SBS Sermon Notes Note 06/01
Yahweh, A Holy God
Holy = Of God and therefore regarded with reverence, associated with
God, consecrated, devoted to the service of God.
Hebrew: qudosh = an object set apart.
Greek: hagios = separate, set apart.
People have varying views about holiness. Some mistake it for
righteousness, purity or spiritual perfection. To be sure these
conditions usually coexist with holiness; but they ought not to be
mistaken for holiness, which is a different thing entirely. From the
above definition of holiness you will see that an object becomes holy
by being set apart or consecrated to Yahweh. It is not holy because it
is perfect, or because it cost a great deal. It is holy because it is
consecrated (set apart) to Yahweh the LORD God of Israel. He is in possession of it. The
matter of its perfection, its appearance, its value at this stage is
immaterial. Its holiness is determined by its owner. It is holy
because it belongs to the Almighty; not because it is without fault. His
Spirit controls it and that is what makes it holy. Bear this important
point in mind. Here are some examples of holy, set-apart, consecrated
| Exodus 3:5
| Psalm 2:6, 15:1, 87:1
| Psalm 11:4
| Exodus 28:2
| Exodus 28:29-35
| Exodus 30:25
| Exodus 30:32
| Exodus 31:14
|Holy day, the Sabbath
| Exodus 37:29
|Holy anointing oil
| Leviticus 8:9
| Leviticus 23:2
| Isaiah 52:10
| Romans 16:16
| Matthew 27:53
| Hebrews 3:1
| 1 Peter 2:5
| 1 Peter 2:9
| 1 Peter 3:5
| 2 Timothy 3:16
1. A Holy God
| In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2: Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3: And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4: And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5: Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
All those entities mentioned earlier became holy by being consecrated
- set apart - for Yahweh. How then is Yahweh holy - set apart? What do
these angels mean when they say: Holy, Holy, Holy. What does His
holiness consist of? How is He set apart? How can we think of Him as
being set apart, surrounded as He is by millions of angels?
The Most High is set apart, in that He is in a class of His own. He is
totally different from all other gods and objects of worship. He
stands out as a unique character: One who is absolutely different
from all other deities in the universe. Here is a short list of the
amazing qualities that puts the Almighty in a class all of His own.
In all these things Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel stands out as being absolutely apart from
all others. He is unique. He is above all other gods. He can also
produce unique things and keep up His production lines for all time.
Consider the snowflake, or the human fingerprint. Each is different
from the next. Yahweh and His handiwork are infinitely ahead of all
others. His products stand in a class of their own. They are holy. And so with the angel host we too exclaim:
- His purity and perfection of character.
- His wisdom, intelligence and knowledge.
- His love, generosity, patience, kindness.
- His mercy and compassion.
- His mental, physical and spiritual powers.
- His design abilities and creative skills.
- His governing skills.
- His laws.
- His infinite knowledge and vast experience.
- His foresight etc.
"Holy, Holy, Holy!" (Revelation 4:8)
2. Be Ye Holy
It is from such a unique Person that there comes the divine invitation Be ye
holy. Come apart, be separate, be dedicated, be pure, be mine. Consider these astonishing commands.
| And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.
| 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.
| Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
| Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
The Almighty God of Israel wants His people to be different from all
the other peoples of the world. He does not want us to imitate the
world in moral values, in outlook or in behaviour. Yahweh wants His
people to be dedicated to Him - separate, apart, sanctified and holy.
Be ye holy saith the Lord.
To be sure we believers are in no way more intelligent or inherently better than other people on earth. But in everything we do we must have the highest
moral standards, we must be set apart from the ordinary by Yahweh's
high and holy standards; and in matters of moral behaviour - we must be totally
different from the sinful world. We are to be as different from the
world as a holy kiss is totally different from a sexual kiss. In
short, the whole concept, operation and purpose of a believer's life
must be in a class of its own, set apart - holy.
3. Stay Holy
To those who recognise that they are set apart - different - (not
necessarily more talented, but living on a higher moral plane) Yahweh
makes many wonderful promises. They include guarantees lasting
throughout eternity. They tell of reward, blessing and protection
which the saints will enjoy for all time. Here are a few of those
promises. See Sermon Note10/01 for hundreds more.
| ... and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
|But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
NOTE: Yahweh makes a distinction, and His people should be
aware of that distinction.
4. Holy Work
And why does the high and holy God require us to be holy? How can our
separation from the world and its interests benefit Him? The answer is
that we might be cleansed and thereafter used by Him to introduce
others to the Saviour, who can give them eternal life. Yahweh will
only use sanctified (holy) vessels and instruments for His work. A
person's potential use in the Vineyard of salvation does not depend upon:
- Education / Knowledge / Skill
- Wealth / Possessions
- Physical Appearance / Personality
- Social Standing / Position or Fame
The Vineyard of Salvation
However important we rate these things, they really are of little
account without holiness. Indeed, all of them, if not directed by the
Spirit of Jehovah, end in vanity and spiritual impotence. This means that
no Christian can do any effective work in the Vineyard of Salvation
without holiness. Sinners are not saved by information: any more than
a car is moved to its destination by a road sign. Sinners are
convicted and won over by the Holy Spirit working through sanctified
instruments. To be sure we may use the law of God to inform people,
but if the Holy Spirit is not with us, and if we are not living up to
the truths we know and believe, then there will be no conviction and
no decisions for Jesus Christ. Everything of importance depends on the
presence of Yahweh's Spirit in your life. If He is with you, then you
will be a success in life and in the Vineyard of Salvation.
If He is
not with you, you will be a failure - no matter how impressive your
performance in the eyes of the world or even in the eyes of the
Absolute Dedication / Righteousness Wanted
What is it that attracts the Spirit of the Most High? Why is the Holy
Spirit with some Christians and not with others? How is it that some
preachers bring people to Christ and others can never somehow manage
it? They answer is: some believers are holy (dedicated, set apart and
sanctified) and others are not. Millions know the truth; but
comparatively few live it. That is the difference. The Holy Spirit
will not work with unclean, unholy human tools. We must be holy, set
apart and sanctified if we want Him to use us. This is a sobering fact.
| Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6: Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
When our iniquity is taken away; when our sin is purged (burned out of
our lives), then we can speak for God: but not before. And even then,
few will listen and even fewer will decide to be saved. These are
sobering facts we Christians must remember; especially as we approach
the closing days of this sinful age.
SBS Sermon Notes More Sermons about The Almighty
Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet July 1996 ... Updated August 1999