PARTAKERS of HIS HOLINESS (by permission; chp 14 from Ray Prinzings Book - Whispers of His Call)
"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, -- for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. -- Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." [Hebrews 12:7, 10, 14].
God's marvelous dealings, however severe at times they might
seem to be, are always for our profit. The workings of God are so arranged that
He sows the seed of GAIN in loss itself, therefore working all things together
into our good, and for His praise. Even during those moments we are so stripped,
till we say with Paul, "For Whom I have suffered the loss of all things,"
yet ultimately it is for the purpose "that I may win Christ." [Philippians
3:8]. And this calling into oneness with the Christ truly turns all loss into
When betimes the holy Spirit quickens the truths of our calling relative to the ministry that shall be manifested through His sons, we stand in awe. Kingdom authority, to be His ensign, of that Melchizedec order, beyond the angels, reaching for the heights of that which is incomparable. These truths, when illumined by the Spirit, reach deep into the soul and humble us before Him. Such love, such mercy, such grace extended to man. Such heights are also very well safe-guarded, for the call is not only HIGH, it is also very HOLY. "As your Commander is holy, you also should become holy in all your conduct. Because it is written, BECOME HOLY for I Myself am holy." [1 Peter 1:15-16, Ferrar Fenton trans.].
The disciplines, the chastenings of our Father are designed for this very purpose-- that we might BECOME holy. The very word "become" signifies a process, a growing up into Him, a going on to perfection. The pre-requisite of becoming holy is clearly stated in that phrase, "without which no man shall see the Lord." Thus it becomes imperative, vitally essential-- not a matter of choice, but of necessity. WE WOULD SEE JESUS! Therefore we must endure the processings which produce that holiness required. To stand before Him who is "high and lifted up, whose train fills the temple," [Isaiah 6:1], where the seraphims cry, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts," means that there must be these deep inworkings of God in us, that we might be found "faultless before the presence of His glory." [Jude 24].
Therefore it is written that we must "endure chastening." Chastening is not as austere and foreboding a word as it sometimes appears at first glance. The Greek word literally means: child-training. Corrections if they are necessary, but also those moments of a good hug and kiss of affection, all blended together to promote the desired growth into spiritual maturity. Some people think that all "child-training" consists only in being continually punished. Not so! There are times of rich blessing and intimate fellowship, blended with times of instruction which gird us up. And then, if we are of a rebellious nature concerning a thing, He will also correct us in a measure that gets the message through to us-- and we LEARN "obedience by the things which we suffer." [Hebrews 5:8].
All of this child-training is "for our profit." This word "profit" is "sumphero" in the Greek, and means: to bear together. It signifies a BRINGING TOGETHER in order to help, be of advantage. All the loose, wandering emotions, actions of our will, reasonings of the mind, are girded up, to produce a spiritual maturity of wholeness, soundness. That which is unruly, undisciplined, unskilled, unrestrained, unfinished, cannot stand before Him. Hence the need for this DIVINE INSTRUCTION that we might walk worthy of this calling. Yes, that we might be made "Partakers of His holiness."
Partakers --There are three main Greek words translated as "partakers," with the meanings of: holding along with; one having in common; and, to receive with. It bespeaks of being A PARTICIPATOR, sharing together with, as it becomes our own personal possession. To partake of HIS HOLINESS, until it becomes our own state of being, is the goal of all the chastenings which He administers to us. To receive, hold, possess in common with Him that same degree of holiness which HE IS. Truly, only God can work such a salvation and perfection in His creatures.
"For we are made PARTAKERS of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." [Hebrews 3:14].
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be PARTAKERS of the divine nature..." [2 Peter 1:4].
Paul also writes of those who are "faithful and beloved, PARTAKERS of the benefit." [1 Timothy 6:2]. The benefit -- literally, "the good work, or, the well-doing." On the surface it may appear that the benefit refers to the kindnesses of the masters accorded to their slaves, servants. But methinks it goes much farther, because the context indicates that the masters are also numbered among the "brethren," being believers, even as are some of the servants. In which case, both master and servant are truly partakers of THE BENEFITS which come from Him who is Lord of all. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." [Psalm 103:2]. It is HIS GOOD WORKS toward us which result in such marvelous benefits to us.
Hebrews 6:4 speaks of those who were "enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made PARTAKERS of the holy Spirit."
