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The Beauty of Holiness

Dear Brethren, 
In what way are we to worship God? The writer of Psalm 96 tells us that we are to worship Him in the “Beauty of Holiness”.
Psalm 96:9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
The psalmist is declaring that God’s people must worship the Lord in a state of holiness. But what exactly is meant by the phrase “the beauty of holiness” and how important is it that we worship God in this way?
The Hebrew word used in Genesis in describing God’s creation as “good” is tob (Strong’s #2896) and means all of these wonderful things: pleasant, beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, fair word, be in favor, pleasant, agreeable, good. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
The psalmist invokes in our minds a picture of beauty and compares the essence of holiness to something that is pleasant, pure, honest, sincere, beautiful, good, glorious. The beauty of holiness is in stark contrast to sin which breeds ugliness and death.
As we think upon Creation, God originally made everything good and beautiful.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God’s creation, which includes the planet earth, the starry sky, the animals, birds, sea life, the mountains  and oceans, rivers and lakes, plants, flowers, and trees; were created exquisitely beautiful.
If creation is an expression of God’s mind and His divine nature, then we can see that God is all about order, beauty, pleasantness, goodness, etc. 
The beauty contained in creation is a reflection of God’s beauty for He is the pinnacle of beauty. God is the essence of perfection and the most Beautiful Being in the universe. All the beauty we see in this world is defined by, and has its source in God Himself. Even from a distance the earth looks like a dazzling blue and white (with hints of green) sparkling crown jewel in a dark backdrop surrounded with a star-studded sky.
Beauty is sometimes used as a synonym for splendor, glory, majesty, or goodness; and all of these things describe Almighty God, our great King.
Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 45:2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
And this is what Christ looks like in His glorified state:
Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
In the song of Moses (See Exodus 15:1-19) verse 11 says of the Lord that He is glorious [beautiful] in holiness!
Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
So what is the “beauty of holiness” about and why does God want us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness?
The Hebrew word for “beauty” used in Psalm 96  is hadarah  (Strong’s #1927) and means: adornment glory, array, attire. (Strong’s Concordance)  
Consider the word: “ATTIRE”. It is something that we are to put on such as a garment.
The Hebrew word for “holiness” in this verse is qodesh (Strong’s #6944) and means apartness, sacredness. And the Hebrew Word for “sacred” is qadosh (Strong’s #6918) from qadash ; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary — holy (One), saint. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
Therefore “sacredness” is another word for “holy” both meaning to be consecrated, separated, set aside for holy use [set apart for God’s purposes].
The basic meaning of the word “holy” then is to be “set apart” or “dedicated” to God; or it can also mean something or someone who BELONGS to God.
Leviticus 26:11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 26:13 I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
We can think of the “beauty of holiness” then as being apart from [separated from] sin and therefore clean, pure, and white, set aside for a sacred purpose, dressed in brilliant white ATTIRE which is the adornment of splendor, and that is how we are to come to God in worship: clothed in white garments of holiness. Sin is the opposite of holiness, and it is when we are living in sin that we are separated FROM God for God cannot abide with sin and wickedness.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Holiness is beautiful because it reflects God’s holiness from which RIGHTEOUSNESS flows. The Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the most righteous of all beings in heaven and in earth and they therefore are Most Holy. They are the epitome of goodness and love and there is not even a hint or a speck of evil or uncleanness at all within them.
When we clothe ourselves with God’s “attire” we are to put off the dirty ragged clothes of wickedness and sin (also known as our “old man”) and put on God’s holiness like we would put on a garment.
We are to shed the ugliness and filthiness of sin and put on God’s righteousness and come before Him clean in our day to day living and not just at worship services. We are to live as if we are constantly in His presence, for indeed, if His Holy Spirit dwells within us, every minute of our lives is with God.
Those who BELONG to Christ and have the Holy Spirit abiding in them make up God’s Spiritual Temple and we are to conduct ourselves as such. True Worship of God is how we live our lives in obedience and reverence to Him every minute of our lives. 
1 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
The apostle Peter tells God’s children that they are part of a holy priesthood and that they therefore are to offer up spiritual sacrifices (by our words and by our conduct) that are acceptable to our God.
1st Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
And the apostle Paul uses the allegory of the putting on of apparel as to putting on of the spiritual attributes of Christ; such as bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Paul states in his letter to Titus that we are also to be ADORNED with the doctrine of our God at all times and in all things.
Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
The holiness we are to put on is not our own for we have no strength to put on the holiness of God. We have to ask God for His holiness, to ask Him to abide with us and to be in us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is the Father’s and His Son’s divine and holy nature. The Spirit of Christ is what enables us to live holy, righteous lives just as Christ lives.
