Summary: God has ordained that through the Scriptures the mind of men is illumined "The entrance of thy words giveth light" Psalms 119:130
The Doctrine of Scripture
[ The Illumination of Scripture ]
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
II. THE ILLUMINATION OF SCRIPTURE
A. The Understanding of Spiritual Truth:
Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s mind whereby he is enabled to understand the inspired, recorded revelation. Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit making the Scriptures clear to the believer’s mind.
The Hebrew Christians were undergoing severe persecutions.
32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33Partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. [Heb. 10:32-33]
Much the same is occurring today. Church members are loved by the world, yet the true disciples of Christ are scorned by the multitudes. The Hebrew Christians were among the most fiercely persecuted because the Hebrews felt they were the only ones who had received redemption. Therefore, when some of their number turned to Christianity, they were regarded as outcasts and persecuted. Verse 33 uses the term gazingstock, which means on display. One would do well to refer to verse 32 and take time to recall just how it felt to first be illuminated. Each one can recall when the lights first came on and suddenly, there was understanding of the truths that had here before been hidden.
9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. [1 Cor. 2:9-16]
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. [Lk. 24:45]
B. The Agencies of Revelation:
There are two principal agencies through which God gives illumination:
1. Direct Agency:
The Holy Spirit illuminates the believers’ hearts and minds directly. Other examples are dreams and visions.
2. Indirect Agency:
The Holy Spirit illuminates the hearts and minds of believers, but the Holy Spirit works through a human vessel. For example, the teaching of the Word, the expounding of the Scriptures. [Scripture Reference: Ps. 119.]
25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.... 31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? [Lk. 24:25-27, 31-32]
8Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 10But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
[2 Tim. 1:8-10]
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
When one is enlightened, it does not mean everything about everything is comprehended or understood at once. Enlightenment is a process, usually coming in stages.
1Therefore seeing we gave this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [2 Cor. 4:1-7]