Lesson 2 The Alpha and the Omega (2) Symbolic Numbers in Revelation Amen! Hallelujah! – A Study of the Book of Revelation ...
Seven symbolizes God's completed work <ul><li>7 occurs … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>more in Revelation than the rest of the NT ...
Revelation begins with a letter to 7 churches. <ul><li>Rev 1:4 WEB John, to the seven assemblies ...  </li></ul><ul><li>Re...
The first vision features two sevens <ul><li>The son of man is among 7 lampstands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 1:20 WEB ... T...
Before God's throne were 7 lamps <ul><li>Rev 4:5 WEB ... There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which a...
A 7-sealed scroll was opened by a Lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes <ul><li>Rev 5:1-6 WEB I saw, in the right hand of him who s...
God's judgments were announced by 7 angels with 7 trumpets. <ul><li>Rev 8:2-6 WEB I saw the seven angels who stand before ...
The dragon and sea beast each had 7 heads & the dragon had 7 crowns. <ul><li>Rev 12:3 WEB … Behold, a great red dragon, ha...
The prostitute in  Rev 17  sits on a beast with 7 heads. <ul><li>Rev 17:3 WEB ... I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-color...
7 angels administer God's judgments <ul><li>Rev 15:1 WEB I saw … seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them G...
7 bowls of wrath were poured out on the earth. <ul><li>Rev 16:1 WEB I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the ...
Seven beatitudes in Revelation <ul><li>Rev 1:3 WEB Blessed is he who reads … those who hear … and keep the things that are...
Seven “I Am” sayings in Revelation <ul><li>Rev 1:8 WEB “I am the Alpha and the Omega” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 1:17-18 WEB  “...
More Sevens in the Book of Revelation <ul><li>7 kinds of men hide from God’s judgment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 6:15-17 WE...
3½ depicts Satan's attempt to thwart God's purpose <ul><li>3 ½ is opposed to 7  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 is God doing his w...
A time of oppression and provision <ul><li>Drought during the reign of Ahab </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jam 5:17 WEB  Elijah … p...
The picture comes from military sieges <ul><li>Measured in months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman army surrounded a city, cutt...
3½ years in Revelation 11 <ul><li>Gentiles besiege God’s city for 42 months  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 11:1-2  … They will...
3½ days in Revelation 11 <ul><li>The beast kills them </li></ul><ul><li>After 3½ days, God raises them  </li></ul><ul><ul>...
3½ years as 1260 days and “a time, times, and half a time” <ul><li>God cares for the woman for 1260 days </li></ul><ul><ul...
Twelve symbolizes God's people  <ul><li>12 and multiples (24, 12,000, 144,000) is the second most prominent number in Reve...
In Revelation 7 there are 144,000 people sealed <ul><li>Rev 7:4 WEB  … one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of ever...
Jacob's 12 sons & Israel's 12 tribal land divisions were not identical <ul><li>Israel had 13 tribes </li></ul><ul><li>Gen ...
We could say the same thing about the apostles.  <ul><li>Jesus had 12 apostles  </li></ul><ul><li>Judas was a traitor repl...
How does John get 144,000 if there were 13 tribes?  <ul><li>John gets that number by leaving out Dan </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
For example,  Matthew 1:17  lists three groups of 14 generations <ul><li>Numbers don't add up </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1 s...
There are other problems with Matthew's genealogy  <ul><li>Matthew omits Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Why would Matthew make these changes and deletions? <ul><li>To ancient writers numbers were not a matter of precision, but...
Ancient alphabets were not like our modern alphabets <ul><li>Hebrew and Greek had alphabets composed of characters that se...
Ancient writers engaged in “gematria” (Greek  isopsephia ) <ul><li>They added the letter values and the sum was the &quot;...
“David” consisted of three letters – equivalent to “DVD” <ul><li>“ D” was the 4 th  letter of the alphabet; “v” was the 6 ...
The radiant woman in  Rev 12  wears a crown of twelve stars <ul><li>Rev 12:1 WEB … a woman … and on her head a crown of tw...
12 dominates the description of the holy city in  Rev 21:10-17   <ul><li>12 gates </li></ul><ul><li>12 angels </li></ul><u...
This is the city where God’s people live!  <ul><li>It is a cube 12,000 stadia on each side, with 12 gates, having walls 14...
