“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
Dear fellow Brethren and friends in CHRIST,
“Are you consecrated to the LORD?”
What is your first reaction to this question?
Is it a question you have been asked before or perhaps you have asked others?
Which word in that question stands out the most?
If your answer is “consecration” … then stay tuned! If not, stay tuned anyway as we wish all who read this post to God willing, receive a spiritual blessing.
What does the word consecration really mean in relation to a Christian’s calling?
Is consecration a means of escaping horrible punishment in the afterlife, where just a simple profession of faith, and reasonably moral conduct are enough to avoid the jeopardy and secure a place in heaven?
Of course not.
God is not merely saving a few before He destroys (or worse) the vast majority…
Rather, God is selecting from among men and women of faith an “elect” class (Matthew 24:24, Romans 8:33, 2 Peter 1:10) for a special honour during the coming 1000 year reign of Christ with his “Bride” (consisting of 144,000 members—the more than overcomers from the Gospel Age)—who with Christ, their “Head”, will be the spiritual rulers of the world. They will help lead mankind—that is all the human race from Adam who will be resurrected—up the “Highway of Holiness”, teaching them godliness and truth, so that righteousness will flourish through the Universe and the eradication of evil and the evil ones will lead to everlasting joy and pain-less-ness and sin-less-ness! (Isaiah 35:8)
What a MARVELLOUS PLAN!
What an incredibly unfathomable Creator of ALL we have!
God’s timing is perfectly precise to work out everything for the ultimate purpose of bringing everlasting JOY to all and in all for eternal eternities. (Habakkuk 2:3, Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 5:6, Psalm 27:14, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Romans 11:25, Genesis 18:14.)
Can you imagine what glorious harmony and unity in all things will occur amongst every soul that lives once Christ and his saints lead the world into obedience and understanding?! WOW! It will be like ONE MIND made up of trillions of bodies united in thought, action and purpose bring the Heavenly Father JOY in all things. (Revelation 20:1-3, 6.)
How High are God’s Standards?
By understanding the high honour associated with the saintly class called by God during this Gospel Age as his “royal priesthood” training as the under-priests of a heavenly government soon to commence—then we can better appreciate the high standards which are expected of them by God.
These standards may be considered in four parts:
(1) Godly conduct, (2) Character Development, (3) Study of the Truth, (4) Service and Sacrifice.
Paul clearly explains in 1 Corinthians 6:10 in Corinth, Greece, he knew some of them had practiced the darker sins of the world. He listed these in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) what our conduct MUST BE:
“9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
We learn from these words of the Apostle Paul to the “called of God” in the church of Corinth in Greece, that once we have been “washed,” we are not to return to any immoral ways of conduct of the past.
What then, do you think is the pre-requisite for consecration?
It is REPENTANCE.
Repentance means turning completely 160.c away from past ways of living for the flesh to now living to feed the New Creation—the New Mind in Christ.
It means COMPLETELY being DEAD to sin and ALIVE IN CHRIST.
It means soaring like an eagle towards the SUN…
Who does the sun represent in the Bible?
It represents JESUS. Yes, our Lord and Saviour who’s wings are of healing soon to come to all the nations of the earth!
By focusing on JESUS… and by being considered a FOOL IN CHRIST by many if not most, we will not be caught in the VISIBLE spider web spun by the most evil one of all in this dark world—the one who is described in 1 Peter 5:8 as “a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”
He wants most to deceive “the best of the best”! Watch out and BE ON THE ALERT!
Is a spider web visible in the day? :-
NO—if you are rushing around and careless…
YES—if you tread with CAUTION and are FOCUSED ON WHAT IS AHEAD—a mind fixed on Jesus.
By inquiring “What is your will Father? Please show me” we are at a “safe speed” of zealous action moving forward with Christ who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
—– LET US PRAY FOR EACH OTHER AND BE ON THE ALERT. —–
DO NOT SLUMBER even for a moment away from spiritual alertness of the New Mind in CHRIST!
Let our thoughts be on Jesus and the faithful ones of the Bible—the Apostles and the Ancient Worthies—our “cloud of witnesses” talked about by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Hebrews, and the prophets of the Old Testament.
May we be HOT (not lukewarm) for the Truth (Revelation 3:16)… because if we are not careful of GROWTH and PROGRESS in the School of Christ, slipping towards the gates of perhaps no return… means slipping towards second death! To be by these “gates” is emptiness in the fullest sense and a loneliness and rejection and loss of everything.
Jesus explains to us what should characterize a Christian’s character in his words spoken in his Sermon on the Mount:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-11, ESV).
Actions are a result of thoughts. Likewise, one’s outward conduct is the result of one’s inward character. Our character is like a mirror that reflects hidden within principles and qualities that are in our heart and mind. (Proverbs 23:7, Proverbs 4:23)
How reassuring it is though, that God knows the intent of our heart even when our conduct does not express our intents, or when our conduct is misunderstood or misrepresented by others. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
How do we live in this world but not be of the world? (John 17:16)
How do we not become friends of this world and thus enemies of God? (James 4:4):-
- By feasting on the Words of God.
