What does it mean to be set-apart (kadosh or holy)?

Ezekiel 44:15–31

The following is a quick study on the subject of what it means to be a set-apart and sanctified people. It is the desire and purpose of YHVH, “to open the eyes of those who are without YHVH and without hope (i.e. Gentiles), and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto YHVH, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in Yeshua the Messiah” (Acts 26:18). The Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5, 7 further adds,

For this is the will of YHVH, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from [sexual immorality]: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the [lustful sexual desires], even as the [pagans] which know not YHVH … For YHVH has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto being set-apart.

The words sanctification and set-apart (kadosh) are related words in the Greek language and have the same meaning, which is “to purify, to consecrate, morally blameless, sacred, pure.” Only One (i.e., YHVH) who is set-apart and morally pure can take something which is unholy and defiled (i.e., man) and make it pure.

Man cannot pull himself up by his own bootstraps. He cannot become set-apart or holy, blameless and pure through his own good works. As we just read in Acts 26:18, we are sanctified (made set-apart, morally pure, blameless) through faith in Messiah who washed away the sin in us that made us unholy in the first place. He wiped clean the slate that recorded our past sins and then deposited into our lives his Set-Apart Spirit to supernaturally empower us to walk sin-free.

But then we have to stay set-apart by keeping under the sin-cleansing blood of Yeshua, by turning away from sin daily and by living a righteous, Torah-obedient life. Such will keep us in the path of righteousness. And if we happen to sin, we must confess that sin and YHVH promises to forgive us of our sin and spiritually cleanses us and restores us to a state of being set apart (1 John 1:9).

Sadly, some mistakenly believe that the Torah of Elohim (YHVH’s standard for holiness or righteousness) is no longer for us today—that it was “done away with at the cross.” If this concept is valid, then what part of the Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) is no longer for us today? You shall not murder? You shall not steal or commit adultery? Do not worship idols? Do not have sex with an animal? Keep the Sabbath? How about tithing? Tithing is part of YHVH’s Torah-law, and most Christian churches strongly advocate adherence to that law! In reality, following all of these commandments show us how to love YHVH with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and how to love our neighbor as ourselves. Keeping his divine laws helps us to walk in a sanctified manner, and to stay holy or set-apart (sanctified).

Sanctification involves coming out of the world, and getting the world out of us! It involves separating and cleansing ourselves from something that is unholy and profane (namely, the world, the flesh and the devil) and becoming a vessel that is set-apart and sacred (Yeshua-like). It is something that happens to us when we are born again, but it is also a lifelong process. Yeshua describes this in John 17:14, 17:

I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world … Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:17 exhorts YHVH’s people to,

“[C]ome out from among [the paganism of the world], and be you separate, says YHVH , and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,” says YHVH Almighty.

In summary, sanctification and being set-apart has several parts. First, there is a separation from the world, flesh, sin and darkness, which involves turning to YHVH through faith in the atoning blood of Messiah. At this point YHVH sanctifies or makes one set-apart for YHVH’s set-apart purposes and involves living a set-apart life and doing YHVH’s set-apart will. Sanctification takes something that is dirty, purifies it, and then dedicates it for a set-apart or godly use, and then commissions it to be used for that purpose. Remember the process this way: separation, purification, consecration leading to use or service with the end result being glorification and exaltation as kings and priests in YHVH’s eternal kingdom ….

To read the rest of this teaching article go to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/holy_pr.pdf. In this article we discuss the following subjects: 

  • YHVH’s people are called to live a set-apart (holy) or sanctified life.
  • YHVH’s people are commissioned to make a difference between the set-apart and the profane.
  • How can that which is set-apart by YHVH return to that which is filthy??
  • What are some examples in Scripture of what can be profaned?
  • What keeps a person from becoming a set-apart priest of YHVH?

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)

And [Yeshua] has made us kings and priests unto Elohim and his Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. … and we shall reign on the earth … with [Messiah] a thousand years. (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6)


1 thought on “What does it mean to be set-apart (kadosh or holy)?

  1. Once upon a time, the Catholic priests actually preached that paying indulgences regularly to the church, would guarantee entrance into Heaven. The Catholic Church has undergone many changes over time and accordingly changed their teachings.
    But Elohim states that He does not change!
    Grace and Mercy to all who love the Creator,

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