Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
1000 Indefinite large number
One Man among a Thousand
Solomon by the inspiration of God was blessed to be able to survey mankind for a righteous individual. He, by inspiration, took count of all of mankind. Among women, he found none that was righteous. Among men, he found one of a thousand that was righteous. The use of the term thousand is not to be taken literally, but only to show that of the indefinite multitude there is only one.
When God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, Adam was upright. There was no sin in him. He was innocent or righteous before God. He had fellowship with God. He communed with God. He rejoiced in his interaction with God. However, God gave unto Adam a law, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." In the process of time, the serpent beguiled Eve, who in turn, gave unto Adam and he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and of evil.
Adam immediately died in trespasses and sins. He became unrighteous before God. Further, all of his posterity died in trespasses and sins with him. Thus, we read of all of mankind in Romans chapter three: "There is none righteous, no not one."
God, in his infinite wisdom and knowledge knew that Adam would sin and that all of his posterity would die in him. God made provision to redeem a very great number of Adam's descendants through the covenant of redemption that he made with himself before the foundation of the world. This covenant of redemption we find worded for us in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
In order for the elect of God to be redeemed from their sins, it was necessary that a righteous man die in their place. This righteous man was Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin: he was born without sin. He committed no sins during his life on earth. He fulfilled the law and the prophets to a jot and a tittle. He is the one that Solomon, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, identified as the one that he found who was upright. Christ died to redeem us from our sins. Because of his death, we read in 2 Cor. 5:21: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The Lord owns all things
In the above passage, the Lord said that the cattle upon a thousand hills were his. From the context, it is clear that it was not a literal thousand hills that the Lord was speaking about, but that the cattle upon all hills are his.
There are ranches in South Texas that have more than a thousand literal hills. The Lord is greater than any rancher in South Texas is and he is greater than all the ranchers in the world are. He possesses all things.
In the above passage of scripture, the Lord is declaring his greatness to his people. He is showing them that he not only created all things, but that he still possesses all things and with that bountiful possession, he is able to supply all their needs. Thus, we should call upon the Lord in the day of trouble and he will deliver us. Our responsibility is to thank him and to glorify his name.
superiority of dwelling in the courts of the Lord
In the above passage, thousand is used as an indefinite large number. In this Psalm David has taught us that a day in the courts of the Lord's house is better than a thousand in the tents of wickedness.
Through wickedness man has attained to fortune, fame, and power. Through wickedness man has obtained worldly honor and the praise of nations and even the world. Yet David has said that a day as a humble doorkeeper in the house of God is better than all that wickedness may bring you throughout your life.
A house is a permanent structure, whereas a tent is a temporary structure. The house of the Lord endures forever. When this world is no more, the house of the Lord will still be standing. It will be standing forever in the paradise of God.
Fortune, fame, power, worldly honor and praise gotten through wickedness is at best fleeting. Having God as a sun and shield, having God to give us grace and glory, having God to give us all good things is better than what the tents of wickedness have to offer. Further, just one day in the courts of God is better than a lifetime in the tents of the wicked.
Thousand – Israel Multiplied
Moses told the children of Israel a short time before they were to go possess the land of Canaan that God had multiplied them and that they were now as the stars of heaven for multitude. Then he said that "The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!" This was not wishful thinking of Moses that Israel be multiplied a thousand times so many more, but it was according to the promise that God had made. This promise had been made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God promised Abraham and subsequently his son and grandson that he would multiply the seed of Abraham as follows:
1. Gen. 26:4 "And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;"
2. Gen. 13:16 "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered."
3. Gen. 22:17 "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;"
These metaphors of "stars of heaven," "dust of the earth," and "sand upon the sea shore" are not to be taken literally, but as it represents a number of great size that cannot be numbered by man. Likewise, the use of the term "thousand times" indicates an exceeding great number according to the promise of God. This exceeding great number of God's children that make up the multiplied seed of Abraham, which seed is Christ, is set forth for us in Rev. 7:9, 10: "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
The numbers of God's covenant elect children numbers a great multitude, which no man could number. This number is not limited to natural Israel, but is found in all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues. God always keeps his promises. Election is not a doctrine of "us four and no more" but a doctrine of immense size and exceeding broadness. Thanks be to God for his covenant promise and his grace and mercy.
The book of Revelation is written in sign language as we are informed in Chapter 1 verse 1: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" The word, signify, means to show by signs. Thus, the language of Revelation is figurative, not literal. All of the signs have meaning. To understand what is taught in the pages and verses of Revelation, one must find the meaning of the signs. The signs are revealed to us in the scriptures. Our task, when studying Revelation, is to find the meaning of the signs.
In this short article, it is not our intention to try to unlock all the signs in the first ten verses of the 20th chapter of Revelation, but only to deal with the thousand years taught therein and the significance of the thousand years. It is very clear from a reading of the above passage that the binding of Satan for a thousand years and the saints living and reigning with Christ for a thousand years is one and the same time period.
We have previously shown that the number "thousand" is frequently used to indicate an indefinite large number. While God certainly knows the exact number, it hasn't been revealed to man.
The passage states that Satan is bound for a thousand years. This binding is very specific. It does not teach that Satan in bound so as not to be able to do anything, but that he is bound so as not to be able to deceive the nations no more until the thousand years is ended.
Previously in Revelation, we are informed that Satan is the one who gave the seven headed, ten horned beast his power and authority. We are also informed that five of the heads are dead, one is alive, and one is yet to be. The one in existence at the time of the writing of the book of Revelation was the Roman empire. Since, that time there has not been a beastly kingdom with dominion over the vast majority of the civilized world. For a very long time, Satan has been bound so as not to be able to deceive the nations to build the seventh head of the beast. During this same time frame, Christ has been reigning over the Kingdom of heaven and his obedience disciples have been living and reigning with him during this time frame.
This will continue until the time comes when Satan is loosed out of his prison and goes out to build the seventh head of the beast that will attempt to destroy the Lord's visible church kingdom.