Tag: holiness

The Full Armor

FULL ARMOR OF GOD

Screen shot: YouTube.com

THE FULL ARMOR

God takes care of His children on this earth, as much as we will allow Him to. He never forces His people to be obedient, but rather He has given us a free will and the ability to make choices.

Jesus said many times throughout His ministry, before ascending to the Father, to beware of deception.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you, for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many” Matthew 24:4-5.

“And false prophets shall rise and deceive many” Matthew 24:11.

“For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” Matthew 24:24.

So, we see here that, according to Matthew’s account in chapter 24 alone, Jesus warned His disciples not once, not twice, but three times to beware of false Christs and false prophets, who will do wonders in the last days, so much so that the very elect would be deceived, if possible.

The elect are those of us that attend to the Lord every day, nearly all day, in prayer, reading the Word, praise and worship and ministry. If you don’t fit into this category, all the more, take heed!

The devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8.

A child of God has to “open the door” to deception, friends. We have protection, as children of God, and satan is not allowed to breach our armor, or break down our door. He can only get a foothold if we remove our armor, or fail to put it on daily, or open the door to him.

The enemy of our souls never gives up seeking a way to enter through the door that God has placed against him, or through a breach in the armor that God has given us to wear.

The armor of God consists of these: the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness (so much for those who don’t believe we can live righteous in this world), the sword of the Spirit, our loins girt about with truth, and our feet shod with the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We must be diligent and always on guard. There are, however, seasons of rest to the saints of God (Hebrews 4:9-11). I would describe these seasons as dwelling in the “Secret Place” of the Most High.

One doesn’t just slip right into the “Secret Place” as soon as they repent and receive salvation. The Apostle Paul explained to the Hebrews, “Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest…” Hebrews 4:11.

What is the Secret Place?

The Secret Place of the Most High is explained by King David in Psalms 91. If you read the chapter, you will discover that those who enter the Secret Place of the Most High, abiding under His shadow, are those who “make the Lord, even the Most High, their habitation” and who “set their love upon Him.” In other words, you are so in love with the Lord that you are always thinking about Him, nearly always praying, or talking to Him, studying His Word, or praising Him, making the Lord your first and foremost priority above all things, so much so, that He is your habitation = the Secret Place. Come to this holy, holy place with God and you will have rest to your soul and many benefits, as described in Psalms 91.

Jesus said,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me” Revelation 3:20.

The Lord wants to “sup” with you as often as you will open the door to Him.

On the other hand, how does one open the door to satan? Watching secular television for hours; drinking liquor; smoking; taking drugs (can also be prescribed drugs); listening to secular music (there are evil spirits associated with many types of music, other than gospel); obsessions, such as obsessive cleaning, obsessive eating, obsessively watching TV; obsessively shopping and spending, etc; focusing on the material things of this world and pride, whereas our focus should be the Lord, and all other things will be provided.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” Matthew 6:33.

Certainly, we are to live in this world, shop for those things that we have need of, take care of those things the Lord has provided, cleaning the home, our clothes, the yards, etc; but we need to place God first in our lives and these other things will be a breeze. I do these chores much of the time while praying or singing hymns.

In fact, it never ceases to amaze me that when I determine to pray and read the Word first, I can quickly get the other things done that I need to do. When I have failed to put the things of God first, I can’t seem to get those things done that I sacrificed God’s time to get done. It never fails!

We always need to bear in mind that satan appears as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). He is not always going to attack on the premise of evil. He will disguise himself as one, for example, who needs help, or who presents as a “lover,” or who even presents himself as an aid in the time of trouble – beware!

If that person, or that opportunity, or that pitiful one comes along, but there is any possibility that they are involved in evil, or the appearance of evil, or perhaps they appear to need help, but they aren’t saved – beware! Yes, we are to help the lost materially, as well as spiritually, but allow a brother to help males, and a sister to help females, etc.

