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Numbers God Perfected

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Christina, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Number in ScriptureSupernatural Design Through Numbers Design in Work of God, The Heavens, Chronology, NatureDesign Shown in the Work of God"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand; And meted out heaven with a span; And comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, And weighed the mountains in scales, And the hills in a balance?" (Isa 40:12) "The works of the LORD are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." (Psa 111:2) There can be neither works nor words without number. We can understand how man can act and speak without design or significance, but we cannot imagine that the great and infinite Creator and Redeemer could either work or speak without both His words and His works being absolutely perfect in every particular. "As for God His WAY is perfect" (Psa 18:30). "The Law of the LORD is perfect" (Psa 19:7). They are both perfect in power, perfect in holiness and righteousness, perfect in design, perfect in execution, perfect in their object and end, and, may we not say, perfect in number. "The LORD is righteous in all His ways: and holy in all His works" (Psa 145:17). All His works were (and are) done, and all His words were spoken and written, in the right way, at the right time, in the right order, and in the right number. "He telleth the number of the stars" (Psa 147:4). He "bringeth out their host by number" (Isa 40:26). "He weigheth the waters by measure" (Job 28:25). We may, therefore, say with David: "I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands" (Psa 143:5). In all the works of God we find not only what we call "Law," and a Law-maker, but we observe a Law enforcer. We speak of laws, but they are nothing in themselves. They have no being; they possess no power; they cannot make themselves, or carry themselves out. What we mean when we speak of law in nature is simply this: God in action; God not merely giving or making laws, but carrying them out and enforcing them. As He is perfect, so His works and His words also must be perfect. And when we see number used not by chance, but by design; not at haphazard, but with significance; then we see not merely so many works and words, but the Living God working and speaking. In this first part of our subject we are to speak only of design in the use of number; and in the second part, of significance. In this first chapter we will confine our thoughts to design as it is seen in the works of God; and in the second, as it is seen in the Word of God. When we see the same design in each; the same laws at work; the same mysterious principles being carried out in each, the conviction is overwhelming that we have the same great Designer, the same Author; and we see the same Hand, the same seal stamped on all His works, and the same signature or autograph, as it were, upon every page of His Word. And that, not an autograph which may be torn off or obliterated, but indelible, like the water-mark in the paper; so impressed upon and interwoven with it that no power on earth can blot it out. The HeavensHere we see number displayed in a remarkable manner. The 12 signs of the Zodiac, each with three constellations, making 36 in all, which together with the 12 signs make a total of 48. There must be a reason, therefore, why the number 12 should thus pervade the heavens. Why should 12 be the predominating factor? Why should it not be 11, or 13, or 7, or 20? Because 12 is one of the four perfect numbers, the number of governmental perfection; hence it is associated with the rule of the heavens, for the sun is given "to rule the day," and the moon "to govern the night." The significance of this, however, must be deferred till we come to consider the number "twelve" under this head. It is enough for us now to notice the fact here, upon the threshold of our subject, that we have one common measure, or factor, which is seen in the 12 signs of the Zodiac, the 36 (3x12) constellations,* the total 48 (4x12); the 360 (12x30) degrees, into which the great circle of the heavens is divided. No one can tell us why the number of degrees was first fixed at 360. It has come down to us from ancient times, and is used universally without a question.** And it is this division of the Zodiac which gives us the 12 months of the Zodiacal year. This is called also the Prophetic year, for it is the year which is used in the prophecies of the Bible.*** * There are other modern constellations now: Hevelius (1611-1687) added twenty-two; Halley (1656-1742) added fifteen. But every one knows how different these are from the ancient constellations, both in their names, their character, and their utter absence of all significance.** It probably arises from the product of the four numbers, 3, 4, 5, 6, which arise out of the phenomena which lie at the root of Geometrical and Arithmetical Science. 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 = 360, while 360 x 7 = 2520. *** There are different or relative kinds of years, according as we reckon the revolutions of the sun in relation to certain objects, e.g.: (1.) In relation to the equinoctial points. The time taken by the sun to return to the same equinoctial point is called the Solar year (also the Civil, or Tropical year), and consists of 365.2422414 solar days (or 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 49.7 seconds). (2.) In relation to the stars. The time taken by the sun to return to the same fixed star is called the Sidereal year, and consists of 365.2563612 solar days (or 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes 9.6 seconds). (3.) In relation to his own orbit. The time taken by the sun to return to the same point in his own orbit is called the Anomalistic year, and consists of 365.2595981 solar days (or 365 days 6 hours 13 minutes 49.3 seconds). The word "Anomalistic" means irregular, and this kind of year is so called because from it the first irregularities of planetary motion were discovered. Here, then, is an example of number as it is used in the heavens. Twelve is the pervading factor. ChronologyIt is not necessary to go into the intricacies of this vast part of our subject. Notwithstanding the fact that God gave to man these heavenly time-keepers, he has so misused the gift (as he has every other gift which God has ever given him) that he cannot tell you now what year it really is! No subject is in more hopeless confusion, made worse by those who desire the dates to fit in with their theories of numbers, instead of with the facts of history. We shall, therefore, avoid man's use of numbers. Our only concern in this work is with God's use of them. Here we shall find both design and significance. Here, therefore, we shall find that which is certain and full of interest. The first natural division of time is stamped by the Number seven. On the seventh day God rested from His work of Creation. When He ordained the ritual for Israel which should show forth His work of Redemption, seven is again stamped upon it in all its times and seasons. The seventh day was the holy day; the seventh month was specially hallowed by its number of sacred festivals; the seventh year was the Sabbatic year of rest for the land: while 7 x 7 years marked the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:4,8). Thirty jubilees bring us from the Exodus to the opening of Christ's ministry, when, opening Isaiah 61:2, He proclaimed "the acceptable year of the Lord" in a seven-fold prophecy (see Luke 4:18-21). The great symbolical divisions of Israel's history, or rather of the times of God's dealings with them, are marked by the same number; and if we confine ourselves to duration of years rather than to the succession of years and chronological dates; with kairoV (kairos), season, a definitely limited portion of time, rather than with cronoV (chronos), time, the course of time in general* (hence our word "chronology"), —we shall have no difficulty. * In modern Greek kairoV has come to mean weather, and cronoV, year, thus preserving the essential distinction between the two words. God's dealings with His people have to do with actual duration of time rather than with specific dates; and we find that His dealings with Israel were measured out into four periods, each consisting of 490 (70 times 7) years. Thus:— The 1st. From Abraham to the Exodus. The 2nd. The Exodus to the Dedication of Temple. The 3rd. From the Temple to Nehemiah's return. The 4th. From Nehemiah to the Second Advent.It is clear that these are periods of duration having regard only to Israel, and to Jehovah's immediate dealings with them. For in each one there is a period of time during which He was not immediately governing them, but in which His hand was removed, and His people were without visible tokens of His presence with them. 1. From the birth of Abraham to the Exodus Years Total From the birth of Abraham to the Exodus was actually (Gen 12:4, 16:3 and 21:5)* 505 But deducting the 15 years while Ishmael was Abram's seed, delaying the seed of promise - 15 Leaving the first 70 x 7 of years 490 *Abraham was 75 years old when the promise (Gen 12:4) was made to him. The Law was given 430 years after (Exo 12:40; Gal 3:17). But 430 and 75 make 505 years, or 15 years over the 490. How are we to account for this gap of 15 years as forming part of the 505 years? The answer is that at Abraham's departure into Canaan (12:4) he was 75 years old, Ishmael was born 10 years after (16:3), therefore Abraham was 85 years old at Ishmael's birth. But he was 100 years old when Isaac was born (21:5). Therefore it follows that there were 15 years (100 minus 85=15) during which Ishmael was occupying and usurping the place of the "promised seed"; and 15 from 505 leaves 490. Here then we have the first of the seventy-seven of years, and the first "gap" of 15 years.2. From the Exodus to the foundation of the Temple, according to Acts 13:20:* Years Total In the Wilderness 40 Under the Judges 450 Saul 40 David 40 Solomon (1 Kings 6:1,37) 3 But from these we must deduct the Captivities under 573 Cushan (Judges 3:8) 8 Eglon (Judges 3:14) 18 Jabin (Judges 4:3) 20 Midianites (Judges 6:1) 7 Philistines (Judges 13:1)** 40 93 Leaving 480 To this we must add the years during which the Temple was in building, for the finishing of the house (1 Kings 6:38) 7 And at least for the furnishing and ending of all the work (1 Kings 7:13-51)*** 3 Making altogether the second 70 x 7 of years 490 * The actual number of years was 573, according to Acts 13:20. But 1 Kings 6:1 says: "It came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of Egypt...he began to build the house of the LORD." Therefore commentators immediately conclude that the book is wrong. It never seems to dawn on them that they can be wrong. But they are, because the number is ordinal, not cardinal, and it does not say four hundred and eighty years, but "eightieth year." The 480th from or of what? Of the duration of God's dealings with His people, deducting the 93 years while He had "sold them" into the hands of others. Thus there is no discrepancy between 1 Kings 6:1 and Acts 13:20. In the Acts the actual number of years is stated in a cardinal number; while in the Kings a certain reckoning is made in an ordinal number, and a certain year in the order of God's dealings with His people is named. And yet by some, the inspiration of Acts 13:20 is impugned, and various shifts are resorted to, to make it what man thinks to be correct. The RV adopts an ancient punctuation which does not after all remove the difficulty; while in the Speaker's Commentary the words in 1 Kings 6:1 are printed within brackets, as though they were of doubtful authority.** The 18 years of Judges 10:8 were part of the joint 40 years' oppression; on the one side Jordan by the Philistines, and on "the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites" by the Ammonites. *** For in 1 Kings 8:2 it was dedicated in the seventh month, though it was finished in the eighth month. Therefore it could not have been the same year; and it may well have required three years for the completion of all the interior work described in 1 Kings 7:13-51. 