THE BLESSEDNESS OF SANCTIFICATION AND HOLINESS – Becoming a Vessel of Honour

All scriptural references given in this text are from the King James version of the bible. The underlined texts are part of the referenced verse(s) of the scriptures. The red texts are the points of emphasis.

INTRODUCTION

To the HIGH and LOFTY ONE WHO inhabits eternity, WHOSE name is HOLY (Isaiah 57:15), the seraphs proclaim saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD OF HOSTS, the whole earth is full of HIS glory (Isaiah 6:1-3). The four living creatures proclaim saying, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO was, and is, and is to come, and the 24 elders before HIS throne bow down and cast their crowns to worship HIM (Revelation 4:8-11). The word ‘holy’ means to be set apart, so the LORD being holy implies that HE is in a class of HIS own, separated unto HIMSELF. So all who belong to HIM should be holy as well, for HE has called us to be separated unto HIM. To this end the LORD says to HIS children, “be ye holy for I am holy” (1st Peter 1:15-16).

 

FROM SANCTIFICATION TO HOLINESS

To be holy is to have been sanctified – holiness is like a journey, sanctification leads to successive levels in the journey of holiness. For that which is HOLY is said to have been sanctified (i.e. cleansed and thoroughly purged), and so it is distinguished from common use, separated unto the LORD as avessel of honour’ fit for HIS use and prepared unto every good work (2nd Timothy 2:20-21). The LORD spoke to Moses concerning the sanctification of the vessels in the tabernacle of old, so Moses sanctified these vessels and they were made holy (separated only for the LORD’S use) (Exodus 40:9-11). During the time of Prophet Daniel’s ministry, Belshazzar, the king of Babylon took the same vessels which had been sanctified by Moses and the priests and profaned them – he used the LORD’S holy vessels to drink wine. The LORD judged him and punished him severely for profaning that which was sanctified and made holy to HIM (Daniel 5:1-31). This goes a long way to emphasise that the LORD’S vessels are HIS’, they must neither be profaned nor be for common use. In the New Testament, the believer becomes the LORD’S vessel, however he must deliberately choose to work towards becoming a vessel of honour (2nd Timothy 2:19-21) by learning to possess his vessel in sanctification (1st Thessalonians 4:2-4). For he has been bought with a price (i.e. the LORD’S crucifixion): therefore he must glorify GOD in his body (i.e. vessel), and in his spirit, which are GOD’S (1st Corinthians 6:20).

 

THE TESTIMONY OF THE SANCTIFIED ONES

The best description of sanctified vessels in the New Testament are the ‘144000 end-time elects’ in the book of Revelation. The scriptures testify concerning them in Revelation 14:1-5 that:

  • They have been redeemed from among men as first fruits unto GOD and to the LAMB (i.e. CHRIST). This implies that they will be LORD’S inheritance (i.e. possession).
  • They are a people of purity, for they have an uncompromising stance towards moral chastity.
  • In their mouth was found no guile, for they are without blemish (i.e. falsehood and compromise).
  • They follow the LAMB (i.e. CHRIST) wherever HE goes. This implies that they seek the LORD diligently, and they are front runners of HIS kingdom cause.

They will obtain this testimony because they ‘washed their robes’ and ‘made them white’ in the blood of the LAMB (Revelation 7:1-14). This implies that, the LORD will sanctify them and make them ‘holy.

 

THE REQUIREMENT FOR SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification begins by the reception of the WORD of the LORD (John 17:17). For we are cleansed (i.e. sanctified) when we receive the words that the LORD has spoken to us (John 15:3). To this end, every believer must receive with meekness the engrafted (i.e. implanted) word … (James 1:21). For by receiving the engrafted word, we are cleansed and sanctified with the washing of water by the word, and in the dispensation of the fullness of times (i.e. the last day), the LORD will present us to HIMSELF as a church without spot and wrinkle, for we will be holy unto HIM without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27). A metaphorical description of the church in its peak of holiness is given in Revelation 19:7-8. In these verses of the scriptures, the church was identified as the ‘wife (i.e. bride) of the LAMB (i.e. CHRIST)’, and she was adorned with fine linen, clean and white – this suggests holiness. Further descriptions of the church in its holiest state are given in Revelation 21:9-11.

 

LEVELS OF SANCTIFICATION

As revealed from the scriptures, there are two successive levels of sanctification. These includes:

  • Sanctification from the things that are profane.

The things that are profane are the works of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21, especially the first three (adultery, fornication, uncleanness). Concerning these profane things (i.e. works of the flesh), the scriptures admonishes us stating that those who actively practice them will not inherit GOD’S kingdom. 1st Thessalonians 4:2-4 goes further to encourage GOD’S children to abstain from fornication and possess our vessel (i.e. body) in sanctification. For the body is not for fornication, but for the LORD (1st Corinthians 6:13).

  • Sanctification from the things that are common.

The things that are common are not sinful per se (i.e. in themselves). Apostle Paul spoke concerning such things stating that, “all things (i.e. the common things) are lawful to the believer, but all things are not important. Nevertheless, the believer must not be brought under the power of anything (i.e. the common things)” (1st Corinthians 6:12). This implies that believers must not have an uncontrollable appetite for the common things. In today’s world, giving too much attention to social media platforms (i.e. Facebook and the likes) is one of the common things that the LORD would demand that a faithful believer must be separated from. The bottom line is that faithful believers must be determined to give the least possible attention to distractions from the common things. This is a higher level of sanctification, especially for those who are called into ministry.