To be wearing clean, white garments and to have our nakedness covered is allegorical of putting on the spiritual holiness and righteousness of Christ which replaces the corrupt nature [the “old” man] that we once had. We are called to put on the nature of Jesus Christ in terms of practical holiness, but we also are given the righteousness of Jesus as a garment [“have put on Christ”].
In other words, as corrupt human beings we are being recreated into the true righteousness and holiness that is of Christ by the power of His Spirit which dwells within those who are becoming the children of God.  The more we put on His righteousness, the more the old carnal man is diminished.  
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Ephesians 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 4:2If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We are told in Psalm 96:9 to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and to fear before Him” which means we are to live by His every Word which is righteousness; and therefore we are to be clothed in His righteousness.
Psalm 119:137 Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. 119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Holiness is the very opposite of sin, and the beauty of holiness is in direct contrast from the ugliness of wickedness and sin. Reduced to its simplest definition, to be holy is to be righteous, or to behave up to the required standard of the whole of God’s law.
If holiness is putting on righteousness, what then is the definition of righteousness?
The Hebrew word for “righteousness” is tsadaq (Strong’s #6664) and means: justice, righteous cause. From ; the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity — X even, (X that which is altogether) just(-ice), ((un-))right(-eous) (cause, -ly, – ness). (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
The English definition of righteousness is: Acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable (a righteous decision); arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality (righteous indignation).
The biblical concept of righteousness is the keeping of all of God’s commandments and is clearly defined as such in Scripture.
Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.
Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
First Christ makes us holy by washing away our sins with His atoning sacrifice when we go to Him and ask Him for forgiveness; and then we must ask Him for the power through His Spirit to make our hearts holy through and through and to make it possible to walk in holiness as He walks in holiness.
Psalm 132:9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Holy living therefore assumes a rule by which conduct is measured, and that rule is the will of God as revealed in His whole Word. The will of God for man is summed up in His commandments; and righteousness then is perfect conformity to God’s Law.
To be righteous means we desire and seek to live in all of God’s ways in our minds and hearts and in all of our actions. It is the whole Word of God that acts as the measuring line, or as Isaiah puts it, men’s righteousness is put to the plumb line of God’s commandments. All men and women will ultimately be measured by the immutable standard of God’s Law and by His whole Word and will be held accountable as to how well they met those standards in their lives.
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet…
God’s righteousness is the natural expression of His own holiness. If He is infinitely full of holiness, then He must be opposed to all sin, and that opposition to sin is made clear throughout His Word.
When we hear or read that God is righteous and just, we can be assured that His actions toward us, and the love that He has for us, and even His correction, are in perfect agreement with His holy nature.
God’s holiness sets the standard and righteousness flows from God’s holiness. We take on His holiness when we abide with Him and walk in the presence of a Holy God and let His Holy Spirit infuse our whole being which then enables us to live holy lives for Him.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Jesus is called: The Holy One
Jesus Christ is called the Holy One in many places, and sometimes He is called the “Holy One of Israel”. All of these verses define the wonder and marvel of God’s Holiness in conjunction with some aspect of who He is and what He is doing.
Psalm 71:22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 17:7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 43:15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
Isaiah 49:7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
And because Christ is called the Holy One and is the essence of holiness and we are being made in the likeness of Him, God commands us to be holy as well, to be set apart for His holy purposes.
Leviticus 11:44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 11:45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Leviticus 19:Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
Numbers 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
The ancient children of Israel were God’s called out nation that was set apart from the other nations, but in the New Covenant God is calling certain individuals to be set apart, and collectively they make up the spiritual nation of God. It is now the faithful called-out ones that make up God’s spiritual priesthood. The royal priesthood is to show forth [light up] God’s way of righteousness to a dark world.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Deuteronomy 26:19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
God calls certain people in this life and then puts them on a life long quest to become as He is; to infuse within their very being His divine nature and character which is Holiness.
The God of heaven and earth is a Holy God, He is the pinnacle of righteousness and holiness, and those called to be His children are to use their lives to seek after the Holiness of God. Holiness must be at the very center our lives, all those who are called to emulate and to follow Jesus Christ.
