Holiness – Set Apart From What?


The definition of holiness is something that is set apart. Strong’s and most other lexicons tell us the same thing. But what is something holy set apart FROM? My go to line of biblical problem solving these days is to think about things in terms of nature – the Creation. But where does Holiness fit in nature? All truth can be found in nature, yet where do we find holiness? This question comes up as a result of meditating on Romans 1:20 – that His invisible attributes are clearly seen in the Creation, even His eternal power and Godhead. But it occurred while I was thinking and studying about faith as the underlying necessity for miracles. 

Faith is something we all think we have, yet it is also elusive. We all ask for things “in Jesus name” and often don’t see results. James has the answer for this. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” We cannot have faith and doubt simultaneously, because faith will no longer be faith but mere “belief”.

I put belief in quotes because it is a word that is often used but gives the wrong impression to the English speaker. In the Old Testament, belief is usually translated from “aman” Strong’s H539. “To stand firm as a support” from the root word meaning “firm, sure or kind (as in a species).” Other words that are of the same root are “aman” H542, “a Craftsman: One who is firm in his talents,”; “emeth” H571 “Truth: what is firm”; “amen” H543, “An affirmation of firmness and support”; and “emun” and “emunah” H529 and H530, “Firmness, Faith”. [Definitions from the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible.] Aman and it’s derivatives are words that do not allow for the possibility of untruth or weakness. Our word “belief” however, has a connotation of thinking something is true even if it may not actually be so. It is possible to “be-lie-ve” a lie. However if a Hebrew were to “aman” something, it is a firm thing, planted on a firm, immovable, foundation – truth itself. It is more akin to our word “knowing.” To “know” something, in contrast to belief, is certain. Like “aman,” knowing does not leave room for error. If we know wrongly, we do not know at all, but have a mistaken belief instead.  “Faith” is what we do with the knowledge that we have. It is the works that are a requirement to show our knowledge. I do not believe in God, I know God and I have faith in God – I “aman” God. So I will use the word “faith” or “know” instead. Although still maybe not perfect translations, they are closer to the firmness that “aman” requires.

Through faith, based in true knowing, not belief, we can move mountains, heal the sick and perform miracles, all of which are things that occur outside of natural processes. So how do we see miracles occurring in nature when the definition of a miracle is something that occurs outside of nature? If they were part of what we see as “natural” or obeyed the physical laws that we can all comprehend, then they would cease to be miraculous. 

This is when I started thinking about Holiness (qodesh – Strong’s 6944),  which is defined as being Set-Apart. Those who are Holy have been set apart from something. But what? Could that something be nature – the Creation? I believe so, or rather I know so. If I have been given the Holy Spirit, that Spirit exists outside of the natural processes that dictate the things of the earth. We are granted the Holy Spirit when we are accepted into the body of Yeshua, the Christ, the one who overcame nature in His lifetime by performing miracles everywhere He went and especially by His resurrection from the dead, which granted us the access to become members of His Body. This makes sense when we think of Yeshua as being the Creator of the world before being born into the world as flesh (John 1). The Creator and the created cannot be the same. The Creator is always greater than the Creation, and so must exist outside of it. Said another way, the Creator is set-apart from the Creation – Holy. He can work miracles because He is outside of, and greater than, the Creation, able to manipulate or change it at will. 

If I were to make a sculpture out of bronze, I would be that sculpture’s creator. I would be set-apart from the sculpture because our natures are different. After the sculpture is completed, it will have no ability to change anything on its own because it is a lifeless chunk of metal – that is its nature. But I, as it’s creator, have tools – grinders, saws, welders, etc – to destroy it, change it and repair it, all at my own will. This is also why a sculpture is an idol, and can never be a God – the relationship goes the wrong direction, in effect making ourselves into gods, which is offensive to the true Creator! We are the image and He is the Creator.

So when we receive the Holy Spirit, having been accepted into the body of Yeshua, we are now able to work outside of the natural processes, too! If we “aman,” that is Know (not believe) that we can, and if we ask in accordance with the will of Yahweh, then we can. It is His will “that [not] any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3: 9, and “that whoever believes in [has Faith, or Knows] Him should not perish, but should have eternal life.” – John 3: 15. This eternal life is a direct result of being set apart into the life of the Creator, no longer being subject only to the life of created nature, which will die in corruption. 

So we find Holiness in nature only in that being set apart from the nature of the creation brings us into the spiritual nature of the Creator Himself. Not only have we found the “eternal power and Godhead” by looking at and meditating on the Created things of Romans 1:20, but we have found some profound truths about our eternal life and the Holy Spirit! When we look at the Biblical things that are described as holy we can think about them a bit differently now. Leviticus 10: 3, “By those who come near me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.” Why must He be regarded as Holy? Because He is set apart from the very nature of our existence, being the one who created it. Why is the Holy place of the tabernacle called Holy? Because it is set aside for the Creator to reside in. Supernatural communication takes place there! Holiness is the supernatural. Super meaning above = above nature. Set apart from it. 

Let us meditate on this Holiness that we have been given, and let us “Know” the truth and power that it contains, that Yahweh may be glorified!

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By Jeff Weitzel

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