The Meaning of the number Three - Numbers in the Bible part 2

By Michael Pearl

Scripture: Topics: Numbers in the Bible

Save for Later

Numbers in the Bible part 2:

The Meaning of the number Three

I'm excited to be doing numbers again tonight. This is our second message on numbers, and I've been studying numbers for 40, 45 years, and written a very long book on the subject. I didn't publish it, but it got to be such a volume, I just gave up on it. But I've revived that lately, and I am trying to reduce it down, and I do believe I'm going to put this together in book form before we get too far through with this project.

So we're on number three tonight, Numbers in the Bible: Episode 2. I am Michael Pearl, and you are at The Door, located here in Lobelville, Tennessee. Jesus said "I am the door." We're studying the words of God. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. That means every verse in the Bible, and every word in every verse, is inspired by God. God produced it. It comes from his heart, his mind, through the mind and hearts of 40 different men writing on three different continents over a period of 1,600 years, in three different languages. And yet it makes one cohesive whole, one read, from beginning to end."Every word of God is pure. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." So every single word in the word of God is there by design, with a purpose, and you're not to add to them.

The Number 12

I pointed out to you last week that in the Book of Revelation, there's exactly 12,000 words. No more and no less. 12 being the number in the Bible for government, especially for Israel and their government. We find 12 apostles, we find 12 tribes, we find 12 throughout the Book of Revelation. We find a city with 12 gates. We find 12 stones. We find 12 stones on the chest of the priest. 12 all the way through. So exactly 12,000, which is the number for government overall in the Book of Revelation.

So we're not going to add two, we're going to read every word and interpret them. That's numbers. The number 40, so obvious in the Bible. Most everyone that's ever read the Bible knows it's the number of testing and trial. I told you last week, over a period of time as I read the Bible, I became conscious that in my mind was imprinted with this recognition, that there are certain words used with certain subjects. So over a period of time, I would see a number, and I would know that number is identified with a certain flavor, certain color, certain frequency in scripture. Because of that, I began to count every number in the Bible, read every one.


As I told you last week, I took three days, and those were long days, reading every single time the word one appeared in the Bible, and there is well over a thousand of them. I didn't just read the one, I read the whole context to the passage, and kept notes on it while I was doing so.

The Number 1

We went through one, and we found out that one in the Bible, every time it's used without exception, it means just one and no more... Would in any piece of literature. One, above all. It's unique in the Bible, it's supremacy apart from all others in its class 2046 times.

The Number 2

And then we went through the number two last week. It's the number of division, things divided. 835 times and every time it's used in the Bible, it's about things divided. We went through many verses on that.

The Number 3-

The Number of Divine Control, ordering, sovereignty, volition

So tonight we're dealing with three. Now the reason I'm using Roman numerals here is because originally the scriptures used numerals, used letters. So we're going to go to four next week. But these first three is very important, you see them there. One, two, three... Three alike, side by side as in God the Father, God the Son, the Holy Spirit. One number, but made up of three different parts. The number of divine control is what three stands for. The way I arrived at this was not through someone else's book. I arrived at it by reading every time the word three appears, and reading it not one time but many times, and analyzing it carefully. A couple weeks ago I did come across a list of how the ancient Jews and early Christians interpreted the meaning of numbers. And if I remember correctly... And I'm going to show you that chart eventually... But numbers one through 12, we were in exact agreement with some difference on one number.

Early Christians and the Jews of old understood and saw the same thing that I'm seeing, but I didn't get it from them. I got it from original investigation. And if it's a science, it ought to be discoverable by anyone, not just something that has to be taken by faith. It's the number of sovereignty, volution that is God's will, God choosing, ordering our perfection in regard to these things. And that is every time that it's used. Number three means God has been there and everything is under control, going according to the program. You're going to see that when we go through the scriptures. It's an amazing thing to see. I remember when I was doing it, my wife commented... I got into it and I said "this just can't be. This is too amazing. This just can't hold up like this. Could it be this way all the way through?"

