FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN Part 2
Crescendo Principle in Prophetic Interpretation (Continued)
In his Certainty of the Third Angels’ Message, Louis F. Were, late Australian Bible scholar, evangelist, and author, First Impressions 7776 Bluff View, Berrien Springs, MI, pp. 196-198, says:
“From the dawn of creation God has employed the meaning of names by which to teach His children. The intelligence test which God gave Adam was that of giving appropriate names to each species of life. ‘Out the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he could call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” Gen. 2: 19, 20. The names given were indicative of the characteristics or purpose. We also read: ‘Adam also called his wife’s name Eve [margin, i.e., Living],because she was the mother of all living.’ Gen. 3: 20.
“Turning to the Revelator’s description of the enemies of the remnant children of the ‘last Adam,’ we see that God has appealed to our intelligence to consider ‘the name of the beast’ and the ‘number of his name. “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.’ Rev. 13: 17, 18. (Itals mine)
“The Pope’s accustomed title, ‘Vicarius Filii Dei,’ meaning ‘Vicar of the Son of God,’ numbers 666 in the Latin numerals. Because the Papal system of worship has brought into the professing Christian Church false conceptions of the worship of God, has outwardly changed God’s Law of the Ten Commandments, and has introduced a false system of prophetic interpretation [Preterism and Futurism], the Revelator declares that this power has blasphemed God’s ‘name, and His tabernacle.’ Rev. 13: 6. By its erroneous system of salvation by meritorious works [the real “righteousness by works’ religion and “Christianized heathen” practices, man-made laws and traditions, superstition-based doctrines] and earthly priesthood [instead of the priesthood of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary] the papacy does injustice to the name of Jesus—‘Jehovah is salvation’—for Jesus is our only Savior.
“Spiritual truths present spiritual intelligence tests. The more we love the Lord, obey [willingly] His Word, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, the more discerning [sounder mind and sharper judgment] becomes our spiritual perception. Adam possessed the discernment to give the appropriate names to all living things. God would have His children spiritually in tune with Him, to readily to discern [judge] the spiritual meaning of the names [and numbers, etc.] He has employed throughout the Scripture—particularly of the final conflict.
“ARMAGEDDDON”: A SYMBOLIC “PLACE”
“Before giving the symbolic meaning of the word ‘Armageddon,’ we shall briefly deal with the word ‘place.’ Some students of Scripture have thought that the word ‘place’ mentioned in Revelation 16: 16 definitely determines that ‘Armageddon’ must refer to a literal conflict of nations to be fought in the literal place of Megiddo. This is an extraordinary conclusion when a number of places are mentioned in the book of Revelation only because of their symbolical import! Jerusalem and Babylon—both literal places—are not mentioned in reference to literal things but to spiritual.
“Chapters 1-3 of the Revelation apply to the meaning of the seven candlesticks of the sanctuary to the world-wide church throughout the Christian dispensation [or Christian Era (C.E.). More details on this in subsequent issues]. There is a ‘spiritual’ priesthood (1 Pet 2; 5, 9) associated with spiritual Jerusalem. Jerusalem and Babylon, and all that was anciently associated with them, are brought into the prophecies of the Revelation in a world-wide, symbolical sense in connection with the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
“The latter fact is sustained by the law of Bible numbers. ‘The word ‘place’ (from the Greek ‘topos’) is found seven times in Rev. 2: 5; 6: 14; 12: 6, 8, 14; 16: 16; 20; 11. The sixth use of the word ‘place’ in revelation is in ch. 16: 16. The number six, as shown in my ‘Christ Conquers,’ pp. 113-122, stands for Satan’s spiritual kingdom. In Rev. 13: 18 attention is called to this numbering system in connection with Satan’s false system of worship—‘then number of a man,’ 666 (man was made on the 6th day)—known in the Apocalypse as Babylon. The word Babylon is found 6 times in the Revelation. See Rev. 14: 8; 16:19; 17: 5; 18: 2, 10, 21.
“It is the sixth plague which bring us to the time of the slaughter at Armageddon, and the sixth mention of the word ‘place’ in Revelation is in connection with Armageddon! The number 6 is used in the Revelation for Satan’s spiritual kingdom: it is not employed as a national number. In the Revelation, the numbers, names, etc., have a world-wide significance.
NOTE: It is important to remember that the seven last plagues, “the wine of the wrath of God and the Lamb,” are not poured out till after the close of earth’s probation when the Holy Spirit is fully withdrawn from the earth, His work done, simultaneous with Christ’s cessation of His closing mediatorial work in the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary which included the pre-advent judgment of the ‘house of God’ (1 Pet. 4: 17, 18),the antitypical day of atonement, a period of time since 1844, not just as day as in the Old Testament type of the Mosaic dispensation, the cleansing of the sanctuary prophecy of Daniel 8: 14 that ends with the blotting out of sins (Acts 3: 19)that have been repented of by God’s people on earth.
