Gods Holiness

Holiness, when it comes to the quality of God is a far neglected principle among Christians.
Many Christians deal with a very low perspective of the holiness of God.
As a result many Christians live weak and uncommitted lives and as a result of that there is no holiness in their own lives.
Because there is no true calling for holiness in the lives of Christians they never come to their full calling in Christ. As a result of that there is a weak understanding of the true nature of sin, as a result of this weak understanding there is no real commitment and as a result of the uncommitted spirit God can never work in their lives to the fullest.

Do you know what the first song recorded in Scripture has to do with the final song in Revelation? Not only the first song, but also the final song in Scripture exalts the holiness of God. In between Ex. 15 and Rev. 15:3-4, God’s holiness is often described. "Holy is used more often as a prefix to God’s name than any other attribute. And in the only two instances recorded in Scripture where men are permitted to see into the throne room of heaven and view God in the fullness of his glory, they hear angelic beings singing continuously, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.’"

The Holiness of God is certainly central to his entire character; it may be as central as any other attribute of God. "Today we are inclined to emphasize the love of God, but we can never begin to appreciate his love as we should until we understand something of his holiness. A person’s concept of God determines more than anything else what kind of life that person will live"

If we only have a grasp of His love our lives will be crippled.
We are living in an age where His love is talked about often, but we are never allowed to talk about sin. Sin has everything to do with holiness, for holiness means purity.
Only having a grasp on His love will leave many in a state of being cold or luke-warm towards God and their commitment to Him.
Understanding His holiness will lead to a real hatred of sin. Understanding his holiness will lead to purer lives, purer lives leads to more peace.

In Exodus 15, God is praised by Miriam as "Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is majestic in holiness, awesome in glory working wonders?" Earlier, Moses had been instructed to remove his sandals for the ground he walked on was so holy (Ex. 3). Think about that just a moment. According to many people today we need to feel comfortable with God. Many worship services, the very style of music and vocabulary about God has been transformed into language or trappings that at all cost must increase the comfort level. How contrary to what God did originally with Moses. Could some people today be worshipping another god?

The Bible teaches us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

  • Prov. 9: 10

Where is this fear being taught? We cripple ourselves if we do not fear Him.

1. Holiness and its definition.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.

Isa 6:2 Above him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Holy, holy, holy was spoken towards Jehovah. In these verses we see Isaiah being lifted to higher regions and getting a glimpse into heaven. He sees the Lord sitting on the throne.

As Christians we all need to get a good and pure understanding of His holiness.
A good understanding of His holiness will lead us to a proper respect for Him.

A. What does this term mean and how does it relate to our lives?

The word “holy”
H6918

qâdôsh

kaw-doshe

From H6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary: - holy (One), saint.

When we consider the word sacred:

  1. Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.

  2. Worthy of religious veneration.
  3. Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
  4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person

Webster's dictionary's definition of holiness is:
The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity. Applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of his essential attributes.

When we look at God we see a God who is morally pure, He is completely pure in all His being. There is not a single inpurity in Him. And that is what the word holy means.

B. Understanding Gods holiness in light of His principles toward mankind.

To grasp the principle of holiness we look at what God required from His people.

Num 15:40 that ye may remember and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

So, we understand that being holy has to do with purity, keeping those things that are holy and true, it is about keeping his commandments.

Deu 28:9 Jehovah will establish thee for a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee; if thou shalt keep the commandments of Jehovah thy God, and walk in his ways.

In this above verse we see that being holy means to be keeping His commandments.

Hab 1:13 Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he;

God is the one that cannot dwell with evil. This touches the heart of holiness.
Holiness means to be pure, in contrast to profane.
When we consider all the above verses we come to understand that the word holiness has to do with being morally pure.
We also understand, when it comes to God's definition of being morally pure, or being holy, that God has revealed in His word what He understands what these things mean and what it entails.
So, God should have sole authority to govern our lives.
That is the Christians plight in life, understanding His holiness and to live accordingly.

