FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
October 9, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XIX
THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, NOR THE MAJORITY’S BUT GOD’S
“Thus saith the Lord unto you: Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20: 15.
“This great multitude.” – The Latin phrase “Vox populi, vox Dei,” meaning, “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” is egregious. It is one of the leading causes and means of mass deception and mass manipulation, from small groups to kingdoms, nations, and religions, of course. It is antithetical to the truth that salvation is individual. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Phil. 2: 12, 13. “It is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy. . . . the Father who without partiality judges according to each one’s work . . . “ See 1 Pet. 1: 15-18; Rev. 22: 12..
Prophecy and history testify that more souls will lose eternal life through organized and craftily orchestrated deception, subterfuge, compromise, confusion, and counterfeits of truth than persecution and ignominious death combined for standing true to individual conviction. Because of fallen human nature, “Vox populi, vox Dei” is coercive, intolerant, a gargantuan bully, and cruel. Given the opportunity, a deceived people, generation, nation, and yes, church and religion, will, as has darkened the history of mankind, stifle individual conscience and resort to deadly force when rationality and reason yield to crowd mentality,—carnal human nature that has yielded to the wiles of Satan and is controlled by “the enemy of God and man,” “the murderer from the beginning” and “the father of lies.”
Karl Marx, 19th century Prussian (German) philosopher, economist, and revolutionary published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867-1894). He is credited for calling religion “the opium or opiate of the masses,” a metaphor in the larger context of his (mis)understanding of religion. He is typically cited with Emile Durkham and Max Webber as one of the threeprincipal architects of modern social science. Does this kind of science belong to the class of knowledge that Paul warned Timothy as “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of sciences falsely so called”? (1 Tim. 6: 20, K.J.V.)? Certainly; just look at its numberless victims. He held that human societies progress through class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class and a dispossessed laboring class. (See Wikipedia). Peter Thompson, in his commentary, “Karl Marx, part 1: Religion, the Wrong Answer to the right Question,” wrote: “Marx thought that to understand religion correctly would allow one to understand the whole of human history.” (See The Guardian on the web).
The Bible says: “By their fruits you shall know them.” “What you sow you shall reap.” “They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.” “He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.” As erroneous as Marx’s theories were regarding how human societies should and could have made true progress in every sense of the word, where, at this very time of mankind’s six thousand year history, human conflict, wars—conventional, unconventional, and now, amped almostinfinitely in destructive capacity by digital technology—are raging among civilized nations, he was right “that to understand religion correctly would allow one to understand the whole of human history”—if only he and his ilk accepted the Bible as revealing the true origin, nature, cause, and central issue of the global, and yes, cosmic controversy that has been ravaging mankind and the earth since the Fall of man. He and his untold millions of adherents would have found the Answer to all that ails human society —Jesus Christ and His plan of redemption of the true gospel. They would have found true happiness, prosperity, freedom, progress, and the internal peace “that passeth understanding” as did Solomon, the wisest mortal that ever lived, centuries earlier, and what the intellectual apostle Paul found in the New Testament times, that, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” Eph. 6: 12. And that God, the General of the hosts of heaven has an entirely different spiritual military strategy and armor to be used in the war of all wars against Satan and his agents, sin, temptation, and sinful human propensities and weaknesses.
Marx was correct, if he was referring to the “religion of the mass,” not to the religion of Christ. One example is an end-time prophecy unfolding before our very eyes. John was shown in vision and bidden to write to those living in this generation that, “the whole world would wonder after the beast” (Rev. 13: 3) instead of “wondering after” Jesus, who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14: 6). Somebody has failed his job. Christianity has clearly failed “to lift up Jesus so that all peoples would be drawn to Him.” (John 12: 32) Both sacred and secular history bear witness to the fact that unvarnished truth will ever remain in the minority and be extremely unpopular. And so if we are looking to numbers to determine who and what is “right,” we are on “the broad way that leads unto death and many are found there” in contrast to the few who walking in “the strait and narrow way” that leadeth to eternal life. Matt. 7: 13.
All one needs to do is start at the beginning since the Fall and trace down to the end of the first generational junction of mankind: Noah’s time—the longest-lived generation whose average lifespan was over 500 years old! After 120 years of patiently warning that long-lived generation to repent of their gross wickedness while simultaneously building the ark—his works attesting to the truth of the warning message he preached—how many people eventually entered the ark of safety and were saved from the global deluge? Only eight:Noah, his wife, and their three sons Shem, Ham, and Japeth and their respective wives to begin the postdiluvian world. Thus there are only three lines of mankind that started the generations of man after the flood from which continuous intermarriages, with the law of heredity at work, saw the rise of the multiplicity of races, ethnicity, indigenous tribes, as well as cultures, traditions, and religions.