Notice also that the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35) did not take the stranger home with him, but he helped him, purchased a room for him and gave provision elsewhere. He wanted to help the man who had been robbed and beaten, but he didn’t really know him, if he was evil, or a godly man. He didn’t risk bringing an unsaved, wicked person into his home to jeopardize himself, or his family, but he provided for him other facilities and provision. That was the wise thing to do. 

The saints of God can give to ministries that are set up to provide food, shelter and clothing to the poor and minister to them spiritually, but we should never take someone from the street and bring them home. That would be foolish. There are ministries and government programs in place to help the poor and homeless. If God speaks to you and tells you to bring someone home, that would be an exception. (He will never tell a woman who lives alone to bring a man home; and He will never tell a man who lives alone to bring a woman home.)

Jesus said,

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves” Matthew 10:16.

Be diligent, faithful, at peace, long-suffering, meek, gentle and wise. Always put God first and foremost in your life, living prayerfully and studying His Word, and you can dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High.

Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and those remaining shall surely come to pass. Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page – your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.


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God bless you with the Light of the world.

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How Serious Is Truth?

BIBLE

There are a lot of preachers in the world today and there appears to be dozens of churches in most major cities, at least in America.

People are enamored with this preacher, that priest and the other prophet throughout the world, but most of these preachers, priests and prophets disagree on integral doctrinal issues, or even who God really is.

Truth is critical.

Jesus stressed the importance of truth and avoiding deception, not once, not twice, but three times in Matthew 24, as He pointed out the signs of His return to His disciples.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you” Matthew 24:4.

“And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many” Matthew 24:11.

“For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” Matthew 24:24.  

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” Matthew 24:22.

Notice, Jesus said that even the very “elect” of God, speaking of those who walk circumspectly before the Lord with diligence, even those would be deceived, if God did not shorten the days, because of the level of deceitfulness in the world in these last days. This should tell us all how very subtle and deceitful satan is and how powerful he is working through deceivers who come “in the name of the Lord.”

Jesus never begged anyone to follow Him; He didn’t plead. He made the offer and if people rejected Him, He went to the next town. I find it very noteworthy that Jesus repeated Himself about deceivers, false prophets and false Christs three times.

I cannot express to you how vitally important it is for each of us, every single one of us, to stay earnestly in prayer and the reading of God’s Word daily, in order to know it very well for ourselves, so we will not be deceived. We MUST know the Word of God for ourselves – it’s critical.

In fact, if you are really serious about your walk with God; if you truly desire to know Him with all of your heart, soul and might, then it is imperative that you abide in the Lord, as the ancient prophets did, and as Christ Himself walked before God. These were their habits:

Daily prayer: preferably at least three times a day, as in the prophet Daniel’s example (Daniel 6:13). Throughout His ministry, Jesus also prayed frequently, as we read in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John concerning Him.

Daily reading/studying God’s Word: The road map to salvation and eternal life is the Word of God. God Himself, in fact, is The Word (John 1:1). It is impossible to know Him without knowing His Word (Psalms 119:11). The more you read (prayerfully), the more enlightened you will become and your relationship will become intimate with God. God said, “And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all of your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.

Assemble with God’s people: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” Hebrews 10:25. Be extremely careful about your selection of a church in this day and hour. There are many churches in the world today, but they disagree on what the Bible actually says. Measure what the preacher teaches with the Word of God. If it doesn’t measure up, run from there! You would be better off communicating with God’s people by mail, phone, or internet, if you are unable to locate a church where truth is taught.

We are living in the last days, friends, in the perilous times spoken of by the Apostle Paul, as he wrote to Timothy,

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. The “power” of what, you might ask? The power “thereof” – of godliness! A vast many more preachers today do not preach holiness. In fact, most of them will tell you that you can’t live holy! This is contrary to the Word of God. Through Christ, we can. Jesus not only came to save us, but to empower us to live as He lived! The entire reason He came as a man, and not in the God-form that He was in heaven – was to specifically be an example to us, showing us that through Him, we can live holy.

The Word of God tells us,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.

“For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” 1 Thessalonians 4:7

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14.