 

THE PURPOSE OF SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification is one of the major pillars (i.e. inevitable tenets) of the Christian faith, so it is essential for all of GOD’S children. A metaphorical description of the purpose for sanctification is given in John 15:1-8 – the parable of the ‘Vine and its Branches’. In this metaphorical description, believers are the ‘branches’, CHRIST is the VINE, and the FATHER is the HUSBANDMAN (i.e. CULTIVATOR). Believers that receive the WORD of the LORD and live accordingly are the branches that abide in the VINE and bear fruit. By receiving the WORD of the LORD believers are sanctified. The FATHER prunes (i.e. sanctifies) the branches (i.e. believers) so that they can bear more fruit. So the purpose of sanctification is to ensure that the believer bears more fruit. In other words, believers who are bearing fruit in 30 fold are sanctified so that they can bear fruit in 60 and in 100 fold. Bearing fruit implies that the believer becomes ‘profitable’ to GOD’S kingdom. A believer becomes profitable to GOD’S kingdom when he takes on ‘spiritual responsibilities’. On the other hand, the LORD will only assign spiritual responsibilities to believers that have embraced sanctification.

 

REVELATION OF THE HOLY (i.e. SANCTIFIED) ONES

Holiness begins with the state of one’s heart, so the LORD demands the those who truly belong to HIM must be of clean hands and a pure heart, to the end that they would ascend to HIS hill and stand in HIS holy place (holy habitation) (Psalm  24:3-4). So who is he that is being sanctified and made holy? He that seeks the LORD diligently, and has clean hands and a pure heart, for he has not lifted up his soul to vanity (i.e. false hood or compromise) nor sworn deceitfully, in his mouth shall be no guile (i.e. deceit), and as such he shall receive the blessing from the LORD and righteousness (heavenly validation) from the GOD of his salvation (Psalm 24:1-6).

 

THE BLESSINGS

Blessed are the pure in heart (i.e. holy ones) for they shall see (i.e. spiritually perceive) the LORD (Matthew 5:8) and become acquainted to HIS ways. For the LORD shall make them be of quick understanding, such that they will hear and understand and they will see and perceive (Matthew 13:10-16), and to them shall be the unveilings of the mysteries of the kingdom, because it is given to such ones to understand the mysteries of the kingdom (Matthew 13:10-16). This is the ‘first blessing’ ascribed by the FATHER to HIS holy ones.

Second Blessings – they shall become the LORD’S ‘anointed’. For they have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, so the LORD their GOD shall anoint them with the oil of gladness ‘above their fellows (Psalms 45:7). Notice the words ‘above their fellows’, this implies that they shall be distinguished from amongst men. For the LORD shall make them HIS jewels because they fear HIM (Malachi 3:16-17) and hearken to HIS ways. In times of distress, to them (i.e. holy ones) shall the Sun of righteousness (i.e. CHRIST) arise with healing in HIS wings, because they fear the name of the LORD (Malachi 4:2). In other words, the LORD will come to their aid and heal them when they go through seasons of distress.

Third Blessings – The LORD shall bless the works of their hands and cause them to prosper, because they do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, neither do they stand in the way of sinners, nor seat in the seat of the scornful. They shall be like a tree firmly planted by the rivers of waters, bringing forth fruits (i.e. kingdom profits) in their seasons, and whatsoever they do shall prosper (Psalms 1:1-3). They shall be like the plantings of the LORD, and they shall flourish in HIS court (Psalm 92:13). Blessed shall they be in the city, blessed shall they be in their field (i.e. profession), blessed shall be their going out and coming in, for they have hearken unto the voice of the LORD their GOD by doing HIS biddings (Deuteronomy 28:1-6).

So the LORD says to all HIS children, “embrace ‘consecration’ and thereafter, ‘sanctification’”, by resent your bodies (i.e.vessel) as a ‘living sacrifice’, to be holy (i.e. sanctified) and acceptable unto GOD, which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind … (Romans 12:1-2). For all that is in the world are the profane things (i.e. lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life), and from these things every believer must be separated. Therefore, love not the world, nor the things of the world (1st John 2: 15-16). Recall that though we are in this world, we are not of this world (John 17:14-15). The world is passing away, and the lust (i.e. profane things) thereof: but he that doeth the will of GOD abideth forever (1st John 2:17). Recall that in order to be in active service to the LORD’S will, the believer must first be sanctified, and then he will become a vessel of honour fit for the LORD’S use (2nd Timothy 2:19-21). Also recall that sanctification begins with the reception of the WORD of the LORD (John 17:17, Ephesians 5:25-26, John 15:3), and after we have received HIS word, we can accurately position ourselves to fulfil HIS will by becoming doers of HIS word. For as we hearken unto the voice of the LORD, to be hearers and thereafter, a doers of HIS word (James 1:22-25) these blessings shall come upon us and overtake us (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).

 

Selah!

Written by Arthur Ejiro Adama

#holinesstotheLORD(Exodus 28:36)

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