And how it changes every thought, you have NOW.
500 is a number ABOVE ALL measurements. If you can stand to read more than 500 characters in one sitting, I will show you from the beginning of mankind exactly how and why 500 means more than you ever thought. Knowledge of the number 500 will change every thought you may have from Now and forever!
Before you think I have lost all my marbles let’s start with the wake-up hour, I had at exactly 0500 every morning for 7 straight days. While Jimmy Buffett coined the phrase it is 5:00 O’clock somewhere I don’t believe he meant 5:00 a.m. For me, it was the trigger to my best how-to-get-back-to-sleep and overcome-worry-technique of looking at the clock by researching the number seen. I had not put this into practice for a while but seeing 0500 multiple times told me to do some research on the significance of the number 500. I do not believe in coincidences. I am also not a morning person thus my goal was to get back to sleep before being awakened with the significance of the #500. Once I started the research, there was no going back to sleep!
Being that day trading and the stock market had been on my brain; I immediately went down the rabbit hole viewing the S&P 500. I knew the meaning of 500 instinctively was perhaps coincidental to the word Standard from Standard & Poor’s. My first thought was to go find out more about Mr. Standard and Mr. Poor.
It did not take many Google searches to find out I was wrong on two parts. First, there was no Mr. Standard and my assumption about Mr. Poor being poor was incorrect, as he was actually very rich. The name ‘Standard’ though was indeed a measuring standard from the company founded in 1906 by Luther Lee Blake called Standard Statistics Bureau. Blake provided financial information on non-railroad companies (opposite of Mr. Poor) Instead of an annually published book, Standard Statistics would use 5-by-7-inch cards, allowing for more frequent updates. Although it is not recorded in the history books, I laughingly surmise that is why the S&P 500 and others are called ‘indexes.’ (Most info gathered from SPGlobal website)
Henry Varnum Poor and his brothers in 1860 founded Poor’s publishing company which published information on the thriving railroad industry. The Poor’s did very well investing in the railroad industry and are considered as pioneers in providing market information to stock investors. As poor health (lol) and some bad investments took its toll on the brothers, they sold off Poor publishing in the early 1900s. The name remained the same until Standards and Statistics merged with them forming the company “Standard and Poor’s” in 1941. Today S&P is a wholly owned subsidiary of McGraw-Hill companies and is operated as SPGlobal.
The first market index was established in 1923 with 233 stocks being tracked daily. When the merger took place the less famous S&P 233 Index was the benchmark for the stock market. In 1957 when a new computer system calculated at the market close an average tally of the largest 500 stocks it became the S&P 500 that we know today. The worrisome question of ‘How is the market doing’ was answered with this new BENCHMARK as the news was announced:
Since 1957 over 8500 indexes have been added while the S&P 500 continues to be THE benchmark for U.S. based stocks. While the 500 U.S. companies have changed names many times surprisingly 86 original members of the 500 are still included in the index. The companies in the S&P 500 and its tracking indexes account for over $23Trillion in market value. (that’s almost enough, lol, to pay off the national debt) Additionally $3.4Trillion is invested strictly in index funds (mutual funds and Etf’s) clearly revealing that THE S&P 500 is the stock market measuring stick ABOVE ALL other index measuring tools.
The nagging question I had is how did S&P mathematicians come up with the number 500? Historical data seemed to indicate it was either a limitation of the computer at the time or a good value line of the largest corporations seemed like it was a logical separation point.
I beg to question the thought of it being a mere “coincidence” of an even greater measuring standard. The number 500 is an established standard only caught by the keenest eye in no other place but the Bible. If you have not rolled your eyes and said why did I read this?; please DARE to enter into Joe’s Portico to find out how the number 500 is the measuring stick ABOVE ALL Measurements.
I promise you it will take your eyes off of all the people that we incorrectly use to measure God’s standards. I know for me it changed how I measure things and thus I share my findings with you in hopes it also changes every thought, you have NOW and forever.
If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul. In The Portico I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE. Tap the Red Line Below to hear the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story. (For additional info – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)
If You Dare, Click to Enter Into Joe's Portico (To See Part II of This Story)
To establish what is too precise to be coincidence, I will start in the middle of the story. It also fits with the Average Joe’s Portico theme as we evaluate the building of Solomon’s temple where Solomon’s Portico rests. From the Bible in the old testament in 1Kings 6 we find the start of building God’s house or temple: It was in mid-spring, in the month of Ziv, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord. This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt.
In 1Kings 9:10 we find the completion of the Temple took place: “It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace.”
480+20 = 500. Hello!
God has always been a God who is not only good but one who has ALWAYS kept His promises and covenants. But man has sadly most often messed things up. As Solomon built a temple to God, he and the people, that had been handed over to him by his Father David, were brought into a NEWER covenant with God. It was one where everyone could experience the presence of God in this new temple of worship. Previously Moses and the Prophets were the messengers. Moses delivered the 10 commandments to the rescued Jewish nation that had been in slavery for 400 years.
