A great man passes from the world stage

December 13, 2013 John Bartlett

For immediate release:
Dec. 13, 2013

STATEHOUSE – Below is the text of an open letter State Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) has submitted as a “letter to the editor” to various publications statewide:

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate the life, the legacy, and the home-going of a great man, Nelson Mandela, many things can be said and will be. However, I do not believe anything will be said that will come close to identifying who he really was.

When I learned that his prison number was “46664,” that really stood out in my mind. I’m not sure how many folk even paid attention to that. The number 4 is so significant. It is the complete number.

The number 4 is the only number that the amount of characters that it takes to spell it equals its numerical value. There are 4 seasons in a year: summer, fall, winter, and spring.

A cross is 4-sided. There are 4 natural elements: fire, earth, air, and water. For my masonic brothers, there are 4 cardinal virtues: fortitude, prudence, justice, and temperance.

The great man, Nelson Mandela, represented the number 4 prior to his arrest. He wanted equality for all. He wanted what was right for all. Often Satan will get involved with a child of God, as He did with Job. I believe that three 6’s in the middle of the great man’s prison number represented Satan’s involvement with his life in the form of the oppression that Satan brings against righteous men. He tried to make him turn his back on God. Being a complete man, this was not an option. No matter how much adversity was put into his prison life, he kept his eye and mind on God’s work. He became friends with the prison boss. Defying the devil and beating him at his own game. He had learned to love his enemy as he loved himself.

After his prison sentence, he resumed his work, as a complete man. He left prison on a journey from “prison to president.” Just look at what God can do! That represented the number 4 on the other side of the three 6’s. When I look at the “great man,” I see if you add the two words together and divide it into two equal parts; again you get the number 4. I will come to a close here by saying, when you read from Genesis to Revelations; it does not end until you see the 4 character word “To Nelson Mandela, the great man, I say to your life, your legacy, and your home-going, Amen. Amen.”


John L. Bartlett
State Representative
Indiana House District 95