“Billy Graham wasn’t just a great preacher, he was a very holy man!” How many times have I heard this in the media as of late when describing the character attributes of Billy Graham? Is it true that a person can be classified as being ‘holy?’ Or is this another area in which the doctrinal foundation of Christendom has been wrong once more and as a result our current grasp of the full meaning of this word is lacking?
Let’s explore this further.
Leviticus 11:45 says “For I the L-RD am He who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your G-d: you shall be holy, for I am holy.”
In order to explore and reach a definitive conclusion as to the full meaning of what it means to be holy, we need to go back to the beginning for it is in the beginning that HaShem, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel, reveals the end per Isaiah 46:10.
Further, we need to take this word ‘Holy’ back to its Hebrew meaning as Hebrew is a very concrete, solid, language unlike English which is very abstract.
First and foremost however, we need to understand that in the beginning, at the creation of Adam and then Eve, both were like HaShem and had a full and complete understanding of holiness. Unfortunately, at the fall, both Adam and Eve were stripped of their kedusha i.e. knowing they were naked. Further, even the concept of kedusha and what it all entails was lost and thus HaShem has been working to teach us ever since.
‘Kodesh/Kedusha/Kadosh’ are all Hebrew derivatives of ‘Holy/Holiness’ in English. At its root, it means to be “Set aside” or “Differentiated.”
Kedusha – Set aside or designated as well for the service of HaShem by FORMAL and LEGAL restrictions and limitations. Where are these formal and legal restrictions recorded? In the Torah and subsequently in the Mishnah as the duly appointed Sanhedrin (Court of HaShem) made their right rulings in the authority of HaShem Who gave them the mandate to do so.
On a much deeper level, it means “The time, space and objects that are limited to us through the agency of kedusha are signs that as HaShem’s covenantal partners, we MUST relinquish some control in every sphere of our existence and reserve those elements for His service.”
With this all said, let’s explore this further!
HaShem tells us above in Leviticus 11:45 and several more times throughout His Word that He IS ‘kadosh’ meaning He is THE definition of being set aside or differentiated. Is HaShem of this world or is He set apart from this world?
So if He commands Israel to be kadosh i.e. set apart or differentiated from the world, as He is kadosh, then we need to ask three follow up questions: What does this mean, what does this entail and what does this look like in action and our lives?
HaShem is unchanging, His Word is firmly established, He reveals the end out of the beginning and He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets. This all said, the very first time ‘Kadosh/Kedusha’ is used in His Word is very revealing and begins to lay the foundation for establishing the meaning of this word: Bereshit 2:3 says “And HaShem blessed the seventh day and declared it holy (vay-kadaish), because on it HaShem ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.”
Very interesting!! So the very first time He introduces kedusha/kadosh is in connection to His Shabbat! Oh but I thought His Shabbat was now ‘Fulfilled’ and changed to any ole day of the week or Sunday? Does this not imply how serious He is concerning His Shabbat? I digress.
Further, He says in Shemot (Exodus) 20:8 “Remember (Act upon, do it) the Shabbat and keep (Guard) it holy (Kadosh).”
What is significant about His Shabbat that sets this day apart from the other days of the week? It is the one day in which HaShem declares we are to NOT do our own desires on it i.e. work, etc. It is the one day of the week in which the beginning of Shabbat begins with the lighting of candles which sets this time apart. At the end, we pray the Havdalah which ends this set apart time and we resume the mundane.
What does Kedusa/Kadosh look like in a person?
First, it must be stressed that in the entirety of HaShem’s Word, not one time is a person ever declared to be ‘Holy/Kadosh!’ The Patriarchs, the Matriarchs, even Yeshua Himself is never called ‘Holy/Kadosh!’
On the flip side, HaShem declares the entirety of Israel as His people to be ‘Holy/Kadosh!’
Shemot (Exodus) 19:6 says “But you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy (Kadosh) nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the Children of Israel.”
Shemot (Exodus) 22:30 “You shall be a holy (Kodesh) people to Me: You must not eat flesh torn by beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs.”
So while no individual person is called ‘Holy/Kadosh’, the entirety of the nation of Israel, as HaShem defines Israel, is called ‘Holy/Kadosh.’ Further, in each case He calls Israel ‘Holy/Kadosh’ it is ALWAYS in conjunction with His commandment to guard and keep His Torah!
So just as a cursory review thus far: Holiness/Kedusha, is being set apart, differentiated with Shabbat being the initial example. Further, we see the entire nation of Israel is declared to be Holy/Kadosh.
