Leviticus 19-20

Thursday Evening Bible Study

September 10, 2009


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Leviticus is an instruction manual for the Levite priests.

The main theme is “Holiness”

(Lev 19:2 NKJV) …'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

We’ve been seeing that there are many nuances of what it means to be “holy”. Not only does it mean to be separate from outright sin, but there are things that are labeled “unclean” that are not necessarily sinful, but can still have a negative impact on a person’s life.

Leviticus 19 – Holiness described

:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

:2 holyqadowsh – sacred, holy, set apart

Separated for a specific use, for God’s use.

We want to learn what holiness means because this is what God is.

(1 Pet 1:13-16 NLT)  So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. {14} Obey God because you are his children. Don't slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn't know any better then. {15} But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God--who chose you to be his children--is holy. {16} For he himself has said, "You must be holy because I am holy."

The more we get to know God, the more we ought to understand that God is holy.  He is different.  He is pure and we are not.

What does it look like?

All that we’ve studied and will study tie to this concept, that we learn what it means to be holy.

The things in this chapter are part of that picture.

:3 'Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

Learning to honor God starts at home.

You don’t pick your parents, God is the one who picked your parents.

As adults, it doesn't always mean that parents control your life, but that you honor and respect their advice.

Give great weight to their opinions.

:4 'Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

:5 'And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD, you shall offer it of your own free will.

:6 'It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire.

:7 'And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted.

:8 'Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

:5-7 The peace offering was a picture of having fellowship with God, eating dinner with God.

You were allowed to eat the leftovers for two days, but by the third day you had to throw out the leftovers.


Love relationship

The worshipper brought the peace offering of their own “free will” (vs. 5).
God wants us to spend time with Him, but because we want to, not because He has a gun to our head.
God made us to have a love relationship with Him.


Fresh relationship

You can’t survive on the leftovers forever.
Some of us who have known the Lord for awhile can make the mistake of talking about the “good old days”.
“I remember twenty years ago when I was close to God...”
God wants a fresh, current relationship with you.
If you live off of what you get on Sundays only, in a few days it will go bad, just like food spoiling.
We need to learn to live day to day with Jesus, seeking Him, reading His word, praying, worshipping...

:9 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

:10 'And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

:10 leave them for the poor – This was what the Israelites had instead of welfare.

If you were poor and unable to support yourself, you could go out to the fields and “glean”, look for the bits of grain or fruit missed by the harvesters.

It was work, but it your needs were met.


Don’t neglect the poor.

(Prov 19:17 NKJV)  He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.
Don’t get so caught up in yourself and amassing your fortune that you neglect the poor.

:11 'You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

:12 'And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

:13 'You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.

:13 Fair employers – businesses should not be taking advantage of their employees.

In those days, people were paid daily.

The principle is that you keep your word and don’t take advantage of your employees by holding on to their wages for your own benefit.

:14 'You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

:14 Don’t abuse the handicapped – Some people find it great fun to tease a handicapped person, but it should not be so among God’s people.

Don't take advantage of people's handicaps.

:15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.

:15 no partiality – partiality can take place two ways:  We can be easy on the poor out of sympathy on them, and easy on the rich hoping for reward.  Both are partiality.

:16 'You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

:16 No gossips – The idea is spreading bad rumors about people.

:16 talebearerrakiyl – slander, slanderer, tale bearer, informer

(Prov 20:19 NLT)  A gossip tells secrets, so don't hang around with someone who talks too much.

The way that gossip often comes across is someone trying to get you to like them, and they may start with flattering you while they are putting other people down.

If they put others down in front of you, what might they be saying to others about you?

Simply don’t put up with gossip.  If something is being said that wouldn’t be said in front of the person you’re talking about, then don’t talk about it.

:17 'You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

(Lev 19:17 NLT)  “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. “Confront your neighbors directly so you will not be held guilty for their crimes.

Sometimes we’re afraid to confront people about something that’s not right.

And so we go on hating them in our heart.

God wants us to learn to speak the truth in love.

(Prov 27:6 NLT)  Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

:18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Sound familiar?  Jesus called this the “second” greatest commandment (Mat. 22:356-40)

(Mat 22:35-40 NKJV)  Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, {36} "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" {37} Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' {38} "This is the first and great commandment. {39} "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' {40} "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

Jesus was saying that all the other laws are based on these two laws, to love God and love your neighbor.

