Article 35

It is reported that the brilliant mathematical genius, Albert Einstein, when asked about the possibility of everything that exists having occurred by sheer chance, said, `God does not play dice`.  

   Whilst on the whole agreeing with that statement I feel compelled to add that although the Lord God may not indeed `play dice,` per se, He is in fact a `dab hand` at playing the `numbers game`.  How?  Well, it would appear that in order for us mere humans to even begin to try and grasp just how much power and control over all things and events that the Lord has and can use at any time that He so desires, He has demonstrated to us through past events recorded in the scriptures, His utter contempt for the world`s thinking that numerically, `might is right`.  The Lord God has in times past deliberately stacked all the odds against His people and His church. This being the case, we can safely assume that the end-time church of God will not be a mighty and powerful, wealthy institution  wielding huge influence over millions of wanna-be `christians` and having the ability to influence and sway the governments of this world. The true end-time  Christian church of God will not even be a part of such things!  It will not be one single church having its` impressive and hugely expensive headquarters situated in a commanding position within a long established and `respected` city. No, I should suppose that the Lord`s true end-time Christian church will rather be a number of scattered `home` churches or lone individuals seeded across the earth which all think and act as one.

     Let`s have a read now of how in times past the Lord has played His `numbers game`.  We will break into this first scripture where we will find Gideon about to take the Lord`s people into battle against their enemy who are described as being so many in number that they are like `grasshoppers for multitude`.

    Judges 7: 2-7. `And the Lord said to Gideon, The people that are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, less Israel vaunt themselves against Me saying, By my own hand have I saved myself. Now therefore, go to and proclaim to the people saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn back and depart from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord further said to Gideon, The people are still too many, bring them down to the water and I will test them there for you; and it shall be, those of whom I say to you, These shall go with you, the same shall go with you, and of whom I shall say, These shall not go with you, the same shall not go with you. So Gideon brought the people down to the water: and the Lord said to Gideon, Everyone that laps up the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, they you shall set aside by themselves, likewise everyone that bows down upon their knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest had bowed down upon their knees to drink the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand ; and let the rest of the people go back to their place`.  Another example of the Lord proving to His people Israel, that with Him on their side they could conquer any enemy, no matter how many they may be in number, can be found in the book of  Joshua 4-8. `And they (Israel`s enemies) went out, they and all their numbers with them, many people, in number as many as the sand that is on the sea-shore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. And when all of these kings were met together, they came and made camp at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. And the Lord said to Joshua, Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time, I will deliver them up, all slain, before Israel, you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire. So Jushua came, and all the people of war with him, against them at the waters of Merom, suddenly, and they attacked them. And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them and chased them. . .`.  In the whole of the book of Joshua, it can be read of how time after time the Lord provided Israel with victories over their various enemies who outnumbered them on every occasion and in every battle. Because of this we can begin to understand the gradually formulating mind-set (or faith) which the people of Israel were starting to adopt towards the Lord their God. For although at first it must have been daunting for them to have to continually engage in warfare against enemies who greatly outnumbered them, eventually they would have developed an overwhelming trust in the Lord, knowing and believing that what He said He could do, He would do whenever necessary!

     Consider this, 144,000 is the number of the `firstfruits`. These are those who were once, just like you and me, flesh and blood humans. They have lived their lifetime upon this earth in such a way that they have been deemed worthy by the Lord God to be the very first (except of course for Jesus Christ) to be resurrected from the dead, made into spirit beings and inhabit a body (the same body-type as Jesus had when He appeared after His crucifixion) and live for eternity. These 144,000 will eventually rule over as yet `uncounted` millions perhaps even billions. A fraction of created, intelligent beings will be ruling over the rest, but if we think about it, this is nothing new to us. Governments comprising of dozens  of people rule over millions worldwide already, and where a dictator rules supreme, then we have just the one person ruling over them all.

    So, how in the past has the Lord made the many to fear and obey the few? Let`s read some more scripture to find out. First we`ll go to where the Lord informs Israel of how He intends to make them mighty (not in number) in the eyes of their enemies,  Deuteronomy 2: 25. `This day I will begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, they shall hear the stories about you and shall tremble because of them, and they shall be in anguish because of you`.  And now  Deuteronomy 7: 17-19. `If you shall say in your heart, These nations are bigger than I, how can I drive them out? You shall not be afraid of them: but you will do well to remember what the Lord your God (through one man, Moses) did to Pharoah and to all of Egypt`.  Some reading this article may recall the `incident` concerning the prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, it`s to be found in the book of  1 kings 18: 19-22. and we break into the story as Elijah speaks,  `Now therefore, send and bring to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and of the prophets of Baal bring four hundred and fifty, and of the prophets of the groves bring four hundred, they which eat at Jezebel`s table. So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long will you continue to be undecided between two opinions? if the Lord be God, then follow Him, but if Baal be God, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah, I, and I alone, remain a prophet of the Lord, but Baal`s prophets are four hundred and fifty men`.  And the scripture goes on to tell us how Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, eventually executing every one of them personally. Once again the Lord had demonstrated to the whole nation of Israel that just one man, in this case Elijah, could conquer overwhelming opposition. Let`s have another example of this `numbers game`, we`ll find it in the book of  1 Kings 20: 27-29. `And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went to fight the Syrians. And the children of Israel made camp before them looking like two little flocks of goats in comparison; but the number of the Syrians filled the country. And there came a man of God and he spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus says the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, `The Lord is a God of the hills, but not a God of the valleys`, Therefore I will deliver the whole of this great multitude into your hand, then you shall understand that I am the Lord. And they camped, one over against the other for seven days. And so it was that in the seventh day that battle began,: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand footmen in one day`. The scripture goes on to tell how the remaining Syrians were destroyed.