Is Israel holy/kadosh in itself OR is Israel holy/kadosh only when we are guarding and keeping His Torah as the terms of the covenant He made with us at Mount Sinai in Shemot (Exodus) 19? I submit that while the nation of Israel has a level of kedusha, it is through guarding and keeping His Torah that sets us apart and differentiates between HaShem and the world. In other words, Torah is the means to live out kedusha!! So if we are rejecting His Torah, declaring Torah now ‘fulfilled’ and obsolete, can we then be a set apart people unto Him? I submit it is impossible as we will then by default look and act like the world!
Now let’s dig a bit deeper into the meaning of ‘Holiness/Kedusha!’
The following is a list of the Ten Levels of Kedusha that is listed in the Mishnah (Oral Torah) showing the progression of kedusha, beginning with number 10 to number 1:
-10: The Land of Israel has a level of Kedusha because from the Land we bring to the Temple the omer (Barley offering), bikkurim (First fruits) and the Two Loaves.
– 9: Walled cities have a higher Kedusha than the Land. Any person declared to be a metzora, zav or has corpse impurity must be sent out of the city.
– 8: Within the Walls of Jerusalem has a higher Kedusha than walled cities. Within the walls of Jerusalem the Kodashim Kalim (Offerings of lesser Kedusha) and Maaser Sheni (Tithes) can only be eaten. They cannot be taken outside of the cities walls.
– 7: The Temple Mount has a higher Kedusha than inside the walls of Jerusalem. Anyone who is declared a zavim, zavos, niddos or women who have just given birth are not permitted to enter.
– 6: The Cheil has a higher Kedusha than the Temple Mount. The Cheil is an area directly adjacent to the Temple and the courtyards. It extends outwards ten amos from the Temple and was surrounded by the Soreg (Wooden latticework) fence which was ten hand breadths high. No Gentile or anyone with a corpse impurity are permitted to enter.
– 5: The Court of the Women has a higher Kedusha than the Cheil. A Tevul Yom (Someone who was unclean, has gone through the mikveh but must wait until sundown before being declared clean again) is not permitted to enter.
– 4: The Court of the Israelites has a higher Kedusha than the Court of the Women. A ‘Mechussar Kippurim’ (One who lacks atonement) is not permitted to enter and they are obligated to bring a Chatas (Sin) offering before entering.
– 3: The Court of the Kohanim (Priests) has a higher Kedusha than the Court of the Israelites. Israelites are NOT permitted to enter only the Kohanim.
– 2: Between the Ulam and the Altar has a higher Kedusha than the Court of the Kohanim. The Ulam is the antechamber of the Heichal (Sanctuary). Any Kohanim who has any blemishes or untrimmed hair is not permitted to enter. Included here is the Heichal (Sanctuary) which has a higher Kedusha in that any Kohanim whose hands and feet are unwashed are not permitted to enter.
– 1: The Most Holy Place has the highest Kedusha of all. No Kohanim is permitted to enter with the exception of the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) who will do so four times while performing the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Temple Service.
Can you see the progression here? The closer one draws towards HaShem and His Presence, the more restrictive the requirements of kedusha are!
With this said, now let’s discuss the Temple:
The Beit HaMikdash (The House of Kedusha) i.e. the Temple of HaShem in Jerusalem is the EPITOME of kedusha in action! His Temple is one giant teaching tool that He is using to teach us what kedusha really is!
Ezekiel 43:10-12 says “You, son of man, describe this House to the House of Isra’el, so that they will be ashamed of their crimes. And let them measure accurately. If they become ashamed of all they have done, show them the elevation and plan of the House, its exits and entrances, all its details and decorations, and all its specifications, its design and its Torah. Sketch it for them to see, so that they can observe the entire design with its specifications, and carry them out. This is Torah for the House: the whole surrounding area on the mountaintop will be especially holy (Kadosh). This is Torah for the House.”
What many may not know is the above is a commandment by HaShem to His people that we must learn EVERYTHING, inside and out, the patterns, the blueprint, the priesthood, the garments, the offerings, the services, the locations, the functions of each of the buildings, the items used in the Temple, the Feasts, the Shabbat, the Rosh Kodesh (New Moon), etc, and why? To learn kedusha!!!
Is it possible to walk out and live kedusha in our lives if we adhere to the doctrine that the Torah has been fulfilled and rendered irrelevant, the Feasts have been changed, Shabbat has been changed or rendered irrelevant and eating unclean is not only authorized but encouraged? We can see it is in fact impossible to do so!
Further, when we are LIKENED to the Temple, many attempt to teach that our bodies are literally the Temple now and thus have replaced the need for a physical Temple in Jerusalem; how can this be when those who adhere to this doctrine, which in essence teaches all kedusha has been rendered irrelevant and tossed aside, can be the Temple without any kedusha? Its impossible!
