Webster defines the word ‘sanctify’ as:
1. To make sacred or holy; to set apart to a sacred office or to religious use or observance; to consecrate by appropriate rites.
2. To make free from sin; to cleanse from moral corruption and pollution; to purify.
In the New Testament sanctification is part of the great plan of redemption purchased for us through Jesus’ blood, and enabling us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
So important is sanctification, that Jesus prayed that his disciples might be sanctified, and he died to make that experience possible.
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” ~ John 17:14-23
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” ~ Hebrews 13:12
Even in the Old Testament one could be forgiven. But the notion of “to sanctify” was different in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. “To sanctify” was more ritual in the Old Testament, and it pertained to the physical designation of: people, places, or things that were set aside to be used only for God’s purpose. But to sanctify a person for a particular office did not change the nature of that person’s heart desires.
In the New Testament, sanctification is a work that takes place in the heart. Sanctification is definitely a New Testament doctrine.
It was the sacrifice that Jesus gave that enables true Christians today to be sanctified.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” ~ Ephesians 5:25
It is the personal spirit of the individual that must be sanctified to be able to fully obey the will of the heavenly Father.
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God and the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” ~ 1 Peter 1:2
In the New Testament sanctification denotes completeness. A thorough change in the individual spirit because the will of the individual is crucified so that the will of the Holy Spirit may fill the individual. Then the individual is able to be preserved from the many corruptions of the world’s temptations.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
The power of the Holy Spirit reigning within will empower the individual to withstand the temptations of Satan. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, today mankind can not only be forgiven, but also be made holy, so that he or she can enter right into the presence of God himself. By the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross, mankind can now receive and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Sanctification finds its type in the Old Testament under mosaic law. This Old Testament type helps us understand what Christ can do for us today.
The Old Testament tabernacle consisted of two compartments surrounded by an outer court. The two compartments of the tabernacle were known as the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
The Holy Place contained the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the altar of incense. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant containing the tables of stone along with other sacred items. The two sections were separated by a very costly veil. The priests ministered in the Holy Place, but into the Holy of Holies the high priest entered alone once a year (Atonement Day). The Holy of Holies was where the presence of God himself was. If the High Priest had not properly prepared and cleansed himself of any trace of sin, he would die when he entered into the presence of God.
When Jesus died, the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was torn open from the top all the way to the bottom. This signified that through Jesus’ sacrifice that we can now enter into the presence of almighty God. We can be made holy, being sanctified by the blood of Jesus.
“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top, to the bottom.” ~ Mark 15:37-38
Christ did not forgive us so that we would be weak and fall back into sin. Jesus did a complete work. He provided a way whereby we can be made holy within, and be able to enjoy the very presence of God’s Holy Spirit within our hearts.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” ~ Hebrews 10:19-22
While the priests could not minister in the Holy of Holies, the death of Christ made it possible for the veil to be spiritually rent completely in two and for man to enjoy a two-fold experience. So mankind could spiritually be in the presence of God himself.
Sanctification spiritually admits one into the New Testament Holy of Holies where the laws of God are written on the heart.
“For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” ~ Heb 10:14-16
Today, God does not dwell in a physical tabernacle, temple, or sanctuary, but in the hearts of his sanctified saints.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The spiritual nature of man will soon be corrupted with sin, if the Holy Spirit is not in control. Man only has a fleshly nature without the Holy Spirit within. So through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can now have the divine nature of the Holy Spirit within us.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” ~ 2 Peter 1:4
Lust is that fleshly craving that will eventually prevail, if we have not in love, from the depths of our hearts, completely surrendered our hearts to the will of God’s Holy Spirit.
Mankind without the Spirit of God is carnal or fleshly; even though he may be religious.
“How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” ~ Jude 1:18-21
The spirit that a sinner has, is a fleshly one. A spirit that is contrary to the Spirit of God.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” ~ Ephesians 2:2-3
But where did we get that “children of wrath” nature from? It was passed on to us from all the way back to Adam and Eve, because they were the first to corrupt their spirit.
