Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
It has been said that we only have one chance to make a first impression that is usually lasting. When we meet God for the first time as we open His word we have our first impression of God the Father. And what do we find Him doing? He is working; bent over His creation laboring to bring forth!
The Word of God opens with these words, in the beginning God created. This was strenuous labor placing great demands on the energies of omniscience. The Word tells us that after the Lord God had ended His great creation including all the beauty and splendor of an eco system that man still researches and finds to be endless, that God rested from His labors. In chapter 2:1 and 2 it tells us that God finished the task of the creation and then in verse 3 that He rested on the seventh day. The thought that God rested tells us that in the celestial sense that God felt the tremendous release of power from His divine person and actually went into a mode of repose, and that He settled back into a state of tranquility and calmness and ceased from His labors to recover from the exertion of bringing forth His creation.
So we learn from our first impression of God that He labored to accomplish His purposes and from that we see Him giving us an example that labor is essential to achieving any good goal we have in life. It is impossible to achieve any spiritual goal without work! God makes that very clear in the opening verses of His revelation to man.
We can say that here in the opening verses of Genesis the book of beginnings is a first principle of life, the work principle which we continue to treat in the opening verse of the next chapter.
In Genesis 1:1 we meet God for the first time and our first impression is that He labors to fulfill His plans for the Kingdom. He had a plan, an agenda, and that plan started with a great work of creation brought into existence but with man on His mind in every design, every sound and every shape and color. It implies what we have often wondered about heaven when we have asked ourselves what will we do in heaven with eternity on our hands? There will be many things to do because even in heaven labor will be essential to our state of happiness. This work ethic is explained in the chapter 2 below.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
In these opening verses of the Bible we are quickly introduced to the creator as a God of moral benevolence and goodness. At the close of each creative period, verses 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, it says that what God created was good (Hebrew TOV). He formed man and woman as the last creative act and then in verse 31, he looked back upon all of the creation and called it “very good”, that is, TOV MEOD, Goodness which means literally, “supremely good!” It’s interesting that the Hebrew word TOV often refers to God in scripture as meaning morally good. He is the source of supreme moral goodness. In all of the creation we have the signature of God – goodness. To be the source of supreme moral goodness, He possesses perfect moral goodness in the supreme sense! God’s very first acts, our first impressions, allude to His holy nature. (See Deuteronomy 5 commentary on the tenth commandment; See Psalm 19 for the study on Cosmic Order)
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
We should note that the entire first chapter of the Bible in Genesis, the book of all beginnings that the subject is labor and the consequences of it. There is no feeling like the feeling of contentment and fulfillment any person feels when they have successfully finished a task of labor. It is a contented feeling like no other experience in life gives. Whether it is a quota he must meet on his job or fixing a leaking roof. A wonderful feeling settles over us when we have finished a task well done.
The Bible begins its story letting us meet God for the first time when He is in labor over His creation. Locked into these verses is the principle of the work ethic and God Himself demonstrates this principle. It must have some kind of supreme significance for the principle to be placed as the first lesson God gives to man at the very beginning.
THE WORK ETHIC is strongly set forth by Paul. If a man does not work neither shall he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. And why is work important to God? Because work is a key to mental health.
1. I am given a task to do.
2. I must put forth an effort to accomplish it.
3. Once the work is finished I am contented.
4. The final therapy is the sense of fulfillment.
5. Fulfillment is a major factor leading to personal happiness.
A lazy man that you can read a lot about in the book of Proverbs in scores of commentaries is a curse to the world and one of the worst kinds of character traits.
Note that God experienced a great sense of fulfillment when He saw everything He had made He saw that it was very good. He was contented, and yes, God does have emotions the same as we do. Remember, He made us in His image and likeness and so there will be many similarities, parallels, between the divine and the human nature. Sin and rebellion infested the nature of man and distorts those divine qualities and when we abandon them the similarities are disturbed and order is lost. When we are restored to His obedience through Christ in us then those distortions are restored and with the restoration of that divine order our fellowship is also restored and a the desire to keep His commandments returns to our new nature
The first thing God sanctifies in scripture and the first time the word QADASH (6942) was used, equivalent to the Greek word, hagiazo (G37), to declare as holy, ceremonially; to observe as clean, hallowed. Exodus 3:5
Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The first commandment is given and divine law is instituted. Through the ages there has been a struggle between the depraved flesh nature and the commandments. The carnal mind is body oriented. It strives to serve and gratify body desires of the appetites. See the complete study on Biblical Dualism by searching on the search engine. The commandment (the revelation of moral wisdom) is contrary to sinful flesh. Galatians 5:17.
Romans 7:14,20-23; Search appetites to understand depravity, pleasure.
The endeavor of the carnal mind; to modify the commandment, to interpret the commandment in the interest of body preference, to acknowledge the commandment, but not allow the commandment to have absolute authority over the body nature (appetites). The carnal mind reasons that God is a loving Father and therefore He would not put “unreasonable” restrictions or inhibitions upon us. But this reasoning reflects rebellion. Agape is the expression of fidelity toward God and His commandment! Sin is rebellion against Divine authority and attempts to modify the commandment, the moral principles set down by God. To be “carnally minded” is as old as the Garden of Eden. It seems to always involve an attempt to humanly interpret the divine commandment or to brazenly defy the moral excellence of God’s moral law, to protect the body life against the death of self, which obedience to the moral commandment will bring. “Hath God said”, or “did God really say that”?
Introduction to Genesis 3
GOD’S MORAL LAW VS THE APPETITES
AND THE DEPRAVITY OF THE MAN
Wherever you find the term king, Lord, sin, commandment, etc. it is a reference to divine government. Man is depraved and depravity needs to be governed!
Eve was given the law of God meaning her nature constituted of her human appetites (libido, hunger and ambition) was to be subject to the law of God. Instead she subjected God’s law to her to appetites.
It’s interesting to note that Adam and Eve did not become terrified by their violating the law of God until the presence of God calling them is mentioned. When they became aware of their creator’s presence when they heard his voice, they became desperately terrified!
The first act of rebellion against divine government is recorded here in Genesis chapter 3. The first sin was committed when Eve and then Adam (no matter how it was she managed to convince him to become a partaker with her) reversed the efficacy (the desired intent or outcome) of God’s law and subjected the moral law to their appetites when appetites must be in subjection to law.
We have here the core of a social problem that remains at the very center of social order the world over today! They are called liberals and conservatives. A liberal changes the laws that govern human behavior as human behavior depreciates making the nature of man above the law. This makes law subject to man and man is depraved. There is no good thing in the flesh.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Romans 7:18.
A conservation cannot change the law because he sees it as a principle that once it is established as a principle cannot change without destroying the good of social order. The conservative simple believes that depravity (the strong tendency of human nature to demoralize) must be subject to an unchanging divine law that to man by the hand of his creator.
But the liberal denounces all of this including every moral law insisting that laws must change to accommodate the immoral elements of society, who are usually vocal and esteemed as intellectuals of academia. Humanism and other philosophies such as pragmatism and relativism are taught in all the secular universities brainwashing the last two to three generations of thinking and social trends.
In short, it’s the same story today as in Genesis 3: Depravity today wants to rebel against God and to do this they subject the moral law of God to man, making man autonomous making his own laws and doing that which is right in his own eyes instead of subjecting his flesh nature to the badly needed moral laws of his creator. This is folly and actually, with all the evidence in history to prove this principle as an accurate evaluation of this world’s present dilemma, it is nothing short of splendid idiocy to deny it.
Eve was a liberal because she subjected God’s law to her humanity. Today liberal politicians think to change the laws to comply with man’s depravity and his downward plunging morals taking a nation helplessly into self destruction. Liberals had one song they sing to justify subjecting the law to changes in social values, and that is that the world is changing and we must change with the demands of depravity. In a few short years we have gone from making abortion a crime to making it a human right – that is – to place a women’s will over the law of God. In a few short years we have gone from pornography and homosexuality sins against the laws of God and the laws of the land to declaring pornography simply a matter of freedom of expression and homosexuality a matter of freedom of choice, a matter another alternative lifestyle. The new godless anti-Bible politicians never consider that open social sins are highly offensive to Christians and their holy Scriptures. In fact, whole church denominations have been won over to the whole concept that we can no longer live in the past and have abandoned the authority of divine law retaining the name Christian, while renouncing the moral laws of holy Scripture. All liberalism whether in a government or a church movement subject God’s laws to depravity while the conservative tries to subject the depraved nature of man to the law.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jeremiah 5:31
Genesis 3:1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
(See Psalm 50:21)
In verses two and three, Eve reveals that she knew well the commandment forbidding them to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. If you want to avoid the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit, then remember that it is a forbidden “tree”. Stay away from the tree if the fruit is forbidden! Here is revealed for the first time the illusion of the human mind to divest the commandment of God of its final authority. Satan succeeded in transferring final authority from the commandment to the mind of man. He planted in her thinking conclusions that were extremely logical. He suggested to her what she would gain by eating the fruit, but blinded by illicit desire, they did not consider what they would lose by their disobedience. We know from this Eden encounter that desire must be present to be tempted of evil. Where there is no desire, there is no temptation. Satan begins the fall of man with the planting of desire.
