Numerical Illustration of Ingathering
This study will prove that the meaning of God’s Word is inexhaustible; Its dimensions unknown; Its wisdom an infinity – without beginning and without end; Its presence ceaseless, like the waves of the sea; Its fund of knowledge, like a perpetual fountain, and Its beauty ineffable! When we find the truth, the deeper we study into the subject, the clearer it becomes.
There are two unseen powers that guide the destinies of men and the affairs of the world with a terrible exactness. Though the wicked feel a pressure which they cannot resist, or remove, they see it not and understand it not, because the Word alone giveth light and giveth power. “Blessed is the man whose God is the Lord.” Is the Word in dark parables to you? Your own answer will tell you of which class you are, and only your relation with God can help you.
If you think Christ remained 40 days after the resurrection undesignedly; if you think the Holy Ghost fell on the 120 just because there happened to be that many; if you think that 12,000 out of each tribe were sealed by chance then you might as well think the fact that 12 times 12,000 equals 144,000 is a mathematical accident. Your own conclusion to this vital question should show you the amount of light there is in you.
Would not the Lord’s people realize that God is not a man? “The words that I speak unto you they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). “Every word of God is pure.” (Prov. 30:5). “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.” (John 5:24). “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Matt.24:35). “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4). “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book,…it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught.” (Deut. 28:58, 63).
It was during the 40 days of Christ’s personal presence with His disciples – from His resurrection to His ascension – that the firstfruits, the 120, were gathered in. His presence among them has a deep meaning, and it should be understood by every disciple of Christ. If these 40 days have no other significance, they certainly bear the thought of His personal care over the ingathering of the fruit. But shall we say this vigilance was true only during His short stay with His laborers in that particular time? Such thought would not entertain the truth of His being the only Savior from everlasting to everlasting. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20.) Is He not the same vigilant Savior of the Old Testament as well as the New? Indeed! Moreover, His personal care in gathering His people in those 40 days which we see to be a type of His supervision of the ingathering of the fruits in every generation (should therefore reveal that He is the Lamb slain from the foundation) of the world, and the good Shepherd in all ages.
The Scriptures often employ mathematical means in defining existence of time, and number of years from one Biblical event to another. The number of days from the wave-sheaf to the Pentecost was derived by multiplying 7 x 7, which equals 49. In like manner the number of years from one Jubilee to another was determined by multiplying the seven sabbatical years by seven, the sum of which is 49. Therefore, multiplication is a common Scriptural method of teaching truth.
This subject to some may seem as strange as the thought of the earth revolving on its axis was to the inhabitants of another day. Nevertheless, incredible things often become plain facts. Hence, though we little know of the many Biblical numbers and their secret code of truth at the present time, they are not always to be dark elements to God’s people, for they must be there to discover and illuminate to our vision the sign posts on our way to the Holy City.
Shall we not be thankful for every ray of light? Or shall we take a chance in the darkness? I will say in prayer: “O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.” (Ps. 43:3).
The Number Of The Savior - Shall we not consider why Christ remained with His disciples just 40 days – not more or less? If so, then inasmuch as we are confronted with a numerical subject, we are compelled to confine ourselves to Biblical numbers and their values. It is widely understood that number three stands for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As Jesus was the representative of the Trinity, the number of His name in this connection must be number Three. Thus, if Jesus of Nazareth is the Savior of the Old and New Testaments, and the representative of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, then the numerical value of His name (the person), and His stay of 40 days in the ingathering of His people (gathering time), must reveal Him as the One .
Number Of The Pentecost - As our world is about 6,000 years old, then in order to prove that the 40 days of His presence with the disciples were symbolical of His being the Savior of the entire world under sin, we must multiply the number of His name (3) with the symbolical time (40) of gathering His people, which gives the equation 40 x 3 = 120. The number here derived being the exact number of the firstfruits on the day of Pentecost proves that the little group was the product of the true church, the effort of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Hence, as number Three is symbolical of the Trinity, the number 120 is symbolical of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and saints,—Pentecost.
Christ And The Bible - Says John of Christ: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1.) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14.) The Bible is the written Word, and Christ is the Word incarnate; that is, the Bible is Christ in the form of words, and Christ is the Bible in the form of man. Since this is true, then as Christ is identified by a number, so must the Bible be, and the One must prove the Other.
Number Of The Bible - The parable in the twentieth chapter of Matthew, explains that the Bible contains five time messages; namely, “early in the morning,” “the third hour,” “the sixth hour, and the ninth,” “and the eleventh hour,” – five in all. These symbolical calls prove to be all the time-messages in the Bible from the day It begun to be written to the close of probationary time; that is, when these messages are proclaimed to the world, the Bible will be an exhausted book as far as saving any one after that. (This subject is fully proved in “The Shepherd’s Rod”, Vol. 2, pp. 222, 238.) Therefore, the numerical value of the Bible is, Five.
Number Of Bible–Time–And Saints - Next, to find the symbolical number of Bible-time-and saints, we must multiply the 120 laborers (saints) by five (the Bible), which gives us 600. Therefore, as number Three is symbolical of the Trinity, and 120 of the Pentecost, number 600 is symbolical of Bible time from the Exodus to the close of probation as 120 is symbolical of the Pentecost.
Number Of Years Christ A Savior - Let it be remembered that our subject is to prove by numbers that Christ is the Savior of the world in all ages. Therefore, our aim is not to find the number of saints that are to be saved but the number of years He will be a Savior. Again, we must call the reader’s attention to the fact that the parabolical calls, or messages of Matthew Twenty, embrace only the part of our world’s history; that is, since the Bible began to be written; namely, from the “Exodus” to probation’s close. But we must necessarily take into consideration the period before the Bible was written. Therefore, we must have a multiplicand of universal value to show that Christ is the Savior of the entire world – both of those whom the Bible has reached and of those whom it has not, before the flood and after.
