How do YOU become holy?

How does a person become holy? Does holy water make you holy? Does a robed priest sporting a goofy headdress and wearing a giant charm around his pencil neck while waving his gaunt and delicate hand over you make you holy? Does stepping into a gilded and ornately decorated church and performing some religious mumbo-jumbo exercise make you holy? NO! The Bible declares how a person becomes holy, and it’s NOT what most people think!

For starters, most well-meaning but deceived folks don’t even know what the word holy means. It comes from the Hebrew word kadash, a verb meaning “to be pure, undefiled, unpolluted, set-apart or sanctified.” The Hebrew word kodesh is the biblical adjective to describe Elohim who is totally pure and sinless and without any pollution or defilement. Kodesh also describes those things which YHVH has made holy or declared to be holy such as certain times (such as his Sabbath and feasts), certain places (such as the Tabernacle of Moses), and certain people (such as his priests and saints). No matter how elaborate and convincing the efforts humans cannot make or declare anything holy regardless of the ceremonialism and religious activities. These efforts are merely futile, vain and, quite frankly, laughable! Many unbelieving pagans see this religious charade for what it is and are not  convinced. Some even mock and scorn such efforts. Religiosity is NOT the way to bring people to Elohim—to bring unholy man into the presence of a holy Elohim.

So what is true biblical holiness, and how is it different than the counterfeit that often passes for holiness in religious circles? Let’s discuss this briefly below.


1 Peter 1:16, Be holy, for I am holy. How do we as redeemed believers initially become kadosh or set-apart? This occurs only through the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of Elohim at the time of our salvation. 

And from Yeshua Messiah, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Rev 1:5)

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says YHVH. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa 1:18)

How does one stay set-apart or sanctified andstay in fellowship with a kadosh Elohim? This is accomplished by staying under the blood of Yeshua the Lamb and by confessing and forsaking sin (i.e. violation of the Torah-law of Elohim—1 John 3:4) on a regular basis:

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness [sin or Torahlessness], we lie, and do not the truth [i.e. Torah/YHVH’s instructions in righteousness], but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Messiah Yeshua his Son cleanse us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:6–9)

We also stay set-apart or holy by walking in accordance with YHVH’s Torah commandments. The Scriptures are clear on this: holiness or being set-apart from world cannot be separated from obedience to YHVH’s Torah instructions in righteousness.

Everywhere in Scripture (Exod 22:31; Lev 11:45; 19:2; 20:7, 26;  21:28; 1 Pet 1:16) where YHVH’s saints are commanded to be holy, the command is tied to obedience to his laws be they his dietary laws, the Sabbath, honoring one’s parents, treating one’s neighbor ethically, being a righteous minister, or not succumbing to the pagan practices of the world including sexual immorality, witchcraft, sorcery and witchcraft. To be sure, when we practice holiness by living according to the word of Elohim, it will set us apart and make us different from the world. We cannot be like the world and be holy, set-apart and pleasing to Elohim.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with Elohim? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of Elohim. (Jas 4:4)

Don’t forget the importance of being holy or set-apart from this world, for the Scriptures tell us that without holiness no one will see Elohim (Heb 12:14). This is pretty cut and dried!

Why is holiness so important? Simply this. Contrary to Scripture, the mainstream Christian church teaches one of two things: either holiness is equivalent to religiosity, or that love is YHVH Elohim’s chief attribute. The first notion is incorrect because the Bible teaches that holiness is about obedience to the word or will of Elohim and is not merely about religious activities. The second notion is incorrect because although the Scriptures teach that Elohim is, indeed, love, this is not his chief attribute. Holiness is. This is why the heavenly beings surrounding the Elohim’s heavenly throne are continuously declaring that he is holy. 

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the YHVH of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isa 6:3)

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, YHVH Elohim Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Rev 4:8)

Elohim created humans with the potential to be holy as he is holy, so that he, a holy Elohim, can spend eternity with holy glorified humans. No unholy or sinful beings can remain in his presence.

 

Are YOU the priest of your own home and what does that mean?