James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Both natures have their own set of desires. When the spiritual man is saturated with God, the body appetites are easily put down and temptation is reduced. Romans 13:14 all sin begins with temptation but temptation can only occur through desire as James tells us.
We have been robbed from a wonderful source of power and purity by listening to the song of the antinomian love cult. Hate is a vital part of agape! A hatred of sin that is equal to our love for God is scripturally encouraged for a very good reason Psalm 97:10; Hebrews 1:9; for you see, it is quite impossible to be tempted by something you hate or have no desire for. To detest evil is a virtue in man and a vital part of the holy nature God gives the born again. We speak as though temptation comes from without, whereas no temptation would have the slightest effect were it not that it appealed to some form of admiration for the forbidden that lurks within us, which normally we ourselves suppress. We are not tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil, but by ourselves. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, but God was not deceived and drove them out of the garden.” When the carnal mind is given to impulses of self advantage it never thinks of what it might lose in God, it dwells only upon what it hopes to gain in the flesh. It is the self delusion process of the fallen nature. It is this dishonest rationale of the carnal mind in these last days that attempts to repeat the scenes of Eden and divest the holy commandment of its love and authority, transferring that authority to self that it may fulfill its own personal desires (pleasures). Taken from the Holiness Manual shared with me by Jack Rettinger.
Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? (2:16)
Here is the “first commandment” as given in Genesis 2:16, 17. In these very dawning chapters of the Bible, man and the commandment begin their coexistence. The first time the word commandment appears in scripture. This is the logical place to consider the nature of the commandments of God.
What is in the commandment?
1. The given commandment is intended to prove man’s love for God. Love is only proven when man has a choice between two alternatives; to obey God or disregard the commandment for a reason preferable to self. Choosing God’s revealed will over any other alternative is the only proof of our love for God. John 14:15, 21; I John 2:35.
2. God’s love is revealed in the commandment. All of His commandments issue from His benevolent nature. The commandments seek only the welfare and well being of man. Romans 13:8-10
3. There is the revelation of God in the commandments. The commandments reveal the moral nature of God’s own divine character.
4. There is wisdom in the commandments of God. The commandments reveal the divine thinking on human behavior. You’ll never go wrong abiding by the wisdom of the commandments. Psalm 19:7-8
5. Truth abides in the commandments. Not only does truth abide in the commandments, but it is from whence all truth issues and it is by the commandments that all actuality is established.
6. The commandments are the moral laws of the kingdom of God. They represent the system of moral order of divine government. The Commandment are not negative but very positive! We see that word, not! The flesh immediately recoils murmuring to itself, Negative! Negative! Negative! It’s true. Thou shalt not is negative – no doubt about it. But it is negative to the thief and not to the righteous man who does not steal. In fact, it’s quite positive to me if a thief has stolen something from me. I am saying, Positive! Positive! Positive! All of the nots in the moral commandments given by the Lord to Moses on Mount Sinai were positive to the righteous and negative to the evil doer!
7. The Holy Spirit operates only within the boundaries of the moral commandments. Romans 8:4
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
When the taste for worldly vanities replaces our pursuit of purity, universal corruption will ultimately result. Early in the history of man he corrupted himself in spite of his knowledge of God, his historical proximity to the creation and his access to God. Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Jeremiah 8:19; Proverbs 6:18; Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Search: Grace Before, At and AFTER the Cross. A complete study on the three zones of grace that puts every doctrine in a proper prospective. Every Christian should read this treatise on grace.
SOME INSIGHTS INTO THE NATURE OF GOD.
Understanding the grace of God which is first mentioned here in Genesis is extremely important whenever we discuss the nature of God. “A lack of understanding of the nature of God will give birth to a host of errors both in understanding the Bible and in the Christian walk ultimately determining my eternal fate. Some think all of God’s attributes are of equal importance. Others believe there is one basic nature from which all of God’s attributes and actions originate. The modern church’s cry that God’s nature in the church period has changed from being a God of law to a God of love after the cross is not only scripturally wrong, but dangerous and deadly to the soul’s welfare. God does not change and that is perhaps the most absolute fact regarding His nature. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6. Nature is defined as ‘the basic constitution of a person or thing,’ we can ask ourselves, what is God’s basic characteristic? What is it about God that cannot be reversed or changed? Looking at His attributes we see many are conditional upon man’s response. For example, His love is balanced by His hatred of evil (Proverbs 6:16, ‘These six things doth the Lord hate.’ Revelation 2:6, ‘… the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.) His mercy can be changed to wrath. (His mercy before the flood was changed to wrath on all the inhabitants of earth that breathed. The cry of the penitent before the flood would have been welcomed, but once it started raining God turned a deaf ear to their pleas.) His attribute of longsuffering will be changed to swift judgment in flaming fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 conversely, though the Lord is angry with the wicked every day, His attribute of anger can be changed to mercy if man will repent. Thus we see that all of God’s attributes have an opposite side and can move from one attribute to another.
However, there is one quality which remains the same. It never increases nor decreases in neither its intensity, nor does man’s actions alter it. It was the echo of the angel’s anthems before time and will be sung by the saints in eternity. There will never be a time, yea, one second, when God will not be holy, righteous and truthful. His love may justifiably change to hate and His mercy to wrath and He would still be God. But He could never be unholy, unrighteous, or untruthful and remain the [immutable] benevolent creator of the universe. Thus His basic nature is holy for it cannot be reduced or altered by man’s actions, or changed with the passing of time. From this basic unalterable characteristic of God we must determine and define all of His other attributes to get a proper understanding of the God we love and serve. His love, mercy, wrath, longsuffering, etc. are all based on His unchanging Holiness – Holiness is the standard by which God judges and acts. How Judgment refreshing and comforting to know God will not change His view and opinion from one day to the next. What He loved in the beginning (righteousness and obedience) He still loves. Hate What He hated in our first parents (rebellion Sin and disobedience) He still hates today.
Acceptance and adherence to this truth is basic and necessary for ‘growing’ and ‘glowing’ in our walk with God. To end right we must begin and continue right.
With the winds of changing doctrine blowing unstable souls into the fields of confusion and chaos, it is refreshing to know that a firm foundation exists for the teachable heart. ‘Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever. Psalm 93:5.
Genesis 6:9 these are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
While all of mankind was falling into the pits of wickedness … “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations. “Apparently, 1) environment does not overcome the man who walks with God. Our intimacy with the Father shields us from the evil stimuli of the most vile and wicked surroundings. Environment does not determine my personal character if I am walking in the Spirit of God, and 2) God’s grace was not affected, diminished or required less where sin abounded in the environment. Grace produces the same kind of saint no matter the environment if that saint has a love for God.
Genesis 17:1 The Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
God’s first injunction to man was to be perfect. Man must be capable of this pursuit for it would be inconsistent with the just nature of God to demand or command something quite impossible for man. This would amount to instant condemnation if God required of man something he was incapable of. We therefore deduct that moral perfection, being one of the first commandments given, that enough love for God can achieve this. For only love (desire) for God can properly motivate man to comply with the divine wish. Leviticus 11:44; See Perfection in Introduction) this particular commandment has been carried through the ages, beyond the cross as the ultimate moral goal for all who love God. Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15
Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
Goodness always seeks the ultimate right. Esau chose the immediate pleasure (lentil soup) over the ultimate good (the birthright).
Genesis 35:2 Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Even in the house of Jacob strange gods had crept in. But the first thing we must do when we seek God’s fellowship and favors is to search and cleanse the life of all impurities. Genesis 35:35 it is strange what we will tolerate in our lives until we enter a crisis. Suddenly we become aware of impurities throwing off everything we once tolerated.
Exodus 28:36And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
This is the first time the word, “Holy” in this particular sense is recorded in scripture. However, the Sabbath or seventh day of the creation week God first sanctified, denoting that days and places are made hallowed as well as man. Genesis 2:3 it is therefore fitting that we should begin here to define it. Here the Hebrew word used is qodesh, denoting something that is holy. In Genesis 2:3, the Hebrew word qadash was used which means to declare holy. The word in this text is stronger in that it may even imply that God was residing on this spot in the desert before Moses approached it. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages we have these two forms of holiness denoting a difference between something that is holy and set apart to God and something God may declare holy. It is of peculiar interest that the second thing God declared to be holy was a piece of ground. When God told Moses that this ground was hallowed and he was not to come treading upon it until he had “put off” his shoes indicates several very interesting facts regarding holiness.
