FRIDAY MORNING MANNA   

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part LIII

The Godhead’s Witness: We Three are One

   This is He who came by water and blood—-Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.2 John 5: 6-8, N.K.J.V.

 

As summarized in our main text above, God reveals all throughout the Scriptures that:  “In the mouth of two or three witnesses that truth is established.” See Deut. 17: 6; 19: 15; Dan. 3: 12-30 (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego); Matt. 17: 1-4; 18: 16, 20; 2 Cor. 13: 1; 1 Tim. 5: 19; Heb. 10: 28; Rev. 11: 3.

The Transfiguration: the Kingdom of Glory in Miniature

       “Not all, even of the twelve, [could] receive the revelation He desired to give. Only the three who [were] to witness His anguish in Gethsemane [had] been chosen to be with Him on the mount. Now the burden of His prayer is that they may be given a manifestation of the glory He had with the Father before the world was, that His kingdom may be revealed to human eyes, and that His disciples may be strengthened to behold it. He pleads that they may witness a manifestation of His divinity that will comfort them in the hour of His supreme agony with a knowledge that He is of a surety the Son of God and that His shameful death is a part of the plan of redemption.

     His prayer is heard. While He is bowed in lowliness upon the stony ground, suddenly the heavens open, the golden gates of the city of God are thrown wide, and holy radiance descends upon the mount, enshrouding the Savior’s form. Divinity from within flashes through humanity, and meets the glory from above.Arising from His prostrate position, Christ stands in godlike majesty. The soul agony is gone. His countenance now shines ‘as the sun,’ and His garments are ‘white as the light.’

      The disciples, awaking, behold the flood of glory that illuminates the mount. In fear and amazement they gaze upon the radiant form of their Master. As they become able to endure the wondrous light, they see that Jesus is not alone. Beside Him are two heavenly beings, in close converse with Him. They are Moses, who upon Sinai had talked with God; and Elijah, to whom the high privilege was given—granted to but one other of the sons of Adam [Enoch]—never to come under the power of death.” – E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, (1940), Pacific Press Publishing Co., pp. 420, 421.

We read in Matthew 17: 1-7 and Mark 9: 2-8 that after six days, Jesus was transfigured.  He took with Himthree disciples, Peter, James, and John to the Mount of transfiguration to be the human witnesses as to His divinity. These three mortals had one testimony regarding who Jesus is—the Creator, who, “in the fullness of time,” incarnated as God in the flesh, Prince Immanuel according to the plan of redemption devised by the Godhead before the foundations of the earth were laid, whose moral and physical image and likeness man, the crowning act of creation, was originally created in, which will be fully restored in the final “restitution of all things.”

Moses, Christ, and Elijah. The three disciple witnessed two other persons who represent the two classes who will be eternally saved; Moses on one side of Jesus, and Elijah on the other. Such, too, was the divinely-arranged crucifixion of the sinless “Lamb of God” between two thieves fully deserving of capital punishment. One, however, was repentant, the other defiant up to the last moments of his life. Christ promised the penitent thief-sinner eternal salvation through the merits of His sinless life in the flesh, substitutionary death, and all-efficacious atoning blood that was already flowing from His nailed hands and feet; the unrepentantand blasphemous thief-sinner on the other hand, by rejecting Christ and the final offer of grace, condemned himself to eternal damnation. Note that Jesus said nothing to him. Silence is eloquence This moment was one of them. As someone said, “Work hard in silence; let your success do all the noise.”

     “Upon Mount Pisgah centuries before, Moses had stood gazing upon the Land of Promise. But because of his sin at Meribah, it was not for him to enter there. Not for him was the joy of leading the host of Israel into the inheritance of their fathers. His agonizing entreaty, ‘I pray Thee, let me go over, and to see the good land beyond the Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon’ (Deut. 3: 25), was refused. The hope that for forty years had lighted up the darkness of the desert wanderings must be denied. A wilderness grave was the goal of those years of toil and heart-burdening care. But He who is ‘able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think’ (Eph. 3: 20), had in this measure answered His servant’s prayer. Moses passed under the dominion of death, but he was not to remain in the tomb. Christ Himself called him forth to life. Satan the tempter had claimed the body of Moses because of his sin; but Christ the Savior brought him forth from the grave. Jude 9.

