Selecting The Verses
This numeric study begins with God, not Genesis 1:1. (Beginning with Genesis 1:1 might seem obvious, but that is only from a very human perspective.) This numeric study starts with God because God is the beginning, the real beginning, and ultimately the only beginning.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8 KJV)
Beginning with God reveals what numeric studies should look for. It's not about us. It's not about what we think we ought to look for. To not start with God leaves the field wide open to an infinite number of results and proves nothing.
Some would say,
Why not begin with John 1:1? This would have the advantage of having creation (our beginning) and God all in one verse. There are a few reasons why this is also not a good place to start.
- John 1:1 is in Greek. Hebrew came before Greek.
- The verse is quite mysterious and tells us nothing definitively about God.
- People have been debating what this verse means for centuries.
- The text doesn't tell us what to look for.
The best place to start would be where God describes Himself: Exodus 34:6-7 and Revelation 1:8. Exodus 34:6-7 give us God’s character, and Revelation 1:8 describes God’s nature. The two verses are at either end of the Bible, and they were written by the first and last authors. This mirrors the text of Revelation 1:8.
Both verses are descriptions God gives of Himself. The circumstances behind these two verses are uniquely parallel. Exodus 34:6-7 was given to Moses face to face as with a friend (Exodus 33:11). Revelation 1:8 was given to the beloved Apostle John in a vision (John 21:20; Revelation 22:16).
God’s Character (Exodus 34:6-7)
the lord passed before him, and proclaimed,the lord, the lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (7) keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.(Exo 34:6-7 KVJ)
|Capitalized in English, these are the only words used to translate the Hebrew name for God. The Divine Name represents everything that God is and stands for. From Psalm 138:2, Exodus 34:6-7 and Exodus 33:18-19, the Divine Name is inextricably tied in with His glory and holiness. The doubling of the Divine Name indicates the highest glory/holiness.|
|There is only one divine being, the great
I AM(Exodus 3:6, 14 & 20:3).
|God does not punish us fully with what we deserve (Romans 9:29).|
|God gives us what we do not deserve (Romans 5:8).|
slow to anger
|God is not easily angered. He remembers we are dust (Psalm 103:14), and only a breath (Psalm 39:5).|
|But God is not simply merciful, gracious, or forbearing of us. He is also very generous (
to thousands). The beatitude in Matthew 5:45 demonstrates His overflowing generosity.
|God does not change (Psalm 102:26-27). He will not become less perfect. He will not change into someone evil (James 1:17).|
|God is the most loving being, giving His son for us (John 3:16).|
|He is trustworthy and dependable. As Jeremiah said when he was in deepest grief for his people:
Great is thy faithfulness(Lamentations 3:22-23).
|When God erases our sin, it is as if it never existed (Psalm 103:12).|
by no means clear the guilty
|Despite all God's generous love, mercy, graciousness, forbearance, faithfulness and forgiveness, which is more than enough to cover what is demanded
by the law, there are times when
guiltis not expiated. This is because although
technicallypassing the letter of the law (Romans 8:4), someone remains unrighteous. Righteousness extends beyond the law (Romans 2:14, Galatians 3:17).
|God is just (Jeremiah 5:29, 21:12), and He demands that we follow His example.|
|eternal||God is the only one who spans ’generations’ (Genesis 21:33, Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 40:28) and is
Ancient of Days(Daniel 7:9). He is eternal. It could be said that being
eternalis a quality, and should not be listed under character. Must God be limited to our definitions and restrictions?
As will be seen later, 13 is a number that refers to God’s name.
God’s Nature (Revelation 1:8)
|I am ⁄ Is ⁄ Was ⁄ Is to come||Eternally Timeless|
|Alpha||The First Name|
|Omega||The Last Name|
|Beginning||Beginner of all things|
|Ending||The one who ends all things|
|Lord||God ⁄ Sovereign|
|First*||The One Before All Others|
|Last*||The One After All Others|
Alpha, Omega, beginning, ending, first and last can be taken in two ways: 1) as literary reiterations of the same thing and or 2) as separate characteristics. If God really meant to tell us the same thing in three different ways, this would not tell us much about Him at all. And if He really meant to describe Himself to us, He would not use a method open to error. The simplest and most informative method would be direct and literal. Thus Revelation 1:8 describes different characteristics even when they sound the same.
The words describe complementary opposites. They are not opposites that cancel out. In pairs, they span everything in between. This is best seen graphically in the x, y and z-axis. But God is not just a three dimensional being. The phrase
which is, and which was, and which is to come, places the past tense between the present and future. This points to non-linear dimensions. God tells us He is of multiple, or infinite dimensions.
The best in computer technology today is only a primitive example of how God might work. Cloud computing utilizes thousands of computers to run in parallel, distributing time consuming operations so the entire process can be faster. Each machine solves a different part of a complex problem. Nevertheless, the machines run their portion of the program from beginning to end in a linear process. God is way ahead of this. He uses radically different programs not just in parallel, but in convergent or divergent geometric processes. He has no restrictions. (Will we even be able to build a computer that can process instructions out of order in a few years?)