Friday, July 3, 2015

Numerical Patterns in Scripture

Throughout the Word of God we see amazing and supernatural patterns in the numbers.  We don’t focus on this most of the time, since that is not the purpose for reading the Bible. We are supposed to focus on the message itself. Nevertheless, these patterns do exist and they help our faith when we see them, because we know it would be impossible for them to exist apart from the Lord’s awesome design.

You see the Bible is actually a compilation of shorter books written over a period of about 1,600 years that were later assembled together in what we call the canon of Scripture. And when the forty men, whom the Lord inspired, wrote the original manuscripts, there were no chapter or verse numbers. These were added many centuries later.  So man did not intentionally create these patterns that I am about to show you, but God saw fit that it would happen that way.

In the Beginning
The Creation of all things by God in the beginning is recorded in Genesis 1:1 and reaffirmed in the New Testament in John 1:1; and 1 John 1:1, where we learn that the Word of God was with God in the beginning and actually was God. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Joh 1:1)

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life…” (1 Jn 1:1)

Note that John also says, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:3,14).

Also see Is Jesus God?.

The Mark of the Beast - 666
In the Word we learn that the mark of the beast is either the name of the beast or the number of his name, which is 666, and that those who take the mark will not enter the kingdom of God.  We find some interesting verses bearing those numbers in Jn 6:66 and Is 66:6. But first let me give the explanation of the mark from the apostle John’s apocalypse.

“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” (Rev 13:16-18)

“Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’ Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev 14:9-12)

Now take a look at what happened in John 6:66.

“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.” (Joh 6:66)

John 6:66 describes an apostasy during Jesus day when many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.  We know that according to Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians, there will first be a great apostasy (defecting from the truth or falling away) among Christians before the man of lawlessness is revealed, whose number is 666 (Rev 13:18).

And the prophet Isaiah wrote about the sound of the Lord’s voice from His temple, as he takes vengeance on His enemies in Isaiah 66:6, which is in perfect harmony with what we have just read in Revelation about the punishment for those who take the mark of the beast -- 666.

“A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, the voice of the LORD who is rendering recompense to His enemies.” (Isa 66:6)

Now back to John’s gospel for a moment, and we see that Jesus explained to His family why His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” (Joh 7:7).

And from the context we observe that right before many of Jesus’ disciples walked away from Him, He had been teaching that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He said, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." (Joh 6:53-58).  It was that teaching which caused many disciples to leave Him.

It certainly was not the twelve disciples who withdrew and stopped walking with Jesus, but it was many other disciples.  We know this because when those disciples withdrew from Him, Jesus said to the Twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." (Joh 6:67-69)

One last verse I would like to point out in connection with 666 is Genesis 6:6.

The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Gen 6:6)

It says that in the days of Noah when the thoughts of all men were continually evil, the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, he regretted it, and it brought pain to His heart, because of all the evil deeds men were committing, which were taking them down to hell.  This too seems to fit right in with the number of man, who was created in the sixth day, which is the number six. And it also fits in with passage about the number of the beast, which is 666.

Also see The Mark of the Beast (666) and Drifting Away.

The Punishment for Sin
In both Ezekiel 18:4 and Revelation 18:4, we find a warning about the punishment for sin.

The Lord told Ezekiel that the soul who sins will die.

"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.” (Eze 18:4)

The Lord explained that children would not die for the sins of their fathers, but for their own sins.  And the Lord revealed to the apostle John the need for separation from Babylon in order to avoid participating in her sins and receiving her plagues.

“I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.’”(Rev 18:4).

Also see Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Sin and Consequence, The Dangers of Disobedience, A Trip to Hell, and Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven.

Delivered from the Bondage of Slavery
Both Exodus 6:6 and Romans 6:6 speak about deliverance of God’s people from bondage to slavery.

The Lord told Moses, “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (Exo 6:6)

The apostle Paul wrote about being delivered from slavery to sin when he said, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” (Rom 6:6)

Also see my articles called, Having a Servant's Heart  and The Truth Set Me Free!