The New American Standard Bible misses the point <ul><li>It gives the length of the sides as 1,500 miles – yielding a volu...
6 symbolizes rebellion against God  <ul><li>It depicts man’s attempt to dispense with God </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast of 6 ...
The most infamous use of 6 is the number of the beast in  Rev 13:18 <ul><li>Rev 13:18 WEB … His number is six hundred sixt...
Possible names that make sense in light of the historical setting <ul><li>Lateinos  = “Latin” (e.g. Rome, the city or the ...
8 represents resurrection and  contrasts with 6 in other writings <ul><li>Early writers said Christians met on “the 8 th  ...
1/3 symbolizes God’s restraint in judgment in  Rev 8:6-12 <ul><li>1/3 earth burnt up </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 trees burnt up ...
Old Testament roots in  Ezekiel 5  where he was told to shave his head <ul><li>Eze 5:1-2 WEB  …  (2)  A third part you sha...
Two symbolizes testimony <ul><li>Emissaries sent in pairs  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mar 6:7 WEB  He … began to send them out ...
The only significant usage of two is in  Rev 11:3-11 <ul><li>2 witnesses prophesy 1260 days  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They ar...
The image comes from  Zechariah 4 <ul><li>Zec 4:2-3 WEB  … “I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, …  (3)  and ...
The two represent the testimony of the Law and Prophets <ul><li>Moses and Elijah at Transfiguration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Four symbolizes the entire earth and universe <ul><li>Symbol of 4 derives from 4 compass points, 4 wind directions and 4 s...
Ezekiel 1  described 4 creatures of God's heavenly entourage <ul><li>4 living creatures </li></ul><ul><li>Each had 4 faces...
John saw 4 creatures around God's throne worshiping him in  Rev 4:6-8 <ul><li>Rev 4:6-8 WEB  … around the throne were four...
The 4 creatures worship the Lamb in  Rev 5:6-14 <ul><li>Rev 5:6-14 WEB  … (8) … the four living creatures … fell down befo...
Throughout Revelation the 4 creatures worship & serve God <ul><li>Rev 7:11-12 WEB  All the angels were standing around the...
Zechariah saw a vision of 4 nations being broken by 4 of God's servants <ul><li>4 horns </li></ul><ul><li>4 craftsmen </li...
Zechariah 6  has 4 chariots depicting God's omnipresence & omniscience <ul><li>4 chariots drawn by  red, black, white, and...
In  Rev 6:1-8 , 4 creatures announce 4 horses with the opening of 4 seals <ul><li>1 st  seal – 1 st  creature announces 1 ...
The OT mentions the 4 winds & the 4 corners of the earth <ul><li>4 corners of the earth from which God gathers </li></ul><...
Revelation has 4 angels at 4 corners of the earth holding back judgment <ul><li>Rev 7:1 WEB  I saw four angels standing at...
God's enemies come from the 4 corners of the earth. <ul><li>Rev 20:7-8 WEB  And after the thousand years, Satan will be re...
Ten symbolizes limits <ul><li>Relates to  anatomy: ten fingers on the human hand  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once you’ve counte...
Ten years was limit of Abram's patience with God's promise <ul><li>Gen 13:16 WEB  I will make your offspring as the dust o...
Ten was the limit of God's patience with Sodom <ul><li>Abraham bargained with God to spare Sodom, testing God’s limits til...
Ten changes in terms was the limit of Jacob's patience with Laban <ul><li>Gen 31:41 WEB These twenty years I have been in ...
The Ten Commandments were the limits God set on Israel's conduct <ul><li>Exo 34:28 WEB He was there with Yahweh forty days...
Ten plagues showed the limit of God's patience with Egypt. <ul><li>Egypt suffers for Pharaoh's refusal to let Israel go </...
Ten rebellions test the limits of God's patience with the Exodus generation <ul><li>Num 14:20-23 WEB Yahweh said, … becaus...
(1) At the Red Sea <ul><li>Exo 14:11-13 WEB “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the w...
(2) At Marah <ul><li>Exo 15:23-25 WEB  When they came to Marah, they couldn't drink from the waters … for they were bitter...
(3) In the Wilderness of Sin <ul><li>Exo 16:2-4 WEB (3) … “We wish that we had died … in the land of Egypt … for you have ...
(4) Hoarding manna <ul><li>Exo 16:19-20 WEB Moses said to them, “Let no one leave of it until the morning.” (20) Notwithst...