3. From the Dedication of the Temple to Nehemiah's return in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Years Total From the dedication to Nehemiah's return (Neh 2:1) 560 Deduct the 70 years' Captivity in Babylon (Jer 25:11,12; Dan 9:2) 70 Leaving the third 70 x 7 years 490 4. From Nehemiah's return to "cutting off" of "Messiah the Prince" (Dan 9:24-27) Years Total The "Seven weeks" (7x7) 49 The "Threescore and two weeks" (62x7) 434 "After" this, Messiah was to be "cut off," and then comes this present interval, the longest of all, now more than 1890 years, to be followed, when God again deals with His people Israel, by "One week"* 7 * This "one week" must be future, because since Messiah was "cut off" no prince has come and made a covenant with the Jews and in the "midst of the week" caused "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." This is specially stated to be the work of "the Prince that shall come." See Daniel 8:11, where it is done by "the little horn"; 11:31, where it is the work of "the vile person" (different names for the same person); and 12:11. All these four passages are the work of the same person, and that person is not Christ, but Antichrist. Besides, Messiah was "cut off" after the "threescore and two weeks," i.e., at the end of the second of these three divisions. This cannot be the same event as that which is to take place "in the midst" of the third of these three divisions. In a prophecy so distinct, that the very distinction is the essential part of it, it is impossible for us to introduce such confusion by violently taking an event declared to take place "after" the end of the second period and say it is the same event which is spoken of as taking place in the middle of the third; and at the same time, out of four distinct descriptions of the latter event to make one refer to the former and three to the latter—this is simply trifling with the Word of God. A system of interpretation which requires such violent and unwarranted treatment of God's Word stands self-condemned.Thus the number seven is stamped on "the times and seasons" of Scripture, marking the spiritual perfection of the Divine Prophecies. NatureWe see the same law at work in various departments of nature. Sometimes one number is the dominant factor, sometimes another. In nature seven is found to mark the only possible mode of classification of the mass of individuals which constitutes the special department called science. We give the seven divisions, with examples from the animal and vegetable kingdoms. The one specimen of an animal (the dog) and one specimen of a flower (the rose). I. KINGDOM Animal Vegetable II. SUB-KINGDOM Vertebrata Phanerogamia III. CLASS Mammalia Dicotyledon IV. ORDER Carnivora Rosiflorae V. FAMILY Canidae Rosaciae VI. GENUS Dog Rosa VII. SPECIES Spaniel Tea-rose
     
  2. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Vegetable Kingdom, Physiology, Chemistry, Sound, Music, Color The Vegetable KingdomHere all is law and order. Number comes in, in many cases determining various classifications. In the Endogens (or inside-growing plants) three is a prevailing number; while in Exogens (or outside-growing plants) five is a prevailing number. The grains in Indian corn, or maize, are set in rows, generally straight, but in some cases spirally. These rows are always arranged in an even number. Never odd! They range from 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and sometimes as high as 24. But never in 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, or any odd number of rows. The even number is permanent. Mr. H. L. Hastings tells of one farmer who looked for 27 years and could not find a "cob" with an odd number of rows. A slave was once offered his freedom if he found a corn-cob with an odd number, and one day he found one! But he had found it also some time before, when it was young; carefully cut out one row, and bound it up, so that the parts grew together as the corn-cob developed, and finally presented the phenomenon of having an odd number of rows. This exception proves the rule in an interesting manner. If we notice how the leaves grow upon the stem of a plant, not only is law seen in classifying their nature and character, but number is observed in their arrangement and disposition. Some are placed alternately, some opposite, while others are arranged spirally. But in each case all is in perfect order. After a certain number of leaves one will come immediately over and in the same line with the first:— In the apple it is the fifth leaf, In the oak it is the fourth, In the peach, etc., it is the sixth, In the holly, etc., it is the eighth; but it takes two turns of the spiral before the eighth leaf stands immediately over the first. In the larch it is the twenty-first leaf; but it is not until after eight turns of the spiral that the twenty-first leaf stands directly over the first. Examples might be multiplied indefinitely were design in nature our only subject. We are anxious to search the Word of God, and therefore can touch merely the surface of His works, but sufficiently to illustrate the working of Law and the presence of the Law-enforcer. PhysiologyPhysiology offers a vast field for illustration, but here again the grand impress is seen to be the number seven. The days of man's years are "Three-score years and ten" (7x10). In seven years the whole structure of his body changes: and we are all familiar with "the seven ages of man." There are seven Greek words used to describe these seven ages, according to Philo:— Infancy (paidion, paidion, child). Childhood (paiV, pais boy). Youth (meirakion, meirakion, lad, stripling). Adolescence (neaniskoV, neaniskos, young man). Manhood (anhr, aner, man). Decline (presbuthV, presbutes, old man). Senility (gerwn, geron, aged man). The various periods of gestation also are commonly a multiple of seven, either of days or weeks.With INSECTS the ova are hatched from seven half-days (as the wasp, bee, etc.); while with others it is seven whole days. The majority of insects require from 14 (2x7) to 42 (6x7) days; the same applies to the larva state. With ANIMALS the period of gestation of— The mouse is 21 (3x7) days. The hare and rat, 28 (4x7) days. The cat, 56 (8x7) days. The dog, 63 (9x7) days. The lion, 98 (14x7) days. The sheep, 147 (21x7) days.With BIRDS, the gestation of— The common hen is 21 (3x7) days. The duck, 42 (6x7) days. With the Human species it is 280 days (or 40x7). Moreover, man appears to be made on what we may call the seven-day principle. In various diseases the seventh, fourteenth, and twenty-first are critical days; and in others seven or 14 half-days. Man's pulse beats on the seven-day principle, for Dr. Stratton points out that for six days out of the seven it beats faster in the morning than in the evening, while on the seventh day it beats slower. Thus the number seven is stamped upon physiology, and he is thus admonished, as man, to rest one day in seven. He cannot violate this law with impunity, for it is interwoven with his very being. He may say "I will rest when I please,"— one day in ten, or irregularly, or not at all. He might as well say of his eight-day clock, "It is mine, and I will wind it up when I please." Unless he wound it at least once in eight days, according to the principle on which it was made, it would be worthless as a clock. So with man's body. If he rests not according to the Divine law, he will, sooner or later, be compelled to "keep his sabbaths," and the rest which he would not take at regular intervals, at God's command, he has to take at the command of man all at once! Even in this case God gives him more rest than he can get for himself; for God would have him take 52 days' rest in the year, and the few days' "change" he is able to get for himself is a poor substitute for this. It is like all man's attempts to improve on God's way. It is not always seven, however, which is the predominant factor in physiology or natural history. In the case of the BEE, it is the number three which pervades its phenomena— In three days the egg of the queen is hatched. It is fed for nine days (3x3). It reaches maturity in 15 days (5x3). The worker grub reaches maturity in 21 days (7x3). And is at work three days after leaving its cell. The drone matures in 24 days (8x3). The bee is composed of three sections,— head and two stomachs. The two eyes are made up of about 3,000 small eyes, each (like the cells of the comb) having six sides (2x3). Underneath the body are six (2x3) wax scales with which the comb is made. It has six (2x3) legs. Each leg is composed of three sections. The foot is formed of three triangular sections. The antennae consist of nine (3x3) sections. The sting has nine (3x3) barbs on each side. Is this design? or is it chance? Why should it be the number three instead of any other number? No one can tell. We can only observe the wondrous working of supernatural laws, and admire the perfection of design. ChemistryHere we are met with a field of research in which constant discoveries are being made. Chemistry is worthy of the name Science. Here are no theories and hypotheses, which deprive other so-called sciences of all title to the name. Science is Scientia, knowledge, that which we know, and what we know is truth which can never alter. Chemistry, for example, is not like geology, whose old theories are constantly being superseded by new ones. If we know the action of a certain substance, then our knowledge never changes. But side by side with this unchangeable truth there is the constant discovery of new truths. All matter is made up of certain combinations of various elements, which are its ultimate, indecomposable constituents. Not that these elements are absolutely simple, but that hitherto they have not been decomposed. Some of these have been known from the most ancient times, while others are of quite recent discovery. Hence their number is slowly being increased. In 1874 there were 64; now there are about 70. But though their total number cannot yet be known, the law by which they are arranged has been discovered. This law is complex, but perfect.1. All the elements when magnetized fall into two classes. One class immediately ranges itself east and west, at right angles to the line of magnetic force (which is north and south), and is hence called Diamagnetic (i.e. through or across the magnet); while the other immediately ranges itself by the side of and parallel to the magnetic pole (i.e. north and south), and is called Paramagnetic (i.e. by the side of the magnet). 2. Further, it is observed that these elements have other properties. Some combine with only one atom of another element, and are called Monads; some combine with only two atoms of another element, and are called Diads; some combine with only three, and are called Triads: while those that combine with four are called Tetrads, etc. 3. Now when the elements are arranged, first on the two sides of the dividing line, according to their Diamagnetic and Paramagnetic characters; and then placed on lines according to their properties as Monads, Diads, etc.; and further, are arranged in the order of their atomic weights,* the result is seen in the accompanying illustration [Reynold's Curve of the Elements according to the Newlands-Mendelejeff Periodic Law], which exhibits the presence and working of a wonderful law.* The atomic weight is the smallest weight according to which different elements combine; e.g. hydrogen, whose atomic weight is 2, will combine with oxygen, whose atomic weight is 16, forming water. With carbon, whose atomic weight is 12, it combines also the same proportion of 2 to 12 (or 1 to 6). These are what are called the atomic weights, or the "combining proportions."On carefully examining this table it will be seen,— 1. That on either side of the central or neutral line, there are alternate groups of seven elements, and that these seven fall into the form of an introversion, Monad answering to Monad, Diad to Diad, etc., thus:— Monad >>>>> Diad >>>>> Triad >>>>> Tetrad Monad >>>>> Diad >>>>> Triad >>>>> Then, on the other side, the group of seven is arranged in the opposite way, but in a corresponding manner:—
     
  3. Jerusalem Junkie

    Jerusalem Junkie New Member

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    Interesting post Kriss... been reading about this.