“True holiness consists of conformity to the nature and will of God, whereby a saint is distinguished from the unregenerate world system and is not committed to their (the world’s) principles and precepts, nor governed by their maxims and customs.”
1. In a sense, everything that is made was made by Him and is therefore holy. It is holy by virtue of the fact it has issued from God who is supremely just, benevolent, and altogether righteous in character.
2. However, Lucifer by guile brought sin and Lucifer disorder into the original and perfect creation. God did not renege on committing the world to man even after his fall and was driven from the gardens of paradise. However, in His sovereignty God often and arbitrarily designates, chooses a person, a place, or a thing as holy. When God claims a person, a place, or a thing as being holy, He is claiming it as belonging to Him for His own special purposes. All things in the celestial kingdom are holy and perfect. All things outside of the celestial kingdom (terrestrial Holiness kingdom) that pertain to the economy of man are holy in the imperfect sense or only as God so designates.
3. In Luke 1:35, Jesus is declared holy, “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
4. Holy is also a designation of the Spirit of God. He is called Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit more often than by any other name or title in the New Testament.
5. The children of Israel are referred to as a Holy Nation. Exodus 19:6; 22:31; Leviticus 11:44, 45; Numbers 16:3
6. And then in a very noticeable way, Christians under the new covenant are declared as holy more frequently than were the Jews in the Old Testament for reasons that are obvious. We are given immediate holiness status upon repentance and justification. Romans 3:20 The new born child of God possesses both a new creation spirit that is his own (reflecting the moral character of the divine nature) and also joining the new human spirit is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the actual divine nature presence. This newly combined nature loves the theme of holiness as every angel in heaven. Holiness, the divine morality, is now our great obsession, and that obsession is evidence of our new birth. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18 we also have the fuller revelation of Holy Scripture. For these reasons, we are to assume that, a) God intends for us to take on the holy nature to ourselves, b) To possess and be obsessed with the glorious privileges of holiness, c) Because holiness is the spirit that indwells us, we can bear the Saint title, “saint.” Acts 19:13, 32, 41; Romans 1:7
7. The tabernacle of Moses was holy. Exodus 28:29; Leviticus 10:18; Ezekiel 42:14 A very high order of holiness was The Holy Place which set within the court of the tabernacle and contained also the Holy of Holies. When we speak of a “high order” of holiness, we are merely recognizing an order that is clearly established in the design of the tabernacle; a) the court where people and proselytes of the Jewish faith could come to encounter the priests and offer their sacrifices. b) The Holy Place was where only ministering priests authorized by special designation could enter and minister. c) The Holy of Holies was where only the high priest was allowed to come and stand before the mercy seat, offering atonement for the sins of Israel at a time designated by God. The over-comer is one who himself has morally conquered, not merely believed in the victory of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 If Christ’s overcoming life does not instill moral perfection in us then His highest purpose in Calvary’s horrors are not realized. Seven times in the seven messages to the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus directed Himself to the overcomers (conquerors). To remain holy one must challenge many philosophies and trends in the world and even within the church. I Peter 3:12; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 22:12 If I possess the holy nature, I will resist all forms of impurity, I will discern them, expose them, challenge them and do battle with them, all in persistent love which in keeping with the holy nature of God. Ephesians 5:11 God’s holy state, being the highest form of holiness, and man’s fallen state, being the lowest form of moral existence.
The holiness of God is the highest form of holiness that refers to the perfect moral nature of the eternal God. When you speak of holiness you are referring to the moral excellence of the divine nature. Genesis 1:31. Secondly, there are objects that are not morally invested by nature, but declared holy. When a shovel used to remove ashes from the altar was formed and placed into the hands of the priests, it became “holy” and a Standing permanent part of the tabernacle furniture. That shovel could be used for nothing but the altar of God. As humble as it was, it had been dedicated, that is, devoted to a place of service and separated from any other use. To become sanctified or holy means also to be set aside or become dedicated to the service of God. This will happen completely when we resign all our personal rights to His will and high purposes which are in Christ. I Corinthians 15:24; Mark 12:30 Holiness then speaks of, 1) The nature or character of God, I Peter 1:15 and, 2) those things which he so designates or claims for Himself. Holiness is understood by all fundamental theologians to be chiefly comprised of two parts; a) Dedication to God and, b) Separation from the world. The contemporary Christian movement has done great harm to the doctrine of sanctification by rejecting the essentialness of separation. Separation has been either, a) Avoided by being ignored by the modern preacher or, b) Viciously twisted to comply with the modern, morally loose Christian lifestyle. There has been very little honest treatment of this doctrine in recent decades. The writings have been ambiguous or have completely avoided the issue of holiness as pertaining to worldly amusements (movies, the adulterous celebrities within the industry, television, entertainment full of lust, violence, and immorality, entertainment figures); worldly practices (immoral affect of video games, dancing, rock music, Christian and otherwise); worldly emulations (the worshiping and modeling of lifestyles and appearance after unregenerate celebrities, fashion and entertainment figures); worldly sports scenes (violence, wrong image models, characterless achievers, drugs, lust of money); worldly fashions (immodesty, cosmetology, body consciousness, egotism, individual and corporate extravagance) and scores of other worldly evils inundating the church. Psalm 101:2, 3 Separation is the essence of holiness and holiness is essential to salvation. Hebrews 12:14 without separation, the state of holiness is un-achievable. Holiness is love for moral excellence because we know this is pleasing to our Lord and His first priority for us. 2 Thessalonians 2:13; I Timothy 3:16 throughout scripture, a strong sentiment of repulsiveness is the only expression of holy men toward the holiness of God, toward sin and the worldly system. Job 15:15; Ezekiel 39:24; Hebrews 1:9; I John 2:15,16 There is then, only one way we can understand holiness as it relates to the Christian life.
First of all, holiness is the nature of God. This nature expressed through us will be the same as it is expressed through Him, a sentiment toward right and wrong which is God’s and not our own. To profess holiness means that one is willing to totally align himself with the divine order of right and wrong. The scripture contains no flattery in referring to the world (iniquity, abomination, filthy, enemy, weak and beggarly). The nature of holiness in God shrinks instantly from the slightest communion with that which is impure or evil in design, nature and origin. Apostate Christians who do not seek holiness of life will avoid all truth and discussion in matters of sin, worldliness, holiness and sanctification, that they may continue in a lifestyle that is pleasing to them rather than pleasing to God. A non-holiness oriented Christianity is neither theologically, experimentally, nor spiritually sound. A religion void of holiness is void of the divine moral and possesses only natural morality. A religion professing holiness without separation is a religion that is not valid. God the Father and His Christ have suffered untold eternal agonies in venting their sentiments against sin. Our sentiments toward sin and everything that leads to sin (worldliness) should be the same as that divine sentiment revealed in scripture. Hebrews 1:9 every person who comes to Christ must possess both elements of the holiness of God if their confession of sin and the desire to be saved from it is sincere. When we become redeemed, we are agreeing to be “holy unto the Lord.” We become His possession – solely and entirely (entire sanctification). Once we become holy (the possession of God) we cannot be used or owned by another. Leviticus 20:26 Here then is the proof of love, true agape. If I love Him, if I really love Him, I will gladly separate myself from anything that injures, violates, or threatens His pleasure in me, or my fellowship with Him as indicated by any word or principle, by any commandment or precept contained in His holy Word. This is practical holiness.
Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
This is the Bible’s first direct reference to the holiness of God. In Exodus 2:3, God sanctified the Sabbath, in Exodus 3:5 He declared the ground He met Moses on, holy, Reverence here He declares Himself holy. Moses describes this awesome consuming majesty with well chosen words. With this introduction, holy becomes the most frequently used term in referring to the person of God. The word “holy” in the Hebrew is in two forms having the same basic meaning with the only difference being primarily in the pronunciation. The first and most common is the Hebrew word here is qodesh (H6944) – set apart – by implication of scripture meaning separated from all that is unclean. 2 Corinthians 6:17; I Thessalonians 4:7 the closest literal meaning is morally clean or separated. Actually, to be clean and separated carry the same idea as being separated from impurity. Here again is reference to God’s person as being morally pure or separated from the unclean. How interesting; when God formally introduces Cleanliness Himself to His creature He reveals Himself as “morally clean,” holy. Just as meeting someone the first time involves an introduction by name, so God’s revelation of Himself involves a revelation of His name. Names are usually understood to be labels used to distinguish one person from another. Shakespeare’s question, “What is in a name?” would have great significance in the fact God reveals Himself throughout scripture as “the Holy One of Israel” and “the most Holy God”. Leviticus 22:2; Ezekiel 39:7; Psalms 71:22; 78:41
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The word Nabal means fool;”Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” I Samuel 25:25 Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Esau became Edom, and Solomon became Jedidiah and Daniel became Belteshazzar. Bible names of persons have a meaning, which meaning usually conveys some impression as to the special character of the one who bore the name. The disclosure of character through a name is true of deity in an absolute sense. God has personally inspired the pages where His name appears that He may transmit to all men what impression He wants us to have of Him and what supreme qualities He especially wants us to perceive in Him. There are many names of God in the Bible and each contains a revelation of Himself. But there is no name, title, or descriptive term God uses more in referring to Himself than the word “holy”, other than Lord. (Lord being a title, where holy refers to His Nature.) So frequent is this word used in conjunction with reference to His person that it has become the universally known sublime title of the creator. To the king we say, “Your Highness”, but to God men and angels cry, “Holy! Holy! Holy! Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8 The first instance of men calling upon the Intimacy “name of the Lord”, is found in Genesis 4:26.
