4. Patterns & Numerology
GOD'S PATTERNS AND NUMEROLOGY REVEALED
As we read on I shall assume that you have already read the previous article on the Creation and Redemptive Weeks and that you will bear in mind the following issues:
A. THE FRAMEWORK FOR WORLD HISTORY HAS SOME PLASTICITY
On this website I am presenting a framework for world history and the age of the Earth. Some of what I am presenting has been known in some quarters of the church for many years through the original work of Pastor Offiler, of Bethel Temple, Seattle, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit in the early 1900’s. However, I bring you boldly more material where others fear to tread. If you have not been aware of this material before then praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit making you aware of it now.
Please continue patiently to wade through my material. The Lord will reward you. Nothing that is worthwhile can be achieved without effort. Picking up alluvial gold is child’s play, but mining reef-gold is expensive and time-consuming. 'The glory of God is to hide a thing; but the honor of kings is to search out a matter' (Proverbs 25:2).
Within our general framework for the time-line of world history we need to be aware that the sovereign Lord can somewhat delay or shorten time as He pleases. Therefore, it would be foolishness for anyone to predict exact times. Nevertheless, as was the case of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God matched the exact Day of the Jewish Feast of Pentecost with the outpouring, as He also did with the crucifixion of Jesus on the exact day of the Jewish Passover. So God keeps us guessing as to what He might change and what He will keep exactly according to His predetermined times and patterns as revealed in the Bible.
Here are three examples demonstrating that the Father is willing to change the times of His purposes to a very limited degree. 1. In 2 Kings 20:4-1 God agreed through the prophet Isaiah to extend King Hezekiah’s life by 15 years, but considering what then happened it would have been better for Hezekiah to have died and not have pleaded with the Lord. 2. In Matthew 24:21-22 we read that God can shorten pre-determined times for the sake of His people, ‘for then shall be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And, unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened’, and 3. He is willing to extend times to save as many of the lost as possible, ‘The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9). Our times are in His hands.
B. OTHER MATTERS TO KEEP IN MIND
As mentioned, this article builds on God’s working weeks - the Week of Creation and The Week of Redemption. These two prophetic weeks have been known by the church for decades. The two weeks declare the amount of time God has allocated to accomplish His purposes to make man in His own image, as planned from the very beginning. It was common for the Hebrews to lump years into weeks by grouping them into sevens. It was common because God made it so! The number 7 became especially sacred in the book of Revelation where it occurs 49 times, 7 x 7. The number 7 always points to end-times, which is what the Apostle John's book of Revelation is all about. Remember that of all the apostles Jesus especially loved John. Although John suffered, he was the only apostle who was not martyred! The number 7 is especially sacred to God.
The Scriptures talk freely about weeks of years and other weeks of years where the years are of 1000-year duration by implication.
There are other ways in which a period of time is referred to as well. For example, in the book of Daniel we might read about ‘times, time and half a time’ which is interpreted in the book itself to mean years, a year and a half, in other words three and a half years. Why they didn’t just say three and a half years is a mystery. Fortunately, in Daniel and also in the book of Revelation, which is closely linked to the book of Daniel, the periods of time are spelt out in months so we can be confident about having interpreted these terms correctly. We cannot avoid having to come to terms with these strange ways of expressing time. God chose to do it that way, not man.
I hope that by now the reader will have accepted that the Weeks of Creation and Redemption consisted of 7000 years each. However, as you read on with patience, you will appreciate how I will be adding more and more evidence that this is indeed the case.
Further to that, if you are patient enough, you will see how this fits together like a multi-layered jigsaw puzzle to give us the age of the Earth and God’s overall plan for planet Earth. As I have already mentioned on this website, we are going to draw on material from the whole of Scripture that bears upon the matter. The construction of the Tabernacle of Moses and Solomon’s temple, whose construction God was so extremely fussy about, will contribute to our understanding. The three major Feasts of Israel, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, with its Day of Atonement, will also agree with the patterns of God we are pursuing. The three major feasts can be broken into 7 Feasts of the Lord (Feasts of Israel, KJ Conner, 1980) - Passover 3, Pentecost 1, and Tabernacles 3.
God is very serious about His patterns. He did not refrain from killing His own priests if they strayed from His pattern. He devoured the High Priest’s two sons with fire from the temple when they brought their own fire in their censers which had not been properly prepared, sanctified according to God’s holy commands. 'For Jehovah your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God' (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:2).
