In ancient languages like Hebrew and Greek the letters of the alphabet had numerical significations. Totalled the letters that make up Jesus’ Name in Greek come to 888!
The number 8 stands for the new beginning, as God took six days to make the world and He rested on the seventh.
7 Is the number of perfection, both of good and evil. Christ Jesus reaches beyond human perfection in that which is good; because He is not only human, but also God.
Triple 8 denotes the divine dimension, as there are three Persons in the Trinity.
In the closing verses of the Song of Songs the beloved wishes that Solomon receives the thousand silver pieces (and that 200 be for the keepers of the fruit). Now, Christ as the true Solomon has received the name above every name. So, on earth He was 888, but now He is 1000. The number 1000 is mentioned both by Job and by Solomon. Job talks about a true advocate or lawyer–one among a thousand–and Solomon speaks of a worthy man in that way. In both cases Christ is meant (Job: I know that my redeemer liveth; Solomon: I have found Messiah, but not a woman).
But in the Song of Solomon, chapter 5. 10, the bride states that her beloved “is lifted up like a banner more than 10,000 [others].” We would say that He is INFINITE. And is He not the Infinite One in Infinitudes for the Church!
The Greek letters of Jesus’ Name come to the numerological value of 888. The jota represents the value of 10, the eta 8, the sigma 200, the omicron 70 and the upsilon 400. Since there are two sigma’s in Jesus’ Name, this adds up to 888. As in the ancient manuscripts only capital letters, the so-called majuscules (later uncials), were used and no end sigma’s, the total does come to 888 and not 694.
Jesus will be imitated by the antichrist who as the false prophet will represent the beast with the apocalyptic number of 666. Jesus is both King and Highpriest and these two functions will be imitated by the two beasts of Revelation ch.13. Whereas Jesus stands for the new beginning and the ultimate measure of divine perfection, the beast will not arrive at anything more but an almost human perfection; 6 being the number of man. In this perfection he will pretend to be divine. Hence the triple six.
What began in human history with the usurper Nimrod will find its climax in the beast. The human being wants to deify himself. For most people this means that they identify with a führer, their star, pop idol, super athlete or whatever. But the Bible says that what is extraordinary (‘high’) with humans is an abomination with God.
Adam and Eve were each 777 in the garden of Eden. This was a stage of perfect equilibrium in every human sense of the way. But it could obviously be upset by evil influences from the outside.
The first human stage of set or fixed perfection must be 888, which is a little lower than the unfallen angels (according to both the O.T. and the N.T. the Christ became a little lower than the angels [of course as far as His humanity is concerned]); who must be 999.
As the greatest philosopher Solomon probably got further than the apostle Paul, at least in certain respects, but further than 666 he did not advance (for it is unlikely that he became equal with our first progenitor, let alone surpassed him; for how did he fall again then!?) Also his annual income was 666 talents of gold, as if with all his wisdom, pomp and circumstance (according to the Christ a simple lily is clothed with greater honor) the whole thing stood in the sign of the beast, negatively spoken of course. For he is also a type of the Christ in the Millennium, Who will be more than just visited by the real spiritual queen of Sheba with all (our) questions for Him (Hallelujah!).
But of course the apostle Paul was the greatest theologian, who had heard unspeakable things in Paradise (which is in the third heaven [the atmosphere with the powers of the air being the first heaven and the universe of the stars being the second heaven]) and who could say of the gospel that it was his (naturally given to him by the Christ). All I want to say is that in true philosophy–the love of wisdom–Solomon surpassed him. Of course as the true theologian Paul stated that Christ became the wisdom of God and so theology surpasses philosophy). But despite all his wisdom Solomon came to offer his semen to the Moloch and ended a disgruntled king that taxed his people financially way too heavily for his personal aggrandizement. Hopefully, but not likely, he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes at the end of his life.
In theory not only Adam and Eve, but also the unelected angels, could have gone on to holiness (just like the elected angels must be doing). There is no blame to be assigned to the Creator here, nor is it so that Adam or Satan had a hidden defect before their respective Falls.
