“Having thus far studied the harvest in the light of the testimonies of the prophets, the parables, and the ceremonies, we are now led to view it
In the Light of Number.
Though the wicked are swept along by a current from which they can no more escape than they can stem or resist, yet they can neither see it nor understand it, for the Word alone thus enlightens and empowers the soul. Blessed indeed is the man who makes It a lamp to his feet, and a light to his path (Ps. 119:105). Brother, Sister, is It in dark parables to you? Your answer will tell you whether you are of those who walk in the light or of those who stumble in the darkness, and only a right relation to God can secure you to the one class and keep you out of the other.
If you think that Christ undesignedly remained 40 days after the resurrection, or that the Holy Ghost fell on the 120 just because there happened to be that many; or that purely by chance 12,000 out of each tribe are to be sealed; then you might just as well think that the fact that 12 times 12,000 equals 144,000 is a mathematical accident! Just what you think will give you the measure of the light there is in you.
“The words that I speak unto you . . . they are life.” John 6:63
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:4.
As number is the natural mode of time equations, the Scriptures often therefore employ it to reveal the length of time from one Biblical event to another. Thus, time from the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits to the Pentecost is equated by multiplying the number of days (7) allotted to the first of the harvest ceremonies, the feast of unleavened bread, by the number of weeks (7) to the Pentecost, which is 7×7, or 49 days. Similarly, the duration from one Jubilee to another is found by multiplying the number of years making a sabbatical year (7) by 7 sabbatical years, giving 7×7, or 49 years. Very obviously, then, the Scriptures commonly employ the process of multiplication in Their revealing of the truth.
Doubtless to some, these numerical equations will seem strange—as strange as the thought of the earth’s revolving on its axis was to the world of the Dark Ages! It is the incredibilities of today, however, that are the taken-for-granted realities of tomorrow. So, though at the present time little do we know of the many Bible numerics and their veiled code of truth, not so is it always to be, for God has placed them along the Bible’s highways and by-ways of Truth, as signposts calculated to point and to illuminate the Royal Road to the Kingdom. So may every traveler there-on rejoice in deep gratitude for every ray of truth lighting his way. May the Lord forbid that any take the least chance in the darkness. And may each from unfeigning lips cry unto Heaven: “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), that I may “be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord” (Hab. 2:14), yea even to the knowledge of
The Number of the Savior.
The fact that Christ after the resurrection remained with His disciples just 40 days, not more or less, is no mere happen-stance lightly to be brushed aside. Obviously an integral part of the overall pattern of reveled truth, it is to be reckoned with accordingly. And since its modality is numerical, the entire subject involved must be explored in number, and the results equated in numerical values.
The Lord being the visible representative of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, then the number of His personal office (3) and the number of days (40) of His personal supervision in the ingathering of His people must, in right equation, re-veal Him as the Saviour of His people in the Old Testament period as well as in the New.
As the ingathering (40) through His personal presence (3) resulted in the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, the two must in right relation reveal
The Number of Saints on the Pentecost.
The product of Christ’s ingathering through His personal presence being the first fruits up to the Pentecost, then it follows as a logical sequence that the product of the number of the gathering time (40) and the number of His person (3), must give the actual number of saints there were on the day of Pentecost. The equation, 40×3, giving 120, exactly numbers the first fruits to receive the Holy Spirit at that time!
Thus being as they were the product of the omnipotent power of the three persons of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) at work for 40 days through the personal ministry of their triune representative, Christ, this preternatural little group consequently preserved and continued the line of the church.
When reduced to its primary significance, this succession of numerical facts leads to the conclusion that 3, the number of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is therefore numerically figurative of the Trinity, and that 120, the number of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost times the number of the saints, is therefore numerically figurative of the Pentecost—a basic factor in the equation of salvation, and one inseparably linked to the revelation of
Christ and the Bible.
It was Christ in both of His forms that John alluded in his declaration: “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,” he further declares, “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.
Christ is the Word incarnate; the Bible, the Word written; or, to put it still more specifically, the Bible is Christ in the form of words, and Christ is the Bible in the form of man. Hence it follows that as Christ in the flesh is identified by a number, so must Christ in the Word. And therefore next to be ascertained is the
Number of the Bible.