The apostle Peter tells us that because God is holy, we too must be holy, Be ye holy; for I am holy”. Therefore, we are to come before God as righteous people with no spot of sin to worship the Holy One. God wants His Ekklesia, who is His Holy Temple to be white, without wrinkle or spot; to be a Holy Nation that worships Him in Spirit and in Truth.
What is truth? It is the whole Word of God; and as worshipers we are not to be adding or taking away from His Word, nor attempt to worship Him with false doctrines and traditions of men that are not a part of His Truth for that is basically the same as adding to or subtracting from His Word.
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Romans 12:1 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.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Holiness Begins in The Heart
There are many Scriptures that teach us that it is the heart (mind) as being the seat of all of our thoughts, and that our thoughts are exposed by all that comes out of our mouths with the things that we say being indicative of what we are thinking, what we are all about, and the condition of our heart which then dictates how we behave and operate in life.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The Bible teaches us that it is the heart that is the wellspring of our thoughts and attitudes, and that all of man’s words flow from his heart, whether they be good or bad.
Matthew 12:33 A goodman out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
When David repented of his sins of adultery and murder, he prayed to God to create a clean (pure) heart within him and to renew a right spirit in him (See Psalm 51:10).
God revealed to David that it was from his heart that he had first lusted after another man’s wife; and it was from his heart that he had devised a devious plan to have Uriah murdered to cover up his sin. 
David came to see that the attitudes and covetousness that he saw in his heart were the things that were defiling him and keeping him from the holiness of God; that not only did he need to repent of the literal sins he had committed, but to clean up a defiled heart from which the wicked deeds were conceived.
Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil.
As the saying goes: “garbage in, garbage out” and this is now a common reference used in our modern tech language as it refers to computer programming. This is how it is defined in the  Cultural Dictionary: “garbage in, garbage out” definition which is the same way our hearts and minds are programmed and then operate accordingly.
“This saying points out the fact that a computer can do only what it is programmed to do and is only as good as the data it receives and the institutions it is given. If there is a logical error in software, or if incorrect data entered, the result will probably be either a wrong answer or a system crash.” (The Cultural Dictionary)
Whatever we program our minds with, (whether good or evil) is what we will manifest in our thoughts, words, and behavior; and then eventually it becomes part of our character.
The Bible has many verses that instruct us in this regard by teaching us that we must GUARD and PROTECT what we allow to enter our HEARTS (minds), what we allow ourselves to view with our eyes and what we allow ourselves to listen to, and even the kind of people we allow ourselves to hang out with.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We live in a society permeated with all kinds of venues shouting at us from every corner with the worse evil garbage imaginable. The perverse things that are now paraded for all to hear and watch are everywhere. Things that would have been unthinkable to even talk about a few years ago, are now advertised and promoted at every turn, whether you want to see and hear these things or not.
This is where it gets very difficult to keep ourselves from being influenced by the corruption that is in the world. We are living in a time that Daniel talked about when the transgression on earth would come to the full, a time that would be similar to the condition of the earth just before the flood. Daniel meant that the end times would be full of very evil imagination and abomination.
Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full….
Psalm 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God”. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
One way to keep pure is to do everything in our power to avoid any corrupt influence, including defiling entertainment, as much as possible and to keep filling our minds with the things of God, and by studying and meditating on God’s Word. In Proverbs, we are told to guard our hearts with all diligence. 
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
This includes thinking on our problems and everyday things with the perspective of how we can apply God’s Word to every situation in our lives.  Before doing something, ask ourselves “What would God do?”  and “How does God’s Word apply?”
The Hebrew word for “keep” in this passage is netzor (Strong’s # 5341: guard, protect) thy heart with all diligence….
As part of our prayers, we must cry out to God to help protect our minds and our hearts from the evil that permeates our environment and ask Him to place a hedge of protection to help guard our minds from being influenced by the world around us, which is for the most part being programmed by the principalities and the rulers of darkness. We must then fight against them with the spiritual armor that God provides us with.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Another way to guard our hearts is to be judicious about the companions we choose to fellowship with, including the church assemblies that we attend. Proverbs has much to say about this and the advice to stay away from those who would mislead us away from God and His precepts will help to guard our minds and hearts from becoming corrupt.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 
Do not be fooled into thinking that you can influence foolish friends and those who do not follow God and thereby think that you are doing evil company a favor by spending time with them. For their way of thinking and their behavior will eventually rub off on us if we insist in fellowshipping with those who walk contrary to the ways of God. 