2. God's holiness.

The Bible writes:

2Co 6:17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,

Here we touch on the concept of the meaning of holy, holiness.
It means to “be seperate”.

2Co 6:18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

It means to cleanse ourselves as God is clean.

What does the Bible way about His holiness.

Psa 60:6 God hath spoken in his holiness: I will exult; I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Psa 60:7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre.

Here we see God speaking a prophesy on Shechem and Succoth. And he does it based on his character of holiness.

His holiness is a holiness of truth. He cannot lie. As God is holy He speaks from His holiness.

Psa 89:34 My covenant will I not break, Nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

Psa 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness: I will not lie unto David:

God swore by His holiness.
This speaks of the fact that God cannot lie and that He cannot come back to to promises that He once made.

What He says will come true, that is a part of holiness.

Psa 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou sofar from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

Psa 22:2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou answerest not; And in the night season, and am not silent.

Psa 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Psa 22:4 Our fathers trusted in thee: They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

Psa 22:5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: They trusted in thee, and were not put to shame.

In these verses we see David crying out to God. It is a prophetic Psalm, so it is also about the cry of Jesus.

The cry is that it seems that God does not hear. And what is the reply: “But thou art holy”.
The next verse talks about the trust that the fathers had and they were delivered.
God is always true to His word.
At times it seems that God does not hear us, but we have the testimony that He does hear. And we have the testimony that He is holy.
He is pure, He is seperate, He cannot lie.

See also:

  • Psalm 30: 4
  • Psalm 89: 35
  • Amos 4: 2

Many of Gods spokesman have been called with an encouter with God.
In this study we would like to look at some of them and see Gods holiness

In all of them we see Gods deliverance.
In the case of Moses, he would be the leader to lead His people out of Egypt.
Isaiah was there to preach to the ones that would be taken into captivity, but Isaiah preached to the remnant that they would return to their homeland.
Paul spoke to the Gentiles.

3. Moses and his encounter with a holy God.

(Exodus 3: 1- 10)

Moses, who was a shepherd-boy, while tending the sheep of his father-in-law came to mount Horeb the mountain of God. When he came there an angel of the Lord appeared to him.
In order to get full attention Moses the angel of the Lord appeared from the midst of a burning bush. A burning bush, while the bush was burning it was not consumed. He wanted to come closer to see this wonderful sight.

The Angel of the Lord, when he saw that Moses was looking, called to him from the midst of the bush.
Moses could not draw near. It was holy ground.
Where God is there is holiness. Where God is, we cannot approach.

1Ti 6:15 which in its own times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

1Ti 6:16 who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen.

Compare:

  • Ex. 24: 9- 18 (Ex. 33: 20- 23)
  • Ex. 34: 29- 35

A. Moses and the Holiness of God

(Numbers 20:1-13; 27:12-14)

Moses had good reason to be angry with the Israelites. They were indeed a “stiff-necked people,” even as God Himself had said (see Exodus 33:5). The Israelites arrived at Kadesh, a place whose name meant “holy.”

Kadesh H6946 qâdêsh
The same as H6945; sanctuary; Kadesh, a place in the Desert: - Kadesh.

At Kadesh, there was no water for the people to drink. The people were hostile and a mob contended with Moses and Aaron wishing they were dead.
They protested they had not been “led” as much as “mis-led” by Moses to a land far from what they were promised.
In verse 3 we see that they had wanted to have died when others died who were struck by the Lord. (Numbers 11: 1) They all expected to die here, they together with their animals.
That there was now no water here was the final straw.

Moses and Aaron went to the doorway of the tent of meeting, and there the glory of the Lord appeared to them. God then commanded Moses to take his rod and speak to the rock, from which water would flow for the people. Moses was furious with the people as he gathered them before the rock, the “spiritual rock” Paul later identifies as Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 10:4). Instead of merely speaking to the rock as commanded, in his anger, Moses struck the rock twice. The consequences were indeed severe.