1. To call upon the “name of the Lord” was to worship Him;
2. To “forget His name” was to apostatize;
3. To “take His name in vain” was to trifle with His holiness.
God called Moses (a righteous man) and Cyrus (a heathen king) by their names. Throughout scripture there is reference to this divine intent of God to know us in a personal and intimate way on a “first name basis.” From the beginning it was so when the Lord came moving across the gorgeous landscapes of Eden calling from the midst of the flashing thunder, “Adam, Adam, where art thou?” Genesis 3:9 God called Samuel by name in the night when he was yet a lad. I Samuel 3:4 When Jesus called Saul the persecutor by his name, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” He was transformed into a dynamic apostle with a ministry that reached to every generation of the church. Jesus let it be known that “He calleth His own sheep by name.” John 10:3 God has called us to a name relationship. I will sing praise to thy name. Psalm 9:21 and sing praises unto thy name. Psalm 18:49 we will remember the name of the Lord. Psalm 20:7 Give unto the Lord glory due unto His name. Psalm 29:2 we have trusted in His holy name. Psalm 33:21 let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3 I will wait on thy name; for it is good. Psalm 52:9 save me, Oh God, by thy name. Psalm 54:1 I will glorify thy name forevermore. Psalm 86:12. Praise thy great and terrible name. Psalm 99:3 all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1 God desires an intimate name relationship with us, a vital truth in the pursuit of holiness.
To love Him and desire His presence, to frequent that presence in prayer is the only means by which my nature can be effectually mellowed and transformed taking on the characteristics of His holy nature. Intimacy with God is the secret of becoming like Him. Shall we call intimacy “the closet of prayer”? It is in this closet relationship of personal communion our affections are ennobled and our personal sanctification is most profoundly affected.
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
EXODUS 20 See Deuteronomy 5
The word for law, Torah, has several meanings. In the OT it usually refers to the whole divine revelation, with special emphasis on the first five books of Moses. It is also used of the OT codes which guided Hebrew life. By the time of Jesus, to most, “law” included the mass of human traditions that had grown up to”explain” the OT. To us today, law usually is thought of as the Ten Commandments. The word itself means, “Instruction.” It is used of a parent’s instruction of a child (cf. Prov. 1:8; 6:20) as well as of God’s instruction of His people. OT law is codified in several major passages. These are (a) The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20; (b) The Covenant Code, Exodus 21-23; © The Deuteronomic Code, Deuteronomy 12-6; (d) The Code of Holiness, Leviticus 17- 20; (e) The Priestly Code; Leviticus 27. OT law regulates every aspect of Israel’s life. The moral law of the Decalogue states enduring principles. Covenant and Deuteronomic codes give instruction about a broad range of daily social relationships, from administration of justice, to training children, to care of the poor. The Code of Holiness and Priestly Code deal primarily with religious matters. Thus many have divided the laws’ content into three divisions: moral, civil, and ceremonial. The law has several functions. The first is to reveal the law giver. The kind of person God is is shown in the values embodied in the law. The second is to reveal sin, by clearly expressing the standards that God establishes for His people. The third is to guide the choice of individuals and the believing community toward holiness. However, the OT is clear that a person who lives by faith in covenant relationships with God will, from love, choose to obey the law. To the true believer, the way of law will be a joy and not a burden.
Exodus 22:31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
(See Acts 19:32)
“An analysis of Calvary’s scenes reveal this; that human emotion is the worst enemy of Divine truth. Things haven’t really changed much in 2,000 years. The modern religious crowd still resents and attempts to crucify the truth. Paul, in his letter to Galatia called these doctrinaires of false doctrine, another gospel. The Conspiracy against Christ by the enemies of Christ is a perfect example of how truth is lost on the raging sea of human emotion whipped up by men in power lying – but sooner or later the storm dies and truth surfaces again! They prosecute as criminals those who fall below their standards and persecute those who rise above their standards. So many voices and personalities clamor after our emotional allegiance that many a faithful disciple has had his feet turned off of the highway of holiness to join the church of ‘Everybody’s doing it.’ Many Christians of our day, having lost their hold on the Word of God, have passed into a state of false sublimation. The apostate philosophy is nothing but an emotional twilight zone within the church where emotionalism has exceeded the moral laws of God’s Word.”
Exodus 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
The Lord forbid Israel from even mentioning the names of the heathen gods. To mention them would lead to talking about them, to talk about them would lead to a knowledge of them, a knowledge of them would lead to turning to them in a time of trial or depression. This would lead to believing they get results from the false god and then we tell others and they are persuaded to believe in them and finally idolatry becomes entrenched. On the surface, some commandments seem to be almost senseless, but “He doeth all things well”. He knows human nature and where little things lead. Christians must understand that it not only what is considered to be sin by all that is sin, but what God forbids, in His great wisdom, is sin. The commandments also keep us from the little things that lead to sin.
Exodus 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually. 36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
The signet was a gold plate shaped to lie flat against the miter (hat) band. The gold plate was bordered with a blue lace. Visualize the white miter hat, the gold plate with the blue lace around it. Engraved upon the golden plate were the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” There is something significant here. This golden signet bearing the words HOLINESS TO THE LORD is positioned against the forehead of the priest when he is wearing the miter (hat). It so happens that this golden signet bearing the holiness theme is pressed against the frontal lobes of the brain. It is in the convolutions of the frontal lobes of the brain that all thought life takes place. “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” is significantly pressed against the center of all thought life indicating to us that the supreme and highest thought of all, the noblest and most sublime of all obsessions is the holiness of God! Isaiah 23:3 Holiness Christians who believe in the priestly ministry of the believer dwell upon the thoughts of God’s holiness and the moral purity of life. Character is supreme, glorious and elevating in the Spirit-filled mind. I Peter 2:9. See 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Exodus 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38 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.
1. The heart, v. 30
2. The mind, v. 36-38
1. The breastplate of righteousness was worn over the heart of Aaron, speaking of God having His people in His affections.
2. HOLINESS TO THE LORD pressed upon the forehead against the thought life.
These two pieces of the garment speak of the two soul centers of man; 1) The heart, which is the seat of affection and, 2) The mind, which is the seat of knowledge. The breastplate of righteousness speaks of communion between our hearts and God. The miter and signet upon the forehead speaks of staying our minds upon the Holiness of the Lord. Isaiah 26:3
Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
AARON AND FLESH RELIGION
Aaron tried to hold the people together with the calf. He did succeed at this, but in the process of “succeeding” he destroyed their character.
FLESH RELIGION CAN PRODUCE CERTAIN RESULTS
While God was making Aaron a priest, Aaron was making God a beast. Exodus 28:1; 32:19. While God was exalting Aaron, Aaron was debasing God, and causing a fracture between God and God’s people.
Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
(See Leviticus 18:6-20)
An exposure of human body is a distraction of the mind from spiritual thought. Exodus 20:26
1. Nakedness was forbidden by God’s precept, provocative, lewdness, self exposure of the body by improper immodest clothing in men or women.