(5) Gathering manna on the Sabbath <ul><li>Exo 16:27-29 WEB … on the seventh day … some … went out to gather, and they fou...
(6) At Rephidim <ul><li>Exo 17:1-7 WEB … (2) … the people … said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said … “… Why do you tes...
(7) At Horeb <ul><li>Exo 32:1-6 WEB … the people … said … “Come, make us gods, which shall go before us … (2) Aaron said …...
(8) At Taberah <ul><li>Num 11:1-3 WEB The people were complaining in the ears of Yahweh. When Yahweh heard it, his anger w...
(9) At Kibroth Hattaavah <ul><li>Num 11:4-20 WEB …Israel … said, “Who will give us flesh to eat? (18) …&quot;Yahweh will g...
(10) The last straw is Kadesh Barnea! <ul><li>Num 14:1-24 WEB … (3) Why does Yahweh bring us to this land, to fall by the ...
The uses of “ten” in Revelation <ul><li>Pergamum would suffer ten days before God said, “Enough!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re...
The dragon and the sea beast have 10 horns <ul><li>Rev 12:3 WEB Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten hor...
10 horns are 10 kings – God sets limits on the beast's power <ul><li>Rev 17:7 WEB I will tell you the mystery of the woman...
1,000 symbolizes limitlessness <ul><li>Psa 50:10 WEB For every animal of the forest is mine, and the livestock on a thousa...
Apply that reasoning to other passages: <ul><li>Deu 7:9 WEB … Yahweh your God … keeps covenant … with them who love him an...
Remember the symbolic use of 1,000 when we get to  Rev 20:2-7 <ul><li>He seized the dragon … and bound him for a thousand ...
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02 Revelation Symbolic Numbers In Revelation

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Class 2 of 16 on the Book of Revelation, scheduled to be taught by Dale Wells at Palm Springs Church of Christ on January 14, 2009.

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02 Revelation Symbolic Numbers In Revelation

  1. 1. Lesson 2 The Alpha and the Omega (2) Symbolic Numbers in Revelation Amen! Hallelujah! – A Study of the Book of Revelation By Dale Wells Text: Rev 1.1-8; Rev 22.8-12
  2. 2. Seven symbolizes God's completed work <ul><li>7 occurs … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>more in Revelation than the rest of the NT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more in Revelation than in any OT book </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 symbolizes God finishing his work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 2:1-3 WEB … On the seventh day God finished his work … and he rested on the seventh day ... </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Revelation begins with a letter to 7 churches. <ul><li>Rev 1:4 WEB John, to the seven assemblies ... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 1:11 WEB ... “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies …” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 1:20 WEB ... The seven lampstands are seven assemblies. </li></ul><ul><li>Ekklesiai is “churches” in other translations </li></ul>
  4. 4. The first vision features two sevens <ul><li>The son of man is among 7 lampstands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 1:20 WEB ... The seven lampstands are seven assemblies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He is holding 7 stars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 1:20 WEB ... The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies... </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Before God's throne were 7 lamps <ul><li>Rev 4:5 WEB ... There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. </li></ul><ul><li>These are seen elsewhere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 1:4 WEB ... Grace to you and peace ... from the seven Spirits who are before his throne </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. A 7-sealed scroll was opened by a Lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes <ul><li>Rev 5:1-6 WEB I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals … (6) I saw … a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes … </li></ul>
  7. 7. God's judgments were announced by 7 angels with 7 trumpets. <ul><li>Rev 8:2-6 WEB I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them … (6) The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The dragon and sea beast each had 7 heads & the dragon had 7 crowns. <ul><li>Rev 12:3 WEB … Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and … seven crowns. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 13:1 WEB … I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads.... </li></ul>
  9. 9. The prostitute in Rev 17 sits on a beast with 7 heads. <ul><li>Rev 17:3 WEB ... I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal … having seven heads and ten horns. </li></ul><ul><li>The heads correspond to 7 hills and 7 kings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 17:9-10 WEB … The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. They are seven kings … </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 7 angels administer God's judgments <ul><li>Rev 15:1 WEB I saw … seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 15:6-8 WEB … One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God... </li></ul>
  11. 11. 7 bowls of wrath were poured out on the earth. <ul><li>Rev 16:1 WEB I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Seven beatitudes in Revelation <ul><li>Rev 1:3 WEB Blessed is he who reads … those who hear … and keep the things that are written in it ... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 14:13 WEB Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on … </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 16:15 WEB “… Blessed is he who watches…” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 19:9 WEB Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 20:6 WEB Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection ... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 22:7 WEB Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 22:14 WEB Blessed are those who do his commandments … </li></ul>
