FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
May 22, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part IX
THE THREE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD (Continued)
The closest star to our planet earth is Proxima Centauri (part of the Alpha Centauri triple system)—about 4.3 light years or roughly 25 trillion (25 million million) miles away. Beta Centauri is even farther—350 light years. Since the distance between Earth and moon is roughly a quarter of a million miles, the distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri would be about 100 million times the distance from earth to the moon. See YahooAnswers.
Now most will agree that Heaven or Paradise , the home of God and the angels, most likely is at the center of the universe is infinitely farther “somewhere out there.” If so, pray tell, how does God the Father and Jesus, the ascended Savior who, since 31 C.E. has been interceding and pleading His blood as our merciful High Priest and Mediator in the heavenly courts above in His glorified human nature that the Twelve disciples and two angels witnessed and testified to (Acts 1: 1-15)–see, yea, dwell in us and abide in our hearts? How will He “bring every” person’s “work into judgment with every secret thing, whether they be good or evil”? (Eccl. 12: 13, 14; Luke 8: 17)?
How can He “try,” meaning, examine and judge “the reins of our hearts” from that unquantifiable distance from the Earth? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doing.” Jer. 17: 9, 10; cf. Rev. 22: 12, K. J.V.
This is how: God in Christ abides in the hearts of the true believer through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who does His appointed work as Christ’s vicegerent. Our individual guardian angels, “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1: 14) double up as our recording angels and faithfully record in the books of heaven all our thoughts, motives, and deeds, secret and open, good and evil from the day we were born till the day we die. Moreover, the long-lasting influence of our life, aptly illustrated by the lingering rays of the sun that has long set, and how they impacted the lives of others—either as “a savor of life unto life or death unto death” (2 Cor. 2: 15, 16) are part of the pre-advent judgment taking place in heaven now.
This determines the eternal rewards Christ brings with Him at His glorious second coming. Rev. 22: 12. Zechariah describes the Holy Spirit as “the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Zech. 4: 10. In prophetic language John says the same: the Holy Spirit is “the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 4: 5), seven being the divine number of perfection. The Father has entrusted the judgment to His Son even as He “created all things through Him andfor Him . . and by Him all things consist.” Col. 1: 16, 17.
“For all must stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom. 14: 10) and be “judged by the righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2: 6) based on His immutable law of which He is the Author of—not by any earthly tribunal composed of fallible, sinful mortals such as the Inquisition, or the Sharia courts. Sharia law is defined as “All aspects of a Muslim’s life are governed by Sharia…. which comes from a combination of sources including the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book), the Hadith (sayings and conduct of the prophet Mohammad) and fatwa (the rulings of Islamic scholars). See www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religious/Islam/beliefs’Sharia_1.html.
Office of the Inquisition. -Arthur Miracle, Ph.D., in his “The Inquisition: A Study in Absolute Catholic Power” (see www.mtc.org/inquis.html) says:
“Because of her basic doctrinal premises remain in place, Rome can yet rise up against her spiritual enemies at some future date when she again wields exclusive, ecclesiastical control of a region. In fact the ‘Holy Office’ of the Inquisition still exists within the Vatican (known today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), awaiting the day in which it can stamp out ‘heresy.’ As recently as 1938, the popular Catholic weekly declared:
‘Heresy is an awful crime against God, and those who start a heresy are more guilty than they who are traitors to the civil government. If a state has a right to punish treason with death, the principle is the same that concedes to the spiritual authority the power of life and death over the archtraitor.’
“The Inquisition proved how Catholicism will react when it has possession of absolute power. Is it any wonder that in 1880s, Dr. H. Grattan Guinness preached the following:
“I see the great Apostasy. I see the desolation of Christendom, I see smoking ruins, I see the reign of monsters, I see the vice-gods, that Gregory VII, that Innocent III, that Boniface VIII, that Alexander VI, that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX, I see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies, I see their abominable lives, I see their blinded generations, bestowing hallow benedictions, bartering away worthless promises of he heaven. I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the ruined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see the inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those butcheries of St. Bartholomew
the Spanish Armada, those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has brought in the Church and in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God that it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed in the name of the millions it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of the ages, I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and the soul and the essence of antichrist.”- H. Grattan Guinness, D.D.,”Romanism and the Reformation”: Focus Christians Ministries ; Lewes , Sussex ; as quoted in Michael de Semlyen, “All roads Lead to Rome ?”
Definition of Heresy. None of the following official definitions cites the Bible and the law of God as the standard by which heresy is determined. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1942, heresy, from the Greek hairesis means, “taking a choice, to take, choose. 1. Religious opinion opposed to the authorized doctrinal standards of any particular church, and tending to promote schism. 2. An opinion held in opposition to the commonly received doctrine, and tending to promote division or dissension.”
Webster’s Unified Dictionary and Encyclopedia, 1960, published by H.S. Stuttman Company, Inc., New York, gives this definition: “Doctrinal beliefs at variance with those commonly accepted by ecclesiastics. Many varieties are included in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church. When Christianity was introduced under Constantine it was feared that heresy would be a public danger. Consequently it was made a capital crime in 382, under the rule of Theodosius the Great. The Roman edicts against heresy were assembled by Justinian in his Codex of the 6th century. Laws against heresy continued to be enacted in Europe when new sects sprang into being, the penalty being loss of civil rights, banishment or confiscation of property. Heretics were sometimes burned at the stake for their beliefs.” – art. Heresy, p. 1988.
Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary defines a heretic as: “One who holds or advocates controversial opinions, esp. one who publicly opposes the officially accepted dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church.” Or, as one author puts it, “Heresy, to a Catholic, is anti-Catholic truth found in the Bible.” – Peter Ruckman, Ph.D., The History of the New Testament Church (Bible Believer’s Book Store, Pensacola , FL ; 1989. Still another summarizes it as: “Every citizen in the empire was required to be a Roman Catholic. Failure to give whole-hearted allegiance to the pope was considered treason against the state punishable by death.” – Dave Hunt; A Woman Rides the Beast (Harvest House Publishers; Eugene , Oregon ; 1994. Quoted in The Inquisition: A Study in Absolute Catholic Power. www.metc.org/inquis. html.
Ellen G. White wrote: “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 to-day 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 claims 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 [such as the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution] be removed, and Rome be re-instated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.” – p. 381.
“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. They are not allowed to have access to His Word, and therefore they do not discern the truth. They have never seen the contrast between a living heart-service and a round of mere forms and ceremonies. But God looks with pitying tenderness upon these souls, educated as they are in a faith that is delusive and unsatisfying. He 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 [Eph. 4: 21], and they will 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 [ America ] upon every side. Look at the number of her churches and chapels. Look at her colleges and seminaries so widely patronized by Protestants. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel . . . The people of our land need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty!” – Vol. 4 Spirit of Prophecy, original edition of the Great Controversy, pp. 381, 382. Pacific Press: Oakland , CA ; Review & Herald, Battle Creek , Michigan ; 1884.
If we “fear what flesh can do” (Ps. 56: 4) or are too mesmerized with “the love of the world and the things of this world” (1 John 2: 15-17) and entangled with “the cares of this world” and “this life” (Mark 4: 19; Luke 21: 34) to declare unpopular present truth now, how will we defend it when the prophesied fiery ordeal of the final test comes?