The Great Crowd: Why... and Why No Man Is Able to Number...

by AGuest 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • AGuest

    To the Household of God, Israel, and those who go with... may you all have peace!

    On many occasions the question comes up as to whether the number of sons of Israel mentioned in John's revelation ("144,000) is literal. It is a literal number, dear ones... in fulfillment to JAH's promise to Abraham: by means of Abraham's son Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob (renamed "Isra'El")the nation of Israel, which consisted of 12 tribes (one each for each of the sons of Jacob), was chosen to be a "holy nation." That blessing, however, extended to others, those who "went with" Israel when they left the land of Goshen in the Egyptian delta to return to the land God gave Abraham (Canaan).

    Unfortunately, Israel showed themselves unable to handle that "gift" by repeatedly demonstrating that, rather than have faith in the One who made that promise to Abraham... and gave them evidence of it when He effected their release from slavery in Goshen... they were a hard-headed, hard-hearted, stiff-necked people. Part of this was due to the influence they allowed the crowd that went with them to have over them. While Israel was formerly a nomadic people and so familiar with a transient lifestyle, those who went with them had a different history and ancestry and so were used to the creature comforts of life, something roaming around in a wilderness with little food, little water, living in tents, and co-habitating with herds and flocks of livestock didn't provide. And so, Israel repeatedly moaned, groaned, whined, complained, murmured, and disobeyed. They even began to treat one another terribly. Because of this, because they showed that they could not govern themselves fairly, not walk without causing harm to one another, whether brother or of those that sojourned with them, they were given a written Law. By looking at it, they could then see how they were to treat one another, as well as how to conduct themselves personally.

    Because of their error, a trip that should have only taken them months took them four decades during which it was HOPED that they would, as a nation, come to a point where they not only knew the Law... but observed it in their lives. Unfortunately, they missed the point (to know how , individually, could refrain from transgressing against ANOTHER) and began to use that Law to FURTHER mistreat their brothers and those who had joined themselves to them. Eventually, they came to the land promised to them but not all were permitted to enter into it - only the younger adults and children did. Even so, once in that land and now among other nations, they desired that they, too, wanted a king from among men to rule over them. Rather than simply follow the "good" Law that should have guided them individually, they called for one to be appointed from among them to act as "king." And so that desire was granted, but with a caveat: the "due" of a kind of the nations would also be the "due" of a king of Israel. The people agreed to this, though, so... the reign of human kings began.

    Even under kings, however, Israel still failed to prove themselves the kind of nation that would make a HOLY nation... or a people for special possession. Indeed, they not only conducted themselves quite similar to the nations around them... but sometimes even worse. They overlooked things such as justice, mercy, and certainly faith in the One who lead them out of Egypt and established them in the lands they now occupied. While this should have gone permanently bad for them, however, it did not. Without going into specific events and reviewing specific time frames, it is recorded that time and time again, the heart of the One leading them softened. Their errors were pardoned and they were restored to their good position as a "people for a special possession."

    Until the time came for the One who released them to establish HIS chosen king for them: His Son, whom He sent to them. Unfortunately, this was not the king they were expecting... or wanted... and so, they rejected that One. There were some reasons for that, primarily that he didn't appear as a king of Israel normally did: he wasn't tall, handsome, or strapping (in fact, he was quite small - small enough to ride on the colt of an ass), and as time passed he became more and more sickly. Also, he didn't agree or work well with the Jewish "spiritual" leaders of the time, mainly, the members of the Sanhedrin (the chief priest, temple priests, Pharisaical/Sadducee religious leaders, and scribal interpreters, teachers, and writers of law). He wasn't political at all... nor was he a great warrior... unlike previous Israelite king. To the contrary, he rejected the people's offer to make him a potentate... and he preached a message of peace, even toward one's enemies. He sometimes said things that seemed to contradict other things he said... and so was not, in the eyes of the people, a kind of man the God of the Jews WOULD choose for them.

    And so, at the urgings of some, he was silenced. Permanently, some thought... but that turned out not to be the case.

    Without going into further details as to the nature... and temporariness... of that silencing, he was still installed as Israel's true king, however. But that nation's rejection of him was actually a blessing for others. Because of Israel's rejection of this king, the opportunity opened up for others to become part of that "holy nation." Rather than that "nation" being made up entirely of Israel... people who were NOT Israel could... and would... be called in to become a part of it was well! These others were (are) people who show themselves to be "Israel"... NOT by means of their own blood, or things like adhering to the Law given to Israel thousands of years ago... NOT by putting faith in the sin-atoning value of the blood of bulls and lambs... and NOT circumcision of the flesh from around a body member... but by simpler things: like believing that this One WAS (IS) the Son of God, by putting faith in the sin-atoning value of HIS blood... by circumcision of the "flesh" from around the spiritural "heart"... and by means of God's blood, holy spirit. These would replace all of Israel who rejected the "kingship" offered to them

    And these... are referred to by John as "a great crowd... which no man is able to number"... and they hail from EVERY nation, tribe, tongue, and people, including Israel.