  13. 13. Seven “I Am” sayings in Revelation <ul><li>Rev 1:8 WEB “I am the Alpha and the Omega” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 1:17-18 WEB “… I am the first and the last and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 2:23 WEB … I am he who searches the minds and hearts... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 21:6 WEB “… I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End ... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 22:13 WEB I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 22:16 WEB … I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star. </li></ul>
  14. 14. More Sevens in the Book of Revelation <ul><li>7 kinds of men hide from God’s judgment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 6:15-17 WEB The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 things the Lamb is worthy to receive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 5:12 WEB ... “Worthy is the Lamb … to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 aspects of worship toward God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 7:11-12 WEB All the angels … fell on their faces … and worshiped God … “Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 represents that God will accomplish his purpose </li></ul>
  15. 15. 3½ depicts Satan's attempt to thwart God's purpose <ul><li>3 ½ is opposed to 7 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 is God doing his will. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3½ is a time of suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Daniel envisioned a 3 ½ year oppression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan 7:25 WEB He shall speak … against the Most High, and … the saints … be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A year (“time”) + 2 years (“times”) + 6 months (“half a time”). </li></ul></ul>3 1/2
  16. 16. A time of oppression and provision <ul><li>Drought during the reign of Ahab </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jam 5:17 WEB Elijah … prayed … that it might not rain, and it didn't rain on the earth for three years and six months. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>God provided for Elijah </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1Ki 17:3-6 WEB … (6) The ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. The picture comes from military sieges <ul><li>Measured in months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman army surrounded a city, cutting off supplies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built siegeworks and starved the city </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jewish-Roman War </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Began in 66 AD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jerusalem fell 42 months later in 70 AD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A time when Satan tries to stop God’s work, but God is still in control! </li></ul>
  18. 18. 3½ years in Revelation 11 <ul><li>Gentiles besiege God’s city for 42 months </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 11:1-2 … They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>God's witnesses preach for the same 1260 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 11:3 … my two witnesses … will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. 3½ days in Revelation 11 <ul><li>The beast kills them </li></ul><ul><li>After 3½ days, God raises them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Satan has the power of death, but God has the power of life! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Protection and provision are expressed in days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 6:11 Give us today our daily bread. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invaders measure a siege in months, but survival is day-by-day </li></ul>
  20. 20. 3½ years as 1260 days and “a time, times, and half a time” <ul><li>God cares for the woman for 1260 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 12:6 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Satan tries to get at the woman for a time, times and half a time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 12:13-14 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He can’t get to her, because God is protecting her </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome is always the same – God wins! </li></ul>
  21. 21. Twelve symbolizes God's people <ul><li>12 and multiples (24, 12,000, 144,000) is the second most prominent number in Revelation </li></ul><ul><li>In Rev 4:4 , 24 elders sit on thrones </li></ul><ul><li>24 elders are God’s people in two covenants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12 patriarchs (Old Testament) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 apostles (New Testament) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. In Revelation 7 there are 144,000 people sealed <ul><li>Rev 7:4 WEB … one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel </li></ul><ul><li>These are people with God’s seal of approval on their foreheads </li></ul><ul><li>12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel </li></ul><ul><li>The number is not literal </li></ul>
  23. 23. Jacob's 12 sons & Israel's 12 tribal land divisions were not identical <ul><li>Israel had 13 tribes </li></ul><ul><li>Gen 48:5 WEB … Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, will be mine. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 12 land divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Num 35:2 WEB Command … Israel that they give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in </li></ul>
