“Be ye holy for I am holy” is a verse we don’t hear too much anymore. I hear a great deal about God‘s mercy and grace. I hear a lot about His love. I hear a lot about the great future He has planned for us, and all of these things are true! They are quite Biblical but, “Be ye holy for I am holy” is Biblical, too and applies for today as much as it ever has.
You cannot pick apart the Bible and choose what is for “today’s world”. It is ALL for today! God said anyone who added to or took away from the Bible was in danger of hell! Why? Because many times people file everything under “God is a good God and would not send a good person to hell” to “God is a God of grace and everything is lawful” to excuse or permit their own baseness and wills. Neither of these can be supported by the word. The second one is a partial scripture, but many fail to read the rest of it…”NOT ALL THINGS ARE BENEFICIAL”!
1 Peter 1:13-24
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[c]
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit[d] in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,[e] 24 because
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
There is a code of conduct by which we are to pattern our lives after. We are especially to be aware and cautious if we are ministers. We are a “royal priesthood” and in that “priesthood” the Bible tells us there is a higher caliber of behavior we are to not only exhibit, but exhibit due to the condition of our renewed hearts! God isn’t looking for actors! God isn’t looking for people who know the “vernacular” of super Christendom, if you will!
Serving God in Spirit and in truth is getting truthful in the arena of your mind, will, and emotions just as the truth has fully flourished in our redeemed spirits, if we are truly born again. There is an old saying, “We aren’t playing church here, folks!” but, sadly many are today. When the very elect take the Bible when confronted with wrong and twist it with false ”church history” and twisted theology, you have left honoring the truth and have made it YOUR OWN truth! It ceases to have power to save and change at that point because it is no longer the unadulterated word of God, but it is what YOU want it to say in order for it to fit what YOU want to do!
I have heard these very types of people say, “We are not under law! We are no longer under the Old Testament, but a better covenant.” This is true! But God never meant for us to throw the Old Testament and the examples of it out of our lives. I find it amusing those very people, when their lifestyle gets them into trouble, want to quote the Old Testament and what God did to Haman and what He will do to their enemies. They quote what David wrote in Psalm when he was faced with great trouble and people who were out to take his life and kingdom. They want to quote the story of Lot and how he was saved due to Abraham’s prayers, but don’t give it a second thought until trouble comes and these scriptures become “convenient” for them and what they want to see done to so-called “enemies”. Suddenly, the Old Testament becomes “viable”, again!
While we are over in the Old Testament let us remember a foolish king who took holy things from the temple and decided to drink wine from them and party with them! He decided to take what was holy and treated it as common, the way many do with what should be a Godly lifestyle and tremendous respect and gratitude for the gifts God has placed within us. The word tells us a hand came down and wrote on the wall MENE,[d] MENE, TEKEL,[e] UPHARSIN.[f]
When you have a chance, read all of Daniel 5, but for now know what these words mean and let us look at some very important verses that led to this! Daniel 5 tells us,
Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5 In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. 7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Now all the king’s wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.
Daniel at this point is called to interpret the writing and the meaning of it follows…
26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”[g] 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Do you not believe if you abuse the office in which God has placed you, you will not be open to consequences? Do you believe if you treat the supernatural things of God as common in this natural world you will not suffer natural consequences? Belshazzar had a choice. He could have lived humbly, looking to God but instead he was prideful and went too far with his lifestyle, all the while reasoning in his blinded mind that this was okay and he was king and could not be touched! He ruled, what could happen?
Many have made the call of God, the gifts of God, and the responsibilities that come with these very things “common” to themselves saying, “God is merciful and forgives. I am absolved of all guilt. He would rather bless me than punish me, hence grace” but the truth is God has done these things in your spirit, but your soul still lives in this natural world where satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy and he would love to ruin your life and your witness. You will go to heaven, but you will go faster if you don’t obey the supernatural laws of God while you are in a natural world. These laws were put in place to protect you, but you can ignore them just as you can a traffic light and die early due to physical lawlessness, “wrecking” your life!
To live holy is a command! Don’t think you are untouchable because God is full of grace and mercy. Paul wrote we were not to try that grace! Is what you are doing worth your relationship and reward with God? There is a separation coming in these last days. God will not have people whose souls hang in the balance influenced in an ungodly manner by the very ones who have tasted the sweet savor of salvation, but live sloppy lives!
There is an exposing coming of all secret things. It will be as the word tells us where the wicked will become more wicked and the righteous will flourish. Live as God has clothed you to be! Don’t take your robe of righteousness and cover it with the sights and smells of a common cloak by living as all others in a common world and expect the supernatural blessings of God to follow you.
Perry Stone spoke recently of a minister he knew. The man had a powerful ministry! He would pray and cancers would fall to the floor, roots of them still attached! People were set free, salvations taking place as he preached. Miracles, signs and wonders followed this minister’s ministry!