What glorious realms of participation -- partakers of Christ, of the divine nature, of the benefit, of the holy spirit, OF HIS HOLINESS. These promises we gladly receive. But there is yet more -- for in BEING MADE a partaker of these victories, there is another dimension which must be included. 1 Peter 4:13 speaks of being "PARTAKERS of Christ's sufferings." Paul also bears witness to this, for in the same passage wherein he speaks of desiring to "win Christ, and be found in Him," he goes on to speak of "the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." [Philippians 3:10].
Partakers of sufferings? To what end? Ah, that we might become partakers of HIS HOLINESS. "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." [1 Peter 4:1-2].
The disciplines, the chastenings, the sufferings are but a means to an end, and the end IS CHRIST, and our oneness in Him, in His holiness, His life!
Peter expresses it this way, "A witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a PARTAKER of the glory that shall be revealed." [1 Peter 5:1]. There is a GLORY which follows all of the processings. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." [Jeremiah 29:11]. Or, as one translation gives, "to give you hope in your final outcome."
The Psalmist is filled with great desire for these realities, and cries out, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" [Psalm 42:2]. Yet he also well knew the qualifications, for in another Psalm he expressed it clearly, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart: who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord." [Psalm 24:3-5]. Do not these verses embody all of the truth of the statement, "HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord?" No wonder we are called to holiness! It is a virtue, a condition essential to our becoming a partaker of all the glory yet to be revealed, as we come before His presence.
Having been called to join THE HIGH PROCESSION to Zion, we immediately are made PARTAKERS OF THE PROCESSINGS, to be "changed from glory to glory," [2 Corinthians 3:18], as we "go from strength to strength" until we "in Zion appear before God." [Psalm 84:7].
But if we are not careful, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;" [Hebrews 12:15], this walk can easily become an "abstract" thing, and we think in terms of something outside of us, rather than something which becomes an inherent quality of our being. Holiness is not just a figure of speech, it is a QUALITY of our state of being.
"Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called "the children of God," and that is not just what we are called, but what we ARE. Our heredity on the God-ward side is no mere figure of speech, which explains why the world will no more recognize us than it recognized Christ. -- We don't know what we shall become in the future. We only know that, if reality were to break through, we should reflect His likeness, for we should see Him as He really is! Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, for he knows how pure Christ is." [I John 3:1-3, Phillips].
Paul knew much of the "PARTAKER" realms, for he made many references to these things -- partaking of the benefit, of Christ, of sufferings, of glory, and his own experiences were many and varied, but there was a central theme in his life, which carried through every experience and happening, be it of glory, or of suffering -- through it all, there was but one consuming passion, THAT I MAY KNOW HIM." He was gladly willing to count "all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." [Philippians 3:8].
There is a revelation which is yet to be brought forth, of the Christ, in His glory, as HE NOW IS, to be seen literally, experienced personally, and with that manifestation will come the climax of this process of our becoming. We shall receive that "grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation (appearing) of Jesus Christ." [I Peter 1:13]. Grace which shall complete in us the work which He has begun, so that we are able to stand before God without condemnation, without a sense of guilt or inferiority. To this we have been called! And to Zion we shall steadily advance by His grace.
GOD IS -- His TRUTH IS -- His PURPOSE stands, and nothing of God dies when a man dies.
Consider for a moment Joshua and Moses. Moses so talked with God, walked with God, that to Joshua it was almost as if Moses and God were one. Then Moses died. And God had to speak a special word to Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." [Joshua 1:5]. God was saying to Joshua, "Moses died, but I didn't." I STILL AM GOD! Nothing of God died when Moses died.
Some people become so taken up with a messenger, a preacher, a man of God, that when this man dies they are almost devastated, as if everything had died. Remember, GOD IS -- and we simply need to EXPERIENCE HIM for ourselves, and not be dependent upon a revelation borrowed from some other person.
When Moses died it was time for Joshua to EXPERIENCE GOD in a new and progressive revelation, with the changing circumstances. So first God spoke to him, "As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee." That was wonderful, for Joshua had seen how God was with Moses. This was familiar ground. But there were new horizons before him also, and so as they crossed the river Jordan, and came up to the city of Jericho, things were much different. The manna which had sustained them for those many long years ceased. The vision of traveling TOWARD the promised land was now being fulfilled -- time for possession had come. New challenges were before them.
So the day came when Joshua lifted up his eyes and looked, and, "Behold, there stood a man over against him with a sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship..." [Joshua 5:13-15].
