Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
The number three is associated in the scriptures with the subject of the Godhead. It is no coincidence that the word, "Godhead," appears exactly three times in the scriptures:
1. Acts 17:29 "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."
2. Rom 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
3. Col 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
Based on reference 2 above, the Godhead is both invisible and clearly seen. It is invisible to the eye, yet clearly seen by the things that God has made.
The Godhead is stated for us in 1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The Godhead and how three are one is one of the great mysteries in the scriptures. No man will ever be able to mine all the depths of this great mystery.
The Godhead with the associated number three, yet one, is seen by the things that God has made. The number three, yet one, is God's signature on the things that he has made. All great artists sign their work. Furthermore, product manufacturers place their name on their products. Writers place their name on their books, etc. Most things of value, the authors or manufacturers want you to know who was responsible for them. God has placed his signature on all that he has made and done.
We see this pattern of the Godhead throughout the material universe in which God created. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the writing of the bible. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the things that God has directed to be made or done. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the works of God. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the worship service of the church and in the ordinances of the church. It would appear that God has placed his signature (three, yet one) on everything that he has made and done.
Three (Part I)
The number three is frequently used in the scriptures in association with the bible subject of the Godhead. As a matter of fact the word, Godhead, appears in the bible exactly three times:
1. Rom. 1:20, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead...
2. Acts 17:29, Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and manís device.
3. Col. 2:9, For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
The Godhead is described for us in 1 John 5:7, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. One of the great mysteries of the ages has been how can three be one. While we have great difficulty understanding how three can be one, yet we know it to be true because the scriptures plainly declare it is so. Furthermore, according to the first reference above God has placed the mark of the Godhead on the things that God has made. He has declared unto us that what we can understand of the Godhead can be understood by looking at the things which God has made. Ps. 19:1, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
Let us now take a look at natural creation and see if we can see the mark of the Godhead on those things which God has made. First, we live in a universe (uni = one) that can be measured with three parameters, time, space, and matter. Each of these three parameters have three parts. Time is measured in past, present, and future. For instance, in showing the ever present, eternal, unchanging nature of the Lord, he is declared by the scriptures to be the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Space is three dimensional, height, width, and breadth so that we dwell in a three dimensional universe. Matter exists in three and only three states; solids, liquids, and gases. The building block of matter is the atom. All matter is composed of atoms either singularly or in combinations known as molecules. Every atom consists of three subatomic elements known as protons, neutrons, and electrons. These three elements make up for more than 99.9% of all atoms.
In addition we live in a world with a great variety of colors. Yet there are three basic colors from which all other colors are derived: red, blue, and yellow. By combining these three basic colors in various combinations all other colors can be formed.
Several times we read in the scriptures
that the life of the creature is in the blood. There are three types of
cells in blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These
three cells are essential for life. The red blood cells carry oxygen and
nutrients to feed the cells of the body. The white blood cells are
essential in fighting various viruses, diseases, and foreign materials
that invade the body, and platelets are essential to the clotting of
blood when there is an injury to the body, thus starting the repair and
healing of body wounds.
The seed of life both in plants and animals generally consist of three parts: outer covering, food stuff, and germ. Thru this three part seed, life of the plants and animals is reproduced.
According to 1 Thes. 5:23 man consists of
three parts: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray
God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus we may conclude that God has placed the mark of the Godhead on the things in nature, which God has made. In our next essay we will examine the mark of the Godhead as it pertains to the types and shadows of the old testament.
Three (Part II)
There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. This passage from I John 5:7 declares unto us the three and one Godhead. While there are many things about the Godhead I do not understand, the pattern of the Godhead is set forth for us throughout the scriptures, especially in the types and shadows of the old testament.
First, the scriptures as a whole consist of sixty six books. The scriptures are divided into the law, the prophets, and the letters. The first 22 books consists of the law and the workings of the law. The next 22 books consists of the prophets and fulfillment of the prophets. The last 22 books contain the letters of the apostles.
When God declared he would destroy the earth with a flood, he had Noah build an ark that consisted of lower, second, and third stories. Thus it was one ark with three stories. When God brought the flood waters upon the earth, He opened the windows of heaven, broke up the fountains of the great deep, and caused it to rain for 40 days and nights. Thus the flood waters were from three sources. When Noah sought to find out if the flood waters were abated, he sent forth a dove three times. In type the dove was a figure of the church. She bore three messages. The first message was that she found no rest for the soles of her feet. There was no rest under the old law covenant. Next, she bore the message of peace with an olive leaf plucked off. Thus under the new covenant of worship the gospel is the gospel of peace for Godís sin-weary people. Third, the dove left the ark and returned not again. In the morning of the resurrection Godís covenant people are leaving this earth to never return again. When man came off the ark, God replenished the earth with the three sons of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Next, God made a covenant with Abraham and confirmed it with Isaac, and Jacob. In this covenant God promised to multiply their seed as three innumerable things: dust of the earth, sand of the sea shore; and stars of heaven. In Gal. 3:16 the seed of Abraham is declared to us to be Christ. The multiplied seed is the elect which Rev. chapter 7 declares to be a great multitude which no man can number of every nation, kindred, people, and tongue.
