In the wilderness Moses, God’s prophet, led the children of Israel to Mt. Sinai. He told the people to consecrate themselves because on the third day they would meet with God on the Holy Mountain. The very word consecration means to make or declare holy or sacred. It is true that no man can make himself holy in the sight of God apart from the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Even in the light of this “truth” the act of consecration has not ended with the Old Testament. Take notice of what the Scripture says in Exodus chapter 19:
Exodus 19:10-11 (NASB)
10 The LORD also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments;
11 and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
The words of God “let them wash their garments” gives us more insight into the act of repentance, than anything found in the New Testament. It paints a clear picture and gives us clear instructions of how to come to God. To understand the washing of the garments, we must have a correct concept of what holiness actually is:
“Holiness is to the spirit, what health is to the body”
Being healthy in your body is two-fold. First if you are healthy than your body is absent of all disease and sickness. That alone does not make you healthy because you can be free of these things that damage and destroy your body yet have a diet that consist of junk food. You would be lacking all of the vital nutrients, vitamins and sustenance that your body needs. The second part of being healthy is being filled with good nutrition. It is being absent of that which is bad, but being filled with that which is good. Therefore holiness is no different it is being emptied of all that is evil, but also being filled with all that is good. That is why God is the true Holy Father because He alone is filled with all that is good and there is no evil present within Him. Perhaps this is why when Isaiah came into His presence he said, “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among an unclean people.” In that presence of the Holy, sin and all uncleanness is exposed.
It is true that there are no works that we can do to purchase our own salvation; Christ has purchased it for us. However, if we are to become holy there is a consecration, a washing of the garments a repentance that must come first. We must empty our vessels of all known sin, all uncleanness and impurity and nail it to the cross. (Notice I said all “known” sin. Under Old Testament law willful sin was not covered, only sins committed in ignorance.) That’s our part, then God’s part is to fill us with Himself, to fill us with all that is good, the power to live the life and be holy. Many people love to quote out of Isaiah, “Come let us reason together…though your sin are as scarlet, they will be white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they will be white like wool.” How many people have taken the time to study the context of those words by reading a few verses before:
Isaiah 1:16-17 (NASB)
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
I AM PREPOSING TODAY A REVOLUTION IN THE SUPERFICIAL & FALSE WAY THAT WE PRESENT THE GOSPEL. The false “come as you are” message must be exposed if we are to be effective at reaching the lost. We have a church of full of false converts who “have a name that they are alive, but they are dead” because they did not come in the way of the cross, they did not wash their garments and they have not been made holy. The fruit of this is that we have a church in America lacking true holiness. Everyone wants a “Resurrection Experience”, however what many fail to realize is that there can be no “Resurrection” without a “Crucifixion”. We must first die!
James 4:7-10 (NASB)
7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.