Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever! Just take a minute to bless His name. Really, take a moment to bless Him; He is worthy of our time. Praise God! (And, if you want to take a moment to praise Him now, please do!) We can never go wrong doing the things we say; however, we can certainly miss it if we never act on our words. Faith without works is dead, so declares the Word of God (James 2:26).
I would like to bring to your remembrance a prayer that Jesus prayed for you. He sacrificed His time, before going to the Cross, looked down through the Ages, saw you, and prophesied over you a way of escape in these End-Times. “What?” you might ask. “You mean, Jesus prophesied a way of escape over me during His time of great distress?” Yes, He did. You are that important! He prayed this to the Father in heaven:
They [you] are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:16-21 [emphasis added]
Now, I did not give you the entire prayer because it is all in John chapter 17, and you should read the rest. If the Creator of heaven and earth has something to say about you, it is important to know what He said. Jesus’ Words are prophetic, and they have been given to us, personally, to make us victors in these End Times.
Jesus asked the Father to “sanctify” us. The word “sanctify” in the Greek is hagiazo, which means to make holy, purify, or to separate from profane things. Notice how Jesus asked Him to do just that by His “truth,” which is His Word. I hear preachers say that when we are saved, we become holy and sanctified. Their understanding of this transformation must come from Hebrews 10:10:
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NKJV)
Newer translations, such as the New International Version (or, perhaps, better named, the “nearly inspired version”) substitute the word “holy” for “sanctified,” making it even easier to be in error. This verse indicates that we are set apart for the Father, as the Church, to spread the Gospel. The same as Jesus was set apart for the Father to be the sacrifice for mankind’s redemption. It does not imply that we are made holy unto God. This translation by the Greek scholar, Kenneth Wuest, would be more accurate to the original text:
By means of which will [God’s will that his Son should be the sacrifice for sin] we stand permanently set apart for God and His service through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.
Notice Jesus says in John 17:19, “I sanctify Myself.” Even though He was set apart, sanctified, and made holy for God’s purpose, Jesus still sanctified Himself to God and His will. Jesus is our example in every way. Remember Jesus said, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22.42). We, too, need to sanctify ourselves and be holy unto God. God even gives us that command through the apostle Peter.
But as He who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
I Peter 1:15-16
We have been called out for a holy assignment, so we must be holy to fulfill the assignment. It is the Word of truth that makes us holy unto God. The apostle Paul gives us further instructions on becoming holy.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
To become holy unto God, we must change the way we think. Many in the Body of Christ have never renewed their mind to God’s way of thinking; the Word of God is foolishness to the world’s way of thinking. For example, how can someone give away money and expect to receive a return on what they give away? It’s the biblical principle of sowing and reaping established in the book of Genesis that creates this phenomenon. Without renewing your mind to that principle, you cannot operate in its benefits.
The escape route from the world’s system and way of doing things is the “highway of holiness” (Prov. 16:17)! Notice the Scripture says, “you put off” and “you present your bodies,” which includes your mind. This is something we all have to do. This creates an immunity to perilous times. I am not saying you will not experience great difficulties at times. However, you will know the way of escape from them when you are set apart to God by abiding in His Word and Spirit. That’s great news!
We are in this world, but not of this world. We have been delivered or “rescued” from the world and its way of operating. We have been given a place in a new Kingdom that operates differently. We must learn this Kingdom’s ways in order to prosper within its walls of protection. The old way of doing things will not work here. We need to be set apart wholly (holy) to the new ways of living and being.
For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.
Colossians 1:13, NLT
Holiness is an attribute of the Glorious Church which Jesus comes to catch away to heaven before the beginning of the Tribulation. This attribute is so important to each believer as part of the End-Time Church. Bible Prophecy, spoken by our Lord Jesus Himself, shows us the way to become holy—by His Word.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The purpose of holiness is not only for our benefit, but for others also to believe (“that the world may believe that You sent Me”). The souls of men are always at the forefront of the Father’s mind. Thank you for helping us to be a soul-winning ministry. Soul-winning was always Dr. Hilton Sutton’s focus, and it is also mine. I remember us praying over offerings for the saving of more souls. Dr. Sutton advised that the way to pray in finances for the Kingdom of God is to PRAY FOR SOULS!
As always, we very much appreciate your prayers and financial support. According to Jesus’ will in this prayer of John chapter 17, we are all to be part of one another. We appreciate your partnership and your part of giving to this ministry. It is a holy thing, and we do not take it lightly. I would like to take this opportunity to give a special thank you to our dear friend and partner, Vickilynn Diaz, for using her graphic design talents in creating the newsletter we mailed out last month.
Michelle and I pray for you daily and call you blessed, healed, and whole in Jesus’ name! Until next time, remember, Jesus is coming soon!