Photo Credit Flickr/ernestkoe

Photo Credit Flickr/ernestkoe

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XXX

 ‘The Three Stricts and Three Earnests’

 

The above slogan—one of the many numerical designations in Chinese politics, refers to being strict in morals, power, and discipline, as well as honesty in decisions, business, and behavior. Seehttp://news.yahoo.com/china-xi-warns-communist-colleagues.

Doubtless these are noble aspirations and standards to aim for this New Year 2016, not only by Chinese politicians but all political leaders of all nations of the world. However, it leaves out the only way by which and whom mankind can achieve them literally and spiritually: Jesus Christ the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father in heaven except through Him. John 14: 6. Thus this slogan will remain consigned to the dustbin of quotable yet unachievable quotes. If it does not bring about heart transformation, it is mere assent to the truth, a popular self-deception.

Proof? Look at China’s political state of affairs and all nations’ as well. The exact opposite is prevailing. Instead of the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 22, 23) it is the “works of the flesh” (vs 19-21) that are being manifested. No proffered solution seems to work permanently.  Every election cycle brings out the best and the worst—much more of the latter. Once one throws in his hat into the political arena he will, under pressure, ultimately do and say just about anything it will take to win the base and the votes. As a rule (there are exceptions, though extremely rare), once elected even those with the best intentions, are fundamentally upright and honest, gradually yield to the pressure to compromise their values because politics is what it is, the art of compromise. Otherwise nothing gets accomplished “across the aisle,” politically, that is. Facts have to be exaggerated; statistics, skewed. That is simply the nature of the beast called politics.

But even if one is not a corrupt career politician, another ruling class is even more destructive of the righteousness God requires of all nations—bigoted religionists of every age, particularly the antitype of all the previous ones combined.

       “The greatest deception of the human mind in Christ’s day was that a mere assent to the truth constitutes righteousness. In all human experience a theoretical knowledge of the truth has been proved to be insufficient for the saving of the soul. It does not bring forth the fruits of righteousness [Gal. 5: 22-26]. A jealous regard for what is termed theological truth often accompanies a hatred of genuine truth as made manifest in life. The darkest chapters of history are burdened with the record of crimes committed by bigoted religionists.  The Pharisees claimed to be children of Abraham, and boasted of their possession of the oracles of God; yet these advantages did not preserve them from selfishness, malignity, greed for gain, and the basest hypocrisy. They thought themselves the greatest religionists of the world, but their so-called orthodoxy led them to crucify the Lord of glory.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 309.

Jesus never employed politics, social activism, or religious extremism of any kind of which He has been wrongly portrayed or accused of by those who either do not know Him, hate Him, or are terrorized by Him but never by those who know and adore Him as revealed in the Bible and the works of His hands in nature through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and ministry of the angels.

What underlies religious intolerance, fanaticism, radicalization, extremism 

Ellen G. White wrote:

     “But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make the Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ John 18: 36. He would not accept the earthly throne.

      “The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Savior attempted no civil reformsHe attacked no national abusesnor condemned the national enemies [actions no one running for POTUS will do if he/she expects to be nominated, much less to win the general elections]. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. [see Wikipedia on Montana Freemen, Christian Patriot movement] He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.  Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 508.

 

Jesus On Line Ministries says:  “Jesus produced three primary effects in the people who met Him: hatred, terror, or adoration.” Former Bible skeptic, atheist, and literary genius C.S. Lewis had this to say:

     “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman, or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit on Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about Him being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” (See IS JESUS GOD? on the internet)

Mahatma Gandhi, revered by many, including Christians considered Jesus Christ merely a good human moral teacher but not the Son of God. Gandhi is quoted as saying: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  Not how they treat(ed) Jesus Christ and His law of righteousness! But that is Gandhi’s standard. If so, then all flesh-eating, civilized nations stand condemned.  Non-religious animal activists  have long courageously exposed the insensitivity, if not barbaric cruelty, not to mention the shady practices of making more profit at the expense of the poor, dumb animals, whether poultry, swine, or bovine, etc., and the consumers. Just follow the trail from how they are raised, slaughtered, rendered, and prepared before finally ending up as the piece de resistance on the holiday dinner plate.  It may change your dietary habits and even lifestyle.