Who has HaShem designated to teach kedusha? Per Ezekiel 44:23 “They (Kohanim) shall declare to My people what is sacred (Kodesh) and what is profane, and inform them what is clean and what is unclean.”
So is every person who claims to serve the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Elohim of Israel now a Kohen/Priest? Not a chance!! Think about this for a minute!
With this all said thus far, now we need to ask, ‘What item, space of time or who has a level of kedusha?’
The items in the Beit HaMikdash (House of Kedusha/Temple) all have a level of kedusha depending on their functions and where they are to be utilized in service to HaShem! They may NOT EVER be used for the mundane!
For example, the priestly garments of the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) may only be worn on certain days, at specific times, in specific locations and for specific purposes and may NEVER be worn outside of the Temple!
The Feasts of HaShem have a kedusha in that they are set apart by time just as the weekly Shabbat has a kedusha and is set apart by time.
Levites and Kohanim are set apart by genealogy and are restricted as to whom they may marry nor may they incur corpse impurity.
Tithes, First Fruits, Korbonot (Animal/Grain Offerings which may be eaten only by certain people, in proscribed locations and for limited periods of time).
So we can see, being set apart to and for the service of HaShem by FORMAL and LEGAL restrictions IS the definition of kedusha/holiness!
I will ask again, what is the means to be set apart and serve HaShem? His Torah, ALL of His Torah! Again, if we toss Torah aside, change His calendar, change His Feasts, change His Shabbat, make declarations reserved only for the Sanhedrin, the Priests, etc, have we now not just committed the grave sin of encroachment? ***For the record when I mention the Sanhedrin, I am referring to the one that was established at Sinai and was disbanded around 358 common Era in the city of Tiberias, Israel. Their right rulings and judgments are recorded in the Mishnah and the Talmud. I will be posting an Op soon discussing the Sanhedrin and its composition and also prove by the Torah and the Mishnah that Yeshua’s trial was illegal!
Do we have the authority to make such declarations when they have been legally and formally established by the Sanhedrin and recorded in the Mishnah? No we do not, so who are we defying when and if we do so? We are defying HaShem Himself and breaking His Torah i.e. sinning!
Now I know many will say “I don’t have to listen to the Sanhedrin, they are just men and their decisions are nothing but traditions of men and thus we can toss them aside.”
HaShem says otherwise: Deuteronomy 17:9-11 says “You (HaShem speaking to Israel) shall come to the Kohanim, the Levites, and to the judge (Comprise the Sanhedrin) who will be in those days; you shall inquire and they will tell you the word of judgment (In other words when a question arises on how to keep the Commandments, we are to bring the question before the Sanhedrin who will then deliberate and make a ruling in the authority HaShem has given them!) YOU SHALL DO ACCORDING TO THE WORD THAT THEY WILL TELL YOU, FROM THAT PLACE THAT HASHEM WILL CHOOSE, AND YOU SHALL BE CAREFUL TO DO ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING THAT THEY WILL TEACH YOU. According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, SHALL YOU DO; you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left.” Yikes! This is a major game changer!
So we can see it is HaShem Himself Who has established His court system to make rulings concerning the Torah. Who are we to tell Him He is wrong!
Let’s get back on track here.
With this all said, when we compare ‘Jesus Christ’ as taught by the doctrine of Christendom, does ‘Jesus Christ’ teach ANY message of kedusha per the doctrine? Not a chance! ‘Jesus Christ’, per the doctrine, teaches every single kedusha has been ‘fulfilled’ therefore it is all obsolete. This means there is NOTHING to set apart from the world which means the doctrine of ‘Jesus Christ’ is of the world and not of HaShem!
Yeshua on the other hand, does teach kedusha and to live our lives in the service of HaShem! He does teach we are to be set apart unto HaShem and have nothing to do with the world!
We can again see that His Torah truly is the only truth there is per Psalms 119:142 and anything that falls short of Torah is a lie! Any message that teaches Torah is now fulfilled is a lie. Any doctrine that teaches everyone is free from any limitations, restrictions or kedusha, is a lie!
Let’s ponder this subject during this Shabbat and realize Shabbat has a kedusha i.e. set apart by time. It is His day He has graciously granted to us! Let’s enter into His Shabbat and let Him rest (A Hebrew idiom to mean let Him rule over His Kingdom). We are His people and partners with Him in covenant. We need to really understand this and begin learning now what this truly means for who knows, very soon the Altar and the Temple will be re-dedicated in Jerusalem and then the ball game changes…Baruch HaShem!!
Much to consider!