I am not saying that Christians never err, nor commit sins. I am saying that if we do, the Word of God tells us that we have an advocate with the Father and we should repent, but we are not to live willfully in sin. The Word of God teaches us,

“My little children, these things I write unto you, that you sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1 John 2:1.

“Know you not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.

The Word of God clearly tells us here that if we dwell in sin, “yield ourselves” to it, we are servants of satan. There is a difference between messing up and repenting, versus remaining in a state of willful sin.

Imagine this: If you walked a path every day on a high, precarious cliff and there was a 1,000 foot drop on either side, with a fiery pit at the bottom of either side of the road, wouldn’t you walk straight and circumspectly on the narrow path and not veer off to the right or left? Certainly, none of us would veer off or falter – the answer is quite easy. Nevertheless, when it comes to being faithful to the Lord God, the One who died for us, the One who saved us and has prepared a glorious eternal life ahead for those who accept Him as Savior, which also includes surrendering to His will, people have the audacity to say, Impossible; we must sin! Most preachers are telling the masses that you CAN’T walk in holiness! They are liars and they teach doctrines of devils,

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” 1 Timothy 4:1.

It is imperative that we know the Word of God and follow it. God is the Word.

Jesus taught,

“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” Luke 9:23.

Many preachers today are saying, “You can’t backslide.” God will keep you, even if you live in sin, that’s okay, you can’t lose your salvation.

Jesus taught,

“And he that takes not his cross and follows after Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:38.

The Apostle Peter spoke of these things,

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage; for if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning, for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment given unto them; but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” 2 Peter 2:19-22.

“Then said Jesus, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” Matthew 16:24.

This is Bible truth, but tragically, you will not hear it from many preachers today.

Time isn’t on your side, if you aren’t taking up your cross and following Jesus. We are quickly approaching a critical point prophetically and times are going to change rapidly. If you really want to follow Christ, your walk with the Lord won’t be like many of the preachers are teaching today. The Apostle Paul, before laying his neck on Nero’s chop block, admonished Timothy,

“Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Many preachers today are encouraging a life of selfishness, prosperity, social gatherings and niceties, with enticing words; but living for God, truly living for God involves sacrifice of self and selfish desires, according to God’s Holy Word.

Time is winding down, friends, and if we intend to follow Christ, as His Word teaches us to follow Him, we must redeem the time,

“See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.

Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page of this website. Your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.

*For greater light on the theme included in this message, please visit the Eternal Security page of this (sister) website.

“I Sought Him Whom My Soul Loveth” Song of Solomon 3:1

“I Sought Him Whom My Soul Loveth” Song of Solomon 3:1

Are you searching for God today? We are living in such time as the prophets and Jesus Christ spoke of, a time of decision (Joel 3:14), with distress of nations (Luke 21:25), in perilous times (2 Timothy 3), and it is a defining time for the people of God.

Now is the time to settle in our hearts just how much we love the Lord God, our Creator, and whether we are willing to lay our very lives down on the fact that He is our Savior. Many are dying throughout the Middle East, and some other nations, simply because they lay hold to their faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

I am ashamed to admit that there was a time when I told the Lord I wasn’t sure I could die for Him, if it came to that, but I prayed that He would place that much love and commitment inside of me, that He would give me the great love that I need to have for Him. God answered that prayer.

Jesus said,

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:37.

This was always a very hard saying for me, especially since I have always loved my son more than myself, more than my own life. Albeit, I prayed for a “heart after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) and the love I needed for the Lord.

God promises to take care of all the rest, as we put Him first in our lives.

The Word of God tells us,

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33.

In other words, we don’t have to worry about anything we place second to Christ, because He will take care of all the rest! It is His promise to us; He is so wonderful!

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” Romans 12:1.

In return, our Lord and Savior has promised us eternal life,

“Whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:26.

Not many people realize it, but the Song of Solomon is a letter from God to the Jews and a letter from Christ to His bride. As I wrote the Song of Solomon during my study of the precious book, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that Christ was speaking to me, to the bride of Christ, through these writings in the Song of Solomon. I later discovered that Jewish rabbis have understood throughout the ages that God is speaking to His elect through the Song of Solomon.