This act was so serious in God’s sight that He forbade Moses to enter into the land of promise. Moses never saw the land to which he came so close. Why? God told him, and he recorded it for us: “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel.…” (Numbers 20:12). And by dealing severely with Moses for his transgression, God is said to have “proved Himself holy among them” (verse 13).

In a moment of anger, Moses sinned, and for this sin he was kept from entering the land of promise. The act was striking the rock. But it was much more than this. Striking the rock was an act of disobedience, of failing to follow God’s instructions. Even more, it was identified by God as an act of unbelief:

12 “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them”.

The root sin was irreverence, and that irreverence was the cause of Moses’ disobedience and his striking the rock. Moses’ anger with the people overcame his fear of God. His fear of God should have overcome his anger with the Israelites. God took Moses’ irreverence most seriously.

This incident tells us much about our approach to a holy God.
How do we worship Him, how do we live for Him.
Are we seeking to worship Him in spirit and in truth?

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

We cannot worship God any kind of way.
We live in a society and a time in which many religious groups tell us: “Seek the group of your choice”.
Well, that cannot be. We are to worship Him according to His revealed will.

We find people in the days of Jesus. And what did Jesus say to them??

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?

Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that workiniquity.

So many people seek their own style of life and worship.
But only life and worship that is according to the will of God it true life and true worship.

In another place Jesus said:

Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,

Mat 15:8 This people honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me.

Mat 15:9 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

Here we find words of Jesus about them that were teaching as doctrines the commandments of man.
That was also life and worship in vain. What is our life and worship.
Is it acceptable to God??
Have we learned to fear God above all and to learn in submission and in full acceptance of His will??

3. Isaiah and the Holiness of God.

(Isaiah 6:1-10)

Isaiah's ministry was not going to be regarded a success. He was in for a chilly reception. He and his message would be spurned. What did Isaiah need to give him the proper perspective and endurance to persevere in such hard times? The answer: a vision of the holiness of God.

This is precisely what God gave to Isaiah-a dramatic revelation of His holiness. He saw the Lord sitting enthroned, lofty and exalted. The angels who stood above Him were magnificent, and they called out to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (verse 3). The earth quaked, and the temple was filled with smoke. It was as dramatic a vision of God and His holiness as one could wish to see.

Isaiah’s response is far from what we hear today from many who claim to teach biblical truth. He was not impressed with his “significance.” His “self-esteem” was not enhanced. Just the opposite took place. His vision of the holiness of God caused Isaiah to lament his utter sinfulness. If God was holy, Isaiah saw he was not. Isaiah confessed his own unholiness and that of his people.

What is most significant is that Isaiah sees his sinfulness (and his people’s) evidenced by their “lips.” Isaiah confessed he was “a man of unclean lips” and that he lived among a people with the same problem.

One of the seraphim touched Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal, symbolically cleansing him and his mouth. What is God attempting to accomplish in Isaiah’s life by this vision? He needed to be made ready for a difficult task. The task of going to a people that would listen but not understand, a people whose heart had grown dull. (verse 10)

Isaiah was to serve as a prophet in a day when his message would be rejected and resisted. The sinful disposition of man is to avoid pain and persecution, and thus alter, if possible, the message and method of communicating the message of Christ so men will respond more favorably. At the outset of Isaiah’s ministry, God manifested His holiness to Isaiah to motivate him to be faithful to his calling and to the message he was to be given. Isaiah never lost the vision of whom he served and whom he must both fear and please.

The glory of his ministry and his message was in the One who gave it to him-the One whom he served. Paul had a somewhat similar experience at the beginning of his ministry; at his conversion, he beheld the glory of God and never forgot it. The glory of his message and ministry sustained him even in the midst of suffering, adversity, and rejection (even by some of the saints). Paul was faithful to his calling and the message he was given to proclaim, even unto death (see 2 Corinthians 3-6).

In all these things we see that God is a God who is morally pure, holy and complete in wisdom.
We should seek Him with all that we are.

His holiness is a beautiful thing, it leads us to the higher planes in life, it leads us closer to Him who is our life, our joy, our hope and our comfort.

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