During the week before I met the Lord, two Mormons visited my home I allowed them to make one of their presentations.
I thought I was being clever, because I would be moving into my first home a few days later and had no intention of telling them. Before that, I had been raised in a Church of England environment, but never knew the Lord.
I owned a beautiful family bible with a cream leather cover and this bible sat on my mantelpiece in its satin lined presentation box gathering dust. I was told that it was a holy book containing God’s word, but never understood it.
Every now and then I would open it and read, but I always started where one starts reading a book I guess and that was from page 1. When I got to the genealogy parts, I bogged down and quit. The same thing happened when I started in the New Testament and if you know Matthew 1, it dives straight into those genealogy parts also, so I quit. Nothing made sense (then).
Those Mormons made an excellent presentation and took me by surprise, by saying one word, “Well?”
I realized that they wanted me to make some kind of decision that was to agree with them and join up or not. I was embarrassed not knowing what to say or do and they asked me to pray about it. What? Pray? Pray in front of others? Anglicans read set prayers out of the Book of Common Prayer or recited the “Lord’s Prayer” which of course it isn’t, but that is another story. They wanted me to pray right there and then, so I stammered out a kind of prayer that was along the lines of, “God. Please show me the truth.”
He will answer those prayers.
Shortly after I moved into my first home, God answered that feeble prayer and I met Jesus for the first time. It was September 1st, 1968 at 7:30 PM and was a conversion experience, somewhat like Paul’s conversion experience on the dusty Damascus Road. God had started to answer my prayers for his reality. Like many people who to church, I knew about Him, but I never knew Him.
Overnight, the bible became real to me. I understood it and was so hungry for God to talk to me out of its pages, I devoured it. Every time I started to study and I mean study and not read the thing, I asked the Lord to reveal truth to me from the pages. Almost 50 years later, I still adopt this principle and it is truly amazing.
One thing that I discovered is that the bible is not to be treated as a theologically motivated intellectual discourse, trying to reason out what an author meant when he wrote a particular book or epistle. I firmly believe that if you want to know what is meant, do not ask a commentator—ask the author!
The Holy Spirit gave the bible by revelation. The word of God is inspired or God-breathed.
This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When we apostles told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we didn't base our message on clever myths that we made up. Rather, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes.
These and many other scriptures illustrate that if we really want to know God and experience all that He has for us, we have to do so from His perspective. That is, by hearing for ourselves as individuals, what He has said on any topic—by such inspiration and revelation. Anything else is man made opinion and is subject to man’s limitations. Theological approaches fail! They must fail, no matter how good they seem, if they emanate from the human mind or intellect because the natural mind is at enmity with God. We do not think like He does. We have clouded or imperfect vision. We do not have the wisdom God has—but we can ask for such things and receive them by faith. See James 1:5-8.
If we are not to live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, we must have the kind of understanding God has and will give us and it is, as I keep saying, imparted by revelation.
Be careful to obey every command I give you today. Then you will live, and your population will increase. You will enter and take possession of the land that the LORD promised to your ancestors with an oath. Remember that for 40 years the LORD your God led you on your journey in the desert. He did this in order to humble you and test you. He wanted to know whether or not you would wholeheartedly obey his commands. So he made you suffer from hunger and then fed you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had seen before. He did this to teach you that a person cannot live on bread alone but on every word that the LORD speaks. Deuteronomy 8:1-3
The next few verses after this reveal the benefits. Their clothes never wore out…for 40 years! Some ladies today might not like to have the same wardrobe all that time, but God provided everything they needed. If He did it for a whole nation, He can do it for you. In the reference above you will see that God promised these things to their ancestors by an oath. It is this oath aspect we shall investigate shortly.
People often ask me what bible translation is best. I prefer the good old King James Version, but possess scores of translations. People like the modern versions because they “make sense” to them. The modern words are easier to understand perhaps, but in the conversion from the original language into modern text, much of the original meaning is often lost. Sometimes the translator has a choice of more than one word from the original and chooses one that might not be right. We need to bear in mind that bible translators are scholars whose qualifications are not in question, but their affiliations are.
One provider of bible software offers the Anglican, the Baptist, the Lutheran, the Methodist and Wesleyan, the Orthodox, the Pentecostal and Charismatic, the Reformed, the SDA, and the Catholic versions of the bible. Obviously, each will be “biased” towards their own denominational persuasion. Their interpretations will be flavoured by their church doctrines, ordinances and practices. The Catholic bible contains a questionable addition called the Apocrypha. It is inserted between what we call the Old Testament and the New Testament, but it lacks that “ring” of authenticity one would expect if God breathed or inspired.