The Song of Solomon contains scriptures which have plural interpretations. Plural interpretations are accepted by Bible theologians and they are significant in the laws of interpretation of God’s Word (hermeneutics). Just as the Jewish feasts are relevant to the Jews and their history, the feasts also have very significant meaning concerning: the sinless Lamb of God, who is Jesus Christ – John 1:29 (Passover); living a sanctified life – Hebrews 13:12 (Unleavened Bread); Christ’s resurrection – John 11:25 and 1 Corinthians 15:20 (Firstfruits); the outpouring of the Holy Ghost – Acts 2 (Pentecost); the resurrection of the dead and catching up of the saints – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (Feast of Trumpets); Christ’s sacrificial blood offered on the altar for the remission of our sins (Day of Atonement); and the final reign of Christ on earth with His saints – Revelation 20:4-6 (Feast of Tabernacles). These are all examples of plural definitions of the scriptures, the Old Testament being a type and shadow of the New Testament.

The Song of Solomon speaks of the bride of Christ, who is looking for her bridegroom during the last days, but she cannot find Him (Song of Solomon 3:1). Notice that when she meets up with the “watchmen” (Song of Solomon 3:3), shortly after that, she finds her love and she will not let Him go (Song of Solomon 3:4). 

As children of God, are we not looking for Christ’s return? Nevertheless, many are tired of the wait and some have fallen asleep, but notice that when the “Shulamite bride” hears from the “watchmen,” those proclaiming the prophecies of Christ’s return, she, the bride of Christ, finds Him and “she will not let Him go.”

Have you long awaited the return of Christ? Have you grown weary in this life looking for God, but not finding Him, possibly falling asleep spiritually?

It is imperative to remember the parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25), which fits right into the theme of the Song of Solomon. We are being told in this love story that the “bride of Christ” needs to listen to the “watchmen,” and prepare for the Lord’s return by faith, understanding the signs of the times, as did the sons of Issachar.

If you are searching for Him, you will not find God in the last days, if you do not listen to His watchmen. God has prepared “watchmen” for the last days, whose loins are girt about (prepared) “with Truth” (Ephesians 6:15). It is imperative that God’s people not listen to those whose words do not line up entirely with God’s Holy Word. Jesus warned not once, not twice, but three times in Matthew 24 to beware of false teachers, false Christs and false prophets. Listen to the true “watchmen,” who rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15), understanding it by having studied it thoroughly with prayer and fasting, comparing scripture with scripture, “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line,  here a little, and there a little, (Isaiah 28:10),” while looking to God for the interpretation. As you hear a man of God preach, or teach, open the Word of God and make certain that what he is saying lines up with God’s Holy Word. It is also imperative to study the Word daily and know it thoroughly for yourself. 

As you listen to the truth, and tithe your time to prayer and the reading of God’s Holy Word yourself, you will find the “Bridegroom” and you will “not let Him go” (Song of Solomon 3:4).

Jesus said,

“Watch therefore and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass (tribulation), and to stand before the Son of man” Luke 21:36.

In summary, if we love the Lord with our whole heart, if we watch and pray always and listen to the anointed “watchmen,” we will find our “Bridegroom” and “not let Him go.”

God bless you.

Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and those remaining will surely come to pass. Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page – your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.

WALLPAPER4GOD

* Music to accompany the photo *

The Focus Wasn’t On True Holiness

enter-his-gates-with-praise

Screen shot: YouTube.com

THE FOCUS WASN’T ON TRUE HOLINESS

I was raised in a Pentecostal “holiness” church and I have attended holiness churches most of my life. Nevertheless, looking back over the years, I believe a major component was missing much of the time.

First, I have to give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7). I appreciate all of those messages I heard in church about abstaining from the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), separating ourselves from the world (Romans 12:2), forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25), to have faith and do good works (James 2:18), etc. Wonderful, must have teachings.

As I have grown older and closer to the Lord over the years, I have learned more of the deep things of the Spirit, which God teaches His children “one on one.”

Sitting at Jesus’s feet, I have learned the sanctity of giving and praise, which most churches would actually balk at today.