While Moses, David, and Solomon were given direction by God with God’s promises, each of them failed to fulfill their ends of the bargain. Solomon’s temple was later destroyed partly because of his turning away from the All Perfect God. God’s standard is ‘He Himself,’ alone, in the standard of Holy and Perfect. No human being has ever been able to live a perfect life (except One).
Because Solomon’s temple was destroyed and the rebuilt by Herod, we do not have a Biblical reference for the full dimensions of the entire area that separated the unbelievers (called Gentiles) from God’s children, the Israelite nation. We know the size of the temple itself as described in 1Kings 6, but we must reference the historical works of Josephus to find that the outer court separating the imperfect from the PERFECT standard was measured as, wait-for-it, wait,
500 x 500 cubits.
Keep that thought in mind for later reference as I will come back to the significance of this 500 x 500 standard.
I boldly mentioned the 500 standard was established by God at the ‘beginning of mankind.’ I imagine some of you are immediately scoffing with perhaps what a school-taught evolution mindset while Christians would state, 500?,,, 500 means nothing in the Bible that I know of. But, OH,,, it certainly does.
We all know that Adam and Eve (I hope you think that is not fiction) walked together with God and were given one very simple rule to live by to remain in the perfect presence of God. They walked with, talked with, and worked together with God, in His perfect and Holy presence daily. That is until they broke the ONE simple rule of eating the forbidden fruit that would show them what good and evil was about. They broke the very first covenant with God and thus were banned from the garden of Eden, that is – they were banned from being in the ever-present presence of the perfect and Holy God. They were placed in an on-the-outside-looking-in position. This is just like the court of Solomon, which by design established a separation point between the evil on the outside, and the perfection of God and His standard on the inside. (God told Solomon how to build it, precisely)
As many years passed, Adam and Eve’s children and lineage messed up so bad that God came to the awful point of stating in Genesis 6: ‘So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.’ Fortunately for mankind, there was One person that was close to being righteous that God could partner with and start over again a new covenant, Noah.
We have to back up a tad though to see the number 500 standard reference, wait-for-it, wait …
Genesis 5 had a whole bunch of what we tend to see as useless genealogy stuff with peoples names and ages. Guys like Methuselah who lived to be 997 years old. He was the grandfather of Noah. The end of Genesis chapter 5 in verse 32 mentions a seemingly insignificant stat:
‘After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.’
We know Noah built the Ark that had only 8 people on it 100 years later. Noah was the lone standard setter for the new world after the flood and a new covenant made by God. His three sons and their wives were all that survived God’s correction point on the earth and establishment of a new covenant. We know the rainbow represented God’s promise that He would never bring this type of judgment upon the earth ever again ‘Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life.’ Genesis 9 tells the full story
Noah’s sons, like Adam’s, like Abraham’s, like Moses’, like David’s, like Solomon’s, proved throughout the rest of the Bible that man just cannot meet the standard of perfection. GOD tried everything on the positive side showing His enduring and patient love throughout all of history. Fear of destruction also did not motivate people to follow His standard as shown through the examples of Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah being burned to the ground, the people being enslaved by the Egyptians. I point out for the God-haters, all of the judgments were because the people brought them on themselves, their own choice to ignore the threat of judgment, not God being an ogre; the people chose to ignore God’s advice/law/standard and did not be keep the promise/agreement they themselves had made with God.
Later, Jesus showed up on the scene and more than one-upped Noah. Noah we find blew it not too much after the Ark settled on the ground and his sons did worse. But Jesus we know set a brand new perfect standard. The people loved the way Jesus was so perfect (sarcasm) that they — crucified Him. But Jesus was so amazing that even while He was being killed, He said, ‘Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.’
He exemplified God’s standard of always giving people chances and at times a last chance to turn from their evil ways. He offers a free-choice chance to enter in His presence, aka have a relationship with Him for the present and afterlife, when He said to the thief on the cross next to Him who had asked for forgiveness – ‘Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23 42-43
Jesus set the perfect standard of what forgiveness means. He also discussed the standard of forgiveness with a parable after the Pharisees condemned a woman who washed Jesus feet in front of the pious men: Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. (skipping part, and jumping to where he explained the standard)
48 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only a little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Too often today we have a low standard of forgiveness in our own hearts towards one another. Too often those who scoff at the Bible and Christians say they do not believe in God because of hypocrites and church-goers whom they view as the standard. The standard is not the potus! The standard is not a democrat or republican acting Christian-like. The standard is not those who attend the church down the street. It is not the man or woman preaching from the pulpit or on the TV screen. The STANDARD is Jesus.
The standard is God’s willingness to save the whole of mankind because of one good man like Noah, or Lot from Sodom & Gomorah, or in how He let a thief on a cross next to Him to be saved hours before his death. The standard is God who could not find a perfect person so He sent Himself to die on a cross for the sins of mankind. Oops I said ‘sin(s),’ in God’s standard of Holy and perfect it really only takes ONE mistake to not be perfect, just ask Adam and Eve.
