A Message of Hope for the Year 2021
Year 2021 gives some glimpses of hope universally coming straight from 2020, a year that the world was wracked with the deadly Covid-19 Pandemic. God always uses His word to speak to us. Sometimes too, He uses human authorities and establishments around us to accomplish his purpose (Isaiah 45:1, Romans 13: 1-2).
In Exodus 20:20: “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”. A year ago, when we were entering year 2020 and upon reading the above verse it dawned on me that year 2020 was going to be a year in which terror would grip everybody. The Book of Exodus signifies the Christian Journey when God redeemed His people from Egypt (sin/this world) to the Promised Land (Heaven).
So in the course of undertaking this journey, upon reaching the place of ’20:20’ of the Book of Exodus, something was to happen which would make the children of God become frightened. Moses encouraged the people that God was testing them so that His fear would be with them to keep them from sinning. A further reading of John 20:20 re-echoed the fact year 2020 had in store some fears for God’s people. In verse 19, fear had confined the disciples of Jesus to be in ‘a lockdown’ (v. 19) and Jesus had to visit them indoors to lift up their spirits.
In entering year 2021, my instincts tell me based on the word of God and our human systems that year 2021 offers hope for the Ghanaian believer in virtually all aspects – Political, constitutional, statutory, matrimonial, contractual, biblical, historical, mathematical and even military.
Further, under Article 11 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the laws of Ghana comprises the Constitution, statutes, the existing laws and the Common law. The 2021 blessings for the believer are legally sealed with these sources of law. Nonetheless, Christians cannot afford to be complacent and throw caution to the wind by slacking off in prayers, because the activities of the Anti-Christ will be conspicuously manifest. If we focus more on God in year 2021, victory will no doubt come our way in the midst of the storms and opposition from the evil one.
Constitutional Relevance of Year 2021
a.Article 94 (1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution provides– “… a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament unless he is a citizen of Ghana, has attained the age of twenty-one years and is a registered voter”.
From the above constitutional provision, we can say that the number 21 is a number associated with qualification. Year 2021 therefore has these significances.
- As a year of Qualification: By faith, we can be assured that we will qualify in whatever endeavours we were hitherto disqualified.
- As a year of representing a Constituency: Every Member of Parliament represents a constituency. We can also trust God to give us our ‘Constituency’ where we will be able to influence decisions. The constituency may not necessarily be political. It may be in the nature of becoming the mouthpiece of people in our families, towns, workplaces, area of residence, churches etc. It is common knowledge that MP’s do not represent only those who voted for them. They represent their entire constituency. Therefore in year 2021, those who do not like us will still have no option than to come to us as we represent them at appropriate quarters.
- As year of Accomplishment: Members of Parliament come from diverse professions and varied backgrounds. To most of them, going through the primaries at the party’s level and eventually winning the Parliamentary elections is a great accomplishment. Similarly, we can view year 2021 as a year of accomplishment with the help of God if we trust in his word.
It must however be noted that it is not anybody above 21 years in the Country who qualifies to become an MP. It is only citizens of Ghana, registered as voters who qualify. Similarly, it is only citizens of the Kingdom of God whose names are registered in the Book of Life who are guaranteed the expected blessings in 2021.
b. 21 as the end of ‘waiting period’
The Constitution provides under Article 64 (1) that after a General Election, a person has 21 days to petition the Supreme Court for redress. This constitutional waiting period in connection with Presidential elections is no different from what applies to MP’s. Under section 18 of the Representation of the People Law, PNDCL 284, a challenge to parliamentary election must be mounted within 21 days of the publication in the Gazette of the results of the election. Daniel waited for 21 days before he received answers to his prayers (Daniel 10:1-3). 2021 thus symbolizes the end of our waiting period on whatever we have been praying for. It is a year of answered prayers and breakthroughs.
c. 21 offers a second chance to turn failures into victories
If no candidate gets a simple majority in a Presidential Election, the EC has 21 days to organize a re-run (Article 63 (4) of the Constitution). The number 21 offers us the opportunity to turn the tables round in our favour if we did not perform better earlier. The late Professor John Evans Attah Mills of the National Democratic Congress trailed Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party in the first round of the 2008 Presidential Elections, but won in the re-run.
Similarly, year 2021 gives us an opportunity to turn our past failures into victories. It will not be out of place to say that there was no clear-cut victory in our battle with Covid-19 in the year 2020 contest. The Pandemic could not kill us after initially issuing threats to us in the first quarter of year 2020 and so it cannot boast of defeating us by a simple majority vote. On our part, we could not accomplish most of our dreams due to the stiff opposition we faced from Covid-19. The Pandemic forced us to stay in a lockdown. We were compelled to cancel our travel arrangements among others. These unfulfilled plans and cancelled schedules constrained us to get a simple majority victory in the year 2020 contest.
