Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bible or numerology and mysticism? Take your pick but do it carefully.

Dear friends and readers,

Today I am going to tackle an issue that has bothered me for some time.  My concern is that there are so many folks who have gone to extremes, particularly where the “mystical” fringes of scriptural interpretation are concerned.  I lived through the 60’s and 70’s (actually a LOT further back than that), and remember well the fascination with the new age movement, the “age of aquarias”, mystical stone and crystal worship and fringe portions of Judaism such as Kabbalah.

While some of the terminology has changed today not much else has.  Everyday on the news we hear about pandemic drug problems all throughout Western nations and the world.  Of course drugs have been a major problem since time immemorial but to see so many people try and couple some kind of special Biblical experience with artificial enhancement is indeed troubling.  Get drunk out of your mind, toke up some "mary Jane", snarf a line or two of cocaine and boy oh boy will we get revelation.

I mentioned Kabbalah earlier but for those who do not know about this phenomena?  It is not new and is Jewish mysticism par ekselans.  A small percentage actually engage in this type of study which does not reflect pure Judaism itself coupled with the study of Torah, which is a fundamental Biblical concept upon which our own Christian Bible is built.

However what we do see happening is an increasing move toward mysticism in many forms with many  people trying to connect the spiritual dots between  Kabbalah, ancient American Indian worship, Middle Eastern religions and snippets  from both Catholicism and Hindu worship practises.  Oh and throw in some Buddhism and you have the whole tamale. In other words lets just invent our own spiritual reality. The next obvious step is to declare that man is God. Of course that started all the way back with King Nimrod of the tower of Babel fame. It didn't work then and it won't work now.

BTW, I fully realize that the word "INDIAN" is no longer politically correct.  But then my own family has some of that proud heritage and I am not in the least bit offended and frankly could care less about P.C.

A huge problem arises when people begin to follow the teachings of men rather than sticking to what is written by God in His Holy Word (the Bible).  Unfortunately that has happened in almost all religions including both Christianity and Judaism.  A couple of examples are the basic teachings of guys like John Calvin and James Arminius.  Calvin was a protestant reformer in the 1500’s.  He taught a theological system based upon predestination and salvation solely dependent upon the grace of God and emphasized a very stern moral code.  James (Jacobus) Arminius, also a theologian from the 15 and 1600’s opposed many of Calvin's doctrines and stressed man’s free will over predestination where salvation is concerned. 

To this day there are major divisions within the church over the issue of 5 point Calvinism opposed to 5 point Arminianism.  Relatively simple teachings by both men (regardless of which camp people of the day happened to be in) became vastly expanded by future adherents, far far beyond what either man actually taught.  I am certain if we could speak to either of these guys today they would each say something like, “say again?  5 point what?”  All of this kind of faldarol could be eliminated if people just stuck to what the Bible actually says.  My motto is “God said what He meant and meant what He said”.  PERIOD!

The issue before us is simple;  God told us what He wanted us to know.  Also the very first sentence of the Bible says it all, Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”.  In the heavens He magnanimously drew a  picture of creation and His plan for mankind's redemption through the configuration of the various stars.  Fascinating.  The problem is that mankind has a propensity to foul up everything God intended for good.  An example is the absolute ridiculous hype created in some folks minds over star charts, astrological signs and fortune telling via everything from reading tea leaves and palm prints to star positions on foggy nights. What God created to be something beautiful, mankind has taken to unhealthy extremes.

The same thing happens here on earth;  Another example of pure silliness is the worship of rocks and crystals.  Big business too (which should give us a clue) but still a total waste of time unless it is purely for the sake of appreciating what God has done.   Appreciating a beautiful rock or crystal that is part of God’s magnificent creation is something I enjoy myself in the same way I appreciate waves crashing upon the shore, a full moon or birds of breathtaking beauty soaring on the winds.

But, the fact is that a beautiful stone is a rock, nothing more. It has no mystical powers and neither do crystals.