The standard is one where even the worst of sinners or debtors are the ones most forgiven, not just the minimalist of sinners. In case you were not paying attention to Luke 41 – The 500 pieces of silver represents the standard, God forgives even the worst of people if they believe and trust in Him. Tell me it is a coincidence that Jesus used the number 500 in the parable? No way that is a coincidence!
So Jesus established a brand new covenant when He came to the earth and promised that all of mankind could be saved by believing in Him. Knowing man cannot do it on His own Jesus promised extra help. It is very prophetic that Noah had three sons as Jesus promise was that we would have God, The Son, and the Holy Spirit to help us do what we could never do on our own. Since this blog is already way beyond 500 words, for an explanation on what having a Holy Spirit inside us means please read a previous blog that explains how a believing Christian may operate with the Holy Spirit living inside our body titled A Bird on a Wire It explains why some carry power and some do not.
God’s new standard via Jesus makes us a Solomon-like temple. There was a reason the Solomon temple was destroyed, because God had a much better system and standard than a building to be cleansed by priests for people to be in the presence of the perfect God. Paul said “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?” 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19 AMP
It is a pretty profound question to ask a Christian, do you not know what you have??? But there is a responsibility to be that temple, others standing on the outside of the 500′ courtyard area get to see how this relationship and spirit thing works. Are there any witnesses that will testify that you are a carrier of God’s Holy and perfect standard/temple inside of you? Ouch! I know I cannot always answer that question with a ‘you betcha.’ I certainly know what I have to work on though knowing how little respect those on the outside looking in at Christians today feel.
Speaking of witnesses. I hope you believe Jesus full life story. He brought healing to thousands. He brought love and forgiveness in a way no man has ever done. He was loved but also hated so much so that He was put to death. But Jesus was no worrier of death although He was saddened by the fact people like his friend Lazarus all have to die. So when Jesus died, it would be a meaningless feat if it was not the defeat of death. Yes, the defeating of death!
Paul went into great detail to explain the absolute truth about Jesus resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. Read it! He set a standard that no other man had ever set. No other prophet, no other religious leader can claim to have risen from the dead. Many claimed to be a person that all should follow, but only One human rose from the dead.
And guess what, do you know how many people saw Jesus after his death walking and eating on the earth before He left to sit at the right hand of God in heaven? wait-for-it, wait..
‘After that, He appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at one time,’ 1 Cor 15:6. 500 Witnesses should be enough to say it was not a lie that he came back.
While I know this is extremely long, roll up your pant legs as there is one more very important – FUTURE item. God will finalize the status of earth someday when Jesus returns to gather what He called we the people that loved Him, ‘The Bride.’ The future of the church and the bride of Christ will enter what is called the ‘New Jerusalem.’ All the earth and heaven will be destroyed and a new place created. To hear a precise vision of the future we must go back to the middle of the Bible for a dream and vision from a Prophet named Ezekiel. It is several chapters long in which Ezekiel seems to be describing in measurements a temple far greater and bigger than the one built by Solomon.
The most important area of the temple is the area where God presides. In chapter 42 Ezekiel provides the lay out, THE STANDARD of the Holy place of GOD, wait-for-it wait
“Now when he had finished measuring the interior of the temple area, he led me out by the gate that faced east, and measured the temple area all around. 16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, 500 cubits by the measuring reed all around. 17 He measured the north side, 500 cubits by the measuring reed all around. 18 He measured the south side, 500 cubits by the measuring reed. 19 Then he turned to the west side and measured, 500 cubits by the measuring reed. 20 He measured it on the four sides. It had a wall around it, 500 cubits long and 500 cubits broad, to make a separation between the Holy and the common.” Ezekial 42:15-20 (ESV)
Personally I was blown away with these findings. I researched all over the internet and found no references tying the #500 together with anything in the Bible. What are your feelings on the signficance of this information? I believe it is an awakening discovery for Christians including myself to look deeper at what our standard is and STOP lowering the bar. As we look at the failures of politicians, football team owners, pastors of churches that have had moral and money failures, and leaders in general — They are not our Standard to live by, Jesus is the standard.
For those who do not believe, how long will you let hypocrites be your excuse for ignoring God who is doing everything to get your attention, including revealing the #500 hidden message for you to consider? I don’t believe it is a coincidence.
Btw, for the last 6 months, I have spent many hours trying to fix a blog and do what should be simple marketing. After spending much money and time I wish I could get back, I have garnered eight new Facebook followers on my avg joe page and seven Pinterest followers (2 of which are family). This Average Joe has nothing extra beyond anyone. I am not the standard by any means. But I don’t really care about popularity, but I do know, when I get a message like this, I had better type fast and get it out there. So here it is for you to consider, do you believe? Would love to hear your feedback!
Please share your comments, your thoughts may be what others are afraid to say. Anonymous posts are allowed, but subject to good taste.