Haggai 2:11 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, 2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 
2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 
2:14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
To help protect our character and our reputation, it is very wise to set policies/rules for ourselves that will help us to avoid getting into situations that might present temptation or even to give the appearance to others that we are involved with evil. We think, too, of the saying: “you are known by the company that you keep.”
Paul told the Corinthians to flee fornication, don’t even allow yourself to do anything that might put you in danger of defilement.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication [Pornea, all sexual sin, but also includes spiritual fornication]. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
As Paul told Timothy, we, too, are to keep ourselves pure (1st Timothy 5:22).  Even if others, (those who tempt you to join in with them in their revelry), call you old fashioned, a prude, or paranoid; So What! 
If we set rules about what we will, and will not, allow in our day to day activities and in the way we relate to others, those rules will serve us well and will help to keep us pure in our thoughts, activities, and within our relationships.
To be a true believer and to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, it is imperative for one to have a clean and pure heart. This is what David prayed for. He asked God to purge him with hyssop and to make him whiter than snow.
We see from this psalm that God desires the purity of unadulterated truth in the inward parts and in the inner most part of our being!
Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 15:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Without TRUTH being the basis for knowing God and growing to know Him more; without a pure heart we cannot walk with God or worship Him in the beauty of holiness. To have a pure heart is foundational to true worship toward God for it is imperative that we start with the fear of the Lord and in seeking to keep our hearts pure.
God is truth and He wants us to be seeking and striving to have a completely pure mind with nothing but His truth in our hearts with no deceit nor ulterior motives.
Psalm 119:151 You are near, O LORD; and all your commandments are truth.
Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
How can we have a holy heart? We are told very plainly throughout the Bible, that it is the Word of God and all of His commandments that define holiness and truth; and that the keeping of them and writing them into the very utmost regions of our heart (our mind), and is what makes us pure and holy.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 119:4 You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently.
Those who have entered a covenant relationship with God and who are His and are in the process of having His whole Word written into their hearts as they apply the things they are learning to their very character, are those who are learning to worship God in the Beauty of Holiness.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jeremiah 32:39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
The apostle Paul told Timothy that if we depart from all iniquity and seek to live by all His commandments, we will be a clean and a pure vessel that can be used by God for His use and we will be prepared for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
To worship in Spirit and in all the Truth of God is what constitutes the Beauty of Holiness. The color “white” represents having a clean heart and being completely free and clean from the filthiness of sin and false doctrines, therefore “white” represents holiness and to walk in white is to walk in the righteousness of God.
Ecclesiastes 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Becoming white without spot or wrinkle and to become free of sin in our lives is a life-long process and we are to be using our lives to prepare to be a fit [collective] bride for Christ. He wants a Holy Bride that will walk with Him and assist Him in truth and righteousness for all eternity.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
In the days of Esther, the preparation time and the use of oils and ointments before becoming the wife of the King is analogous of what we are to be doing in the application of God’s Oil [His Holy Spirit] in our calling to purify us and get us ready to rule as holy priests and kings with Him.
Esther 2:12 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) 2:13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.
In Revelation 19:7-8 Jesus speaks of how the bride has made herself ready and it has been granted to her that she should be clothed in clean, white, fine linen as an analogy that she has taken on the garments of righteousness befitting of saints.
In Revelation 19:9, Jesus says that “blessed” and “holy” are those who are called to be part of the marriage supper of the Lamb. The word for “blessed” is makarios (Strong’s #3107) and means exceedingly, supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off — blessed, happy. (Strong’s Concordance)
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Everything about God is beautiful, all His ways are beautiful, His Sabbaths and Festivals, the physical Temple was beautiful; and the High Priest and the Levites were dressed in beautiful garments as an allegory of the righteousness of Christ’s saints who will become His priests in God’s soon coming Kingdom.
Jesus Christ holds out a wonderful, beautiful future for those who come to trust and obey Him. His promise of the future restoration of the earth and eventually the whole universe is beautiful beyond description!
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
When the Father calls us, He himself, opens our eyes to see how beautiful His Son and all of His attributes are: and David composed a psalm speaking of dwelling in God’s Holy Temple and he asked that he could behold the beauty of the Lord for all eternity. That is what he desired most and is what he came to seek most in his life as a man after God’s own heart.
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