     “Moses upon the mount of transfiguration was a witness to Christ’s victory over sin and death. Herepresented those who shall come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just [   ]. Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death, represented those who would be living upon the earth, at Christ’s second coming, and who will be ‘changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;’ when ‘this mortal must put on immortality,’ and ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption.’ 1 Cor. 15: 51-53. Jesus was clothed with the light of heaven, as He will appear when He shall come ‘the second time without sin unto salvation.’ For He will come ‘in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.’ Heb. 9: 28; Mark 8: 38. The Savior’s promise to the disciples was now fulfilled. Upon the mount the future kingdom of glory was represented in miniature,—Christ, the King, Moses a representative of the risen saints, and Elijah the translated ones.”Desire of Ages, 1940, Pacific Press Publishing, pp. 421, 422.  

Moses died of old age not by any disease. His vision was 20/20 for he could see the promised land atop Mt. Nebo that he would be denied entrance after 40 years of patiently leading stubborn, murmuring Israel towards occupying it. Angels lovingly buried his body in a purposely undisclosed location to prevent the Israelites from committing idolatry over his dead body and grave as mankind has been doing since then. Moses was resurrected by Christ Himself, Jehovah of the Old Testament. Elijah was the second man translated to heaven after Enoch, the seventh patriarch from Adam (Gen. 5: 21-24; Heb.11:5).

Both represent the 144,000 described in Rev. 7: 1-4; 3: 7-12 and 14:1-3. They are translated to heaven without tasting the first, and of course, the second death. Rev. 20: 5, 6. Moses also represents all who die in the Lord, thus “sleep in the Lord” in their dusty graves (1 Thess. 4: 13-18); who will be resurrected either in the first or partial resurrection at the opening of the seventh plague (Dan. 12: 1, 2), preceding the general resurrection when Christ returns in all His glory to resurrect all the rest of the righteous dead from Adam whom the pre-advent judgment determined “by the books,” were worthy of eternal life. Dan. 7: 9, 10, 13; 8: 14; 1 Pet. 4: 17, 18; Eccl. 12: 13, 14; Rev. 22: 12-14.

Firstly, we proud, self-confident mortals residing in corruptible “earthen vessels” that quickly decompose at death, whose average life span is but “three score and ten” compared to the eternal, self-existent, uncreated, immortal God, are to ever remember as we search into this sacred subject of the Godhead this side of the resurrection morning, to be content with what God has chosen to reveal; nothing more, nothing less. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3: 47. If further information is withheld, it is for our own good, safety, and protection from Satan’s schemes and deceptions targeting mankind’s weakest and most vulnerable points from the very beginning, namely: curiosity, appetites/desires, and presumption. Remember these verses:

     “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deut. 29: 29.

    “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than earth, and broader than the sea.” Job 11: 7, 8.

     “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.” Isa. 40: 28.

     “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55: 6-9.

Moses and the burning bush: “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called out to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exo. 3: 4, 5. This subject is holy ground!

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We close out these series on Number Three and move on to Number Four starting next Friday with these soon-to-be-fulfilled prophecies, quoted from the devotional Maranatha, p. 191 by Ellen G. White:

THE FINAL THREEFOLD UNION OF RELIGION

 

John wrote what Jesus showed him in vision at Patmos:   “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” Rev. 16: 13, 14, K.J.V.  These events take place during the sixth plague, after the close of earth’s probation.

It starts out with specific decisions and actions in the religious world, beginning in the United States, beforethe close of earth’s probation as described below:

     “By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation (the United States) will disconnect herself fully from righteousness.  When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to clasp the hand of the Roman power, when she [Protestantism] shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country will repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.” Vol. 5, Testimonies, p. 451.

     “Through the two great errors,—the immortality of the soul [the first lie of Satan, Gen. 3: 1-4] and Sundaysacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States [no longer the Protestants of the fragile European Union] will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling upon the rights of conscience. . . .

      “Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power] and will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.”- Great Controversy, pp. 588, 589.  NOTE: this is the final false interpretation of the Biblical millennium.

      “When our nation (the United States) shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact aSunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery’ it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.”- Vol. 5Testimonies, p. 712.

(The Biblical Number Four series begins next week Friday, August 26)