Three is God's logo

And the more I went into it, the more frenzied I got, the more anxious I got, the more totally committed to it... All that I've just absorbed, saturated with the content. I finished it that way and then I went back again years later, and back again, and back again. This is a subject I've revisited many times. Three is God's logo, let's put it that way. So when you see it, God's there and he's doing something. There's the emblem of his involvement. It's used 533 times in the Bible, but 114 are part of a larger number, so we don't look at that.

Three – Appears 533 Times in the Bible

  • 114 are part of a larger number
  • 371 are cardinals
  • 15 are the word thrice
  • 147 ordinals, that is third

We look at that when we look at the larger number. So 533 times minus 114. 371 are cardinals. That is one in number two, in number three in number. And then 15 are the words thrice. That would be the same Greek or Hebrew word for three, but the old English uses thrice because if you'll take the context of where it's used, three would take more than one word. Thrice is sufficient.

We also find 147 ordinals, that is third, which is place or position, not necessarily number. So altogether 533, that's minus the 114 that are part of a larger number.

I've looked at all of those and we're going to give you a quick and good thorough sampling. I have not been selective in picking just the best ones. I have given a fair sampling of all of them, including those that would be less forceful in their symbolism.

Noah had Three Sons

Genesis 6:10 “And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” You know from the storyline that these are going to be the three sons that make up the human race, the Japhetic, the Semitic, and the Hamitic races. And you know that all of us descend from one of those three are a mixture of them. And so when Noah big act three sons, this was God's divine control. His ordering, his sovereignty, his choice, his evolution.

Genesis 7:13 “In the self same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them into the ark;” So when you see that, number three, having understood the number, we know that God is there. God is ordering, God is sovereign, this is his doing. These are the three sons of Noah, of them was the whole earth over spread. So that's God's ordering.

Three Men meet with Abraham

Genesis 18:2 “And he left up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door and bowed himself toward the ground.” Those familiar with the scripture know that this is Abraham being vested by God and two angels. God is walking an anthropomorphic... Anthropomorphism, which is God appearing in the flesh. Here he comes up like a man and has two angels with him that talk with him and tells him about his destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Certainly that's God's ordering, God's volition, God's divine will with the three men.

Genesis 18:6 “And Abraham hastened under the tent Sarah and said "make thee quickly three measures of fine meals"... Same context, same story... "Knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth." That was for these three strangers, three measures of meal. Divine ordering, God's doing something.

Joseph Interprets a Dream

Genesis 40:18. “And Joseph answered and said "this is the interpretation thereof."”  Now, Joseph's in prison and with him are two of Pharaoh's men in prison and one of them has a dream. Joseph interprets the dream. “The three baskets are three days, yet within three days, shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from thee, and she'll hang thee on tree and the birds shall eat thy flash from off the tree.”  You did ask for an interpretation, didn't you? That was a pretty awakening interpretation. But you see the 3, 3, 3 in there, the three threes? That means that God is doing something. And that event right there was responsible for Joseph being recognized by Pharaoh and coming to the throne whereby he would save the nation of Israel from famine, and plant them in the land of Israel as Joseph would become second to Pharaoh. So you can't get any more divine ordering than that.

Moses Hid for Three Months

Exodus 2:2 “And a woman conceived and bare a son, Moses. And when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.”  If you had never read this story before, but you knew the meaning of the numbers, you'd see that three months you'd say "oh boy, God's doing this. This is not just anybody doing something, God's in this. This is sovereignty, this is divine control." And certainly it was, because God's going to use Moses to lead children of Israel out of bondage.

Exodus  23:14 “Three times shall thou keep a feast unto me in the year. Three times thou shall keep a fast unto me in the year.”  This is God commanding them.

Exodus  23:17 “Three times in the year, all the males shall appear before the Lord God.”  Not four, not two, but three times. So this is God's ordering.