However, once we were not eliminated in the race of life, we have another opportunity in year 2021 to work for victory. Since a re-run is organized for the two candidates with the highest votes and the other candidates are dropped, we should be thankful to God for making it in the first two (ourselves and Covid-19). For the many who could not make it to the top two in 2021 and joined the silent majority, we pray to God to grant their souls a perfect rest. We are rest assured that their votes (spirits) are behind us to deliver us an emphatic victory in year 2021 as we go through the re-run contest with their dreaded slayer, Covid-19.
Statutory Relevance to Year 2021
- Section 3 (1) of the Wills Act, 1971 (Act 360) provides: “A person of or above the age of twenty-one years and having capacity to enter into a contract may be appointed an executor of a will”.
2021 is a year of entrustment: If a testator makes a will, he appoints an executor to ensure that probate is obtained after his death. The minimum age for a person to be appointed an executor is 21 years.
In John 21, Christ entrusted his Church into the care of Peter to tend his sheep. Jesus needed ‘an executor’ to take care of what he had come to the earth to toil for (His Church) and so he appointed Peter as the Executor.
Further, when Peter and about six of the disciples went back to sea in John chapter 21:1-5, Jesus still went to search for him and tasked him with the responsibility of feeding his sheep. In year 2021, the Lord will be keen on pursuing us so that he can offer us a help and strengthen us even when we, like Peter, want to give up and go back to ‘sea’ (i.e. our old ways).
In John 21, we read about Christ himself being the chef and preparing breakfast for his disciples (John 21: 9-13). In Psalms 23:5, David recounted the goodness of the Lord that He prepares a table before him in the presence of our enemies. Our number one enemy now, Covid-19’s second wave, cannot deter us from tasting the goodness of the Lord. How sweet it will be for Christ to prepare a table (work out things) for us in year 2021!
- Marriage Act of 1884, Cap 127 on Publication of Banns
The Act provides for the publication of banns for Christian marriages. Under section 50 (2), the banns must be published on three Sundays (21 days). This serves as a form of waiting period. In 2021, our marriages will be ‘cleared’ and declared free from all spiritual caveats. The waiting will be over. Satanic publication and rumour mongering of our relationships will all cease. The Lord will cancel the record of our wrongdoings. Paul painted a picture of how any obstacle in our way will be removed in Colossians 2:14 thus: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”. [KJV]
Law of Contract Relevance (The Common Law Perspective)
At Common law, persons below 21 years are deemed minors and have a legal disability relative to contract. The extent of their capacity to contract is limited to only necessary goods and beneficial contracts. Upon the attainment of age 21, their incapacity ceases making it possible for them to qualify to enter into all contracts. In year 2021, Christ gives us the ability to do what we hitherto could not do so that we can boldly say that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4: 13).
Mathematical Relevance to Year 2021
When we literally add the numbers (2+1), we get (3). The number 3 is the number of the Godly Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit). Whatever God does, the Devil also tries to replicate. We may remind ourselves of how Pharaoh’s magicians and sorcerers turned their staffs into snakes when God used Moses and Aaron to do a similar miracle (Exodus 7:10-12).
Since the Godly Trinity is 3, the Devil has, copied and doubled it to get the number 6. The number 6 is thus associated with evil. According to Wikipedia, both Hebrew and Christian sources believe six indicates ‘imperfection’ or ‘evil’. Similarly, the number 21 with all its associated significance can be said to have been copied and doubled to get the number 42 which is an explicit number of the Beast. We are in the 21st Year of the 21st Century and if we add them (21+21), we get (42). The number 42 in the Bible represents the period of operations of the Anti-Christ.
Revelations 13: 4-5 state:
“(4) People worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
(5) The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise authority for forty-two months”.
In Revelations 13: 18 it is further written:
“This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666”.
God admonishes us to be wise and have understanding. We are to do our own calculation in order to know the number of the beast which is 666. When we sum up the two digits in the 42, which represents the 21st Year of the 21st Century (4+2), we get 6. There are three distinct personalities of evil made up of the Dragon as in Revelations 12:9 (Lucifer himself), the Beast as the Anti-Christ (1 John 2:18, 1 John 4:3 & 2 John 7) and the False Prophet (Revelations 13:5). In Revelations 20:10, John wrote: “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever”.
Writing on the subject matter, Gary Heikkila explained in the Gardner News on the topic‘Satanic Trinity’ as follows: “Just as there is a trinity of God, a trinity of holiness and godliness and purity, so there is a trinity of darkness and evil. Satan is a distinguished and gifted counterfeiter and he counterfeits the kingdom of God. Satan is anti-God. The beast is anti-Christ. And the false prophet is anti-Holy Spirit”. Each of them has the number 6 so their collective number is 666.
In the Old Testament, the number 42 in 2 Kings 2:23-24, represented the number of some young men who mocked God’s servant Elisha and were devoured by two bears. According to some Bible Commentaries like Gill’s Exposition on the entire Bible and Matthew Poole’s Commentary, these young men made mockery of God’s miracle of taking Elijah to Heaven. They underestimated the miracle and challenged Elisha that if God could really take Elijah into heaven, why was he ‘bald-headed’ not taken up too?
