants for the water brooks. The living power and faith of God is irreconcilably at variance with pride. Co-habitation is out of the question. Witness the Centurion–”I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof”; witness Jesus’ response to the Centurion–”I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.” That faith was imparted by the Lord because the Centurion humbled himself before the Lord. When He who is Humility enters and resurrects, His disposition prepares the soul for the life of trust–All that is contrary cannot enter the Kingdom. Salvation is communion with the crucified Jesus in the Spirit of the Cross. Salvation is union with and participation in, the Cross of Jesus. The soul that realizes its emptiness before God, has nothing hindering the resurrection of Faith.
The road to the crown runs through the cross–His, then ours. The resurrection of Humility is the proof and fruit of death. Straight is the gate and narrow is the path of obedience unto death, and thus to life; and that path has been opened by the humility of Jesus……..let us resolve to be among the few that find it.
The life, Person, and presence of Jesus, all bear the marks of death. So must ours, if He is Savior and Lord. Life is won through death. Our vexation is designed to work to our purification and we must surrender to this fact: persecution and the railings and vexations at the hands of men, is pure grace whose design it is, to humble us. The very death mark of Jesus is humility and it was His death that perfected His humility–Unless a corn of wheat dies………The Flesh and Blood of Humility has allowed Meekness to be glorified and enthroned, paving the way into the holiest. Humility surrenders to He who is holding the cup. Let us remember that the Life in us has gone through death and resurrection, and in that Life, we are reckoned dead to sin. The power of that Life is worked by the Holy Spirit through the crucifixion of the flesh and all its contrary desires–it is the Father in us, He must do the work. We must first make a resolution to humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, turning from our wicked ways. If we are not able, we must be willing to be made willing and able.
Let us not be ignorant of the fact that all we who are baptized into Jesus, have been baptized into His death. If we are to enter into the rest of self and work, we must enter into His grave.
“………For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted………..”
Jesus Himself is the proof of this Scripture…….The requirement of the Master here is clear: we are to humble ourselves. As He has descended to us, we must descend–as it were–to Him. When we willingly consent to make Him our All in All, the humility He brings will prove itself before men, as well as before God. There will be no impact by environment–whether it be in the presence of God or man. Humility proves Himself, because He is unchangeable. The exaltation spoken of here is He who only is worthy of exaltation–the risen and glorified Jesus. This verse is a mandate to humble ourselves unto obedience unto death that Jesus may be exalted. It is the place of heart knowledge of His mind in each and every circumstance, no matter how large or small, vexing or uplifting. All is done with one aim in mind: to form us that Jesus will truly resurrect in our mortal flesh. If we resolve to do the one things He asks–humble ourselves, take His yoke upon us– faith will be graced to inherit the promise. Our inherited disposition formed the pride of our will……..our imparted Disposition is His will, for the unspeakable Gift is the expression of His will.