Rabbi Schneider - How Can We Be Holy?
The reason this series is so special, beloved ones, is because in the Hebrew Bible, in what we call the Tanakh, or the Old Testament, the Lord revealed to Moses in Exodus, chapter 3, and in Exodus, chapter 6, his personal sacred name. He said to Moses, your forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they knew me as El Shaddai. But by my name, and then the Lord spoke a breathy Yahweh, they did not know me. So we find God's personal covenant name, Yahweh, connected to what he does for his people in their salvation. And so throughout the Old Testament we find Yahweh connecting his name to the functions of salvation that he performs in and for those of his elect. So we are now looking in the Hebrew Bible at the places that Yahweh connected his name to something that he does in relationship to his saving grace in the lives of his people.
I encourage you, get this entire series. I'm not gonna go back and review any further today. I want to simply pick up where we left off next, last week. We're looking now at the next Hebrew name of God, his name revealed as, listen, Yahweh Macadesh. Let's look together in the Book of Leviticus, chapter number 20, verse number 8, where we find the Lord revealing himself by this covenant name, again, Yahweh Macadesh. Hear the Word of God. I'm actually gonna begin to read here in verse number 7. The Lord says: You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. So we see Father God reaching out to his people, saying to them, you're my people. You're my people. And because you're my people, I want you to live worthy of that by consecrating yourself to me and being holy. Now in the next verse the Lord says, for I am Yahweh Macadesh. I am the Lord that sanctifies you.
Let's listen now as I read verse number 8: You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am Yahweh Macadesh, or in English, I am Yahweh Who sanctifies you. So let's step back for a second. I want to just review the concept of what I just stated, and then we're gonna take it apart and be encouraged by what Father God says he's gonna do for us in relationship to his people and the saving functions that he's performing in their lives. Verse number 7: You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy. Now what I'm gonna be stressing, beloved one, in today's broadcast, is God's part and your part and my part. In other words, what I want you to see as I continue today is that Father God claims that he is gonna sanctify us. But listen to me now. He's not gonna do it independently of us, but he's gonna do it, listen beloved ones, as we cooperate with him. I think so many of us don't understand the call that's on our lives to participate in what God is doing.
If you and I are not aware of what he's calling us to do and if we are not participating in what he's asking us to do, we're gonna miss out on so much blessing and so much power being released in our life. With that stated then, listen as I read once again. The Lord says, verse number 7: You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy. So here is our part. The Lord says, I am Yahweh Macadesh. But before he says that, before the Lord says, I am the Lord that sanctifies you, before that he states, listen, beloved one, what we must do. He said to us, consecrate yourselves and be holy. So what does it mean to consecrate ourselves? What does it mean to be holy? We hear the word holy a lot, but some of us really if we're honest with ourselves, we never really just stopped to try to figure out, and consider, and meditate on what does it really mean to be holy. So the first thing the Lord says, therefore consecrate yourself.
I'm gonna read it again because I just want you to see it on the screen: You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. I am Yahweh, your God. To consecrate ourselves means to give ourselves over to him. In other words, we consecrate ourselves to him by abstaining from things in the world that would take away from our separation unto him. You see, Paul speaks about this concept in the New Testament where he says that every soldier that's enlisted gives himself entirely to his assignment. In other words, a soldier that's enlisted in the Army often times, listen, they have to leave home, right. They have to get in an airplane, fly over to wherever their assignment is. They're at the base. They're only allowed off the base at certain times. Their entire life is focused on their assignment because, listen, they're enlisted and they are carrying out their job assignment. And so the Lord is saying to us, I chose you to be a people for myself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. Therefore, the Lord says, respond to my choice of you by consecrating yourself back to me.
It's very important for you and I to understand that we did not choose God but he chose us. Jesus specifically stated this in the Gospel of John. He said, you did not choose me but I chose you and ordained you that you should bear fruit. So the Lord is saying, consecrate yourself to me, give yourself over to me, get out of your heart the things of the world, stop pursuing the things of the world, stop having fellowship and deep intimacy with people that don't know me, and consecrate yourself to me, and he said, listen, and be holy. What does it mean to be holy? The word holy derives its meaning from a concept, listen now, of separateness. In fact, above all else, consider this, above all else Yahweh, God, is holy. In fact, there's only two times in the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, only two times in the entire Word of God, where we find a threefold repetition of any of God's attributes. We often times see a twofold repetition of God's attributes, but only two times in the entire Scriptures do we find a threefold repetition of God's attributes. And it's only in connection with one of his attributes. It's in connection, beloved, listen now, with holy.