  24. 24. We could say the same thing about the apostles. <ul><li>Jesus had 12 apostles </li></ul><ul><li>Judas was a traitor replaced by Matthias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Act 1:26 WEB … the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paul makes 13 apostles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gal 1:1 WEB Paul, an apostle … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yet, we always speak of the 12 apostles and the 12 tribes. </li></ul>
  25. 25. How does John get 144,000 if there were 13 tribes? <ul><li>John gets that number by leaving out Dan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The point is not that no one is redeemed from Dan, but that all of God’s people are accounted for! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The number is not literal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t judge the Biblical writers for making numbers come out the way they wanted them to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To apocalyptic writers, numbers were symbols </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. For example, Matthew 1:17 lists three groups of 14 generations <ul><li>Numbers don't add up </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1 st group, you count both Abraham and David to get 14 </li></ul><ul><li>The 2 nd group has 15 names, so you omit David to reach 14 </li></ul><ul><li>In the 3 rd group, you must include Jeconiah (last name in the second group and the first name in the third) and Jesus to reach 14 </li></ul>
  27. 27. There are other problems with Matthew's genealogy <ul><li>Matthew omits Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 1:8 WEB … Joram became the father of Uzziah. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The line was: Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matthew dropped Jehoiakim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 1:11 WEB Josiah became the father of Jechoniah ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The line was: Josiah fathered Jehoiakim, who was replaced by Jehoiachin (aka Jeconiah) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matthew says Zerubbabel was Shealtiel's son </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 1:12 WEB … Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zerubbabel was actually son of Shealtiel's brother, Pedaiah. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1Ch 3:19 WEB The sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel, and Shimei. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Why would Matthew make these changes and deletions? <ul><li>To ancient writers numbers were not a matter of precision, but were representative of important concepts </li></ul><ul><li>In Matthew 1, the key is the name of David </li></ul>
  29. 29. Ancient alphabets were not like our modern alphabets <ul><li>Hebrew and Greek had alphabets composed of characters that served a dual purpose as letters and numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Thus “a” could either serve as a letter, or it could be the numeral “1”, “b” could be used as the numeral “2”, etc. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Ancient writers engaged in “gematria” (Greek isopsephia ) <ul><li>They added the letter values and the sum was the &quot;number&quot; of the name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The sum represented the name when they wanted to reveal the identity to some, but conceal it from others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is important to understanding “666” in Rev 13:18 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ancient examples of gematria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graffiti in Pompeii: “I love her whose number is 545.” Only the couple would know about whom he was writing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Roman inscription describes Gaius as holy and good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gaios = 3 + 1 + 10 + 70 + 200 = 284 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Ha)gios = 1 + 3 + 10 + 70 + 200 = 284 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aga(th)os =1 + 3 + 1 + 9 + 70 + 200 = 284 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The words are gematrically interchangeable </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. “David” consisted of three letters – equivalent to “DVD” <ul><li>“ D” was the 4 th letter of the alphabet; “v” was the 6 th letter (Ancient Hebrew had no vowels) </li></ul><ul><li>d+v+d = 4+6+4 = 14 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matthew lists 14 names to David, 14 Davidic kings, and 14 from the Davidic dynasty to the Son of David! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revelation follows an accepted practice using numbers as symbols to represent concepts </li></ul>
  32. 32. The radiant woman in Rev 12 wears a crown of twelve stars <ul><li>Rev 12:1 WEB … a woman … and on her head a crown of twelve stars </li></ul><ul><li>We saw this woman earlier as an idealized picture of Mary </li></ul><ul><li>The 12 stars represent God’s people – her crowning glory </li></ul>
  33. 33. 12 dominates the description of the holy city in Rev 21:10-17 <ul><li>12 gates </li></ul><ul><li>12 angels </li></ul><ul><li>Names of 12 tribes </li></ul><ul><li>12 foundations </li></ul><ul><li>12 names of the 12 Apostles </li></ul><ul><li>12,000 stadia </li></ul><ul><li>Wall is 144 cubits </li></ul>
