Friday, March 15, 2013

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HOLY?

By Helena Lehman of the 
Pillar of Enoch Ministry (POEM)

Many believers today do not understand the concept of holiness. This is a great tragedy, because holiness is a central part of having a living faith in Yahshua (Jesus). To understand the need for holiness, all one has to do is read the Books of Exodus and Leviticus, where the building of the Tabernacle, the setting up of the Levitical priesthood, the definition of the laws of clean and unclean, and the rituals of animal sacrifice were described and instituted. 

Though the Israelite Tabernacle and Temple rites were only a dim reflection of the Person, High Priesthood, and the Ministry of Yahshua and His sacrifice for our sins on the Cross, they are important today because they show what Yahshua came to do for us. They are also important because they show us how everything designed for the Tabernacle and Temple was purified with anointing oil and sprinkled blood, and then set apart for exclusive ritual use. This is what it means to be holy. It means being set apart for God’s exclusive use after we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and sprinkled with the Blood of Yahshua.

Reading the prophetic books of the Bible makes it clear that all of God’s chosen prophets were set apart for His exclusive use. Interestingly, a prophet’s primary job is to call people to repentance, instruct them in righteousness, and call them to spiritual reform. This means getting them to understand what sin is, and calling them to turn away from sin to achieve holiness, which is the state of being separate from the everyday world. For a person to be holy, they must choose to set themselves apart for God’s service. Just as the implements used in the Temple to Yahweh, and the Temple itself, were set apart in ancient times for exclusive ritual use, believers are called to set themselves apart in every aspect of their lives. Scripture explains it this way:

~*~  2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ~*~
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them.
I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’
17 Therefore, ‘Come out from among them
And be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not
touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.
18 I will be a Father to you, and you shall be
My sons and daughters,’ Says the Lord Almighty.”

This Scripture makes it clear that preachers need to teach their congregations that holiness is an essential part of the sanctification process because it allows us to be called sons and daughters of God. The call to be holy also convicts us that fraternizing closely with the enemies of Yahshua is not acceptable to God. We can and should engage unsaved sinners in preaching the Gospel to them if they are interested in our counsel or seek our help, but we are not called to be like them, or to live among them. Sadly, however, most preachers today rarely teach this concept because they weren’t taught that there is any need for believers to be sanctified or set apart for God’s exclusive service in Seminary.  

Nonetheless, though the Temple and its rituals became obsolete for us when Christ died on the Cross for our sins, the Bible tells us that true followers of Yahshua permanently house Gods Spirit, and are the living stones of Gods Temple. We also serve as the priests in the Temple of Yahweh that is our body - where the Holy Spirit calls us to care for ourselves and others. So, to understand our set-apart mission in Christ, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit within us, which convicts born-again believers not to love the world, or the things in it that displease God, but to do acts of loving-kindness and mercy that are pleasing to God.

As we grow in our relationship with Yahweh God and His Holy Spirit, we should naturally begin to turn away from those things that cause us to sin and feel lust. This includes leaving behind most forms of commercial entertainment and popular secular music, which often has a decidedly sexual and/or satanic undercurrent. True believers will also be called to avoid socializing in nightclubs and at private parties with unsaved friends. The reason for this is because these places encourage us to dress too scantily, drink and eat too much, dance too close, swear too often, do recreational drugs, and fall into illicit sex and fornication. These are all sins against God because our bodies are His Temple, and we are desecrating His temple when we engage in such activities. For this reason, we must do as the Apostle Paul said:
~*~ Romans 12:1-2 ~*~
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 
There are many ways we can sin against God with our bodies, and thereby desecrate the holiness of His Temple within us. These include the use of recreational drugs, wearing revealing clothing, using heavy cosmetics and gaudy jewelry, playing violent video games, watching x-rated, violent or gory movies, and engaging in recreational sex. Those who call themselves followers of Christ - but who do not turn away from all of these forms of sin - will NOT continue to receive love, mercy, or forgiveness from God. They must repent of their sins first to enter back into fellowship with Him. As it says in Scripture: 
~*~ 1 John 1:5-9 ~*~
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
Yes, God loves us all. But only those who are holy, and who reject the world to live for Christ, will inherit the Kingdom of God. Among all the FALSE PROPHETS today, there is plenty of talk in their prophetic utterances of blessing, revival and restoration, but not one call to be holy and separate from the world. Instead they purport to be stating God’s will without telling anyone what God’s will actually is, which is to repent and be holy like Christ!

Another glaring problem with the many false prophets and preachers in our world today is that very few of them mention Satan and his demons as our enemies, or the full-scale spiritual war that we believers are facing, or the fact that Hell is real, and billions of souls are currently going there unless we preach the Gospel effectively. To be effective witnesses for God, the Apostle Paul called us to learn to use the spiritual gifts we are given when we are born again. When these gifts are divinely given to us, we are being called to use them to fight against the enemies of God within the spiritual realms surrounding us in this world. This is why the Apostle Paul said:
 
~*~ Ephesians 6:11-13 ~*~
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
This means that, even as we pursue holiness, we are called to fight this spiritual battle against our unseen enemies in the spirit world by praying for the lost, preaching the Gospel, and doing acts of mercy and loving-kindness. But to witness to the lost effectively, we need to know the Gospel messages that were entrusted to the Early Church and delivered to all the saints. Unfortunately, however, there is little sound teaching coming from many preachers today about just what the Gospel is and is not. This is a terrible thing! Sadly, millions of believers are being led astray by lying false prophets that preach about blessing, restoration and spiritual and material riches without preaching that repentance, sanctification, and holiness must come first!

The fact is that no one will receive the full blessings of God or the restoration of all that they lost to the enemy before they came to Christ unless they give all that they are, and all that they have, to God for His exclusive service. To do this, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit, and we must listen to the Spirit’s call for us to strive to be like Christ. The Apostle Paul expressed it this way: 
~*~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ~*~
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus (i.e. Adonai Yahshua) and by the Spirit of our God.” 
To be true disciples of Christ, we all need to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). This means being able to effectively preach the Gospel message to others. To understand the basic tenants of the Gospel of Salvation in Christ, please read my short article describing the fact that there are three related Gospel messages that show the Path to Salvation - the Gospel of Repentance, the Gospel of Salvation, and the Gospel of the Kingdom:

Pillar of Enoch Ministry Blog: ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD - THE THREE GOSPEL STEPS - Excerpt: Recently, Yahweh God showed me that there are three steps to effective Evangelism consisting of three Gospel messages that prepare others to be ready for the Kingdom of God, and to be ready to receive the love, forgiveness and Grace of God. These three Gospels are the Gospel of Repentance, the Gospel of Salvation, and the Gospel of the Kingdom. Understanding and accepting these three Gospel steps guarantee that true disciples of Christ will be ready for the First Rapture...

ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD - 
THE THREE GOSPEL STEPS 

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I pray that this article will bless you, and help you to grow in spiritual understanding as we await the Rapture. In the meantime, remember that...

Yahshua is coming SOON! Maranatha!

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