Here’s how it works in the world of numerology. First, you pick a number—any number. Then you randomly pluck some concept out of the air that you want to associate with that number. For example, you might decide that the number 4 represents healing. Once you accept your own baloney as truth, then you start peddling it to other people. So when your friend Judy finds out that she has a terminal illness and she comes to you for help, you say something like, “Take heart, Judy. I’m sure you’ll be healed. Look: four ducks are swimming in the pond, and four is the number of healing. Clearly those ducks are a sign from God telling you that He’s promising to give you total healing.” This is the kind of moron you turn into when you go down the road of numerology.
Now this business of trying to force numbers to be more than just numbers is older than the hills. Human beings have always been intensely aggravated by the fact that their Creator cannot be forced to communicate with them when and how they like. Since God won’t play the part of our puppet, we toss Him aside and start inventing religious systems that allow us to feel like we are the supreme authorities. We invent gods who can be manipulated by us. We invent sacred codes, spells and rituals which all supposedly give us the ability to control everything we care about. Then we work very hard at ignoring how many times our ridiculous games are failing us as we cling fiercely to the idea that we really can discern and control our own destinies.
In our material we frequently mention the soul attitude of submission, which is critical to pleasing your Creators. Submission says to Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit: “I recognize that You are the Supreme Authorities over all created beings. I bow to Your will. Have Your way in my life.” When we refuse to submit to the real Gods for too long, They retaliate by turning us into spiritual morons, at which point systems of numerology actually start sounding clever.
Now when you know nothing about numerology and you talk to some spiritual dingdong who is convinced that numbers can be turned into a source of prophetic messages and spiritual guidance, then it’s easy to be impressed with the dingdong’s confidence. Because you don’t see how the fellow is defying God on a soul level, and because you don’t understand that God enjoys turning our brains into mush when we give Him too much attitude, you don’t recognize what’s really going on with the fellow who spends countless hours of his life obsessing over numbers. Now and then some soul who actually cares about pleasing God asks us if there’s anything to numerology, Bible codes, Gematria, or some other such foolishness. Such souls are not trying to find a substitute for God, they’re just wondering how numerology can be so popular if it’s all a bunch of hooey. The explanation is simple. Take any point in human history and you’ll find that the majority of the humans living in this world were choosing spiritual rebellion over submission to God. Rebellion has always been the popular choice, and since rebellion always results in greater spiritual idiocy, the world has always been filled with idiotic spiritual theories which have a lot of followers.
Following the majority can be a wise move when you’re shopping for a new car and trying to avoid purchasing a lemon. But when it comes to spiritual issues, the majority is always wrong. Real spiritual wisdom comes from the real Gods—the same Gods who demand that we all submit to Them as the Supreme Authorities. If we withhold submission, They withhold wisdom, and down we go.
When you start discussing spiritual matters with other humans, you’ll find that the vast majority of the advice you’re given is pure hooey. Souls who are sincerely seeking truth from God are rare. Souls who will keep seeking truth from God even when He starts saying things that make them feel very upset are even rarer. So whenever you come across a spiritual concept that’s very popular among humans, you should assume it’s probably wrong and ask God for discernment. Don’t be impressed by confidence. Instead, consider how the teaching lines up with the soul attitudes God says are important: things like reverence, submission, dependency and trust. Also ask, “Is this philosophy teaching me to focus on the Creator or the created?”
When it comes to numerology, the focus is not on God, but on things God has created. Numerical relationships are a created concept. Numerical relationships are found throughout this universe God has made, which is totally unsurprising considering God’s love of patterns and intricate details. But as much as God loves patterns, He also delights in breaking them. So no sooner do we think we’ve found some numerical pattern than we come across some element in Creation which deviates from that rule.
