FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
September 25, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XVII
CHURCH CREEDS OVER CHRIST’S CREED
John chapter 17 records Christ’s valedictory prayer to the Father in heaven for all His true disciples on earth.It embodies the Prince of Peace’s Creed for His true church through all time. Its end result is “the peace that passeth understanding” “which the world cannot give.” Phil. 4: 7; John 14: 27.
Many church creeds do not harmonize with the Bible and yet are upheld as gospel truth by its adherents. Their disharmony with one another through the centuries since after the relatively short spell of the early part of the Reformation in the Old World, and their confused state since then, is the evidence in itself. In desperation they have tried every man-made effort, idea, philosophy, science, and scheme in the grandest scale possible of confederacy to achieve “lasting” unity, peace, and prosperity, hanging their plighted hope on hooks that can only break, vainly hoping for the earthly glory of Solomon’s reign or the “glory that was Rome.”
These will constantly elude and delude “the great men of the earth” until they humbly admit that they have been building upon another foundation, following another spirit, and setting up their own self-serving agendas by constantly and stubbornly ignoring the real cause of all of mankind’s woes, suffering, and death since the fall, which is sin, “the transgression of God’s law” (1 John 3: 4), not the transgression of any man or the churches’ different creeds.
In God’s spiritual kingdom of righteousness on earth, Jesus explained to the multitudes of His surprised listeners, who had been taught by their religious leaders otherwise—reinventing the nature of the kingdom and who the Messiah was, that: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matt. 5: 9. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth [made new].” Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness [not worldly power or earthly wealth]: for they shall be filled.” vs. 5, 6. .
Ellen G. White renders this Biblical truth clear. She wrote: “Whoever consents to renounce sin, and opens his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife, and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow-men cannot be made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil-surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of that peace of heaven, and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.” – Sons & Daughters, p. 306.
Christ also warned His disciples that in carrying out the great gospel commission: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matt. 10: 16. “Wise as serpents” is spiritual discernment and sound practical judgment. In Hamlet, Shakespeare (whom I will quote but once) wrote: “Give every man thine ear but few thy voice: Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.” This human weakness breeds prejudice everywhere. Kane O’ Hara, in Midas, stated it well: “Remember, when the judgment’s weak the prejudice is strong.” We must be fully awake and be acutely, yet calmly aware lest fanaticism, the opposite of worldliness, drives us to extremes, that such a deliberately created condition of confusion underwrites the act of desperation to finally to seek or “wonder after” anyone in fact, who will “unite” them and promise them peace and prosperity, even temporarily. But that comes with a steep price that most still do not grasp until too late to escape the snare. Indeed, as John Locke wrote: “Men see a little, presume a great deal, and so jump to the conclusion.” This is the unalterable trajectory, according to prophecy, towards which the world and the churches are quickly heading into. But God protects His flock.
John 17 reveals the character unity resulting from the sanctifying, purifying truth as it is in Jesus. “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” John 17: 17. “Satan rejoices when he can lead souls to follow mistaken ideas, until their names are blotted out from the book of life and recorded among the names of the unjust. We can overcome only in the way that Christ overcame [Rev. 3: 21]—by wholehearted obedience to every commandment of God. True religion is obedience to all the commandments of the Lord.”- Ibid, This Day with God, p. 322.
“Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 10). Reading it backwards as in a mirror reflection, it also correctly reads, “Fulfilling the law of God is love,” for, as Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14: 15. In short, it is loving to obey God’s law. As one anon writer wrote in a short article, Every-Day Religion: “The man who discovers the law of anything possesses a power in regard to that thing as limitless as the law itself. And the soul that has come to the knowledge of ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ is truly, as the apostle Paul says, ‘made free from the law of sin and death’ [See Romans chapter.6].”- Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, Aug. 29, 1899/4RH 87.
Jesus prayed, “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may be believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17: 21. “Jesus left us a perfect, sinless example. His followers are to walk in His footsteps. If they are not transformed in character, they can never dwell with Him in His kingdom. Christ died to elevate and ennoble them, and those who retain hereditary tendencies to wrong cannot dwell with Him. He suffered all that is possible for human flesh to suffer and endure, that we might pass triumphantly through all the temptations Satan may invent to destroy our faith.” SD 294.
