FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XXVII
Internal Peace in a World at War and the Calm before the Storm
We address important, late-breaking developments showing how the Third angel’s message is “swelling into the loud cry of Revelation 18,” also referred to as the “fourth angel,” and “the events connected with the close of probation.”
See http://news.yahoo.com/pope-francis-opens-st-peters-holy-door-launch-102813909.html. Fast-tracking pope Francis (he speeded up the canonization process of John Paul II and John XIII, April 27, 2015, breaching the standard 5-year waiting period and waiving the Vatican’s two-miracle requirement. See Bloomberg.com/new/articles), launched Tuesday, December 8, the “extraordinary Catholic Jubilee Year ofmercy by opening a “holy Door” in the walls of St. Peter’s, saying, “This is the door of the Lord. Open to me thegates of justice.”
The 78-year old pontiff then “paused for two minutes of silent prayer before walking inside in an act to be carried out by millions of pilgrims before the Jubilee closes next November.” This period lasts only a year. In the light of end-time prophecies, believers inquire: (a) what happens to those who fail, for whatever reason, whether of convenience or conviction to “enter this papal door of mercy” and “gates of justice”? (b) after it closes next year, what’s next? Relevant clues may be found in the following excerpts from the pen of Ellen G. White:
“The defenders of popery declare that she has been maligned; and the Protestant world is inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the Romish Church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times, and plead that civilization has changed her sentiments.
Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility for eight hundred years put forth by this haughty power? So far from relinquishing this claim, the church in the nineteenth century has affirmed it with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that she has never erred, and never can err, how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages? The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility.
All that she has done in the persecution of those who reject her dogmas, she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed, and Rome be re-instated in her former power, there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. It is true that there are real Christians in the Roman Catholic communion. Thousands in that church are serving God according to the best light they have . . .God will cause rays of light to penetrate the dense darkness that surrounds them.
He will reveal to them the truth as it is in Jesus, and they will yet take their position with His people. But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period of her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to  regain control of the world  to re-establish persecution, and to  undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground in our country upon every side. . . The people of our land need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty!”-Ibid, 381-2.
“There is a striking similarity between the church of Rome and the Jewish church at the time of Christ’s first advent. While the Jews secretly trampled upon every principle of the law of God, they were outwardlyrigorous in the observance of its precepts, loading it down with exactions and traditions that made obedience painful and burdensome. As the Jews professed to revere the law, so do Romanists claim to reverence thecross. They exalt the symbol of Christ’s sufferings, while in their lives they deny Him whom it represents.
The papists places crosses upon their  churches, upon their  altars, and upon their  garments. Everywhere is seen the insignia of the cross. Everywhere it is outwardly honored and exalted. But the teachings of Christ are buried beneath a mass of  senseless traditions,  false interpretations, and  rigorous exactions. The Savior’s words concerning the bigoted Jews apply with still greater force to the Romish leaders: ‘They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.’ [Matt. 23: 4]. Conscientious souls are kept in constant terror, fearing the wrath of and offended God, while the dignitaries of the church are living in luxury and sensual pleasure.” –Ibid, pp. 384, 385.
“Satan instigates  the worship of images,  the invocation of saints, and  the exaltation of the pope, to attract the minds of the people from God and His Son. To accomplish their ruin, he endeavors to turn their attention from Him through whom alone they can find salvation. He will direct them to any one that can be substituted for the One who has said, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ [Matt. 11: 28].”- Ibid, p. 385.
“It is Satan’s constant effort to  misrepresent the character of God,  the nature of sin  and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. By his sophistry he blinds the minds of men, and secures them as his agents to war against God. By perverted conceptions of the divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of Deity; and the most horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry. The Romish Church, uniting the forms of paganism and Christianity, and in a similar manner misrepresenting the character of God, has resorted to practices no less cruel and revolting.
In the days of Rome’s supremacy there were instruments of torture to compel assent to her doctrines. There was the stake for those who would not concede to her claims. There were massacres on a scale that will never be known to mortals. Dignitaries of the church studied, under Satan their master, to invent means to cause the greatest possible torture, and not end the life of their victim. The infernal process was repeated to the utmost limit of human endurance, until nature gave up the struggle, and the sufferer hailed death as sweet release. Such was the fate of Rome’s opponents.”- Ibid, pp. 385.
“For her adherents she had the discipline of the scourge, of famishing hunger, of bodily austerities in every conceivable, heart-sickening form. To secure the favor of Heaven, penitents violated the laws of God by violating the laws of nature. They were taught to sunder every tie which He has formed to bless and gladden man’s earthly sojourn. The churchyard contains millions of victims who spent their lives in vain endeavors to subdue their natural affections, to repress, as offensive to God, every thought and feeling of sympathy with their fellow-creatures.”-Ibid, p. 386.
“Was Christ ever known to consign men to the prison or the rack because they did not pay Him homage as the King of Heaven? Was His voice heard condemning to death those who did not accept Him? When He was slighted by the people of a Samaritan village, the apostles James and John [were] filled with indignation, and inquired, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?’ Jesus looked with pity upon His disciple(s), and rebuked [their] harsh spirit, saying, ‘The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ [Luke 9: 54, 56, N.K.J.V].” – Ibid, p. 387.
“The Romish Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christ-like garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of popery that existed in ages past exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The popery that Protestants are now so readily embrace and honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up at the peril of their lives to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty, and slew the saints of the Most High. Popery is just what prophecy declared that she would be,–the apostasy of the latter times.” – Ibid, pp. 387, 388.
“Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Romish Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false Sabbath, and that they are preparing to employ the very means which she herself employed in the bygone days. The Christian world will learn what Romanism really is, when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in  legislative halls, in the  churches, and in the  hearts of men. Throughout the land she is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated.
She is stealthily and unsuspectedly strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is soon to be given her. In the near future [written in 1884] we shall see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whosoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” – Ibid, p. 397, Vo.l 4 Spirit of Prophecy, 1884, Review & Herald Publishing Asso.
Thus, this “Catholic Jubilee Year of opening the door of mercy,” is diversionary for something infinitely more important, having everything to do with our eternal salvation has been silently taking place in heaven. The door which Christ our High Priest and Mediator, opened and moved into the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary in October 1844, forever closing the door to the holy place by which man had access to Christ since His ascension, is soon to close, exactly when is not revealed for we would misuse such to our own damnation—we would presume and procrastinate to the last minute.
NOTE: “The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens our view the plan of redemption, bring us down to the very close of time, and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of utmost importance that all who have received the light, both old and young, should thoroughly investigate these subjects and ‘be able to give an answer to every one that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them.’ [2 Pet. 3: 15]. The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross.”-Ibid, p. 313.
(To be continued next week)