FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
January 24, 2014
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part XIV
The Counsel and Straight Testimony of the True Witness to Laodiceans
Let’s pick up where we left off last week. The individual Early Rain growth experience through the conviction, enlightenment, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit is for the purpose of remedying all our defects of moral character and cleansing our soul temple of every sinful “spot, stain, wrinkle or any such thing.” Ephesians 5: 24-27, K.J.V.
In conjunction with Christ’s closing work in heaven, the Early Rain experience on earth is the serious work of putting away of sin by submitting and yielding our minds, will, and heart to the obedience of Christ, conquering through His love, overcoming even as He, our divine-human Example, overcame, being sanctified by His truth, purified by living faith in the efficacy of His blood and intercession, and being made holy, one day at a time. “But as He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct, living]; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Pet. 1: 15, 16.
“Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a Mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is a special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. When this work shall be accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.” – E.G. White, Great Controversy (1911), “In the Holy of Holies,” chap., p. 425.
See Ephesians 6: 11-18; Romans 9: 37-39, etc., on how to win this daily spiritual warfare. It is exactly the same preparation and equipping to receive the seal of God before probation closes, whether of the individual at death or the general close of earth’s probation. (We will consider the sealing work in more detail in the next issues).
“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the Latter Rain will fall upon us as the Early Rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” – E.G. White, Vol. 5 Testimonies, p. 214.
“Today you are to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew [of the former rain] and the showers of the Latter Rain; for the Latter Rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”- Ibid, Review & Herald, March 22, 1892; Evangelism, p. 702.
“Those who come up to every point, and stand the test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the Latter Rain . . .” –Ibid, 187, 188.
We want to receive the Latter Rain, don’t we? The peculiar counsel and straight testimony of the True Witness is a stinging, chastening rebuke to only the spiritually lukewarm members of the remnant church. Are you one of them? Am I?
Study Revelation 3: 14-21 and closely examine yourselves by it. I am doing exactly that, once more, and am humbled, rebuked, and chastened. But by the same strong message comes the blessed assurance that if we heed the counsel of the True Witness—“to come up to every point, and stand the test, and overcome, be the price what it may” by God’s amazing grace, we are sure candidates to receive the Latter Rain when it is poured out! Thank You, Jesus! He says: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Verses 19-22.
Christ through the Holy Spirit has long been appealing to the members of the churches. “Wherefore, as the Holy Spirit saith, Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. . . . “But exhort [urge] one another daily, while it is called To-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Heb. 3: 7, 8, 13.
“To the church of the present day this message is sent. I call upon our church members to read the whole of the third chapter of Revelation, and to make an application of it. The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies specially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen [verses 14-18 quoted].”- 7 BC 959; Review & Herald, Aug. 20, 1903. Compare to Titus 2: 14; 1 Pet. 2; 9; Exo. 19: 5, 6; Deut. 14: 2.
“The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves.” – Ibid, Letter 60, 1898; Counsels to Writers & Editors, p. 99.
“The message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time but has notbeen heeded as it should have been. When the work of repentance is earnest and deep the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven.” –Ibid, 7BC 962; MS 33, 1894.
“Many are Laodiceans, living in spiritual deception. They clothe themselves in the garments of their own righteousness, imagining themselves to be rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when they need daily to learn of Jesus, His meekness and lowliness [see Matt. 11: 28-30], else they find themselves bankrupt, their whole life being a lie.” – Ibid, 7BC 963; Letter 66, 1894.
“I tell you in the name of the Lord, that those who have had great light are today in the state described by Christ in His message to the Laodicean church. They think they are rich and increased with goods, and feel they have need of nothing. Christ speaks to you. Hear, O hear, if you have any regard for your souls, the words of the great Counselor, and act upon them [Rev. 3: 18 quoted].” – Ibid, 7BC 962; Letter 5, 1897.
“Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into selfish egotism. The love for Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those whom Christ has died [all of us sinners] will degenerate. There may be wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them asnauseating to His taste [see Rev. 3: 16].” – Ibid, 7BC 963; MS 61, 1898.
“The Laodicean message applies to all who profess to keep the law, and yet are not doers of it [see Rom. 2: 13; James 1: 22, 23]. We are not to be selfish in anything [“selfie” too?]. Every phase of the Christian life is to be a representation of the life of Christ. If it is not, we shall hear the terrible words ‘I know you not’ [see Matt. 7: 21-23].” –Ibid, 7 BC 964-4; Review & Herald, Oct. 17, 1899.
“Self-exaltation is a dangerous element. It tarnishes everything it touches. It is the offspring of pride, and it works so ingeniously that, unless guarded against, it will take possession of the thoughts and control the actions. The Laodicean message must be proclaimed with power [of the Holy Spirit], for now more than ever before, are seen pride, worldly ambition, hypocrisy, and deception.” –Ibid, 7 BC 963.5; Review & Herald, Sept. 5, 1900.
“The Laodicean message is applicable to the [remnant] church at this time. Do you believe in this message? Have you hearts that feel? Or are you constantly saying, we are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing?….God has chosen a people, and made them repositories of truth weighty with eternal results. To them has been given light that must illuminate the world. Has God made a mistake? Are we the men and women who are to bear to the world the messages of Revelation 14, to proclaim the messages to those standing on the brink of ruin? Do we act as we were?” – Ibid, 7BC 961; MS 51, 1901.
“The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet, have not appreciated them.” –Ibid, 7BC 961; Review & Herald, March 11, 1902.
“Be diligent in the use of every means of grace, that you may be transformed in character and may grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus [Eph. 4: 13].” – Ibid, Maranatha, p. 44. (To be continued next week)