    These depict the "vast mixed company" who left slavery WITH Israel... who joined themselves TO Israel... and so, although "alien residents"... are subject to and enjoy the same privileges and blessings AS Israel... because there is only one law between them. Along with 144,000 "from among the sons of Israel" (who are chosen to ensure that the promise to Abraham, that by means of his seed the world would bless itself is fulfilled), these... make up the HOLY NATION and PEOPLE FOR A SPECIAL POSSESSION... to God. Having also been bought with the blood of the Lamb, these serve WITH those 144,000 "sealed" from among the sons of Israel... as kings and priests in the kingdom and temple of God. John 5:9, 10

    How many do these number, this "crowd"? As John related, no man is able to number them. Is that because their number is SO vast it far exceeds that which can be comprehended by humans? No. It is because there is no SET number. There is only a set TIME. A set time for such of that group to come in. Because once their full number IS in... the MOST Holy One of Israel, JAH of Armies, will turn His attention once again to Israel. Because ALL of Israel, while not necessarily part of the 144,000 who were sealed... OR part of the great crowd... WILL be saved. Romans 11:25-32

    Since no one, not even the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel, JAHESHUA, the Chosen One of JAH (MischaJah)... knows the date or the hour of which the time for that group to come in ends... there is no way that man, to whom that One speaks (Proverbs 8:4)... can know.

    Many look to their numbers, their membership, as indication of whether the time is at hand. But this is an error. Because it is not the number of that crowd that means anything at all. It is the time. Some believe that time to be short. Perhaps it is. But again, no man knows. Man has been waiting for that time for several millenia. Maybe it is still far off. Maybe not.

    May those with ears hear and those who wish it receive ears so as to hear... when the Spirit and the Bride say to YOU:

    "Come! Take 'life's water'... FREE!"

    A slave of Christ,


  • leaving_quietly

    So, let me paraphrase what I think you're saying.

    The 144,000 is a literal number. (I'm a little confused as whether these are only from Israel or include Gentiles.)

    The "great crowd" and the 144,000 together make up the holy nation, a people for a special possession.

    The "great crowd" really is a set number, but no man can number because only Jehovah knows the full number, and it's based on his timetable.

    Do I have that right?


    Are the 144,000 priests and rulers over the "great crowd"? If not, whom are rulers over?

    Are the 144,000 in heaven or on earth after Armageddon?

    Is the "great crowd" in heaven or on earth after Armageddon?

    Thanks in advance!

  • prologos

    leaving quietly: in answer to your 3 questions one has to specify the time period.

    1) the144 000 rule over the great crowd (that comes out of the Great Tribulation) and the resurrected ones, and the angels and all.

    2) The 144 000 go where Christ went , and word has it he went to heaven. answer: heaven not earth.

    3) the jury is out on that one. Temple NAOS is in heaven, the tent, protection is with mankind. Rev 21:3.

    The entity not dealt with is the 12 tribes of israel in the context of REV.7s great crowd.

    try this: 12 tribes minus 144 000 equals Great Crowd.

    caveat: this is only valid if the garden with talking snake and cloned lady before the everest -covering waters 4000 years ago is real.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I will no longer attempt to figure out which parts of the Bible Aguest accepts and which parts she rejects. Today, John's Revelation is genuine, at least the parts Aguest likes.

    Oh, there were never 12 tribes of Israel. NEVER!

    Apparently, today a scripture in the book of John, Romans, and Proverbs are okay with Aguest.

    If Watchtower could ditch the scriptures that are inconvenient to their ever-changing doctrine like Aguest does, they could really say some wild stuff too.

  • HintOfLime
    To the Household of God, Israel, and those who go with... may you all have peace!

    Oh, I'm sorry - I guess this thread is addressed to people of Jewish decent.

    I am an American, and clearly this thread is not addressed to me nor does it have any application to the life of an English-speaking American like myself who's cultural heritage is far removed from a very small nation in the middle east.

    Strange that the topic header wasn't in Hebrew.

    Oh well!

    - Lime

  • tec

    I'm sure Aguest will respond as soon as she sees your thread, but I can give you what I understand as well:

    The 144,000 is a literal number. (I'm a little confused as whether these are only from Israel or include Gentiles.)

    Yes, literal, and from the twelve tribes of Israel.

    The "great crowd" and the 144,000 together make up the holy nation, a people for a special possession.


    Are the 144,000 priests and rulers over the "great crowd"? If not, whom are rulers over?

    No, these are one. Neither rules over the other. The 144 000 (of Israel)... and the great crowed (of the nations who have come into the new covenant with Christ)... these two are brought together as one.

    They rule as kings and priests... those who are also invited into the kingdom as subjects of that kindgom include those who did good to even the least of these brothers of Christ; all of Israel (all israel will be saved); those who do by nature the things required by the law... who have the law written on their hearts. The sheep Christ invites into the kingdom, who did not know that they had done good to him, by feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, visiting those in prison, etc. He said 'all that you did to these, you did to me'.

    Are the 144,000 in heaven or on earth after Armageddon?


    Is the "great crowd" in heaven or on earth after Armageddon?

    Earth, again. As these two are one. Not seperate; not two different classes with two different hopes... but ONE hope.

    Peace to you,


  • tec

    To the Household of God, Israel, and those who go with...

    The above covers far more people than just those of Jewish descent.



  • ÁrbolesdeArabia

    Tammy did you attend any Bible college or seminary?

  • tec

    I did not, Arboles, no.

    peace to you,


  • ÁrbolesdeArabia

    You write like one Tammy! Keep up the good work!

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