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Numbers of the Bible”
The number one is for God. We must begin with number one or we cannot have number two or any other number. Mathematically speaking we cannot get anywhere without the number one. We must begin with God.
The number two is for man. Man as an individual. God made man and Christ is “called the second man.”
Three is the number for the Trinity. God is a triune God; Father, Son and Spirit. The atmosphere, which we live in, is a trinity of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The tabernacle was a trinity with its court, holy place, and Holiest of Holies.
The first chapter of Revelation is full of trinities of Truth.
V. 2 – The Word of God, The testimony of Jesus, All things that He saw.
V. 3 – Read, Hear and Keep.
V. 4 – Which is, Which was, and Which is to come.
V. 5 – The Faithful Witness, The First begotten of the dead, The Prince of the kings of the earth.
V.5, 6 – Loved us, Washed us, Made us kings and priests.
V. 7 – Every eye shall see him, They also which pierced him, All kindreds of the earth.
V. 9 – Tribulation, Kingdom, Patience
V. 18 – I am He that liveth, Was dead, Alive for evermore.
V. 19 – Things seen (Past), Things which are (Present), Things which shall be (Future).
Who would dare to contradict the trinity as these Ten appear in one chapter alone, chapter one of Revelation. Certainly no Spirit filled believer or student of scripture would not affirm its validity.
Four is the number of humanity as a whole. There were four men in the Ark, four men in the fiery furnace, four on the mount of Transfiguration. The four points of the compass comprise the whole of humanity in all the earth.
Five is the number for grace – grace accepted or grace rejected. There are five wise and foolish virgins.
The number six is the number for evil. A man with six toes and six fingers is called a wicked man in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzra’s image was sixty feet high and six feet in circumference and six musical instruments called the people to worship. The number for the Anti-Christ is six hundred sixty-six. This is set forth the trinity of evil, the climax of wickedness, and the culmination of iniquity. There can not be anything worse than 666.
Seven is the number for perfection. This number is frequently mentioned in scripture: seven churches, seven stars, seven heads, seven horns, seven eyes, seven Spirits of god, the seven branches of the candlestick.
In Judges, the seventh book of the Bible, there are seven departures from God; seven times the people repented and seven times Jehovah delivered his people from their enemies.
Eight is the number for that which is New. There are eight beatitudes which set forth something entirely new. Everything good in this sinful world owes its presence and existence to the Word of God. The resurrection of Christ and of many of the saints took place on the eighth day. Here indeed and in truth was something new.
Ten is the number of completeness. Jacob’s wages were changed ten times, which sets forth complete disappointment outside the will of God and his Promised Land. Eliezer, the servant, took ten camels with him when he started from home in order to obtain a bride for Isaac. God gave his people Ten Commandments. Daniel and his three friends were proved ten days and at the end of the test were ten times better than the others. Christ gave the parable of the ten pounds and ten talents. Christ healed ten lepers. The dragon of Daniel and Revelation had ten horns, which represent ten kings. The tenth or the tithe is the Lord’s.
There’s a Methodist minister named J. Gordon Melton who has an interesting hobby. He collects lists of church denominations in the United States... and his research has revealed there are 1517 different recognized denominations in USA. He includes all kinds of groups, including cults such as the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses. Additionally there are a few "peculiar" groups in his list such as: • "The Church of the Mystery of Universal Wisdom". They believe they can communicate with aliens and they seek guidance from flying saucers. • "The Embassy of Heaven" (Strayton, Ore.) considers all earthly governments illegitimate and issues its own license plates for cars. No word as to whether Oregon accepts their license plates as legitimate. • "The Nudist Christian Church of the Blessed Virgin Jesus". Now, I’m not quite sure what all this group teaches… but I’m pretty sure I could recognize them from a mile away. They’d be the ones with no clothes on. • And the last one that caught my attention was "The Church of God Anonymous". They’re kind of hard to find since they’re (pause) anonymous. Those are some of the “odd ducks” in the list. But in that list of 1517 denominations there are groups that we would probably consider to be more “normal”. • There are 88 denominations that call themselves Baptist • 42 call themselves Methodist • 22 call themselves Presbyterian – and the list goes on and on.
Tell somebody, Christianity is about a relationship, not rules.
1. Religion is about rules.
Let’s face it, religion is hard work.
* A good Muslim has to pray 5 times a day. He or she will also fast for a whole month every year.
* An orthodox Jew has to use separate sinks for preparing dairy and non-dairy foods.
* A Sikh is supposed to get up 3 hours before dawn every day to wash and pray.
* A Hindu will make an offering at the household shrine 3 times every day.
* Mormon men are supposed to wear special underclothes. When a Mormon couple have children, they begin saving for those children, because when they become young adults, they are supposed to spend 2 years serving as Mormon Missionaries. I saw some just a week ago, in their white shirts and black ties, riding their bikes in Orange City.
* Jehovah’s Witnesses are supposed to spend x amount of time each month, going door-to-door, sharing their literature and signing people up for their Bible studies.
Rules. Things were no different in Jesus’ day. The religious leaders in His day had developed a religious system with 613 laws. They chose the number 613 because that was how many separate letters were in the text containing the 10 Commandments. They found 613 commandments in the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). They divided the list into affirmative commands (do this) and negative commands (don’t do this).