    There is an example within the scriptures of an event which, on the `surface` as it where, at first appears to be no different than any of the other instances in which the Lord has defeated the many by using only the few or just the one, but there is a `twist in the tale`, and it is an event that we can all take comfort from whenever we actually are, or feel to be alone and facing un-even odds.  Once again it is to be found in the book of Kings,  2 Kings 6: 11-17. `Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled because of this thing, and so he called his servants and said to them, Will you not show me, which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None my lord, O king, except for Elisha the prophet, who dwells in Israel, and who is able to inform the king of Israel even of the words that you whisper in your bedchamber. And so the king of Syria said, Go and spy where he is, so that I may send and bring him. And so it was told the king that Elisha was in Dothan. Therefore the king sent horses there, and chariots along with a great number of men; and they came at night and surrounded the city. And when Elisha`s servant was risen early and gone forth, behold, a host surrounded the city including horses and chariots. And Elisha`s servant said to him, Alas my master, what shall we do? And he answered, Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed and said, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes so that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of Elisha`s servant, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire encircling Elisha`.  In many ways the end-time church(es) of God will be like the prophet Elisha was in that last scripture, small and alone, but in  reality encompassed and protected by the `invisible` armies of Jesus Christ!  

    The end-time church of God may well be small, but if we keep in mind that those who are with us spiritually, far outnumber those who oppose us physically, it will give us the strength to endure.

   Like John the baptist, the Lord`s true church is at this present time in the `wilderness`, we cry out to the world but the world does not hear, and also like John the baptist, we proclaim the (second) coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but this time as a warning to the world rather than a reason for it to celebrate!

  The many, at present, relatively large, Sabbath-day-keeping and holy-day observing churches of God, must, for whatever reason, eventually begin to have their congregations dwindle in number, elsewise how can they ever imagine themselves to be a true, Christian, end-time church? Compound that with the fact that most  of these churches do not at all keep the holy days and festival feast days at the appointed times because they persist in adhering to the man-made Hebrew Calendar instead of the Lord`s Lunar Calendar, and we can begin to appreciate just how small the true end-time church of God will actually be.

   That there is to be a small, end-time church of God, is not something that I have dreamed up, there is one seemingly insignificant piece of scripture that points to the fact, and it`s to be found in  2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3. `Now we beseech you bretheren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,  and by our gathering together to Him, that you have no doubt in your mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter sent from us, that the second coming of Christ is soon to happen. As regards this, let no man deceive you by any means, because that day shall not come except there come a falling away (from the church) first, and that the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition`.  So many people have read that scripture without realizing what the `falling away` actually refers to. It does not  refer to the mainstream, `sunday` observing  so-called `christian` churches of this world, (and why should it?) it refers to the Sabbath day keeping, would-be church(es) of God, so many of which have already had the majority of their ministers persuade their congregations to revert back to observing `sunday`, `christmas`, and `easter` etc.  

  Come the end-time, the world and the true church of God will have been so thoroughly `sifted` by Jesus Christ that there will be very few genuine flesh and blood bretheren left. John the baptist spoke about Jesus and this `sifting` process (which must include getting rid of the anti-Christ`s, the infiltrating agents of Satan) within His church, it`s in  Matthew 3: 12. `Whose (winnowing) fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire`.  

  To finish this short article, a question or two for the reader. Are you currently a member of a large congregation church? Because of what you have come to understand concerning the scriptures over the years, do you feel isolated within that church? Well if yes is your answer to these questions here is one final scripture, not only for you, but for all wanna-be, church-going true Christians who have come to the precious knowledge of truth concerning our God and His ways,  Revelation 18: 4. `And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, My people, so that you do not become partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues`.  The `her` in that scripture is a false `christian` church!

  Oh, and one more thing, it concerns the opening paragraph and Einstein`s comment about God not playing dice. There would be no point in the Lord playing dice, He would know the outcome of every throw before it was even made. Come to think about it, perhaps that is what Einstein was really saying anyway!