2. Mixed bathing is the practice of extreme immodesty and the closest thing to nakedness socially accepted by man.
3. Jesus said that if a man looked upon a woman to lust after her, he was guilty of adultery. Matthew 5:28 to deny that public beaches or swimming parties are not provocative and a form of extreme immodesty, reveals basic dishonesty in a professing Christian possessing Christ within. It is dishonest to deny actuality. To deny the evils of beaches, and the provocation, extreme sensuality, immodesty, conduct and thoughts that occur in the environment of mixed bathing are the conclusions of a hardened sinful heart, evidence of a complete absence of the Holy Spirit. Liberals can be optimistic in regard to worldly amoral practices, such as the lewdness in public bathing allowing great liberty and tolerance, but then show pessimism toward holiness and the virtues of modest apparel, chastity, separation and shamefacedness. They are optimistic of evil and pessimistic in sanctification. There is very little talk about modesty on the beaches. Nakedness is forbidden in the home in this passage. See Leviticus 18:6-20 Familiarity among family members is not “healthy” for children as the humanists teach. It is an abomination. It is morally destructive and has no good results to show. Only God truly understands the delicate psychological factors in the forming of a child’s character. Adults often thrust their children into situations of exposure based upon their adult abilities to cope. Children cannot cope with sexuality as adults. You may expose your child to nakedness and see no immediate ill effect – but the impression is made and lying dormant or repressed until later years when there is a moral or mental Nakedness breakdown and those impressions surface and repressions are released – in the form of disaster. In childhood, the mind is very impressionable. The most difficult impressions to eradicate are the deepest made in childhood. Shelter your children from exposures that are premature for them. Nakedness leads to sexual promiscuity whether that nakedness is in the home or in a pornographic magazine. Both are biological in effect and constitute an evil influence according to the wisdom of the Word. If society had disallowed nakedness in any form, as God’s Word directs us, there would be no pornographic industry today. If nakedness had been contained in its first forms, it would not be crammed down our throats from billboards, newspapers and magazines publicly as something acceptable. If we had kept the biblical standard as God instructs us, there would be very few sexual crimes committed. Most of these criminals have character flaws going back to their childhood environment.
Exodus 34:27 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
THE COVENANT OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Israel (representing the human nature) was not able to keep up their end of the covenant. The Ten Commandments are the basis of the covenant God has made with man, which is, a standard contract and rule of life, so that man can have fellowship with God and God can have that desired fellowship with man. Here is the principle again – sin and fellowship with God are diametric! We see that the Ten Commandments outline the moral covenant God made with man. God said by this covenant, if you want to walk with me and be in harmony with me; walk according to this covenant. Deuteronomy 6:7 When man was unable to live up to that moral Law, Moral code of God (the moral covenant), that did not void the moral requirement. Christ, through redemption, came to provide men with the power they needed and lacked in devotion, willingness, affection for the divine moral. God did not change the moral law (for it was not evil), but changed the fallen nature of man enabling him to be compatible with moral law (for he was evil). Matthew 5:17 His birth, life, death and resurrection fulfilled the ceremonial law, so the ceremonial law was not canceled, but fulfilled! But the purpose of His coming was to provide a holy nature enabling us to fulfill the righteousness of New Birth the moral law and thereby grow in holiness, godliness and purity. John 1:12; Romans 8:4; Hebrews 8:20; 10:1-16 The moral covenant, or the morality of (and even beyond as brought out in Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5 and 6) the Ten Commandments is the holy objective, the efficacy of the cross God is intent, on achieving in man! Genesis 17:1; Deuteronomy 5:32; I Kings 8:61; Psalms 37:37; 119:1-3,6,96; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:40, 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 3:12-15; Colossians 4:12; I Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Timothy 3:17, I John 3:6-10; 5:18 Note especially Romans 8:4, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This is most certainly a reference to the moral law; see Matthew 5 and 6, as it could not possibly be ceremonial law. Hebrews 10 and 11
THE LAW FOR JEWS OR GENTILES
One way to distinguish between the moral law and the ceremonial Law of Moses is to understand that the ceremonial law was given to and for the Jewish people and all under the Old covenant to practice. The moral law is universal and relates all human behavior of all ages and all the nations of the world. The moral law applies to all living beings of all nations while the ceremonial law was given to Israel and only those who were within the Hebrew nation practiced ceremonial law. When Christ offered up the sacrifice of heaven, making atonement for the sins of man, He fulfilled those laws that only the Jews observed. However, He reinforced the moral law and opened the gates for all nations to come and serve God in righteousness through faith, upholding and fulfilling the moral obligations of the moral law. Matthew 5:17-48; Romans 8:4 Where Christ’s death fulfilled any type in the ceremonial Law of Moses, then that law is fulfilled. Judaizers insisted on continuing these liturgies after the Lord’s death. Paul’s chief concern and ministry was to purge this ceremonialism from the church. Paul makes this point quite clear in Colossians 2:16. There is still a lot of fuzzy thinking about the law and a clear codification of same. Here are some facts about law that help us understand it better.
1. The word “law” is used about 500 times in scripture; about 300 times in the Old Testament and about 200 times in the New Testament.
2. Most of the time these references are used not necessarily referring to the tables of the law given to Moses, but include them.
3. Jesus did distinguish between “the law” [referring to the books of Moses] and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
4. The word “commandment” often had direct reference to the moral maxims of either Moses or Jesus. Matthew 5:19; 22:40; John 14:15, 21; 15:10; I John 2:4; 5:2
5. That there is a distinction made in scripture between the ceremonial law and the moral law. One was something to do in faith, while the other was something to be by faith.
6. Context usually makes clear whether the reference is to moral law or the fulfilled ceremonial law, such as in Colossians 2:16, the first epistle of John and James chapter 2.
7. Many do not make a distinction in the relationship of the law to flesh as being different from its relationship to the spirit-life. The moral law ministers death to the flesh, but life to the spiritual man when obeyed. The moral law means the opposite to the flesh nature to what it means to the spirit-life. Example: Romans 8:7-10
Exodus 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
Moses was not conscious of his shining countenance. He did not go up into the mountain seeking it. He did nothing in the way of effort to achieve it. He didn’t even know when it happened. He unconsciously possessed the evidence of God’s glory in his person. The highest holiness is achieved in the same manner – unconsciously – in His presence. We conclude from this phenomenon that true holiness is wrought out of communion with God. As we seek Him and commune with Him in the closets of prayer, we will take on His glory unconsciously – a glory all men will note. It should be noted that Moses’ shining countenance was an external manifestation of experiencing an extreme intimacy with the Word of God, as well as the presence of God. The new creation desires His Word presence and His Spirit presence – never one without the other.
Exodus 39:30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
“HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”
Suddenly we see a very important little word; “TO”. Holiness is something we have TO the Lord. Holiness is not something we have UNTO MEN. Righteousness is UNTO MEN. The doctrine of holiness has always been a dichotomy (in two parts). Separated from the WORLD. Dedicated to GOD. Romans 6:19; Ephesians 4:24; Exodus 28:36-38;
Leviticus 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”
Leviticus 3:1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord.
In chapters 2 and 3 of Leviticus, the requirements for making offerings and sacrifices unto the Lord are given. Sacrifices had to be offered unto the Lord as God specified or they were not accepted. Malachi 1:13,14 The requirements of making sacrifice; Upon an altar only, Exodus 20:24 Clean animals, Genesis 8:20 To God alone, Exodus 22:20 Perfect animals, Leviticus 22:19 At a place divinely established, Deuteronomy 12:6 By appointed priests, I Samuel 2:28 In faith, Genesis 4:4 In obedience, I Samuel 15:22 There is a quality of sacrifice which God requires. It would be well for us to identify the quality of the sacrifices listed above and be sure they are in the sacrifice of the life we are offering to
God. We concluded that God does not accept every kind of worship and
service we offer Him. Isaiah 1:10-16 from the beginning, the sacrifices that were brought to the tabernacle had to meet the specifications which God required,
THEY HAD TO BE WITHOUT BLEMISH! The sacrifice had to be exactly that: a sacrifice. Does the Christianity of professional football players, movie and TV stars violate the specifications of an offering to the Lord? Is the kind of Christianity of the Grand Ole Opry “Christians”, who sing gospel country music on Sunday then in night clubs and casinos the rest of the week, a life of full obedience? Is this Christianity on God’s terms? Is there a brand of Christianity today that is being offered up to the Lord which utterly ignores what is acceptable to God? It is a fallacy of fundamentalism that believes that belief in the blood of Jesus constitutes valid salvation, Amos 5:18, 23, or that believing in the return of Christ means you will be taken when Christ returns. The sacrifices had to be presented on God’s terms. 1) They had to be a certain kind of animal; 2) They had to be spotless and without blemish – the best; 3) They had to be brought to the priest at the tabernacle; 4) The sacrifice had to be salted with salt.
