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,