     
  4. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Word of God, Books of the Bible, The Writers, Words in Old Testament The Word of GodWe now come to the Word of God, which is the greatest, and, to us, most important of all God's works. May we not look for, and expect to find, number used not only with the same wondrous design, but, here, with significance also? If there be design, there must be significance. We may not always see the reason for the latter in the works of creation; but we cannot fail to do so in the great work of Divine Revelation. In Daniel 8:13 we read, "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation," etc.? Here, a revelation of a certain future prophetic event was made to Daniel, by a certain saint or holy one, i.e., a holy angel; and "another" angel asked a question concerning numbers—"How long," etc.? The name of "that certain saint" is given in the Hebrew, and is placed in the margin, with its meaning. His name is "PALMONI," and it means "the numberer of secrets, or the wonderful numberer." So that there is one holy angel, at least, whose function has to do with numbers. Numbers, therefore, and their secrets, hold an important place in the words as well as in the works of God. "A wonderful numberer" ("PALMONI") presides over them, and has his place in making known the things of God. This certainly looks like design; and, if so—if not only the "days" in which revealed events shall take place are numbered, but the words also themselves are numbered— then we shall have a great and wondrous proof of the Divine, verbal, and even literal inspiration of the Word of God. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter" (Prov 25:2). In searching out, therefore, the secrets of the Word of God, we are doing not only a royal, but an honourable work. "The works of the LORD are great: sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Psa 111:2). This is quite different, of course, from trying to find out what God calls His "secret things." "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever" (Deut 29:29). Our searching must be confined to what is revealed. With what God has been pleased not to reveal, but to keep secret, not only have we nothing whatever to do, but we are guilty of the sin of presumption in even speculating about it. If a child of God is observed to be much occupied with God's "secret things," he will be found to be one who neglects the study of the things which God has revealed. We can have neither words nor works without "number." The question which we have to answer is—Is number used with design or by chance? Surely if God uses it, it must be with infinite wisdom and with glorious perfection. And so it is. Each number has its own significance; and its meaning is found to be in moral harmony and relation to the subject matter in connection with which it stands. This harmony is always perfect. Every word of God's Book is in its right place. It may sometimes seem to us to be deranged. The lock may be in one place, and the key may sometimes be hidden away elsewhere in some apparently inadvertent word or sentence. A volume might be written in illustration of this fact; and it would be a profitable Bible-study to search out these little seemingly unimportant keys. For example: In Genesis 11 and 12, we see how Abram came out of Ur of the Chaldees, but instead of going on at once to Canaan, he stops a long time in Haran. The explanation of this delay is not given there. It is hidden away in Acts 7:4, where we read, "from thence [i.e. from Haran] when his father was dead." From which we learn that Terah was the hindrance; and we are taught by the fact, thus emphasized, how earthly relationships may sometimes hinder our complete obedience. Another example is Isaiah 52:4: "My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without case." Here is a very difficult lock. This verse has greatly puzzled commentators, who assume that two oppressions are spoken of, one in Egypt and the other in Assyria. They are therefore at a loss to understand and explain why these two oppressions are mentioned together in one verse, as though they were closely connected, when in fact they were separated by more than seven centuries. The key is hidden away in one little word in Acts 7:18, "There arose another king." The word here translated "another" is not alloV, another of the same kind; but it is eteroV, another of a different kind; showing us that it was a different dynasty altogether: and the monuments now prove that it was a new Assyrian dynasty.* * The last king of the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep IV, was succeeded by a new race of kings which is called the 19th dynasty, commencing with RAMESES I and his son Seti I, who reigned together, Seti I surviving as the Pharaoh of the "Oppression" (Exo 1 and 2) and dying (Exo 2:23). His mummy is now in the Boulak Museum. He was succeeded by RAMESES II—the Pharaoh of the Plagues and the Exodus, who was drowned in the Red Sea. The change to this new dynasty is clearly seen in the monuments, in the great difference between the round faces, flat noses, and thick lips of the 18th or Egyptian dynasty, and the long face, high cheekbones, and aquiline nose of the Assyrian of the 19th dynasty. Josephus speaks of "the crown being come into another family" (Ant. ii. 9). The same is implied in the words "a new king" (Exo 1:8); not #%dq, but [email protected] See Deuteronomy 32:17; Judges 5:8; Daniel 2:31, 39, 44, 3:24.Many other examples might be given to show how a name, or a word, or a genealogy, or a date, may be found, which is seemingly of little or no importance in its context, and yet may throw wondrous light on a passage written elsewhere, and be a key to a difficulty, otherwise, inexplicable. "But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit," whose infinite wisdom is seen inspiring the whole of Divine revelation and securing a uniformity in results which would be absolutely impossible in a work written separately by different writers. Let us defer for the present the subject of significance, and look at a few facts which show a manifest design pervading the whole Bible, by which various agents, writing at different intervals, and thus separated both by place, and time, and circumstance, are yet made to use certain words a definite number of times. The actual number depends upon the special significance of the word; for the significance of the word corresponds with the significance of the number of the times it occurs. Where there is no such special significance in the meaning or use of the word, there is no special significance in the number of its occurrences. But where there is a general importance in the word, apart from its direct significance, then the word occurs according to law. All such general and important words—i.e., such words on which the Holy Spirit would have us place special emphasis, or would wish us to lay special stress—occur a certain number of times. These are either— (1) A square number, or (2) A cube, or (3) A multiple of seven, or (4) A multiple of eleven.It is interesting to notice why these numbers should be thus associated together. They are significant in themselves, for seven is one of the four so-called perfect numbers, 3, 7, 10 and 12, as we shall see below. 3 is the number of Divine perfection. 7 is the number of Spiritual perfection. 10 is the number of Ordinal perfection. 12 is the number of Governmental perfection. The product of these four perfect numbers forms the great number of chronological perfection, 3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2520, the times of Israel's punishment, and the times of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem. The association of the numbers 11 and 7 connects this arithmetical law with the geometrical, and calls our attention to the phenomena presented by the sides of the four primary rectilineal forms— In the plane, The triangle has 3 sides The square has 4 sides = 7 In the solid, The pyramid has 5 sides The cube has 6 sides = 11 The number 18 (the sum of these, 7 + 11) in Scripture and in nature is usually thus divided into 7 and 11, or 9 and 9. As 7 is to 11, so is the height of a pyramid (whose base is a square) to the length of its base. As 7 is to 11 expresses also the ratio between the diameter of a circle and its semi-circumference; or between a semi-circle and its chord. Further, as 18 in Scripture and in nature is divided into 7 and 11, so 7 is divided into 3 and 4 (3+4=7), and 11 is divided into 5 and 6 (5+6=11). These numbers, 3, 4, 5, and 6, are related by a perfect arithmetical progression, whose difference is unity (1). Their product gives us the well-known division of the circle into 360 degrees (3x4x5x6=360)*. No one can tell us why the great circle of the heavens (the Zodiac) should be divided into 360 parts, instead of any other number, for apart from this it appears to be perfectly arbitrary. This is the number, however, which gives us the great Zodiacal, Prophetic, and Biblical year of 360 days, which was given originally to Noah, and employed by the Babylonians and Egyptians. * The number 360 is divisible without a remainder by all the nine digits except seven.It is the multiplication of seven of these great Zodiacal circles, or years, by seven, which gives us the great number expressive of chronological perfection (360x7=2520). The number 2520 is, perhaps, the most remarkable of all others, for It is the summary of all the primary rectilinear forms. It is the product of the four great numbers of completion or perfection, as shown above (for 3x7x10x12=2520). It is the Least Common Multiple (LCM) of all the ten numbers from which our system of notation is derived; for the LCM of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, is 2520. Finally, in the musical scale, as we have already seen, we again meet with these numbers seven and 11 as the expression of the seven primary notes and the 11 semitones. What there is of design or chance in all this we must leave to the judgment of our readers. It is sufficient for our purpose now, merely to note that these two numbers, seven and 11, have been specially selected to play so important a part;* and that there is such a remarkable relation between them must be due to design. * Why they should have been so selected we cannot tell. That there must be a peculiar adaptation in certain numbers and certain things is clear, even according to man's usage of them. Man speaks of "three cheers" and "forty winks," but why no other number would do no one can tell.Why should it be these two numbers seven and 11? Why not any other two numbers? or why two at all? Why not three? We may or may not be able to explain why, but we cannot close our eyes to the fact. We are now merely observing phenomena and noting the working of laws. Let us look first atThe Books of the BibleThe Old TestamentThe Authorised Version, and indeed all printed Bibles, contain and reckon 39 separate books in the Old Testament. The Alexandrian Jews and early Christian Fathers reckoned 22 (2x11) books. This number was arbitrarily and artificially made by putting certain books together in order to make the number of the books agree with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.