John’s gospel, the most sublime of the four, begins with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. . . He made the world and the world knew Him not. He came to His own and His own received Him not. ”See John 1: 1-13. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father [not of Mary], full of grace and truth.” verse 14. “Was” means He was not yet in the flesh till He “took our flesh and blood” human nature. Heb. 2: 10, 14, 16-18. This Word, the Creator, God incarnate, Prince Emmanuel, was rejected by the majority of His very own people, the chosen nation. That is the bad news. The better news is: “But as many as received Him to them He gave the power (the right) to become the children of God.” v 12. .
When, after 40 years, ancient Israel finally entered the earthly Promised land occupied by idolatrous, sensual, and warlike tribes and nations, we have the sad history of the people, demanding that Samuel the prophet, the last of the judges, and vicegerent of God in that first and last theocracy, that a human king rule over them like the heathen nations surrounding them instead of the direct rule of God. Thus the theocracy was replaced by a monarchy, Saul being the first king of Israel, who later died by suicide. He was “the people’s popular choice,” and look at the terrible results of choosing the wisdom and power of man over God’s!
“There are vast numbers arrayed against the truth, whom we must meet in presenting the light to others. [However] our hope is not in our knowledge of the truth [as indispensable as it is], and in our ability, but in the living God. . . .God’s glory is at stake. And there should be decided effort as far as human effort is concerned, and living faith for the mighty God to manifest His power, else all will prove a failure.”- E. G. White, Sons & Daughters, p. 278.
As far as the foregoing thoughts are concerned, among many equally important ones, we are still wanting in three things, namely:
(1) The Truth, as it in Jesus. Like faith, truth in and of itself, is not our savior. Jesus, the living Word alone can save with eternal salvation. A child can be saved from drowning by an alert lifeguard yet grow up to become mass shooter who loses his life in a shootout with the police, thus, die the second death. The word “truth,” like “faith,” “grace,” “gospel,” “Christian,” “freedom,” “liberty” has so many shades of meaning and interpretations some of which are actually anti-truth. And yet because they are extremely popular it has become difficult, even for the honest in heart, to determine what they really mean.
(2) God Himself, as the quote above clearly states. The living Word is the living, not dead Savior. What the helpless sinner, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Rom. 6; Eph. 2: 1) desperately needs and is constantly dependent upon, as blood and oxygen is necessary in order to live, is the life and power enclosed in the principles of God’s word. We are cleansed by His blood but purified by the power of His perfect life imparted through the Holy Spirit. Without Christ, all else, including the truth itself, is unavailing.
(3) Common sense. That is, in the spiritual sense, for, as the Apostle Paul says, “spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” Thus we have heavenly truth in contrast to earthly truth as there is wisdom from above and wisdom from beneath. “If you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts . . .this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and god fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3: 14-17, K.J.V.
Tradition is a contemplative thought-stopper and a truth strangler; it accuses as heretical and sacrilegious the divinely-endowed right to question the propriety and righteousness of continuing to do things “the way it has been done for centuries” and “passed on from generation to generation by our forbears.” Jesus said to the religious powers-that-be in His day, “You have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. . . .teaching for doctrine the commandment of men.” See Matt. 15: 1-20.
God defeated the enemies of Israel when they were faithful and obedient to all His commands. He discomfited their vastly larger and superiorly-armed armies, putting their forces into disorder and confusion so that they started killing each other. If you haven’t noticed yet, this same strange thing is happening right now in the wars raging in the same geographical areas of the Old Testament. Peoples of the same belief, or so it seems, are killing each other. Jesus said, “Every kingdom and every house divided against itself cannot stand.”Matt. 12: 25. But we know that the real mastermind behind all these wanton destruction of life and property—all owned by God through creation and redemption—is Lucifer, once the “covering cherub” (Eze. 28: 16, 12-19) but in his defeat in the first war in heaven and expulsion to earth became “that great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devi and Satan.” Rev. 12: 7- 9.
So isn’t it strange that the greatest nation on earth that claims to be Christian does not, as a nation, condemn Satan as the master-mind and instigator of all the woes plaguing the nation and the world? Lord Byron in his Don Juan canto wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction” but not to those to whom Bible truths are the basis of their faith, and Christ isthe Rock of their salvation, though they be in the minority. (To be continued next week