Even in our physical lifetimes right now, if we are called of God and have His Holy Spirit, we can enjoy the beauty of the Lord and sense His presence wherever we are if we are faithfully living for Him and keeping our focus on all His Word. It is a beautiful way to live! 
When we zealously serve our Holy God and sanctify [separate] ourselves away from the evil of this present world, God says that His beauty will be upon us, which means we will have His holiness and He will live in our midst and be in us helping us in everything we do (He will establish the works of our hands).
Psalm 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
What Kind of Beauty Does God Desire in His Children?
Beauty, in describing certain things and people in the Bible, does sometimes refers to the outward appearance [i.e. beautiful countenance, etc.]; and in many of David’s Psalms, he spoke of and extolled about the beauty of creation surrounding him. God’s people, too, should certainly appreciate our Creator’s beauty revealed in what He has made.
But most of our modern day culture worships and adores those who have the outward appearance of beauty even if those ones lack moral values of any kind.
The physical beauty that is of the world is the kind of beauty that is most often emphasized and worshiped above everything, even God. Hence, the most corrupt and immoral celebrities and sports figures who are physically attractive are looked up to and put on pedestals as if they were gods; while the world often rejects and spurns as to what God and His Word says constitutes true beauty.
The beauty of God means much more than the outward beauty we see in this world; and in the case of God, what makes Him most “beautiful” is His character: His merciful loving-kindnesses, His goodness, purity, and compassion, along with His justice, and the fact that He loves us and cares for us as a loving father loves His children. Moses was given a testimony of what God is about when he asked God if he could see Him in His glory.
Exodus 33:5 And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 33:6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 33:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
It is the kind of invisible spiritual beauty that God’s children must be earnestly seeking for rather than the kind of beauty that the natural man recognizes and highly esteems. 
The beauty of holiness cannot be not perceived by those who live by the five senses and do not have spiritual eyes to see how priceless God’s spiritual attributes are. 
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
As we have all witnessed, the inner beauty of a converted heart that is in harmony with the character of God is something that most men reject and spurn.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
The beauty of holiness is of God’s Spirit and is therefore invisible to the natural person, and it is much more enduring than the beauty of the natural world. Therefore men and women can look at a majestic landscape, beautiful snow-capped mountains, flowing fountains and rivers, a glistening sunlit lake; or they may behold a glorious sunset basked in an array of beautiful colors; and yet they cannot perceive the value of God’s spiritual attributes in a person, for they have no eyes for the things of God.
They may think of someone who is meek and gentle as someone who is weak and spineless; or one who endures trials patiently for the sake of Christ as foolish; and one who wants to obey God rather than the dictates of society as one who is under mind control and is missing out on all that this life has to offer.
The natural man is totally incapable of discerning the excellence of that which is most valuable in the sight of God, which is internal and not outward.
1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
We think of what Isaiah prophesied about our Lord: that when He came as a man to earth, His human features would be without the kind of beauty that others consider to be attractive in a person.
Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The natural man saw in Jesus when He was here on earth in the flesh “no beauty” that would cause them to highly esteem Him for His appearance. And in our world the natural man typically judges a man or woman’s value or importance by their appearance. God must remove the veil from the eyes of mankinds’s heart before they can perceive that the holiness of God is what is most beautiful.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Unlike the beauty that we see in the physical things of this present world, the beauty of holiness is everlasting and genuine  and therefore it should be much more sought after than the temporary, superficial beauty that is in this present physical world.
Physical beauty is constantly in a state of passing away for it is temporary; it may dazzle and excite the senses but there is no real substance to it compared to the everlasting beauty of the invisible spiritual things, (such as purity, righteousness, justice, the fruits of the Spirit) which are of great value in the eyes of God.
Much of the physical human beauty in our modern day is nothing more than an illusion, painted on with makeup, hair coloring, the right clothes, the right shoes; and now even photo-shop effects to bring about an illusion of beauty that is not based on reality. This is the kind of beauty most people seek after and rarely is there any regard for those who are truly beautiful in mind and spirit or for the man or woman who strives to live a moral, upright life and who consciously desires to please God in all areas of his or her life.
True beauty then is based on holiness which is rooted in the inner man and is manifested in one who is seeking to be holy as God is holy. This kind of beauty is the type that infuses the person’s heart, soul, and mind, and will last forever, rather than the temporal beauty that is of this world.
Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman (or man) that feareth the Lord, she (or he) shall be praised.
Those who set theirs heart on their physical beauty will eventually encounter disappointment and disillusionment, for the physical beauty of the flesh quickly fades away; but the beauty of holiness is of a divine nature and is eternal.

