Harry Brownlee - Acts 20:24 (Counting /Numbers 1 to 7)

"Neither count I my life dear unto myself ..." Paul said. Counting is important. There’s no hope of success till we can count properly. There's a cause that matters more than creature comfort. "Is there not a cause?" David asked. James said, "We count them happy that endure" (James 5:11). Those with grey heads are those who have endured. The Kingdom has rested on stability, sticking power. Winners never quit and quitters never win. Peter said, "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge... (I Peter 1:5).  Let peace and grace be multiplied unto you." (1 Peter 1:2) Multiplication is swifter than addition. To add is good, but to multiply is better. Romans 16:17, "Avoid those who cause divisions and offences." God divided right from wrong, all humanity - sheep from goats. Division should be left to the Lord. The Lord will put division between His people and Egypt. Jesus came to bring division, father from son, mother from daughter (Luke 12:51).  

 

NUMBER 1 

Paul said, "There is one God and one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5) the only decision is to serve Him or not.  A mediator is a go-between. We are so glad Jesus understands both God and us. This takes away all self-praise. Sing the song of Moses (deliverance) and the song of the Lamb (redemption). On Sunday morning the whole meeting is tuned to the one God and one mediator. Avoid self- praise, self love, self will. All praise be to the Lamb. 

One way. God promised He'd give His people one heart and one way. Since there is one God, there is only one way. This is good for the children. They might be rebellious but they'll never be confused. It's a walking way not a talking way. 

One great high priest - He ever liveth to make intercession for you and me. He has never died. Man tried to put Him to death but failed. 

One faith, Paul said. We know who the author is. This faith didn't come from any place but the homeland of eternity. Jesus is the author and finisher of it. 

One ark in Noah's day.  

 

NUMBER 2  

This number is plural, the number of confirmation.  

a) Jesus sent His disciples 2 by 2. The 2 tell the same story – confirmation, the message is confirmed. The ministry is not a competing one but a complimentary one. Age needs youth and vice versa. Paul said, "Timothy has served with me in the ministry." Peter and John met the lame man. Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas, always the 2. Picture of the cherubims in Exodus 27, at the west end of the temple were 2 cherubims above the mercy seat. Temple was a place of sacrifice, not of worship. Their wings were outstretched, like 2 messengers swift to go at heaven's bidding. They were looking to the one who sits on the mercy seat, not at one another. Messengers still point us to the one who sits on the mercy seat. Woman taken in adultery received mercy from the only one who could have condemned her. Mercy is always ahead, because all are facing the western horizon.  

b) 2 books - The Bible and the Book of Nature. "The heavens declare the glory of God ..." (Psalm 19:1) The most eloquent voice is the voice of nature. It's the same message as in the Bible. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Way doesn't change but we must change. Don't take a stand in ignorance and defend it in stubbornness. There's no growth without change in us. The silent message from the Book of Nature tells us Jesus is the same and God will never change. Nature will never change. Awesome power of God is seen in Nature - no noise - it's silent, the silent power of the Spirit. We can judge the Creator by the creation. There’s no building without an architect. The Bible says, "It's appointed man once to die.” Time as an everlasting stream bears all of us away.  

 

NUMBER 3. Strength  

"A three-fold cord isn't quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12) There's strength in unity. "One shall chase 1000 but 2 will chase 10,000 (Deuteronomy 32:30). The Devil wants God’s workers to be at odds. 

a) The world, flesh and devil are great but Father Son and Holy Ghost are greater. Satan belongs to the angelic kingdom and we are no match for him, but we belong to the divine kingdom with the Holy Spirit and we are a match for world, flesh and devil. Over the cross was written, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews” in 3 languages - Latin, language of the Romans, Hebrew, language of the Jews, and Greek, language of the Intellectuals. There was power in that message.  

b) Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh they wanted to take God's people 3 days’ journey into the wilderness. Awesome power of separation. Pharaoh of today wants separation between man and wife, parents and children but this is not true separation.  

