A Concealed Mystery:
333, Theomatics and Gematria
Sabbath Day Sermon, Saturday 1 September 2001
One of the more unusual experiences of the New Covenant Church of God, which gives fascinating insights into the mind of God, was the mysterious appearance of the number 333 in a vision to the Presiding Patriarch on the walls of Little Kadesh, the first attempt to establish a small colony, in the early days of the Church. We have speculated much on its meaning over the years (e.g. see 333: An Introduction to the New Covenant Church of God, Arvika, 1999, pp.4-5) and concluded, on the basis of biblical numerology, that it represents the divine perfection of the Godhead, of which 666 is its demonic counterpart. We later discovered that gematrically 333 was the number of the Hebrew name for Jesus, Yah'shua, which in the Greek is represented by the number 888. But it was not until our acquaintance in the summer of 2000 with Theomatics that even deeper insights were forthcoming.
Theomatics, which literally means, "God's Mathematics", was discovered by Del Washburn and made available to the world in two books, The Original Code in the Bible (1998) and Theomatics II (1994). Because theomatics is scientifically testable it is all the more attractive because it cannot be refuted. In this respect it is superior to other mathematical theories that have been advanced in recent times which have a strong esoteric and subjective component.
Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible were originally written in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic. The Hebrew/Aramaic New Testament was subsequently translated into Greek from which nearly all our English Bibles are translated. Each letter in both the Hebrew and Greek alphabets has a numerical value, and many Jews and early Christians believed that when the Bible was written, God placed a mathematical code in the bible based on this system.
Over the centuries, scholars have poked and prodded on the edges of this concept. Until Del Washburn discovered what he called theomatics, the code remained uncracked. But over the past twenty years, scientific and mathematical study has verified the patterns his code reveals. For example, all fifty references to the birth of Christ are divisible by the number 111; and in over eighty references to Satan, the words and phrases can be divided by 276. Computerised testing - comparing these traditional numerical values to random values - has shown convincingly that we are witnessing a phenomenon of earth-shattering proportions (Adapted from the fly-jacket of The Original Code in the Bible).
Though I do not necessarily agree with every doctrinal conclusion Washburn arrives at, there can be no doubt that he has stumbled on something of great worth to the biblical world of scholars and lay-readers. Those interested in Bible numerology and Gematria will be fascinated by his discoveries.
Superstition vs. Science
One of my first interests in Theomatics was to find what Washburn had discovered in regard to the number 333 and my study was by no means disappointing. Critics of the New Covenant Church had accused us of being a satanic counterfeit based on the fact that 333 was exactly half the number 666 and that the vision which I saw represented, as it were, the "writing on the wall" for us. (In some Bible MSS, the number of the Beast of Rev.13:18 is 616 and not 666). It was certainly a serious accusation and one we took seriously, more especially as we were aware of the fascination that the numbers 3, 33, and 333 held for occultists, and its various multiples (6, 66, 666, 9, 99, 999, etc.). But the fact that a particular number holds a special fascination for an occultist, who may use it for divination or other purposes, does not mean that that number is in itself "satanic". Were it to be so, then we would surely be under obligation to rip out every page 666 in our Bibles! Numbers themselves are neither good nor evil, any more than pictorial symbols: it is what they represent to the prophet or the Satanist that is significant. Indeed, we have been criticised for using the hexagram or Star of David in our symbology because it is also used by occultists (though contained within a circle by the latter). Occultism is so full of symbols that were this thesis to be true we would be forced to relinquish control of the triangle, circle, square and hundreds of other basic symbols to the power of evil, something which is plainly absurd. Symbols, like numbers, are spiritually neutral - it's how you use them that counts. The occultist uses numbers for magic and divination but the Bible student uses them to understand the mind of God.
The Significance of 666 and 616
When the topic of Deity is scrutinised by theomatics one thing becomes very evident: the number 13 and its multiples is intimately associated with God. The Name of the Father, Yahweh, adds up to 26 (13 x 2) in Hebrew, and Jesus Christ adds up to 2366 (13 x 13 x 7 or 91 x 13 x 2) in Greek. Other interesting Greek words are Lord, 650 (130 x 5) in Greek, and 65 (13 x 5) in Hebrew, with the Lord Jesus being 130 x 13. You will find that practically every concept to do with God in the Old and New Testaments is a multiple of 13. Relevant to us as New Covenant Christians in particular is the value of Yahweh-God in Hebrew which corresponds to the number 117 (13 x 9). This is doubly interesting because not only is the multiple of 13 the value 9 (3+3+3) but gematrically 117 (1+1+7) adds up to 9 (3+3+3) also.