* * This number 22 they obtained by arbitrarily reckoning Judges and Ruth together as one book, and Jeremiah and Lamentations together, in addition to reckoning the double books as one, and Ezra-Nehemiah as one.But all these reckonings are of no value, none of them being based on any authority, and all of them being against the authority of the Hebrew MSS, which is all that we have to guide us in the matter. In other words, the number and order of the books of the Bible come to us on precisely the same authority as its facts and doctrines. In the Hebrew MSS Ezra and Nehemiah are always reckoned as one book, with the one name, Ezra. Each of the double books is reckoned as one book (e.g. 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles), and all the minor prophets are also reckoned as one book. This makes 24 books in all. This is 8 x 3, both factors stamping the number with the seal of Divine perfection. (see under the numbers Three and Eight).* * For further information on this interesting subject see a pamphlet on The Names and Order of the Books of the Old Testament, by the same author.The New TestamentThe New Testament contains 27 separate books (3x3x3 or 33). Of these 27 books, 21 (3x7) are Epistles. The WritersIf we take the agents employed, we have 28 writers (4x7) in the Old Testament, and 8 (23) in the New Testament; or together, 36 (62). Of the 21 Epistles of the New Testament 14 (2x7) are by Paul, and seven by other writers. In this we have an argument for the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews; an argument which is confirmed by the numbers of verbal occurrences shown below. * * The following logical reasoning also supports the Pauline agency. There are four steps in the argument:—Peter wrote his First Epistle to the Diaspora, the Dispersion. See 1 Peter 1:1. His Second Epistle was addressed to the same dispersed of Israel. See 2 Peter 3:1. To these same he says (2 Peter 3:15) "our beloved brother Paul...hath written unto YOU." Where is this Epistle if it be not the one which is addressed to "the Hebrews"? Not only do we find these phenomena in the books and the writers of the Bible, but in the occurrences of important words and phrases. Words in the Old Testament"Mercy seat" occurs 27 times (33). "The candlestick" occurs 27 times (33). The "wave offering"* occurs 28 times (4x7). * Only in Exodus and Leviticus the AV does not translate "wave" uniformly.The "heave-offering"* occurs 28 times (4x7). * In its sacrificial character."Frankincense" occurs in Leviticus 7 times and elsewhere 14 times for a total of 21 (3x7) "Tenth deal," 28 times (4x7). "Shittim wood," [email protected]#$i and [email protected]#$i, 28 times (4x7). "Living" (yx, Chai): Chaldee 7 175 (7x25) Hebrew Leviticus 35 (5x7) Numbers 7 Deuteronomy 21 (3x7) Samuel 49 (7x7) Solomon 56 (7x8) "Manna," Nmaf, occurs 14 times (2x7). Qoheleth, tleheq&, "preacher," seven, all in Ecclesiastes: 3 at the beginning (1:1,2,12). 1 in the middle (7:27). 3 at the end (12:8,9,10). "Little children," P+a: In Deuteronomy 7 42 (6x7) Rest of Pentateuch 21 Elsewhere 14 In God's covenant with Noah (Gen 9) the word [email protected], Berith, "covenant," is used seven times; with Abraham (Gen 15 and 17) 14 times. N'ginah (hnaygin:, "a song," etc.): In Psalm Titles 7 14* Elsewhere 7 * Seven times in singular:—one in Psalms (61), and six elsewhere. Seven times in plural (Neginoth):—six in Psalms (4, 6, 54, 55, 67, 70), and one elsewhere (Hab 3:19), thus making a double-sevenfold arrangement within another!
     
  5. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Meaning of the Number ONE (1)There can be no doubt as to the significance of this primary number. In all languages it is the symbol of unity. As a cardinal number it denotes unity; as an ordinal it denotes primacy. Unity being indivisible, and not made up of other numbers, is therefore independent of all others, and is the source of all others. So with the Deity. The great First Cause is independent of all. All stand in need of Him, and He needs no assistance from any. "One" excludes all difference, for there is no second with which it can either harmonise or conflict. When it is written: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD thy God is one LORD," it does not deny the Doctrine of the Trinity, but it excludes absolutely another Lord: it excludes, therefore, all idolatry. Hence the First Commandment declares "Thou shalt have NO OTHER GODS" (Exo 20:3). It asserts that there is in God a sufficiency which needs no other; and an independence which admits no other. It marks the beginning. We must begin with God. All our words and works must be characterised by the first words of the Bible: "In the beginning GOD." Nothing is right that does not begin with Him. "God first" is the voice of Scripture. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt 6:33) is the testimony of Christ. "God first" is the great proclamation. The angels sang: "Glory to God in the highest." This was the beginning of their song. And it was after this that they sang of "good-will" towards man. This, too, must be the great principle governing all our testimony and our work. We cannot give "glory to God" without doing good to men. And there is no real good-will for men which does not spring from a desire to glorify God. The rapid declension, which is the great mark of these last days, comes from an ignoring of this great principle. God is shut out, and man is exalted. Hence "the gospel of God" (Rom 1:16) is being rapidly and almost universally superseded by the gospel of man, which is a gospel of sanitation, and indeed is now openly called "Christian Socialism." But it is a socialism without Christ. It does not begin with the glory of God, and it will not and cannot end in any real good to man. It begins with man; its object is to improve the old nature apart from God, and to reform the flesh; and the measure of its success is the measure in which man can become "good" without "God." Man's ways and thoughts are the opposite of God's. God says, "Seek first." Man says, "Take care of number one." He is in his own eyes this "number one," and his great aim is to be independent of God. Independence, in God, is His glory. Independence in man, is his sin, and rebellion, and shame. In the Word of God, therefore, God is first, and before all. "Thus saith the LORD, the King of Israel, And his redeemer the LORD of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; And beside Me there is no God." (Isa 44:6) "Hearken unto Me, O Jacob, and Israel My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand hath spanned the heavens." (Isa 48:12,13)"Before Me there was no God formed, Neither shall there be after Me. I, even, I, am the LORD; And beside Me there is no Saviour." (Isa 43:10,11)"I am Alpha and Omega, The first and the last." (Rev 1:11,17, 2:8, 22:13) Thus Jehovah emphasises this great foundation truth. All must be confusion where man refuses to recognise it. All must be peace where it is owned.The first is the only one. There cannot be two firsts. Man ignorantly speaks of the "two first," or the "three first," when he really means the first two, or the first three, etc. The Word of God does not thus ignorantly speak. He is the only one. He is first in priority of time. He is first in superiority of rank, and He is first in absolute supremacy. Redemption and salvation began with God. His was the word which first revealed it (Gen 3:15). his was the will which first purposed it (Heb 10:7). His was the power that alone accomplished it. Hence "Salvation is of the LORD" (see Exo 14:13; 2 Chron 20:17; Jonah 2:9; etc.). His is the will from which it all proceeds. "Lo, I come to do Thy will," said the Redeemer (Psa 40:7,8; Heb 10:7) when He came to do that "will." The first recorded words of the Lord Jesus are full of significance.Here is another illustration of the significance of number in Scripture. The Lord Jesus must have spoken from the time that all children spoke; but not one syllable that He uttered has the Holy Spirit been pleased to record in the Scriptures, until He was twelve years of age. And then only this one utterance from His birth till He entered on His ministry at His baptism. Only one sentence out of all those twenty-nine years. Surely words thus singled out by the Holy Spirit must be full of significance. What were they? They are written down for us in Luke 2:49: "WIST YE NOT THAT I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER'S BUSINESS?" Solemn words! Significant words! Especially in the light these first words throw up His last words, "IT IS FINISHED." What was finished? "The Father's business." Yes, it was the Father's will. "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O My God." "This is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39). Salvation was no afterthought with God. It was part of his "eternal purpose." It originated in His "will." It was not merely for the good of man, but for the glory of God in a thousand ways which we see not now or yet. Hence it is that when Jesus was delivering up His work back into the Father's hands, He could say: "I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do" (John 17:4). We may find another illustration of the significance of the number "one" or "first" in noticing the first ministerial words of the Lord Jesus.THE FIRST MINISTERIAL WORDS OF THE LORD JESUSAt His baptism (Matt 3:13-17) He was anointed for His ministry, and immediately after we read: "THEN was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil." For forty days He fasted and was tempted. Not a word that escaped His lips during those forty days is written down. But the very first recorded words of his ministry are: "It is written." Three times over: "It is written"; "It is written"' "It is written." His official ministry closed with His High-Priestly prayer to the Father in John 17, for at its close He went out into the Garden of Gethsemane to His betrayal, and within a few hours His death. In those last words of His ministry there is the same threefold reference to the Word of God: 5:17, "Thy word is truth"; v. 14, "I have given them Thy word"; and v. 8, "I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me." What does this fact say to us? If we have ears to hear, it says The beginning and end of all ministry is the Word of God. Yea, it is the whole sum and substance of ministerial testimony. The Lord thus exalted the Word of God, and by the significance of His first ministerial words He impresses upon us this great lesson.THE FIRST BOOK The first book of the Bible also affords us another illustration. In Genesis we see Divine sovereignty and supremacy. Sovereignty in Creation, in giving life, and in sustaining life. The name by which God specially revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, He says (Exo 6:3), was El-Shaddai (God Almighty). This Title occurs nine times in all; the square of three, the number of Divine perfection. In Genesis 6 times = 9 (32) Rest of Pentateuch 3 times The first occurrence of the name "Almighty" is also full of instruction, but we shall consider it under the number "five." All through this first Book we see this Divine supremacy and sovereignty—sovereignty of will in election and calling: calling Abram and no other (Acts 7:2); choosing Isaac and not Ishmael (Gen 17:18-21); Jacob and not Esau (ibid. 25:23, etc.); Ephraim and not Manasseh (ibid. 48:19; Heb 11:21). This first book is the one book. It contains all the other books in embryo, and has been well called "the seed plot of the Bible." Its Divine title is "THE BEGINNING," i.e., the first: "In the beginning God," i.e., God first. Here is the beginning of life, the beginning of prophecy (Gen 3:15). The woman's seed foretold, and the beginning of the enmity between her seed and the seed of the serpent.The covenant made with Abraham (Gen 15) was unconditional, because there was only one contracting party. The Law had a mediator, therefore there were two parties to that covenant. "But a mediator is not of one [contracting party*], but God is one" (Gal 3:20). God alone made this covenant, hence it is called "the covenant of PROMISE."