Be Ye Holy; For I Am Holy

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If we consider the many commandments, ordinances, judgments, and statutes that Adonai expounded in the Torah, one can clearly see the emphasis that He placed upon being holy. “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44 and also refer to Leviticus 19:2 and 20:26)

Being holy is very important to Adonai; for, in the very next verse, Leviticus 11:45, He repeats the commandment “… ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy”. In each commandment or ordinance in the Torah, there was at least one, and sometimes more than one, requirement that had to be performed to preserve the holiness of an Israelite. 

In Leviticus 21: 6-8 holiness was stipulated for the Levitical priesthood. Exodus 29:5-7 and 21, Exodus 40:9-15, and Leviticus 8:12 and 30 relate that Aaron; his sons; Aaron’s priestly garments; his sons’ priestly attire; the ephod, mitre and the breastplate that Aaron wore; the tabernacle; and all of the furniture, altars, vessels of the altars, and lavers within the tabernacle were all anointed with the holy anointing oil to make them holy. The portion of the meat, sin, and trespass offerings that was Aaron’s and his sons’ was deemed most holy by the LORD. (Leviticus 6:17-18)

When we reflect on the days of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, we know that Yeshua had not gone to Golgotha yet to make atonement for the sins of humanity; therefore, the Holy Ghost had not yet been given as a gift to indwell in the hearts of men. The Holy Spirit only came upon them at moments of divine inspiration. Thus, men did not have the spiritual power within to overcome sin and to be holy in spirit, soul, and body. Today, however, we who are members of the body of Yeshua, do have the Holy Ghost living within our hearts, and we are more than conquerors over sin and the lust of this world. (Romans 8:37) We have the power to be holy and live holy in this present evil world.

Paul the Apostle tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “… know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost …, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s.” He exhorts in 2Corinthians 7:1 ” … (to) cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Paul also tells us in Ephesians 5:27 “That He (Messiah Yeshua) might present it (His many member body) to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (no unholy imperfections in the outer person). Peter exhorts in 1 Peter 1:15 “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” According to the Thomas Nelson Publishers’ King James Study Bible, the word conduct is a more accurate translation of the Greek word that was translated as conversation. 

Holiness must be manifested in our body by our words, deeds, and even in our mode of dress. To say that we are holy in our heart is not sufficient to please our Holy Adonai.  “Follow peace with all (men) and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD.” (Hebrews 12:14) In 2Corinthians 8:11, Paul expressed the thought that where there is a will to do something, let there also be a performance of that unction. James exhorts in James 2:17-26 that faith without outward action (works) is in vain (dead). Abraham received the great honor of the title the Friend of God by the mighty faith he exhibited in obeying Adonai when he took the knife and started to plunge it toward his only son by Sarah, Isaac, the appointed sacrifice, only being stopped by the divine intervention of the angel of the LORD. 

(2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:21-23)

In Psalms 15:1-5 David is attributed to have expressed that to be qualified to dwell in Adonai’s holy hill one must not do evil to his neighbor. In Proverbs 7:10 Solomon writes about a woman with the attire of a harlot. In the days recorded in the Tanakh, harlots were identified by the clothing that they wore. They dressed in apparel that would entice men. To expose or even partially expose the human body by not covering it sufficiently, or to wear clothing that is too tight or form fitting allows for the projecting of lustful thoughts to the opposite sex and does wrong, opening the door of temptation to the neighbor. If the lustful thoughts are entertained and a desire is allowed to arise in the heart, then sin has been committed. Numbers 15:37-40 refers to the tztzit (fringes) to be sewn on the borders of the garments. These were to remind the Israelites of the commandments of the LORD; they were to perform the commandments and “seek not after (their) own heart and (their) own eyes,” to go a whoring after them. Job in Job 31:1 says, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Yeshua shone the bright, revealing light of His understanding on the subject when He declared in Matt. 5:28 

 “… that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Likewise, a woman can be guilty by lusting after a man in her heart. To summarize the matter, an individual is guilty of adultery when a lustful desire for another person arises in their heart before any physical union in human relations takes place. As part of our service to the Master, we must always be aware of the thoughts that are presented to our minds, and cast down imaginations and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Messiah Yeshua. 

(2 Corinthians 10:5) 

In further consideration of the clothing that is worn, Adonai instructed the Israelites through Moses in Deuteronomy 22:5 that “the woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so (are) abomination unto the LORD thy God.” I realize that this brings up a very controversial issue in the present day. Some might say that Deuteronomy 22:5 is an ordinance of the old covenant before Yeshua gave His blood for the atonement of men’s sins, and that we, who have accepted Yeshua’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, are not subject to those ordinances; we are under the new covenant. However, Paul brought to light in Hebrews 13:8 “Yeshua the Messiah (is) the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Yeshua declared in Matthew 5:17-18 that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Obviously, heaven and earth have not passed yet, and everything has not yet been fulfilled.

I realize that it has been common practice for a number of years for women in Judeo-Christian cultures to wear pants, and by bringing up this subject, many people will be offended. I regret that; I don’t like to hurt or anger others. I care about the souls of others and am only interested in presenting the truth according to the Tanakh. The things that I have brought out are not my personal opinions; they are the word of the LORD. Paul expressed his experience with the displeasure of fellow followers of Yeshua concerning his teachings in Galatians 4:16.  “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

Majorly speaking, in Judeo-Christian countries, the wearing of pants by women for everyday apparel was not introduced until the 19th Century, and they were not accepted by society as an everyday mode of dressing for women until the mid 20th Century. (Britannica.com and Medium.com) For many centuries there was a God-given conviction in the hearts of people in Judeo-Christian cultures that men wore pants and that women wore dresses, and that pants were not an acceptable article of clothing for women. This conviction came from the instruction of Deuteronomy 22:5. 

Every person must decide for himself or herself whether to please the LORD by obeying His word and His commandments or whether to follow after their own heart, their own eyes, and the fashions of society, the lusts of the flesh. Paul exhorted in Philippians 2:12 “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 111:10 and Solomon wrote in Prov. 9:10 “The fear of the LORD (is) the beginning of wisdom: …” The Psalmist finished that statement with “a good understanding have all they that do (His commandments) ….”

In conclusion, if we please the LORD by keeping His commandments, then we will prove to Him that we love Him. (Exodus 20:6 and John 14:15) If we “present (our) bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God …” as it is written in Romans 12:1, then we will hear His command in Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” And He will bless us with these promises: “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:3) “… And all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 60:14) “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

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Richard Schepartz was born into a highly educated Jewish family that dwelled in the United States. While at college, Richard got involved in a number of activities in his soul searching for peace and inner strength. At that time in his life, Richard was experiencing a very low emotional and spiritual state of being. It was during this period of his life that Yeshua graciously revealed Himself to Richard, divinely healed him, and blessed him with a new and completely restored life. Today, Richard is actively engaged in world evangelism and serves as the Shipping Manager and as a Corporate Director of Grace Temple Church, Inc. in Georgia, USA.