Object Lesson/Magic Trick – God Knows Everything | Mathemagic
About the Lesson:
This is a magic trick that is really mind-blowing! Somehow you will allow the audience to pick numbers and once they are added up, the final number will equal a number you have already written down somewhere. I use this to teach how God knows our thoughts before we even think them, how His ways are above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts.
- Whiteboard (or big piece of paper) with a 4 digit number already written on it at the top (4704 in this case)
- Dry erase markers (or magic marker)
- Some way of revealing the final answer.
Note: I have used several ways… a shirt that I wrote the number on the back of and had covered by my coat which I removed at the end but probably the easiest and best if just to write the number down in BIG letters on a large piece of paper and fold it up. I then put it into an envelope and seal it tightly with tape so it is obvious it has never been opened. I then give this to someone I trust and that everyone in the audience knows before the service starts.
Lesson (how it works comes a bit later):
Today, I am going to see if I can read your minds! I know, you don’t think I can, but some of you are a bit transparent. Up here you can see a board and on this board is a number. I have had it sitting up here for a while for a reason. While we have been doing everything else, this number has been working its way into your brains and will allow me to get exactly the responses I am looking for from each of you.
So, let’s start over here, you young lady, I need you to give me a number…. It can be 1, 2, 3 or 4 digits long. Your choice but just a warning, BEFORE you give it to me, I ALREADY know what you are going to choose, in fact, I am going to MAKE you choose but it won’t feel like it.
72? Are you sure? Would you like to change your mind? No? Perfect! I knew that’s what you would choose.
WRITE THIS ON THE BOARD UNDER THE NUMBER ALREADY LISTED
And you sir, what number would you like to choose? 54? Ok, thank you. Exactly the numbers I needed.
WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN ALSO
Now, this is taking far too long so I am going to speed this up a bit, let’s see… how about, 2745? Perfect.
GET 4 NUMBERS FROM OTHER PEOPLE, LET’S SAY THEY CHOOSE 2391
THEN YOU WRITE 4 MORE, 7608
Now, you all thought you were choosing randomly but NOTHING with God or the Kingdom of God is random. The Bible says that ALL things work together for our good. Now, we don’t ever use cell phones in Sunday School or church but today only I need each of you to pull out your cell phone, open up the calculator app and ADD up all of these numbers for me. I need at least 2 to make sure they match up.
BY THE WAY, PEOPLE USUALLY HAVE TROUBLE ADDING EVEN WITH A CALCULATOR SO THEIR FIRST ANSWER WILL PROBABLY BE WRONG. MAKE SURE MORE THAN ONE PERSON DOES THIS.
HAVE THEM STAND
“Did anyone but yourself touch the envelope? Has it been opened? NO? Perfect, then in front of all of these witnesses can you please open the sealed envelope and reveal the contents?”
THEY WILL OPEN IT AND SHOW TO EVERYONE’S ASTONISHMENT THE NUMBER THAT THEY CAME UP WITH WHEN THEY ADDED UP EVERYTHING, IN THIS CASE, 24702.
AFTER THE GASPS OF ASTONISHMENT YOU DRIVE THE LESSON HOME!
How many of you that picked numbers thought you did it completely out of your own head? Somehow though, it appears that while you thought your choices were random, it appears that I knew what you were going to do before you even did!
Psalm 139:1-2 – O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
You can’t hide anything from God! He already knows it all FAR ahead of time!
God has a plan for your life! Every single one of you here is an important part of a special work that God wants to do. And you DO have a choice. Will you live for God and do His important work or will you instead live a life of your own choosing?
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Now what I did today was actually just a trick… I didn’t really read your mind, BUT GOD CAN! If a silly man can do this, WHAT CAN GOD DO!
HOW THE TRICK WORKS:
You start with the ending number in mind. I chose 24702 because it is one that I have used many times and as a result I don’t have to even think about it. The number must be 5 digits long and in the “20 – 30 thousand” range. TEST this whole thing out with YOUR chosen number AHEAD of time to make sure it works. Write your chosen number down somewhere for the reveal later.
To start the trick you are going to write the first 4 numbers down and these MUST be correct or the whole thing will not work.. Write down on your whiteboard the LAST FOUR DIGITS OF YOUR NUMBER PLUS 2. Since I chose 24702, I would write 4704.
You then let the audience choose any 4 random numbers. The only thing that would be a mistake is to let them choose the SAME 4 numbers such as 1111. Just get 4 random numbers.
It doesn’t matter what they give you but your NEXT set of numbers are based on what they supply. In my example above I said that they supplied me with 7254. I have to take EACH of those numbers and make sure they add up to 9.
The first number they gave was 7 so I would write on the next line, as my first number, 2. 7 + 2 = 9.
Their 2nd number was 2 so MY next number would be 7. 2 + 7 = 9
Then, 5 so mine is 4
Then 4 so mine is 5
Then let them pick another 4 numbers after which you will do the exact same thing.
NOTE: If you can get a plant in the audience to help you pick YOUR numbers it will look a LOT more convincing. Ask the audience for random numbers and only choose your planted number givers that already KNOW the formula. THIS will blow the minds of even the most skeptical.
So you have your original set of 4 numbers, random 4 numbers, your next row that adds up to 9, random 4 numbers and the last set that add up to 9.
ADD ALL OF THESE UP AND YOU HAVE YOUR ORIGINALLY CHOSEN NUMBER! 24702
This is a great trick and should work well for you as it has for us. Please let me know if you have any recommendations that would make it better or if you have comments on your class’ reactions.