When Isaiah sees the Lord in Isaiah, chapter 6, Isaiah falls on his face and he sees beings in heaven around the throne of God. And Isaiah says, and I saw these beings and they didn't stop crying out day and night saying, listen, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Three times, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Only one other time in the Bible do we see this threefold repetition. It's in, it's in the Book of Revelation where John is called up to heaven to see the Lord on his throne. And what does John see when he sees the Lord on his throne in the Book of Revelation that he records for us in the Word of God? He sees the same thing, beloved one, that Isaiah saw. He sees these beings around the throne of God that don't cease crying out day and night, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. The point that I'm making, beloved one, is that above all else God is holy. So what does it mean to be holy? To be holy means to be utterly unique, completely separate, completely, listen now, set apart. And so what does it mean when we say that God is completely unique?
Well listen, God alone is the one who's always been. Everything else has a cause. Everything else has been created. But God has no beginning. He has no end. He's not created but he's always been. He is the Creator. He is utterly unique and utterly separate. And so the Lord is telling us, because I'm separate and utterly unique, I want you as my people to be completely set apart, a unique people on the earth unto me. And as you and I receive this call, beloved ones, as we in our lives make those choices to obey God, to deny the flesh, to be separate unto God, what happens is God is performing as we're choosing him a supernatural, sanctifying work within our hearts making us, listen now, holy and sanctifying us unto him. But notice once again, there is a partnership in this. Jesus says, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If any man opens the door and lets me in, I'll come in and dine with him and he with me. God wants to do his part but you and I have to choose to open our hearts to say yes to him, to pick up our cross, deny ourselves and obey him in order for the grace of God to be completely and utterly effective in our lives.
So many of us are passive. We're just waiting for God to do everything. We don't understand that Jesus said, seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened. Ask and you shall receive. The Scriptures tell us, draw nearer to God and he will draw nearer to you. Jesus said, if you love me and keep my Word, I'll reveal myself to you, and my Father and I will come and make our home with you. Do you understand, God is waiting for you and I to get off the couch and to do something? He's waiting for us to seek him. He's waiting for us to make decisions to love him. God never asked us to feel something, but rather he asked us to will something, to do something. And so once again God is saying, consecrate yourselves unto me and be holy. In the, in, in, in this age, what does that look like? How do we, for example, consecrate ourselves to be holy?
Well I think that one of the primary things that we're dealing with practically speaking is what media are we letting into our life? What music are we listening to? In other words, it's possible as we all know... Possible's not even the word. The word is it's reality. I mean, there are some songs that you may hear on the radio, or on the internet, or whatever, and you really love the sound of the music. The sound of the music is really moving. But the words to the music are defiling. The words to the music exalt things that we know are an offense to God. And so to consecrate ourselves unto the Lord is to deny ourselves to listen to those things even though listening to them makes us feel pleasure because we like and enjoy the sound of it. Because we're consecrating unto God, we're denying that pleasure saying no, because the Bible tells us to deny worldly lusts. We say no to those things. Why? Because we're making a conscious decision by an act of the will, listen now, to choose God and to consecrate ourselves to him. Am I talking to anybody?
You know, some of you may love country music. Someone said one time, I know that some of you have heard this, you know that if you listen to country music and play the song backwards, what you hear is that it's about a guy that lost his house, his dog and his wife. You know, the point is is that you might like the sound of country music, but the lyrics of it sometimes, and not just country music, it could be, I mean there's good country music. But the lyrics sometimes defile. The same thing is true, beloved, as we're speaking of media, the same thing is true on television. There are certain shows that might be entertaining, that you might like to watch, you enjoy watching them. But you know that the spirit of the show, the spirit of those that are in the show, the actors or the host, they're acting in such a way and they're portraying scenes and scenery, listen now, that is the type of activity that the world is gonna be judged for. So how can we take pleasure in unrighteousness and say we love God at the same time.