- By prayer.
- By disciplining the flesh.
- By feeding the spiritual mind.
- By going AGAINST the tide of the world—STARVING the fleshly minds and FEEDING the spiritual mind.
- Literally saturating the mind with Divine Beauties of Truth and thus feasting on the Word of God and communing with the Heavenly Father moment by moment. (Romans 12:1)
The result of these actions is a clear conscience before GOD which is the only way to righteous peace… a peace unlike that which the world knows… It is a peace that knows only JOY in the spirit for the flesh is counted as dead as one lives in newness of life feeding that which is spiritual—the embryonic New Creature within. (Psalm 97:11)
Christian character can be defined by “the fruits of the Spirit” which the Apostle Paul so brilliantly explains in Galatians 5:22-23.
Another list of Christian character is given to us by Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:5-12:
“5Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
Study of the Truth
The Apostle Paul wrote to “the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae” including in this letter, the following words:
“from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…”
To the Philippian brethren, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” (Philippians 1:9)
Why is studying the Word of God in the Bible so important for the consecrated in the Lord?
Because by doing so, we can learn to understand the plans and purposes of God in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), so that we can be in harmony with Him, and work in sympathy with Him.
Some of the Jews in the Apostle Paul’s day had “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2). This was because the brethren back then were transiting from the old Jewish Age to the new Gospel Age and the labours of Apostle Paul were in this direction.
We should be zealous as they, but our zeal should be directed by an accurate knowledge of the Divine Plan. One method of reasoning upon Holy Scriptures which the Apostle Paul teaches us from his methods of reasoning, is to understand the types, or pictures, used in the Old Testament.
E.g. The Apostle Paul cited:
(1) the spiritual meaning of the wives of Abraham (Galatians 4:21-31),
(2) the meaning of Israel’s Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9:1-14, 10:1-10),
(3) the meaning of Melchizedek as a figure of Christ (Hebrews chapters 5 & 7).
Other methods of studying the Bible include: drawing lessons from the prophets (e.g. Romans 9:23-33), topical and chronological.
“No work is more noble and ennobling than the reverent study of the revealed purposes of God.”
(Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 1, page 13).
Service and Sacrifice
Does our consecrated life include active service in the cause of Christ? It must.
Because this is a way of sacrificing our earthly interests for our spiritual work by using our time, strength, energy, talents, or any other means for the Lord’s cause.
A great way of seeking out opportunities in this way is to inquire of the Lord:
“Heavenly Father, please show me, what is your will for me today. Where do you wish I be sent? To whom do you wish me to minister unto? Who may I spiritually edify? Please use me to bring you joy so that your Holy Name may be glorified, and your Son Jesus may shine through into the hearts of whomever you wish requires this.”
Some examples of active service in the cause of Christ include:
- Opening our home for fellowship with the brethren.
- Attending meetings of the Lord’s people rather than spending time in pursuing hobbies and things of this world.
- Preparing answers to Biblical questions asked by others or in preparation for Bible Studies.
- Travelling to serve the brethren (Acts 15:25, 26).
- Preach the Truth in favourable or non-favourable circumstances.
- Visiting/assisting the sick, bereaved, widows, orphans.
Accepting physical and/or mental abuse and/or imprisonment. (Note: According to traditions and the Bible, eight of the Apostles died as martyrs. At least two of the Apostles, Peter and Andrew, were crucified.)
Even when on beds of sickness, one can lie in bed and when mentally alert, send prayers of petitions and supplications to the Heavenly father for others as well as for self. This is the GREATEST of gifts perhaps that one can give another!
The Apostle Paul wrote that he was “being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of” the faith of the Philippian brethren, which made him rejoice and be filled with joy. He urged the Philippian brethren to “rejoice in the same way and share your joy” with him. (Philippians 2:17).
In 1 Corinthians 16:15-16 the household of Stephanas is praised by the Apostle Paul because they “devoted themselves to the service of the saints”. Paul encourages the brethren in Corinth to “be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.”
The Word “Consecration”
There are eight different Hebrew words in the Old Testament which are rendered consecrate, consecrated, consecration, or consecrations.
- “Nazar” (Strong’s Concordance #5144) means to set apart (for sacred purposes) and this word is in Numbers 6:12 – a text referring to the Nazarite vow, which is a picture of the consecration of Christians to God. (See Study 6 – The Levites). The worshipper taking this vow was to consecrate [nazar, set apart] unto Jehovah the days of his separation..
Are we continuously keeping our earthly life SET APART for the sacred purposes of devotion to God?
- “Nezer” (Strong’s # 5145) means something set apart and this word is found in Numbers 6:7 and also refers to the Nazarite vow:
“7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration [separation] of his God is upon his head.”