Now we can greatly benefit by studying God’s handiwork if we go into it with an attitude of submission. When our studies are led by God, and we view ourselves as ignorant students who have been invited to come on a guided tour with an absolute Genius, then the discoveries God leads us to will end up increasing our awe of Him. When God is leading our scientific discoveries, we find ourselves feeling highly motivated to keep developing those four essential attitudes of reverence, submission, dependency and trust. We are humbled and astounded by the incredible details God reveals to us, while He grows ever more magnificent in our eyes. But when we are studying Creation with the wrong soul attitudes, then we only regress. Instead of being humbled by the revelations of fascinating patterns in God’s works, we become arrogant and pompous. Instead of feeling more dependent on God, we start feeling more confident in our ability to function without Him. Instead of revering His great power and feeling awed by His superior intellect, we start thinking that we are the superior minds and we demand to be credited and glorified for the insights God reveals to us. We fight over patents and copyrights. We write our discoveries down in books which we then charge people for, as if God’s inventions have suddenly become our property. We strut around boasting of how we’ve cracked some hidden code in the stars or in the Bible or on some ancient ruin because we’re oh so clever. And while we struggle and strain to decipher the deeper meaning that we’ve decided must exist behind the usage of 3s and 7s in the Bible, we totally discount the fact that if God wanted us to know something, He’d communicate it to us clearly. Instead of acknowledging what a capable Teacher God is, we act like He’s trying to hide from us in mystery, yet we can find ways to outsmart Him and force Him to reveal secrets about Himself.
God does indeed keep us blind to many facts about Himself, but the idea that we could ever pierce through the veil against His will is utterly ludicrous. We will never learn anything that God doesn’t want to teach us, which is why focusing on soul attitudes is so critical. If you ever want God to gift you with some deeper insights about who He is and how He operates, you have to approach Him with the right soul attitudes. If you try to dominate Him, control Him, or go around Him, you’ll never get anywhere.
The problem with numerology is that it reeks of wrong soul attitudes and wrong priorities. Instead of being content to wait for God to teach us according to His schedule, we decide that numbers will give us some portal into secret knowledge. Since we can always access the numbers, we don’t have to wait on God—we can work without Him and we will surely progress if we just persist long enough. This is the general theory behind obsessions with numerical codes. And since numerology is very much a “make it up as you go along” affair, the whole thing comes down to nothing more than human projection. Each fan of numerology makes up his own personal list of associations, then he goes through life seeing what he wants to see.
As we said before, there is nothing new about numerology. Many cultures and religions play games with numbers, and over time, many systems of numerology have emerged. Some systems have fancy names, like the Jewish game of Gematria. Gematria tries to justify its absurd numerical symbolism by pointing out various facts about Jewish Scriptures. For example, the Jewish Torah consists of the first five books of the Christian Old Testament, which were all authored by Moses. Oh, look: Moses wrote five books—not six or four. And the Jewish collection of song lyrics which we call the book of Psalms is divided into five sections. Wow, that’s two times that we can find the number 5 playing some huge role in Jewish Scriptures, right? Because obviously it’s super significant that someone decided to break up those 150 Psalms into 5 sections. So clearly 5 is the number of protection. Did you follow our logic right there? Did you see how logical it is to connect Moses’ five books and five groups of Psalms to the concept of protection? Of course you don’t, because there is no logical connection here. This is how it works in all numerology systems: you just make up random associations, then you try to justify those associations by citing a bunch of totally irrelevant facts. You deliver it all in a confident tone of voice and a bunch of suckers are sure to call you brilliant.
Continuing on in our study of Gematria, we learn that 7 is a super powerful number in this system. It represents Creation, blessing, and good fortune. But why? Because someone says so. Never question, just believe. You have to turn off your brain if you’re going to get anything out of numerology systems. If you actually think, you’ll start tripping over how absurd it all is.
According to Gematria, 12 represents totality, wholeness and God’s purposes being completed. But why? Well, there are twelve months in a year. So what? Well, there are also twelve tribes in Israel. But what does that have to do with anything? Good grief, what more do you need? There are 12 signs in the Zodiac. The Zodiac? But isn’t that astrology? Yeah, what’s your problem with that? Well, astrology is the worship of planets and star gods—what’s that have to do with the Jews? Read through the Old Testament and you’ll find that the ancient Jews were huge fans of worshiping stars and planets, so it really isn’t surprising to find astrological signs being given significance in Gematria. The religion of astrology includes a big dose of numerology, and you’ll find that different numerology systems often borrow from each other.