Christ stated that a disciple is not to become more than his teacher (v. Lu. 6.40). Truly bornagain Christians therefore will reach the set stage of 888, a position of human infallibility (of course as far as the human side is concerned. The beloved apostle John wrote also that we will be similar to Him, when He has been manifested to us [in all likelihood when He will spiritually marry the Church just before the Millennium and naturally in heaven]). This will not happen at the rapture and resurrection, as Christians will then invariably have to learn a lot yet.
Of course this does not mean that they can get lost again. This is not even the case before the resurrection. The Scripture verse of the Lord that we will receive in this time a hundredfold, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands with persecutions (as a result of our deeds before); is applicable here. In this time they will find themselves in a state between 777 and 888.
Being immortal and set free from the flesh they will also have ‘to carry away both the good and the evil done in the body’ to work out up to and including this set stage of 888. And this AFTER the Bema (Judgment) Seat of Christ (sic!), (see 2 Cor. 5. 10 on that).
Adam and Eve being 777 in the Garden of Eden became the greatest sinners (the apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners [probably because he had persecuted the Church]); worse than the beast and the antichrist together. For because of them the entire human race became entangled in a sin filled and broken creation that fell under the power of the devil and his demons (read fallen angels). Corruption of the best becomes the worst. The number 777 before Adam’s Fall was a positive number denoting perfect human good, but after his Fall it became a negative number (-777) denoting perfect human evil. The evil of the beast is -666 as to his motivation (and his abilities will be +666). His positive powers in the end are negative as they are motivated by pride and therefore he will choose against the real Christ.
But the Lord covered Adam and Eve with lamb’s skins. Now this speaks of Christ as the true Lamb of God. If the greatest sinners can be covered by the precious blood of Christ, then certainly you and me, my friend! Abel, called the first prophet, understood the truth of a substitutional sacrifice, Cain did not. This set the stage for two sorts of humans, the former on their way to heaven, the latter, with their natural religion on their way to hell. The former harbor a personal relationship with God, but the latter can only produce religiosity.
The christian has two natures, viz. the old Adam and the new Christ. Being born out of Christ his new nature is already 888, but he still has his old nature being 666 or even minus 777. Our new nature then, being born out of God, is stronger than our old nature, born out of a fallen Adam (and ultimately out of a fallen Satan [as Christ said to the Pharisees that their father was the devil; this holds for our old nature as well]). One might say that our fallen nature is minus 777 in its godless character, but that its manifestation is 666 at its human best and minus 666 as to its motivation.
The new nature should be fed and the old nature should be starved, the former should live and the latter should be mortified (put to death). The new nature is motivated by the wisdom from above (‘The wisdom from above then is at first holy, further peaceful, mild, convinceable, full of mercy and good works, unpartisan (or impartial) and not hypocritical’ [a perfect set of 7!]), but the old nature is motivated by pride and every possible evil thing appeals to it. Therefore we are to hate our souls in this world, so that we will preserve them. For the members of our soul on earth, that are to be mortified, are adultery, uncleanness, greed (which is idolatry) and so on.
Yet, ‘a wise man loves his own soul (and he that treats his body in a reckless and brutish way, is cruel)’. And so, though we are to hate our souls with their sinful members on earth, we are to love our souls in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Think on the things that are above, where Christ is; seek the things that are above.’ This makes sense, for we are to hate evil (the evil of the old nature) and we are to love good (the good things of the new nature). This is a paradox (not a contradiction). In the course of our walk on earth our souls learn evil things and these become tentacles on earth (‘Put to death your members that are on earth.’). Therefore there is a love-hate relationship with ourselves. Solomon said in this context: ‘Guard your heart more than anything that is to be guarded, for from it are the sources of life’ (or ‘from that act of guarding are the sources of life’; both translations are possible). If we do that, then these tentacles cannot grow very long and it will be easier to put them to death. In this way we can conquer evil (-777 and -666) through good (888) and we can even attain happiness.
A good friend of mine pointed out to me that as in mathematics a negative number times a negative number equals a positive number, so with the old and new nature. We died in Adam and so became evil (first minus), but then we are to die in Christ to this world (‘I am crucified to this world and this world is crucified to me’; the second minus). The end result is positive!