Exodus 25:32And six branches shall come out of the sides of it.”  He's talking about the menorah... You remember the Jewish candlestick with the three branches coming out and the one in the center, seven? He said "three branches out of the candlestick out of the one side, three branches of the candlestick out of the other side." And this becomes a famous symbol for Judaism, and Christians also in the Book of Revelation.

Balaam Blesses Three Times

Numbers 24:10 “And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam.” This is a heathen king who hires a guy named Balaam to put a curse on Israel. So all of Israel's Camp down there... “And he smote his hands together and Balak said unto Balaam "I called thee to curse mine enemies." And behold, thou has altogether blessed them these three times.”

So this for sale prophet took the money with intention of cursing Israel. But when he opens his mouth out, out comes a blessing. King says "don't do that, don't do that." And he said "try again." So he goes back and he goes through some incantations and maybe sings a song. Comes back, tries it again, opens his mouth, and out comes a blessing on Israel. King says "you messed up." He said "well maybe it's because I'm seeing too many of them. Maybe if I get around here where I can't see so many of them, then I could curse them. But they just want to look at them. I just bless them." So he got around another viewpoint and he tried again, blessed them again. He said "you have blessed them these three times."

Again, if we were just reading that for the first time, we say "whoopie doo." God's in it, God's doing it. It's his will, it's his volition.

Numbers 35:14 “Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.” These three cities were places where people who killed somebody by manslaughter could flee and not be put to death as long as they remained inside the city. Divine control, ordering, sovereignty, volition.

Joshua 18:4 “Give out from among you three men for each tribe and I will send them, and they shall rise and go through the land and describe it according to the inheritance of them, and they shall come again to me.”  This is to divide the land up according to the tribes. Three men.


Judges 7:16 “And he divided the 300 men into three companies.” They're going to have a battle here, and it's just 300 men against thousands, so it doesn't look like they set up for very good victory. But when we read three companies and 300 men divided into three companies, we know God's there. He's sovereign, he's doing something. And he put a trumpet in every man's hand with empty pitchers, are going out to battle, and lamps within the pitchers. So they got horns to blow and a pitcher with a lamp underneath it to keep their light from shining. You know how that thing ends up, don't you? They do win the battle with all that.

1Samuel 10:3 “Then shall thou go on forward from thence and thou shalt come to the plane of Tabor and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel. One carrying three kids...” Baby lambs... “One carrying three loaves of bread, and one carrying a bottle of wine.”  Weren't three bottles of wine, that'd been a bit too much wine to drink. So three men with three kids carrying three loaves. It could have been four men with three kids and two loaves, or six loaves, or something like that. But it's 3, 3, 3... 3 threes. Why? God is letting us know he is putting his stamp, his insignia, his logo, his fingerprints on this story.

David’s Three Year Famine

2 Samuel 21:1 “Then there was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year. And David enquired the Lord, and the Lord answered "it is for Saul and for his bloody house because he slew the Gibeonites."  He had a treaty with the Gibeonites. He wasn't supposed to kill them, but Saul did. God sent a famine, that lasted three years.

David prays to God, and God says to him 1Chronicles 21:12 "Choose David, either three years famine or three months to be destroyed before thy foes. And while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee or else three days, the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence in the land and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coast of Israel. Now therefore advised thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me." 3, 3, 3. God's going to bring judgment. And David chose rightly.

1 Kings 17:21 “And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried unto the Lord and said "O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come unto him again." So this dead child, he lays down on him, gets up, lays down upon, get up, lays down upon him, and the soul comes back into the child. I've never seen the faith healers on TV do that, but I guess if they ever read the Bible, one of them would try it.

2 Kings 3:10And the king of Israel said "Alas, that the Lord hath called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab." So God is going to kill the three kings, he's sovereignly ordering it.

2 Chronicles 4:4And it stood up on 12 oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east. And the sea was set above upon them and all their hinder parts were inward.”  This is to be built in the temple. This is God's altar with four threes. When we get through about 12 numbers, I'm going to come back and take passages that involve more than one number like four and three and seven all together in the same passage. And you will see the distinct... Once you know the meaning of the numbers, you will see that unique distinctions that are me being made with multiple numbers used in the same passage. It's a beautiful thing to see.