"AS CAPTAIN, AM I NOW COME." There had been other appearances, in other forms in the past, according to the need of that time. But now, with a whole new experience ready to unfold, there was a NEW APPEARANCE, a new revelation, a new dimension. "I WAS WITH MOSES." In so many ways and appearances I was with him -- all through the wilderness journey. I provided their spiritual meat, and their spiritual drink, for "that Rock was Christ." [1 Corinthians 10:4]. But now the scene has totally changed. It is time to DO BATTLE, to conquer the land, and so "As CAPTAIN of the hosts of the Lord am I NOW COME."
As we read through the Old Testament, we find that there were many of these theophanies of God -- visible manifestations of God according to the need of that hour. All of these appearances were steadily leading forward to that climactic coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be born as a babe in a manger at Bethlehem, "Emmanuel, -- GOD WITH US." [Matthew 1:23].
There are also continuing appearances of our Lord throughout the New Testament, even into this day, steadily leading forward to that hour when He shall come as "KING of kings, and LORD of lords." How we need to be a daily PARTAKER OF HIM, in progressive revelations of Him, and HIS HOLINESS.
We are called unto holiness, we are called to be a partaker of His salvation. "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." [1 Peter 1:9]. Hence the progressive calling, and walking, into the fullness of this reality.
Selfishness still throbs like an engine at the center of carnal man. But God, through His CHILD-TRAINING, is working a change from self to Him. Captivated by His love, "We love Him, because He first loved us." [1 John 4:19]. And the more we come to love Him, the less we love our own selves. The more we experience the desirability of His will, the less we want to exercise the futility of our own self-will. The more we know the mind of Christ, the less we want to walk by our own intellectual reasonings. And if, betimes, there is a self-resistance to this progression into Him, then we even learn to praise God for His judgments which bring an end to self-pursuits, saying with the Psalmist, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes. -- Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word." [Psalm 119:71, 67].
Thank God, He is our Saviour! From our sins? YES! and also from our good. And especially from our self! Till we say again with Paul, "What things were gain to me, these I counted loss..." Take it all away, now we desire only HIM -- His life, HIS HOLINESS!
How beautifully it is written, "Ye shall receive power, after that the holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me..." [Acts 1:8] The Greek word here for "witness" is "martus" from which we get our English word "martyr," meaning: one who gives his life for the sake of principle, or truth. You bear witness to the truth even at the expense of your own life. HE IS THE TRUTH, hence we become witnesses unto Him. And it requires the anointing of His holy Spirit to enable us to lay down our life, and no more do all of our witnessing unto our selves. There are those who are so taken up with their own selfish will and way, they will die for themselves. Ah, may God bring us to that point where we lay down our life, that we might be witnesses UNTO HIM -- testifying to Him by all that we are in state of being.
Many desire to receive of the ANOINTING of His Spirit, but it is for selfish ends -- to have power to do, that people might see them, glorify them. And while it is true, that the anointing of His Spirit is the power of resurrection life, there is an anointing for dying that comes before the anointing for living. Let us explain.
There came unto Jesus "a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head." And some of His disciples, when they saw it, became very indignant, saying, "To what purpose is this waste." But Jesus answered them, "She did it for My burial." [Matthew 26:7-8, 12].
If we would only realize that the inflow of the anointing of His Spirit is to enable us to face the burial -- the death, the crucifixion, the putting away of all our self-life, then this self-same anointing shall, in due time, raise us up out of the tomb in the glory of HIS resurrection life, and then all that we are, in state of being, will witness to Him of His victory. For we are to be an expression of his nature and character.
Methinks far too many desire only to "use the anointing" to build up their own reputation with these gifts and graces, with all their deeds to reflect back upon themselves, as to the great person they are. But the true anointing of the Spirit is not for the purpose of magnifying self, to build up the human personality. It is to work in us to bring us to the end of our "self" - an anointing for BURIAL, then to be followed by the expressions of HIS LIFE, to His glory and praise.
Well spoken was the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." [Zechariah 4:6]. It is not by the natural ability or training of man, it is GOD'S EFFECTUAL CALL IN US, working through us. How can flesh serve the Spirit? The uncalled, persuaded by man to a decision, doesn't work. It is the Spirit that draws, that quickens, that anoints, and leads onward step by step until we are brought to Zion. Out of the depths of self, into the heights of Him who is our life.
God is indwelling a people to reproduce His own likeness within. And it has been well said, we are called "not to be happy, but to be HOLY (set apart). Therefore, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." [Galatians 6:14]. Happiness does not come first, it follows the inworkings of His cross. "Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross." [Hebrews 12:2]. The dark night of the soul shall have its weepings, but JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING. Holiness is not something to be feared, but to be greatly desired. For while the processings of purification are intense, they lead into the "nevertheless afterwards" when we enjoy "the peaceable fruits of righteousness." Praise God!