* The ellipsis is wrongly supplied in Gal 3:20. It is not the word mediator which is to be repeated, but the contracting party from v. 19. Then we have the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow, foreshown in Joseph. His death as a substitute is foreshown in Isaac's ram. "The way of Cain" and the way of God are seen in Cain's fruits and Abel's lamb, showing the true and only ground of access to and worship of God.Thus in the forefront of revelation we are shown that man cannot be saved by works, but by grace alone. The foundation of all truth is here. Gospel truth shines brightly here. All is in one book, and that the first.THE FIRST COMMANDMENT"This is the first and great commandment," Matthew 22:37, 38, or in Mark 12:29, 30, "Hear, O Israel; the LORD our God is one LORD: thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." The reference is to Deuteronomy 6:4. This is "first" in order, first in time, and first in importance. This is therefore the "greatest" in necessity, in extent, and in nature. The first in the Law, and the greatest in the Law, and hence it was one of the four passages written on the phylacteries of the Jews. The Hebrew words may be variously rendered, but the quotation of the Lord Jesus, written by the Holy Spirit in the Gospels, fixes the meaning of the words. In the Hebrew the order is, "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our Elohim, Jehovah One." The Jews repeat it to-day thus, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One," and the whole congregation repeat the word "One" for several minutes.* * As "Elohim" is plural we might with much more reason repeat "Elohenu" for several minutes! If the Lord had not supplied the verb which fixes the meaning, we might well have read it as the Jews do, for this fixes (unconsciously to them) the doctrine of the Trinity. For the three Persons are named, and then it is declared that they are one: "The Lord, our God, The Lord, is one," i.e., the three, Father, Son, and Spirit, are one. But there is a further peculiarity in this passage. In all the MSS and printed texts the last letters of the first and last words are always written and printed majuscular, i.e., larger than the others; thus: "ShemA Israel, Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah, EchaD."In the Hebrew the first of these two larger letters is ( (ayin), and the second is d (daleth). Rabbi Bochin has this remark, "It is possible to confess one God with the mouth, although the heart is far from Him. For this reason ( and d are majuscula, from which, with tsere subscribed d( 'a witness,' is formed, that every one may know, when he professes the unity of God, that his heart ought to be engaged and free from every other thought, because God is a witness and knows all things" (J. H. Mich., Bibl. Hebr.). What may be the true reason, however, for these two letters being larger, we do not know. The real sense of the words, according to their meaning, is, Hear, O Israel, Jehovah (the ever-existing One) our Elohim (our Triune God), Jehovah "is one." What is here predicated of Jehovah is not the unity of God at all, but that it is to Him that the name Jehovah rightfully belongs, that He is the one and only God, and that there can be no other. It is equally opposed to all forms of Theism and Deism, which are the creations of man's ideas, as well as to polytheism on the one hand, and national or local deities on the other. The whole statement has regard to revelation. Israel alone could say, Jehovah is "our God," because He had made Himself known—"His ways unto Moses, and His acts to the children of Israel" (Psa 103:7). With this agrees the choice of the word Echad, which is used for "one." In the Hebrew there are two words in use for the number "one." dxaf)e (Echad), "one," unus; and dyxiyaf (Yacheed), "an only one," unicus. The latter, Yacheed (dyxiyaf), means absolute unity, or uniqueness, an only one. It occurs only twelve times in the Old Testament (3x22), viz: Pentateuch, 3 Rest of Old Testament 9 (32). Genesis 22:2, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac." Genesis 22:12 and 16, "Hast not withheld thy son, thine only son." Judges 11:34, "She was his only child." Psalm 22:20, "Deliver...my darling" (marg. only one). Psalm 25:16, "I am desolate and afflicted." Psalm 35:17, "Rescue...my darling (marg. only one) from the lions." Psalm 68:6, "God setteth the solitary in families." Proverbs 4:3, "I was...tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother." Jeremiah 6:26, "Mourning as for an only son." Amos 8:10, "I will make it as the mourning of an only son." Zechariah 12:10, "As one that mourneth for his only son." These are all the occurrences of the word Yacheed, and here therefore we see the meaning of the word. But this is not the word which is used in Deuteronomy 6:4, and it is never used of Jehovah. It is used of the Lord Jesus as the only begotten Son; but never of Jehovah—the Triune God. But dxaf)e (Echad) is so used because it does not mean absolute unity, but a compound unity. Always one of others which make up the one. Its first occurrence is:— Genesis 1:5, "The first day" (of seven). Genesis 2:11, "The name of the first is Pison" (i.e. one of four). Genesis 2:21, "He took one of his ribs." Genesis 2:24, "They two shall be one flesh." Hence when it is used twice, the word being repeated, "one, one," it is translated both one and the other; but it is always one where there are others. (Hence sometimes each, as in Num 7:85). Genesis 49:16, "As one of the (twelve) tribes of Israel." Numbers 13:23, "A branch with one cluster of (many) grapes." We even have the plural Echadim (like Elohim), ones. In speaking of the two sticks representing the houses of Israel and Judah, it says, Ezekiel 37:19, "They shall become ones in Thine hand." Psalm 34:20, "He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken." In all these and other places Echad is composite. It is one of others, and hence it is the word used in Deuteronomy 6:4. Jehovah (the Father), Elohim (the Son), and Jehovah (the Spirit) is Echad:—One Triune God. This is the teaching of the number one as applied to this first commandment. There is only one Lord, consequently there is no other to divide the heart. Therefore thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart. Thus the ground of the claim is first mentioned, and then this first and great commandment is given, based upon it.But this leads to another illustration in Zechariah 14:9. THE ONE MILLENNIAL RULE"And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; In that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one." There will in that glorious day be no one to dispute Jehovah's rule. There will be no difference of law, or will, or rule, then. All will be harmony, unity, and agreement. This is the secret of Millennial peace. In the Lord's Prayer the two are placed together, one being consequent upon the other. "Thy kingdom come." "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."Where there are more wills than one, there can be no peace, no rest. There must necessarily be conflict and confusion. This is the secret of all disturbance in families, parties, and nations. We sometimes hear of a "Dual Control," but it is a fiction. It exists only in words, not in reality! This is the secret of rest for the heart now—"One will." As long as there are two wills there can be no peace. As long as our will is not subject to God's will, we cannot know what rest is. This is where the Lord Jesus, as man, found rest in the midst of His rejection. In Matthew 11, John the Baptist doubts, vv. 2, 3; the people of that generation reject Him, vv. 16-19; the cities which saw His mightiest works do not believe, vv. 20-24. Then we read in the next verses (25,26), "AT THAT TIME Jesus answered and said, I THANK THEE, O FATHER, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, EVEN SO FATHER; for so it seemed good in Thy sight." And then turning to his weary servants, the subjects of similar trials and disappointments, He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." In other words, rest is to be found only in subjection to the Father's will. This is the secret of present rest for our souls. This is the secret of Millennial peace and blessing for the earth. How simple! and yet what strangers we are to this rest! How the Lord's servants are rushing hither and thither to find this great blessing, and yet do not enter into it! Why is this? It is because we do not believe that His will is better than our own? If we were occupied with the Lord instead of with ourselves, with the Blesser instead of with our "blessing," we should soon have such a sense of His grace and glory and power as would convince us that His will is better than ours; and then, instead of being busy with ourselves and enquiring how we are to give up our will, we should see that His is so good that we really loathe our own, and desire only His. This blessing is not gained by any "act of surrender" or "act of faith," but our own will simply vanishes in the contemplation of his will as we see it to be all-gracious and all-good. Man's modern methods all begin at the wrong end. They begin with ourselves, they occupy us with ourselves, and hence the failure. The Divine method puts "God First," and thus the end is assured. It is when our hearts are so before God and so with God, that we learn the wondrous wisdom of His way, and the perfection, sweetness, and blessedness of His will. We yearn to possess it, we long for it, and desire to come into its joy; and our own will vanishes without an effort, and without our knowing it, until we discover afterwards what has happened by a happy experience. In Millennial days this will be the blessing of the whole earth. For in that day there shall be one King, one will, "one Lord, and His name one."
