I dare you to read this segment of scriptures without having an emotional reaction.
"When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest
to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee,
the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites,
and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites,
seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee;
thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them;
thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Neither shalt thou make marriages with them;
thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son,
nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
For they will turn away thy son from following me,
that they may serve other gods:
so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you,
and destroy thee suddenly.
But thus shall ye deal with them;
ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images,
and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
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.
The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you,
because ye were more in number than any people;
for ye were the fewest of all people:
But because the LORD loved you,
and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers,
hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand,
and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen,
from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
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;
And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them:
he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments,
and the statutes, and the judgments,
which I command thee this day, to do them."
In our politically correct world, the verses you have just read would EASILY qualify as HATE SPEECH. If you don't believe that, then follow me to any secular forum in America. How about any university campus in any major US city.
Stand by and watch what happens if I stand before a crowd of several hundred college students and forcefully declare that they should cast out every CD, DVD, movie, iPod
download, book, magazine and publication that promotes fornication, homosexuality, drunkenness, the use of illicit drugs, or profane language.
Do you think I would receive a standing ovation? Do you think the university president would shake my hand and express his appreciation to me for standing up for moral purity,
sobriety and clean living?
More than likely, I would be shouted down from the podium. I would be verbally accosted by the crowd. I would be sneered at, cursed, mocked, ridiculed, insulted, and possibly
That is the shape the world is in.
Is Anybody Holy Anymore?
What kind of question is that? Who cares about holiness? What is holiness to a 21st-century college student? Or to a corporate CEO? Or to a health professional, or government
bureaucrat, or a blue-collar machinist, or a white-collar office worker?
I venture to say that holiness is absolutely NOTHING to any of those people. The word is probably not in their vocabulary. Odds are, the word holiness has never passed through
That is because we live in a world that is NOT mindful of God or God's will and desire for mankind.
Instead, we live in a world of self-serving humanity; a world where men and women and children live to please themselves, and have little or no awareness that there even IS a
God who cares who they are or how they live.
But in the verses I presented to you above, we saw a 3,500 year-old divine mandate that was delivered to the children of a man named Israel, instructing them to forcefully
separate themselves from all other nations and lifestyles, and assume an identifiably unique way of life FOR GOD'S SAKE.
Thou Art An Holy People
This entire principal is worthy of whatever argument may confront it. The world says, "The Jews were ancient terrorists. They marched into other people's territory and took
it by force." But divine principle counters that claim with the eternal reality that the earth belongs to God. He created it, and Almighty God has every right to decide that He
wants to claim a particular territory to establish a people for Himself who will live according to His own statutes and laws.
The foundational premise of all the Abrahamic religions is the fact that God spoke to a man named Abram, and called him apart from the land of his forefathers, and apart from his blood-relatives, and challenged him to follow the voice
of God into a place that God would give him and establish him in.
God Called The People Of Israel To Be Separate From All Nations
In those ancient times, all nations were profane. They worshipped a vast menagerie of false gods. Every conceivable kind of idol and image and amulet constituted a god. The forms
of worship were equally profane. Ancient religious practices commonly included sacrificing infants on fiery altars, and prostitution as a form of worship to the most perverse
concepts of god. The whole world was full of murders and adulteries and perversions that defy modern imaginations.
Almighty God, Creator of the universe, determined to have a people who would BREAK AWAY from the ways of the world, and live according to entirely different standards.
At the risk of sounding condescending, I ask you an honest question. "WHO ARE YOU?" Who do you think you are? Did you create yourself? Did you, by any genius, or talent, or
skill come into this world with a license to have, and be, or do ANYTHING YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO DO?
Who are you? Did you create this world? Do you have a right to use and abuse God's phenomenal creation for your own selfish consumption?
Who are you? Do you have a right to commit adultery, or homosexuality, or any number of sexual perversions?
Who are you? Do you have a right to curse, and revile, and abuse others? Do you have a right to steal, and kill, and destroy for your own gain or gratification?
Who are you? Do you have a right to waste all your substance on riotous living, while the God in Heaven who created you stands by speechless, and watches you desecrate and
profane everything He has made for His glory?
I will tell you exactly who you are. Your body was created to be the Temple of the Most Holy God. God created you to dwell in you by His Spirit. God created you to KNOW HIM,
both in this world, and in an eternal spirit world that is to come.
"All Souls Are Mine."
He did NOT create you for you to recklessly squander your body, soul and spirit on vain, vile or vicious pursuits.
God is HOLY, not like any other man or spirit, and He has called EVERY MAN to be HOLY as He is.
Your Creator put you into this world for a majestic purpose, but He, and ONLY He, can reveal that purpose to you. He and only He can cause your life to attain to its highest
potential, both now and for eternity.
But before any person can experience their divinely-given potential, they MUST acknowledge and conform to the plan and purpose that Almighty God laid out for mankind from ancient
It is obvious that not all men are holy. One cannot be both holy and profane. Only a minuscule segment of nearly seven billion humans now living are consecrated or set apart
unto their Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, they are common, not devoted, not consecrated, but secular and unholy. They are not set apart unto the God who made them.
Holiness is a sacred, sanctified, consecrated, set-apart state. Anything less than that is profane. By definition, profane and unholy are synonymous.
I could preach for hours non-stop on everything the Bible says about coming out and being separate from the world, the flesh, the devil, from unbelievers, from false doctrine, and more. And that could be from the New Testament alone. To be carnally minded is DEATH. To be spiritually minded is life and peace.
No Difference Between The Holy And The Profane
The prophet Ezekiel observed a similar condition in Israel in his day: "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between
the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean," Ezekiel 22:26.
But Ezekiel did have the divine foresight to prophesy a day when God would remedy that problem: "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and
cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean," Ezekiel 44:23.
Although God has always been and will always be holy, such is not the case with common men. Common men have to be taught the ways of holiness. That can only be accomplished when
men of God thoroughly teach the Word of God, and when the Holy Spirit guides us personally into consecrated, holy living.
So, what is Biblical holiness? Did our Church forefathers mislead us? Should we abandon beliefs that pervaded the Church for ages? Let us consider the Biblical and spiritual premises
of holiness for answers to those questions.
Continue to PART TWO - "Is Anybody Holy Anymore?"
Or continue to:
"The Church Walking With The World"
A provocative poem from 1936.