So what do we do? We say, Lord, even though I would in the flesh enjoy watching that, I want to be holy unto you. I want to consecrate myself to you by leading a life that's separate from the world that's holy unto you. I want to be a sweet and fragrant aroma to you. And so what do you do? You deny it and choose not to watch it. You see, this is what Jesus said. He said, unless a man picks up his cross and denies himself to follow me, he cannot be my disciple. What does it mean for you and I to pick up our cross? Let's think about it. When Jesus said, unless a man picks up his cross, denies himself and follows me, he cannot be my disciple. So what does it mean for you, beloved one, to pick up your cross? Well let's go back to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is praying. He's sweating drops of blood. He's in such agony. He knows what he's about to face, the pain that he's about to suffer. And what does he say? He says, Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. And then he says, listen church, but not, hear me, not my will but thy will be done. That's what it means in essence to pick up the cross, to choose God's will over our own will.
Listen again, Jesus said, Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. In the flesh he didn't want to go through it. But then he said, but not my will but thy will be done. Church, that's what it means to pick up the cross, to say not my will but Father, thy will be done. That's what it means to consecrate oneself. Again Jesus said, he that loses his life for my sake shall find it. What does it mean to lose our life? It means to deny ourself the lust of the flesh and being involved in things that are defiling, that, that, that are an approach to God, okay, an offense to God. Now let's continue with the next verse, verse 8. This is where the Lord actually connects his name, Yahweh, to that which he does in the lives of his people as we cooperate with him. Yahweh Macadesh, that's the covenant name that we're studying today. Because of his saving relationship with you, he will sanctify you as you have a big yes in your heart towards him, and yield to him, and seek to overcome and obey.
Listen to verse 8. Hear the Word of God: You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am Yahweh Macadesh. I am the Lord who sanctifies you. And so it's an awesome thing to recognize that the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. Literally, listen to me, literally he is transforming you. Paul said in the Book of Titus, chapter 3, verse 5, listen: Not by deeds of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy as he saved us. Listen to this next phrase: by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Father is washing us and cleansing us as we're yielding to him. As we're consecrating ourselves over to him, there's a supernatural activity that's taking place in our life. This isn't about keeping the law. This is about yielding to the Holy Spirit. And as we open our heart and give ourself to Father by yielding to his Spirit, by saying yes to him, the Holy Spirit then works in our life, listen now, to wash us, and cleanse us, and transform us into the very likeness of Jesus the Messiah himself.
Hear me. God is at work in your life. Yahweh Macadesh is at work in your life. He is changing you. He is transforming you. He is supernaturally changing you. The Bible says it's like the sun that's rising. It keeps on getting brighter, and brighter and brighter. We are being changed, beloved, to look more and more like Jesus. But it's not happening apart from our cooperation. It's not happening while we are just passive waiting for God to do everything. But it happens, beloved, as we say yes to him and as we seek to follow him. You see, as I close today, I want to just simply say this, that miracles and, and transformation, the process of sanctification, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that changes us and transform us, transforms us into the likeness of Jesus, this doesn't just fall on people. It happens, beloved, because we're seeking after God, because we're cooperating with him. I want to challenge you today. Some of you need to become more active in your faith. Some of us have just been waiting for a miracle to happen. We're just waiting for God to do something.
Listen, miracles happen and God wants to do something. But you know what? He's a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. You and I must be engaged. God said, consecrate yourself and be holy for I am Yahweh Macadesh. In other words, as you do this, I am gonna supernaturally empower you and change you. You're gonna be brought into greater freedom. You'll look more and more like Jesus. The power of my glory and the countenance of my face will shine more and more through your life. People around you will actually see the anointing, the Lord says, of my Son on you. They'll see the glory. They'll see the joy. God says to his church today, he says to you, I love you. Draw closer to me. Seek me more earnestly. And as you do, listen, I'm gonna show you my face. I'm gonna pour forth my joy on you. And as you separate yourself from the world unto me, all those around, that are around you, will actually visibly see my anointing on you. I am Yahweh Macadesh. I am the Lord your sanctifier and I love you.