Numbers 3:11–13, I myself have taken. Here YHVH chooses the tribe of Levi instead of the firstborn male of each Israelite family to be Israel’s spiritual leaders. When the Israelites exited Egypt, YHVH chose and sanctified the firstborn male of each family to the be spiritual leader of his home in what is called the law of the firstborn (Exod 13:2, 11–16). As it had been the responsibility of the firstborn to lead his family spiritually, and, as the patriarch of his family, to pass down the family legacy and spiritual traditions to the next generation, YHVH now placed this mantle on the shoulders of the Levites. It was now their responsibility to teach the Israelites what YHVH had commanded them to do (Deut 24:8). They became the Torah teachers in Israel (Deut 33:10; Neh 8:7, 9, 13; 2 Chron 30:22) along with the priests (Lev 10:11; Mal 2:7). They were scattered throughout the land of Israel for this purpose (2 Chron 17:8–9). The reason that YHVH gave this responsibility over to the sons of Levi was because the firstborn of each family had failed to lead their families in YHVH’s paths of righteousness, and they failed to prevent the Israelites from golden calf worship (Exod 32). Only Levi remained faithful to YHVH during the golden calf incident, and thus YHVH granted them the blessing of the priestly service (Exod 32:26–29).

Originally, it had been YHVH’s intent for the entire nation of Israel to be a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6) in order to be a light to the nations and lead the nations to YHVH and his Torah by their righteous example (Deut 4:6–8). This is why YHVH placed the land of Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, at the center of the major trade routes of the ancient world between Africa, Asia and Europe.

The Levitical priesthood (along with the elaborate tabernacle sacrificial system) was a temporary institution that YHVH added (Gal 3:19 cp. Jer 7:21–22) to the nation of Israel’s legal system because of the firstborn’s failure to prevent Israel from worshipping the golden calf idol. In a general sense, YHVH didn’t give the Israelites the Torah at this time—the principles of which they and their forefathers already had been given (e.g., Gen 26:5). So what other law was added? At Mount Sinai, the Torah was codified into a legal system (with civil penalties including the institution of a sacrificial system as a penalty for sin) and became the constitution of the nation of Israel, and YHVH also gave them the institution of the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system (Gal 3:19), which (along with the rest of the Torah) pointed them to Yeshua (Gal 4:16, 2). The sacrificial and Levitical systems were completely fulfilled by the Messiah as the writer of Hebrews goes into great detail to explain to us (Heb 5–11).

As already noted, it was YHVH’s intention for all Israel to become a kingdom of priests (not just the tribe of Levi) to teach the nations his spiritual truths. YHVH’s original purpose for Israel is now being fulfilled in the royal priesthood of all redeemed believers to which Peter makes reference in his first epistle (1 Pet 2:9). When the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, the Levitical priesthood along with the sacrificial system ceased to exist. This occurred some forty years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua who, at that time, became man’s sacrifice for sin once and for all and is now in heaven officiating as our Great High Priest as the writer of Hebrews reveals to us. When the temple priesthood was destroyed, YHVH’s royal priesthood of all believers was ready to take its place. In a sense, the present priesthood model defaults to the original priesthood model where the leader of each family was the priest of his home. The only difference is that the patriarchal priesthood model has been expanded and now all redeemed believers have the opportunity to become a priest in Yeshua’s eternal kingdom regardless of gender and family birth order.

Presently, the saints are preparing to be a kingdom of priest as they learn to live out and to teach others YHVH’s Torah truths. This learning process is preparing them to become kings and priests (or a kingdom of priests, Exod 19:6) in Yeshua’s millennial kingdom after his second coming where they will teach the nations the truth of YHVH (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), even as the Levites of old taught the nation of Israel YHVH’s Torah.

 

The Torah Origins of the Communion Ritual and the Priesthood of All Believers

Leviticus 7:6, Every male…may eat it. 

Why were the priests allowed to eat some of the offerings? What’s this all about? Let’s answer this question with a question. Why do believers in Yeshua eat the communion elements, and what do they represent? Is there a connection between the Levitical priests eating of the sacrifice and the saints eating the communion elements? Now let’s explore this idea. 

In Leviticus 6:26 and 29, only the male priests were allowed to eat of the sin offering. Likewise, YHVH commanded the male priests to eat the baked unleavened bread of the minchah offering (Lev 6:16, 18). Yeshua himself not only continued this Levitical practice, but expanded and elevated it to a higher level at his last supper. 

When Yeshua initiated communion among his disciples, what in essence was he saying? Simply this. His disciples were all now his holy or set-apart priests. This is the origination of the concept of the priesthood of all believers, or the royal priesthood as Peter terms it (1 Pet 2:9), or a kingdom of priests John calls it who will rule with King Yeshua in his millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). 

It was YHVH’s desire that the children of Israel would become such a priesthood even before he called the Levites to be his set-apart priests (Exod 19:6). However, they failed in this mission when they chose to worship the golden calf instead of YHVH (Exod 32). At that time, YHVH chose the faithful Levites to be his priests instead of the firstborn male leaders from all the tribes of Israel (Exod 32:26, 29; Num 3:11–13, 44). 