After I was saved for a while, I had a conversation with a young Baptist man at work. His father was the regional representative of the British and Foreign Bible Society who later befriended me and helped me start in ministry. He gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon that someone had given him and I did an experiment. I was still a baby Christina then. I was still wet behind the ears and as green as they come, but hungry for God. When I held the Book of Mormon, something in side me felt terrible.
I Asked the Lord to show me if it was genuine or not and picked up my KJV. My spirit soared. When I picked up the Book of Mormon, my spirit fell. The Lord told me to read John 14 and 15. Here, He spoke of the role and function of the Holy Spirit in guiding us, teaching us and imparting truth to us.
I found out the truth and have followed such guidelines since. We are often told to test the spirits, to see who is genuine or not. See 1 John 4 and compare this with Acts 17:11. In 1 John 2:20-29, John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit says that we can be anointed by the Spirit to know the Truth. This means that our understanding and inspiration Must be Spirit based! If it is not…anything goes!
Just because someone quotes a bible verse does not mean that they are of God or are speaking truth!
The serpent quoted some of God’s word to Eve in the garden! The devil tempted Jesus using scripture, but he misquoted it.
You and I must therefore be fully equipped for life by the word of God and the only way this can happen is to allow God to have some input into our lives as we read and meditate the word. That’s the very command God gave Joshua in Joshua 1:8. Meditating the word is not sitting still and “emptying the mind”, as that cannot be done.
It is verbal!
This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Joshua 1:8
The Hebrew meanings of the word meditate (hāgâ) are to murmur, to ponder, roar (like a lion roaring over its prey), speak, utter, talk and study. It’s verbal! In Hebrews 10:23, we are told to hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering. The word profession is homologia that means to say the same things that God says. If we are to say what God says, we must know what He says, so if we relate to what could be inaccurate versions or translations of scripture, they could sound great but not be right! We are not talking like God.
I know that some people are not as well educated as others, but we are dealing with spiritual matters here, so we need to come to it by the Spirit! I know that some folk have problems with the old style language of the KJV, with words like thee and thy, but do not avoid asking the Holy Spirit to show you what He means and rely on Him to teach you truth. Even if you do not have a good education, do not know English well, or have reading disabilities like dyslexia, He can enable you. I met a man in India who was totally illiterate (he could not read or write a letter, let alone a word) who could read the word of God. It was awesome giving him a bible in the Telugu language to a place I chose and he read it perfectly. We underestimate what the Holy Ghost can do in our lives, so excuses are just that—excuses. I say this because the Lord challenged me along certain similar lines and I have learned that it works.
I make use of a wide range of versions and compare them with each other and look at the original meanings in the original languages. There are many free online resources you can use, so you can do it if you want to.
Now, I’ve said all this to get to the point. You may be wondering why I used the title “Seven”.
I am glad you asked.
In the original languages, like Hebrew and Greek, numbers and letters can often be interchanged.
The Greek letter Alpha Άλφα is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It also has a value of 1.
In Hebrew א likewise equates numerically to the number 1.
Generally speaking therefore we can loosely convert some of the words in scripture into numbers and in so doing form amazing numerical equations or formula that can take on significance. Modern versions lack this ability, because some of the original meanings may have been altered.
We can see amazing design in creation. Isaiah 40:12 states-
Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand; And meted out heaven with a span; And comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, And weighed the mountains in scales, And the hills in a balance?
As for God His way is perfect. Psalm 18:30.
If everything God has done and continues to do are perfect in power, perfect in holiness and righteousness, perfect in design, perfect in execution, perfect in their object and end, we can rightly say that they are perfect in number. We know from scripture that God created everything by faith and by His spoken word.
We also know that everything is kept by the word of His power.
All His words were spoken and written, in the right way, at the right time and in the right numerical order.
He telleth the number of the stars. Psalm 147:4.
I hope that by now you can see that there are precise mathematical formulae in scripture—a kind of bible code involved. If bible translators make changes to give us different versions of scripture, they could use a different language or use different words to those in the original. If so, then these laws and the principles, of which I speak, including this coding, may be missed out completely. The code or pattern just is not there. This is why there are definite principles or laws of interpretation involved in properly dividing the word of God. Some of those laws include things like the law of first mention, the law of much mention and the law of last mention.
This numerical pattern can at times reveal spiritual truths to us, even if only in typology form, that may reveal God and His nature, the nature of man, the plan of salvation and the like. We shall now see a few examples only, because the list would be too great to share on this page. We shall start with the number one.