He killed another priest who dared to touch, with good intentions, the covered Ark of the Lord intending to stabilize it while it was being transported on a wobbly cart. It should have been carried on shoulders in the first place. Even King David was shocked at God’s reaction. Is all this Old Testament stuff? Not at all. In the book of Acts God struck down a man and his wife, in the presence of the church, when the couple had colluded to deceive the apostles about their finances. God had made His point very effectively by bringing the fear of the Lord upon the church. The New Testament church woke up that God means business. God has limits to enduring our relaxed modes and complacency, and taking grace for granted. God wants us to enjoy ourselves in all manner of ways, but not when they deviate from God’s principles and long-term plans.
C. GOD‘S TREASURED MYSTERY - HE IS DEADLY SERIOUS ABOUT PATTERNS
You will notice from our various timelines to come that redemption is available only for a finite time. Grace comes to an end just before the Millennium begins, when forgiveness for sins will be no more. Grace towards unbelievers is not forever. There is a set expiration date. Just like edible products that have expired, the unbelieving will be tossed into the garbage bin like refuse after that date. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Cruel? No! God has given everyone ample time and warning. How many warnings do people need? Their own hearts testify to their deeds.
‘Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him a thousand years’ (Revelation 20:6).
All the wicked will be resurrected after the 1000-year Millennium only to personally face the fire of God in judgement (Revelation 20:10-11). The final event in the phases of judgement occurs when all evil is thrown into the lake of fire. This is called the Second Death. That’s why nobody would want to participate in the second resurrection and the second death. This is why the Apostle Paul exhorted us 'to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling' (Philippians 2:12). He was not joking! We need to cultivate 'Godly fear'.
Although it is exciting to look at God’s patterns, I hope that by this time you will have found that it is no trivial or light hearted matter. As in the Old Testament, when those who disregarded God’s week and the enforced rest on the Sabbath paid with their lives, so it will be at the end of this age. As an illustration, I quote from a posting on Yahoo I recently found,
“A man was stoned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath......?
Numbers 15:32-36: The Israelites catch a guy gathering some firewood and then Moses decides that God has told him that they have to kill the guy and they stone him to death. What if he was gathering firewood to keep his poor sickly mother warm? That would be following the 5th commandment, "Honour thy father and they mother". What, if by not gathering wood to keep his mother warm, he would have risked making her sicker? And if you say "God knew it wasn't for his mother" then you're still justifying murder for picking up sticks” https://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090626181227AAhFib1.
The problem with this comment is that God’s first commandment was to love Him with all our hearts and might and to obey His commands. God will not allow anyone to treat lightly His Holy pattern for the week. His plans for world-history, revealed to us here on this very website, would have been taken lightly over time had the man been allowed to live collecting sticks on the forbidden day. He had to pay the death penalty for our sakes upon whom the end of the world is coming. The importance of God’s week would have been diluted and perhaps even dismissed over the generations.
Jesus made it absolutely clear, that for reasons of compassion, certain works were allowed on the Sabbath even under Old Testament laws such as rescuing a donkey or sheep fallen into a well, or leading an ox from the stall to drink (Luke 13:15). Jesus deliberately chose to heal people on the Sabbath because He foreknew that He would upset those with a dogmatic religious mind-set. Jesus even excused King David when he and his hungry men ate the sacred 12 loaves of show-bread that the priests had prepared for the Holy Place in the Temple. According to law, King David and His men should have been condemned instead of being exonerated. Jesus was demonstrating how to properly balance the scriptures.
Today, we live under grace through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t care whether we work on Saturdays or Sundays as long as we love Him and obey His commandments of royal love with all our heart, 7-days a week and have communion at the church we regularly attend. Matthew 18:19-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Revelation 21:8, list the kind of persons, who, if they continue to do certain things, will not qualify for grace. Check it out and see where you fit in.
D. TAKING FOR GRANTED THAT GOD IS LOVE
God is love. God is gracious towards those who repent. Jesus readily forgave sinners, but to the woman caught in adultery He said to sin no more. If the woman was willfully to continue in adultery Jesus would have not been so generous next time. God has set aside the 2000 years of the church age during which forgiveness can still be found.
Does Jesus love sinners? Yes, He does. He paid an awful price for our sin. Can we sense the gravity of the situation if we reject His so great a sacrifice, not repent and continue to willfully sin? I was reminded by a lady that Jesus not only suffered a horrible death, but in hell He had to face the wrath of God all on His own because He carried the sins of all the world on his shoulder. God held the angels back not to interfere.
