FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
November 7, 2014
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part IX
TWO HEAVENLY AGENCIES WORKING FOR OUR SALVATION
The Two Heavenly Agencies of God vs. the Two Earthly Agencies of Satan
The God of hosts is on the side of His people on earth through the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, and the holy angels, His ministering spirits. Let all plead that these two heavenly agencies will continue their tireless and ceaseless work every moment of the day and night for our salvation, simultaneous with the closing work of atonement and cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary by Jesus Christ, our merciful High Priest, Mediator, Advocate, and righteous Judge during this antitypical Day of Atonement.
“Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years [since 1844, Dan. 8: 14] this work has been in progress. Soon—none know how soon—it will pass on to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Savior’s admonition: ‘Take heed, watch and pray: for you do not know when the time is.’ Mark 13: 33. ‘Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.’ Rev. 3: 3, N.K.J.V.”– E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911, p. 490.
This silent “unknown time,” “unrevealed hour,” according to the context and the texts (Mark 13: 1-37; cf. Matt. 24: 1-51), refer to the time when the pre-advent or investigative judgment taking place now in heaven will transfer from the cases of the dead (starting with Adam) to the living—not to Christ’s Second Advent. The correct type of this is when the lone door to Noah’s ark was closed by an invisible angel.
“In the days of Noah a double curse was resting upon the earth, in consequence of Adam’s transgression, and of the murder committed by Cain.” After faithfully warning the long-lived, wicked, antediluvian generation while simultaneously building the ark for 120 years—a living definitive demonstration of faith and corresponding works:
“God commanded Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.’ Gen. 7: 9: 1. Noah’s warnings had been rejected by the world [then], but his influence and example resulted in blessings to his family. As a reward for his faithfulness and integrity, God saved all the members of his family with him. What an encouragement for parental fidelity!
“Mercy had ceased its pleadings for the guilty race. The beasts of the field and the birds of the air had entered the place of refuge. Noah and his household were within the ark; ‘and the Lord shut him in.’ A flash of dazzling light was seen, and a cloud of glory, more vivid than lightning, descended from heaven, and hovered before the entrance of the ark. The massive door, which was it was impossible to for those within to close, was slowly swung its place by unseen hands. Noah was shut in, and the rejecters of God’s mercy were shut out.
The seal of heaven was on that door; God had shut it, and God alone could open it. So when Christ shall cease His intercession for guilty men, before His coming in the clouds of heaven, the door of mercy will be shut. Then divine grace will no longer restrain the wicked, and Satan will have full control of those who have rejected mercy. They will endeavor to destroy God’s people; but as Noah was shut into the ark, so the righteous will be shielded by divine power [through angels that excel in strength.” Ps. 91].”– E. G. White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 98.
Ephesians 6: 10-12. The two heavenly agencies are yet invisibly engaged in fierce, deadly combat against Satan’s two earthly, devilish agencies who are also working in desperate confederacy against God’s law and His commandment-keeping remnant. Rev. 12: 17. These two satanic agencies are: (1) the fallen angels, one-third of the original in heaven, who, after they were cast down from heaven became the evil spirits, the demons that vex, tempt, annoy, and wreak havoc upon man and the earth (2) wicked men and their devices and institutions.
How comforting and empowering to all who are “suffering for righteousness sake” and are bravely “contending for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), that if they “endure to the end” (Matt 10: 22), their names will be “written in the Lamb’s book of life” and added to God’s “Hall of Faith” described in Hebrews chapter 11. Though numbered among the minority on earth—which Satan claimed as his kingdom since Adam ceded his sovereignty over it by yielding to temptation (Gen. 1: 28; 2: 19), they have God’s assurance that the whole of Heaven is on their side while their enemies have the whole of fallen earth and Satan’s agencies on the other. On whose side are we on right now, as we approach the climax of this conflict of the ages? It is a choice.