Can there be any greater, more intimate, and permanent oneness between God and the repentant sinnersthrough Christ?—the ladder connecting heaven and earth shown in vision to Jacob (Gen. 28: 10-22), and between the members of the true Church on earth who are “giving diligence to making their calling and election sure” for an eternal citizenship in “that better country, that is, an heavenly” with has a “city which hath foundations, whose builder and Maker is God.” 2 Pet. 1:10; Heb. 11: 16, 10.
As a vital part of the preparation for earth’s closing events just ahead of us, the likes of which mankind has never seen or will ever experience (Rev. 7: 1-6; Dan. 12: 1, 2), preparing the way for Christ’s visible glorious second advent, we need to study John 17 in connection with Revelation chapters 13, 14, 17, and 18 for a very urgent reason:
See Revelation 17: 12-14. We are presently witnessing the rapidity of events inevitably climaxing in the final but brief global union of Church and State, the ecclesiastical with the secular, political, economic, military, and scientific “great men of the earth” (Rev. 18: 23), also called “the kings of the earth”(Rev. 6: 5; 16: 14; 17:2, 12; 17: 2, 18; 18: 3, 9; 19: 19; 21: 24)—i.e., those who “were once enlightened . . but fall away again, “crucifying Him afresh” (Heb. 6: 4-6) and persistently reject Heaven’s invitation to repent. They reject the glorious truth that Christ alone is the Creator, Redeemer and Mediator between God and man. They make of none effect the ultimate sacrifice of God “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth” (Rev. 13:8) in the incarnation of the Creator four thousand years after the fall into our flesh and blood yet sinless human nature(Heb. 2: 6-11. 14-18 4: 14-16), verily “the mystery of godliness ”(1 Tim. 3: 16). Inevitably, because the undershepherds have failed to emphasize this glorious truth, man has turned to fellow mortals, both dead and alive, to be their mediator and to rule their consciences—which God expressly forbade from the very beginning, including after ancient Israel’s irreversible transition from a theocracy to a monarchy by their foolish demand for a human king “to rule them like the other nations” during Samuel’s time.
Additionally, the union of church and state currently still remains unconstitutional as defined by the First Amendment (for now, at least). God denounces this mingling of church craft and statecraft as spiritual “fornication.” Its spiritually intoxicating and confusing doctrines are described as “the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev. 2: 14, 20, 21; 9:21; 14: 8; 17: 2, 4; 18: 3, 9; 19: 2).
The John 17 Creed is one of the divine aids to keep our minds focused on the highest calling, work, and message ever entrusted to any mortal since the beginning,—the proclamation of earth’s final warnings in the three angels’ messages—which are, based on increasing light, progressively cumulative, being the combined generational messages of Noah, Elijah, and John the Baptist up to these final generation to prepare for, and uplift Jesus Christ, the Son of man, unavoidably exposing “the wickedness of the man of sin and the son of perdition described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12. Yet all these fearful warnings of the three angels’ messages do not outweigh the awesome truth that we are living during the sealing time, and our lives are passing in review in the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary. As to be expected:
“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth, and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the [coming] time of trouble [Dan. 12; 1, 2]; and every soul that was decided on the truth, and was pure in heart, was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty. Satan knew this, and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled in the truth . . . I saw that Satan was at work. . . . to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for the present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding because they were not firmly planted on the truth. . . .Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God’s people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. We are brought out of the darkness of the world [of sin and ignorance of God’s character, His law, and His plan of salvation] into God’s marvelous light [of truth]. If we receive the image of God, if our souls are cleansed [by the blood of Christ] from every moral defilement, the seal of God will be placed upon our foreheads, and we shall be prepared for the closing scenes of this earth’s history. But we have no time to lose. The more we study the life of Christ with a heart to learn, the more Christlike we become. The sealing time is very short, and will soon be over. Now is the time [Rom. 13: 11-14], while the four angels are holding the four winds [Rev. 7:1-3] to make our calling and election sure [2 Pet. 1: 10, 1-12]. This is “present truth” indeed! v. 12].” – Ibid, Sons & Daughters, p. 342. (To be continued next week).