E. FITTING PIECES TO THE PUZZLE
The first obvious pattern. Number 7
I am progressively but slowly resolving for you the age of the Earth. As part of our search we need to understand the significance of some of the numbers in Scripture. God has so intertwined symbolism with real events that there can be no doubt that the Bible, despite its peculiar history, is divinely inspired. The number 7 is primarily evidenced in the week of seven days. Seven signifies completeness, atonement, fullness or perfection. We find repeated references to sevens in the book of Revelation. I quote from a website,
‘…..Ignoring repeated sevens of things in the same verse… (the number 7 itself occurs) seven times seven, or 49 (times)...Other things are given in sevens…. seven “beatitudes,….seven references to God’s prophets, seven references to earthquakes, references to seven beatitudes, candlesticks, references to Christ’s sword, sharp, Christ’s blood, Christ’s name, the book of life, prophecy, “this book,” judgement, kingdom, “right hand,” the saints, God Almighty, day and night, the bottomless pit….. Seven times Jesus says he will “come quickly”….’
Appreciating the symbolism of the number 7 to mean fullness, completion or a finished work, allows us to more readily understand the book of Revelation. For instance, ‘And I looked, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, amidst the elders, a Lamb stood, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth’ (Revelation 5:6).
In this verse, the Apostle John is saying that the resurrected Jesus is in the midst of the throne of God, in all facets of His person and Word direction, in the midst of his apostles, full of power, full of sight and understanding, filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It is simple, once you have the keys to symbolism. The significance of the apostles (elders) will come later under the numbers 12 and 24; twelve former and twelve last-day apostles completing the 24 as in Revelation 4:4. Don’t think of them as the tribal elders of the 12 tribes of Israel; these are apostles of the lamb for all of Christianity, not just selected from the two houses of Israel.
Any reference to 7’s or cycles of 7's in Scripture is a link to end-times. Seven spells final and ultimate liberty for all who humble themselves before the Lord Jesus. Elisha was symbolic of an end-time prophet. He had a double portion of the same Spirit that had been upon Elijah. When Naaman, the commander of Syria’s army, finally humbled himself and dipped himself in the Jordan at the prophet’s bidding, he was completely cleansed of his leprosy, but only on his 7th immersion.
Namaan first thought the whole idea repulsive and unnecessary. After all, weren't the rivers in his homeland much cleaner? Why should I obey the prophet and get dirty, he asked? Do we feel the same way about the ‘muddied waters’ of the book of Revelation? Yet, Revelation ends by saying that he who reads it will be blessed and he who takes anything away from it will be cursed.
Lessons that we can learn along the way is that we should be willing to immerse ourselves in water baptism despite how it looks and other people may mock. The same goes for attending church, even though we may think churches far from perfect; God will reveal what He wants us to know, but it will require diligence and perseverance on our part (Study the word, says 2 Timothy 2:15).
The number 7 is linked to six, as it is in God’s week (6 + 1). Male Hebrew slaves, but not gentile slaves (unbelievers), had to be released every 7th year. It was also compulsory to rest the land every 7th year (6 + 1). Can you see how God was insisting that the principle of the working week be maintained in diverse and surprising ways? Gentile slaves were a personal possession that sons could inherit. They were damned, so to speak, to be slaves for the rest of their existence. This will also to be true of the unredeemed in hell. They will remain in a state of sin for eternity!
This difference between Hebrews and gentiles was mirroring God's intention that His people will rest on the 7th day of the Redemptive Week in world history (the Millennium), but that the wicked will not receive rest. This will crystallize in our minds once we settle on the idea that the 6000 years from Adam to the end of the church age is considered by God as His second lot of six working days. It is considered work because over those 6000 years God came time and time again to try and save them through the prophets and temple rituals. He sent judges and prophets numerous times.
Do not think of Hebrew slavery as it was practiced by many nations in history. Families facing financial difficulty had to sell themselves into servitude to pay off debts, but God commanded that slaves be kept without rigor or great enforcement. In contrast, the Hebrew slaves under Pharaoh served with great rigour.
Given the chance of freedom some Hebrew slaves thought it better for their families to stay with their master than to go back home and face insecurity. To demonstrate permanent loyalty to their master they nailed their ear to the front door. What symbolism there is in this. Jesus declared that He is the door to salvation. ‘I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture’ (John 10:9). This statement will become significant when we look at the Feast of Passover. If only people would nail their ear to Him to obey His words!