Adam and Eve were created holy, because when God created Adam, he made him a living soul. God breathed into Adam the breath of life, directly from himself. And then later God created Eve from a rib from Adam.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” ~ Genesis 1:27
God is a Spirit, so the image that was like God’s image, was the spirit that God gave Adam and Eve.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” ~ Genesis 2:7
Adam started as a living soul because of God’s Spirit within him. Eve was also the creation of God, created from Adam.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” ~ Genesis 2:21-22
So the woman that God created from Adam was also in the image of God. They both were living souls because of the Holy Spirit of God that they had within them. The same image that God first breathed into Adam.
But when Adam and Eve sinned, their soul spiritually died. The Holy Spirit of God could no longer dwell within them, because of their sin. God warned them this would happen.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:17
And when they ate of the forbidden tree, they did not physically die, but their soul died and the Spirit of God left them. They were separated from the presence of God because sin cannot be in God’s presence. God “with them” was their “life”. But now they were unworthy of God’s presence. Therefore they were cast out of the Garden, and away from the presence of God.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” ~ Romans 5:12-14
Later we see that the children of Adam and Eve had the same fallen nature of Adam and Eve, because they did not have the Holy Spirit within them either. Mankind has had the same fallen nature ever since. So later we read it described in scripture specifically: how that a child from Adam and Eve did not have the image of God, but rather the image of fallen Adam (even though Adam originally started with the image of God). Adam’s fallen nature of “no Spirit of the living God”, was now being passed on to every generation.
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” ~ Genesis 5:1-3
So we see that this scripture repeats what was already said in Genesis chapter 1, to emphasize the difference between the way Adam was created, and then after the fall how his offspring were born. So a hundred and thirty years later, Adam is fallen, and no longer has the image of God. His soul is dead because of sin. And the nature he has is fleshly and carnal, because of the absence of God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore, now his children are also born with the same fallen nature. So they don’t have the Holy Spirit within either.
Man without God is fallen. His nature is not very different from an animal (or beast), although his reasoning capability of course is much higher. But his nature is still fleshly.
And so it has been ever since.
“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” ~ Psalms 58:3
King David recognized this nature that he also received when he was born.
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and sin did my mother conceive me.” ~ Psalms 51:5
The two-fold nature of sin makes a second definite work of grace necessary. Man needs to not only be forgiven. He also needs to have his very nature changed by being once again filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
This is why later in Psalms 51 David prophesied about this as he desired a change in his spirit.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” ~ Psalms 51:10
Our spirit must be changed if we are going to continue to live holy and without sin. Our old fleshly spirit does not have the ability to maintain holiness!
“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” ~ Romans 7:5-6
The Apostle Paul described this sinful nature in a very detailed way, as he showed that before being saved and receiving the Holy Spirit, he would wrestle with his own sinful nature. The following text is from Romans the 7th chapter, and continues into the 8th chapter. I leave the numbered references to the scriptures so you can verify this text yourself.
Starting in Romans 7:14
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to preform that which is good I find it not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil that I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Then the Apostle Paul goes on to explain what being filled with the Holy Spirit does for the individual: how it changes their nature.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
2 For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The full plan of God is for us again to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can live to the Spirit of God, and not to the flesh.
(1) This inherent sin may be summed up by calling it the sin of selfhood. When man fell into sin he was promised that he would die. In a true sense, this happened when it caused God to abdicate the throne of man’s heart and self became the ruler.
(2) Here is a divided affection, a divided allegiance that the Holy Spirit must purge and correct.
When man fell in the garden, he became a god to himself, as his own personal fleshly motivated spirit became his guide and ruler.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” ~ Genesis 3:4-5
And so ever since, mankind has chosen to create his own gods and his own religions to guide him in his fleshly motivations.
The disciples of Christ were saved men, yet they still needed the experience of sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, or else they also would be led of fleshly motivations.
Jesus testified that his disciples were saved men.
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fell from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” ~ Luke 10:17-20
Yet, there were several occasions that proved they had a fleshly nature and that they needed a second work of grace.
“And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, what was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” ~ Mark 9:33-34
They had a desire to promote themselves, and so they carnally argued about who should be the greatest.
They did not even recognize how their fleshly thinking could corrupt even their understanding of how to rightly divide the teaching of the scriptures.
