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clarity > c. 1300, clarte, clerte “brightness, radiance; glory, splendor,” from Old French clerte, clartet (Modern French clarté) “clarity, brightness,” from Latin claritas “brightness, splendor,” also, of sounds, “clearness;” from clarare “make clear,” from clarus “clear”
The last days are a time of great darkness, when God’s people will shine all the brighter in contrast to the darkness around them.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Jesus foretold of a large-scale apostasy before the end, triggered by a prevailing climate of lawlessness.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Mt. 24:12-14)
Apostasy in the church is one of the pre-eminent signs that “the day of Christ is at hand.”
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasia) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
Jude saw in his day and foresaw in the last day a falling away, characterized by a mixture in God’s camp of the godly and the ungodly. When the Lord returns the animosity towards Him (anti-God/anti-Christ – Psalm 2) that was hidden will be fully manifested.
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:12-15)
The Book of Malachi describes the state of the children of Israel before the first coming of Christ.
It also describes the condition of the church “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:1,2)
In Malachi, the Lord calls out those out who harbor an animosity toward Him.
He foretells of the day when there will no longer be any confusion as to who are His and who are not His.
Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:13-18)
The crucial difference on display in the last days between the righteous and the wicked, the godly and the ungodly, will be love for God vs. self-love. Those “laden with sins” and “led away with various lusts” will still profess to love and worship God.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
Another clear dividing line separating the godly from the ungodly is the suffering of persecution.
The persecution of the godly will ramp up in the last days like never before. The apostate “church” will escape persecution.
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:10-17)
True men and women of God are known by their love for His Word. Paul foresaw that many would not “endure sound doctrine.” Their turning away from God’s Word would reveal their animus toward Him and His rule, and the latent idolatry in their hearts.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Division that arises between the godly and the ungodly in the camp of God is good, and gives necessary clarity as to who is genuine.
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Corinthians 11:17-19)
Those who are light in the Lord are called to walk in the light in such a way as to make “manifest” the darkness of the disobedient.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Ephesians 5:1-14)
God’s people are not to add to any confusion in the eyes of the world, or among the believers, by partaking in any work of darkness.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
God only calls those who “depart from iniquity” His own. They alone will be His in the day He makes up His “jewels.” They will be known in heaven, and known on earth by all who have eyes to see, as those who are truly serving God.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)