Then there was the Sabbatical Year, every seventh year, a privilege that is maintained by modern academics to enhance their exposure to research overseas. In Old Testament times the Year of Jubilee followed after seven times seven years (7x7) had passed. It was called the Year of Jubilee (50th year) which was particularly significant. Any debts or Hebrew servants, or forfeited property had to be forgiven and restored.
‘And Jehovah spoke to Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you then shall the land keep a sabbath to Jehovah. You shall sow your field six years and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and gather in the fruit of it. But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest to the land, a sabbath for Jehovah. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. You shall not reap that which grows of its own accord of your harvest; neither gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It is a year of rest to the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be food for you, for you and for your servant, and for your slave woman and for your hired servant, and for your stranger who stays with you, and for your cattle, and for the beast that is in your land, shall all the increase of it be for food. And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years. And the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be forty-nine years to you. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth of the seventh month; in the Day of Atonement the trumpet shall sound throughout all your land. And you shall make the fiftieth year holy, one year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you and you shall return each man to his possession, and you shall return each man to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. You shall not sow; neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather in it of your undressed vine. For it is the jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You shall eat the increase of it out of the field. In the year of this jubilee you shall return each man to his possession. And if you sell anything to your neighbour or buy from your neighbour's hand you shall not oppress one another’ (Leviticus 25:1-14).
In the next article, Article 5, we shall consider the number 120 together with the year of Jubilee (the 50th Year). This will provide us with an additional key to unravel the duration and time-frame of world history.
The number 7 also signals a reversal from difficult times such as the reversal of God's curse upon the Earth. When God cursed the Earth He put a limit on the life span of man. No man was to reach 1000 years! In keeping with the curse Methuselah died at the age of 969 years just short of 1000 years. In the Millennium all the redeemed will live 1000 years on Earth. Thus in the 7th day of the Redemptive Week all will be restored.
The day that Christ returns signals the end of day 6 of the Redemptive Week. At Christ's return all the godly will be resurrected and spend 1000 years in His presence on the Earth - the beginning of the Millenium. Thus, at the beginning of the 7th day, all the righteous will be resurrected and live in the presence of Christ for 1000 years. Hence the curse on man's life span will be removed. This will be a clear demonstration to Satan that mankind's misfortunes have been reversed to what they had once possessed in the Garden of Eden. When the Lord releases Satan from his 1000 years in chains Satan will witness this with his own eyes. Seeing the abundant grace given to man will infuriate Satan further, but only hasten him to his final doom which was self-inflicted (Revelation 20:7-10). After that the righteous will be able to live beyond 1000 years for all eternity - imagine that.
The following diagram illustrates the cycles of 7's in the religious year of the Hebrews. You are free to move on if you find the diagram too onerous to understand.
The 7 churches and 7 lampstands, in the first chapters of Revelation, represented the full states of the church in the world, past and present – some churches were good, some not so good and one was woeful because of complacency.
The 7-branched lampstand (candlestick) provided the only illumination in the Holy Place of the tabernacle and temple. Its light was focused on the 12 loaves of consecrated bread placed opposite signifying the fullness of illumination by the Holy Spirit on the word of God - apostolic doctrine. The sculpture on the Arch of Titus in Rome is the only credible image we have of what the candlestick in Herod's temple might have looked like. The carved scene depicts the sacking of Jerusalem by Prince Titus of Rome.
The point of our discussion is this. As we approach the 7th day God is going to reverse the fortune of His people. 7 world kingdoms have ruled over God's people. Jacob (Israel) has bowed 7 times to world powers in this sequence - Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and finally the seventh kingdom at the time of the end, whose power lies in 10 authorities that lack cohesion - in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream they were the ten toes of iron mixed with clay (Daniel 2:43). The king's dream revealed that they would all be utterly destroyed by a small rock that would grow and grow into a mountain that would cover the Earth - the kingdom of God. Thus the corridors of power will be destroyed and ruled by the kingdom of God. The ultimate expression of this is the 7th day of rest, the Millennium, when these kingdoms will have ceased to exist.
In the 7th day, 'And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new' (Revelation 21:3-5). However, Satan and those thrown into chains for the 1000 years will have no peace.
2. The number 6
The significance of this number throughout the Bible is obvious according to context. Six is the number of man. Man was created on the sixth day. Six is linked to work, as in the six working days of the week, and human weakness. It spells the carnal nature as opposite to the divine nature of the righteous. Six usually represents the might of the flesh that wars against the spirit of God. Goliath and other giants in battle were stamped with the number 6. Goliath the Philistine was 6 cubits high (9 feet) and his spear’s head weighed 600 shekels of iron. Another giant and enemy of Israel had 6 toes on each foot and 6 fingers on each hand (2 Samuel 21:19).
