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REDEMPTIVE ADMINISTRATION (UNTIL WE ENTER HIS KINGDOM): 

7, THE NUMBER OF COMPLETION AND SPIRITUAL PERFECTION

 

MATTHEW 18:22

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

 

*This message is Huisin Rev. Abraham Park’s final sermon given at the 2014 Summer Conference prior to his homegoing on December 17, 2014. This featured article is published in commemoration of the 2020 Summer Conference. 

The entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is God’s Word that unfolds His absolute sovereignty and His great works of redemption to save humankind. Jesus Christ is the hope of glory for all (Col 1:27).  

God’s sole purpose for life is in the salvation of the one sinner (John 3:17, 1 Thess 5:9, 2 Thess 2:13). He sent Jesus into the world to save the lost sinners, descendants of Abraham. First Timothy 1:15 says, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” This is a verse we must never forget. Mark 2:17 and Matthew 9:13 state, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” According to Matthew 18:14, “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”

 

7, the number of perfection and holiness 

Seven is the sum of 4 and 3, the numbers that signify the four cardinal directions and the divinity of the Trinity, respectively. This number symbolizes holiness and divine completion and perfection. In order to have the most holy 3 in our life, we must believe in the Triune God and serve Him fervently in our hearts. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of the Trinity are in the number 3. In the Bible, the number 3 is the most holy number of God. The Triune God is the Perfect One. Never forget. These three things are written in the Bible: God is, was, and is to come.  

Revelation 1:4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The “apocalyptic book” of Revelation is interspersed from start to finish with the number 7. 

1. A voice from heaven was heard three times during Jesus’ public ministry.

The first time was when He was baptized by John the Baptist (Matt 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). 

Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

The second time was at the Mount of Transfiguration.

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

The third time was when the Greeks came to Him toward the end of His public ministry, six days before the Passover. 

John 12:28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

2. Jesus underwent three tests in the wilderness (Luke 4:3, 6, 7, 9-19).

3. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

4. Jesus raised three people from the dead during His public ministry: the widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17), Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43; Luke 8:49-56), and Lazarus (John 11:28-44).

5. Jesus was crucified in the third hour (Mark 15:25).

6. Darkness fell over the whole land for three hours while Jesus was on the cross (Mark 15:33).

7. Jesus was resurrected on the third day (Mark 8:31; Acts 10:40; 1 Cor 15:4). 

The number seven expresses completion through the joining of earth and heaven, that is, the addition of God’s divine completion “3” to the “4” cardinal directions of the earth.  After “1,” “7” is the most commonly used number in the Word of God. Seven is used from start to finish in Revelation. The 7 churches, 7 spirits (Rev 1:4, 3:1, 4:5), 7 stars (Rev 3:1), 7 seals (Rev 5:1), 7 trumpets (Rev 8:2, 6), 7 bowls of wrath (Rev 15:7, 16:1), and 7 plagues (Rev 15:1, 8) appear in Revelation. Seven symbolizes spiritual completion and the harmonious union of heaven and earth. All things in life move along the axis of this number. 

“Seven” appears 735 times in the Bible. “7 times” appears six times, and “7th” is used 119 times with 54 instances in Revelation alone. The number seven is found throughout the Word of God: it points to the seven days of creation, speaks of the sabbath for thousand years, and signifies “completion” and “perfection.” 

In Leviticus 23:15-16, the number seven and the seventh day, sabbath, are connected with “completion,” for the words “complete” and “sabbath” appear together.   

Leviticus 23:15 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 

Leviticus 23:16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

A new work arises on the day after the sabbath, the seventh day. 

The word “finish” is also associated with “seven.” Revelation 10:7 says, “but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.” Revelation 16:17 also states, “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “‘It is done.’”

The word “created” is used seven times in God’s creation of heaven and earth (Gen 1:1, 21, 27; 2:3, 4). 

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

Have you ever wondered why God appointed one week to be seven days? 

God created all things in the beginning and rested on the seventh day (Gen 2:1-3). God appointed one week to be seven days. Only a few will have ever wondered why a week consists of seven days. In music, there are seven notes in a scale. First, do; second, re; third, mi; fourth, fa; fifth, sol; sixth, la; seventh, ti. Melodies are made from variations of these notes. If a musician attempts to use an eighth note, he or she will find oneself back at “do” to start afresh. Though people designated names for sounds, God is the One who set the sounds in their place. Likewise, God appointed the week and people named its days. 

– Noah took seven pairs of every kind of clean animal into the ark (Gen 7:2). 

– Seven days after Noah entered the ark, the flood began (Gen 7:9-10). According to Peter, those seven days were days of God’s patient waiting.  

1 Peter 3:20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

– Before Aaron and his sons began their service as priests, they were consecrated by ordination for seven days (Exod 29:35). Here, we can see a life that is completely set apart and devoted to service.  

– On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat seven times. 

Leviticus 16:14  Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

Leviticus 16:15  “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.

This depicts the completion of Christ’s redemptive works. By offering Himself as a sacrifice, Christ brought an end to atonement sacrifices. There is no longer a need for us to dedicate sacrificial offerings on the altar. 

Hebrews 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

– When Israel conquered Jericho, God commanded them to circle the city seven times. Their march was completed on the seventh day when they circled the city seven times (Josh 6:1-16). 

– During Jesus’ time on earth, there were seven feasts in Israel: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, Feast of Weeks, Day of Atonement, Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Booths (Lev 23:1-44). 