The seven last plagues presented earlier as the 4 winds of strife of Revelation 7, which are poured out successively (also following the Crescendo principle) are not universal though lest none of the incorrigibly-unrepentant wicked sinners be left alive to fulfill this terrible scene at the opening of the sixth seal prophecy: “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6: 16, 17) at the glorious coming of Christ.
The seven last plagues are poured out only upon all who stubbornly persist in rejecting the seal of God, choosing rather to receive the spiritual mark, name, or number of the beast as enforced by the image of the beast. Those who are marked by God’s seal in the forehead are protected by the angels. They were those who “sighed and cried for all the abominations were done in the land and in churches.” Ezekiel 9. It is to these living saints, the spiritual “Israel of God,” that the very special promises of Psalms 91 particularly apply to during the sixth plague (of the seven last plagues). They are described in Rev. 7: 1-8; 14: 1-5 as the 12 x 12 spiritual tribes of Israel. ”A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked . . . No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you.” vs. 7, 8, 10, 11.
“The first occurrence in the Apocalypse of the word ‘place’ is in connection with the 7 churches.Their world-wide, spiritual significance is recognized by all [thorough Bible students, that is]. ‘The seven churches are represented by the seven candlesticks’ 9(Rev. 1: 20) of the old sanctuary services. These candlesticks were all on one ‘shaft’ (Exo. 25: 31-37): they were all placed, or grouped, together. The first mention of the word ‘place’ in the Apocalypse is in connection with the first of the seven churches.
‘To the church in Ephesus the warning was given, ‘repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ Rev. 2: 5.
“As each of the churches has a candlestick, the symbolic ‘place’ of each respective candlestick is as follows: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Rev., chapters 2 and 3. These are names of cities that existed in Asia Minor—not far distant from Megiddo! The whole book of Revelation was written for ‘the seven churches which are in Asia.’ Rev. 1: 11. The cities enumerated and stated definitely to be ‘in Asia’ were the places in which the seven candlesticks.’ But these, the seven places mentioned in the prophecies of the Revelation, are used in a world-wide, symbolical sense.
NOTE: The third angel’s message (describing both a movement and people proclaiming earth’s final merciful warnings from heaven, as in “flying in the midst of heaven”) are definitely not limited to only a geographical portion of earth or a select people, religion, church, or denomination but “to every nation, kindred, tongue [language, dialect] and people.’ Rev. 14: 6, 7. Moreover, also following the Crescendo Principle discussed last Friday, the third angel’s message will “swell into the loud cry” of the “fourth angel” of Revelation 18—the final call to God’s heretofore unseen, unknown, honestly deceived people in the fallen, apostate, persecuting churches symbolically described as “Babylon the Great ” for them to “come out of her lest they partake of her sins and, receive of her plagues for her sins have reached unto heaven’ [filled the cup of iniquity)! Rev. 18: 1-5.
“The reader’s attention is directed to Uriah Smith’s ‘Daniel and the Revelation,’ pp. 345-383, where this writer has given the meanings of the seven names of the cities ‘in Asia,’ fully explaining their prophetic significance throughout the Christian dispensation.
“After pointing out a number of churches to whom John could have written, Uriah Smith asks, ‘Why, then, were the seven particular churches chosen that are mentioned? For the reason, doubtless, that in the names of these churches, according to the definition of the words, are brought out thereligious features of those periods of the gospel age [Christian Era] which they respectively were torepresent.
‘For these reasons [U. Smith says], the ‘seven churches,’ are doubtless to be understood to mean not merely the seven literal churches of Asia which went by the names mentioned, but the seven period of the Christian church, from the days of the apostles to the close of probation.’ p. 239 (Italics mine, L. F. Were).
“A.W. Anderson, in his instructive book “The World’s Finale,’ pp. 13, 14, points out the symbolic use the Apocalypse makes of these places:—
‘A glance of the accompanying map of Asia Minor reveals that these seven cities are situated on an old Roman road which traversed the country in an irregular circular direction, connecting all these cities in the order named, with Ephesus, which was the main seaport of that province in ancient times. It must be obvious that these seven churches are used symbolically of all the churches, for it is self-evident that Christ could not represent Himself as standing in the centre of these seven literalchurches, and holding in His right hand the angels of only these seven churches . . . . the seven churches in Asia Minor were chosen to symbolize the seven periods of church history, because thenames of these seven cities and the characteristics of their citizens were admirably fitted to represent the whole gospel church in seven divisions. What a wonderful tribute to the divine prescience of Jesus is here unfolded! From His throne in the heavens He could look down upon a section of Asia Minor, andthere trace the outworking of the whole Gospel age in seven periods, by simply following the meandering of an old Roman road which connected the cities of the province of Asia with seaport of Ephesus; and then to select seven of those cities through which this road passed, the definition of whose names, together with the characteristics of their respective citizens, exactly typified the seven periods of church history . . . . seven ancient cities, whose names were even typical of the periodsymbolized.’ [Italics by L. F. Were].
“On p. 16 the meanings of the names of the 7 cities are given, showing their symbolic significance to ‘the 7 periods of church history.’
“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian era.”- E. G. White, ‘Acts of the Apostles,’ p. 585.
(Continued next week)