Moreover, Isaiah prophesied about the priesthood of all believers—a priesthood that would extend beyond the confines of the Aaronic priesthood (Isa 66:21 cp. Dan 7:18). This higher level priesthood would extend beyond the patriarchal male leaders, who were the original priests in Israel (Exod 19:22, 24), to include all the Israelites, both male and female (Exod 19:6), as well as Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel through Yeshua the Messiah (Gal 3:28–29; Eph 2:11–19; Rom 11:11–32), which Paul refers to as the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16).

Being a kingdom of priests who will teach the inhabitants of planet earth the ways of Elohim is the role and destiny of all the modern day saints of Elohim who have been washed of their sins (i.e. Torahlessness, 1 John 3:4) in the blood of Yeshua (Rev 1:6), for they will reign with Yeshua on this earth (Rev 5:10) for a thousand years as Elohim’s resurrected and glorified adopted sons and daughters (Rev 20:6; John 1:12 cp. Rom 8:14–15, 23; 9:4; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; Eph 1:5; 1 Jhn 3:1–2; Rev 21:7). 

So saints of the YHVH Elohim, encourage yourself with these immutable promises from the Word of Elohim! Are you presently preparing yourselves now for auspicious and lofty role?

 

From the Walking Dead to the Glorified, Immortal Children of Elohim

 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, to those who believe in His name… (John 1:12)

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of Elohim! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of Elohim; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:1–2)

Passover is just around the corner. It is the first step in YHVH Elohim’s plan of salvation or redemption of sinful humans to reconcile fallen man back to him. Did you ever wonder how this process really works?

Let’s now look at this miraculous process of how to overcome sin in more detail through a spiritual magnifying glass. How do we go from being a lost sinner—the walking damned or the living dead—to becoming the glorified and immortalized children of Elohim?

It works like this: When we confess and repent of our sins, Yeshua will pass over or forgive us of our past sins (Rom 3:25); Ps 103:8–12). From this point onward, we must embrace a new mindset and a new spiritual identity and reality; that is, we must reckon our old sinful man as being crucified with Yeshua, in that we are now dead to sin, no longer slaves to sin, freed from the power of sin, and alive to Elohim in Yeshua our Lord (Rom 6:7–11). Yeshua is the one who victoriously defeated the power or sting of sin, which is death, hell and the grave at the cross and through his resurrection (1 Cor 15:56–57; Col 2:13–15). Through our faith in him and our legal identification with his death, burial and resurrection through the metaphorical ritual of baptism, his victory is legally applied to us by the courts of heaven, which is how he has made us more than conquerors over sin and death (Rom 8:37; 6:1–14) such that the power of sin and death will no longer have dominion over us (Rom 6:12–14).  He now gives us strength through his enabling and empowering grace to resist and overcome sin, that is, to not let sin control us any longer (Rom 6:12). He promises to give us a new, circumcised heart as he writes his laws or commandments on our hearts, so that we will be supernaturally inclined to love him by keeping his commandments (Jer 31:33; 24:7; Heb 8:10; 10:16; Ezek 36:25–27; Isa 51:7; Ps 40:8; 37:31; Deut 30:6; John 14:12 cp. Rom 7:22). What is that supernatural power that works in us to help keep us from sinning? It the Spirit of Elohim or the Comforter that Yeshua promised would come along side of us to aid us in the process of overcoming sin (John 14:16–18, 25–26; 15:26–27; 16:7–14). 

To summarize, this whole supernatural and miraculous process of being victorious over sin is activated when we first acknowledge our sin, confess our sin, repent of our sin and then place our faith in Yeshua’s death and burial. This occurs when we appropriate or reckon, by faith, our old sinful man to have been crucified with Yeshua, and then been resurrected in the newness of spiritual life with him. We now embrace the new identity that he has given us—a spiritual reality that he has imparted to us and has been legally recorded in heaven (Col 2:14)—that we are a new creation and are victorious over sin (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17), and have become Spirit-begotten sons of Elohim. This whole process is summarized from beginning to end in Romans chapters six through eight. The end result, if we continue in a right spiritual relationship with Yeshua the Messiah for the rest of our lives, is that our names will be recorded in Elohim’s Book of Life, and our physical bodies will be glorified—we will be given immortality—at the resurrection, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua.

This whole process or chain of events that transforms sinful humans into glorified and immortal children of Elohim begins at Passover which symbolizes the first steps a person takes when he comes to faith in Yeshua the Messiah.

 

“Ye are gods…” (??)

