Revelation's Devotional Numbers
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2. Revelation's Devotional Numbers

Complete Seven

Red Dice with Black NumbersNumbers have symbolic meaning in the Biblical text, both for Jewish and Christian readers. For example, the number "seven" indicates "completeness or fullness" as in the "seven days of Creation" and the "seven Golden Lampstands" in Revelation. "Seven" means that this process, number, or act, whatever it is, has been completed. The seventh day is the day on which God finishes the Creation and rests. We read in Genesis 2.1-3, "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because, on it, he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." The idea of the "seventh heaven" may be related to the Muslim conception of "Paradise." We should note that the Hebrew words for "heaven" and "sky" appear only in the plural form as "heavens" or "skies" having multiple layers. The Biblical concept has deep roots in Jewish and Christian traditions. Saint Paul refers to an unusual experience in 2 Corinthians 12.2-3 "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body, I do not know - God knows. And I know that this man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows - was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell." Perhaps Saint Paul refers to John of Patmos, who receives a revelation of heaven in a vision that forms the text of the Book of Revelation.

Jewish Calendar Numbers

Eagle in FlightThe number "three and a half" seems odd to us because it characterizes a time of "imperfection or incompleteness," an event yet to be fulfilled. It is similar to the number "seven," which indicates "completeness." For example, the famine in Elijah's day lasts three and a half years, according to James 5.17, which explains, "Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed intently that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years." Even after three and a half years, the judgment is not yet complete.

Times, Time, and Half A Time

Similarly, the woman in Revelation 12.14 is "given the two wings of a great eagle so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach." The phrase "time, times and half a time" is another way of saying "three and a half" and may also be found elsewhere as "forty-two months" or even "1,260 days." In Revelation 12.6, "the woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days." "1260 days" is the Jewish equivalent to the modern western calendar's three and a half years, and to be mathematically accurate would today equal "1,277.5 days!" The Jewish calendar is not the same length as the solar calendar used in the Western World today. The earth's rotation on its axis is equal to one day, the moon's revolution about the earth is equal to one month, and the earth's revolution about the sun is one year.

Three, Ten and Twelve

Number TwelveThe number "Ten" is the symbolic number for "eternity." "Twelve" indicates the "Kingdom of God" with "three," being the signature for God multiplied by "four" as the identity of human beings to equal "twelve." The number "twelve" delineates in the Gregorian calendar units of time and even some currencies, such as the old British Imperial System of "pounds, shillings, and pence." Watch for these Revelation numbers as you read, understand their intended interpretation, and view them in their context accordingly to add depth of understanding to your reading!

One Thought a Day

Holy Bible PageIn this book of daily devotionals called "Revelation Now," we provide one central thought for each Bible passage for reflection every day. It is useful as a "primer, a source of encouragement or a thought provoker for a Christian during a busy working day." These devotionals for prayer, worship, or other meditations will purposely not provide every detail on every subject. Still, they will leave room for more information, study, and inspiration at another time and place. Each daily thought is purposely short, confined to one digital page, and specific to accommodate busy people with hectic schedules, like you!

Devotionals for Prayer

Bible WorldWe have highlighted the Bible passages shown in the "New International Version." in yellow at the top of each page. This version, which is often called the NIV, is an entirely original translation of the Bible, produced by over a hundred modern scholars working from the best Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. It was prepared in 1966 and revised in 2011 by a broad inter-denominational and international group. The latest updates were compiled in 2011 together with alternative translations of some keywords in the margin. It is considered by many scholars to be the best and most accurate translation available. It is easy to understand, clear, and used in many churches. Other versions may be equally helpful to you, but newer updates are coming out all the time. It is always good to compare the different versions of the Scriptures with one another to understand the meaning more fully.

Bible Study Group

Bible Study GroupThe devotional material following the Biblical text accompanies photographs and illustrations to describe some places, people, and objects in the Bible text. Objects like a "yoke" or a "cornerstone" or "swaddling clothes" may not be familiar to people in the Twenty-First Century. These devotionals may help as "an early morning meditation, a family thought at breakfast or a focus as you commute to work or even at bedtime. In a more formal setting, they can be read aloud in church or as the basis of a Bible study group, or as a sermon series for a preacher."

Daily Encouragement

IpadThese Bible studies may also be useful as a series of Lenten or Advent Devotionals viewed on a laptop or PC or projected on to a screen in a hall or home. The daily devotionals render well on most small-screen formats like the iPhone 4,5 and 6, and 8, Galaxy, Lumia and Kindle, i-pad, i-pod, Blackberry, and most other mobile phones or devices. They work equally well on the full page of any computer or laptop on the internet. Whenever or wherever you utilize these studies, they will help provide you and your Christian friends with daily encouragement and inspiration. Pray over them, reflect on each day's thought, and apply them to your own lives. May this be a challenging and modern way to bring Jesus into your life, home, family, and job. "Let the reader strive and let God be glorified."

"Revelation's Devotional Numbers"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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