Apart from the well known 666, other triple numbers figure importantly in theomatics. For instance, the number 222 and its multiples repeatedly appear in connection with the antichrist or antichrists in general (2+2+2 = 6). The number 666 does not, in fact, necessarily refer to a particular individual but it, and its multiples, can refer to such things as the Kingdoms of the World (666 x 2 - Lk.4:5), the Ruler of this World [Satan] (666 x 7 - Jn.12:31), Merchants of the Earth (666 - Rev.18:3), etc.. It is not, however, a general number for wickedness at all, and is not universal in its application as 13 is, for example. Indeed, what is fascinating is that the Greek for "the Beast" adds up to 616, not 666. This makes much better sense because we read in Rev.13:18, "Here is wisdom, Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of man, and its number is 616". The evidence strongly suggests that the original number was 616 but was later substituted by 666, for reasons that I will not discuss here, other than to quote Dr. Paul Lewes Couched in his book, A Key to Christian Origins (Watts & Co., London, 1932, p.140):
"The figure 616 is given in one of the two best manuscripts, C (Codex Ephraimi Rescriptus, Paris), by the Latin version of Tyconius (DCXVI, ed. Souter in the Journal of Theology, SE, April 1913), and by an ancient Armenian version (ed. Conybaere, 1907). Irenaeus knew about it [the 616 reading], but did not adopt it (Haer. v.30,3), Jerome adopted it (De Monogramm., ed. Dom G Morin in the Rev. Benedictine, 1903). It is probably original. The number 666 has been substituted for 616 either by analogy with 888, the [Greek] number of Jesus (Deissmann), or because it is a triangular number, the sum of the first 36 numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6...+36 = 666)".
Virtually every reference to the "beast" in the Hebrew Old Testament is a multiple of 616 and appears throughout the New Testament in connection with related topics (e.g. the Greek for "deceived", "the harlot", "evil", "wickedness", is 616 or a multiple thereof). The idea that 666 is the "number of the beast" could well be a myth, therefore, unless both numbers are appropriate. Since Nero in Hebrew adds up to 666, the appearance of this number may well be accounted for in the later manuscripts as Christians sought to identify this antichrist with the end-time Beast..
The triplet 777 appears in the Scriptures and signifies "the love of God", as contrasted with 666 which renders "the wrath of God".
The Number 333
The number 333 (three hundred and thirty-three) in Hebrew spells the Hebrew word SH-L-G of which sheleg ("snow" or "snowy") and shalag ("be as snow") are two possible biblical renderings. The number 333 in Greek spells T-L-G but there is no biblical Greek word incorporating these consonants, so we shall focus only on the Hebrew, which is the original language of the Bible.
There are only three biblical words in Hebrew which correspond to 333 and they are as follows:
333 = (300,30,3) = SH-L-G (sheleg, "snow", "snowy"; shalag, "be as snow")
333 = (300,3,30) = SH-G-L (shegal, "queen-wife"; shagal, "lie with", "be ravished")
333 = (30,3,300) = G-L-SH (galash, "to appear", "to lie down", "be white", "shine")
All of them contain the key Hebrew letter shin (c)) which corresponds to the number 300. This letter is always used in connection with the Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit or Breath of God. The Hebrew word, si, corresponding to the number 300, means "excellency", and naturally associated itself with the Ruach haQodesh which may be said to be the "excellency of Yahweh's presence". The important point is that the letter shin is the operative letter since it has the highest value of 300, 30, and 3.
The number 30 corresponds to the Hebrew letter lamed (l) )or our 'L' and the number 3 to gimmel (g), our 'G'. Thus the number 333 corresponds to the letters SH-L-G (glc) which are the consonants for the word SHELEG which, as we have seen, translates as "snow".
Like most Hebrew words, each has both a positive and a negative meaning. On the negative side snow is often associated biblically with leprosy which leaves the skin looking drained of blood and lifeless (e.g. Num.12:10). On the positive side, the whiteness of snow is used as an illustration of cleansing from sin (e.g. Ps.51:7; Is.1:18). In Daniel's vision of the Ancient of Days, his shining garments as described as being "white as snow" (Dan.7:9). The angel which rolled the stone away from Christ's tomb is described in the same way (Mt.28:3). The same usage is made to describe Christ when He was transfigured, appearing with Moses and Elijah (Mk.9:3). And finally, in the Book of Revelation, the hair of the resurrected Christ is described by John "as white as snow" (Rev.1:14).
White snow, and specifically what it represents, namely PURITY, is very much the keynote of this New Covenant work. This requirement for holiness has been stressed to us again and again. And the fact that this work has been restored in the snowy northern lands of Scandinavia may also well have some significance.
