I told you in the last Nugget of being awakened in the early hours of June 15th 2019 with the word isopsethia going around and around in my mind. I knew it must be a Greek word as it started with “iso-” which is used as a prefix to refer to anything which links elements of a common value together. As a geographer I recalled there are a series of words which began with Greek prefix iso which were all connected.
Isoclines are lines on a map which join points of equal height above sea level and therefore result in contour lines which give us a visual representation of the landscape, in linking points of equal elevation and slope.
Isotherms are lines on a map which join points of equal temperature and therefore give us a visual representation of the temperature readings over the country and form a part of the weather maps we see.
Isobars are lines on a map which join points of equal barometric pressure and therefore give us a visual representation of the high and low pressure cells over the country, which add to the information in our weather maps and help us see where the stable (H) and unstable air masses (L) are and the direction of the resultants winds.
Isohyets are the lines on a map which join points of equal rainfall which add yet more information to our weather maps.
I sensed this word isopsethia was linked to the same family of words which linked points of equal value of something. Imagine my surprise to find that isopsethia is the term related to gematria, the term used when the value of letters in words form a correlation between the meaning of the word and its letter values. This is a feature of the three biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. All three are alpha-numeric languages where each letter of the language is assigned a numeric value. The letters of each language are then used to record numbers values as these three language don’t use the standard Arabic symbols for numeric values. Isopsethia is the noun from isopsethy referring to the relationship between the value of words when their letter values are summed which then have a direct correlation between the gematria and the meaning of the word. Not all gematria of words have a direct correlation with the meaning. But isopsethia refers to the phenomenon encountered when the value of the letters used to form the word bear a direct correlation with the meaning of the word. It is a rare phenomena.
On waking up on June 15th last year I was feeling certain that the LORD had dropped that word into my mind in the night to prompt me to dig. My mind was buzzing with excitement. Somehow I sensed this was going to solve the mystery of mem and mem-sofit. After I had spent 30 minutes digging to meaning of isopsethia I turned to my daily reading from Rick Renner’s book Sparkling Gems from the Greek Volume 2. I had missed the reading the day before when i woke late and therefore June 15th I was reading the entry for June 14th. Here is what I read:
Yes I know it’s labelled June 13th. That’s what threw me to write June 13th last week. But the mailing comes from the US and I normally received Rick Renner’s devotional the day following, but on the day in question I had missed a day and so was reading it in morning of June 15th. (Don’t worry if you don’t follow my logic.)
The Reminding Ministry of the Holy Spirit – June 13th
(a daily devotional by Rick Renner)
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. — John 14:26
Have you ever wondered how the four gospel writers separately recorded four gospels with no contradictions? With all the countless words the disciples heard Jesus speak, how did they ever remember them all accurately? It is absolutely remarkable to me when I think about each apostle’s fantastic ability to remember what Jesus said and did. This leads us to the next responsibility God gave to the Holy Spirit — to bring to our remembrance all the things Jesus said or taught.
When Jesus taught about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He said that bringing what Jesus said to remembrance would be a part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and will bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The word “remembrance” is a translation of the Greek word hupomimnesko, which is a compound of the words hupo and mimnesko. The word hupo in this particular case means by — as to place something alongside of something else. The word mimnesko means to remember, to recollect, to remind, to regather, or to recall. When these two words are compounded, the combined nuances depict someone whose memory is awakened or one who is enabled to call something to mind.
This is truly amazing to me. When I read the gospels and I see how the Holy Spirit brought explicit, vivid details to the remembrance of four gospel writers, I know that it would have been naturally impossible for all four of these men to so precisely recall everything they remembered on their own. However, the fact is that they were all listening to the same Holy Spirit who was bringing to their remembrance everything they had experienced with Jesus.
The Bible gives us a very clear example in John 12 of this “reminding work” of the Holy Spirit. In this account, Jesus was entering into Jerusalem triumphantly as people joyfully proclaimed, “Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13). At the time this was happening, the disciples didn’t realize Old Testament Scripture was being fulfilled before their eyes. But John 12:16 goes on to say, “These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.” This very clearly refers to the reminding ministry of the Holy Spirit.
After the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those who prayed in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, one of the ways the Holy Spirit taught the apostles about Jesus was by tying Old Testament Scripture into events they had experienced with Him. Many things that hadn’t been clear or hadn’t made sense to them while Jesus was on earth were now being explained and defined as the Holy Spirit led them in Old Testament verses. As He inspired the apostles to write the New Testament, He clarified and revealed to them the significance of the Old Testament as it related to Jesus’ ministry and calling, the newly emerging Church, and the future.
