Holier Than Thou

The Accuser

People often accuse Christians as pretending to be “holier than you” when people can see them – but at other times not so much!

That is exactly what Satan likes to do, he accuses God’s people day and night (Rev 12:10). Why and how does the Accuser of the Brethren go about his task?

How does it relate to being holy? Why do we strive to be holy walking around in white robes and wearing gold crosses?

Nevertheless, we are instructed to be holy, ….or even holier that others?

for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy (1 Peter 1:16)

At least these Christians being accused of hypocrisy, are trying to follow the instruction, and if so, that must count for something?

That is more than their accusers can say. That surely is how many would interpret the instruction, you need to avoid alcohol, don’t listen to dirty jokes, swear or tell lies, and these days we could add that you need to vote for the republican party or there equivalent. Let’s try and clear up the confusion.

Being Holy

So it seems that even if we try to be holy, Satan still accuses us non-stop! Can he do that? There are so many of us, and we keep on sinning, so I guess he has enough evidence that he can say to Father that these humans that you love so much (John 3:16) (One can heavy sarcasm in Satan’s voice), are really not that great, they are not at all doing what you want them to – your plan is not going to work!

So You should let me take over, is the implied meaning. Satan is bright, he is after all Lucifer, or luci feros the bringer of light, Venus, the morning star (pun intended).

By using his skills of deception and lies and having many, many qualified “children” at his disposal, he will bring an enormous case against us!

Remember what Joshua had said to the Jews, the leaders and policy makers. “Your father is the devil. You belong to him. You want to do what he wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. He was always against the truth. There is no truth in him. He is like the lies he tells. Yes, the devil is a liar. He is the father of lies. (John 8:44)

Should Father be concerned about this threat? He is not, he has taken it into consideration from the beginning. Of course Father does not appreciate that people are letting themselves get hurt by Satan in the process.

By allowing Satan to accuse us, falsely as we will see, it will let us see and appreciate just how great and a loving Father he is! One wishes that Satan would not be so self-absorbed, and learn this lesson too.

Father’s Office

Satan is a magnificent, highly intelligent being – if he were a human being he would certainly be wearing an Armani suit and leather Italian suit and I think he would use a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra phone, not an Apple Iphone 15 Pro – I’m not promoting products, just stressing the point that Satan is sharp, when he enters the room he turns heads. After all, he had direct access to the office of the highest authority in the universe – Father’s throne room!!

But is our inability to fully stop sinning really what this is about? Satan thinks so, it is key to his case. We’ll see soon enough that it is not, so let’s see the Accuser at work.

If you want to see a magnificent office, this is it! You can do a Google search for God’s throne room and the images that artists come up with, show that they don’t have the faintest idea of Father’s greatness, even though they may be great artists.

To get some idea, start by looking straight up into the sky on a dark moonless night at the Milky Way, you will get sense of the scope of the office of the universe. I was blessed to have grown up in Africa at a time before all the modern development, when the skies were still pitch black and I was totally enthralled by the immense splendor of the Milky Way.

The Milky Way is just one of many magnificent galaxies in the universe!
The Milky Way

Then, as a next step, read Revelation 4 for description of the furnishings and the beings that Father has gathered around him. It is magnificent! It is truly awesome!

Most of us would be humbled if we were called to just the Oval Office for example, but would probably pass out in this incredible office as did so many of the prophets when they were granted the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Universe HQ in action!

No Ordinary Occasion!

And yet Satan enters Father’s office, calm, cool and collected – as if he belongs there We know that that is what he believes and is the driving force for all his actions. He is definitely a being of huge reputation and standing. You can be sure that he has come well prepared. He has a list of your real failings, not the trivial three spoons of extra sugar you quickly put in your coffee this morning, no he has the real dirt on you. Although I would not be surprised if brings in the sugar failing out of spite or maliciousness!

I stresses Satan’s impressive stance so that you would never underestimate him as a foe. But when facing Father, God Almighty, Satan is humble and respectful. But he has his accusations of our failings which he feels gives him a right to appear before God. He thinks he has the stronger hand. Sadly he does not comprehend Father’s greatness.