Job 1:17 “While he was yet speaking, there came also another and said "The Caldeans made out three bands." This is Job, and Job's getting the news that he's lost everything he's got. “And fell upon the camels and have carried them away and slain the servants with the edge of the sword and I only escaped alone to tell thee.”  If Job had known the meaning of numbers, he'd have said "three? Uh oh, that means God's in this." And he was, wasn't he? God was in it.

Jonah 1:17 “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.”  This three is a number of preparation and volution and God's design. “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”  Couldn't have been four, couldn't have been two, has to be three because God's doing and he's sovereign, it's his will.

New Testament

Matthew 13:33 “Another parable spake he unto them "the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven" which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal.”  And we said "that's awful," but you see it was part of God's design and program, and if you've gone through the kingdoms with me, you know that. “Till the whole was leavened.”

Matthew 16:32 “And Jesus called His disciples unto him, and said "I have compassion on the multitude because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat."  For three days they'ed been following Jesus, listening to him preach. That's a pretty dedicated revival group, wasn't it? And he said "they've been here three days with nothing to eat. I want to feed them. “I will not send them away fasting lest they faint in the way."  You know what he did, don't you? He fed the 5,000 with loaves in bread, fish and bread.

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." God's order.

Matthew 27:65 “Saying "Sir, we remember that the deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again." But what else could it be between the death and resurrection, but three days?

Luke 2:46 “And he came to pass that after three days they found him in the temple...”  Jesus as a child.... “Sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions.” They said "what are you doing? Don't you know left your momma and daddy?" He said "don't you know I must be about my father's business? This is God's will, God's ordering, God's election, God's sovereignty, God's choosing. I'm doing his will."

Luke 13:7 “Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard "behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree."  That's a parable about Jesus, three years of ministry to the Jews. "And find none. Cut it down. Why cumbereth it the ground?"  70 AD, they were cut down by the Romans.

Acts 7:20 “In which time Moses was born and was exceeding fair and he nourished up in his father's house three months. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him "behold three men seek thee." This is when Peter's sleeping on top of house. He has a vision, he sees a sheet let down and all kinds of snails and crawdads, and lizards and catfish and things in there.

“And God told him "get up and eat it." He said "I don't eat anything unclean." God wakes him up and says "hey, three men are looking for you." If Peter had known about numbers, he would have said "uh oh that dream must have been God's design on me here." Sure enough he went out and found the three men and found it's okay to eat catfish. Down in Linden at that place is pretty good.

1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.” What would you expect? Three that bear record, Father, Word, the Holy Ghost. That's what three is, and these three are one.

Three Unclean Spirits like Frogs

Revelation 16:13 “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs...” Now here's one of the passages you might say "well this wouldn't work for your meaning." That's the reason I included it. I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of false prophet. There's three, an unholy trinity, of the beast, the dragon, and false prophet. Religious leader, political leader, and the devil all lined together. Antichrist taking the place of God the Father, God the Son God the Holy Spirit. And each one of them opens their mouth to speak and when they do, a frog comes out of it.

That'd be a terrible thing to throw up. So they throw up this big nasty green frog, unclean spirit. It's a devil. It's a demon coming out of their belly. You say "but how could that be?" If you look at the Book of Revelation and the context of this and God's preparation for judgment, it's God preparing these three for damnation and destruction.

Revelation 16:19, “And the great city was divided...”  ...This is Jerusalem... “...Into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came in remembrance before God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.”  God's judgments are descending in the Book of Revelation, so it's doing that divides the city into three parts.

Revelation 21:13 “On the east are three gates, on the north, three gates, on the south, three gates on the west, three gates. He could have said that a different way. He could have said "there are 12 gates in all on four different sides." But he made it very clear. 3, 3, 3, 3.

