Introduction: In the Old Testament God’s name in all its variations is used some 10,000 times. In this message we want to call your attention to another compound- name for Jehovah.
In Leviticus 20:7-8 we read, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (8) And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” Notice again that last phrase of verse 8, "I am the Jehovah which sanctify you." In the Hebrew language this would be “Jehovah-M'kaddesh.”
In Exodus 31:12-18 we read, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (14) Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. (16) Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. (17) It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (18) And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Again notice in verse 13 and the phrase, “I am the Jehovah who doth sanctify you." Here again is the Hebrew name for God “Jehovah-M'kaddesh.”
After God led His people out of bondage from Egypt, He now gives them instructions on how they are to conduct themselves concerning the Sabbath Day. But more than that, He tells Israel He is “Jehovah-M'kaddesh.”
Now before we focus our attention on the name of God “Jehovah-M'kaddesh” let me make reference to my childhood upbringing. I am doing this in order to try in some way to identify with you or you with me.
Both my parents were very active in the Lord's work. Both were active in the youth ministries, both were active Sunday School teachers and Dad for many, many years was a deacon of the Church. So needless to say, I was in what you call a goldfish bowl, and as such everyone was watching me. It was not uncommon for someone to say, "You’re John's boy, you should know better." As if I was supposed to be different than all the other kids in church. I did manage to get into my share of mischief, because I was around all the other deacon’s kids.
But as I was growing up, Sunday was different for us. Dad stressed the importance of Sunday. IT WAS MEANT TO BE DIFFERENT.
We could not be involved in any sports on Sunday.
We did not go swimming on Sunday.
We could not, for many years, watch TV on Sunday.
We did not, for the most part, visit family on Sunday.
Sunday for us was Sunday school, Morning Church, Baptist Training Union and then Evening Church with dinner and an afternoon rest in between. If company came to our home on Sunday, either they went to church with us, or we went by ourselves as a family. In no way would we stay home to entertain them.
Perhaps there are some of you saying, your parents were certainly legalistic. I wouldn't say that, since I follow much the same schedule even to this day. To Dad, Sunday was a day to “Rest from work and to Reflect on the Holiness of God.” I believe for the most part we have lost that in our modern society. In some cases it has degenerated to
"Well, shall we go to church or shall we say home today?"
"Which church should we wander to today?"
"Which Church has the best entertainment?"
“Well, company has come or we have this outing with the family, so we can’t make it to church.”
In this day and time the Lord's Day is more like a HOLIDAY than a HOLY day. It is like a WORK day rather than a WORSHIP day.
To the Jewish people before the death and resurrection of Christ, the day of rest and reflection was on Saturday the Sabbath Day, the last day of the week. After the cross as we see in the New Testament, in commemoration of the victorious resurrection of Christ, it is the first day of the week – Sunday.
Now here in Exodus 31:13 we discover the Sabbath day was to be different. It was to serve as a sign – THIS WAS TO BE INDICATIVE OF SOMETHING THAT WAS TO BE UNIQUE. And what was that?
Was it to be a special day to just rest?
Was it to be a special day to just go to the tabernacle?
Why was it special? In verse 13 we discover the Sabbath was special in order that we would be CONTINUALLY REMINDED THAT OUR GOD IS A HOLY GOD.
Our English word for “sanctify” and the Hebrew word “M'kaddesh” occur frequently in the Old Testament. However, this Hebrew word is also translated by other English words in the Old Testament. For example:
In Exodus 19:5-6 it is translated by the word HOLY.
In Exodus 28:3 it is translated by the word CONSECRATE.
In Exodus 25:8 it is translated by the English word SANCTUARY.
Over 700 times this Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament primarily translated by the word “HOLY.” The primary meaning of the word is "TO SET APART or SEPARATE."
From the Word of God, we come to realize that the most fundamental, the most solemn and impressive of all the attributes of God is His HOLINESS.
In I Samuel 2:2 we read, "There is none holy as Jehovah; for there is none besides Thee."
In the book of Leviticus the key word Holiness is used 87 times and the key verse in 19:2 says, "For I Jehovah your God am Holy."
In Psalm 29:2 David says, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His NAME; worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness."
In Psalms 103:1 we read "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His HOLY NAME."
