FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
May 1, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part VI
THE THREE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD (Continued)
The third angel’s message of Revelation 14 calls attention to the Ten Commandments, the true Sabbath; directs minds to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary where Christ our High Priest is closing up His work of mediation and pre-advent judgment, and is “justification by faith in verity.” It also includes this assignment: “In the very time which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.” –E.G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 118.
April 11, 2015: Pope Frances issued a Misercordiae Vultus—BULL OF INDICTION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY (Multimedia) which declares to the Roman Catholic Church’s votaries worldwide that their Holy Year called the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, will open on December 2015, eight months from today. See http://vatican.va/content/francescomobile/en/apost__letters/documents/papa-francesco__bolla20150411__misericordiae-vultus.html.
Indiction. This word, now rarely used, means to announce, appoint. 1. Rare – proclamation 2. The edict of a Roman emperor establishing a valuation for assessment for property tax every fifteen years, hence, as tax so levied. 3. A recurring cycle of fifteen years, called in full the cycle of indiction. – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth ed., 2nd ed., Merriam-Webster, 1942.
If Bulls of Indiction occur every fifteen years, what may we expect, based on the historical career of the Romish Church and the sure word of prophecy (2 Pet. 1: 19-21), would be its next subject 15 years hence? Think Revelation 13.
The Catholic Canada website (www.catholicanada.com) says in its Summary of the Misericordiae Vultus that: “There are 25 numbered sections where Pope Francis has described the most salient features of mercy,focusing primarily on the theme of Christ’s face. . . The Bull is developed in Trinitarian fashion (Nos. 6-9) and extends to the description of the Church as a credible sign of mercy. ‘Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life.’ (No. 10). The opening coincides with the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council. ‘The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. With the Council, the churchentered a new phase of her history.
The Council Fathers strongly perceived, as a true breath of the Holy Spirit, a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The walls whichtoo long had made the Church a kind of a fortress were torn down and the time had come for the gospel [which gospel?] to be preached in a new way [what way?].” No. 2 of these 25 points says: “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy . . . . the word reveals the very mystery of the Holy Trinity. . . . 3. We are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.’”
The Vatican II Ecumenical Council opened under pontificate of Pope John XXII, Oct. 1962 and ended under Pope Paul VI, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1965. The Bible speaks of two great mysteries; neither refers to the “mystery of mercy.” One is called “the great mystery of godliness,” that Creator would incarnate into human flesh and blood human, hence, “The Son of man,” (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2; 9, 10, 14-18.); the other, “the mystery of iniquity.” Referring to latter, Ellen G. White wrote:
“The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’
“And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that ‘the mystery of iniquity doth already work.’ 2 Thess. 2: 3, 4, 7. Even at that early date [c. A.D. 70] he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy. Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church.
“The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the [true] church endured under paganism [pagan Rome]. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of the kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions.
“The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.” – Great Controversy, (1911 edition), pp. 49, 50, Pacific Press Publishing Asso.
This Bull says Pope Francis “will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” Further: “On the following Sunday, the Third Sunday of the Advent, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome—that is, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran—will be opened. In the following weeks, the Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened.
On the same Sunday, I will announce that in every local church, at the cathedral—the mother church of the faithful in any particular area—or, alternatively, co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy year. At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal.Thus the Jubilee Year celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s Universal Communion.”
No. 4 states: “I [Pope Francis] have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council . . . . We recall the poignant words of [pope] Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: ‘Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity. . . .”
Q. What happens to those who do not enter this papal door of mercy—really of Mary, simply because the Bible never speaks of such a “door”? The Bull says: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity.” Finally, here’s an indirect admission that it used “arms of severity”—a euphemism to describe her blood-stained career as the persecutor of the saints and hater of the Bible during the Dark Ages that John describes in Revelation 17. Thus revealed, this Church, which claims infallibility, could never be “the credible sign of God’s mercy.”
In His Sermon on the Mount, (Mathew chapters 5-7), Jesus instructed all His follower to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matt. 5: 44, K.J.V. Historical Note: On May 15, 1252, Pope Innocent (what a name!) promulgated Ad Extirpanda, a papal bull authorizing the use of torture by the Office of the Inquisition to obtain confessions from those deemed “heretics.”
The Church violently suppressed the reading and circulation of the Bible, using church edicts and Christianized pagan traditions and superstitions in its place. The Bible was literally chained. Finally, in the sixteenth century the Reformation presented an open Bible to the people, seeking admission to all the countries of Europe. Since the nominal conversion of the pagan Constantine (c. 323 C.E.), and the subsequent union of state and church powers giving birth to the papacy—a church controlling the state to enforce her decrees and sustain her institutions and eliminate all conscientious objectors whom they classified as “heretics.”
The special agency for this latter work was the Holy Office of the Inquisition, now called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was headed by the German orthodoxy-czar Cardinal Josef Ratzinger before he became the surviving pope emeritus, Benedict XVI after his strange resignation, Feb. 28, 2013, the last being about 600 years ago during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) when three rival line of popes—the French Avignon, Pisan, and Latin or Roman—with their own conclaves, excommunicated one another, and accused one another as “antipope,” each claiming to be the legitimate “Vicar of Christ” or the Latin title vicarius filii dei. Extract the numerical equivalent of each letter of this title, according to the Ghematria of the Rabins; the sum is 666. See Revelation 13: 18.
Historians such as Lawrence, wrote: “Every honest intellect was at once struck with the strange discrepancy between the teaching of the Sacred Volume [Bible] and that of the Church of Rome.” – “Historical Studies,” Eugene Lawrence, p. 255. New York: Harper Brothers., 1876. Christian Edwardson says:
“In the Book of God there were found no purgatory, no infallible pope, no masses for the dead, no sale of indulgences, no relics working miracles, no prayers for the dead, no worship of the Virgin Mary or of the saints! But there the people found a loving Savior with open arms welcoming the poorest and vilest of sinners to come and receive forgiveness full and free. Love filled their hearts and broke the shackles of sin and superstition. Profanity, coarse jests, drunkenness, vice, and disorder disappeared. The Blessed book was read by young and old, and became the talk in home and shop, while the Church with its Latin mass lost its attraction.”-Facts of Faith (Revised), 1940, p. 40.
The Bull says that pope Francis, “on the third Sunday of the Advent will have the joy of opening the Holy Door of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God which consoles, pardons, and instills hope.”
Q. What happens to those who refuse to enter this papal “door of mercy” because they believe the Bible teaching that “grace, the love of God that consoles pardons, and instills hope” was available to every penitent sinner since the fall of man through the plan of salvation—all through Christ—and that “extraordinary moment(s) of grace and spiritual renewal” is a daily matter of individual conviction through the work of the Holy Spirit and is offered to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” who accept the all-atoning sacrifice of Christ at Calvary and His closing work as mankind’s only Intercessor and Mediator. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.” 1 Tim. 2: 5, 6. “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Heb. 9: 28, N.K.J.V.
The salient features of mercy, according to the Bible are clearly defined in the second commandment that forbids the making and worshipping of images “of any likeness of anything,” which the Church of Rome entirely expunged for obvious reasons: its churches are filled with images from within and without. The one written by God’s own finger states: “Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me but showing mercy unto thousands of them the love Me and keep My commandments.” Exo. 20: 4-6. God’s mercy is “new every morning” not merely during man-made Jubilees! See Lamentations 3: 22, 23.
(Continued next week)