Three’s Ordinals

Third is used 182 times and 35 are third part. That's a fraction. We'll deal with the fractions once we get through the major numbers, and the fractions are so different and pointed and detailed. It's amazing, you'll love that. There's 147 ordinals. The cardinal was the one and the ordinal is the first. Cardinal is the three, and the ordinal is the third. Alright, consistent. It's also consistent with divine control.

Third- 182

  • 35 are “third part”
  • 147 Ordinals
  • Consistent with Divine control

Genesis has the word third 10 times. I'm going to go through every one in Genesis and then I'm going to skip to the New Testament for the sake of time. We're not leaving anything out, and there's two or three that would possibly be questionable in terms of the meaning in Genesis. That's the reason I want to include them. Alright, third 10 times in Genesis.

Genesis 1:13And the evening and the morning were the third day...”  No problem there, that's God's doing, God's ordering...

Genesis 2:14 “And the name of the third river is Hiddekel.”  This is one of those that if it stood alone, it would not suggest a divine sovereignty control. In other words, you wouldn't know it from this passage like you do from the others.

How Consistent is the meaning?

I have tried to get a percentage, I've found it's somewhere between 85, like on the number 13, and 99% of the time, the word, the context of the number suggests the meaning that we're sharing with you. But anywhere from 1% to 15% are like T-cells. They're not identifiable yet. Without additional context, you wouldn't know what they were suggesting. You say "why is that?" Because there's systems of numbers, that third person born or the fifth person born or the sixth son or something like that, and it just doesn't have any context at all for it to be determinant. But because we know from the vast majority of usages what it means, we can back plant that definition and it gives us additional understanding of the passage. That's the case here in Genesis 2:14.

Genesis 2:14 “The name of the third river...” This is in the Garden of Eden... “And that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria, and the fourth river is Euphrates.”  We'll cover that four later, but that's the third river. And you say "but after all this is God's creation of the Garden of Eden" So I can see God's volition, God's control, God's divine order even in that.

Genesis 6:16, “A window shalt thou make to the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof with the lower, second and third stories shalt thou make it.”  There's one of them again that the passage does not jump out at you with divine sovereignty, control, and ordering other than the fact that this is God's blueprint, God's design for the ark. He's the architect and he's giving Noah the plans. So I can still see it in there.

Third Day

Genesis 22:4, “Then on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.” This is when God seemed to offer his son a sacrifice and there God prepared a lamb to save Isaac from being put to death.

Genesis 31:22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.”  You might think that was one of those that's nondescript, but not at all because God is leading Jacob to get away from his overbearing father-in-law, and it's good thing to know guys. There's a three day lapse there which he needed to get far enough away so that when he pursues him, he doesn't kill him. It gives him a chance to cool off. So if you read the whole story, you'll see that God's working, God's plan, God's sovereignty in that.

Genesis 32:18. “Then thou shalt say "They be thy servant Jacobs. It is a present sent unto my Lord Esau." Esau wants to kill Jacob. "And behold, also, he is behind us." And so commanded he the second and the third and all that followed the droves, saying "on this manner shall ye speak unto Esau when you find him." So they were coming up in three groups of presents, animals, being brought to the belligerent brother trying to appease him, so that's simply an order, the second group and then the third group. But we see clearly that there's division between the two brothers with the second and there's divine control in ordering with the third because the brother, Esau, does not kill Jacob and he sees all of the animals brought and he's satisfied that his brother's not coming back to take his share of the wealth and it appeases him.

Genesis 34:25 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that...” They were circumcised... “That two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren...”  They had sexually abused Dinah... “Took each man his sword and came upon the city boldly and slew all the males.”  It was God's design to put fear in the hearts of those people. So it was on the third day.

Genesis 40:20, “And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto his servants and he lifted up the head of the chief butler...”  Remember the prophecy? “...And of the chief baker among his servants and he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again, and he gave the cup unto Pharaoh's hand, and he hanged the chief baker as Joseph had interpreted to them.”  So this was God's volition, God's sovereignty, God's reckoning, and God's design.