In Psalm 119:9 we find, "… holy and reverend is his name."
In Isaiah 6:3 the cry of the seraphim was "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Host … the whole earth is full of His Glory."
Now when you take all these words together, you find that “M’kaddesh” not only describes God's character, but as we shall see it was a word used to establish the ATMOSPHERE that should prevail in and among the people of God as well.
Now back to our text in Exodus 31. God is saying to us, as He did to the Israelites of old during every single week – there is one day, the last for the Jews and the first for us as believers, to be set aside as something unique, something special.
You are to do no work on this day.
You are to worship me on this day.
You are to rest on this day.
The purpose of this DAY is to be CONTINUALLY REMINDED that GOD is JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH. We don’t hear much about holiness today. Yet, by His name, God is a HOLY GOD and the people of God are likewise to be HOLY PEOPLE. In Leviticus 19:2 we read, "Speak unto the congregation of the children of Israel… You shall be Holy: For I Jehovah your God am Holy." What is the trait that should characterize us? IT IS HOLINESS!
What is God trying to say to us through all this? In Hebrew 10:5-9 concerning the Lord Jesus we read,
“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”
Now what was the "will of God" for which Jesus came into this world, as far as you are concerned? The answer to that question is found in verse 10, “By the which, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
From this verse we come to realize God sent His Son into the world for the purpose that He might die on the cross of Calvary, in order that you might be “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ…” that is to say you might be DECLARED HOLY IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD. You may say, "Pastor, Is that true?" Yes, it is true!
The Greek word in verse 10 for "sanctified" is the word "hagious." This Greek word in the New Testament is translated by three different English words. They are: HOLY, SAINT, and SANCTIFY.
The will of God is that we may be made HOLY or become SAINTS by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross. “Pastor, Come on, that might be true someday after I die. But certainly in this lifetime I will not reach the point of perfect holiness.” My friends, YOU ARE HOLY RIGHT NOW!
Please turn with me to I Corinthians 1:2 and the part of the verses which says, "…to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…" Listen, the very moment a man, or woman, a boy or girl says "Lord Jesus, I believe you died on the cross for me, and I receive that sacrifice for myself," in that very moment they believe, in that SPLIT SECOND, THEY ARE SANCTIFIED. They are considered Holy in the eyes of God.
I did not say they are considered RESPECTABLE in the eyes of God.
I did not say they are considered GOOD in the eyes of God.
I did not say they are considered SPIRITUAL in the eyes of God.
I did not say they are considered MORAL in the eyes of God.
In the eyes of God, THEY ARE CONSIDERED HOLY. “Ok, Pastor, just how HOLY does that mean?” Listen to this, "As Holy as Holy gets. How Holy can Holy get? As HOLY as Almighty God is HOLY." That is what the word sanctified indicates.
Here in I Corinthians 1:2, we are told believers were sanctified. We are told they were saints. This status was regardless of their maturity as a Christian, regardless of whether they were carnal believers, it makes no difference in God's eyes, they are deemed HOLY.
God sees you and I as SANCTIFIED.
God sees you and I as HOLY.
God sees you and I as SAINTS.
That is the work of “JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH” to sanctify those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Now regardless of whether we like to think about it, unless the Lord comes soon, all of us shall taste death. And when it comes time to be granted entrance into God's presence, Heaven itself, the requirement to enter is simply this, "You must be as HOLY as GOD HIMSELF." We are told in Matthew 5:48, "Be you therefore PERFECT even as your Father Who is in Heaven is perfect." That my friends is the requirement for Heaven. You can’t think that God is going to take something into Heaven that is TAINTED and SPOILED and SPOTTED and CORRUPTED BY SIN. IT HAS GOT TO BE AS HOLY AS GOD! “Pastor, I am sure I fall miserably short of that ideal.” Yes, all of us do fall short. You do and I do, "For all of us have sinned and come short of the glory or perfection or Holiness of God."
If you are here this morning without Christ (and who knows if this could be your last day in this life) you need to receive Jesus without delay. Because those who are in Christ Jesus are seen as HOLY ONES, SAINTS, ready at any moment for Heaven.
Now some of you are thinking, “Pastor, How can this be? How can it be said that I am sanctified or holy? Look, I know myself.