     
  6. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Meaning of the Number TWO (2) We now come to the spiritual significance of the number Two. We have seen that One excludes all difference, and denotes that which is sovereign. But Two affirms that there is a difference—there is another; while One affirms that there is not another! This difference may be for good or for evil. A thing may differ from evil, and be good; or it may differ from good, and be evil. Hence, the number Two takes a two-fold colouring, according to the context. It is the first number by which we can divide another, and therefore in all its uses we may trace this fundamental idea of division or difference. The two may be, though different in character, yet one as to testimony and friendship. The Second that comes in may be for help and deliverance. But, alas! where man is concerned, this number testifies of his fall, for it more often denotes that difference which implies opposition, enmity, and oppression.* * Like many other words; e.g., the verb "prevent" meant originally for one to get before another. But because whenever one man got before another it was always to the hindrance and hurt of that other, the word gradually took on the meaning to hinder, and thus testifies of man's fall. So with the word simple: it meant originally sincere, open, honest. But in man's judgment, any one who so acts is a fool. Hence, man soon came to use the word simple as denoting a very foolish person! So in the French with the word chef, which means "chief." But as man makes "a god of his belly" he who can best gratify its lusts has a unique claim to this word. When the earth lay in the chaos which had overwhelmed it (Gen 1:2), its condition was universal ruin and darkness. The second thing recorded in connection with the Creation was the introduction of a second thing—Light; and immediately there was difference and division, for God DIVIDED the light from the darkness. So the second day had division for its great characteristic (Gen 1:6). "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it DIVIDE the waters from the waters." Here we have Division connected with the second day. This great spiritual significance is maintained throughout the Word of God. Of course we cannot recognise any human arrangements or divisions of books, chapters, or verses, etc. We can take only that division, order, and arrangement which is Divine. The second of any number of things always bears upon it the stamp of difference, and generally of enmity. Take the second statement in the Bible. The first is— Gen 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."The second is, "And the earth was [or rather became] without form and void." Here the first speaks of perfection and of order. The second of ruin and desolation, which came to pass at some time, and in some way, and for some reason which are not revealed. THE DIVISIONS OF THE BIBLEThen we have seen that the Book of Genesis is Divinely divided into twelve parts (consisting of an Introduction and eleven Tol'doth). The first of these twelve divisions records the perfection of God's sovereign work. The second (Gen 2:4-4:26) contains the account of the Fall; the entrance of a second being—the Enemy—that old Serpent the Devil, introducing discord, and sin, and death. "Enmity" is seen first in this second division. "I will put enmity" (Gen 3:15). We see a second to God in the Serpent; a second creature in the woman, who was deceived and "in the transgression"; a second man, in the Seed of the woman, the subject of the great primeval promise and prophecy. Hence the number two becomes associated with Incarnation, with the second Person of the ever-blessed Trinity, "the second Man," "the last Adam." The second "Tol'doth" (Gen 5:1-6:8) begins with the words, "The book of the generations of Adam." While of "the second Man" it is written (Matt 1:1) "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ." If we look at the Pentateuch as a whole, we see, in the First book, Divine sovereignty , but the Second book (Exodus) opens with "the oppression of the enemy." Here, again, there is "another," even the Deliverer and the Redeemer, who says, "I am come down to deliver" (Exo 3:8). To Him the praise is offered in the Song of Moses: "Thou in Thy mercy hast led forth the people which Thou hast redeemed" (Exo 15:13). And thus Redemption is introduced into the Bible, and mentioned for the first time in this second book, and in connection with the enemy (just as was the first promise of the Redeemer in Gen 3:15). The second of the three great divisions of the Old Testament, called Nebiim, or the Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) contains the record of Israel's enmity to God, and of God's controversy with Israel. In the first book (Joshua) we have God's sovereignty in giving the conquest of the land; while in the second (Judges) we see the rebellion and enmity in the land, leading to departure from God and the oppression of the enemy. Here, again, we have side by side with the enemy the "saviours" whom God raised up to deliver His people. In the third great division of the Old Testament, called "the Psalms," because it commences with the Book of Psalms, we have in the Hebrew Canon, as the second Book, the Book of Job. Here, again, we see the enemy in all his power and malignity opposing and oppressing a child of God; and we are taken within the veil to behold the living God as the shield of His people, a very present help in the needful time of trouble. Besides Genesis, the Book of Psalms is the only book which is marked by any similar Divine divisions. It consists of Five Books: The first - Psalms 1-41 The second - Psalms 42-72 The third - Psalms 73-89 The fourth - Psalms 90-106 The fifth - Psalms 107-150The Second Book of the Psalms commences (as does Exodus) with "the oppression of the enemy" (Psa 42:9). This is the burden of the whole of this Psalm, and indeed of the whole of this second Book! Not only is this true of this Second Book, but it is true also of the second Psalm of each of the other books! e.g.:— The second Psalm of First Book (Psa 2):—"Why do the heathen rage, And [why] do the people imagine a vain thing? [Why do] the kings of the earth set themselves, And [why do] the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His anointed?" But here, again, we have the Deliverer, in verse 6. "Yet have I set My King."The Second Psalm of the Second Book (Psa 43) opens with "the oppression of the enemy," repeated in v. 2, together with the prophecy of praise for the promised Deliverer. The second Psalm of the Third Book (Psa 74):—"Lift up Thy feet unto the perpetual desolations: Even all that the ENEMY hath done wickedly in the sanctuary, Thine ENEMIES roar in the midst of Thy congregations... O God, how long shall the ADVERSARY reproach? Shall the ENEMY blaspheme Thy name for ever?... Remember this, that the ENEMY hath reproached, O LORD... O let not the oppressed return ashamed... Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause... Forget not the voice of Thine ENEMIES." The second Psalm of the Fourth Book (Psa 91) would have to be quoted as a whole. It describes how the enemy shall be finally trodden down by the coming Deliverer. The second Psalm of the Fifth Book (Psa 108):—"That Thy beloved may be delivered: Save with Thy right hand, and answer me... Give us help from trouble, For vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: For He it is that shall tread down our ENEMIES." The same significance of the number Two is seen in the New Testament. Wherever there are two Epistles, the second has some special reference to the enemy. In 2 Corinthians there is a marked emphasis on the power of the enemy, and the working of Satan (2:11, 11:14, 12:7. ). In 2 Thessalonians we have a special account of the working of Satan in the revelation of "the man of sin" and "the lawless one." In 2 Timothy we see the church in its ruin, as in the first epistle we see it in its rule In 2 Peter we have the coming apostacy foretold and described. While in 2 John we have the "antichrist" mentioned by this name, and are forbidden to receive into our house any who come with his doctrine.* * Brand (Pop. Ant. iii. 145) quotes Numerus Infaustus, in the preface to which the author says, "Such of the kings of England as were the second of any name proved very unfortunate persons, William II, Henry II, Edward II, Richard II, Charles II, James II."It is impossible even to name the vast number of things which are introduced to us in pairs, so that the one may teach concerning the other by way of contrast or difference. The two foundations of Matthew 7:24-27: the one which "fell not, for it was founded upon a rock"; the other which "fell, and great was the fall of it." The two goats (Lev 16:7); the two birds (Lev 14:4-7); the two opinions (1 Kings 18:21); the two masters (Matt 6:24); the two commandments (Matt 22:40); the two debtors (Luke 7:41); the two covenants (Gal 4:24); the two men (Luke 18:10); the two sons (Matt 21:28, and Luke 15:11, and Gal 4:22), etc., etc. THE LIFE TYPES OF GENESISThe second of the seven life-types of Genesis has the same character. The first Adam sets forth our first parents in their innocence, fall, and expulsion, driven out from the presence of God (Gen 3:24). How could they again walk with God? This is the great problem which is to be solved in the words which immediately follow, written on the forefront of revelation to set before us the answer to the all-important question, "How can TWO walk together except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). The solution is given in Genesis 4, in the second life-type, which is two-fold in the persons of Cain and Abel. Here are presented and described the Two ways—"The way of God" (Acts 18:26) and "The way of Cain" (Jude 11), the only two Religions which the world has ever seen. One, the true; the other, the false. True religion is one and unchangeable. Its language is— "NOTHING in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling."False religion is one and unchangeable. It has many varieties; its one language is— "SOMETHING in my hand I bring."Men quarrel bitterly as to what that something is to be. They persecute, and burn, and destroy one another in the heat of their controversies about it. But however this "something" may vary, it is one, in that it is not "the way of God," not the way which God has appointed, but it is "the way of Cain," man's way. The one is "faith," the other is "works." The one is "grace," the other is human "merit." The one is "the path of life," the other ends in "the second death." Not only have we this contrast or eternal difference in Cain and Abel, but others are presented in this manner, in order to bring out truths of the deepest significance and solemnity.
