This is the twelfth year of the new millennium, and, as is timely typical with the dawn of another measure of twelve months on the earth, negative prophecies abound. Predictions span from international economic collapse to the complete destruction of the physical globe and all life on it. More books of impending doom have been, and will be, written and more Christians will read them. As they have before, predicted dates will pass with no apologies made to God or man for “missing it.” It seems that nothing changes from year to year except the price of these wares of fear.
While I am sure there will be some negative aspects of the year ahead, I am even more certain that Jesus is alive, His promises are true and absolute, and that He has good things in mind for His people all the time.
However, suppose just for a moment that we are entering together the prediction competitions this year using numbers and their biblical meaning. Let’s first look back one year to 2011. Have we experienced a year of greater chaos, especially in reference to the world’s governments? And, we might ask, what is the biblical significance of the number eleven? It always speaks of disorder. It is the number of chaos.
But this is a year later. What of the number twelve? If we were to predict the demeanor this year by its number, what would we say of it? Biblically speaking, we would say it will be a year marked by government, a year so opposite of the preceding one, a year of order, and that of a divine kind, for the number twelve denotes divine government (all legitimate government is of divine origin; see Rom 13:1-7 below).
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The child born in the above passage is the Baby in Bethlehem’s manger. He is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, born of the blood of His Father and the flesh of His mother. The Son given is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, fully recognized, assigned and set at Jordan as John baptized Him. He is called, among other divinely assigned names, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah declared that upon the shoulder of Him who would bear that title there would rest a government, the peace of which would be of ever-increasing proportion. That government, according to John in Revelation 11:15, is to envelope every nation in our world. That government is the Kingdom of God, which Kingdom is not, as we religiously proclaim, a place of eternal bliss, but an order of rule established whenever the will of God is at once done in heaven and earth.
Now before we look at the number twelve and its revelation of divine government, let us consider the legitimate work of any government of men. I say legitimate in the sense of God-ordained.
God first set government in a figure when he gave the sun rule over the day and set the moon over the night. This was, and yet is, a government of our natural environment. He first instituted government among mankind immediately after Adam’s disobedience. He set the man in authority over the woman and gave her a desire that it be so. The feminist just rose and screamed, “No! That’s not the way it should be! We are all equal. We all have a right to live just as we want. Who died and made the male a god?” Consider for a moment the ever-increasing price we and our children have paid, and will yet pay, for the violation of this order of government.
Our heavenly Father has ordained government of this above mentioned order for every level of community life, from local to national (the government of the family is a microcosm of every level of community government). Thank God for government! And, I offer those thanks from a Christian perspective. Of civil government the Word of God has said:
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. (NKJ)
Government in the corporate community is not ordained of God to take away our personal liberties, but to protect us from the social dangers of the present human condition. The restrictions of God-ordained government are actually imposed upon us to make us free, for in reality the pathway to real liberty is paved with discipline (government). Furthermore, we might rightly say that True government - any government which is ordained of God - does not free us to do as we will, but it does free us from hindrances to our doing as we ought. However, any community government, just as it is with its microcosm, the government of the home and family, is dependent for proper function upon those who fill its offices: thus the failures.
Now, back to the number twelve. Here are some significant appearances. Search each of them carefully for words that relate to government:
1 The Bible first mentions government on the fourth day of the creation week. God made the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. We divide the day and night into twelve hours each
2 Jacob had twelve sons (each the federal head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel in their beginning): divine government
3 Esau had twelve sons (biblically called the twelve Dukes of Edom): human government
4 At twelve years old Jesus spoke His first words in the Bible and began to be about His Father’s business (His Kingdom)
5 Jesus had twelve disciples who shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of the New Testament Israel of God.
6 The woman of Revelation chapter twelve (the church), who was clothed with the sun and its twelve hours, who had the moon and its twelve hours under her feet, and who had a crown of twelve stars was delivered of a man child who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron.