  34. 34. This is the city where God’s people live! <ul><li>It is a cube 12,000 stadia on each side, with 12 gates, having walls 144 cubits thick. </li></ul><ul><li>The city has plenty of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access (gates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>room (dimensions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>security (angels at the gates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protection (walls) </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. The New American Standard Bible misses the point <ul><li>It gives the length of the sides as 1,500 miles – yielding a volume 85% as large as the moon! </li></ul><ul><li>The dimensions are not literal; they describe a city sufficient to house, provide for and protect all of God’s people </li></ul><ul><li>It follows the use of &quot;12&quot; in the rest of the book </li></ul>
  36. 36. 6 symbolizes rebellion against God <ul><li>It depicts man’s attempt to dispense with God </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast of 6 and 12 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12 is God’s faithful people protected by him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6 is man in rebellion against God </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Like Satan’s attempts to stop God (3 ½), man’s rebellion always fails </li></ul>
  37. 37. The most infamous use of 6 is the number of the beast in Rev 13:18 <ul><li>Rev 13:18 WEB … His number is six hundred sixty-six. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebellion compounded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Man’s attempt to usurp God’s throne </li></ul></ul><ul><li>666 is a gematria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The number concealed a name the readers knew, but history quickly forgot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irenaeus (2 nd Century) suggested names, but couldn’t determine the name behind the number </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Possible names that make sense in light of the historical setting <ul><li>Lateinos = “Latin” (e.g. Rome, the city or the empire) = 30+1+300+5+10+50+70+200 = 666 </li></ul><ul><li>Teitan = “Titus” (common name of the Flavian Emperors. Vespasian was emperor when Revelation was written. Titus ascended shortly thereafter. Domitian began the empire-wide persecution of Christians.) = 300+5+10+300+1+50 = 666 </li></ul><ul><li>Kaisarsebaston = “Caesar Augustus” (“worshipful Caesar”). The imperial name = 20+1+10+200+1+100+200+5+2+1+6+70+50 = 666 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Note: this requires using the obsolete letter stigma (= 6) in the place of the letters sigma (= 200) and tau (= 300). Recall the book was intended to be read aloud. The hearers would be used to associating the “st” sound with the value of 6.) </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. 8 represents resurrection and contrasts with 6 in other writings <ul><li>Early writers said Christians met on “the 8 th day of the week, which is also the 1 st ”, because of resurrection </li></ul><ul><li>Sybilline Oracles (2 nd Century) </li></ul><ul><li>The gematrical value of “Jesus” ( Ieesous ) is 888 </li></ul><ul><li>The one who is 666 can never measure up to the one who is 888! </li></ul>
  40. 40. 1/3 symbolizes God’s restraint in judgment in Rev 8:6-12 <ul><li>1/3 earth burnt up </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 trees burnt up </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 sea became blood </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 sea creatures died </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 ships destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 rivers struck by star </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 waters became wormwood </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 sun, moon and stars darkened </li></ul>
  41. 41. Old Testament roots in Ezekiel 5 where he was told to shave his head <ul><li>Eze 5:1-2 WEB … (2) A third part you shall burn … in the … city … take a third part, and strike with the sword … a third part you shall scatter to the wind …. </li></ul><ul><li>Eze 5:12 WEB A third … shall die … and a third … shall fall by the sword … and a third … I will scatter to … the winds, and … draw … a sword after them </li></ul>
  42. 42. Two symbolizes testimony <ul><li>Emissaries sent in pairs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mar 6:7 WEB He … began to send them out two by two … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 11:2-3 WEB … John … sent two ... disciples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jewish law of evidence required two witnesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deu 19:15 WEB One witness shall not rise up against a man … at the mouth of two witnesses, or … three … shall a matter be established. </li></ul></ul>2
  43. 43. The only significant usage of two is in Rev 11:3-11 <ul><li>2 witnesses prophesy 1260 days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are 2 olive trees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are also 2 lampstands, standing before the Lord </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are also 2 prophets </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. The image comes from Zechariah 4 <ul><li>Zec 4:2-3 WEB … “I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, … (3) and two olive trees by it…” </li></ul><ul><li>Zec 4:11-14 WEB Then I asked him, “What are these two olive trees … (14) Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” </li></ul>
  45. 45. The two represent the testimony of the Law and Prophets <ul><li>Moses and Elijah at Transfiguration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mat 17:1-3 WEB … (2) He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. (3) Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In Rev 11 they are sent to proclaim God's word </li></ul>