The parable of the eleventh-hour call (Matthew 20) reveals that the Bible contains just 5 time-messages; the first “early in the morning,” the second at “the third hour,” the third at “the sixth and ninth hour,” and the fifth at “the eleventh hour”; 5 in all. In these 5 parabolical calls are found all the time-messages called for in the Bible from the time that It (the Light of the world) began to come up (be writ-ten), early in the morning of parabolical period, to its end— the twelfth hour. In other words, when these 5 messages have been proclaimed to the world, the Bible will then be an exhausted book so far as Its offering any more salvation is concerned. (For full treatment of Matthew 20, see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 222-238.)
There being, then, just 5 messages of salvation in the Bible, the number of the Bible can only be 5, with the next step being to find the
Number of Bible Ingathering Time.
Since this number is to designate the time of ingathering of saints, therefore we must multiply the number of the saints on the Pentecost (120) by the number of the Bible (5), the product of which is 600. Accordingly, 600 is the number of the Bible’s ingathering time—a period which as a factor in our equation leads on sequentially to the
Number of Years Christ Is a Savior.
Let the fact be kept well in mind that we are at present exploring number for the truth that Christ is the Savior of the world before and during Bible time. So obviously our aim is to find, not the number of saints that Christ is to save, but the number of years He will be Saviour. Hence, we here remind the reader that the parabolic calls, or messages, of Matthew 20 embrace only a part of church history; specifically, that part from the time that Moses began to write the Bible, from the time of the “Exodus,” to probation’s close. But as Christ is the Redeemer of the world before as well as after the advent of the Bible, the equation under discussion must consequently embrace the entire span of probationary time since the day Adam sinned. This demands therefore that the number of probationary time, 600, the multiplicand, be multiplied by a multiplier having universal value, to show that Christ is the only Savior in all ages.
Number 10 is by universal admission the Biblical number of universal value. In the great image of Daniel 2, the 10 toes symbolize the world at the second coming of Christ. Then in the so-called non-de-script beast (Daniel 7), the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13:1-10), and the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17:1-3), the 10 horns de-
pict the world’s kingdoms at different times. While on the other side of the picture, the 10 virgins represent the entire membership of the church world-wide (For further treatment of these values, see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 84-125.)
Clearly, therefore, the universal number by which we must multiply the number of probationary time (600) is 10, and 600×10 gives 6,000. Here at long last is the consummate vindication of the Christian’s belief that the years of human probation are 6,000! Here, in other words, is proof in the absolute that when the angel of mercy soon finally folds her wings and takes her flight forever form this world of sin, earth and its beings under sin will have been in existence for 6,000 years! Then comes the millennium, the 1,000 years in which Satan is bound and the wicked judged (Rev. 20:3, 12).
Thus in the eternal drama, the strange interlude of sin and redemption runs for 7,000 years (perfect completeness), or but one short week out of eternity, as it were with the Lord, 1000 years being as a day with Him (2 Pet. 3:8). Strange interlude indeed! The Mystery of Godliness in mysterious sufferance of the mystery of iniquity! Mystery of mysteries! Wonderous, unfathomable love of God to man!
What awful solemnity invests this momentous mathematical demonstration of the great gospel truths! Revealing as it does that Christ is the only Redeemer of the world and in all ages, its truth perfectly bears out the scripture: “. . . there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12. And at the same time it serves warning that we are living in the last days of probation, “the time of the end,” the time of the harvest.
Having brought us to the time of the harvest of the living, to the last days of the, 6,000 years of human probation, the equation must, to be complete, include the number of
The Numbered Living Saints.
The apostolic Pentecost, it is to be noted, did not completely fulfill the prophetic Pentecost of Joel 2:28, 32, a prophecy specifically of the last days, although Peter did refer to the scripture in his Pentecostal sermon (Acts 2:14-21). And surest evidence that the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled is that the apostolic Pentecost is the prototype of the latter day, the antitypical, Pentecost—that which is just ahead of us.
