The Bible standard is perfect holiness in Christ.”Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1) We cleanse ourselves by depending on the transforming, empowering work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Rom. 8; Gal. 5). This cleansing, the work of the Spirit, results in “making holiness perfect.” It is not possible to express this in more comprehensive terms than the Bible does. We are to cleanse ourselves “from every defilement of body and spirit.” That means that our bodies and minds are to be free from acts of sin, it must be sanctified.
What is Sanctification??
Sanctification is that state of holiness, “without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 )
“Sanctification is a state of holiness, without and within… Every impurity of thought, every lustful passion, separates the soul from God; for Christ can never put His robe of righteousness upon a sinner, to hide his deformity.“ – Our High Calling, 214
What is holiness??
“Holiness is not rapture; it is the result of surrendering all to God. – The Youth Instructor, 17
The teachings of the Word of God open before us the necessity of purity, of holiness. This holiness is inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit but is not granted us without sustained and effective warfare on our part against the lusts of the flesh.
We read in Isaiah 11:11 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left”
When is the first time He gathered His people? When He took them from Egypt. And He will gather His people a second time just before the end when He will gather His people out of all nations.
Is there to be expected a parallel when He takes them a second time? Let’s take a look at “the first time”.
Exodus 16 :2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
3 and the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Was a diet a test of obedience to the children of Israel??
Obviously! God put this test in the first gathering, can’t we expect the same test in the second? YES!!
Romans 12:2 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.
“that ye may PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
Numbers 11 :18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20 but even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah ( GRAVES OF THE LONGING) : because there they buried the people that lusted..
“Sanctify yourselves to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh”….
Why would they sanctify themselves before eating flesh??
They were to sanctify themselves in order to resist that which was not good for them but that which was not good.
“because you have despised the Lord”….It’s very clear that they could not please the Lord by eating flesh.
Flesh in the Bible is a symbol of a nature of not a sanctified soul. Manna is a symbol of a sanctified nature.
“During this period of waiting, there was time for them to meditate upon the law of God which they had heard, and to prepare their hearts to receive the further revelations that He might make to them. They had none too much time for this work; and had they been thus seeking a clearer understanding of God’s requirements, and humbling their hearts before Him, they would have been shielded from temptation. But they did not do this, and they soon became careless, inattentive, and lawless. Especially was this the case with the mixed multitude. There were some who suggested a return to Egypt, but whether forward to Canaan or backward to Egypt, the masses of the people were determined to wait no longer for Moses.” – PP 315.2
Psalm 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him
By provoking the most High in the wilderness.
18 And they tempted God in their heart
By asking meat for their lust.
Psalm 106:13 They soon forget his works;
They waited not for his counsel:
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tempted God in the desert.
15 And he gave them their request;
But sent leanness into their soul.
“ BUT sent leanness into their soul”…
What does it mean??
It’s the loss of discernment! And there would always be the lack of discernment when you eat that which God said is not best for you. It’s the most dangerous thing for God’s people when they cannot distinguish wrong from right and when wrong appears to be right.
“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” – C. H Spurgeon
Right and almost right! The battle is for our minds and we must exercise our discernment by apply knowledge, test it , resist temptations.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
“The light that God has given and will continue to give on the food question is to be to His people today what the manna was to the children of Israel. The manna fell from heaven, and the people were told to gather it and prepare it to be eaten. So in the different countries of the world light will be given to the Lord’s people, and health foods suited to these countries will be prepared. The members of every church are to cultivate the tact and ingenuity that God will give them. The Lord has skill and understanding for all who will use their ability in striving to learn how to combine the productions of the earth so as to make simple, easily prepared, healthful foods, which will take the place of flesh-meat, so that the people will have no excuse for eating flesh-meat”.—MM 267.2, 3 Medical ministry
Another words, the test that existed back then will come AGAIN at the end
“I will reach out my hand a second time to gather the children” and the way with what God deals with His children will be the same. God does not change. And the secret of holiness is following Christ’s example of self-denial.
Today, we are living in the great antitypical Day of atonement, the time of the investigative judgment, when God expects us to die daily to self so He can purify us, when our sins by confession and repentance are going before Him.
BUT to understand appointed work of the antitypical Day of Atonement and special duties of the Congregation during this very important time, we must understand the work that was enjoined in the type.
Every type used in the entire sacrificial system was designed by God to bear resemblance of some spiritual truth. . . chosen by God Himself to shadow forth the different phases of the complete plan of redemption made possible by the death of Christ. The likeness between type and antitype is never accidental but is simply a fulfillment of the great plan of God.” –The Cross and Its Shadow, 6
“It ( the day of Atonement ) was regarded as more sacred than any other day in the yearly round of service. It was a ceremonial sabbath and a fast day. The Israelite who did not afflict his soul upon that day was cut off from among the people.” CIS 209.1
So sacred is the day regarded, even at the present time, that although the Jews have rejected Christ and few have any regard for the Sabbath, yet when the tenth day of the seventh month comes,- Yom Kippur ( yaam kuh poor ) no Jew will do any business or work upon that day, however wicked he may be.
“God has accepted the service of His people down through the ages; but when the antitypical day of atonement arrived, and the investigative judgment opened in the heavenly sanctuary, God expects the antitypical congregation on earth to fulfil their part of the antitype just as faithfully as Christ, our High Priest, fulfills His part in the heavens.” CIS, 220.1
It means that while Jesus pleads for us before the Father TODAY, we have a special service to do.