c] Gideon [Judges] The Midianities had impoverished God's people. Gideon was a mighty man because he was hiding, threshing out bread for God's people. 32,000 men aligned themselves with Gideon. This was too many. God told the fearful to return home. 22,000 men went home. 10,000 men were left - still too many. God tested them, brought them to water and only those who lapped water like a dog, 300 of them, were worthy—not those who knelt down to drink. They brought deliverance to God's people.  There’s nothing wrong in young men being successful and raising a family but thank God for those who don't stoop to satisfy their own flesh, and base human appetites. In Old Testament, when a man died, his younger brother usually married his wife to raise a family in his name but who shall declare the generation of Jesus? Is it not the young men who go into the work and raise a family to bear the name of Christ, not their own name? This name will be written on their forehead. (Revelation 7:3)  

 

NUMBER 4. Equality   God is equal. God is impartial.  

a) Altar was 4 square. When our lives are placed on the altar, our identity is lost. Turtle doves and bulls when burnt, their ashes are indistinguishable. This is a united effort. When the fire of God's love has done its glorious work, we can’t distinguish one sacrifice from another.  

b) Exodus 20:26, "Neither shall thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." Altar was not to be approached by steps, no different levels. We all serve on the same level; otherwise the naked jealousy or envying will be exposed.  

c) Revelation 21:16 talks of a city that is 4 square, that is equal. God didn't promise that there won't be injustice in this world but we are traveling towards justice. There we will have justice - tempered with mercy.  

 

NUMBER 5 Man's number  

a) God without man is still God but man without God is nothing. Feeding of the 5000. Man didn't have the answer. There were only 5 loaves but man with God fed 5 thousand.  

b) David and Goliath. That stripling just had 5 smooth stones out of the brook, no armour, sword, or spear. There's a river that flows from the throne of God. When we face the day with smooth stones from that river we'll be able to bring the enemy down.

c) I Corinthians 14:19, Paul said, "Better speak 5 words with understanding than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue.” Wonderful ideal. Talk less but say more, that's a wonderful thing. 

d) Moses wrote 5 books in the Bible. How could he remember all those details, but man with God can do anything. It’s wonderful how the Bible has been preserved through the centuries.  

 

NUMBER 6. 6666 Devil's number  

Mark of the beast. When we give the right hand of fellowship to the world there's a mark on our lives. This number is very close to 7777 God’s number.  The Devil doesn't care about our religion, which may be very close to the truth, so long as it's a phony. The devil's counterfeit which was what Jeroboam gave to the people [I Kings 12 27 – 33]. 

 

NUMBER 7. Perfect number.   It is complete. 

a) 7 days of the week. God created the world in 7 days. He rested on the 7th because creation was accomplished. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.“ Works are the result of salvation not the means of salvation. If we believe, works will follow. If we believe, we won't be Methodists, Baptists, etc., here. There is no other Way to walk in. There's nothing can make us more saved. Salvation is a gift of God. Work of redemption is an accomplished, finished fact. Works make people self-righteous. The Pharisee was quite pleased with himself, not the publican, but the publican was justified, not the Pharisee with all his good works. If we are saved, works will follow.  

b) 7 notes on the scale.  7 colours that make up the rainbow. All of music is made up of these notes blended together. There's harmony and we are the symphony of God. It only takes one note to bring discord.  

c) 7 priests and 7 trumpets to bring down Jericho. It's complete. We don't need more than the Bible. There was a space between the priests and the people. People shouldn't move in on the servants of God and vice versa. On the 7th day they were to march round 7 times ...Complete obedience will bring the walls down and there was complete victory through complete obedience.  

d) Naaman was told to dip in the Jordan 7 times. Complete obedience brought complete healing. Medical science couldn't do it but God did it.  

e) Genesis 7, the door of the ark stood open for 7 days. Complete mercy, then the people left the ark; they left through a different exit, through the covering of the ark in the roof. When we leave these meetings, we should leave our old life behind.