FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
April 24, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part V
THE THREE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD (Page 4)
The historian J. A. Wylie says: “The noon of the papacy was the midnight of the world.” – “The History of Protestantism, book I, ch. 4. The Holy Scriptures were almost unknown, not only to the people, but to the priests. Like the Pharisees of old, the papal leaders hated the light which would reveal their sins. God’s law, the standard of righteousness, having been removed, they exercised power without limit, and practiced vice without restraint. Fraud, avarice, and profligacy prevailed. Men shrank from no crime by which they could gain wealth or position.
The palaces of the popes and prelates were scenes of the vilest debauchery. Some of the reigning pontiffs were guilty of crimes so revolting that secular rulers endeavored to depose the dignitaries of the church as monsters too vile to be tolerated. For centuries Europe had made no progress in learning, arts, or civilization. A moral and intellectual paralysis had fallen upon Christendom.”- E.G. White, The Great Controversy (1911), p. 60, ch. “Persecution in the First Centuries,”
“Today the church of God is free to carry forward to completion the divine plan for the salvation of a lost race. For many centuries [during the Dark Ages of papal supremacy] God’s people suffered a restriction of their liberties. The preaching of the gospel in its purity was prohibited, and the severest of penalties were visited upon those who dared disobey the mandates of men. As a consequence, the Lord’s great moral vineyard was almost wholly unoccupied. The people were deprived of the light of God’s word. The darkness of error and superstition threatened to blot out a knowledge of true religion. God’s church on earth was as verily in captivity during this long period of relentless persecution, as were the children of [ancient] Israel held captive in Babylon during the period of exile.”
“But, thank God His church is no longer in bondage. To spiritual Israel have been restored the privileges accorded the people of God at the time of their deliverance from Babylon [and subsequent rebuilding of the desolated Jerusalem and restoration of their worship and rights through the agencies of three pagan Persian kings–Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes Longimanus, who originated, reaffirmed, and completed the decree, respectively, issued 457 and completed 49 years later, 408 B.C., led by three holy men—Zerubabbel, Ezra,and Nehemiah].
In every part of the earth men and women are responding to the Heaven-sent message which John the revelator prophesied would be proclaimed prior to the second coming of Christ: ‘Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’ Rev. 14: 7. No longer have the hosts of evil power to keep the church captive; for ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city’ which hath ‘made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication;’ and to spiritual Israel is given the message, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and ye receive not of her plagues.’ Rev. 14: 8; 18: 4.
As the [ancient] captive exiles heeded the message, ‘Flee out of the midst of Babylon’ (Jer. 51:8) and were restored to the land of promise, so those who fear God today are heeding the message to withdraw from spiritual Babylon [worldliness and world-loving churches], and soon they are to stand as trophies of divine grace in the earth made new, the heavenly Canaan.” –Ibid, Prophets and Kings, ch. “The House of Israel,” pp. 714, 715, Pacific Press Publishing Asso., 1917, 1943., pp. 714, 715.
Indebted to this prophesied and fulfilled mighty deliverance from over a thousand years of enforced bondage of ignorance of the Scriptures, affording unlimited free access to the Holy Scriptures and its precious truths of the genuine Gospel since 1798 (“the time of the end,” Dan. 8: 16, 17, not the end of time), particularly since after 1844 (the termination of the 2300-day prophecy of Dan. 8: 14), of the present, testing truths of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 for these last days—spiritual Israel is urgently admonished to study like never before.
“It is too late in the day to feed with milk [of the gospel]. If souls a month or two old in the truth, who are about to enter the time of trouble such as never was cannot hear all the straight truth, or endure the strong meat of the straightness of the way, how will they stand in the day of battle? Truths that we have been years learning must be learned in a few months by those who now embrace the third angel’s message . . .There is no need of milk after souls are convinced of the truth. As soon as the conviction of the truth is yielded to and the heart is willing, the truth should have its effect; the truth will work like leaven, and purify and purge away the passions of the natural heart.