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” ~ Luke 9:54-56
The Apostles needed more than just the Word of God and forgiveness for their sins. They needed the will of their personal spirit to die! Then the Holy Spirit could be seated on the throne of their hearts, so that God would be directing, and not them.
But what did it take to bring them to a place where their hearts were prepared to receive the Holy Spirit? Their notions and plans of what the kingdom of God would be had to be dashed. Their earthly thinking had to be destroyed, so that they could receive a spiritual kingdom and allow God to work his spiritual purpose through them.
They hoped then an earthly kingdom would be restored to the people of Israel. In addition, they thought that Jesus would become their earthly King in this new kingdom.
But when Jesus was crucified their earthly thinking and hopes were dashed completely. They were now the outcasts of Israel, and fearful of the future. But when Jesus revealed that he was the risen Lord, and told them to wait for the promise of the Holy Ghost so that they would be witnesses to all the world, they now we’re looking in a spiritual direction, not an earthly one.
This happened when they received the experience of sanctification and infilling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
“And when the day of pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now then when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how we hear every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia,and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, and Ponyus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this know unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my spirit; and they shall prophecy” ~ Acts 2:1-18
They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were given the gift of languages so that they could fulfill the call to preach the gospel to the world. They were now engaged with the spiritual kingdom, and no longer an earthly kingdom.
Note: the true Holy Spirit does not give a false gift where people do crazy things like babbling in an “unknown” tongue, or falling on the floor, etc. It is important that we understand the difference between devil possession and true Holy Spirit inspiration!
So the Apostle’s burden and purpose was not only for other people to be saved, but also for these people to be sanctified (set apart by the Holy Spirit) to fulfill God’s worldwide gospel purpose.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation.” ~ Acts 2:36-40
Receiving the Holy Spirit happens after sins have been forgiven and washed away. In the case of the Apostles, they received the Holy Ghost a long time after they were saved.
In Samaria it was similar. They were first saved when Philip introduced the Gospel of salvation to them. Then later Peter and John came to Samaria and instructed them in receiving the Holy Spirit, and then the people gladly did.
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voices, came out of many that were possessed. And there was great joy in that city.” ~ Acts 8:5-8
Then later, Peter and John came and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit.
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” ~ Acts 8:14-17
Not everyone can receive the Holy Ghost. Like the Apostles told the people on the day of Pentecost: we first must have repented of our sins completely so that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus.
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” ~ John 14:17
Before being filled with the Holy Spirit, like the Apostles, we must be already familiar with the Holy Spirit. We first become familiar with him when he speaks to our hearts, that we need to repent and forsake sin. When we obey the Spirit in receiving salvation, then we are moving closer to God. He is with us, but not yet in us.
Then to be filled with the Spirit, a complete unconditional surrender of self to God must be made without any reservations, followed by an earnest desire and fervent prayer for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
“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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:1-2
But to receive the Holy Spirit, let us understand more about the desire and purpose of the Holy Spirit: so we can understand what we are really asking for.
It was Jesus himself that plainly told us the desire and purpose of the Holy Spirit:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” ~ John 16:13-14
So if we want the Holy Spirit, it must be for the reason that we want to be like him! We don’t want to speak of ourselves. We want to speak and do only what God shows us, and we want to glorify Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, the Holy Spirit wants to sanctify us, meaning: he wants to preserve us and have us “set aside” or used only for God’s purpose. As spoken of in Romans 12, this is our “reasonable service” that our offering to God might be accepted.
“That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” ~ Romans 15:16
And there is something very important that must be understood about our sacrificial offering to God. Something that is too often neglected today when people teach about sanctification. Being sanctified to the Lord’s purpose does not end with one offering from us! Our first offering and infilling of the Holy Ghost, is just the beginning of many more offerings to come!
There is another pattern from the Old Testament worship that God has given us that also teaches us about the full meaning of a sanctified life. And that is the daily morning and evening sacrifice of the Old Testament. This daily sacrifice was a critical part of the spiritual success of the children of Israel!