Leviticus 10:1 and Nada and Abhor, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
THE NEW CONCEPT OF CAPABILITY
It is quite possible to be proficiently capable and spiritually (morally) unqualified for ministry in the church. 1) Messengers were sent out to give David the news of Absolom’s death. Both capable, but only one was qualified. 2 Samuel 18 2) Uzzah and Ahio were capable of escorting the Ark of the Covenant on the ox cart, but they were unqualified. 2 Samuel 6:6 3) A man can be extremely capable rhetorically, but spiritually, or biblically unqualified. The modern church world is filled with capable Charismatic personalities. They are capable of getting results, but carnal, secular philosophy disqualifies them. The fire must be of a purely divine source! A man may be a master of rhetoric, brimming with personality, but if he’s been divorced three times, he is biblically unqualified. In this end-time, the ranks of the ministry are filled with men who have ran but were not never called; educated but not sent and able not dedicated; capable, but not qualified and dispatched from the throne!. This is why we have a weakened church and so little doctrinal foundation in the holiness in the bible centered churches, the messengers are unauthorized and competent, not anointed. Jeremiah 2:3; Isaiah 58
Leviticus 10:8 And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; Leviticus 44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
Holiness as the purpose of new life in Christ is clearly set forth in this verse; 1) Bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, 2) To be your God: 3) Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. That is, “Ye shall desire to be morally perfect as I am morally perfect.” Notice the three steps upward in this ascension in holiness;
1. “Out of the land of Egypt” (Atonement)
2. “To be your God” (Under His Lordship, government)
3. “Be holy” (The goal of personal character)
Leviticus 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
Cleansing from all sin is always the effect of atonement and never the result of the works of the law, the works of the flesh, growth, gradualism or anything else except atonement. Leviticus 18 – 22
In a strict sense, chapters 17 – 27 are all included in the Leviticus holiness code. But the dietary laws, and the regulations concerning ritual uncleanness, are dismissed in later revelation. The call to moral purity remains a vital part of relationship with God.
Every moral issue discussed here is relational. Even more important each rest on an intimate relationship between God and the people he calls to holiness. No less than 30 times in these 5 chapters does God state, in explanation of His commands, “I am the Lord,” “I am the Lord your God,” or “I am the Lord who makes you holy.” God’s own character is the source of the commands. Relationship with God makes holiness necessary. And experience of God as “our” God is the motivation for holiness.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
In connection with this verse read Leviticus 11:44; 20:26; and I Peter 1:15,16, Because our God is holy, and because we should be his, therefore are we to sanctify ourselves, to be “severed” from the world, and to be holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]. Let special emphasis be upon the words, “All manner.”
Leviticus 20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.
Only God can sanctify a human soul. No man can purify his own heart. Sanctification has full liberty, but is never lawless. The rest of this verse shows that God sanctifies us that we may observe his law. This fact reveals the perversion of the modern gospel.
Numbers 15:40 “That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”
Numbers 16:3 “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?”
Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, the land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the
people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
[There are sizable discouragements to those who will seek holiness.] What are giants and walled cities to God? Go on in! People who have once been in the Canaan of Perfect Love and who come back with discouraging accounts of it, do more harm than anybody else. But, if you will read carefully, you will not be so much scared when you find that these spies contradict themselves; for how did the inhabitants of the Holy Land become such giants if the land ate them up?
Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
By referring to verses 6-22 it will be seen that the sin that kindles God’s anger and that will surely find you out is the sin of discouraging people from entering The Holy Land.
Deuteronomy 1:21 Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
Note that God claimed to be “the God of the Fathers of the children of Israel”. This scripture is probably a reference to the Patriarchs. God often refers to “The God of your Fathers” or the Fathers of Israel. Why does He in so many cases relate to and address the “Fathers” and not the “Sons” of Israel? Deuteronomy 12:1; 27:3
1. The Fathers had many experiences with Jehovah. Experiences of disobedience and tribulation that would make them good teachers.
2. It was under the Fathers of Israel that God revealed Himself in the greatest ways. Many times the new generation has not had the spiritual experiences, the in-depth teaching, and the length of life that seasons us and gives us wisdom. It is a wise young person who consults his Fathers, regards the advice, counsel and the experiences of the Fathers of Israel in his decision making.
3. It seems God had established Himself with the Fathers of Israel, but it is strongly implied by God’s statement that though He was well established in the thinking and in the hearts of the Fathers of Israel, He was not yet established in the hearts and thinking of young Israel.
4. Truth is established in the original facts, documents or records. This statement implies that while God regarded Himself as the God of “the Fathers of Israel”, He had some reservation in considering Himself as the “God of the Sons of the Fathers of Israel” in the same sense as He had established Himself with their Fathers.
It also implies that God has “established” Himself with those who have proven faithful. The young are thus encouraged to pursue the counsel of faithful ancients, that they too will in time establish themselves as “Fathers”. God wants the experience and the wisdom of the Fathers to be preserved through succession. That succession is preserved as the young respect the faithfulness and wisdom of the Fathers. God let it be known that He identified with the wisdom of the Fathers to thus encourage the young to do the same. God was not leaving out the younger generation of Israel, but He was indicating that His relationship to the “Fathers of Israel” was one of attachment and different in the sense of authority than that of
the Sons. It should also be noted that when the Fathers disappointed God, there were young men who acted and pleased Him. It is a great advantage to a young man when he serves God with the faith and obedience of an “old man of God”. Phinehas is an excellent example. Numbers 25:6-13
Deuteronomy 4:9-10 (KJV)
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.(See Deuteronomy 32:46)
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
For a very good reason, the Bible frequently speaks of “the God of our Fathers”. In each case the writer could have written, “our God”, or “the God of this generation”, or “the God of the church”, but the writers refer to the God of our Fathers. Exodus 5:30; 4:5; 3:13; Deuteronomy 26:7; 1:21; 12:1; 1:11: 4:1; Joshua 18:3; Judges 2:12; 2:20,22; 3:4; 2 Kings 21:22; I Chronicles 12:17; 5:25; 29:20; 2 Chronicles 21:10; 30:19; 33:12; 20:6; 7:22; 24:24; 28:6; 11:16; 13:18; 14:4; 15:12; 19:4; 20:33; 30:7,22; 34:32,33; 36:15; 28:9; 29:5; 13:12; Ezra 7:27; 8:28; 10:11; Nehemiah 9:36; Psalms 39:12; Daniel 11:37; 2:23; Acts 24:14; 5:30; 7:32. Modern special interest groups, the intellectual community, combined with the influence of the entertainment world have vested youth with a place of prominence in the world unequaled in the history of man. It has always been that the elder generations influenced and guided the younger. The self expression movement of the 1960’s that gave rise to the hippy sub-culture, rebelled against all symbols of authority, ushering in a reversal of biblical principles in regard to the influence of youth upon society. The impact that youthful forces exerted on society brought a reform into the Western culture that has completely reversed the social systems being controlled by the older elements of society. Now it is the young people’s world. A few short years ago FM radio was all “easy” listening, almost entirely classical music. Today, FM is hard rock, strictly the music of the young. This trend is seen across the whole spectrum of Western society. There has been a youthful reform of traditional values in church, campus government and fashions. Even government is influenced greatly by the dictates of youth. Computerized banks, fast cars, fashions and music appeal to the young. It is not an elderly person’s world today! This is not God’s order that the young dictate the lifestyle of a nation. The Bible reveals that knowledge, and in particular, spiritual knowledge, is brought down from generations past and that the experiences, the teachings and the convictions of the Fathers should play a great part in directing the affairs of the church in each succeeding generation. The youthful trend in the world has affected attitudes toward authority symbols and government in the church. While Christ’s youthful life is a mystery, much of His adult life is revealed. He told the Jews that He always spoke those things which “The Father” speaks to Him – referring to His “Father” were a reference to His origin. The bible refers to “the God of our Fathers”, because the genuine faith is established in the original. Godly youth accept this, but the new “liberated” renegade youth do not. 2 Timothy 2:22. Christianity will remain pure and true if it keeps the traditions, or its roots in the original apostolic form of faith. Traditional churches rightly recite allegiance to the apostle’s doctrine. A youthful generation dictating to the Fathers will reflect the careless, impetuous Rebellion and impulsive energies of inexperienced youth, which no sane person equates with maturity or highly cultivated thought. There are times when God will use the dynamism of youth to accomplish what older men are incapable of, but these are instances approved and ordained of the Holy Spirit and are the exception rather than the norm. Pastors in the modern churches have been forced to accommodate the demands of youthful reforms in the church. It is a fact that some churches have even been threatened and dictated to by the youth leaders and told to “step aside or else!” The church of Jesus Christ is not run by “kids”, but by “elders”. An apostle is a Father of churches. Young people who want to be used of God must pursue the course of maturity. These are the youth God will use and is using. No matter your age – fellowship in reverence before the Ancient of Days. Take His wisdom upon you, live soberly and respect your “Fathers,” and God, in His time, will promote you. Naboth’s vineyard was not for sale or trade, because it was the vineyard of his “Fathers”. It was a highly cultivated fruit because it had the collective qualities of all who preceded him. This he thought valuable. He respected it as something that had been perfected and cultivated by generations of knowledge that preceded him. He realized the value of the knowledge those before him had cultivated into the vines he knew nothing of. When God gave the commandments, He told Moses “teach them thy sons and thy sons’ sons”. In the kingdom, grandfathers are supposed to be respected teachers and an influence upon their grandchildren. In the new world of social reform and rebellion against God’s laws and kingdom principles, the youth too Landmarks often dictate and overrule the traditions of “the Fathers”. This is a violation of biblical principle. While it is true that some fine, dedicated young men may manifest more wisdom and spiritual quality than some of their elders, he still must entreat his elders as such. There is nothing more glorious in the church than to have in its ranks elders who retain the sweetness and power of the anointing; the fragrance and aura of being in the presence of the Ancient of Days with young men among them dedicated to the teachings and doctrines of godliness. Leviticus 23:39-44; Nehemiah 8:13-18, tells us that in the 7th month and the 15th day, God declared to be the Feast of Tabernacles. During this week of holy convocation, the offering of first fruits and sacrifices, Israel was not to dwell in their homes, but they were to go into the forests and bring in the bows of trees and bushes and build booths in the cities, in the streets, on their housetops and even in the courts of God. They were to live in these booths for one week, “that your generation may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God”. Leviticus 23:43 God does not want us to forget the past. We are not to allow present prosperities make us forget the sacrifices, the pain, the struggles, the tears, and the blood that went into the achievements of our Fathers. Materialism will deceive us into believing our humanistic reforms are proving correct over traditional Christian teaching, but it’s only for a short time. Already the sickness of Western society has become a terminating illness. The horror of it all is that humanism will move from one reform to another, but will not acknowledge the wisdom of God’s Word. Blindness controls man’s lust for freedom from God. Revelation 16:9, 11.
