And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
14:1, 4: Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb.
After the Ba'al Pe'or incident, five sisters come to Moses with an inheritance question Numbers 25-27). These events required the presence of hands-on leadership, so when God informs Moses that he will soon be gathered with his people, he anticipates the need for a new leader over Israel (Numbers 27:16-17).
God's people are often compared to sheep or children. Sheep do not survive very well without the help of a shepherd. They do not know where the green pastures and the still waters are (Psalms 23). Also, not being equipped with a defense system, they need protection from predators. Children also are vulnerable and easily led astray, sometimes by others, but most often by their own inclinations. Time and again Moses saw that just having the commandments was not enough. A strong and faithful leader was always needed to embody these commandments and lead the people to them, without it, they are scattered each one towards their own ways (Judges 17:6). Our present leader-less day marked with divided theologies and many raising themselves as a self-appointed prophets or leaders, very much proves the point.
From the times the original disciples of the Master died, the Congregation of Messiah has been plagued with teachers of all kinds teaching all sorts of things mostly through ignorance, but also through anti-Semitic rejection of the original teachings of the sages of classic Judaism, which following the sample of the Master, the disciples often referred to. We today are also in dire need of the 'appointed' leader over God's people. As we pray with Moses for the appointed leader over the congregation (Numbers 27:16-17), we pray for the return of Messiah. It is interesting that Joshua and Yeshua are the same name, the Master's name simply being a shorter Aramaic version.
With the appointment of Joshua a military census was taken, and the children of Israel were reminded of their responsibilities towards the appointed festivals (Numbers 28-29). This census counts the fighting force of the congregation of Joshua.
In the same manner, we see today a worldwide phenomenon of the followers of Yeshua being reminded of their responsibilities towards the Biblical festivals, and as the Master returns, a census of the tribes is also taken (Revelations 7:4-8). This census is of the Israelites believers who, as the ancient tribes followed Joshua over the Jordan on to the Promised Land, will follow Yeshua into the World to Come of the Kingdom of God on earth. These are the firstfruit, the 'omer' dedicated to God and representing the rest of the harvest of the world (Leviticus 23:10; Revelations 14:4). It is redemption by representation. It is no wonder that throughout generations the devil has tried to get rid of the Israelites: believers from the tribes are the 'omer' representation to be brought before Yeshua the High-Priest to represent the harvest of the world!