Of course, we have the personification of Satan in the Anti-Christ, a man numbered 666, the triple 6 signifying the perfect and full revelation, and presence of Satan’s spirit in a human body, committed to perfection but without God; full of attraction, power and cunning – a fleshly perfection.
The occurrence of 6's in the Scripture are generally negative, linked to works of the flesh, to carnal responses, in contrast to the working of the Spirit of God. As God said to Adam in the sweat of your brow you shall work all the days of your life - 6 days a week, as it turned out for Israel. A Hebrew slave was to serve 6 years and be released in the 7th year. Six years were appointed for the land to be sown and harvested. The land had to rest in the 7th year. All these mirror God’s pattern of the working week. They are weeks of years to be counted for the arrival of the Year of Jubilee.
When I visited Israel in 2005 I met a wealthy academic and orchardist who boasted about his Hebrew library and heritage. He was proud that he was born in Jerusalem, of parents who had also been born in Jerusalem, and how much money he made on European markets by delivering quality ripe fruits earlier than Europeans could. When I asked whether he rested his land every seventh year he raised his eye brows saying, ‘What good would that do? I would lose so much money'. He had no respect for the Judaic law though he was proud of the State of Israel.
At the wedding of Cana Jesus asked for 6 clay vessels to be brought and filled up to the brim with water (John 2:7). As we know, He then turned the water into wine. This event speaks prophetically of three things:
Clay and the numeral 6 is the number of man. Jesus was demonstrating that He would fill us with the Holy Spirit (living waters, wine).
That, at the end of day 6, His people will be filled to the brim with the fullness of the Holy Spirit as were the apostles, not just in measure as we are at the moment.
John 2:6 mentions that the vessels contained 2-3 measures, speaking of the church age (2 days) and the Millenium (1 day).
3. The numbers 1 and 3
As expected, number 1 indicates the beginning of something, the first in sequence or importance. This number is frequently related to unity and often to a compound unity of the same essence.
In nature for example, think of the three states of water, solid, liquid and gas; one yet three. Our three colour receptors (the cone cells) in the retina are designed to receive blue, green and red wavelengths. These wavelengths, when delivered in the right proportions, causes the brain to perceive them as a brilliant white. These are the three primary rays of light as also used in TV sets. According to the mix, any colour of the spectrum can be achieved using just these three primary beams of light.
Three is a fundamental number significant to life.
In biology, the fundamental trilogy of DNA, RNA and protein is indispensable to life. All three are interdependent and absolutely essential to life. So-called micro-organisms such as viruses are parasitic on DNA-containing cells that also contain genetic machinery and energy production systems. All living things are dependent on DNA. Proteins originate from the code inscribed on DNA, but the manufacture of DNA is dependent on the pre-existence of protein complexes. RNA is the essential intermediate and is also a structural component of the protein genetic machinery. None can be made without the pre-existence of the other two. All 3 must pre-exist for cells to function. They are the perfect example of irreducible complexity in biology. The 3's in quantum physics are the ultimate example of irreducible complexity in the universe. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the ultimate example of irreducible complexity in the spiritual realm. They are the source of everything!
The 3's in Quantum Physics are fundamental to our very existence and the existence of all matter.
Even more fundamental than DNA, RNA and proteins are the subatomic particles that make up the entire universe including all living things. I heard a Dutch Nobel prize winner say to a packed audience, ‘Why in physics does everything come in threes?’ I felt like jumping up and say, ‘because God wants you to know Him’, but I didn’t. I thank Dr. Paul Kovacs for the following summary,
Altogether there are 12 matter particles arranged like the tribes of Israel in a 4 x 3 arrangement. Matter is made up of the first generation particles. The other 2 generations decay very quickly:
3 generations or flavour pairs of leptons (electrons & neutrinos):
3 generations or flavour pairs of quarks (quarks make up protons & neutrons):
top (t)/bottom (b)
3 'colours' of EACH quark ('colour' is the charge of the strong nuclear force, this force has 3 charges instead of one like EM)
3 quarks in EACH nucleon = proton and neutron
proton = uud
neutron = udd
3 components of ALL atoms
3 fundamental forces
unified electroweak force = electromagnetism (holds electrons in orbit) + weak nuclear force (causes radioactive decay which generates some of the elements)
strong nuclear force = chromodynamics or colour force (holds the nucleus together in the face of EM repulsion between protons)
gravity (holds planets in orbit)
In the Bible, the colour white signifies the righteousness of God. Jesus described Himself as the light of the world. He was filled with the fullness of the Father and the Holy Spirit; 1 God yet 3 (See article on The Trinity Explained).