Since the church on earth has had three dispensations, the Noatic, the Abrahamic, and the Christian, and since both the Abrahamic and the Christian dispensations closed with a Pentecost, as previously mentioned, necessarily, then, so likewise must have closed the Noatic dispensation. Other-wise, Noah’s message would have lacked power and light to show the Way of Life to that “evil and adulterous generation,” and as a consequence God could not justly have destroyed them by the flood.
Peter himself understood that there was an antediluvian Pentecost. This he very definitely testifies in the statement: “For Christ . . . being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also 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.
In Peter’ statement, Inspiration records that the same Spirit Who quickened Christ, preached to the antediluvians while they were in prison—in chains of circumstances which in their wickedness and rejection of truth they blindly forged and bound upon themselves, and from which they could find no escape save through the ark that was “a preparing.” And the ark, they would not enter. Thus they were left with-out hope and without excuse.
Plainly, then, there are three Pentecosts to be reckoned with in the equation of salvation: two in the past and one in the future, the first being the type, the second the prototype, the third the antitype. Or, in other words, the first brought the earnest of the establishment of the church, the second the foundation of the church (Rev. 21:14), and the third will bring its completion and glorification. The second, the apostolic Pentecost, being the foundational one, also the only one historically re-corded, it is therefore the light bearer on the subject; showing that in order for the antediluvian world to be benefitted by redemption, the Noatic Pentecost was indispensable, and must therefore be accounted for in this numerical study.
The number of the saints from the one on record being 120, it follows that the combined number of the two must be 120, plus 120, or 240, as illustrated on the left side of the chart at the top of this post.
Remember that these numbers do not determine how many are saved in each, but how many receive the Pentecostal power.
There remains now but to ascertain the number of saints to receive the third and last Pentecost, and to do so the number of the two Pentecosts (240) need only be multiplied by the number of the Bible ingathering time (600), making 600×240, which gives 144,000, the very number prophesied!
Thus struck in the rock of truth forever is the number of the recipients of the great Pentecost just ahead of us, the number of the first fruits of those who are to be translated, the 144,000 guileless (Rev. 14:5) “servants of our God.” Rev. 7:3. In the pure and full power of the Spirit, pro-claiming the pure and full gospel unto all the nations, they “go forth conquering and to conquer” (Prophets and Kings, p. 725), and “bring all [their] 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 vessal into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:20. “And then shall the end come.” Matt. 24:14.
Thus thrillingly unfolded in number, the absolute mode of truth, is the equation of salvation, out of which, just briefly to recapitulate, emerges the number of Christ as representative of the Godhead on earth, 3; the number of the gathering time, 40; the number of the saints in the apostolic Pentecost, 120; the combined number of the saints in the Noatic and the apostolic Pentecosts, 240; the number of the Bible, 5; the number of the Bible ingathering time, 600; the number of the recipients of the final Pentecost, 144,000; the number of the entire period of human probation, 6,000; and finally, the number of the over-all time of sin and redemption, 7,000. What priceless Gift divine! And O may this realization stir the heart of every earnest reader, as it did the heart of David, to give praise and thanksgiving to God for His inexpressible love to man: “O Lord,” sings the prophet, “Thou art my God; I will exhault Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Isa. 25:1
So by testimony of prophets, by parable, by ceremonial type, and by number, God has wrought the towering structure of fact that (1) the judgment is the harvest,—the separation of the tares from the wheat—the end of the world; that (2) the judgment, the harvest, embraces two phases, two periods: the former for the dead, the latter for the living; that (3) the one takes place according to the records in the books in the heavenly sanctuary, whereas the other takes place simultaneously in the church on earth and in the books in heaven; and that (4) the very fact that the subject is now being revealed in its fulness testifies that we are just on the verge of passing out of the former and into the latter phase and period, and that we are therefore living in the last days of earth’s history.
This fourfold view of the judgment, the harvest, thus exalts the truth of it as a pearl of great price, and reveals that the depths of God’s Word are unfathomable; Its wisdom inscrutable and infinite—with-out beginning and without end; Its fund of knowledge a perpetual fountain of truth; Its presence ever abiding; and Its beauty ineffable!” — Tract No. 3, pp. 88-102.