The Fruit of Repentance
Both Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8 speak of the need to bear the fruit of repentance.

"Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance." (Mat 3:8)

"Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham." (Luk 3:8).

Also see my article called, Repentance That Leads to Life.

He Laid Down His Life in Love
We learn from the 3:16 verse in John’s gospel and his epistle that God in His great love for the world gave His only begotten Son, who laid down His life for us in love. That’s in John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16.

“"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16)

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1Jn 3:16).

Also see The Sacrifices of God and The Love of Jesus.

The New Covenant
The New Covenant is cited in both Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:8.

“’Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,’ (Jer 31:31)

“For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;” (Heb 8:8)

Also see The New Covenant and Law of Love in the New Testament.

No Condemnation
In both John 8:1-11 and Romans 8:1-11, we learn that there is no condemnation for the repentant soul who walks by the Spirit and not according to the sinful nature.

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."] (Joh 8:1-11)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. But the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be. So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom 8:1-11, MKJV).

Also see The Beauty of Brokenness, By Grace Alone and Keeping Power of God.

Prayer Promises About Asking
The Lord Jesus promised us that we would receive whatever we ask for in prayer, and these are recorded in Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:11; John 14:14; and Matthew 21: 21.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Mat 7:7)

“’Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?’” (Luk 11:11)

"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  (Joh 14:14)

“And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.’” (Mat 21:21)

If you look at the verse immediately after Mat 21:21, the Lord said, "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Mat 21:22)

Another interesting aspect about this promise is not only that the chapter and verse references are 7:7, 11:11, 14:14, and 21:21, but that in the English language, the Lord’s promise in Matthew 7:7 creates an acronym for the Word “ASK”:

Ask, and it will be given to you.
Seek, and you will find.
Knock, and it will be opened to you.

Let that encourage you and build your faith! Also see Prayer Promises.

This is That
In Acts 2 when the disciples were all baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter explained that this was that which the Lord prophesied through the prophet Joel. The passage quoted by Peter in Acts 2 is written in Joel 2.

“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days,” God says, “that I will pour forth of My spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. Te sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved.'” (Act 2:14-21)

"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls." (Joe 2:28-32).

Also see Baptized with the Spirit and Holy Fire Baptism.

Keeping the Sabbath Holy
In both Exodus 20:8 and Ac 20:8, the context is about keeping the Lord’s Day holy.

The Lord told Moses when He gave him the Ten Commandments, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exo 20:8).

And in the early Church, they gathered on the first day of the week for worship services. Luke recorded in the book of Acts: “(7) On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. (8) There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together.” (Act 20:7,8).

Moreover, it is in Jn 20:8 that we read about the apostles discovering the empty tomb on the first day of the week.  "So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed." (Jn 20:8).  However, on that particular morning, they did not gather for worship due to the fact that they did not yet understand what was happening. John says in the next two verses, "For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes." (Joh 20:9-10).  Therefore, it wasn't until later that night, after the Lord's appearances to them, that they were gathered together on the first day of the week, and the Lord came and stood in their midst (Jn 20:19).

Another interesting side note is that the Sabbath is spoken about in the Synoptic Gospels in Matthew 12, Mark 2, and Luke 6.  In these chapters, we learn about the heart of the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ.  It’s lawful to do good on the Sabbath, and we don’t observe it in the Jewish way, but we must keep it holy in honor of the Lord who rose on the first day of the week. And the chapter numbers twelve, two, and six do have a correlation with each other, since twelve divided by two equals six. Remember that God said, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” (Exo 20:9-10)

Also see Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I and Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II.

In both Proverbs 3:10 and Malachi 3:10, we learn about the overflowing blessings that come to those who practice tithing.