Christ’s state of ultimate human good (888), to be distinguished from prelapsarian Adamic human good (777) cannot be turned into the negative (-888 is absolutely an impossibility). Christians will once be freed from all negative characteristics and will shine as stars in the universe, having Christ’s character of 888!! The beast will be thrown alive into the lake of fire, along with the antichrist (the first is the beast out of the sea (of restless nations) and the second is the beast out of the earth (the nation of Israel). Christ’s human side of 888, as said before, is to be distinguished from His divine side (which, of course, we will never attain to; there can only be ONE God), which is an infinitude in infinitudes and at the same time the absolute simplicity of love. ‘God is Love’. Let us worship Him…
The bible states the following: ‘Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil; I the Lord do all these things.’ Before I enter upon this most difficult subject I want to affirm that God in Christ Jesus is light and life and love and the way (the only way) and the truth. Christ is the morning star that appears when all other stars fade. Therefore He is the only superstar and nobody can come to God the Father but through Him. Why then does it say here that God creates (actually IS in the process of creating [the participle is used]) evil, as if He might be the author of sin? Horrible thought. But it does not say that, most blissfully. It implies that He is the author and source of evil, but not the author of sin. We humans and angels turn evil into sin and so miss the intended goal of our existence. Solomon stated that God decided to dwell in darkness, but it also says that the darkness is light to God. And so, even in the worst evil, God sees something of His own light. This seems to imply that humans and angels are incapable of perverting themselves to such a degree as to drain out anything good (however as far as the old nature, the old Adam, is concerned, we are 100% corrupted). Remember that it says ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ It does not say that it is the tree only of evil.
Having said this I go out of my way to expressly state that I am not advocating some kind of pantheistic notion of good and evil as being two sides of the same coin, as if the divinity is at odds with itself and contradicting itself. It cannot be said strongly enough that the godhead is absolutely indivisible. ‘Hear Israel, I am ONE.’ Even though one might sum up in eternity an infinite array of characteristics of the godhead, at the same time it must be affirmed that the divinity is absolute simplicity. Nor do I propagate the notion of evil being the absence of good (privatio boni), according to scholasticism. Sin, in the end, is the absolute godhating rebellion against anything good in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the bible shows that this is the end of human history as far as sin is concerned.
In Hebrews 1.1 it says that God has finally spoken through the person of His Son the Lord Jesus, who is the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance. Both in the O.T. and the N.T. there was a progressive revelation taking place. This seems to coincide with God’s ‘forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil.’ Catholic theologians will scoff at me for believing that matter, yes the entire planet earth, and, yes, even the heavens became tainted by the respective falls of the devil and of Adam. But why does Peter state, then, that all the elements will burn up melting and that the earth and all its (evil) works will be found out? Why, actually, will God create a new heaven and earth, if the old one is not so damaged and tainted that it will be rolled up like a mantle? That gnostic sects with their so-called knowledge or science, against which the apostle Paul warns, like the Manichaeans, turn this truth into something desperately foolish and even sinful (as the bible itself states that there were those that perverted the scriptures), that does NOT mean that sin and evil are limited to the will. Also our intellect and even our very bodies are subject to a broken and rebellious world. (But glory be to God that Christ has triumphed over Satan and sin and even death [in principle, as it is the last enemy to be made subject to Christ]).
Satan, as the highest angel, as the covering cherub, was the ultimate show piece of God’s creation, according to the relevant scriptures in Ezechiel 28 and Isaiah 14. God even spurs the writer to say that one must take up a dirge for him! After all he was God’s most original creation… Further, by the way, the bible states clearly that the lake of fire (the second death as the ultimate hell) was made for the devil and his angels (those that followed him in his rebellion). Thus, eternal hell was made after Satan’s fall. And he desires to drag as many people along with him as possible.