A NOTE TO THE FATHERS:
When you turn to the setting sun and hand the reins of your church or ministry over to a young pastor, do it graciously and step aside. Don’t get in his way. So many elders come to the end of a good ministry and then fail at their test of turning it over to the young. Don’t die a “bitter old man” when you’ve been respected all your life. To cause a young preacher trouble is to touch God’s anointed and will surely bring disappointment to the heart of God. When you retire – go sit in the pew and be “available” if the young come to you. Relinquish your authority fully and completely or move completely out of the area. Don’t end a good life and a good ministry causing trouble for a young minister because you can’t stand the humility of not being seen as still being in charge. Don’t let the light of holiness go out at the end. Modern gospel advocates become cynical when an elderly saint speaks of the “old days,” but anyone with an honest mind knows there were qualities, experiences, intimacies with God and a rare old-time sweetness among our elders not to be found in the microphone jungles of the new electronic church. This is essential to righteousness and renewal that we return to listening to our Fathers and regard their convictions, esteeming them and paying heed to their warnings when they offer them. Offer to sit quietly and hear them out: it will surprise you what you’ll learn and how much sense they make. One reform needed badly, that instead of youthful dynamism dictating to the church, that once again the elders standing firmly upon the principles of God’s Word reform the church, re-institute abandoned scriptural practices and revive the biblical principles of character, church government and anointed leadership. It should be the faith of our Fathers influencing youth, and where there is divine order and biblical government, the current will flow in this manner and in this direction. The dedicated youthful spirit has its right place in the church, but vocal, worldly elements must not replace the influence of the Fathers.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
THREE OF ME
The Psychology of Sanctification. Don’t let the word psychology scare you. The Bible is full of it! Notice the terms that refer to the mind – all found in the Bible frequently; knowledge, understanding, mind, will, sober, wisdom, fear, conscience, thoughts, remember, imaginations, etc. These are all words that refer to the function of the mind and its powers. The Bible teaches that man is trichotomy – that is, he consists of three parts; spirit, soul and body. To be “wholly sanctified,” simply means that all three parts of our being must be surrendered to the sanctifying sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Both Moses and Paul referred to these three areas of the faith life thousands of years ago. Moses said to Israel, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (conscience), with all thy mind (intelligence or thought life), and with all thy strength (the physical appetites: of libido, hunger, and ambition).” Deuteronomy 6:5
Paul the apostle came along in his first epistle to the church of Thessalonica and said, “I pray God your whole spirit (conscience), and soul (mind and thought life), and body (physical strength including appetites) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thessalonians 5:23 Now there is something very interesting about these three distinguishable parts of man’s personality. It seems that both Moses and Paul, you might say the leading theologians of the two covenant periods, show a complete harmony in distinguishing these three parts of man and the way man expresses himself through them. Moses and Paul both indicated that man is a triune being. He has a mind, he has a body and he has a conscience or spirit. Both men are suggesting that we have three separate entities within. It therefore is possible that a person may become more dedicated or sanctified or more God-ward in their intellectual pursuits than perhaps in their spiritual (spiritual sensitivities) pursuits or they may become very spiritual in the sense they are prone to praise and adoration, but they may also be retarded in spiritual control of their body. The carnal mind that rules and expresses itself through the body appetites is the medium of how depravity manifests itself. Those who are not born again have little or no control over it. The spirit and soul develops until full physical maturity, but without the new birth and the knowledge of God’s word control of the body and control of the appetites will be missing. Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:17 The Christian that is retaining the ecstasies of God in his daily experience in Christ, walking in the Spirit, rejoicing in victorious faith is the Christian who has learned that all three parts of his personality are affected by all of the graces of God. These graces include applying the word of God to my daily life, perfecting holiness in the fear of God and attention to prayer without ceasing. All three parts of the triune nature will receive an equal measure of attention. One are of the nature can develop spiritually and excel while the other two parts of personality may lack spiritual cultivation. This is one of the conditions that are the cause behind different beliefs within Christianity. The psychology of sanctification is simple to understand; that I am not a single natured being but I have two natures, flesh nature and the spirit nature. There are two natures but three integers (parts) that make up the soma nature of every man and woman.
The mind excels in the knowledge of God as I give my faculties to constant exposure to the Word of God. Have you ever wondered how good and evil could coexist in men such as Balaam, Samson, Saul and Solomon, and, yes, even David?
On the basis of the psychology of sanctification, Balaam was a man who could prophesy under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and truthfully declare that “the cry of a king was in the camp of Israel”. At the same time his spirit was prophesying in submission to the Holy Spirit, his body was lusting for the house of gold promised by the heathen king, Balak. It’s also possible that Balaam lacked dedication in his thought life (soul). He allowed his thoughts to run over all the good reasons he should accept Balak’s offer, but it didn’t turn out as he fantasized.
Notice David’s problem. He was quick to judge the man who killed the pet lamb of another; he knew the truth (knowledge), but he could not apply truth to the evil of his own life. The body’s libido was imposing itself upon the mind. His desire for an illicit love blinded him to his true spiritual relationship to God! This was 1035 BC, but sounds just like AD 2012!
Peter excelled in spiritual desire, but his thinking was not sound, it had not caught up with his spirit. In Peter’s case, his spirit and his body did well, but his impulsive mind was not spiritually mature. This did change after the resurrection. When we read of such men as Daniel, John the beloved, and Enoch, we see men who seem to possess a more balanced and evenly developed triune nature. Such men as Diotrephes severely lacked the quality of praise and softness of spirit. A true prayer life will not allow the mind to become twisted and unreasonable. So while the spirit and soul drink in the Spirit presence and the Word presence of God to give it life, the Word of God calls for the mortification or death of the body. Paul put it in these words, “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” Galatians 2:20 and Romans 12:1 Two positive forces giving life to the spirit and the soul, and the negative action of self denial to the body constitute a biblical and full experience of sanctification. The virtue of the mind is truth. The virtue of the spirit is worship. The virtue of the body is moderation (self control). To be sanctified “wholly” means to be growing in spirit, soul, and body simultaneously. The universal church also possesses these three basic characteristics of life. We have movements which are excellent in scholarship (mind), but if anyone should release an audible praise (spirit) it would disturb the meeting. In another kind of church they are known for emotionalism to the point of bedlam and boast that they “haven’t had any preaching for weeks – the Lord has really been blessing” (spirit). In yet other churches such emphasis is put upon the physical state of man – the meetings glow with beaming personalities, laughter, song, and even “Holy Ghost dancing,” love feasts that include indiscreet (and non-biblical) embracing, holding of hands in prayer, and other forms of unscriptural worship. Today we see a creation of worship around a personality oriented preference system. We have spiritual Preference churches (in the sense they have no emphasis on doctrine), intellectual churches, and body oriented religion. The latter is evil, dangerous, and sensual. They are moral time bombs. There are many fine churches that hold doctrine high and retain a warm spirit of praise. These churches are the few who have the combined ministry of mind and spirit; in these churches the Spirit and the Word have achieved a vital efficacious balance. Some years ago there was a child always riding a tricycle around his house. Some years later he was still riding around the house, only now he was a man riding a big tricycle. There he was, head bent over the handlebars, pumping with all of his might. It was no longer funny or cute. He was mentally retarded … but his body had kept on developing. He had become a man without a mind. We see this very thing too often in the spiritual experience of individual Christians, as well as churches. There are three parts of me that must develop together. The spirit, soul, and body compliment and need each other in the process of triune growth. The Charismatic philosophy allows for the spirit’s dedication to God in praise and worship, but not the surrender of the mind and body. They treat conversion as a spiritual experience only. The mind must be surrendered and allowed to search out such essential doctrines as separation, holiness, law, fear of God, crucified life, sacrifice, righteousness, godliness, worldliness obedience – which all pertain to Christian body disciplines. They throw off such biblical teaching, referring to it as “bondage” and “legalism,” without understanding it. I Corinthians 9:27 They retain only the Spirit, the abstractness of Christianity, rejecting the substance of it – the obedience of the visible life to the moral commandment. They have substituted the real life of obedience for outward praise and emotional worship. See Amos 5:18-24 Emotionalism can imitate praise, but holiness cannot be imitated. You can become emotionally involved with the Gospel, entering into worship and praise, but it is impossible to imitate holiness. Praise can be emotionally imitated – it’s good therapy. But praise apart from the surrender of the mind and body being equally sanctified (separated unto God), leaves us operating at only one third of desired obedience. Whenever obedience is mentioned as an essential part of the Christian experience we are equating obedience to our love for God. Obedience to be valid must be bonded to and the result of a desire to please the God we love and serve – with joy! Time will reveal to these Christians that it takes more than praise to make it. Therefore, when one chooses not to practice separation (from the world), he conveniently denounces it as something to be personally interpreted. He must put up some kind of doctrinal smoke screen to make separation a non-essential element of Christian life. He insists “there are more important things” that constitute the true and deeper things of the Christian life. He will further deduct that because God is not judging him and he is “blessed,” that this is sufficient proof that God approves of his lifestyle, because anyone knows, he asserts, that “whatever God approves, He blesses.” See Romans 12:2; Acts 15:20; Psalm 50 The body is learning the disciplines of withdrawal from the world so that it can serve and not distract the spirit and the soul in their pursuit of God. It, the body, being the residing place of sin (see Sin), is relegated to a non-dominant role in the spiritual life Christ gives. It becomes the habitation of the Holy Spirit and an archive where the Word of God is stored. When the body is not separated from the world Body and is still attached by desire, see Romans 8:5, to the world, Satan still holds a “beachhead” in us. We still lack a total commitment of self to Christ, which must include the body. It is very simple – sanctification involves attachment of the spirit to God through Christ and detachment of the body from the world. The modern Gospel attempts attachment, but fails miserably at detachment! We have created a pseudo spiritual salvation that is not spiritually intelligent and doctrinally oriented. An emotional worship combined with a mental assent as to the credibility of the cross and atonement, but almost entirely without soulish intelligence.