It is about our perceived failings that he has come before God. But that is not of interest. It is not even on the agenda.

Being Holy

What does being holy mean?
Literally it means set apart; dedicated for a special purpose; sanctified.

It is typically often used of items set apart for religious purposes.

Likewise a person can be considered holy if he or she is set apart for a specific service, especially service to God. For example the bible refers to the holy men of old specifically that God had set apart to write the scriptures. Did they do things wrong that Satan could accuse them of, most probably, but they were holy, not because of their moral perfection, but because they were set apart for a specific purpose.

Being holy is an honour accorded to you by the one who declared you holy (set apart for a specific purpose) and brings about responsibilities. What you do reflects on God who set you apart, so you would naturally strive to be morally excellent.

In a like manner physical objects, like the utensils use for religious services in the temple, can be declared holy. They are still the same old utensils made of tin, silver or gold but they now represent the one who declared them holy. So when the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem, they took these utensils to show disrespect.

We are told to be holy as God is holy.

We discussed just how magnificent the throne room is, it reflects well the honour and respect we would naturally bestow on Father. However, we are not capable of defining with our limited human minds and language the infinite, inherent holiness that he embodies, but we instinctively recognize his holiness and glorify his name!

We are not alone. From the midst of throne room activity where Father’s throne is located, there are four fearsome, incredible living creatures. They have six wings and eyes everywhere, even on their wings – you can be sure they miss nothing. They are so awestruck by glorious ruler of the universe they cannot help saying day and night (Rev 4:8)

Holy, Holy, Holy
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.

What does that mean? In what way is God set apart? This is not so easily described within the limitations of language. Let’s start from the human examples we discussed. Being holy gives the person honour and respect. You are known to be dedicated, reliable and consistently so. Now, in your mind’s eye imagine the scene of the throne room. God who has created humans as well as the language that takes us so long to learn so that we can express abstract concepts like being set apart, dedicated, sanctified – God is himself holy to such an extent that we cannot grasp. He states over and over in both old and new covenants, about 50 times, that he is holy, we get that Father is serious about the concept.

And finally brethren
Am I holy? Yes, we are set apart for service in God’s kingdom “And has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev 1:6). It is exciting and an honour to be set apart for the duties Father has set us apart for.

Because Father has set us apart, we will strive for an exemplary life and being holy i.e. dedicated to Father’s service.

Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15).

That is what a dedicated, holy follower of Joshua does!

And what about our Accuser?

He did not understand Father’s greatness and love. Father is holy, and part of that holiness is having a plan that he has established millennia ago and has consistently dedicated himself to see through. Remember it is Father setting us apart for a specific activity or duty that makes us holy.

Our response to this sanctification (setting apart) honour is to lead lives that will bring honour to Father who has declared us holy.

As we covered in a previous post, Joshua has already taken care of our sin by accepting the task Father had given him – to be murdered and thus becoming the “Lord’s Passover lamb that takes away the sins of the world,” (click to read that post Forsaken).

So, sorry Satan, even if my sins were as red as blood as you have accused me of, and I confess that they absolutely were that awful – their awful effects are still being experienced by many, God has lovingly agreed to wash those bloodstained clothes in the blood of Joshua so they are now whiter than wool, if you want proof, the receipt was nailed to the cross!

The Holy Ones of God
I am now able to accept my duties with honour, together with all the other holy managers and teachers (Rev 1:6) that Father has declared holy.

Satan has been accusing us day and night for years now, it is like a dripping faucet going on day and night, it is enough to irritate anyone. Satan knows Father has a plan that he is implementing consistently, because God is holy, using us the cloud of witnesses that Father has sanctified, i.e. set apart for the kingdom. Satan still believes that he could use his brilliance to scuttle Father’s plan even though he has witnessed the plan being consistently implemented, successfully, step by step, over the millennia.

One can only listen to a constantly dripping faucet for so long then one has to do stop it. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)