As we said before, numerology leaves plenty of room for individuals to make up whatever they want. You can either start from scratch, you can steal someone else’s rule book, or you can mix and match. Even though Gematria is associated with Jewish culture and Jewish Scriptures, you’ll find that it borrows concepts from the religion of astrology and other pagan religions. Luck, for example, is only a valid concept when you first deny who the real Gods are. While the real Gods say that They are very purposeful Creators who reign with absolute control over every aspect of Their creations, many people cling to the atheistic notion of random chance, flukes, and meaningless coincidences. In the modern world, when people say they were lucky, they usually mean something good randomly happened to them for no reason whatsoever. In ancient times, some religious systems viewed Luck or Fortune as a specific supernatural deity who intentionally caused people’s lives to go well or badly. Either way, as soon as we’re talking about luck we’re discounting who the real Gods are and we’re rejecting Their intimate involvement in our lives. When we tell someone “good luck,” we either mean “I hope the false god of Fortune smiles on you today,” or we mean “I hope that in this random, meaningless world of purposeless particles, some freak, pointless event occurs that causes you pleasure.” When you actually think about it, the whole concept of luck is quite offensive to the real Gods. But of course numerology systems care nothing about honoring the real Gods, because numerology was born out of an attitude of spiritual rebellion. So in the system of Gematria, we are told that one of the Hebrew words for luck—gad—equals 7, and that’s why 7 is the number of luck.
Now wait a second—how can a word have a numerical value? Well, there are many ways to play with numbers. One way is to go through life looking for numerical patterns in events or things. A goat has two horns. Five ants are crawling on your desk. You just sneezed three times. Your dog only fetched the ball five times. Your house has 6 doors in it. The license plate on your car has two 3s. First you observe these things, then you sit around trying to squeeze some deep, mystical message out of each observation while you try not to acknowledge what a doofus you’re being.
Another popular way to play the game is to assign each letter of your language’s alphabet a numerical value, then start treating words like numerical equations. This is something Gematria loves to do. It assigns each letter of the Hebrew alphabet a numerical value, then it takes a Hebrew word like gad, and fiddles around with addition and subtraction until the desired outcome is achieved. We could do the same in English. First let’s decide that 8 is the number of a Divine Being. Then let’s take the English name Amy and assign A a value of 1, M a value of 5, and Y a value of 2. The word A-M-Y can then be written 1-5-2. Let’s add that up: 1+5+2=8. Hey, 8 is the number of a Divine Being. Wow, so that means Amy is a god, since her name adds up to 8. And since Amy is trying to start her own cult in which she’ll be worshiped by her followers, she loves this particular use of numerology. See how it works? Since you can get numbers to say anything you want, numerology is nothing more than humans making up ridiculous theories for themselves to believe in.
Now if you want to get really fancy—and if you want to sell a lot of books—then you play your numerology games using famous religious texts. Conveniently, such texts usually come in some outdated, ancient language, and that makes you sound super clever when you start pulling codes out of it. It also makes it hard for your fans to prove or disprove what you’re claiming to have found.
So how do you find hidden messages in the Bible? Well, first you decide what you want the message to be, then you pluck random words out of the text to make your message happen. If you want to sound smart, you need those random words to have some consistent numerical relationship. So maybe you start writing down every 10th word out of Genesis and see if you can come up with an intelligent sounding phrase. If that doesn’t work, you try every 30th word, and so on. When you get frustrated trying to make whole words work, you start going for individual letters instead. You start writing down every 50th letter and hope it spells something meaningful. When it doesn’t, you change chapters. Then you change your count. You just keep working at it until finally you come up with something that sounds sort of clever. Then you publish a book and show people how you uncovered the secret code of “God loves you” using the text from fifty chapters of Isaiah. Of course we could have just read the actual text to get the same message—we really didn’t need you to spend years of your life trying to get three logical words to occur 80 words apart from each other. And if we tried hard enough, we could also lift the message “God hates you” or “Go worship Satan” out of the same manuscripts that you got your message from. So what’s the point? There is no point. Pretending codes exist where they don’t is utterly meaningless. No matter what your end result is, you just made it up, and it has no basis in truth.