This minister had trouble sleeping and was advised by some people to drink some wine to help him sleep. He began to drink a little wine. When he did, the anointing left his ministry, he became an alcoholic and died in poverty and as a hermit. A little leaven spoils the whole loaf. Learn from other’s examples and don’t be an example of what CAN happen, but what SHOULD AND WILL happen when we live for God, holding His word as our standard in ALL of our conduct! We will be held accountable for what we did on this earth one day! Don’t let the temporary things of this world cost you an eternity of great reward!
1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a jubilant cry. 2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is awe-inspiring, a great King over all the earth. 3 He subdues peoples under us and nations under our feet. 4 He chooses for us our inheritance— the pride of Jacob, whom He loves.Selah
5 God ascends among shouts of joy, the Lord, among the sound of trumpets. 6 Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our King, sing praise! 7 Sing a song of wisdom,[a] for God is King of all the earth.
I am so sorry, precious reader, I am late with the devotion today, but it is Sunshine’s BIRTHDAY!! We had big plans, and I am just now able to get this up and running! Let’s dig in, so grab your coffee/tea/soda/lemonade/whatever you like, and here we go!
Now we will see how the Holy Spirit will help us as we intercede for others. We can intercede with our understanding, as Abraham did, or we can intercede with out spirits in tongues or in groaning and travail. But, we must keep in mind that intercession can only be accomplished by the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s look in Romans 8 to gain insight on the Holy Spirit’s role as we intercede for others.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance (in articulate speech).
Dr. P. C. Nelson, a Greek scholar, told me that the actual Greek reads, “…with groanings that cannot be uttered in articulate speech.” Articulate speech means your regular kind of speech; your native language. Therefore, Romans 8:26 also includes praying in tongues and praying with groanings. That agrees with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:14.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the [a]Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody].
Can you see the connection between Romans 8:26 and 1 Corinthians 14:14? In both of these verses, the Holy Spirit enables our spirit to pray apart from our understanding.
According to Romans 8:26, we don’t always know for what to pray as we ought. We think we do sometimes, but we don’t. We can’t possibly know in our natural mind everything we should pray about in every situation and circumstance.
Therefore, praying with our understanding sometimes falls far short of what we ought to do in this kind of praying. We should pray as much as we know in our understanding, of course. But, sometimes just praying a few words in general for others really just salves a person’s conscience.
You can say what you want or desire and even quote scriptures, but when it come to prayer, many times, especially in praying for others, we don’t know what to pray for as we ought. But, thank God, the Spirit helps our infirmities. An infirmity is any weakness, which would include a lack of knowledge about how to pray. He makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered in articulate speech. (Romans 8:26)
Again, this scripture does not mean prayer is something the Holy Ghost does apart from you. That would make the Holy Ghost responsible for your prayer life, and He isn’t. YOU are responsible for your own prayer life.
Notice also the Bible says in Romans 8:26 that the Holy Spirit HELPS the believer in prayer. The Holy Ghost is not sent to actually do your praying for you. He is sent to help you in every aspect of life and to help you in your prayer life as well.
Source: Kenneth E. Hagin/Bible Prayer Study Course
In Genesis chapter 18, we see the example of Abraham as one who stood in the gap on behalf of others. When Abraham became aware of the impending judgement upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, he is interceded for them. Let’s look at the example of Abraham in Genesis Chapter 18, who interceded or stood in the gap for others.
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
When Abraham asked the Lord to spare the city if He should find fifty righteous people, the Lord said, “…If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the place for their sakes” Genesis 18:26
Then Abraham said, “Lord, I’d just like to speak a little further to You, if You don’t mind. (I’m putting this in my own words, but this the essence of what Abraham said.) If there are forty-five righteous people there, would you spare the place for forty-five?” (v. 28).
In effect, the Lord answered Abraham, “Yes, I’ll do it, just because you have asked Me. For forty-five righteous, I’ll spare the thousands who are there” (v. 28)
Then Abraham continued to ask the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, even if there were only forty, thirty-five, thirty, or twenty righteous inhabitants.
Finally, Abraham asked God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of ten righteous people, and God agreed to stay judgement if ten righteous were found. I believe Abraham surely thought there would be at least ten righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah.
Think about that! God would have spared that city which was full of corruption and immorality for the sake of ten righteous people. The Bible says God never changes, He is the same forever the same (Mal. 3:6). Will He not do in our day what He did in Abraham’s day?
If under the Old Covenant Abraham interceded for other people and God heard him, how much more will God hear our prayers under the New Covenant? Will He not hear our prayers for cities and nations for the sake of His children who live in them? He will, if we’ll intercede as Abraham did!
We are covenant children, just as Abraham was. However, we have an even better Covenant established upon better promises (Heb. 8:6). And we have the authority in the Name of Jesus to help others through prayer and intercession and to effect a change in nations to the glory of God!
SOURCE: “Bible Prayer Study Course” by Reverend Kenneth E. Hagin