FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
January 16, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XVIX
HOW MANY CLASSES OF ANIMALS ARE THERE? – Part V
Diet and exercise, both requiring work, are the two major factors vital to staying healthy and fit as long as mortally possible—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and everything else in the eight (some say, ten) laws of health outside of DNA, which, basically, is beyond our control. However, wiseGEEK in the internet says, “Many people are used to thinking of DNA as unchanging programming that governs all the body’s responses for the rest of a person’s life. In essence, certain things about our DNA are unlikely to change, ever. There are a number of outside things that could result in minor change, however. As you age, for instance, you may note DNA expression changes in a variety of ways. Hair gets gray, skin gets wrinkly, and diseases are common.”
Work is the general term for purposive effort. As all know, in Physics, Work = force applied x displacement. The word “work” was introduced in 1826 by French mathematician Gaspard-Gustave Curiolis as “weight lifted though a height.” That makes plenty of sense when spiritually applied. Give it some thought. God designed man to move, to work, not only his mouth and tongue, as with couch potatoes and gourmands, or mere lip-service worshippers. See Isa.29: 13; Matt. 15: 7-9; John 9: 4. As Solomon says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” Prov. 6:6.
Paul explains what spiritual “milk” for spiritual “babes” is, in contrast to “solid food” or “strong meat” (K.J.V.) of biblical truth. See Hebrews 6: 1-6. The latter “belongs to those of full age,” i.e., those able to “discern between good and evil,” having “exercised their senses” (Heb. 5: 14). Centuries earlier the gospel prophet declared: “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, drawn from the breasts.” Isaiah 28: 9.
M.L. Andreasen, in his The Book of Hebrews, pp. 205-206, explains verses 12, 13, 14 of chapter 5, K.J.V., as especially applying to those already long in the truth:
“Ye ought to be teachers. These were not new converts, or this could not be true. But they had apparently not progressed as far and as rapidly as it was their privilege.
“Teach you again. They had been taught before, but they had forgotten their lessons, and needed to be taught again. What they had forgotten was ‘the first principles of the oracles of God.’
“Paul’s hearers are not the only ones who are guilty of sluggishness. Many today ought to be teachers when they are still in need of being taught. Old and young waste time on that which is not essential, fail to improve their opportunities, and need to learn again the first principles of Christianity, when by this time they ought to be teachers.
“Milk,’ ‘strong meat’ (solid food, N.K.J.V). Paul is taking the church to task. He is not making light of the Word by calling it milk; he is not belittling it in any way. But he feels constrained to say that they are satisfied with too light food. By this time they should be able to digest strong meat, but instead of this they are satisfied with baby food. There is, indeed, a ‘sincere milk of the word,’ but it is for ‘newborn babes,’ and it is to be given them that they may ‘grow thereby.’ 1 Pet. 2: 2.
“A little baby is wonderful, but a sixty-year old babe is not. Such a one needs to be weaned, and to masticate and assimilate his own food, and not depend on others to do it for him. Yet even today there are those who depend almost entirely on the preacher for spiritual sustenance, and who shun anything that requires study on their part. They glory in the ‘sincere milk of the word,’ and are like babes in the arms that must be cared for and carried. God wants us all to grow up into the full stature of manhood in Christ, and ‘henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.’ Eph. 4: 14. He wants us to grow ‘till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ Eph. 4: 13, K.J.V.
Verse 13. “’Unskilful.’ ‘He is a babe.’ As men become skillful in a trade or profession, so God wants us to become skillful in the use of the Word. Babe is ordinarily used as an endearing term, but here it is a term of reproach. Here it applies to the laity, but we fear that in some cases it may apply to ministers also; at least when what they are is contrasted with what should and might be. But let each apply this to himself. [itals in original].”
Verse 14. “The author is evidently preparing his readers for some serious counsel. He speaks of strong meat [K.J.V.] and tells them that this is for full-grown men, who he defines to be such as ‘by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.’
“This exhortation was designed to stir up the church members to a greater degree of interest in that which the apostle wishes them to know. He thinks the time has come for the church to take a forward step, throw off their infantile habits, and become adults. Children can be kept interested by the use of devices and all manner of incentives to interest. Adults should have outgrown such, should lay aside childish things and all juvenile and adolescent contrivances and methods, and as men, do the work given them to do. Paul’s admonitions are present truth.” Yes, urgent, present, testing truth!