So with the number 42, we see how the Devil tries to undermine the authority of God by uttering blasphemous words against God in both the Old and the New Testament. It is therefore important for Believers in year 2021 to be on the watch out for the activities of the Devil and the Anti-Christ in their effort to undermine the authority of Christ.1 John 2:18states: “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour”.
Historical Relevance (The Existing Law)
In ascertaining the existing law, we take a journey into the past to see what was done and instituted to guide us entering into the future. As a result, we will focus on the 21st year in the past two Centuries (i.e. 1921 and 1821).
In the first half of the 20th Century, the activities of the Anti-Christ was evidently seen and it was climaxed in 1921. Lenin’s Bolshevik Party was influenced by the writings of Karl Marx and they waged war on the Church of Christ in Russia prior to the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922. In Communism, God was out of the equation. In fact, religion and Christianity in particular were perceived to be the main cause of society’s problem. By 1921, the Soviet Union had destroyed about 600 Churches, imprisoned and killed many Christians, 300 of them being Church leaders.
Marion Smith writing on the topic: ‘Communism and Religion Can’t Coexist’emphasized: “Communist regimes put Marx’s principles into practice, starting with the first Marxist state. Between 1917 and 1921, the Soviet Union destroyed nearly 600 Russian Orthodox monasteries and convents. The leaders of the first communist country oversaw the killing of at least 300 Orthodox clergy. This bloodbath eventually became Soviet policy”.
In their attack on the Church, the Soviet Union was punished by God with the Great famine of 1921 that led to the death of about 5 million Russians. Those who survived the famine lived on grass, animal and human corpses among others. Because of pride, the Bolsheviks initially resisted relief support from the western world until the famine in Russia became intense and unbearable.
The Devil always tries to fight God but he consistently ends being the loser. Communism that was forcefully instituted in Russia could not stand the test of time as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It could not even attain a century old, but God continues to reign. His Church is still alive and stronger than before. Indeed He is the God of yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever more, Amen!
Also in the beginning of the 19th Century, another ‘Anti-Christ’ began his unrelenting attack on the Church. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a deist, a French Emperor and military leader who attacked the Church on all fronts. Though baptized and raised up as a Catholic, Napoleon later said he would prefer worshipping the Sun to God.
Among the things he did against the Church were:
- He imprisoned Pope Pius VII who represented the Head of the Church from 1809 to 1814.
- He forcibly took over the Church lands and endowment and sold them.
- He appointed Bishops for the Church and supervised their finances.
- He questioned the payment of tithes.
- He liberalized the Church and permitted the members to attend ‘desecrated places’ (Psalms 1:1).
Napoleon bore the nicknames ‘The Anti-Christ’ and ‘The Enemy of God’. The year 1821 is historic and remembered in Church History because, it was the year ‘the Anti-Christ’ lost his life, but not before acknowledging the deity of Jesus while in exile in Saint Helena. He confessed: “I know men; and I tell you that Jesus is not a man”. The Bible says in Philippians 2:9-11 that God has exalted Jesus to the highest place and has given Him the name above all names. That at the mention of the name Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Whenever the devil strikes, he seems very powerful but his activities are always time bound.
Political & Military Relevance of 21 (Customary Law)
When guns are fired, there is usually danger or an attack ahead. Interestingly, when a 21 Gun Salute is given, it symbolizes peace and honour. A 21 Gun Salute is the highest military honour conferred on any person in a State. They are usually given to Presidents during their investiture and death. Year 2021 comes with an opportunity for God to honour us like he honoured Abraham with a son (Isaac) who was to be his heir at Genesis 21. As the firing of the 21 Gun Salute heralds peace, so God will give peace to his children in Year 2021. Hallelujah!
The signs are clear from the word of God and our laws that year 2021 has a lot of blessings for us. However, since the Devil is always determined to spoil the party for us, he will undoubtedly rise against God’s people. As the number seven is perfect and represents completeness, we can rest assured that in every week throughout year 2021, we will be covered by the protection of the Divine trinity all day round. God the Father will be with us in the morning, God the Son in the afternoon and God the Holy Spirit in the evening. So we are covered 7×3=21.
The Devil will try to attack us in the entire 52 weeks of the year 2021, but since his number is 42, he will do his worst and ‘fall by the roadside’ in the course of the journey of 2021. This message is intended to give hope to every one as we begin the New Year. No matter what happens in year 2021, God will definitely take us through the entire year successfully and give us a sweet victory as never before. AMEN!
The author is a Justice of the High Court of Ghana and is currently on secondment in the Gambia. He obtained his LLB at the University of Ghana in 2000 and was called to the bar in 2002. In 2010, he joined the bench as a circuit court judge – after 8 years in private practice. He became a High Court Judge in 2013. Justice Alexander Osei Tutu holds an LLM in International Human Rights from the Fordham University and a Diploma in Transnational Criminal Law from the International Law Enforcement Academy at Roswell, USA.