In one instance, Jesus gave me a lesson during my “one on one” Bible study with Him. At that time, the church was preparing for a “basket auction” to raise money and women in the local churches were creating baskets to auction at a district meeting. I committed to purchasing some things for the basket and I thought auctioning baskets was a nice fund-raising venture; but the Lord ministered some deep things of the Spirit to me about the “basket auction,” as I studied and prayed.

Jesus pointed out to me certain issues about auctioning these baskets in His sanctuary that weren’t becoming to the saints of God.

First, He explained to me that those pledging money to make the highest bid had their minds on winning a basket; their hearts were not being encouraged to focus on the sacrifice of giving from the heart, which is what God is looking for.

Second, He explained to me that the highest bidders would likely be those who had the most money. He reminded me that the poorest among us would never win a basket to take home, but the poorest among us could use the items placed in the baskets more than anyone else there.

Third, as people are being encouraged to “bid offerings” in order to win the baskets, they aren’t, in those instances, giving a sanctified offering, dedicated, sanctified unto the Lord. They, in those instances, are giving to get something, giving for gain, which is an abomination in His sight.

Fourth, as auctions and such open displays of giving are conducted in churches, they stink in the nostrils of God. Jesus told me we are to give privately and the Lord will reward us openly (Matthew 6:4). In fact, the offering box should be placed at the exit, where people can give privately as they leave. Sticking offering plates under the noses of parishioners, intimidating them to give, is not how God wants collections to be taken in the churches.

Men are afraid that if offering plates aren’t shoved under the noses of parishioners, they will leave without giving an offering on their way out, which is very good in the sight of God, for He doesn’t want their money with a begrudging heart; He wants their sacrificial gift from their hearts, which sanctifies the offering.

Churches would be abundantly blessed financially, if they collected offerings in God’s way, not their own way. Nevertheless, men don’t have enough faith these days to rely on the God they “serve;” they find it necessary to come up with their own schemes and devices in order to maneuver the people and outmaneuver God. In the end, they shortchange the saints and short change the work of God, but their eyes are blind to it.

I was quite stunned, as the Lord revealed to me that this type of “fund raising” has no place in the House of God. The gathering of the saints is a holy convocation unto the Lord, but these activities are not holy in God’s House; He despises them.

Obedience, friends, is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

The word of God tells us,

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14:12.

It is the flesh of men, not the Spirit leading, that contrives such events for the gathering of the saints, in the name of “giving.”

Some might argue that the children have to be able to delight themselves in activities at church, since they are only children, and we can’t continually bore them with adult content.

This is very true and exactly why the Apostle Paul wrote,


“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things” 1 Corinthians 13:11.

Parents need to make certain that they are not requiring children to act like adults in adult settings. It is good for children, for a limited period of time, to observe the holy convocation of adults, prayer and small segments of adult teaching, so as to slowly integrate them into the deeper things of God. Overall, however, children need to be allowed to participate in entertainment structured learning sessions, including participating in “hands on” instruction, such as plays, game-based learning and the like.

As Paul wrote, however, “…when I became an adult, I put away childish things.”

God is looking down to examine our hearts, to examine how much we desire to learn from his Word, how we live in the privacy of our homes and out on the streets, and how we approach the House of God with our worship and giving.


Men, proposing to be God-ly, have devised all sorts of ways to entertain adults, to keep them happy in the House of God, to keep them giving their money and of their time – with leisure and pleasantries, etc.

These have all been derived by men for the pleasure of men and have nothing to do with the holy convocation of the gathering of saints in the House of God.

The children of God need to take a thorough study of God’s Holy Word, with their hearts and minds laid out before God, and find out what true worship and holiness is, and not rely on the traditions of men.

Entering into His courts with praise, thanksgiving and offerings from the heart are the elements of worship and the gathering together of the saints.

In fact, nothing else will do; nothing else will be accepted.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” Colossians 2:8.

May the Lord bless you with true holiness.

“…Be ye holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16.

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” 1 Thessalonians 4:7.