     
  7. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Meaning of the Number THREE (3) In this number we have quite a new set of phenomena. We come to the first geometrical figure. Two straight lines cannot possibly enclose any space, or form a plane figure; neither can two plan surfaces form a solid. Three lines are necessary to form a plan figure; and three dimensions of length, breadth, and height, are necessary to form a solid. Hence three is the symbol of the cube--the simplest form of solid figure. As two is the symbol of the square, or plane contents (x2), so three is the symbol of the cube, or solid contents (x3). Three, therefore, stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire. All things that are specially complete are stamped with this number three. God's attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. There are three great divisions completing time--past, present, and future. Three persons, in grammar, express and include all the relationships of mankind. Thought, word, and deed, complete the sum of human capability. Three degrees of comparison complete our knowledge of qualities. The simplest proposition requires three things to complete it; viz., the subject, the predicate, and the copula. Three propositions are necessary to complete the simplest form of argument--the major premiss, the minor, and the conclusion. Three kingdoms embrace our ideas of matter--mineral, vegetable, and animal. When we turn to the Scriptures, this completion becomes Divine, and marks Divine completeness or perfection. Three is the first of four perfect numbers . Three denotes divine perfection; Seven denotes spiritual perfection; Ten denotes ordinal perfection; and Twelve denotes governmental perfection. Hence the number three points us to what is real, essential, perfect, substantial, complete, and Divine. There is nothing real in man or of man. Everything "under the sun" and apart from God is "vanity." "Every man at his best estate is altogether vanity" (Psa 139:5,11, 62:9, 144:4; Eccl 1:2,4, 2:11,17,26, 3:19, 4:4, 11:8, 12:8; Rom 8:20). Three is the number associated with the Godhead, for there are "three persons in one God." Three times the Seraphim cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy"--one for each of the three persons in the Trinity (Isa 6:3). The living creatures also in Revelation 4:8. Three times is the blessing given in Numbers 6:23, 24:-- "The LORD bless thee and keep thee (the Father); The LORD make His face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee (the Son); The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (the Holy Spirit). Each of these three blessings is two-fold, so that there are two members in each, while the name Jehovah occurs three times. This marks the blessing as Divine in its source. No merit drew it forth; grace was its origin and peace was its result. In Genesis 18:2, the same three persons appear to Abraham. Abraham "looked, and, lo, THREE men stood by him." But verse 1 declares that it was "Jehovah appeared unto him." It is remarkable that Abraham addresses them both as one and as three. We read first that "they said," then "he said," and finally, in verses 13 and 17, 20, etc., "And the LORD said." The whole narrative, which begins with the appearance of the LORD, ends (v 33), "And the LORD went His way." As we have in the number one the sovereignty of the one God; and in two the second person, the Son, the great Deliverer; so in "three" we have the third person, the Holy Spirit, marking and completing "the fulness of the Godhead." This word "fulness" is remarkable, occurring only three times, and in connection with the Three Persons of the Trinity: Ephesians 3:19, "The fulness of God. " Ephesians 4:13, "The fulness of Christ." Colossians 2:9, "The fulness of the Godhead." The "fulness" was manifested visibly in Christ, and is communicated by the Holy Spirit, for it is a fulness of which we receive by His mighty power (John 1:16). This is why Abraham brought "three measures of meal" for his heavenly guest. This is why "three measures of meal" formed the great meal offering; because it set forth the perfection of Christ's perfect and Divine nature. In Leviticus no particular quantity of meal was prescribed, but in Numbers 15:9, we read, "Then shall he bring with the bullock a meal offering of THREE tenth deals of flour." This was the measure for the whole burnt offering, and also for great special occasions such as the New Moon and the New Year, etc. It was also the special measure for the cleansing of the leper (Lev 14:10). The poor leper had several gracious blessings beyond others. He alone was favoured with the anointing which was given only to the Prophet, Priest, and King! He alone had the priestly consecration. It is sinners who are now singled out from the mass of those who are lost, and dead in trespasses and sins, to be anointed with the Spirit, and made, in Christ, kings and priests unto God. But there is more in these "three measures of meal." We have them in the parable (Matt 13:33), pointing to Christ in all the perfection of His person and His work, when He said, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." There are different opinions about the "leaven," but what is the "meal." This is the point on which the interpretation turns. According to the popular interpretation, this pure "meal" is the corrupt mass of mankind, and the defiling "leaven" is the pure Gospel of Christ! Was there ever such an exhibition of man's perversity in calling sweet bitter, and bitter sweet? Was there ever such a proof that man's thoughts are contrary to God's? No! the "three measures of meal" point us to the perfections of Christ and the purity of His Gospel. And the hidden "leaven" points us to man's corruption of the Truth. A corruption for which we have to look, not after the third century, but in the first! No leaven could be put into any sacrifice or offering made by fire to the LORD, because in Christ was no sin; therefore, there was to be no leaven. He was, in Himself, "a sweet savour to Jehovah." True, in one offering there was leaven. But mark the difference and the lesson. In Leviticus 23 we have a list of the Feasts:-- 1st. The Passover (v 5), on the 14th day. 2nd. The wave-sheaf of first-fruits on the morrow after the Sabbath (v 11), which might be burnt on the altar as a sweet savour (Lev 2:14-16), because unleavened. 3rd. Then (50 days after) the oblation of the first-fruits at Pentecost (vv 15-17). This might not be burnt on the altar (Lev 2:12), because it was mixed with leaven! In the antitype of this we see Christ:-- 1st. Christ our Passover sacrificed for us. 2nd. As the wave-sheaf of first-fruits, He was raised from the dead and became the first-fruits of them that slept (1 Cor 15:20), for in Him there was no sin (and hence no leaven). 3rd. Then, after fifty days, on the Feast of Pentecost came the oblation of the first-fruits in the descent of the Holy Ghost; for "we are a kind of first-fruits of His creatures" (James 1:18). But His people are not without sin, therefore this oblation had leaven mixed with it. It could not be offered to the LORD as a "sweet savour" (Lev 2:12). It was accepted only because a sin-offering was offered with it (Lev 23:18,19), and the Priest waved all together for a wave-offering before the LORD. This proves that the "leaven" is a type of error, evil, and sin. While the "three measures of meal" with which it was mixed and hidden typified the truth and purity of Christ and His Truth, and not the corrupt mass of mankind amongst whom it was introduced. The popular interpretation reverses the types of the meal and the leaven, and makes the leaven that which is good, and the meal that which is evil. But the great Teacher made no such mistake. "Church doctrine" is not "Bible truth," but it is leavened meal. The number three, therefore, must be taken as the number of Divine fulness. It signifies and represents the Holy Spirit as taking of the things of Christ and making them real and solid in our experience. It is only by the Spirit that we realise spiritual things. Without Him and His gracious operation, all is surface work: all is what a plane figure is to a solid (John 3:6). He it is who has wrought all our works in us, and by whom alone we can serve or worship (John 4:24). Hence it is that the Holy of Holies, which was the central and highest place of worship, was a cube. Hence it is that the third Book in the Bible is Leviticus, the book in which we learn what true worship is. Here we see Jehovah calling His people near unto Himself, prescribing every detail of their worship, leaving nothing to their imagination or their taste, crowning all with the "MUST" of the great rubric of John 4:24. In true worship we see the FATHER seeking these true worshippers (John 4:23); the SON, the one object of all worship; and the Spirit qualifying and enduing the worshippers with the only power in which they can worship. Thus in Genesis we have sovereignty in giving life--the Father, the beginning of all things; in Exodus we have the oppressor and the Deliverer--the Son redeeming His people; while in Leviticus we have the Spirit prescribing, and ordering, and empowering them for Divine worship. THE FIRST OCCURRENCEof the number is in Genesis 1:13. "The third day" was the day on which the earth was caused to rise up out of the water, symbolical of that resurrection life which we have in Christ, and in which alone we can worship, or serve, or do any "good works." Hence three is a number of RESURRECTION, for it was on the third day that Jesus rose again from the dead. This was Divine in operation, and Divine in its prophetic foreshowing in the person of Jonah (Matt 12:39,40; Luke 11:29; Jonah 1:17). It was the third day on which Jesus was "perfected" (Luke 13:32). It was at the third hour He was crucified; and it was for three hours (from the 6th to the 9th) that darkness shrouded the Divine Sufferer and Redeemer. The "loud voice" at the end of those twice three hours, when, "about the ninth hour," He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me" (Matt 27:46), shows completely that nothing of nature, nothing of the light or intelligence of this world, could give help in that hour of darkness. Does not this show us our impotence in the matter? Does it not prove our incapacity to aid in delivering ourselves from our natural condition? With the light at the ninth hour came the Divine declaration, "It is finished." So divinely finished, completed, and perfected, that now there is no such darkness for those who have died with Christ. Light, uninterrupted light, shines upon all who are risen with Him; uninterrupted sunshine--even "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." That three hours' darkness, therefore, testifies to our complete ruin, and our complete salvation, and shows that His people are "complete in Him." While we are speaking of the Divine perfections of Christ, let us note the many marks and seals of this completeness. "The Spirit, the water, and the blood," are the divinely perfect witness to the grace of God on earth (1 John 5:7). The three years of His seeking fruit testifies to the completeness of Israel's failure (Luke 13:7). His three-fold "it is written" shows that the Word of God is the perfection of all ministry (Matt 4). The Divine testimony concerning Him was complete in the threefold voice from Heaven (Matt 3:17, 17:5; John 12:28). He raised three persons from the dead. The inscriptions on the Cross in three languages show the completeness of His rejection