Then there is numerology;  This is defined as “A system of occultism built around numbers, especially those surrounding birth dates, the numerical sum of letters in a persons name, etc.  LITERALLY DIVINATION BY NUMBERS.

DIVINATION is witch craft folks!  It is a an act of trying to foretell (divine) the future by occult means, (WEBSTERS).

This practice has become HUGE in some Biblical circles.  Well, you might say, what’s the problem if it is based upon Biblical study?  My answer—you can’t turn a pig into a duck no matter how many times the pig says “quack quack”.  Mysticism is mysticism, the Bible is the Bible.  The two do not mix and never will.

Now to be clear, the Bible does have some extremely interesting numerical sequences that I find fascinating.  And I am fully aware of them as an observer of what God has done.  But no where in the Bible does God tell us why He used such proliferation's of particular numerical sequences.   Being aware and extremely interested should never ever translate into occult practises of trying to fortune tell with occult techniques based upon ANYTHING THE BIBLE SAYS!

One example of extremism is the Biblical number 666 (Book of Revelation).  We know that 6 is the number of man because God created man on the 6th day (Genesis  1:26).  However every single time some new President or European leader steps onto the world stage, there is an absolute frenzy of activity trying to link that persons name to the anti-christ by using numerical combinations linked to  the letters of that persons name in the hopes of discovering the terrible number  666.  Therefore "the anti-christ" has arrived on planet earth.  Each and every attempt at doing this is like trying to choose a date for the rapture.  Not going to happen---choosing the date that is.

For goodness sakes stop already!   Chill out.  Cease and desist.  God will bring forth the anti-christ when he is good and ready, not before.  Not to paint this with too broad a brush but have you ever noticed that many people who are preoccupied with the timing of the rapture, seem more intent upon discovering the timing of the arrival of the anti-christ than they do THE Christ?

Speaking for myself, I am intensely interested in the coming of my King for whom I will serve for all of eternity.  I am not in the least interested in an anti-christ who's claim to fame will last for 7 years of horror coupled with an extended stay in the dreaded lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).

That’s my concern and my warning;  Choose the Bible and let all that other crud go by way of the dodo bird!

Having said that, let’s take a look at some truly fascinating Biblical evidence that God certainly does value certain numbers over others—even though we are not told why that is the case.

First you should understand that if I wrote an entire thesis on this subject it would be a multi volume set.  Since that is not my goal, I will discuss only a few numbers in the hopes that people will study their Bibles to gain a better understanding of God’s mind—without getting all weird about it through a gravitation into “mans” version of numerology.

First, all Hebrew letters have a numerical equivalence.  Having said that, some numbers stand out above others.  For example, 3 is a perfect number (Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  7 is the number of completion, God created the heavens and earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th.  However this goes far beyond a single digit.

The rainbow is a sign God gave to man and each one contains a spectrum of colors that total the number 7.   The template created by God using 7 days for creation is still used worldwide by every single culture worldwide as a unit of weekly measure.  Deuteronomy 5:12 sets the Holy day of Sabbath as the 7th day.   God directed Noah to bring 7 sets each of clean animals into the Ark (Genesis 7:2).  Exodus 22:30 sets a standard that all animals brought to the Holy Temple for sacrifice had to be a minimum of 7 days old.   The leprous Naaman in 2 Kings 5:10 was directed to bathe 7 times in the Jordan River to complete his healing.  Joshua was commanded to march around Jericho for 7 days and make 7 circuits on the 7th day.  Then 7 priests were commanded to blow 7 trumpets outside the city walls (Joshua 6:3-4).

The theme of 7 literally seems to permeate scripture.  Did you know it appears more than 700 times?  700 Hmmmm....
Exodus 25, the Temple lamp stand has 7 branches.  7 woes of Matthew 23.  7 things God hates Proverbs 6:16.  7 parables  contained in Matthew 13.  7 Spirits God in Isaiah 11.  7 signs in the book of John.  Also in John, the 7 "I Am" statements of Christ.  Forgive 7 times 70 times Matthew 18.