1.THE HOLY SPIRIT, the third Person of the Trinity of the Godhead, is the last and final link of earth with heaven, of fallen, yet penitent sinners to Christ and from Christ to the Father, both in heaven. As Jesus instructed His disciples how, and what to pray for in Luke 11: 1-13, let us ask, seek, and knock for the Holy Spirit to do His appointed work in the plan of redemption of convicting, convincing, enlightening, guiding, reminding, and sanctifying us through His “fiery baptism,” as John the Baptist announced in thunder tones. Matt. 3: 11, 12.
When, by God’s enabling grace, we daily seek and faithfully apply all we are learning to our practical lives, thus growing “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4: 13), enduring and overcoming to the end of our individual probation time—no one but God knows when–the Holy Spirit will “seal us for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4: 30),“writing the name of the Father in our foreheads,” Eph. 4: 30; Eze. 3: 8, 9: 4; Rev. 3: 12; 7: 1-4; 14: 1-5; 22: 4; 21: 27.
Let us ask in faith, and fully co-operate with God by surrendering and participating in the Holy Spirit’s work of convicting us of our favorite sins and to overcome them lest in presumptuous repeated delays we grieve Him away, and finally commit the unpardonable sin. “The most common manifestation of the sin against the Holy Spirit is persistently slighting Heaven’s invitation to repent.” Every step in the rejection of Christ is a step toward the rejection of salvation, and toward the sin against the Holy Spirit.” – Desire of Ages, p. 324.
2. THE HOLY ANGELS. Let us daily petition the throne of grace for the ministry and protection of the angels that excel in strength as we seek to do God’s will by sinking the shaft of investigation deeper into the inexhaustible mines of truth of the Holy Scriptures, searching for it as “for hidden treasure,” hungering for the “hidden manna” (Matt. 13: 44; Rev. 2: 17), i.e., the present, sealing truths for these last days.
Earth is rapidly approaching its last, greatest, and final crisis. The signs of the times of Biblical prophecy are fulfilling before our very eyes, proclaiming in trumpet tones to all who “have ears that will hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Let us wrestle in prayer with Christ “till daybreak,” as did Jacob with the Angel of the covenant at the greatest crisis of his life. Gen. 32: 22-32; Hos. 12: 3, 4.
Undeterred by the dire circumstances he was in, yet now conscious of the divine Presence, he said, “I will not let You go until You bless me.” It is this type of importunity, referred to as “spiritual violence” (Matt. 11: 12), that Jacob finally obtained the blessing he earnestly sought, both for the forgiveness of his sins, the removal of the burden of guilt, and for a thorough change of heart and mind. Thus his name Jacob, which means “he takes by the heel,” “he supplants,” was changed into Israel, meaning, “God contends” for “you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Gen. 32: 22-32.
The antitypical “Jacob’s time of trouble” still lies ahead for God’s latter day spiritual Israel, that is, thefaithful of the remnant, for, like their type, many of God’s chosen people, from ancient Israel of the ten northern tribes and the two southern tribes made up of Judah and Benjamin, called Judah, were not merely lukewarm or only unfaithful; they were rebellious, idolatrous, and even cruel, persecuting and even slaying the very prophets God raised and sent to warn and comfort “the apple of His eye.”
If our minds, precious time, diminishing energies and resources have long been diverted, even obsessed, perhaps to this moment with matters largely of a temporal nature to the neglect of becoming more fully acquainted with Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, it is “high time to awake out of our sleep for now is our salvation nearer than we first believed” (Rom. 11: 11-14). Here’s what to expect when you do so: Satan will harass and vex you now more because you have decided to re-examine and recalibrate your priorities, make decided and thorough reformatory changes in your life by making God no longer the last resort to run to when calamity strikes but truly the first, last, and best in “whatever you eat, drink, or whatever you do” (1 Cor. 10: 31).
He knows that his schemes and agencies will be clearly exposed. He hates the light of truth with venom. Set aside all preconceived ideas, opinions, and prejudices. These are some of the major blinders that for centuries, the father of lies has so successfully used to keep minds in darkness and ignorance. “With men it is impossible but with God all things are possible”
Next Friday we will examine more closely the ministry of angels for our salvation.