When Moses and children of Israel crossed the Red Sea they journeyed three days and came to the waters of Marah and they were bitter. God showed Moses a tree which when he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
The tabernacle the children of Israel built by Godís pattern consisted of three parts: the outer court, the holy place, and the most holy place. Similarly the temple consisted of three major parts.
We are all familiar with Jonah being swallowed by a great fish and how that he was three days and nights in the great deep until God caused the whale to vomit him up on dry ground. The Lord gave as a sign of his resurrection that as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whales belly, then the Son of man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Furthermore, the Lord gave the children of Israel three feasts in which the males were to gather and appear in the place which he would establish. These three feasts were: the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles, and the feast of weeks.
When God delivered the children of Israel from the great host in the days of Gideon he chose out three hundred men and set them in three companies and by these he set up the destruction of that great host of enemies that were gathered against Israel.
When David numbered the children of Israel and displeased God, God gave David three choices: three years of famine; three months to be destroyed before their enemies; three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. There were three choices and three was associated with each choice. The fact is this was Godís judgment and the Godhead was being manifest in this judgment.
In our next essay we will look at the pattern of threes surrounding the death and resurrection of Christ.
Three (Part III)
The mark of the Godhead is not only found in the things in nature and in the things that God had constructed (ark, tabernacle, temple) but it is especially manifest in the events surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Beginning with the time Jesus separated James, Peter, and John to be with him in the garden of Gethsemane we find numerous groupings of three that speaks to us to the fact that God was in control of the events that took place in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus:
1. This was the third time recorded in the scriptures that Jesus had separated these three apostles unto himself. The first time was when he raised the young maiden from the dead. The second time was at the mount of transfiguration and now the third time at the garden.
2. Next Jesus prayed the same prayer three times in the garden.
3. When Jesus was taken to the house of the high priest, Peter denied the Lord three times as Jesus had said that he would.
4. There were three trials of Jesus: at the high priestís house by the Sanhedrin court; before King Herod; and before Pilate the governor.
5. There were three malefactors associated with the crucifixion of Jesus: Barabbas who was let go, and the two thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus.
6. Jesus was crucified in the midst of three.
7. Pilate had one saying written in three languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Latin) above the head of Jesus on the cross: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.)
8. Jesus was crucified at the third hour of the day.
9. While Jesus hung on the cross for six hours, there were three hours of light followed by three hours of darkness over all the earth.
10. There were three women specifically named Mary who stood at the feet of Jesus as he hung on the cross.
11. Jesus lay in the grave for three days and nights.
12. There were three angels present at the grave of Jesus: the mighty angel who rolled back the stone and sat on the stone and the two angels who appeared at the head and foot of where Jesus had lain in the grave and had said, Why seek ye the living among the dead, he is not here, he is risen as he said...
13. Jesus elicited from Peter an
affirmation of his love three times after his resurrection.
Three (Part IV)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead... According to 1 John 5:7, There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. Based on the above we see that God has placed the mark of the Godhead (three are one) on the things that God has made.
Jesus said in Matt. 16:18, Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The rock Jesus was referring to was the rock of revealed truth of himself. The church is built on three aspects of Jesus:
1. Who he is: Verily God manifest in the flesh; the Son of God; etc.
2. What he did: He saved his people from their sins; he quickens or calls them to eternal life; he changes their mortal body in the resurrection; he intercedes for them; etc.
3. What he says: his word, the scriptures.
In the old testament there were three buildings that when completed were made manifest by a cloud filling and surrounding the building, in which it was said, the glory of the Lord filled the building. These three buildings were the tabernacle in the wilderness, the temple built in Solomonís day, and the building of Ezekielís vision. Similarly, three times in the book of Acts we read about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. First, on the day of Pentecost the Spirit filled the house where the church was gathered at Jerusalem. Next in the city of Samaria (Acts chapter 8) when the apostles came down and laid their hands on the people they were filled with the Holy Ghost. Finally, at the house of Cornelius when Peter preached unto the Gentiles the Gentiles were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 11:15, 16).
When someone comes seeking entry into the church, they enter thru water baptism. Water baptism signifies three things: the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When someone is baptized he is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The worship service of the true church is composed of three parts: singing, prayer, and preaching. Likewise, the communion service as laid down for us in the scriptures consists of three parts:
1. Eating the unleavened bread which signifies the pure, perfect, sinless body of Christ.
2. Drinking the wine which signifies the blood of Christ which he shed to redeem us from our sins.
3. Washing the disciples feet which signifies the humility required to serve one another and thus serve the Lord.
In our worship service we are told to sing and make melody in our hearts unto the Lord. Singing consists of three parts: melody, harmony and rhythm. Similarly when we pray, we pray with the unction and leadership of the Holy Spirit; we pray in the name or authority of Jesus Christ, who intercedes for us; and we pray unto the Father.
In conclusion, the Lordís church which the Lord has built bears the image or mark of the Godhead, thus identifying her maker and identifying her authenticity. May God be glorified by her throughout all ages.