7 The Holy City of John’s Revelation is under the government of God:
A The City measured twelve thousand furlongs
B The wall (protection: primary objective of government) of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb
C The wall of the city had twelve gates which were twelve pearls and were kept by twelve angels
D The Tree of Life was on each side of the river of the City and brought forth twelve fruits in each of the year’s twelve months
E In the Revelation twelve thousand were sealed from each of the twelve tribes
Here is a significant appearance of the number twenty four, the first multiple of the number twelve. This number refers to Priesthood, the Levitical of the Old Testament and well as the Melchizedec of the New Testament. But of particular interest to us in this writing is the King-Priest (two different authority heads in one vessel) government (twelve) of the Kingdom of God which is manifested first through Jesus Christ and then through the many sons chosen in His Name (Rev 1:4-6; Rev 5:9-10; Heb 2:6-11).
Again, twenty four is the biblical number of the Melchizedec Priesthood of the Kingdom of God. This Priesthood is a governmental ministry. The King is the Priest and the Priest is the King. Secular government and Spiritual government are vested in the same vessel: first in Jesus Christ and then in the many sons God brings to glory. This combination of secular and spiritual authority was forbidden in the Old Testament economy. A good example of this truth is seen in Saul’s rejection as King of Israel for assuming the office of the Priest in the offering of sacrifice unto the Lord (1 Sam 13:8-14). In the economy of the New Testament Kingdom of God, however, secular authority and spiritual authority are vested in the same vessel: Jesus is the King of Kings (secular authority) and the Lord of Lords (spiritual authority) and we His people are the Kings He is King of and the Lords He is Lord of.
Now all of this is probably an insult to the religious soul that could never presume to be a king or a priest and whose eternal home is heaven and not the earth, but I will yet agree with the Bible:
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
In John’s Revelation chapter four there are twenty four elders (government offices) seated about the throne (government) of God. These twenty four elders are mentioned twelve times in John’s book. Remember, this number twenty four identifies a life-giving government which has both secular (Kingly; twelve) and divine (Lordship; twelve) authority. It is this same order of government that Peter refers to as a “Royal Priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9)
So, what does all this mean to us in practical terms in 2012? Do I think we might with it win the religious predictions competition? Do I think that the Kingdom’s full coming and the divine government of God will be in 2012? I don’t know. Maybe so, maybe no. I never did guess about what I cannot know concerning the end of the age. I am convinced, however, that the revelation of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom on the earth is a certainty. And, I do know the number twelve is the number biblically associated with that manifestation. I do know that the things we have looked at add to my conviction that the Holy Scriptures are God-breathed, for no one human could have conceived and written them, much less forty different humans over a fifteen hundred year span of time. And, we have not even begun to see the myriad impossibilities with this very incomplete study of twelve’s.
Again, the number twelve is the biblical number of divine government: that government being the Kingdom of God in and among His own people. Its microcosmic form is found in a son of God who conducts his life according to the Scriptures. That individual easily submits to secular government, for he is already governed under a greater order. His hope is always, not just in 2012, that this Kingdom order of government will come in earth as it is in heaven.
If our Father God is anything, He is dependable. Amidst all the religious predictions there are predictions of certainty. My Brother, Pastor Dwight Reeves gave me this list of things he foresees for 2012. When you read them you might feel that these are not “hot prophecies for the hour.” However, they are things we Christian know are certain, and that’s exactly what I am talking about:
Pastor Dwight Reeves:
My 9 predictions for 2012
1- The Bible will still have all the answers for mankind.
2- Prayer will still be the most powerful thing a Christian can do.
3- The Holy Spirit is still alive and will continue to do His work.
4- God will still honor and inhabit the praises of His people.
5- There still will be God anointed teaching, preaching and prophesy.
6- God will still pour out His blessings on His obedient children.
7- There will still be room at the cross.
8- Jesus still loves you and those who are lost.
9- Jesus will still heal, save and deliver the lost when they come to Him.