Thus, anything white in the Scripture is to do with righteousness, such as the image of Jesus riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16), the army of God on white horses (Revelation 19:14), the white horse in Revelation 6:2 and the saints clothed in white robes. The interpretation of the symbol is given in Revelation 19:8. Therefore, we should not imagine that everyone in heaven will be dressed in white or that heaven is like a white and sterile hospital ward. White is associated with righteousness. Traditionally, a white wedding dress was supposed to signify that the bride married as a pure virgin.
Throughout Genesis the Hebrew word used for God is Elohim, which is a plural signifying a compound one (compound ‘ones’ are also used in the book of Jude). For example, the three names associated with rebellion against the Lord, ‘Woe to them! For they went the way of Cain and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah’ (Jude 1:11).
The number 2 is a witness, but the number 3 is a perfect witness. When asked, Jesus said that He has a witness in heaven referring to the Father and the person of the Holy Spirit as also verified by the two cherubim that looked upon the blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. At least two witnesses always remain in heaven, which is why the Holy Spirit could not be sent to us while Jesus was still on Earth in physical form. ‘But I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for, if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I depart I will send Him to you’ (John 16:7). There are three witnesses in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 18:16-19; 1 John 5:7-8).
4. Number 4
This should immediately bring to our minds the four points of the compass or the saying, ‘the four corners of the world’. Four signifies something that is world-wide. Four gospels have been presented to the world. The extremities of the cross have four points. The cross of Jesus Christ and his offer of redemption through the blood is for all peoples of the world.
In the books of Ezekiel and Revelation, Jesus is represented as having four faces. These are the four attributes of Jesus displayed to the world. These four faces are:
Kingship, as portrayed in the gospel of Matthew
Lowly servant, as portrayed in Mark
Man, as portrayed in Luke (Son of Man)
Divine, as portrayed in John (Son of God)
During their march through the wilderness Israel made camp whenever the cloud and fire at night settled on the tabernacle and when they were to move on, the cloud would go before them.
The twelve tribes camped in groups of three in the direction of the four points of the compass. The door of the Tabernacle of Moses as also true for the Temple of Solomon, always pointed east towards the rays coming from the rising sun. In the days of Moses, 186,400 men were camped eastward of the door, which happens to be the speed of light in miles/second.
Each group camped under their own banner, four banners in all - ox, the man, the eagle and the lion. Each of these is symbolic of one of the natures or facets of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the road to Emmaus Jesus explained to the two distraught disciples that the Old Testament was all about Himself. ‘And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself' (Luke 24:27).
I hope that by now, you, the reader, will understand that the grotesque faces and beasts in the prophetic books, in Daniel, Ezekiel and in Revelation, can be understood in simple terms once one possesses the keys to the kingdom of God. Therefore, one need not put Revelation aside because it reads as though it was a story about a fantasy animal world conjured up by CS Lewis. Once one can read past the symbols it gradually begins to make sense. The various beasts portray the nations that have a beastly character in line with the beast representing them. Whether they have crowns on heads or not denotes the status of their world power and influence at the time. Remember that Jesus called Herod ‘a fox’. Herod was certainly a sly fox, if you recall how he asked the Magi to reveal to Him the location of baby Jesus once they found him on the pretext of wanting to worship Him. When they didn’t and took another way home to avoid Herod, Herod got furious and slaughtered all males two years and younger in the vicinity of Bethlehem.
Let’s come back to the number four. The Apostle Paul called Israel the church in the wilderness and the rock that followed them Christ (Acts 7:38; 1 Corinthians 10:4). Interesting that Yahweh Son, before He became the Son of Yahweh, was already with Israel in the wilderness. If you follow the link on the tabernacle in the wilderness given above, you will see an aerial map of their encampment as four arms stretching out to the four corners of the world. They were the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world at that time under their appropriate banners of lion (Judah, East), ox (Ephraim, West), man (Reuben, South) and eagle (Dan, North).
‘And now if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all the nations; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation….’ (Exodus 19:5-6).
We have more to say about number four, but let’s deal with number 10 first in the next article.