  46. 46. Four symbolizes the entire earth and universe <ul><li>Symbol of 4 derives from 4 compass points, 4 wind directions and 4 seasons </li></ul><ul><li>Babylonian mythology: 4 signs of the Zodiac, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, powerful figures supporting heaven by 4 corners, or as the beasts of burden of the 4-wheeled heavenly chariot </li></ul>4
  47. 47. Ezekiel 1 described 4 creatures of God's heavenly entourage <ul><li>4 living creatures </li></ul><ul><li>Each had 4 faces: man, lion, ox and eagle </li></ul><ul><li>Each had 4 wings </li></ul><ul><li>Eze 1:4-28 WEB This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh. </li></ul>
  48. 48. John saw 4 creatures around God's throne worshiping him in Rev 4:6-8 <ul><li>Rev 4:6-8 WEB … around the throne were four living creatures ... (7) The first … like a lion, … the second … like a calf, and the third … had a face like a man, and the fourth … like a flying eagle. (8) … They have no rest day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty …” </li></ul>
  49. 49. The 4 creatures worship the Lamb in Rev 5:6-14 <ul><li>Rev 5:6-14 WEB … (8) … the four living creatures … fell down before the Lamb … (9) … saying, “You are worthy … (11) … I heard … a voice of many angels … (12) saying … “Worthy is the Lamb …” (14) The four living creatures said, “Amen!” </li></ul>
  50. 50. Throughout Revelation the 4 creatures worship & serve God <ul><li>Rev 7:11-12 WEB All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God … </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 14:3 WEB They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders ... </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 15:7 WEB One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 19:4 WEB The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, “Amen! Hallelujah!” </li></ul>
  51. 51. Zechariah saw a vision of 4 nations being broken by 4 of God's servants <ul><li>4 horns </li></ul><ul><li>4 craftsmen </li></ul><ul><li>Zec 1:21 WEB He said, “These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.” </li></ul>
  52. 52. Zechariah 6 has 4 chariots depicting God's omnipresence & omniscience <ul><li>4 chariots drawn by red, black, white, and dappled horses </li></ul><ul><li>Zec 6:5-8 WEB … “These are the four winds of the sky, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. …” (7) … So they walked back and forth through the earth … </li></ul>
  53. 53. In Rev 6:1-8 , 4 creatures announce 4 horses with the opening of 4 seals <ul><li>1 st seal – 1 st creature announces 1 st rider on a white horse </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd seal – 2 nd creature announces 2 nd rider on a red horse </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd seal – 3 rd creature announces 3 rd rider on a black horse </li></ul><ul><li>4 th seal – 4 th creature announces 4 th rider on a pale horse </li></ul>
  54. 54. The OT mentions the 4 winds & the 4 corners of the earth <ul><li>4 corners of the earth from which God gathers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isa 11:12 WEB He will … assemble … Israel, and gather … Judah from the four corners of the earth. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4 winds by which God scatters his enemies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jer 49:36 WEB On Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of the sky …, </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Revelation has 4 angels at 4 corners of the earth holding back judgment <ul><li>Rev 7:1 WEB I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth … </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 9:13-15 WEB … (15) The four angels were freed who had been prepared for that hour and day and month and year, so that they might kill one third of mankind. </li></ul>
  56. 56. God's enemies come from the 4 corners of the earth. <ul><li>Rev 20:7-8 WEB And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison, (8) and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Ten symbolizes limits <ul><li>Relates to anatomy: ten fingers on the human hand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once you’ve counted to ten, you’ve exhausted all of your fingers, and all of your chances </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many places in the Bible where one counts to ten and then says: “Enough!” </li></ul>
  58. 58. Ten years was limit of Abram's patience with God's promise <ul><li>Gen 13:16 WEB I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth… </li></ul><ul><li>Gen 16:3 WEB Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Ten was the limit of God's patience with Sodom <ul><li>Abraham bargained with God to spare Sodom, testing God’s limits till he reached the ten </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 18:32 WEB “Oh don't let the Lord be angry … What if ten are found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten's sake.” </li></ul></ul>
  60. 60. Ten changes in terms was the limit of Jacob's patience with Laban <ul><li>Gen 31:41 WEB These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. </li></ul>
  61. 61. The Ten Commandments were the limits God set on Israel's conduct <ul><li>Exo 34:28 WEB He was there with Yahweh forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread, nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. </li></ul><ul><li>God gave people ten chances – as seen in two other events during the life of Moses </li></ul>
  62. 62. Ten plagues showed the limit of God's patience with Egypt. <ul><li>Egypt suffers for Pharaoh's refusal to let Israel go </li></ul><ul><li>In spite of plague after plague, Pharaoh continues to harden his heart </li></ul><ul><li>The tenth plague results in final judgment on Egypt </li></ul>