 
1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Those who are seeking after God and how to please Him, are able to see the difference and come to value more the abiding things that God says we are to treasure.
The beauty of holiness is the kind of beauty that the Lord longs for in His people’s worship of Him. It is not wrong to appreciate physical beauty in God’s creation and in our surroundings, but the most important kind of beauty we are to be seeking is the beauty of holiness and righteousness that flows out from the heart that is in tune with God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
It is the beauty of an inward purity which manifests itself in outward conduct and in our faithfulness that pleases the Lord; and it is in this way that we are to worship the Great King of the Universe. Eventually in God’s great plan of salvation, all mankind will come to see this wonderful truth for what it is.
2 Corinthians 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
To attain to the resurrection of spirit and to be given the privilege to work with Christ in His kingdom, and actually see Him as He is in Spirit, is a goal more worthy than anything else we could be striving for in this life. No other goal that is offered or attainable in this world even begins to compare!
1 John 3:1 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. 3:2 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. 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
To achieve the goal of becoming like Christ, we must live our lives in such a way that we become holy as God is holy, and if we do, He promises in His Word to shower us with spiritual blessings, not only in this life, but also on into eternity and to give us a place in the Kingdom of God.
So in seeking to be able to see God in the future, our life’s goal is to seek to take on more of God’s holiness and keep ourselves from all spiritual uncleanness in our day to day walk with Christ.
Someday the whole earth will be filled with the beauty of the Lord again and it will be even more beautiful than the Garden of Eden. All who come to embrace God and His ways will see God’s beauty, both the physical aspects AND (more importantly) the spiritual aspects will be visible and celebrated by all. Evil will be banished and Gods righteousness will be predominant and obvious to all peoples.
Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 4:3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
Ezekiel 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
The holy angels continually praise and worship God calling Him “Holy”; and we should, too, praise our Great and Holy God and give thanks for who He is and for His holiness on a daily basis.
Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Revelation 4:8 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, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth”! This is instruction for the people of God, those whom are called out at this present time; but this is also a marvelous prophecy of a time in the future when the whole earth, will fear before the Lord and all will desire to come before Him and worship Him in the “Beauty of Holiness.”
Have a very wonderful Sabbath everyone,
Constance
 

 

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Featured Scriptures

1 Peter 2:21-25 

21 For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again;

when he suffered, he threatened not;

but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,

that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now

returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated

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