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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER SEVEN

The Seal From Heaven for Protection of the 144,000



Revelation 7:1-8

(1)   After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.  (2)  Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,  (3)  saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."  (4)  And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

(5) of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
(6) of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
(7) of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
(8) of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
(NKJV)

Chapter 7 is a "pause" between the 6th seal in chapter 6 and the 7th seal in chapter 8. It is almost a "parenthetical" chapter. The Lord pauses here between the seals to give John and us a more complete picture of the redeemed saints before the throne.
1. Keep in mind that John at this point has not seen the completed result of all this destruction!
2. Perhaps it is for him that the Lord "pauses" to give hope and show His mercy toward the saints of that time.
3. Perhaps it is an answer to the question that ended chapter 6,

Revelation 6:16-17
"Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?" (NLT)

4. The Lord does both. He answers the question and gives John the encouragement he needs to withstand the rest of the revelation.

Revelation 7:1-3
Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds from blowing so that not a leaf rustled in the trees, and the ocean became as smooth as glass. And I saw another angel coming from the east, carrying the Great Seal of the Living God. And he shouted out to those four angels who had been given power to injure earth and sea,
Wait!
Don't do anything yet - hurt neither earth nor sea nor trees - until we have placed the Seal of God upon the foreheads of his servants."

In chapter 6 we saw the first 6 seals opened. Here in chapter seven we have a gap between the 6th and 7th seals while the 144,000 are sealed and the identification of the great multitude which no one could number.

Who are the 144,000?
As mentioned earlier, when God gives the interpretation, we go with that, and don't attempt to make it something it isn't. In this case, the Scripture clearly says that it is 12,000 from each of the twelve tribe of Israel — therefore they must be Jews who have accepted Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. In Revelation 14:3-5 is further clarifies the 144,000 as those who:
Revelation

The 144,000

7:3 They are the servants of God
7:2,3 They are sealed on their foreheads with the seal of the living God
7:4-8 There are 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel
7:4-8 They are all Jews, physically descended from Jacob (Israel)
9:4-5 They are the only ones that are not to be harmed in the time of the fifth trumpet
14:1 The seal is the name of the Lamb and His Father
14:3 They sing a new song that only they can know
14:4 They are redeemed from among men on the earth
They are not defiled with women
They keep themselves pure
They follow the Lamb everywhere he goes
They were purchased (redeemed) from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb
14:5 They never speak deceitfully
They are blameless before God

Who they are NOT:
Revelation

The 144,000

7:4 They are NOT Gentiles (non-Jews) of any kind
They are NOT the Church which by this time had already been taken out of the earth and includes both Gentiles and Messianic Jews (Jews who have accepted Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah).
12:13-17 They are NOT the woman that was persecuted by the dragon, for the woman was hidden in the wilderness, while the 144,000 were marked for protection, and not hidden.

The mark (seal):
This mark is sealed on the forehead of the 144,000 (vs 3) and according to Revelation 14:1 it appears that the mark is the name of the Lamb and His Father. Throughout the Scriptures God uses marks for the protection of His people (which, of course, leads to the mark of the beast since the false christ attempts to replicate the true Christ.).
1. In Egypt there was a mark on the doorposts and lintels that saved them from death.

Exodus 12:22-23
And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.  (NKJV)

2. In Jericho there was a mark of the scarlet line that saved Rahab and her house.

Joshua 2:17-19
So the men said to her: "...when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and ... bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.   (NKJV)

3. Given of old in Ezekiel as a protection for those who stay true to God

Ezekiel 9:4-5
And the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."  To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity." (NKJV)

4. God the Father placed His seal of approval on Jesus.

John 6:27
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."  (NIV)

5. The Church is today sealed with the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13-14
In Him [Jesus] you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.  (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  (NKJV)

6. The Antichrist copies the true Christ when he sets a mark on his followers.

Revelation 13:16-17
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (NKJV)


The Twelve Tribes Listed

Why is this listing of the 12 tribes different:
There are not less than 20 different ways of listing the tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, including one that omits the tribe of Dan (1 Chronicles 4-7).
Just because a list is different doesn't mean it is fanciful symbolism. It is proper to regard each of these lists as legitimate and to consider that each specific variation serves a purpose.

Why is the tribe of Dan missing from the listing of the 12 tribes?
It has been suggested that this is because the tribe of Dan was the first to introduce pagan worship in Israel.

Judges 18:30-31
Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set up for themselves Micah's carved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.  (NKJV)

2 Kings 10:29-30
However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan.  (NKJV)

Jeremiah 8:15-16
"We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and there was trouble!  The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan. The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones; for they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it, the city and those who dwell in it."   (NKJV)

There is a wonderful redemption for the tribe of Dan. Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel's millennial role call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48:1-8)

Ezekiel 48:1-8
"Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher; by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one section for Naphtali; by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one section for Manasseh; by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one section for Ephraim; by the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, one section for Reuben; by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west, one section for Judah; by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in length the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center.    (NKJV)


How can the 144,000 be from literal Israel since there most of the genealogy is lost?
If it is meant literally that 12,000 from each tribe are to be selected, it can be objected that no one will know who belongs to which tribe, since genealogies no longer exist. One answer: God, who will be doing the choosing, will know.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Revelation 7:9-17

(9)  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  (10)  and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  (11)  All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,  (12)  saying:

"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen."

(13)  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"

(14)  And I said to him, "Sir, you know."

So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  (15)  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.  (16)  They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;  (17)  for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
(NKJV)


Who is the unnumbered multitude?
Revelation

The Great Multitude

7:9 They were so many that a man could not count them all.
They are believers, from all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues (which would include believing "Messianic" Jews that were not included in the 144,000).
They stand before the throne and before the Lamb.
They were clothed with white robes
They held palm branches
7:10 They were shouting with a mighty shout, "Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!" (NLT)
7:14 They come out of great tribulation (some say they are the completion of the souls under the alter in the 5th seal of chapter 6:11)
They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb
7:15 They are before the throne of God
They serve God day and night in His temple.
7:16 They will never again experience hunger
They will never again experience thirst
They will never again experience extreme heat
7:17 The Lamb will lead them to living fountains of waters
God will wipe away all their tears

Note: The description of this great multitude in verses 16 and 17 are especially relevant for those who refuse to accept the mark of the beast and suffer starvation and martyrdom:

Revelation 13:11-17
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf ... and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.    (NIV)


This prophecy is proof:
1. That the Holy Spirit will not be taken out of the world during the future tribulation period. No Scripture ever says the Spirit will be taken out of the world.
2. That God will be pouring out His Spirit during the future tribulation.
3. That Joel’s prophecy is begun, but not completed on the day of Pentecost
Note: There is a difference between the "Great Tribulation" and the "Wrath of God."
The Great Tribulation is the beast with the power of Satan unleashing all of his powers of evil in one last attempt to destroy God's people, both natural Israel and those who follow Jesus.
The Wrath of God is after all of the believers have been taken out of the earth and God unleashes His wrath on those who have joined in with the beast against God and His people.



 

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