It is a disgrace for those who have been in the truth for years to talk of feeding souls who have been months in the truth, upon milk. It shows they know little of the leadings of the Spirit of the Lord, and realize not the time we are living in. Those who embrace the truth now will have to step fast. There will have to be a breaking up of the heart before the Lord, a rending of the heart, and not the garment.” – Ibid, MS No. 1, Feb.12, 1854’ ! MR pp. 33, 34.
It’s time we understand and apply the humbling yet elevating and ennobling principles of the increasing light of revealed truths to our lives, praising God Almighty that the Bible and the inspired Testimonies reveal to all (“For God is no respecter of persons,” Acts 10; 34), who, in heart, mind, and strength are seeking immortality from Him who alone is immortal (Rom. 2: 7; 1 Tim. 6: 16; 2 Tim. 1: 10)—that the three Persons of the Godhead, the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are each in and of Themselves, individually, the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and that all Three as One, are the fullness of the Godhead bodily as well.
Lest Satan, the master deceiver and father of lies make us forget or deceive us through his many widely-popular false and spiritualistic doctrines designed for these last days of earth’s probation and history, we reiterate the following:
1. God the Father is the fullness of the Godhead bodily: The invisible (John 1: 18), inscrutable (Isa. 40:28); unchangeable (Num. 23: 19; Mal. 3: 6); unequaled (Isa. 40: 13-25); unsearchable (Rom. 11: 33, 34); infinite (1 Kings 8: 27); eternal (Isa. 57: 15); omnipotent (Jer. 32: 17, 27); omnipresent (Ps. 139; 7-12); omniscient (1 John 3: 20); “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1: 17) is verily the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
2. Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), Jehovah Creator is the fullness of the Godhead bodily: See Col. 1: 16-19; 2: 9. He, the “Desire of all nations” (Haggai 2:7) and ages, is the outshining of the Father’s glory, “the express image of His person” (Heb. 1: 3, 2; Col. 1: 15); one with the Father in the beginning not measurable by time (Prov. 8: 22-31); who condescended to our fallen world in His eternally adopted flesh-and-blood human nature (Gen. 3: 15; John 1: 14; Heb. 2: 9-18; Gal. 4; 4; 1 Tim. 2: 5) in order to magnify the law and make it honorable (Isa. 42: 21); do the Father’s will (John 6: 38); save sinners (Matt. 1: 21; Luke 19: 10); bring in everlasting righteousness (Dan. 9: 24); destroy Satan’s works (Heb. 2: 14); give life more abundantly (John 10: 10, 28).
3. The Holy Spirit is all fullness of the Godhead. He was a divine agency at Creation. Gen. 1: 2. He never speaks of Himself (John 16: 13, 14; AA 51); is the connecting link between the ascended Christ in heaven and man on earth. John 14: 16, 17; AA, p. 50. He is called the eyes of the Lord (Zech. 4: 10).
“The Comforter [Paraclete] that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Savior.”- Evangelism, p. 615 (1905). “The Spirit of God, received into the soul, will quicken all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God, develops harmoniously, and is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God. The weak, vacillating characters become changed to one of strength and steadfastness.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 251.
What was the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Christ’s resurrection in 31 A.D.?
“The glad tidings of a risen Savior were carried to parts of the inhabited world [Acts 1: 8]. . . . . Those who at Pentecost were endued with power from on high, were not thereby freed from further temptation and trial. As they witnessed for truth and righteousness, they were repeatedly assailed by the enemy of all truth, who sought to rob them of their Christian experience. They were compelled to strive with all their God-given powers to reach the measure of the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus [Eph. 4: 13]. Daily they prayed for fresh supplies of grace, that they might reach higher and still higher toward perfection. Under the Holy Spirit’s working, even the weakest, by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers, and to become sanctified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead, and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine.” –Ibid, Acts of the Apostles, pp. 48, 49.
(To be continued next week)