Holiness -The Hebrew word is "qodesh." Strong's concordance indicates it is from a root word that means: to be clean. Then another scholar states that the word is derived from a root kindred to that which means: NEWNESS. It blends beautifully, for our God IS HOLY, He is eternally CLEAN and He is ever NEW. While yet another scholar of the language states that it is associated with the word "kadistu" meaning: FREE FROM DEFECT. Certainly there are no defects in our God, nor any possibility of the slightest defect ever arising. But whatever the origin of the word, its usage is fixed, it means separation from all unrighteousness, and separated unto purity.
When God works His separations in us, He combines both the negative FROM and the positive UNTO. Every God-wrought separation from is concurrently also an unto. From our self unto HIMSELF: Unto purity, unto newness, unto a state of being wherein there is no defect.
When men dictate their standards of "touch not; taste not; handle not," [Colossians 2:21], it is a separation from certain indulgences, yet they do not offer anything to take its place, except an unto their program, their work, their kingdom. It does not minister life, it merely pulls you out of one realm to fence you into a bondage of their making. Nor is any self-wrought effort which produces a form of self-righteousness ever to be called holiness. Holiness in doing must result from holiness in being!
Certainly any understanding of holiness must begin with the definition of it as GOD'S UNIQUENESS, for HE IS HOLY. You cannot define holiness, nor speak of it, without first finding it gloriously personified in God Himself, for HE is the Criterion. HIS is the holiness from which all other expressions and meanings must gain their importance.
So great, so marvelous is God's holiness, that Amos 4:2 tells us, "The Lord God hath sworn by His holiness." He takes an oath and bases it upon His own holiness to verify its security and authenticity. Amos 6:8 adds thereto, "The Lord God hath sworn by Himself" By His holiness, by Himself, for all is one, His state of being IS HOLINESS, either word is fully correct. And HE has called us to be partakers of holiness, and without this no man shall see God. It is to be as much of the totality of our character, as it is of God. What a challenge, what a calling!
The call out of Babylon is a FROM, but what is the separation unto? It is unto His kingdom, His will, His life. From sin, from self-hood's rebellion, from waywardness, unto His purposes, His nature, yes, unto His life-expression.
"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil." [John 17:15], and how was this to be wrought? "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." [verse 17].
Holiness is not a one time experience, it's a continuous life that is lived. It is separation unto the will of God that is lived moment by moment. It matters not what one is doing -- washing the dishes or washing the car, mowing the lawn, or resting in an easy chair, holiness is continuous when we are surrendered to the will of God at all times. We live out of the deeper levels of our spirit -- every motive pure -- because it is the Christ-life being expressed through us. Therefore we read, "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." [1 John 1:7]. It is to be noted that this word "cleanseth" is a present tense process, and ought to be translated as "keeps continually cleansing." Thus holiness is maintained, CLEAR, NEW, WITHOUT DEFECT -- the holiness of our God.
A good illustration of this continuous action is found in Luke 10:38-42, in the account of Mary and Martha. Mary "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word." This could literally be translated, "Mary took her seat at the feet of Jesus and WENT ON LISTENING to His Word." This irritated Martha, and she said, in the same tense, "Dost Thou not care that my sister doth KEEP ON LEAVING me to serve alone?" Mary KEPT ON LEAVING because she WENT ON LISTENING! It was both a from, and an unto. From the activity of the natural, to the receiving of the spiritual. Away from the natural bread, to partake of the spiritual bread. And Mary had chosen the realm of the better!
Likewise, as this PROGRESSIVE CALL of the Spirit works in us that we might be PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS, there is an on-going leaving of things behind, that we might keep on listening to the inflow of His truth which works in us that essential transformation, until we become fully ONE IN THE TRUTH.
"Now being made free from sin, and become the servants of God, ye have your fruit unto HOLINESS, and the end everlasting life." [Romans 6:22].
Called to be partakers of His holiness,
Called to righteous living, yea, His name to bless,
Out of Babylon's bondage, flesh could never cope,
Into His anointing, breaking every yoke.
Out of earth's corruption, out of vanity,
Into full salvation, into liberty,
From the ways of self-hood, from the will of man,
Unto realms of glory, grace doth bridge the span.
Nature of the Father now to be thine own,
His life for thy living -holiness enthrone.