JUNE 5, 2006

An Auspicious Date
by Pastor George Van Alstine

If you are reading this article, you’ve made it through a very dangerous time. Tuesday was 6/6/06, and according to Revelation 13:18, the number 666 is very significant:
“This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.â€?

A lot of people who thought they had “wisdomâ€? and “understandingâ€? have come up with sure identifications of who the “personâ€? is who is symbolized by the number 666. Unfortunately, they have all come up with different identifications: Roman Emperor Nero, Pope Leo X, Joseph Stalin, Henry Kissinger. Hollywood is wiser yet, staking claim to the number 666 for its antihero Damien, by releasing the remake of “The Omenâ€? on Tuesday, 6/6/06.

I learned from a radio report that in Malaysia 6/6/06 is considered a very lucky day, because in one of their dialects the word for “sixâ€? sounds a lot like the word for “luck.â€? So many couples wanted to be married on that date that mass wedding ceremonies were held last Tuesday in amphitheaters. Their wedding certificates will remind them through all the years of their marriage that they began their life together on “luckâ€?/“luckyâ€?/“luck.â€?

Fascination with such numerical niceties is part of being human. It can be seen in records of every ancient civilization. Human fate seems to be so unpredictable and arbitrary. It’s a comfort to feel that there is some “sensibleâ€? system behind it, even if it is found in the arrangement of numbers, or the alignment of stars, or how tea leaves float to the bottom of a cup.

Those of us who believe in the God of the Bible have come into living contact with the Reason behind all that happens to us. That is part of the comfort of knowing him:
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.â€?

If we are consistent in our belief, we will see that all these other ways of trying to plug into a universe that seems haphazard are really just superstitions. All superstitions are eliminated by faith in the God whose will directs his created universe.

There are places in the Bible where numbers appear to be given special significance. This is most obvious in the visions of the Old Testament Book of Daniel and the New Testament Book of Revelation, but symbolically meaningful numbers are also embedded throughout the Law and the Prophets.

However, a careful study of the use of numbers in the Bible will show that they are always used as a demonstration of the orderliness of the mind of the God who controls, rather than as a means of controlling the mind of God by our actions, which is what superstition is all about.

If there is anyone who would like to debate any of these points with me, call the office. I have an opening in October, which has the next available Friday the Thirteenth.