In the famous love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, the learned Apostle Paul explains by way of confession, borne by actual physical and spiritual experience: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Verse 11. How do we adults speak, understand, and think?
When Jesus’ disciples came to Him, asking, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus replied by first calling a little child to Him, and setting him in their midst, said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of God. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18: 1-4. In the Bible the expression “kingdom of God” is used to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. (GC 347) True humility is “that sense of sin and unworthiness which leads to repentance” (UL 169).
God empowers all penitent sinners by His saving grace who receives His final gospel feast invitation in the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14. They become children of the light of truth, adopted sons and daughters of God in Christ—spiritually cloven-hoofed, separated from the world; still in the world but no longer of the world. They become a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people . . . . called out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Pet. 2: 9; Exo. 19: 5, 6.
They are no longer conformed to the world, formerly obsessed with its deceptive maxims and temporal riches but are undergoing an amazing transformation by the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12: 1, 2; 1 John 2: 15-17). They become childlike—simple, unassuming, confiding, trustful, teachable,—not childish—puerile, silly, peevish, petty, irresponsible, intemperate, self-centered. Love of self excludes the love of Christ, the selfless One. These contrasts may be further seen and understood by closely observing their “fruits in our own lives: either “works of the flesh,” (Galatians 5: 16-21) or the “fruits of the Spirit,” verses 22-26. These are the indisputable evidences that one is either walking in the Spirit, or in the flesh, partaking of the heavenly manna or the doctrines of men. They are as distinct and separate from each other as heaven and earth, day and night, male and female, life and death.
In nature, when the time has come, mother goat weans her kid away from her breast, her milk. If need be she even lightly butts the kid away in order to drive home the point that he is now ready for grass instead of milk. She does this unpleasant duty both for the kid’s sake and her own good. Otherwise the kid will not grow to maturity and will eventually die of malnutrition or starvation in the midst of plenty. Both lose each other.
Have you ever seen an adult goat going back to sucking its mother’s breast and drinking milk again? Or, having learned to eat grass, asks its mother to chew his cud for him? Never. But have you seen human beings, created in the image of God, still clinging, Oediupus-like, to the breasts of mother church, still sucking away on the milk of the word, still clinging to mother’s apron strings as it were? Sadly, too many. Have you seen adult human beings carelessly surrendering their high privilege and solemn responsibility of “chewing their own cud” to their religious leaders, who “chew” it for them and then “spoon-feed” this regurgitated “doctrinal cud” back into the mouths of their credulous followers or parishioners? Sadly, again, far too many. If we still don’t get it, this is what the signs of the times are still mercifully warning us.
For the love of God, souls, and the “strong meat” of present truth, E.G. White has compelling reminders, strong “medicine” in fact, because the prophesied stupefying misapplication of the Scriptures and the time of trouble such as never was (Dan. 12: 1)are soon to reach their astounding climax.
“The Jews perished as a nation [as the once chosen-people of God] because they were drawn away from the truth of the Bible by their rulers, priests, and elders. Had they heeded the lessons of Jesus, and searched the Scriptures for themselves, they would not have perished.”- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 109. “Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation may be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe present truth.” – Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 111.
“Like ancient Israel, the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and Christ has departed, His Spirit has been quenched in the church.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, pp. 441-2.
“It is too late in the day to feed with milk. If souls a month or two old in the truth, who are about to enter the time of trouble such as never was [Dan. 12: 1], cannot hear all the straight truth or endure the strong meat of the straightness of the way, how will they stand in the day of battle? Truths that we have been years learning must be learned in a few months by those who now embrace the third angel’s message . . . There is no need of milk after souls are convinced of the truth. As soon as the conviction of truth is yielded to, and the heart is willing, the truth should have its effect, the truth will work like leaven, and purify and purge away the passions of the natural [carnal] heart.
It is a disgrace for those who have been in the present truth for years to talk of feeding souls who have been months in the truth, upon milk. It shows they know little of the leadings of the Spirit of the Lord, and realize not that the time we are living in. Those who embrace the truth now will have to step fast. There will have to be a breaking up of the heart before the Lord, a rending of the heart, and not the garment.” – MS No. 1, Feb. 12, 1854/ 1 Manuscript Releases, pp. 33, 34. (Continued next week)