- “Charam” (Strong’s #2763) means to seclude, by a ban, to devote to religious use and this word is found in Micah 4:13, “I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord.”
This refers to the wealth of gentile nations after the judgments of God. It is not directly relevant to our present study.
- “Godesh” (Strong’s 6944) means a sacred place or thing and this word is found in Joshua 6:19, “all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron are consecrated unto the Lord.”
This refers to the precious things of the gentile nations conquered by Joshua which would come into the treasury of Jehovah. These precious items of “silver and gold” taken from the world might represent the Church Class (the Elect of the Gospel Age).
[Note: Compare Haggai 2:7, 8, where God will “shake the nations,” and the silver and gold may here too represent the saints of God who will glorify God’s spiritual temple.
- “Qadash” (Strong’s # 6942) means to make, pronounce, or observe as clean. This is used three times of the priests. See: Exodus 28:3, 30:30; 2 Chronicles 26:18.
- The most frequent Hebrew term rendered consecrate is actually a pair of words used together, “mala” (Strong’s #4390) meaning to fill and “yad” (Strong’s #3027) meaning open hand.
To fill an open hand, in this context, means for the priests to be devoted to their sacred duty to God and ministering to others. In English there is an expression, “my hands are full,” meaning one is fully occupied. So it should be with those consecrated to God during this age. We should have our hands full in the sacred service which is our privilege.
- “Millu” (Strongs #4394) means a filling, or consecration.
In Exodus 29 and Leviticus 8 this word is used of the offerings by which the priests were consecrated to their office. In Leviticus 8:33 it is once used in reference to days of consecration of the priests.
In what way is this consecration in relation to the Priests, significant to us?
It is fitting to us since we are called to be priests of God to reconcile the world back to God during the Kingdom.
So actually, we should be consecrated to God even more deeply than the priests under the Old Law were.
In the New Testament, the term “consecration” is found in the following 2 places:
- Hebrews 7:28 (ESV) –“For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.”
Here it speaks of Jesus consecrated as a priest to serve God, and “the oath” refers to the oath given by God to King David in Psalms 110:4, “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” Prophetically, this refers to Jesus Christ, who was descended from the line of David. Melchizedek was a king of Jerusalem who was also a priest (Genesis 14:18). Paul says Melchizedek was a picture of Jesus, who in heaven, after his glorification, is also a King and Priest. (See further words on Melchizedek in the post : Study 7 – The Priests.)
Jesus is now our high priest, but during the Millennium we will join with him as priests for the world (Revelation 20:6).
By being consecrated unto death now in the entire service of and for God, we will be, God willing, qualified, tested and proven worthy and ready to serve with him to uplift the world.
- Hebrews 10:20 (KJV) – refers to the “new and living way which he [Christ] hath consecrated [inaugurated] for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”
Here the Apostle Paul reminds us about how remarkably, the thick veil in Solomon’s Temple was rent from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:51).
The present heavenly calling of the Gospel Age to consecrate our lives to God, was never even extended to the righteous of past ages. This call is unique, and was opened up (inaugurated) through Christ’s death on the cross.
Those who consecrate their lives to God now receive the redemption provided by this ransom now, whereas the world will receive the redemption later, during the Millennial Age.
Are All Christians Consecrated?
We hope they will be as not all now are.
One may believe in God, believe in Jesus as their Saviour, appreciate what God has provide, strive to refrain from sin and evil as best one can, commit to works of kindness and charity, attend worship services but if there is no full personally commitment, then there is no valid consecration .
A step in the direction of full consecration involves showing by an outward sign of God’s invisible grace (the holy Spirit) one’s full commitment to their consecration vow through water baptism—a testimony to others.
If you have still not done so please take some time to thoughtfully consider consecrating your all to the Lord—the benefits in this life, far outweigh any other joy that any other person, thing and place can give!
What will it cost?
A good answer is in Luke 14:26-33. Jesus explains this best!
In the earlier verses Jesus spoke of humility (verse 11), and of giving without having any thought of getting back in return (verse 14). Jesus also gave a parable about a great supper prepared by a good man, who sent his servants to invite his guests. It represents God’s invitation through Christ to come into the spiritual kingdom of God. Since most of those invited declined, (giving one excuse or another), the man decided to open the invitation to any who would be interested for he insisted, “my house [will] be filled.” (verse 23).
Are you one of the interested? Are you ready to accept the blessings of “a gracious God [who is] merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love?” (Jonah 4:2)
You know… the fastest way to happiness is BEING A GIVER and what better way than to give the Creator of ALL your ALL?
To the already consecrated brethren in Christ, are you rejoicing in your testing of patient continuance in well doing and seeking for glory and honour and immortality?
We thank the author(s) of the article titled “Consecration” in the publication “Faithbuilders Fellowship-Proclaiming Christ’s Parousia and the coming Millennial Kingdom,” February 2006 (www.2043ad.com) for content material used in creating this post.