Paul said that if you love your neighbor, you will do the other commandments that involve people:

(Rom 13:8-10 NKJV)  Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. {9} For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." {10} Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

:19 'You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.

What’s the point here?

I’m not sure there’s a scientific reason.

One commentator:

“Man was not to confuse what God had made distinct”

J.Vernon McGee:

Do you know what happens when you wash such a garment? God is teaching them great spiritual truths with symbols and ceremonies. They were not to have hybrid animals and plants. This was to teach them that there is to be no mingling of truth and error. This is brought out by our Lord’s parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13). Paul says, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:21). Christ said, “… Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).

I don’t think it means that you can’t get a double dip cone with jamoca almond fudge and pralines and cream.  Some things are good when mixed.  Other things shouldn’t be mixed.

:20 'Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

:21 'And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering.

:22 'The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.

There are three issues involved here, the fact that the girl was a slave, that she was intended for another man, and that this offending man had intercourse with her.

The point in our passage is that even if the girl was a slave, it doesn’t make her “free for the taking”.

There was a price involved.

:23 'When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten.

:24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the LORD.

:25 'And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the LORD your God.

:24 fruit shall be holy – This law says that when they enter the land and plant fruit trees, they were not to eat the fruit for the first three years, offer to God the fruit of the fourth year, and only after the fifth year were they allowed to eat the fruit of the trees.

When a fruit tree is planted, it isn’t expected to bear much fruit for the first three years.

Then on the fourth year, instead of eating the fruit yourself, you gave it to God.

Until you gave the first fruits to God, the fruit was considered forbidden, literally, “uncircumcised”.


Give God your best

Why give God the firstfruits?  It’s a way of you demonstrating that you recognize who the benefactor is in your life, Jesus!

:26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.

:26 blood – We dealt with this in chapter 17.   Blood was intended to be a symbol of life, and it was intended to be used to atone for sins. (Lev. 17:11)

:26 divinationnachash – to practice divination, divine, observe signs, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen.

Many ancient pagan peoples looked for signs, an eagle flying in the sky, a red sunset, etc., to try and discern direction from God. (Eze. 21:21-22)

It’s not just in ancient times either.  I remember talking to a brother who was completely caught up in finding symbolic meanings in absolutely everything, though it didn’t start out that way.  Example:  One day he saw a billboard for “Bugle Boy” = Be + Ugly, God thought he was ugly.

Don’t mess with this stuff.

:26 soothsaying`anan – to observe times, spiritism, magic, augury, witchcraft

I can’t help but think of these astrologers and fortune-tellers who like to put their predictions in the tabloids.  God doesn’t want any of His people messing with this stuff.

Studies have been made of the 10 leading psychics in the tabloids, and they’re only correct 2% of the time!

This stuff can be pretty addicting.  A little thing that comes true every once in a while keeps you hanging on, until these predictions are running your life.  And guess who’s the person pulling all the strings behind the scenes?  Satan.  You’re listening to Satan.

:27 'You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.

:28 'You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD.

God is not against keeping a neat and trim beard.

God is not against tattoos.

These were all practices done by the pagan peoples around them.  They were practices that were ways of worshipping the pagan gods.

:29 'Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.

:30 'You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.

:31 'Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

:31 familiar spirits – both these and “mediums” deal with much of the same stuff.  It is one who is either trying to contact the dead, or one who is trying to contact demonic forces (which are really one and the same thing).

There’s TV show on now called “Medium” where this woman fights crime with her visions and contacts with dead people.

“Allison DuBois (Arquette) is a strong-willed young mother of three, a devoted wife and law student who begins to suspect that she can talk to dead people, see the future in her dreams, and read people's thoughts. Fearing for her mental health, she turns for support to her husband Joe (Jake Weber), an aerospace engineer, who slowly comes to believe that what his wife is telling him just might be true. The real challenge is convincing her boss, D.A. Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) -- and the other doubters in the criminal justice system -- that her psychic abilities can give them the upper hand when it comes to solving violent and horrific crimes whose mysteries often reside with those who live beyond the grave.”
Sounds like trying to use “demons” to fight crime…

(Isa 8:19 NLT)  So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics? Do not listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?

Notice – you are “defiled” by these things.  It’s the word that means “unclean”.

:32 'You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.

:32 old man – This is talking about honoring old people.

How do you know who qualifies as “old”?

Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.