There were 248 affirmative commands, one for every part of the human body, as they understood it. There were 365 negative commands, one for each day of the year. They further divided the list into binding commands and nonbonding commands. Then they spent their days debating whether the divisions were accurate and ranking the commands within each division. [John MacArther, Matthew 19-23 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1988), 337-38.]
Charles Smith was a Jehovah’s Witness, working his way up in the organization for 37 years. Outside one of their meetings, he noticed someone with a sign that simply said, “1 John 5:13.” He decided he would read it later.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (KJV)
The verse was shocking to him. He tried reading it again to be sure he had not misread it the first time. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know... that ye may know... that ye may know that ye have eternal life...”
Watchtower theology does not allow them to know they have eternal life. Charles Smith was shocked and confused. After 37 years of working his way up in the organization, he did not know he had eternal life. He did not even know he could know. He took the rather unusual step (unusual for Jehovah’s Witnesses) of reading the verse in context. Much of 1 John 5 was contrary to his JW teachings. When he asked questions about it, what did his superiors tell him? “Don’t worry about it.”
Charles could not stop worrying about it. He struggled with this chapter for a year before deciding he had t...
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches' 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Although Jehovah's Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25% increase since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Mormon church grew 1.56% and is listed by the NCC as the 4th largest "church." Others among the top 25 largest churches reporting increases include The Catholic Church at 0.87%; Southern Baptist Convention (0.22%); African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (0.21%); and the Assemblies of God (0.19%). The greatest membership losses were reported by The Episcopal Church (4.15%) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) (2.36%). Both are currently wracked by theological differences and the issue of homosexuality. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America were also hit with large losses (1.82% and 1.58%). The United Methodists saw a 0.99% decrease but remains the 3rd largest U.S. church body with nearly 8 million members. (Christian Post 2/20/08)
Just 37% of people who were Jehovah’s Witnesses as children remain so as adults. (From Gary Foster)
Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches’ 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Although Jehovah’s Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25% increase since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Mormon church grew 1.56% and is listed by the NCC as the fourth largest "church." Others among the top 25 largest churches reporting increases include The Catholic Church at 0.87%; Southern Baptist Convention (0.22%); African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (0.21%); and the Assemblies of God (0.19%). The greatest membership losses were reported by The Episcopal Church (4.15%) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) (2.36%). Both are currently wracked by theological differences and the issue of homosexuality. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America were also hit with large losses (1.82% and 1.58%). The United Methodists saw a 0.99% decrease but remains the third largest U.S. church body with nearly eight million members.
(Source: Christian Post, 2/20/08)
Judging Books! (10.20.05--That Person!--Esther 3:5-6)
The other day, a jehovah’s witness came to my door. I’ve seen them many times in the past as they slowly travel down my driveway and descend upon my doorbell. I know what differentiates my faith from theirs and have learned stock answers to their statements that usually sends them packing in a matter of minutes. But, this time it was different. When I opened the door I actually looked into the eyes of the middle-aged man who stood with a an open tract in his hands and saw not the enemy, but a man just like me. Maybe his car had broken down yesterday or perhaps he and his wife had had words that morning. I didn’t know. But I was compelled somehow to shake his hand and invite him in.
A schoolteacher decided to travel across America and see the sights she had taught about. Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched out. One afternoon a water pump blew on her truck. She was tired, exasperated, scared, and alone. No one seemed interested in helping. Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, “Please God, send me an angel, preferably one with mechanical experience.”
Within four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard and tattooed arms. He jumped off and went to work on the truck. Within another few minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to the frame of the disabled Chevy, and whisked the whole 56-foot rig off the freeway onto a side street, where he calmly continued to work on the water pump. The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumfounded to talk. As he finished the task, she finally got up the courage to say, “Thanks so much.” Noticing her surprise, he looked her straight in the eye and mumbled, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” With that, he smiled, closed the hood of the truck, and straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared. (Larry D. Wright)
Judging books by their covers has become a national pastime of sorts for many. We put peo...
Just 37% of people who were Jehovah’s Witnesses as children remain so as adults.
(Foster Letter 3/10/08)
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND MORMONS
New studies reveal most adult Witnesses have made a personal commitment to Christ they consider important in their life, but only 10% base their hope of salvation on a confession of sins and acceptance of Jesus as savior. 61% of Jehovah’s Witnesses, vs. 42% of born-again adults, strongly believe Satan exists. Jehovah’s Witnesses are also more likely than born-agains to argue that Jesus lived a sinless life on earth (77% vs. 63%). 33% of Mormons claim to be born-again, but some evangelical leaders are troubled that Mormons’ refuse to trust wholly on God’s grace and forgiveness through Christ as the only means to salvation. A majority of Mormons believe a good person can earn their way into heaven. More than 90% have made a personal commitment to Christ they describe as important in their life; 90% say their religious faith is very important in their life; 66% affirm the sinless life of Christ on earth; and more than 50% believe Satan exists. 74% of Jehovah’s Witnesses and 64% of Mormons say they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others, while 54% of born-agains have that same conviction. 88% of Witnesses believe the Bible is completely accurate vs. 71% of born-agains and 32% of Mormons.
(Barna Update 5/1/08)