How hard is it for a father to force his son to say a certain phrase just by physically beating the boy? It’s not hard at all, and yet if the boy says “I’m sorry” just to get his father to stop hitting him, is his apology sincere? Is he really sorry about whatever it is he’s supposed to be apologizing for? No, he’s not. He’s just saying the words to get his father to back off. We can control the external actions of others, but we can’t control their internal motivations. A wife can guilt her husband into saying “I love you,” but she can’t do anything to make him actually love her. In the same way, we can force numbers to “speak” to us, but we can’t make those messages valid. The real Gods aren’t like church bells that we can force to ring whenever we feel like it. The real Gods will only teach, prophesy and reveal truth to us when They decide that They want to do so. When we start inventing our own Divine revelations, we only end up deluding ourselves and putting our faith in foolishness.
THE VALUE OF NUMEROLOGY
Now while numerology itself has no value, there is value in understanding that humans have a long history of trying to attach mystical meanings to numbers. Understanding that the New Testament Jews were up to their necks in numerology will help you understand why there is such an emphasis on numbers in Revelation. Because the apostle John and his Jewish peers were clinging to the absurd notion that the number 6 represented evil, John assigns the hated Roman emperor Domitian the code name of 666, which was like saying “Mr. Super Evil” (see Applying Revelation 13: Two More Beasts & 666).
In Revelation, we find Yahweh and Jesus intentionally playing off of many ridiculous superstitions the Jews had. Why do evil beasts slink out of the ocean in Revelation? Because the Jews viewed the sea as evil. Why are there only 144,000 people marked with the seal of Yahweh? Because 144,000 is divisible by 12, and according to Gematria, 12 represents completion, wholeness, and the fulfillment of God’s purpose. But if you look a little closer at the tribal breakdown of the 144,000, you’ll find that the tribe of Dan is missing from the list while another tribe is counted twice (see Applying Revelation 7: The 144,000). What’s going on here? Well, by New Testament times, the Danites were viewed as cursed, so including them would have ruined that picture of completion that the 144,000 was trying to achieve. It’s all such superstitious nonsense, but when we see Yahweh and Jesus talking to the Jews within the context of their superstitious beliefs, we can be encouraged to see how our Gods are willing to work with us where we are at. Jesus didn’t just stand back and say, “When you dingdongs stop worshiping numbers, I’ll talk to you.” Instead, He created images that He knew would communicate certain concepts to the Jews—concepts which He felt were more important than correcting every wrong belief the Jews had. Two thousand years later, when we read through Revelation, we should be setting aside the silly superstitions and focusing on the important spiritual lessons. But is this what we do? No, it’s not. Instead of recognizing the 666 thing as a clear indication that the Jews were into numerology, and instead of acknowledging that spiritual foolishness and numerology go hand in hand, we promote the apostle John as an icon of spiritual maturity and we start playing numerology games with the names of current world leaders to figure out who 666 is today.
Today Christians embrace the foolish beliefs of the ancient peoples instead of discarding them. We say that a man who didn’t know better than to think the sea was evil, that Satan rules the world, and that all Danites were cursed can be trusted to impart spiritual wisdom to us today (see The Ruler of Our World: Is it God or Satan?). The same John who was so comfortable seeing his own name inscribed on one of Heaven’s foundation stones in Revelation declared himself to be sinless and perfect in his epistle of 1 John (see Salvation According to 1 John). The apostle John was so incredibly arrogant that his idea of teaching people good discernment skills was to tell them that anyone who dared to disagree with John or his fellow apostles was from the devil (see Spiritual Discernment According to John). Wow. And this is the guy who we’re naming churches and schools after? This is the man whose relics we worship? Do you see the problem with relying on humans instead of God to guide you in life?
Despite what John thought, his teaching was filled with error. For all you know, so is ours. You can’t rely on people to guide you in spiritual matters. People have no wisdom on their own, but they are very prone to delusions, which is why they come up with idiotic games like numerology. If you want to know the truth, then you need to forget about numbers and turn your attention onto the Gods who created you. Ask Them to help you develop the soul attitudes which please Them. Ask Them to make you all that They want you to be, because that’s what submission is. Without practicing submission to your Creators, you’re never going to learn anything of value. Submission comes first. Then knowledge. Then gratitude and deeper submission. As for numbers–they are utterly irrelevant to the process of spiritual maturity.