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In his syllabus on this present truth subject, Gordon Collier summarizes the seven major conditions that will be fulfilled among a certain class of Christians–antitypes of the first 120 disciples who received Pentecost—before receiving the sealing Latter Rain that empowers the final loud cry of Revelation 18 “fourth angel.” However, like the nine listed “fruit(s) of the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 22) and the eight rungs of “Peter’s ladder,” defining in simple terms (not legalese, needing lawyering up) the eternal life insurance policy (1 Pet. 1: 4-8), these do not necessarily come in the order they are given in each individual’s pilgrim progress in these last days—yet they are a people.
In fact, in antitypical fulfillment they are the “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” that “show forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light! 1 Pet. 2: 9, K.J.V. These seven conditions are:
1 An Enlightened people
2 A Victorious people
3 A Loving People
4 A Praying people
5 A Working People
6 A Temperate people
7 A True Sabbath-keeping people
We will consider more fully each of these seven conditions in the next seven Fridays, starting today on:
I. AN ENLIGHTENED PEOPLE
Enlighten, according to one dictionary means “to free from ignorance, prejudice, etc. To inform.” Another defines it as “The act or a means of enlightening; the state of being enlightened.” Wikipedia cites the “Age of Enlightenment” as an example, defining it as “a philosophical movement of the 18th century that emphasized the use of reason to scrutinize previous accepted doctrines and traditions and that brought about many humanitarian reforms. Used with (1) Buddhism and Hinduism—a blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana.”
Nirvana is the Sanskrit “a blowing out, extinction.”To Buddhism it is the “ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.” However, disinterested can either mean impartial; unbiased, or, indifferent. In Hinduism, it’s “emancipation from ignorance and the extinction from all attachment.” If this attachment refers to that of human reasoning, “higher learning,” maxims, traditions, and wisdom and things of this world, then it is right for God says all these will pass away.
But if not, the Christian Bible not once teaches that the children of Christ’s spiritual kingdom of light of truth on earth are to “transcend desire and suffering” or experience “extinction from all attachment.” (Transcend is to go beyond the limits of; exceed, surpass).Rather, they willingly bear the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice according to Christ’s example. “For conscience towards God,” they “endure grief, and suffering wrongfully,” which is “thankworthy.”1 Pet. 2: 19-25, etc. As true converts, not mere proselytes, their carnal or fleshly desires and tastes become sanctified from the former defilements of mind and body. They consciously choose, yes, struggle to no longer “walk after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Romans 6. They answer Christ’s valedictory prayer to the Father to be “in the world but not of the world.” John 17: 16 (1-26).
Jesus Christ is man’s only source of light and life. John 14: 6. His followers are commissioned to be “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth.” Matt. 5: 13-16. An indwelling Christ through the infilling of the Holy Spirit is reflected in the life, words, and deeds, public and private, of His true worshippers. By constantly beholding Him by faith in His Word, they gradually assimilate the same image, His moral character.
Salt is a preservative that not only must be mingled with the substance it is added to; it must penetrate and infuse it or else “loses its savor—devoid of its preservative properties. God’s grace, Christ’s followers, and His true church through the Holy Spirit are set in the world as a corrective influence to help preserve the world from utter corruption. His followers cannot accomplish this if they become hermits or recluses such as monks who lock themselves up in monasteries, “extinct from all attachment.”
History records the shuddering horror of this “18th century Age of Enlightenment.” National atheism deified “Reason” over Deity by the French Legislative Assembly, officially symbolized by a woman of low morals. The Bible—the “Two Witnesses” of the Old and New Testaments were publicly burned in the auto da fe. “But blackest in the black catalogue of crime, most horrible among the fiendish deeds of all the dreadful centuries, was the St. Bartholomew Massacre. The king of France urged on by Romish priests and prelates, lent his sanction to the dreadful work. . . Throughout France the butchery continued for 2 months. Seventy thousand of the very flower of the nation [most of them French Protestant Hugenots) perished.” See Great Controversy, 1911 ed., “The Bible and the French Revolution,” ch. 15.
Christian enlightenment begins with being “called out from darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2: 9). The Church, Greek ekklesia, means “the called out ones” from the darkness of sin and ignorance His Word, especially regarding the nature of God, who Jesus is, the origin and fall of man, the nature of the great controversy between Christ and Satan started in heaven and continued on earth, the plan of redemption to restore the lost image of God in man. This redemptive work will be “cut short in righteousness,” i.e., the righteousness of Christ—the wedding garment, or covering or robe of Christ’s own righteousness in the Parable of the Wedding Supper (Luke 14: 16-24) “in which there is no single thread of human devising.”
The psalmist wrote: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple [Heb. pethiy, silly, foolish]. . . the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eye.” Ps. 19: 7, 8. Enlightening here is the Hebrew which means “to make luminous, literally or metaphorically; break of day, glorious; kindle, set on fire; shine.” This eye is the eyes of understanding and also represents a sensitive conscience, the faculty of spiritual discernment.
It is the light of life, for Moses, by the Holy Spirit, wrote: “Behold, God works in all these things, twice, in fact, three times with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be enlightened with the light of life.” Job 33: 29, 30. “With the pure, Thou wilt show thyself pure, and with the froward (devious) Thou wilt show thyself shrewd. For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but will bring down the haughty]. For Thou wilt light my candle; and the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalms 18: 26-20.
An intellectual himself to begin with, then, spiritually-enlightened after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, Apostle Paul, who, in vision was taken to the third heaven, Paradise itself, “heard inexpressible words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12). He wrote: “I . . . do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”Eph. 1: 16-18.
Paul further issued a solemn warning to all who claim or have been truly enlightened, in fact, tasted it: “For it is impossible,” he says,” for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age [world] to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” Heb. 6: 4-6, N.K.J.V.
“The great outpouring of the Spirit of God which lightens the earth with its glory, will not come until we have and enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God.”- E. G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 52..
The seal of God placed in the foreheads of His people at this time is “a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved.” Ibid, 4 BC 1161.
“We should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John [in the Revelation].”- E. G. White, Maranatha, 247.
“We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know.” – Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 116.
“When we as a people understand what this book [the Revelation) means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival.” – Ibid, p. 113.
“When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience.” Ibid, p. 14. (Continued next week).