Book of Revelation, 7 letters to 7 churches.  the Lamb of God opens the 7 sealed scroll.  7 golden lamp stands.  7 stars in the Lord’s right hand.  the Lambs description--7 horns and 7 eyes.  The 7 Spirits of God sent out into the earth.  7 trumpet judgments. The 7th trumpet.  7 bowl judgments.  7 angels with 7 trumpets. and the list goes on and on.


Lets look at just two other numbers out of many in scripture.  The number 40.  The Israelites 40 years in the wilderness, Exodus 8.  Moses on the Mountain meeting with God for 40 days Exodus 24.  Jonah and the events of Nineveh, 40 days, Jonah 3.   Jesus tempted by satan in the wilderness for 40 days, Matthew 4.  40 days between the Lord’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, Acts 1.  Did you know that Kings Saul, David and Solomon each ruled for precisely 40 years?

All simple coincidence?

OK, how about the number 17?  This number sometimes means to overcome an enemy or to achieve victory.  The flood of Noah began on the 17th of the second Hebrew month.  Noah’s ark finally rested atop the mountain of Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month.  By the way that would have been during Tabernacles in the Fall of the year.   Jesus was resurrected on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan (April).   The beasts of Daniel chapter 7 have 7 heads and 10 horns =17.  Revelation chapter 13 reflects the same beast with 17 heads and horns.  Psalm 83 lists exactly 17 enemies of Israel.  In 1 Corinthians the 17th use of the word love is listed as the greatest gift of all.  King Rehoboam (Solomon's son) reigned for 17 years.   1 Corinthians has 17 quotations from the Old Testament,  the book of James reflects information from 17 Old Testament books.   Judges 3:8 lists a name with exactly 17 letters "Chushanrishathaim".  This was an ancient Mesopotamian name (NOTE--The original King James contains all 17 letters. Some other Biblical versions delete the first "H").  And once again there are more if we but look.

Lastly for today;   Is there any significance to 1/6 or 1/3 in the Bible?  Ezekiel 39:2 (KJV), all of Gog's armies are destroyed by God down to 1/6.  Book of Revelation 8:7 And a third part of the trees were burned up.  8:8 And a third part of the sea became blood.  8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died;  And the third part of the ships were destroyed.

Merely coincidence right?  No, there are no coincidences in God's word.

Specific numbers used by God in His Holy Word (Biblical Arithmology) have very deep meaning.  As is the case for much of what God has miraculously produced, mankind has made a mess of it.  The real travesty however is that the created beings have made a mess of what God intended as precious gifts FOR the created.

The only way we can assure ourselves that what we read, hear, are told, understand or think is in alignment with God is to study His Word and reject any and all strange methods of worship that are springing up daily by fringe elements even within the church.  Stick to the Bible and you will not go wrong.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

P.S. Sorry, couldn't resist! Ever heard of the 9th of Av?  (TISH B'AV).  The Hebrew month of Av generally falls around the month of August on the Gregorian calendar. 

1312 B.C. the events of the 10 Hebrew spies---9th of Av

586 B.C. First Temple destroyed by Babylon---9th of Av.

70 A.D. Second Temple destroyed by Rome---9th of Av.

135 A.D. Bar Kochba rebellion against Rome---9th of Av.

1492 A.D. Spanish inquisition and expelling of Jews---9th of Av.

1914 A.D. WWI broke out---9th of Av.

1942 A.D. Mass deportation of Jews from Warsaw---9th of Av.

And there are more. Have a GREAT WEEK.


Judy Rae said...

Thank you, Rance. I would love to hear more on this topic!!! Whenever you have time, my friend!

Pastor Rance Cook said...

Thanks for tuning in Judy. There is a lot more information on this subject.