The second 333 corresponds to the Hebrew letters SH-G-L (lgc)and to the Hebrew word shegal which as we have seen translates "queen wife". This also is easily understood in terms the mission of the New Covenant which is to prepare the end-time, purified BRIDE OF CHRIST for her marriage to the Bridegroom, our King, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). The only Bride fit for a King is naturally a King's wife, or "Queen Wife".
Now this word shegal only appears two times in the Bible, one in Nehemiah 2:6 where is refers to the wife of Artaxerxes and the second in Psalm 45:9, a messianic psalm of enormous significance, and one that is almost universally mistranslated because of doctrinal bias. Before I read it to you, let me remind you that this is a prophetic psalm that is talking about King David and his family, about Christ and His family, and about Christ and His Bride, the Church. This is what it reads:
"King's daughters were among thy honourable wives [KJV, "women"]; upon thy right hand did stand the queen [shegal] in gold of Ophir" (Ps.45:9).
Now the normal word for a "queen" in Hebrew is malkah. Shegal differs from malkah inasmuch as it means not only "queen" but "wife" as well - shegal is a "queen-wife" as opposed to just a "wife".
How, then, does this tie up with the primary word of "snow" or "purity"? Simply, the purest wife is the queen-wife. The wife who occupies the highest honour is the one that is the purest. And as the Wife is the Church or Assembly, the purest or truest Church of Assembly is that which is the purest. The truthfulness of any work is therefore proportional to its spiritual purity. As far as Christ is concerned, His "queen" are the saints who have been purified completely in His blood. And that is very much the theme of the Book of Revelation, and indeed of the whole Johannine message.
Finally, we come to the last 333, which corresponds to the Hebrew letters G-L-SH, and the Hebrew word galash (clg), which may be translated in four different ways depending on the context of its use. It means "to appear", "to lie down", "to be white" or "to shine". Where as the previous two are nouns, the third is a verb.
The mystery of the number of 333, which has been given to this Church as its commission in the world, is very simply SHELEG-GALASH-SHEGAL (glc-clg-lgc ), or translated into plain English:
"That which is as pure as snow appears as the Queen-Wife" or
"That which is as pure as snow shines as the Queen-Wife" or
"That which is as pure as snow lies down as the Queen Wife" or
"That which is as pure as snow is white like the Queen Wife".
And thus, in the number 333 is contained the whole mission of this New Covenant Church of God. It is the message we have been consistently been giving out since 1986 and which we shall continue to give out. Spiritual purity is what qualifies a believer to be a part of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in heaven.
But that is not all. For in Hebrew the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) corresponds to 333 as well. 333 is the number of our Lord and Saviour, reminding us that we can only become as white as snow through the spilled blood of the Son of God.
Lastly, let us ask ourselves what process or processes exist in life that correspond to the sum of the three digits. 3+3+3 = 9. What is the significance of the number 9? Can anybody think of any life process that corresponds to 9 days, months or years?
Yes, you've got it - HUMAN GESTATION. Nine months is the period of time from fertilisation to birth, and reminds us that simply being "born again" does not qualify us for heaven. The New Birth is the act of fertilisation, when we become new creatures in Christ. But before birth takes place, there must first be GROWTH. The New Birth in Christ corresponds to the Alpha or Aleph of Salvation - it is the beginning - but full sanctification is the Omega or Tav of our Salvation.
I do not have time to investigate that very interesting subject here as it would occupy several sermons in themselves other than to say that just as there is a physical gestation period of nine months for a baby before it is ready to enter into the world, so there is a spiritual gestation period which qualifies us as being white brides in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. This is not something that is automatic but is a journey or walk. The apostle John says we must go through seven tests or trials to prepare us for that glorious moment, each of which we must pass in life to qualify as a queen wife of Christ, that is, a wife worthy of the highest rewards and honours.
I will leave you with one further clue before I end so that you can tie up all I have been saying over the past year or two about the Festivals of Yahweh which we are commanded to celebrate. Does anyone remember how many festivals there are? Seven. That's right. And they correspond to the 'Seven Overcomings' of John. And yet by the time we come to the New Testament, two more have been added, which Yah'shua (Jesus) acknowledges, making NINE festivals in all. These nine festivals which we celebrate every year, from Pesach (Passover) to Purim, are a manual for the purification of the Queen-Wife of Christ. Finally, note that the first of these is the Atonement of Christ (Passover) and the last Persecution and Trials (Purim) followed by miraculous deliverance by a King!
This, brethren and sisters, is the mystery of the New Covenant 333. This is what we as New Covenant Christians stand for. And as you look even deeper into this number, you will discover the whole mystery of the universe unfolding before you. May Yahweh bless you. Amen.
The number 330 (300+30) theomatically represents life, purity, pure waters, etc.
This page was created on 18 October 2001
Last updated on 18 October 2001
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