Now that I have laid my foundation and I hope I have stimulated your thoughts, I can come to the thing that inspired me to write this…the number seven. This number represents spiritual perfection.
Because of this, it is a number that occupies a unique place in the Word of God.
Many times a number is associated with another to give a powerful meaning.
Seven occurs 287 times, or 7 x 41.
The Seventh, occurs 98 times, or 7 x 14.
Seven-fold, occurs 7 times.
Seventy occurs 56 times, or 7 x 8.
Seventy, in combination with other numbers, occurs 35 times, or 7 x 5.
Joshua marched around Jericho seven times.
Isaiah 11:2 prophesied that there would be a 7-fold anointing on Jesus.
Jesus said I Am seven times in John’s Gospel.
The armor of God Paul spoke of in Ephesians 6:4-18 specifically lists 6 components that when linked with the spear (that was part of the Roman soldier’s equipment) makes it a seven-fold list. The spear speaks of prayer in the Spirit. The spear or javelin extended the range of the soldier in personal hand-to-hand combat.
In Exodus 25:37 Moses was commanded to build a solid gold seven-branched menorah. It was placed into the first chamber of the Tabernacle. Outside, the illumination came from natural means, but once inside the only light came from the golden candlestick. Specially compounded oil fed it.
I have often said that we cannot afford the luxury of removing the Holy Spirit from our churches.
In what I have shared thus far, I hope that you are seeing a pattern. I called this publication Seven and concentrate on the number 7 for a reason. As I said, it represents divine perfection. People used to count on a single hand and it was considered a powerful, unbreakable number because a smaller number could not divide it. 7 cannot be divided.
The word for seven in Hebrew is sheva שֶׁבַע and it is linked to shevua שְׁבוּעָה meaning an oath.
All of what I have just shared leads to this—God is a covenant making and a covenant keeping God.
He made a covenant with Abraham that is still valid today and it affects you and me. We are his heirs through Christ once we receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
What God promised Abraham, comes to us through Jesus. As I looked at all this again, I saw a marked pattern and, yes, you guessed it…there are seven major covenants I can see in Abraham’s life.
The “Ishmael’s” of our lives must go, if we really want the blessing.
Just before God made this most powerful and profound covenant with Abraham the man had to cast aside everything that I will dub ungodly.
Up to this time, Abraham had been living well because of the blessing and Abimelech knew it!
Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant. In verse 27, Abraham…who was the person who had been wronged…took 7 ewe lambs.
Abimelech wanted to know what it meant. Wait a minute…Abraham was wronged and he took the initiative? Don’t we want to demand our rights and want to get even? Don’t we want to see our enemy go under? Sure we do, but Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. If they change, we have won someone, but if they do not, we have kept our hearts pure and that is the issue.
Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive someone who wrongs us. 7 times?
The number 70 by the way speaks about a combination of spirit and order.
It is possible to be right, but apply it incorrectly.
It is possible to have all your doctrines down pat, but apply them in an unbecoming manner.
The lesson is to do what you need to do for as long as you need to do it!
God will vindicate and I’ve proved that many times also.
The issue is not who is right or wrong, but who has the right motivation and who trusts God.
Abraham gave Abimelech those 7 ewes and they made a covenant at a place they called Beersheba.
The name of that place has two meanings. One is the well of an oath and the other is the well of seven (or the well of the 7-fold oath).
You may wonder what this means to us and I say, “Everything”, because it was only after that when God asked him to offer up Isaac. This was the turning point. Israel came through Isaac. The covenant promises of God made to Abraham, passed onto Isaac, then to
Every promise God made to him was then ratified by blood and we are now partakers of the covenant and this is also made by blood. Isaac had similar issues and they are the same kinds of issues we have.
It continues to our day.
In Genesis 26, God appeared to him at Beersheba and made a covenant with Him, making the same promises He made with Abraham.
Beersheba is often used to indicate the southern extent of the land with the phrase, “From Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south”. All this relates in some way to the covenant promise God made to Abraham.
As I said earlier, we are classed as Abraham’s heirs, so those covenant promises are ours also, with certain conditions that are simply to live in the right manner before God and to live by faith.
I’ve stressed the bible numeric aspects to hopefully show that God means business and intends to keep His promises. He has cut a covenant with us and it takes two people to make a covenant. He will keep His part and it is up to us to keep our part.
If you have issues with others try to live peaceably with them, which is a New Testament teaching.
Blessings to you.