The following reasons will prove that number Ten is the Biblical number of universal value. The world at the second coming of Christ is universally symbolized by 10 toes of the great image of Daniel Two. The present kingdoms of the world, before they became independent of the Roman monarchy, were symbolized by the 10 horns of the fourth beast of Daniel Seven. The Ten crowned horns of the leopard-like beast of Revelation Thirteen are symbolical of the present kingdoms since the fall of the Roman monarchy. The Ten horns of the scarlet colored beast of Revelation Seventeen symbolize the world’s civil powers in the time of the image of the beast, and also the world after the millennium, etc. (For further study of these, we refer the reader to “The Shepherd’s Rod”, Vol. 2, pp. 84-120.)
Therefore, our symbolical number of the Bible time, 600, must be multiplied by 10. Thus, 600 x 10 = 6,000 years of probationary time. This proves the length of time Christ will be a Savior for sinners; and that our sinful world will be 6,000 years old when probation closes; and that we are living in the time of the end. It also proves that Christ is the only Savior of the world, in perfect harmony with the word: “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12.)
Number Of Saints---Having proved Christ the Savior of the world for 6,000 years, now we shall endeavor to prove the number of saints, of the firstfruits, He is to save. It will be noticed that the Pentecost after the resurrection did not completely fulfill the Pentecost in prophecy, for at that time Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 (Acts 2:14-21), which scripture in its entirety is yet future. Furthermore, the Pentecost of the 120 disciples will prove to be a type of the great and last Pentecost that is just ahead of us.
Our attention is called to the fact that the Pentecost after the resurrection is the pillar of the Old and New Testament church, for the names of the twelve apostles, who received the Pentecost, are written in the foundation of the city instead of the names of the twelve Patriarchs or some others.
The church on earth is divided in three periods; namely, the Noatic, the Old Testament, and the Christian. As there is a Pentecost to close the Old Testament period, and also the New, then most certainly there must have been a Pentecost in closing the Noatic period also, otherwise, in not lending the necessary power for Noah’s message to shine forth with convincing brightness, God would have unjustly destroyed them by the flood. Moreover, it is so stated by the apostle Peter: “For Christ…being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing. (1 Pet. 3:18-20.)
Inspiration records that the same Spirit Who quickened Christ, preached to the antediluvians while they were imprisoned by the inevitability of the circumstances which they were soon to evolve, and from which there was no escape save through the ark that was “a preparing.” Hence, they were left without an excuse.
Plainly then, there are Three Pentecosts to be considered, – two in the past and one in the future. The one after the resurrection being the beacon-point, and the true foundation of the church, also the only one historically recorded, it is the light bearer on the subject.
Therefore, in order to include the Old World in the plan of salvation, we must consider the Noatic Pentecost in this numerical study, doubling the figurative number of 120. Thus, 120 x 2 = 240. Hence, the symbolical number of the Two Pentecosts in one, is 240. Now to get the actual number of saints in the Third and last Pentecost, and the only one directly prophesied in the Bible, we must multiply the symbolical number of Bible-time-and-saints (600) with the number of the Two Pentecosts. Thus, 600 x 240 = 144,000. Therefore, the Pentecost that is just ahead of us will be made up of the 144,000 saints who are to be translated without tasting death. Hence, they are “the servants of our God.” (Rev. 7:3).
O, how marvelous to behold is God’s precision. Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matt. 10:30.)
“And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord”. (Isa. 66:20.) “And in their mouth was found no guile” (Rev. 14:5), for they have a pure gospel to proclaim to the nations, in the power of the fullness of the Spirit.
Therefore, number Three is the numerical name of Christ, 120 of the Pentecost, 5 of the Bible, 600 of the Bible time, 10 of universal, 6000 of the world under sin, 240 of the two Pentecosts, and 144,000 of the last Pentecost, – the governors of the kingdom that is to be set up on earth, a universal and everlasting government!
Thus it is remarkable to note how wonderfully God has worked out our salvation by parables, types, symbols, numbers, etc.,by which He is able to hide the truth from the enemy and make it known to His saints in the time of need! This does not only reveal to us the great wisdom of God, but also His everlasting love for unworthy sinners like us who so little appreciate His tender care. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16.)
Comparison Of The Two Pentecosts---The comparisons of the two Pentecosts are perfect, the firstfruits only of both being numbered – 120 in the one, and 144,000 in the other. The innumerable company that was brought into the church after the Pentecost foreshadowed the “great multitude” of the final harvest, “which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.” (Rev. 7:9.)
The typical wave-loaves, which signified the completion of the firstfruit harvest (Lev. 23:17), were baken with leaven to symbolize that the sins were not blotted out at the time the “servants of our God” were sealed. Hence the investigative judgment for the living (blotting out the sins) will begin after the sealing of the 144,000 (the spiritual wave-loaves), and after the outpouring of the Spirit. The “leaven” may have a still deeper meaning.
Spirit Of Prophecy In Perfect Harmony---Now to prove that Sister White’s writings are in perfect harmony with the testimonies of the prophets, we quote from “The Great Controversy,” p. 425, showing that the purification of the church took place while the investigative judgment of the dead was going on, and just before the commencement of the “Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message” – the harvest: “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth…. Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be ‘a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Then she will look forth ‘as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’” “She is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” – “Prophets and Kings”, p. 725.