Now compare this to what the Bible says of nations. “Righteousness exalts a nation. But sin is a reproach to any people.” Prov. 14: 34, N.K.J.V. First, God the Father has committed all judgment to His Son. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2: 16; John 5: 26, 27; Isa. 33: 11; Rev. 22: 12. “Christ humbled Himself to stand at the head of humanity, to meet the temptations and endure the trials that humanity must meet and endure. He must know what humanity has to meet from the fallen foe [Satan], that he might know how to succor those who are tempted. Christ has been made our Judge. The Father is not the Judge. The angels are not. He who took humanity upon Himself, and in this world lived a perfect life, is to judge us. He only can be our Judge. No one of you has been appointed to judge others. It is all that you can do to discipline yourselves.”- E. G. White, My Life Today (devotional), p. 335.  “The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon earth. Everyone must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. [Eph. 5:27]. – Ibid, The Great Controversy, (1911).p. 490.

The Son of God is the great I AM, meaning, One who is outside of time and has always existed whom the apostles, both as literal witnesses and moved by the Holy Spirit described, as follows: John says, “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. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” John 1: 1-3, 10, K.J.V. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life  . . .These things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1: 1, 4, N.K.J.V.

Paul says: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. . . . For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.” Col. 1: 15-17, 19. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” 2: 9, N.K.J.V.

Have we chosen Him above all persons and things? How often? If not, when? In his daily devotional,Something Better, Calvin B. Rock wrote: “Many think that choice is an activity of the moment: that we choose as we go along and that decision is the response to present stimuli or current circumstances. But that is not so. We choose according to the way we have chosen a thousand time before. We are creatures of pattern, purveyors of custom, and instruments of sameness. Our tastes are developed by indulgence. They are predispositions, not decisions of the moment. Each choice (good or bad) is a step that makes continued journeying in that direction easier and more likely. We choose, not at the moment of response, but as we have been conditioned by responses over time.”(Creatures of Habit, p. 263. www.reviewandherald.com).

Law, Grace, and Obedience. –  “Apostle Paul had ever exalted the divine law. He had shown that in the law there is no power to save men from the penalty of disobedience. Wrong-doers must repent of their sins, and humble themselves before God, whose just wrath they have incurred by breaking His law; and they must exercise faith in the blood of Christ as their only means of pardon. The Son of God has died as their sacrifice, and had ascended to heaven to stand before the Father as their Advocate. By repentance and faith they might be freed from the condemnation of sin, and through the grace of Christ be enabled henceforth to render obedience to the law of God.” – E. G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 393.

Who is Jesus Christ? “The disciples, filled with the spirit of inspiration, answer this question. In eloquent strains they repeat the prophecies concerning Christ:

     Adam will tell you, it is the Seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent’s [Satan’s] head. [Gen. 3: 15].

     Ask Abraham, he will tell you, It is “Melchizedek King of Salem,” King of Peace.” Gen. 14: 18.

     Jacob will tell you, He is the Shiloh of the tribe of Judah. [Gen. 49: 1, 10]

     Isaiah will tell you, ‘Immanuel,” “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isa. 7: 14; 9: 6.

     Jeremiah will tell you, The Branch of David, ‘the Lord our Righteousness.” Jer. 23: 6.

     Daniel will tell you, He is the Messiah.[Dan. 9: 22-27]

     Hosea will tell you, He is ‘the Lord of hosts; the Lord is His memorial. Hos. 12: 5.

     John the Baptist will tell you, He is ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1: 29.

     The great Jehovah has proclaimed from His throne, ‘This is My beloved Son.’ Matt. 3: 17.

     We, His disciples, declare, This is Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of life, the Redeemer of the world.

     And the prince of the powers of darkness [Satan] acknowledges Him, saying, ‘I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.’ Mark 1: 24.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 578, 579.                             (Continued next week)