by Man. The perfection of His offices are shown in His being Prophet, Priest, and King, raised up from among His brethren (Deut 177:15, 18:3-5, and 18:15). The Divine completeness of the Shepherd's care (John 6:39), is seen in His revelations as-- The "Good Shepherd" in death, John 10:14. The "Great Shepherd" in resurrection, Hebrews 13:20. The "Chief Shepherd" in glory, 1 Peter 4:5. His three appearings in Hebrews 9 show that His work will not be divinely perfect and complete until He appears again. He "hath appeared" in the end of the age to "put away sin," and to "bear the sins of many" (Hebrews 9:26,28). "Now to appear in the presence of God for us," He has ascended into Heaven (v 24). He "shall appear" again part from all question of sin for those who look for Him (v 28). ABRAHAM'S COVENANTTo go back to the Old Testament history we have God's Covenant with Abraham stamped with this number of Divine perfection (Gen 15). It was (like David's, 2 Samuel 7) Divinely "ordered in all things, and sure." God was ONE, i.e., the one party to it; for Abraham, who would willingly have been the other party, was put to sleep, that the Covenant might be unconditional, and "sure to all his seed." The Divine seal is seen in the choice of three animals, each of three years old (the heifer, the she-goat, and the ram). These, together with the two birds (the dove and the pigeon), made five in all, marking it all as a perfect act of free-grace on the part of a sovereign God. THE COMPLETE SEPARATION OF ISRAELis shown in "the three days' journey into the wilderness" (Exo 5:3), marking the complete separation with which God would separate His people from Egypt then, and from the world now. We can understand Pharaoh's objection in first wishing them to hold their feast "in the land" (Exo 8:25), and when that could not be, at last consenting to their going, but adding, "only ye shall not go very far away." So Satan now, is well content that we should worship "in the land"; and if we must go into the wilderness, that we should be within easy reach of the world and its influences. Not so Jehovah. He will have no such borderland service; He will have a "scientific frontier," a divinely perfect "three days' journey into the wilderness," completely separating them from all their old associations. The difficulty of "drawing the line," which so many Christians experience, arises from the fact that it is a crooked line, and that it is an attempt to include that which cannot be included. Drawn at a proper distance it can be ruled straight, and be divinely perfect and effectual. THE SPIESbrought three things which testified to the divinely perfect goodness of the land; and the substantial realities proved the truth of Jehovah's word: "Grapes, figs, and pomegranates" (Num 13:23). AT THE GIVING OF THE LAWthree times Israel said, "All that the LORD hath spoken we will do" (Exo 19:8, 24:3,7), marking the completeness of the Covenant-making on the part of Israel; but from that very reason foreshadowing its perfect breach, for man has never yet kept any Covenant which he made with God. AHIMAN, SHESHAI, AND TALMAI,were the three children of Anak, marking the completeness of the giant power of the enemy (Num 13:22). JORDANwas three times divided, the perfection of the Divine miracle (Josh 4; 2 Kings 2:8,14). THE THREE DAYS' SEARCHfor Elijah was conclusive testimony that he could not be found (2 Kings 2:17). THE TEMPLEis marked by three, as the Tabernacle is by five. The Holy of Holies in each was a cube; in the Tabernacle a cube of ten cubits; in the Temple a cube of twenty cubits. Each consisted of three parts:--The Court, the Holy Place, and the Sanctuary. The Temple had three chambers round about. The Brazen Sea or Laver held three thousand baths; and was compassed by a line of thirty cubits on which were 300 knops (1 Kings 7:24). It was supported by twelve oxen (3x4); three looking north, three looking west, three looking south, and three looking east. This order in naming the points of the compass occurs nowhere else. It is the same in both accounts of Kings and Chronicles (see 1 Kings 7:25; 2 Chron 4:4,5). Why is this? Is it because this was the order in which the Gospel was to be afterwards preached throughout the world? Whether this was the reason or not, the fact remains that the Gospel was preached first in the north (Samaria, Damascus, Antioch); then in the west (Caesarea, Joppa, Cyprus, Corinth, Rome); then in the south (Alexandria and Egypt); then in the east (Mesopotamia, Babylon, Persia, India). THE GREAT FEASTSwere three; Unleavened Bread, Weeks, Tabernacles (Deut 16:16). THE SHEETlet down three times to Peter was the fulness of the testimony as to the admission of the Gentiles into the Church (Acts 10:16). THE OLD TESTAMENTTestimony was complete and perfect in its three-fold division--Law, Prophets, and Psalms (Luke 24:44). The same three divisions mark its character to the present day. "TWO OR THREE"As three marks completeness and perfection of testimony, so it marks the number of spiritual worshippers; and intimates that true spiritual worshippers would always be few. COMPLETENESS OF PEOPLEShem, Ham, and Japheth. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. Saul, David, and Solomon. Noah, Daniel, and Job. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Peter, James, and John, etc. COMPLETENESS OF APOSTASY (Jude 11)"The way of Cain." "The error of Balaam." "The gainsaying of Korah." COMPLETENESS OF DIVINE JUDGMENT (Daniel 6:25-28).MENE. God hath NUMBERED thy kingdom and finished it. TEKEL. Thou art WEIGHED in the balances and found wanting. PERES. Thy kingdom is DIVIDED and given to the Medes and Persians. THE THREE GIFTS OF GRACE:Faith, Hope, and Love, five times repeated. THE THREE-FOLD NATURE OF MAN:Spirit, and Soul, and Body, the man consisting of neither separately, but of the whole three together. THE THREE-FOLD NATURE OF TEMPTATION (1 John 2:16)"The lust of the flesh." "The lust of the eyes." "The pride of life." These seen in our first parents when Eve saw (Gen 3:6) that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was-- "Good for food," "Pleasant to the eyes," "To be desired to make one wise." THE THREE-FOLD CORRUPTION OF GOD'S WORDBy taking from, adding to, and altering. This led up to the first sin. God had said, "of every tree in the garden thou mayest FREELY eat" (Gen 2:16). In repeating this, Eve omitted the word "freely" (3:2), making God less bountiful than He was. God had said, "But of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it" (Gen 2:17). In repeating this Eve added the words, "NEITHER SHALL YE TOUCH IT" (3:3), making God more severe than He was. God had said, "Thou shalt SURELY die" (Gen 3:17, [email protected]@af tw$m). In repeating this Eve altered it to [email protected]@:[email protected] "LEST ye die" (3:3), thus weakening the certainty of the Divine threat into a contingency. No wonder that dealing thus with the Word of God she listened to the words of the Devil, and became an easy prey to his guile with which he deceived her. No wonder also that "the second man," "the last Adam," when He was tempted by the same tempter, three times repeated the words "It is written"! as though to call attention to the occasion of the Fall in the three-fold perversions of God's words. "It is written," and I will not omit anything from it; "It is written," and I will not add anything to it; "It is written," and I will not alter it. It is worthy of note that both the temptations began in precisely the same way, by the Tempter questioning the truth of Jehovah's Word. In the former saying, "Hath God said?" In the latter saying "If Thou be the Son of God" (Matt 4:3), when the voice from Heaven had only just declared, "This IS My beloved Son" (Matt 3:17). MAN'S THREE GREAT ENEMIESare "the World, the Flesh, and the Devil": The World is set over against the Father (1 John 2:15,16). The Flesh is set over against the Spirit (Gal 5:17). The Devil is set over against the son (the Living Word, Matthew 4:1, etc, and 1 John 3:8; and the Written Word, John 8:44). "ASK OF ME"To three people did God give this command: To Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). To Ahaz (Isa 7:11). And to the Messiah (Psa 2:9). THE THREE PRAYERS OF MARK Vform a divinely perfect lesson as to prayer and its answer. Prayer was made by the Legion of Devils, who "BESOUGHT Him, saying, Send us into the herd of swine...and forthwith Jesus gave them leave" (vv 12,13). Prayer was made by the Gadarenes, who "began to PRAY Him to depart out of their coasts" (v 17). Jesus granted their request, and departed at once (v 18). Prayer was made by the man who had just been the recipient of marvellous grace and healing, who "PRAYED Him that he might be with Him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not" (vv 18,19). From this we learn the perfect lesson with regard to prayer, that "No" is an answer as well as "Yes"; and "No" is answered always with the same omnipotent grace, infinite wisdom, and perfect love as "Yes." We hear much about "definiteness in prayer." Surely the knowledge of one's intense ignorance as to what is best and wise for us, will make us say more definitely than ever, in the words of Him through whose merits alone prayer is heard at all, "Thy will be done." THREE THINGS PREDICATED OF GOD (in John's Gospel and Epistles)"God is love" (1 John 4:8,16). We are therefore to "Walk in love" (Eph 5:2). "God is spirit" (John 4:24, RV, margin). We are exhorted to "Walk in the spirit" (Gal 5:16). "God is light"* (1 John 1:5). We are to "Walk in the light" (Eph 5:8). * Light, like God, is three-fold. It has three great rays:— The Heat ray (red), which is felt, not seen, witnesses of the Father, "whom no man hath seen at any time" (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). The Light ray (yellow), which is seen, not felt, witnesses of Jesus, who hath "declared the Father" (John 1:18, 12:45, 14:9; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3). The Actinic or chemical ray (blue), which is neither seen nor felt, but whose presence is revealed by its effects in a chemical action, which produces changes, as in Photography. This witnesses of the Holy Spirit, who is known by His wondrous operations (John 3:8). There are a multitude of Threes or Triads, and they all bespeak the same Divine perfection and completeness wherever they are found. REVELATION 1The first or introductory section of the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is specially marked by this great Divine seal stamped upon it in chapter 1. v. 1. This Revelation is-- Divinely given, Divinely sent, Divinely signified. v. 2. John bare record of-- The Divine "Word of God." The Divine witness ("the Testimony of Jesus Christ"). The Divine vision ("all things that he saw"). v. 3. The Divine blessing on-- The reader, The hearer, and The keeper of this record. vv. 4 and 8. The Divine Being-- Which was, And which is, And which is to come. v. 5. The Coming Lord is presented as-- The Divine Prophet ("the faithful witness"). The Divine Priest ("the first-begotten from the dead"). The Divine King ("the Prince of the kings of the earth"). vv. 5, 6. His people are Divinely-- Loved, Cleansed, and Crowned. vv. 17, 18. Christ is presented as-- "The first and the last" (Divinely eternal). The dead and living One (Divinely living). The omnipotent One (Divinely powerful). v. 19. The Divine Revelation-- The things which thou hast seen, Which are, and Which shall be after these things.
     
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