Furthermore, the gospels contain no errors. What we have in them is exactly what Jesus said and did. They were written as the Holy Spirit put Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in remembrance of what Jesus said and did. How marvelous and fantastic it truly is to see how the Holy Spirit illuminated their minds to recall vivid details from Jesus’ life and ministry. It is due to this wonderful reminding work of the Holy Spirit that we have the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in our Bibles today.
This makes me know that we can never claim ignorance for not knowing Scripture. Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to bring to our memory exactly what verses we need — when we need them. If our partnership with the Holy Spirit is strong, we can lean upon Him the moment our memory fails us, because it is His responsibility to remind us of the Word of God. When we are in the midst of a difficult situation and don’t know what to do, the Holy Spirit will reach into the Word of God that is stored in our hearts and minds, and He will withdraw the exact verse or truth we need and put us in remembrance of it at just the right moment.
Perhaps this particular reminding work of the Holy Spirit is best illustrated in parts of the world where the Bible is illegal. My family lives in the former Soviet Union, where the Bible was forbidden for more than 70 years. I am constantly in awe as I meet leaders and entire churches that had only one Bible over a span of many years. Sometimes it was a hand-copied version with torn and tattered pages from decades of use. Those yellow, tattered pages of the Word of God meant everything to them.
It is the most amazing thing to see people who have had limited access to the Bible and yet know it so well. They can quote it and remember it better than people in free countries who have several Bibles in their homes and the opportunity to read them every morning and every night. There is only one explanation: the Holy Spirit. He is doing exactly what Jesus said He would do — putting them in remembrance of the Word of God. This is especially true where the Word of God, although it may be scarce, is embraced and esteemed. When a person has given precious care to reading and meditating on the Word day and night, the Holy Spirit has the wherewithal to call to remembrance what that person has read and assimilated in the deepest parts of his being. That is one of the Holy Spirit’s responsibilities as our Partner in this world.
Today I want to encourage you to open your heart to this reminding ministry of the Holy Spirit. If you say you have a difficult time memorizing Scripture, open your heart to the ministry of the Holy Spirit because He wants to put you in remembrance of everything that Jesus said. And He will help you recall everything you need to remember that Jesus said to you — exactly on time and exactly at the right place. That’s part of His reminding ministry to you and to me.
By now my excitement had ramped up several levels and I sensed that God had not only given me the input I was looking for but He had also given it to me at the perfect moment, in sync with the book from Mark Spencer the day before. This was the clue I needed to solve the problem of mem and memsofit. I was aware that hupo can also have the meaning to replace, as well as place alongside. So God’s reminding process could also become reminding by replacement. In other words mem sofit (ם) could be replaced with mem (מ) and still validly be a reminder or God’s subtle hint to the gematria of 153 fish. The fact that the value of the Hebrew letter mem (מ) is used and not mem-sofit (ם) which ought to be the letter used to mean “the sons of God” is ok. It’s allowable. The challenge of the critics is that in order to calculate the 153 using the letter mem , when in fact the letter should be mem sofit, is not kosher, not allowable. But I have always had the sense that given the connection it must be just a subtle hint on God’s part to the hidden meaning of the gematria of 153 fish. After all a reference to the sons of God (the children of God) at this point can’t be coincidence surely!
All of this co-occurance in time between the input from the day before from Mark Spencer and the word “isopsethia” going around and around in my mind in the middle of the night had to have significance. That, followed by the reading of Rick Renner related to hupomimnesko was enough to convince me that God was reminding me, talking to me, prompting me to include again the discussion of the meaning of 153 fish in Deeper Bible 701. I was to include once again the Gematria of the 153 fish and show that this was a valid way of God speaking to His people to convince them that the number of the redeemed in the last days would be perfect in the final hour. That none would be lost and all those marked from redemption would be saved – the combination of ordinal and divine perfection. I felt I had found the key to solving the problem of mem sofit given the clue dropped by my Greek Prof Basil Brown and a lot of prompting by my Heavenly Father.
For those of you for whom this is still a mystery and who have a copy of the God’s Awesome Book manual in your possession or have the GAB video series then turn to the Numeric section to N26 to N31 for the explanation. Or simply ask for a copy of either to be sent to you along with the notes supplement.