Truth and biblical facts worry those who have built mega church movements of on a Gospel message that has no similarity whatsoever to the apostle’s doctrine – the Church of Acts. Though my spirit may be directed toward God, I am still not a complete Christian so long as my flesh nature maintains inordinate having pleasure and affinities with the world. This condition exists on a wide basis throughout modern evangelical Christendom and is one of the reasons why apostasy flourishes in highly developed and opulent cultures. It is this attraction between body-comfort and materialistic environment that creates a Christianity that rejects body disciplines and the biblical doctrines of separation. It produces a fundamentalism of the “rich and the famous.” It is a Christianity with only part of self giving mental assent to the Savior. The solution is simple – when judgment suddenly sweeps away the good times, the deviants will come to their senses! Those who reject body holiness claim that it must be rejected because many who embraced separation became legalistic and inconsistent. While this is sadly true many times and some pastors require more extreme demands of external appearance than God requires it should be pointed out that separation of the body from the world (worldliness) is a biblical doctrine and cannot be affected one whit by liberal or legalist extremists. That’s a carnal cop-out. Live out the true teaching – don’t replace it with another. It is as incorrect to pursue sanctification in the spirit and reject sanctification of the body as it is to pursue body separation without love and compassion. They are both a bit devilish.
The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20, and here in Deuteronomy 5.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – TEN PRINCIPLES OF HAPPINESS
Every Christian adult and child should have these ten principles of happiness mastered and committed to memory. They are a revelation of God’s moral nature.
Here is a simple division;
1. The first three commandments. Teach us not to TRIFLE with God’s holy nature and person.
2. The fourth commandment, “Six days shalt thou work…and on the seventh day thou shalt rest from all thy labors”. God tells us to REST, and to WORK!.
Teaches us the keeping of the Sabbath;
a. As a day of rest.
b. As a monument to instantaneous creation.
c. Abstaining from pleasure. Isaiah 58
3. The fifth commandment. Teaches us (as children) to be,
b. RESPECTFUL to parents as long as they live. (Christ’s rebuke of Pharisees) The only commandment of the 10 with a promise if kept:
(1) That it will be well with you,
(2) Days will be long upon earth.
4. The sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth commandments. Teach proper MORAL BEHAVIOR TOWARD OTHERS.
5. The tenth commandment. Teaches us not to covet. Man’s basic fault and a factor behind all sin. While this commandment is attached to the previous four, it seems to summarize man’s real sin problem – SELFISHNESS (greed). Man lives in a moral universe. See Genesis 1. A million cosmic laws preserve this planet from destruction. Man is part of this cosmic creation and is therefore, to a great measure, controlled by the same moral laws of cosmic preservation. Example, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap.” Galatians 6:7,8 So while definite penalties are not pronounced against those who violate these laws, the penalty of trying to live against moral law is that you are living out of harmony with the moral laws of the creation, and when we do this, our own iniquity will destroy us if we continue in it. See Proverbs 5:22, Psalm 19.
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
A careful perusal of the chapter in which this verse may be found will show how utterly separated God’s holy people were required to keep from those who surrounded them, lest they should be contaminated by improper associations. The very principle of osmosis by association makes separation essential to maintaining a holy life for anyone living in this “untoward (warped, crooked, perverse-4646) generation.” Acts 2:40
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Deuteronomy 8:1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
(See Jeremiah 28:9)
Deuteronomy 13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
(See Joshua 7)
Deuteronomy 14:2 thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
The holy life has no thought or affection toward the worldly system. Those who do possess holiness, it is here informed, will be so different from the world, the world will note them as “peculiar.”
Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
(See Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9)
Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
“A rule intended as a protection against perversion and immorality.” This commandment given by God was to preserve Israel from the cross dressing that was very strong in many of the tribal nations in Palestine. Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities that were strongly homosexual in their cultural development. Many of God’s precepts given to Israel was to distinguish them from the other heathen religions by not allowing Israel to have any practice of those worshippers of Baal in the other nation cities. Baal worshippers worshipped the gods of fertility by wearing wool (animal product) and cotton (an agricultural product) to worship the gods of fertility of their crops and animals. God forbid Israel from wearing these two materials together thus denouncing that practice as becoming a temptation to the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 24:13 In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God.
Note the Lord attributed the deed to the man if he would show this kindness. “It shall be righteousness unto thee – ” Righteousness is always to mean to deal justly and kindly toward others. Holiness is my personal relationship with God while righteousness implies my just dealings with man.
Deuteronomy 26:19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.
God’s glory is His people – holy people.
Deuteronomy 28:9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.
Holiness is much more than an emotional attachment to God or the Son. Anyone in their right mind would acknowledge the logics of sin and redemption through Christ once faced with it. But that understanding of man’s need of a Saviour that saves a soul from the pangs of hell is a very small part of the total concept of redemption. Holiness is the Divine intention – not just to save us from – but to bring us unto perfection at any cost. The second dimension of Gospel truth is, 1) The supreme importance of obedience to the commandments. 2) Learning to please Him by loving and understanding the principles of the commandments, “and walk in His ways.” 3) To always realize that the reason God’s favor is conditional is because outside the commandment is disorder and chaos. His commandments mark the boundaries of order and peace for man.
Deuteronomy 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: 20 The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. 21 And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
The Word of God makes holiness clear. To reject it is to “walk in the imagination” of the human heart. Religious men may manufacture some cheap imitations of peace and blessing, but it is short lived and will surely turn to shame. God can deliver the disobedient to judgment from among the righteous and He can and He will preserve the righteous from the judgment of the wicked as well!
Deuteronomy 30:2 And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
It is a matter of congratulation that perfect love and a long life of holiness may be matters of heredity as well as other things of less value. Virtues as well as vices may be transmitted in a family. “Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.” It is implied here that our cultivated qualities of character become genetically programmed in us and that those qualities can be transmitted to our offspring. We know that traits are genetically transmitted. Can it be that we are doing our children a favor, as well as ourselves, by cultivating the fruit of the Spirit and pressing into the holy life. There is some evidence by observation over my four score years that good character and nature qualities can program the genes to reproduce like kind.
Deuteronomy 30:9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
The life of obedience and holiness are not only apparent to all who are Christians, but it is very much at hand – it looms before us as a majestic mountain – quickly challenging us as we rise from the cross a new creation. To miss holiness is as impossible as stumbling over a mountain.
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. 3 Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
The “fiery law” issued from God’s love for His people. See I John 5:1-3..pc 30