  63. 63. Ten rebellions test the limits of God's patience with the Exodus generation <ul><li>Num 14:20-23 WEB Yahweh said, … because all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs … yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers … </li></ul>
  64. 64. (1) At the Red Sea <ul><li>Exo 14:11-13 WEB “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? … (12) Isn't this the word that we spoke to you … saying, 'Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” </li></ul>
  65. 65. (2) At Marah <ul><li>Exo 15:23-25 WEB When they came to Marah, they couldn't drink from the waters … for they were bitter … (24) The people murmured … saying, &quot;What shall we drink?&quot; (25) … Yahweh showed him a tree, and he threw it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. </li></ul>
  66. 66. (3) In the Wilderness of Sin <ul><li>Exo 16:2-4 WEB (3) … “We wish that we had died … in the land of Egypt … for you have brought us out … to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (4) Then said Yahweh … “Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them … </li></ul>
  67. 67. (4) Hoarding manna <ul><li>Exo 16:19-20 WEB Moses said to them, “Let no one leave of it until the morning.” (20) Notwithstanding they didn't listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and became foul: and Moses was angry with them. </li></ul>
  68. 68. (5) Gathering manna on the Sabbath <ul><li>Exo 16:27-29 WEB … on the seventh day … some … went out to gather, and they found none. (28) Yahweh said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? (29) … Yahweh … gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days …” </li></ul>
  69. 69. (6) At Rephidim <ul><li>Exo 17:1-7 WEB … (2) … the people … said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said … “… Why do you test Yahweh?” … (5) Yahweh said to Moses, “…(6) Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” </li></ul>
  70. 70. (7) At Horeb <ul><li>Exo 32:1-6 WEB … the people … said … “Come, make us gods, which shall go before us … (2) Aaron said … “Take off the golden rings … and bring them to me.” … (4) He … made it a molten calf; and they said, “These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” … </li></ul>
  71. 71. (8) At Taberah <ul><li>Num 11:1-3 WEB The people were complaining in the ears of Yahweh. When Yahweh heard it, his anger was kindled; and Yahweh's fire burnt among them, and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. (2) The people cried to Moses; and Moses prayed to Yahweh, and the fire abated. </li></ul>
  72. 72. (9) At Kibroth Hattaavah <ul><li>Num 11:4-20 WEB …Israel … said, “Who will give us flesh to eat? (18) …&quot;Yahweh will give you flesh, … (19) You will not eat one day, nor two days … (20) but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it is loathsome to you; because that you have rejected Yahweh …” </li></ul>
  73. 73. (10) The last straw is Kadesh Barnea! <ul><li>Num 14:1-24 WEB … (3) Why does Yahweh bring us to this land, to fall by the sword? … (20) Yahweh said, … (22) … all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs, … yet have tempted me these ten times, … (23) surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers... </li></ul>
  74. 74. The uses of “ten” in Revelation <ul><li>Pergamum would suffer ten days before God said, “Enough!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 2:10 WEB … the devil is about to throw some of you into prison … and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Devil is limited by what God allows him to do! </li></ul>
  75. 75. The dragon and the sea beast have 10 horns <ul><li>Rev 12:3 WEB Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns … </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 13:1 WEB I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns … On his horns were ten crowns … </li></ul><ul><li>They have power, (horns), but only the power God gives them – God sets their limits! </li></ul>
  76. 76. 10 horns are 10 kings – God sets limits on the beast's power <ul><li>Rev 17:7 WEB I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast … which has the seven heads and the ten horns. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 17:12 WEB The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour. </li></ul>
  77. 77. 1,000 symbolizes limitlessness <ul><li>Psa 50:10 WEB For every animal of the forest is mine, and the livestock on a thousand hills. </li></ul><ul><li>God is not exempting the livestock on other hills, nor the livestock in valleys. What he’s saying is that all livestock belongs to him </li></ul>
  78. 78. Apply that reasoning to other passages: <ul><li>Deu 7:9 WEB … Yahweh your God … keeps covenant … with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Message: God loves everyone who loves and obeys him </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Psa 68:17 WEB The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Message: God has immeasurable power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And when we come to that text about 1,000 years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time is insignificant to God. Man’s eon is God’s moment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Psa 90:4 WEB For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s schedule is not to be judged by man's. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2Pe 3:8 WEB But don't forget … that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  79. 79. Remember the symbolic use of 1,000 when we get to Rev 20:2-7 <ul><li>He seized the dragon … and bound him for a thousand years … I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus … They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years … </li></ul><ul><li>Devil’s power is limited (10 horns), but God’s dominion over him is unlimited (1,000 years) </li></ul>

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