You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.

You look forward to a dull evening.

You quit trying to hold in your stomach, no matter who walks into the room.

You start singing along with the elevator music.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

8 AM is your idea of “sleeping in”.

You say the words “Turn that music down!”

You point out what buildings used to be where.

Today many people think of older people as “throw-aways”.

We need to honor them.

Try just sitting down and talking, you’ll find out that they have tons and tons of wisdom!

:33 'And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.

:34 'The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

:34 The stranger – We might see this applicable to visitors at church.  Do you remember your first time visiting church?

We might see this apply to the issue of illegal aliens in our nation.

I know this is a political hot potato, and I understand the issues of illegal aliens taking jobs away from citizens.

But it seems to me that we ought to be helping, not hurting.

:35 'You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.

:36 'You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

:36 honest – Be an honest business man.

May the title, “Christian owned and operated” someday become synonymous with integrity.  It is not so today.

I have to admit that sometimes I’m more likely to hire a non-Christian who works hard than a Christian who wants you to treat them special because they’re a Christian.

:37 'Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the LORD.'"

Leviticus 20 - Penalties

Here we enter the "penalty phase" of the law, the results of sin.

How are we to apply this portion of Scripture?

Are we to literally go out and kill people who are supposed to die for these particular sins?
These laws were given to a nation, God’s nation, a nation in which God was the king, chief ruler.
God’s standards have never changed, but the government that is ruling over us has.
Though these should be considered as ideals for a society which chooses to be governed by God, the fact of the matter is that our government is not.
We don’t take matters into our own hands either.
We can learn though the relative consequences of sin.  God is serious about sin.

:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:2 "Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: 'Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

:2  Molech – As we mentioned last week, (Lev. 18:21), the worship of Molech involved human sacrifice, as the little babies were placed in the red-hot arms of the god Molech.

Those that practice this kind of worship were to be put to death.

He was to be put to death by the people stoning him.

Everyone participated in the stoning, probably as a way of making clear to all what the penalties were for these offenses.

:3 'I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name.

:4 'And if the people of the land should in any way hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him,

:5 'then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.

:4 hide their eyes – It’s interesting that God would provide for when the people didn’t want to “get involved”.

If the people refused to be “involved”, then God promised to still take care of it.

In the event that the human government did not prosecute such a person, God would make sure that they didn't get away with it.


God is just. (one of God's character traits)

Every sin will be accounted for.
No one gets away with anything.
(Ezek 18:4 NKJV)  "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
The only escape of God's sure judgment is in letting someone else pay the price for your sins - Jesus Christ.

:6 'And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.

:6 mediums – It’s not just the mediums that were in trouble, but the person who uses them as well.

We see an example of this in King Saul.  When God stopped answering his questions, he went looking for someone who would.  He found a medium.

(1 Sam 28:6-7 NKJV)  And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets. {7} Then Saul said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor."

Because of his rebellion against God, God wasn’t responding to Saul’s prayers.
And so, rather than confess his sin and be right with God, Saul sought after a medium, a witch.

As a result of this, God had Saul die at the hands of the Philistines –

(1 Chr 10:13 NKJV)  So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.

God is serious about His people not playing around with mediums, etc.

:7 'Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.

:8 'And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

:9 'For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.

:9 curses his father – Wow!  Cursing your parents deserves the death penalty?

God is serious that we learn to honor our parents.


Children need to learn respect.

I think we need to make sure we’re teaching our children to respect their parents.
This is a difficult thing, because it almost seems selfish of us, yet we’re doing our children a favor by teaching them to respect adults.
We’re teaching them to respect authority.  When they get their first job, their boss will thank you.


Forgive your parents.

Some of you have fallen into the trap of thinking that because you had rotten parents, or because they abused you in some way, that you have a right to live in a “cursing” mentality towards them.
You’re only hurting yourself.
You need to forgive.  And yes, I know what I’m asking.
(Eph 4:32 NKJV)  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

:10 'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

:10 adultery – Death penalty for adultery.

How far have we come from God’s standard, when God would put an adulterer to death, and the world would glorify adultery in television and movies.

Nowadays people pay money to watch people commit adultery.

We need to catch ourselves lest we adopt the world’s standards of holiness instead of God’s standards.

:11 'The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

We now see some of the penalties for the sexual sins discussed back in Leviticus 18.

:12 'If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them.