“And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the Lord; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even; And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.” ~ Numbers 28:3-6
This sacrifice was not a sacrifice for sin. This was a sacrifice that the people where to personally identify with themselves. And this sacrifice was to be pure: “without spot”. It was also called the “whole burnt offering” because nothing of the lamb was to be withheld from being completely consumed by the fire. When the sacrifice was completed, there was nothing of the lamb left, except for ashes.
And everyone of the congregation of Israel with the burden to pray, would gather together to agree in prayer at this particular time. But to reach the throne of God with their prayers, their hearts needed to identify with the sacrifice by the attitude “your will be done, Oh Lord!” Then the priest could take the coals and incense (which represents prayer) inside the tabernacle where the incense would be offered on the golden altar. Incense on the golden altar represented prayer that is not mixed with any selfish fleshly purpose. It represented consecrated prayer to: “the will of God!”
Note: today the fire of this spiritual daily sacrifice, starts when the Holy Ghost fills us. But the same spiritual sacrifice must be made everyday, for us to continue to be successful in our walk with the Lord. We must consecrate our will to the will of God daily, so that our prayers can be offered before God without any selfish fleshly mixture.
One of the spiritually darkest times in the history of the Israelites is described as a time when the daily sacrifice was taken away.
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.” ~ Daniel 8:11-12
The removal of this important morning and evening sacrifice created a wide open door to Satan to have the upper hand against God’s people! And if it is spiritually removed from our lives today, Satan will again get the upper hand.
In the Old Testament, God consumed the first daily sacrifice made on the altar, with heaven sent fire. Then after that, it was the responsibility of the people to keep offering a daily sacrifice and to always keep the fire burning. (see Leviticus 9:23-24)
Now along with the daily sacrifice, the High Priest would take coals of fire from off of the altar of sacrifice, and he would use those same coals to offer incense on the golden altar which was before the veil in the holy place of the tabernacle (while at the same time all the people agreed in prayer in the court near the altar of sacrifice.) The golden altar was not used for offering the daily sacrifice. Only the coals and the incense could be offered on the golden altar.
“And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.” ~ Exodus 30:7-9
No flesh could be included with the coals the High Priest would take inside the tabernacle, nor could any other fire be used to offer this intercessory prayer incense, or the priests would die (see Leviticus 10:1-2)
The day of Pentecost particularly matches the pattern of the morning sacrifice, being it was the spiritual whole burnt offering of God’s people, at the beginning gospel day. And on the day of Pentecost, God sent the Holy Ghost fire to consume the sacrifice (of their will and lives) and to fill his people with the anointed power they needed to spread the gospel.
Today in the evening time of the Gospel day, we again also need to offer a complete sacrifice. We again need the Lord to consume completely the sacrifice, so that we can be filled with the Holy Ghost, so that we might fulfill the calling of our day to again spread the gospel.
But once we are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, we must continue to bring our sacrifice to the Lord daily. Jesus and the Apostles taught us this.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” ~ Luke 9:23-24
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:31
This daily sacrifice spiritually represents our daily sacrifice. And even though we may have our daily devotions mostly alone while we are in prayer in the morning and in the evening. Our hearts still must be in unity with the rest of God’s people, just like it was supposed to be in the Old Testament when they gather together to pray at the time of the morning and evening sacrifice.
Jesus emphasized strongly the need for this unity at the altar of sacrifice!
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” ~ Matthew 5:23-24
Finally, the positive work of the Holy Spirit is to provide the power, gifts, and provide for the needs of the church, so that she may fulfill the mission of the Gospel.
To provide the needed power:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” ~ Acts 1:8
To provide the necessary guidance in truth:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” ~ John 16:13
To provide the necessary comfort:
“And I will pray the father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye knoweth him; for he dwell with you, and shall be in you.” ~ John 14:16-17
To provide us clear teaching:
“But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” ~ John 14:26
To help us increase in spiritual fruit:
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” ~ John 15:2
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:against such there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
To unify God’s people in one purpose:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” ~ John 17:20-23
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” ~ Acts 4:31-32
To qualify and fit one for service:
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” ~ Luke 24:49
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:21
The evidence of the Holy Spirit is found in himself. It does not depend on any certain phase or emotional reaction. The evidence of the Holy Spirit in a life is as clear as the evidence of the existence of the sun.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” ~ Romans 8:16