– There were seven lamps on the lampstand in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, and they signify God’s perfect light that shines upon the souls of human beings (Prov 20:27; 1 Cor 2:11). 

– Solomon observed the feast for seven days and seven more days, fourteen days in all (1 Kgs 8:65).

– Job had seven sons (Job 1:2). Job’s friends went to see him and, seeing that his pain was very great, they were silent for seven days (Job 2:13). 

– Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days (Gen 29:19-20).

– The prophet Ezekiel came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar and sat there for seven days, causing consternation among them. At the end of the seven days, the Word of the Lord came to him (Ezek 3:15-16). 

– Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, dipped himself seven times in the Jordan (2 Kgs 5:10, 14). 

– In Matthew 22:25, the Sadducees question Jesus about the resurrection by referencing seven brothers.  

– Jesus spoke seven utterances on the cross. 

Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

Luke 23:43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

John 19:26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 

John 19:27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Mark 15:34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”

John 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Luke 23:46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

– The early church chose seven men to be in charge of the daily serving of food (Acts 6:1-7).

– There were seven years of famine during the days of Joseph (Gen 41:27, 36). 

– The “book of life” appears seven times in the Bible. The book of Revelation is made up of 7s. We can find the seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven figures, seven bowls, seven newness, and seven plagues in this book. This book is composed of sevens. This number speaks of the completion of all things. 

– Jesus said to forgive “seventy times seven” times (Matt 18:22). In other words, Jesus is saying, “continue forgiving until you have been perfected.” 

– The period of Israel’s terrible punishment was based on the rule of seven. The 70 years of Babylonian captivity consisted of ten 7-year periods. 

– Cycles of seven are evident in life. Bodily changes occur every seven days. There are seven bones in the neck and seven kinds of facial bones. The ankle contains seven tarsal bones. The head has seven orifices. Most births are associated with multiples of seven. Hens sit on their eggs for three weeks, pigeons for two weeks. Mammals generally have pregnancies for durations in multiples of seven. Human physiology also follows the rule of seven. Babies are born after 280 days, a multiple of seven. Fevers or outbreaks due to gout, malaria, or other similar illnesses occur for periods of 7, 14, or 21 days. 

– All aspects of nature can be analyzed mathematically. The rule of seven appears here as well. Look closely at the shape of the frost in your window; examine the particles of snow. 

The significance and cycles of the number seven must be clearly known in order to understand the beginning and consummation of the history of redemption. 

Truly amazing are God’s ways of making all things in patterns of seven. We are to remember that the number seven signifies completion and spiritual perfection. Once you discover the seven I speak of and comprehend its meaning, assured faith and knowledge of it will be yours. 

To understand the beginning and consummation of redemptive history, we must focus on biblical historical events linked with the number seven. The Bible begins with the seven days of God’s creation and culminates with the seven churches in its final book of Revelation.

God created this world in six days and, during that process, the phrase “God saw that it was good” is recorded seven times.  

Genesis 1:4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Jesus spoke seven utterances during the six hours He was on the cross, as the atoning sacrifice for all humankind, at the valley of Golgotha. They mysteriously correspond to the seven “God saw that it was good” during the six days of creation.  Jesus’ seven utterances are recorded once in the books of Matthew and Mark (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34) and three times in the books of Luke and John (Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26, 28, 30).

First: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Second: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Third: “Woman, behold, your son!” and “Behold, your mother!”

Fourth: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Fifth: “I am thirsty.”

Sixth: “It is finished!”

Seventh: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

Thus, Jesus brought numbers one through seven to completion as the atoning sacrifice for humankind. According to Colossians 1:27, He is our glorious hope. If we have our one and only Savior Jesus who is from everlasting to everlasting in our heart, family, workplace, or wherever we may be, the blessings of all things in our Lord will come upon us. 

Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I pray in the name of the Lord that all the congregation members of Pyungkang Church, from the head pastor to all its staff, ministers, and saints, will endure until the end to triumph. 

The six hours on the cross encapsulate Jesus’ entire life. They are the consummatory moment in redemptive history; the hour in which the promise is given to those who had gained approval through their faith but had yet to receive what was promised (Rev 6:9-11; Heb 11:39-40); the time of distributing the white robes. This was the moment God had been waiting for since Adam, and although it was a short moment, it was a time that contains God’s mystery and providence which He desires and is pleased with. 

This is why Paul said, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). For those six hours on the cross, Jesus suffered all the indignities a human being can possibly suffer during His thirty-three years of life on earth. It’s my hope that all the saints of Pyungkang Church would realize that though He is Lord of heaven, He was unable to act as such but, instead, took the form of a bond-servant. May we in turn be thankful and I pray in the name of the Lord that all become the lords of heaven as His saints, children, and friends for the will of God to the end.   

 

Let us pray.

Lord, though we were born into a sinful world, the atoning blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us of our sins. What words could describe the grace of Jesus’ cross that enables us to enter heaven, the kingdom of blessed grace? As we fully submit and obey Your will, may the living works that manifest Your will arise in us all.   

Please uphold our church, families, and all the ministries of Pyungkang Church with Your blood-stained hands and, by the laying on of Your hands, may we not be enticed by works of darkness but, by being thankful at all times, may we become victors who triumph with the Word of the cross. May thanksgiving overflow in all areas of our life so that fruit would abound. 

We pray all these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus with thanksgiving. Amen. 

 

Morning service on August 6, 2014 (third day of the Summer Conference)
Sermon of Huisun Rev. Abraham Park 


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