In these days of uncertainty, geopolitical intrigue, economic uncertainties, mistrust, life-threatening diseases and plagues, faithlessness and hopelessness, and fear on every side, it’s time to look upwards to the Rock of our salvations and to WASH OUT YOUR BRAIN WITH THE FOLLOWING:

John 10:34, You are gods. Yeshua is here quoting Psalm 82:6 where the term elohim in Hebraic thought and as used biblically simply refers to all divine beings whether good (e.g. Elohim, his heavenly council and angels) to evil (e.g. Satan, evil spirits and demons). Elohim can also refer to human (righteous) judges, who are acting on behalf of Elohim on this earth making righteous judgment between humans (e.g. Exod 21:6; 22:8–9). But there’s more.

Yeshua gave this same authority to his apostles (or church leaders) to adjudicate between the saints and to make the same ecclesiastical decisions as did the Jewish Sanhedrin of old, and he promised that as Elohim’s agents on earth, he would honor their decisions (e.g. Matt 16:19; 18:18–20). 

Moreover, in this passage, Yeshua is clearly stating that the Jews in his audience were divine beings. What did he mean by this? The verse here doesn’t indicate that those in his audience were Jewish judges or members of the ruling elite. He was speaking generically to a group of lay people to whom the word of Elohim had been given (v. 35), which is why they were in Jerusalem at that time on the temple mount observing the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah (John 10:22–23). In making this statement, Yeshua is most likely referring to the fact that spiritually enlightened and regenerated humans have the potential (i.e. at the resurrection) for becoming glorified sons of Elohim if they believe in him (John 1:12). 

Whatever Yeshua means, he is clearly stating that those humans (to whom the Word of Elohim was given, v. 35) possess some divine element, to one degree or another, that qualifies them to be included under the rubric of elohim. Whether he is thinking of the term elohim vis-à-vis humans in present or future prophetic terms is not clear from this passage. He simply states as a fact that “You are elohim” (if you have been given the word of Elohim).

 

NathanTalks #4—Surviving in the Toilet Bowl of This World

I am considering live-streaming some of my NathanTalks and then taking questions and comments afterwards and live-stream that as well. I would do this at different times to facilitate various timezones of those around the world. I would announce ahead of time on this blog when the live-streaming would occur. Not sure which internet platform I would use yet, since there are several options available. If you’re interested in participating in this, please let me know in the comments section here. Thank you.— Nathan

 

What does it take to be YHVH’s “special, peculiar treasure”?

Exodus 19:5, If…then. (See also Exod 23:22.) This verse shows the conditional nature of the Mosaic Covenant. The blessings of YHVH upon the people are conditional upon their obedience to his commandments. 

Peculiar treasure. This term or treasured people (Heb. am segulah) is used several times in the Torah. Here (Exod 19:4–6) YHVH betrothed himself to and married the people of Israel and they became his am segulah or treasured possession among all the peoples of the nation, a kingdom of priests and a kadosh or set-apart nation. Later Moses restates this same idea to the younger generation Israelites about to enter the Promised Land (Deut 14:2); and finally in Deuteronomy 26:18 (see also 7:6) he again calls Israel his “treasured people” and admonishes them to keep his Torah-commands that he might “make you high above all the nations which he has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor, and that you may be a set-apart people unto YHVH your Elohim.” In the Testimony of Yeshua, this theme is again picked up by Peter in his first epistle (1 Pet 2:9) when he refers to the saints as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a peculiar people.” 

Am segulah means “possession, treasure, valued property, peculiar treasure.” The basic meaning of the word is “personal property.” Well attested in Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Aramaic, the Akkadian sakalu, ‘to acquire property’ and sikiltum ‘personal property’ are also doubtless related. While the word occurs only eight times, it is filled with theological and spiritual treasures. The preacher in Ecclesiastes reports that the accumulation of the finest of personal possessions is sheer vanity. Those who fear the Lord become his peculiar possessions whom he will never forget, even in that time of great judgment (Mal 3:16–18, see TWOT).

“Israel was God’s personal possession (Ps 135:4). Moses reminded Israel that God chose her and redeemed her from bondage not because of her goodness, but solely because he loved her and was faithful to the promises given to the patriarchs. Israel should reflect God’s holiness and live out his commandments (Deut. 12:2ff), reflecting his standards in a life of wholehearted compliance with the terms of the covenant made at Sinai (Ex. 19:5-6) and renewed at their entrance into Canaan. Then would they have good success (Deut. 26:16-19). So it should be with all believers. These verses are doubtless alluded to in Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9” (Ibid.).

How do you view yourself spiritually? How does Elohim view you? How are these two views different from each other? How you view yourself should be determined by what the Scriptures say about you. What does Elohim’s Word say, and do you believe it?

  • I am complete in Yehshua who is the head of all principality and power. (Col 2:10)
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