:12 Their blood shall be upon them

Some people say that the death penalty is a contradiction to the command “Thou shalt not kill”.

First – the word for “kill” is literally “commit murder”.  There are some types of killing that are necessary.  Premeditated murder on the other hand is wrong.
Second – Here we see that the guilt for the death belongs to the criminal, not the government that carries out the punishment.  The guilt of their death is on them since they committed the crime.

:13 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

:13 with a male – Homosexuality came with a high price tag, the penalty was death.

Last week we talked about the word “abomination” (“disgusting”).  Don’t make it out to be more than it is.  There are quite a few things that are “disgusting” to God.

Homosexuality is not the world’s worst sin.  It carries the same penalty as adultery or incest.

Summarize vs.14-21

Various specifics concerning immorality - incest, bestiality, etc.

These are all the kinds of things we went through back in chapter 18.

They’re basically almost all punishable by death.

We covered these issues back in Leviticus 18.

:14 'If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.

:15 'If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.

:16 'If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.

:17 'If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness. He shall bear his guilt.

:18 'If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from their people.

:19 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister nor of your father's sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt.

:20 'If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

:21 'If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.

:22 'You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out.

Are we supposed to obey all these laws?  How do we know what is applicable and what is not?


Guidelines in understanding the Law:

1)  Is this a fulfilled ritual?

Things like sacrifices and festivals have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
We don't need to sacrifice any more little lambs.
(Heb 10:14 NKJV)  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

2)  Is this intended for the government, or individuals?

Understanding the difference between governmental responsibility versus personal responsibility.
ie - We personally don’t punish adulterers with death since we personally aren’t the government.
This is the government’s responsibility.
But we can learn about what God’s standards are, just because we aren’t personally able to enforce the consequences.
If we could change the government, it would be best to hold the law as the example to follow.

3)  Does the New Testament clarify the issue?

Some things still apply, others don’t.
a)  All food is clean
 (1 Tim 4:4-5 NKJV)  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; {5} for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
b)  Immorality is still wrong
(1 Th 4:3 NKJV)  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

Basically, the sexual laws don't change, they still apply.

4)  A warning against legalism

No matter how important we feel the law is, the bottom line is that we cannot be saved by keeping it.  We are only saved because God is merciful enough to forgive us and accept us. 
(Eph 2:8-9 NKJV)  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The law can be is a pattern for us to learn holiness by, to learn God's standards by.
But eventually the law only shows us how far we fall short, and how much we need a Savior.

5)  Walk in the Spirit.

(Rom 8:4 NKJV)  that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
When you set your sites on walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will find that He will start helping you do these things naturally.

:23 'And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.

Again, the warning, be careful that you don’t get your standard of morality from the world around you, it is constantly getting farther and farther away from God’s standards.

Let the warning lights go off in your head when you find yourself performing certain actions simply because everyone else is doing it. 

Any old dead fish can float downstream.  It takes a live one to swim against the flow.

:24 'But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.

:25 'You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

:26 'And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

:27 'A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.'"

Earlier it was those who paid attention to mediums that were warned.  Here it’s the mediums themselves that are punished.

This is a sign of the times.

(1 Tim 4:1-2 NKJV)  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, {2} speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

Are you ready for Jesus’ return?

:26  you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy

:26 I the LORD am holy – We are to be holy because that is what God is.  He is different.

When we are truly in His presence, there is a sense that we will respond like Isaiah did when He had a vision of God on His throne:

(Isa 6:3-7 NLT)  In a great chorus they sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" {4} The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke. {5} Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!" {6} Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. {7} He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
For Isaiah, there was a glimpse of God’s holiness, conviction over sin, forgiveness, and then God sending him to serve Him.

I found an interesting testimony (www.muslimjourneytohope.com - testimony #47) of a fellow who grew up in Iran as an extremely devout Muslim.  He travelled to Malaysia where he was caught with 30 illegal passports.  He was put in prison where he worked hard to convert his fellow prisoners to Islam.  He spent a lot of time in prison reading the Koran, fasting, and praying.  He experienced strange spiritual phenomena in prison including a demonic attack.  He became confused about who God was … (play video) and in the end he found Jesus.

For us, our first contact with holiness is what makes us aware of our sin.

Yet God wants us to learn to be holy like He is.

He wants us to reflect Him in the world we live in.

What does “holiness” look like?  Are you getting a better idea now?