And as Anciently, the congregation was not accepted as a whole; but it was an individual work, so today each one of us answers for himself before God.
“GOD expected His ancient people to serve Him faithfully every day in the year, and He accepted their services; but when the day of atonement came, there were special requirements enjoined upon them during that day, which, if they failed to observe, they were cut off from the people of Israel. CIS 220.1
These special requirements given to the ancient people have a practical application for us today and therefore failing to observe these requirements may result in eternal separation from God.
How important then to understand this specific duty designed by God as a test for the people of God?
“Four things were required of each individual member of ancient Israel on the day of atonement the twenty-four-hour period in which the typical work of atonement was performed, and which was “an example and shadow” of the real work. CIS, 221.3
We find the description of the The Duty of the Congregation on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 23:26-28
Leviticus 23: 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you ( 1); and ye shall afflict your souls(2);and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD (3)
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day (4): for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
I’d like for us to take a deeper look into the 2nd requirement – “ye shall afflict your souls”
“Each individual was to “afflict” his soul-search his heart, and put away every sin, spend much time in prayer. With this was connected abstinence from food.” – CIS 223.1
“In the type there was a fast of twenty-four hours required. During this one day there was to be complete control of the appetite; and it was a type of the self-control to be exercised during the antitypical period of years. “– CIS 224.1
This was so forcibly impressed upon the minds of ancient Israel that even at the present day, the Jews fast upon the tenth day of the seventh month.
“ God calls upon His people to be masters of their appetites instead of slaves to it, that they may have clearer minds to comprehend divine truth and follow the work of their High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. “ – CIS 224.2
You see when Jesus said “follow Me”, He did not say I’ll follow you. Many Christians today place little or no importance on fasting, on HEALTH REFORM, on “PROPER DIET” law as a regular spiritual discipline.
Why is this so??
I’d like to suggest it’s because of lack of knowledge of the Lord, lack of knowledge of His ways, lack of the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. ( Proverbs 9:10)
“How few are willing to deny themselves the things their appetite craves, even when they know the claims of God!” – CIS 224.3
The prophet Isaiah was given a vision of the the state of people in the end times.
Isaiah 22 :12And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
13and behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine…
14 And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
What a profound picture of the present condition of the world and Gods church today!
While God calls us to afflict our souls, to control our appetite, to partake of food that will give GOOD BLOOD and a CLEAR MIND TO DISCERN SPIRITUAL TRUTH instead of obeying, many of us are engaging in “eating flesh and and fleshly foods, drinking forbidden drinks with stimulants?
To Isaiah was revealed the final result of this course of life .
Isaiah 22:14 And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Please note, eating flesh and drinking wine are in the same category with God. He calls it “ iniquity” He calls it sin … And sin is a transgression of the law. (1 John 3-4 )
So what law we transgress by“ eating flesh, fleshly foods and drinking wine”?
God’s eight laws of health that have the beneficial influence of “pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power.” And “these are the true remedies.”
“The transgression of the physical law is transgression of God’s law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ.” – Healthful Living, 20.2
You see, through out the Bible we find “Flesh” is a symbol of nature of not a sanctified soul. While “Manna” – Gods proper diet is a symbol of the sanctified nature.
“Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design–that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it .”- Counsels on Health , 450
If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. WE NEED CLEAR MINDS TODAY!
And we have a great example and shadow of the real work for us in the Bible.
“The prophet Daniel was an illustrious character. He was a bright example of what men may become when united with the God of wisdom. A brief account of the life of this holy man of God is left on record for the encouragement of those who should afterward be called to endure trial and temptation.” – The Sanctified Life
“Daniel’s clearness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect in acquiring knowledge, were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet, in connection with his life of prayer.” – Testimonies fir the Church
THIS IS THE TRUE PHYSICAL FASTING THAT GOD CALLS US TO TODAY TO FULFILL!
“The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.” – Medical Ministry.
You see, the 2nd requirement “and ye shall afflict your souls” was connected with abstinence from food in type, for us, for those who live in the untypical Day of Atonement, the 2nd requirement also connected with abstinence from injurious foods in order to fulfill the antitype. God calls His people to Daniel Fast diet, that consists of foods from plant sources, minimum processed and prepared in a healthy and simple way, the diet that eliminates animal products meat and fish, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol; spices that stimulate the brain is a duty of the congregation to fulfill.
“Daniel did not long hesitate. He decided to stand firm in his integrity, let the result be what it might. He “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” – CD, 30.2
“There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular, and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted. They consider the matter of eating and drinking as of too little consequence to require such a decided stand,—one involving the probable sacrifice of every earthly advantage. But those who reason thus will find in the day of judgment that they turned from God’s express requirements, and set up their own opinion as a standard of right and wrong.” -CD, 30.3
“They will find that what seemed to them unimportant was not so regarded of God. His requirements should be sacredly obeyed. Those who accept and obey one of His precepts because it is convenient to do so, while they reject another because its observance would require a sacrifice, lower the standard of right, and by their example lead others to lightly regard the holy law of God. “Thus saith the Lord” is to be our rule in ALL things. “- CD, 30.3
“I appeal to young and old and to middle-aged. Deny your appetite of those things that are doing you injury. Serve the Lord by sacrifice.” – SpM, 428.4