You should have been with me this past week at work.
You should have heard what I said to my wife this past week.
You should have heard what I said to my Husband this week.
If you saw what I did this past week, if you knew what I was thinking this past week or even right now, you would realize I am anything but HOLY in character. All this THEOLOGICAL TALK does not relate to me. How in this world can anybody be called HOLY who still SINS, as they walk down life pathways?”
You mean ___________ is a saint? YES, HE IS.
You mean ___________ is Holy? YES, HE IS.
You mean ___________ is sanctified since he has received Christ as Savior? YES, HE IS!
“Pastor, Please unlock the confusion” I'll be glad to, because there is a great deal of confusion in the religious world over this issue. When you study God's Word, you will discover the Bible speaks of SANCTIFICATION in a THREE-FOLD way.
First: We are sanctified POSITIONALLY. This is what we read about in I Corinthians 1:2. As far as our position before God is concerned, our standing before God is POSITIONALLY HOLY. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are HOLY BEFORE GOD. There are no IFS, ANDS, or BUTS on that issue.
Second: We are becoming sanctified PRACTICALLY. In Romans 12:1 we read a very familiar verse, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” It all begins with me declaring a sacrifice which separates me from the world. That is practical Holiness.
Now in terms of real Christianity, many of us are not as holy as we ought to be. Our daily lives ought to be reflecting Jesus Christ. We are to be like Him.
Our WALK is to be different.
Our TALK is to be different.
Our ACTIONS are to be different.
Each Sunday we hear the Word of God preached. Each and every day we are to feed upon the Word of God. And you say for what purpose? Why do we need to be continually bringing into our souls the Word of God? IT IS IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT VERIFY THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE, AND NOT NULLIFY IT BY OUR UNCHRISTLIKENESS.
Practically speaking, daily, we ought to be endeavoring to LIVE HOLY LIVES with the help of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God. This is strongly laid out for us in I Peter 1:13-16,
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Third: We shall be sanctified PERFECTLY. There is coming a day when we shall be perfectly sanctified, that is…perfectly set apart.
In I John 3:1-3 we read, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Praise God! If you have been born again by faith in the Lord Jesus, one day we'll be like Him in body, and clothed in ULTIMATE PERFECTION.
That my friends is the Biblical significance of sanctification and behind it all is JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH, the God who SANCTIFIES.
“OK, Pastor, if this is possible, "What has God provided that I may carry out this HOLINESS?" That question does have an answer found in John 17:17, where in our Lord's high priestly prayer He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus prayed that God would make us:
HOLY in our LIFE and WALK, HOLY in our HOME,
HOLY in our PLACE OF WORK, and in our church.
He makes us HOLY through His TRUTH. The Word of God cleanses our lives.
Over the years it has been AMAZING, STRANGE, and at the same time DISAPPOINTING, to hear folks say, "All of my life we have just had a SUPERFICIAL teaching of the Word of God." Since I was brought up on a solid teaching of the Word of God, these remarks are more upsetting. That is sad, but, all too often, it is true. What is even more disturbing is to find out that some of these folks have come from churches where you would think the Bible would have been preached.
We would have the same thing here if on Sundays and Wednesdays I would preach a LITTLE SERMONETTE. If I did, we would have, as someone said, "Little sermonettes producing little Christianites, having no depth to their lives." If we are to feel the full impact of the Holiness of God we must:
First, receive Jesus as our Savior.
Second, make His day a HOLY day.
Third, take in and take heed to the Word of God.
Let me ask you, WHAT IS IT THAT OUGHT TO HOLD OUR CHURCH TOGETHER?
A BOWLING LEAGUE, or A SOFTBALL LEAGUE,
A DAY CARE CENTER, or A SOCIAL CLUB.
That is what holds many a church together. No, my friends, a church must be held together by the WORD OF GOD. And if it is not, then there is something wrong with the church and the people of that church.
Jesus said in John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." And when you obey the Word of God, it sanctifies you practically, it will change your life, and you will understand God as “JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH."
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon on the name of God “Jehovah- M'kaddesh,” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as you personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be your personal Savior. “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, would you let me know? Please fill out the information below and e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
Date: _________________ Name: __________________, Address: _______________
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