Genesis 42:17 “And he put them all together into the ward three days,”  Joseph's brothers. “And Joseph said unto them "the third day, this do, and live, for I fear God."

Genesis 50:23 “And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation.”  This is one you might think is not very descript, but if you look at it, “the children also of Machir, the son of Manassa, were brought up upon Joseph's knee.”  What it's telling us is that Joseph lived to be an old age and got to see his grandsons, and Great grandsons grow up and was blessed with that. That was God's blessings, God's design, God's ordering for Joseph.

Third in the New Testament

Finally, third in the New Testament. Of the 43 uses of third in the New Testament, not more than seven could be construed to be devoid of symbolism. That's rather a large number compared to most numbers, seven out of 43, but let's look at them. I'm not saying they're not, I'm just saying that context does not essentially dictate the meaning.

Matthew 16:21 “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples how that he must suffer and go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be raised again the third day.”

 Matthew 20:19 “He delivered him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify him. And the third day he shall rise again.”

Matthew 22:25 “There was with us seven brethren, and the first when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third unto the seventh.”  So these guys are just throwing this out at Jesus, this possibility if a woman was married to seven men and the all seven died and she gets to Heaven, which one of them has her for a wife? That's sounds like a Muslim question, but Jesus is put on the spot there to answer them. So the third unto the seventh. This passage does not dictate the meaning of third, but having read it in other places, we know it's divine control.

Luke 23:33 “And he said unto them the third time "why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him. I will therefore chastise him and let him go...”  This is Jesus before Pilate. “And they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priest prevailed, and Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.”  The third time, this was God's design, it was God's will. "It pleased the Lord to bruise him," Isaiah said in chapter 53.

Acts 2:15 "For these are not drunken," Peter says, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel...”  And then he describes the visions and dreams and the blessings God would bring with the Holy Spirit. So the third hour of the day would make it about 9:00 in the morning, they thought they were all drunk. He said "we couldn't possibly drunk, it's just 9:00." Again, that's God's doing in sending the Holy Spirit down up on them.

Revelation 21:19, “The foundations of the wall of city, regardless with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third of chalcedony, the fourth an emerald.”  And he goes all the way through 12. Those would be nondescript other than the fact that what you have is that this is the foundations of the New Jerusalem and isn't it proper that the 12 major numbers should all be represented in that foundation, which is the fullness of God completely? It's a beautiful illustration.

The Word Thrice

And then this is a last one, thrice, which is used 15 times, and they're all strongly symbolic of divine control and sovereignty.

Exodus 34:23 “Thrice in the years shall all the men of Israel appear before the Lord God of Israel. I will cast out the nations before thee and enlarge thy borders. Neither shall any man desire thy land when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord God thrice in the year.” King James chooses that thrice because otherwise it'd say it three times and that doesn't flow, it doesn't ring, it doesn't sound as good. Thrice in the year, three times in the year, thrice in the year... Sounds sweet.

Matthew 26:34, “And Jesus said unto him "verify I say unto thee, that this night before the cock crow, thou shall deny me thrice."  Good writing. And that's God's design, God's sovereignty.

2 Corinthians 11:25 "Thrice was I beaten with rods."  You see, God told Paul ahead of time exactly what he'd suffered, so he was counting, you see, beaten with rods three times. This is the final one, boy I'm glad of that. That's the last one. I'm going to have to be raised from the dead one time... And what was the other two? Oh yeah, I'm going to have to be whipped again. Oh, I'm going to be shipwrecked, I forgot about that one. And oh, gotta get snake bit. He's got this whole list God's given him of the things he's going to suffer. “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned. Thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night in a day I have been in the deep.”  Which is going to happen to him again.

2 Corinthians 12:8 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” That's Paul talking about an affliction he's got. And God said "my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul said "most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest up on me." God's foreknowledge, volition, choosing, reckoning.

Next Time

Okay four 328 times, it's going to take us a couple hours. So no, we'll wait until next time. Our foursquare is used 10 times. We'll cover that next week. That's all for tonight.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
Learn more about The Door