And here we tread on occult and perhaps even holy ground. Satan turned evil into sin. He is called by the Lord the murderer of humans and the liar from the beginning (from his fall) and the father of a liar. The Lord also states that he saw Satan fall to earth as a flash of lightning. Yet I dare say that in all this God Himself played the devil to the devil, so to speak. As He that is creating evil, He tested the devil who subsequently fell in hubris and then turned his pride into full-blown sin. Satan did not guard his heart. He looked at his own greatness instead of the infinite greatness of God. And so evil became angelic sin and sinfulness. As said before, Satan was 999 along with all the angels (do not ask me how he could be the highest form of 999; perhaps 999.999 [just joking]). He did not have a disadvantage over against the elected and holy angels. He could have stood firm and triumphant. Did God seduce him then? No, He tested him. As I said, here we tread on occult and even holy ground as far as Satan and God are concerned. The above scripture in which the Lord Himself calls Himself the One in process of creating evil and darkness, is further best left alone, I think. One could involve yet the vision of the prophet Michah in this and the first two chapters of the book of Job, but the hidden things, as it is also written, belong to God! Yet it is obvious from the bible that Satan threw the glove before the holy countenance of the Lord and the Lord in His wisdom took up the challenge. And to his chagrine the devil finds out that time and time again it all works out for the best of those that love God. All ad maiorem Dei gloriam. The devil cannot do anything against the express will of the Almighty. Augustine posed that fallen angels are set in their will. That must mean as much that they have no freedom or liberty left (ultimately). But the bible teaches that humans also are bent on evil and sin, since the fall of Adam, through whom sin came into the world. Note, sin and transgression (not evil!) came into the world through Adam. Sin is lawlessness, according to the apostle John. Evil, in the above verse (Isaiah 45. 7), seems to be some kind of possibility to allow sin. If one watches evil too much, one can become mesmerized and turn it into sin. If one thinks, however, that if one occupies oneself only with good one will win out, then one is bound to become naive. The bible itself is full of evil examples that serve as warnings. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to take every thought captive into obedience to Christ and to break down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Now as to the other part of this most difficult scripture, viz. ‘forming or shaping light and making peace’ we may well wonder whether all things are a form of light!? (Notice that it says ‘is [in the process of] forming light’. It does not say that He is creating or has created light!]). God is light, the bible states and since all things are out of Him (not out of nothing, [so-called creatio ex nihilo; see Did God create out of nothing? on this]), one is left wondering whether by some creatio ex illo ipsissimo He has turned and is turning things into light and fire. Angels are called serving spirits of fire and God Himself is called Spirit by the Lord. The bible does state that the earth once consisted in and out of water, but that does not necessarily mean that water could therefore not be a form of light! As to His being in a process of creating darkness; that also can be interpreted as a form of light: as the bible itself says that darkness to God is as light. But let the reader be warned here that the Lord states that sinners shun the light and that the righteous seek the light that their works may be shown to be light!
But, one may ask, why did the Lord create a world with the possibility of so much sin? I believe that if God had been under the obligation to create the best possible world, then He would have been under some kind of determinism greater than Himself. But He is God, that is the very Greatest (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipressnt, all-holy); He cannot be subject to something greater. Maybe I am allowed to say that we will enjoy the best possible world in eternity (the new heaven and earth) more, because we had to go through a sinful one. If everything had been perfect from the start, would we have really loved the Lord? Augustine here uses the expression Felix Lapsa (‘happy Fall’). This goes far in enthusiasm, but is very true. [Evil tongues here may say that this is all evidence for double predestination. See Lapsarianism in another Light to answer to this kind of blasphemy].
Here I also think of scriptures that talk about the visible and invisible things that are respectively temporary and eternal. One may as well state, I think, respectively material and immaterial soul and spirit. God is Spirit. He does not consist, as Tertullian thought, in the finest form of matter, nor are angels material. Humans are both material and immaterial and that makes us unique. Light is both material and immaterial (particles and waves). And that brings us to the number 2, the number of union and division; 1 being the ultimate number of absolute uniqueness. And it brings us to the number 3, the number of stability (‘a threefold cord is not broken lightly’). Light consists of actinic rays (that serve growth), illuminating and warmth rays; a sort of triune union. But this goes beyond the scope of this study. We refer the reader to the writer F.W. Grant on various meanings and significances of numbers.