“9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Pro 3:9-10)

“’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’” (Mal 3:10)

It's interesting that these verses about the overflow from giving the tithe, which means "tenth", are found in the tenth verse of these two chapters. Be sure you are giving God the whole tithe, which is the entire first ten percent of all your income, because the tithe belongs to the Lord. If you are not doing so, He considers it stealing from Him (Mal 3:8). Whatever you give above ten percent is considered offerings.

Also see Is Tithing Required for Christians? and Where Should You Give Your Tithe? 

Marriage is for Life
The apostle Paul speaks about the lifelong nature of marriage in the seventh chapters of his epistles to both the Romans and the Corinthians.

"Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man." (Rom 7:1-3)

"A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." (1Co 7:39)

Also see Divorce -- Three Divine Revelations.

Three-and-a-Half years
We learn about the final three-and-a-half years in the twelfth chapters of Daniel and Revelation. That’s in Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14.

“I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.” (Dan 12:7)

“But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” (Rev 12:14)

Please get ready for the Lord's return, so that you are not left behind when the rapture happens. He is coming back right away, but He is only coming for the holy ones. Also see Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano.

God Renders to Each Man According to His Deeds
In the twelfth verses of three different chapters in the Bible, we learn that God renders to each man according to his deeds. This is found in Psalm 62:12; Proverb 24:12; and Revelation 22:12.

“And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.” (Psa 62:12)

“If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?” (Pro 24:12)

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev 22:12)

Also see Righteous Deeds and White Robes, The Judgment Seat of Christ, and Your Rewards Are Based on Your Practice.

More Coincidences in Revelation
The first chapter of Revelation describes Jesus as the First and the Living One. The second chapter mentions the second death. The third chapter contains messages from Jesus to three of the seven churches. The fourth chapter describes the four living creatures around the throne of God.  It also describes the twenty-four elders, divisible by four. The sixth chapter describes only the first six of the seven seals. The twelfth chapter describes crown of twelve stars on a woman clothed with the sun. The fourteenth chapter describes the 144,000.  One and four are the first two numbers of fourteen and 144,000.

Sixty-six Books and Sixty-six Chapters
There are sixty-six books in the Bible, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament.  There is an amazingly similar pattern found in the book of Isaiah the prophet, which contains sixty-six chapters.  Interestingly the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah reflect the same tone and message as the first thirty-nine books of the Bible! Likewise, the last twenty-seven chapters of Isaiah reflect the tone and message of the gospel recorded in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. In the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah, one main theme is God’s judgment against sin.  In the final twenty-seven chapters, there is the hope of redemption and forgiveness.

Isaiah begins the last twenty-seven chapters of that book in chapter 40 with these words:

"Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD'S hand Double for all her sins." A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa 40:1-3)

And Mark’s gospel begins with these words:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'" (Mar 1:1-3).

So when Mark began his gospel, he called it “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” quoting in Mark 1:3 from Isaiah 40:3. This gives further support to the fact that Isaiah 40 is the beginning of the gospel message found in the final twenty-seven chapters of that book. Also see The Bible is the Word of God.

Putting it All Together
There is unity of Scripture throughout the entire Bible, even though we understand that it was written by forty different inspired men in different settings over a period of about 1,600 years. And we see these amazing patterns that are like divine fingerprints left on his Word, or His "voiceprint" if you will.  They confirm to us that this is no ordinary book, but the very Word of God.

We cannot isolate one part of the Bible for ourselves as the part we accept and not listen to the rest. We must obey the whole Bible.  For “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2Ti 3:16-17). From Genesis to Revelation, it is all the inerrant, infallible, inspired, wonderful Word of God.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  Photo of Bible showing chapter and verse divisions is by John Snyder (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the Home page, such as All Scripture must be fulfilled, The Bible is the Word of God, and The Bible Never Fails. Also see The 311 Moment, The Mark of the Beast (666), Resting from Work, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Christian Sabbath is Sunday, not Saturday, and Famous Christian Sabbath Observers. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

No comments:

Post a Comment