Revelation Chapter 7 – Tribulation Missionaries And Martyrs

Paul Wilbur Baruch – Haba Blessed Is He Who Comes – Juan Rodriguez
Published on Dec 12, 2010.

The opening video tells the story of Matthew 23:37-39, which is discussed in this article.

Matthew 23:37-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

(See * references at the bottom of this page.)

Introduction

As we study Revelation Chapter 7, it is important to know that Revelation Chapter 6 shows the persecution of Jews and Gentiles whom will have come to faith in Christ after the rapture has taken place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We now see in Chapter 7, 144,000 Jews whom have come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation, and whom will preach the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-12), and will share the message of salvation “by belief in Christ” (John 3:16), to others whom also missed the rapture. The gospel of the Kingdom (the thousand-year reign of Christ) will immediately follow the tribulation, and will also be taught (Matthew 24:14) by “these 144,000 Jews.” As unsaved people come to saving faith in Christ, they will find themselves in the gun sites of the forces of the anti-christ. They will also find themselves in the path of the judgments of God that will be released upon the earth (Examples, Revelation 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1).

It is important to understand that, “this gospel of the kingdom” shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matt 24:14). It has improperly been taught in many church circles today that, “the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 15:1-12) shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “The end” will be the end of the Tribulation. The “gospel of the Kingdom” tells of the thousand-year reign of Messiah/Christ. Of course, the “gospel” of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ will also be taught by the 144,000 Jewish missionaries, and by whomever they may disciple. Jews look back to the promise of a Kingdom for Israel, which dates back to Genesis 17:6 (approximately 2069 B.C., Thompson Chain Reference Bible); God will honor that promise which He made to Israel.

It is also important to know that we, in the church age, will not usher in the Kingdom Age. Christians will have nothing to do with the coming of the Kingdom Age. The Kingdom Age will come when Christ returns to earth at the end of the tribulation, and will happen when saved Jews in the Tribulation call upon Christ to return to earth to save them from their persecutions and judgments.

Matthew 23:39 “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

* Christ’s public teaching ministry was over. He withdrew from national Israel until the time “yet future” when they will recognize Him as Messiah (Rom. 11:23–26). Then Christ quoted from Ps. 118:26.

**** At His second advent, the saved Jewish remnant (the nucleus of the millennial kingdom) will recognize their once-rejected Messiah-King and will welcome His return (Zech 12:10-13:1; Rom 11:26) to set up His earthly rule over Israel and the nations.

Zechariah 12:10 “… so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

*Israel’s repentance will come because they look to Jesus, the One whom they rejected and crucified (cf. Is. 53:5; John 19:37), in faith at the Second Advent (Rom. 11:25–27).

It is easy to understand that unsaved Israel is the cause of the Tribulation, and not born again believers in Christ of the church age.

Revelation 7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

* 7:1–17 Chapter 7 forms a parenthesis between the sixth seal (6:12–17) and the seventh seal (8:1) and answers the question posed at the end of chap. 6. Two distinct groups will survive the divine fury: 1) 144,000 Jewish evangelists on earth (vv. 1–8) and 2) their converts in heaven (vv. 9–17).

Revelation 7:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists “at the beginning of the Tribulation”

4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

The discussion of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists reveals that they were successful in leading many others, “whom had been unbelievers,” to saving faith in Christ. We will see in this article that the 144,000 Jews were saved, “through the tribulation.” We see the truth of God’s protection of these 144,000 Jews in Revelation 14:1, where the same number of the Jewish evangelists is seen standing with Christ at the end of the tribulation on Mount Zion (earthly Jerusalem).

Revelation 14:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists “at the end of the Tribulation”

1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

These Jewish evangelists will be present at the beginning of the tribulation, and will be present at the end of the tribulation. God will protect them. The Jewish evangelists will be saved, “through” the tribulation.

Article Text And Notes

Revelation 7:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

An Interlude

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out 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 or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

*** 7:3 The judgments are delayed until these 144,000 Jewish people can be “sealed;” i.e., protected supernaturally.

The 144,000 Sealed Jewish Evangelists

4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

* 7:4 One hundred and forty-four thousand. A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation (vv. 9–17). They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel (v. 4; Zech. 12:10). Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT (see notes on Rom. 11:25–27). all the tribes of the children of Israel. By sovereign election, God will seal 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, promising His protection while they accomplish their mission.

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

A Multitude from the Tribulation

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

* 7:9 a great multitude. While the tribulation period will be a time of judgment, it will also be a time of unprecedented redemption (cf. v. 14; 6:9–11; 20:4; Is. 11:10; Matt. 24:14). all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. All the earth’s people groups. white robes.

10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

7:11 elders. See note on 4:4. four living creatures. See note on 4:6.

* 4:4 twenty-four elders. Their joint rule with Christ, their white garments (19:7, 8), and their golden crowns (2:10) all seem to indicate that these 24 represent the redeemed (vv. 9–11; 5:5–14; 7:11–17; 11:16–18; 14:3; 19:4). The question is which redeemed? Not Israel, since the nation is not yet saved, glorified, and coronated. That is still to come at this point in the events of the end. Their resurrection and glory will come at the end of the 7 year tribulation time (cf. Dan. 12:1–3). Tribulation saints aren’t yet saved (7:9, 10). Only one group will be complete and glorified at that point—the church. Here elders represent the church, which sings the song of redemption (5:8–10). They are the over-comers who have their crowns and live in the place prepared for them, where they have gone with Jesus (cf. John 14:1–4).

* 4:6 sea of glass. There is no sea in heaven (21:1), but the crystal pavement that serves as the floor of God’s throne stretches out like a great, glistening sea (cf. Ex. 24:10; Ezek. 1:22). four living creatures. Lit. “four living ones or beings.” These are the cherubim (sing., cherub), those angels frequently referred to in the OT in connection with God’s presence, power, and holiness. Although John’s description is not identical to Ezekiel’s, they are obviously both referring to the same supernatural and indescribable beings (Pss. 80:1; 99:1; see notes on Ezek. 1:4–25; 10:15). full of eyes. Although not omniscient—an attribute reserved for God alone—these angels have a comprehensive knowledge and perception. Nothing escapes their scrutiny (cf. v. 8).

12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and 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, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

* 7:14 the great tribulation. See notes on 3:10; 6:1, 9, 12. These people did not go with the raptured church, since they were not yet saved. During the 7 year period they will be saved, martyred, and enter heaven. Though it is a time of unparalleled judgment, it is also a time of unparalleled grace in salvation (cf. Matt. 24:12–14). washed their robes. Cf. 19:8. Salvation’s cleansing is in view (see Titus 2:11–14). blood of the Lamb. This refers to the atoning sacrifice of Christ (cf. 1:5; 5:9; Rom. 3:24, 25; 5:9).

** 7:14 The question has been raised concerning the time pictured in this vision. This picture of the martyrs as being before the throne of the Lamb is similar to Chapters 5 and 6.

** 6:9-11 The vision shifts from earth to Heaven, and John sees a vision of those who will be martyred for their faith in Christ. These martyrs have come from the tribulation scene on earth. The church has already been raptured; the dead in Christ have been raised from the dead before the time pictured here. The plea of the martyrs for righteous judgment is that their persecutors are still living. Additional martyrs will be added to their number. In a word, they are to wait until the time of Christ’s return in power and glory when God will deal in summary judgment with the earth.

2 Corinthians 5:8. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” The 6:9-11 deceased martyrs are with God in Heaven. The murder is continuing on earth (during the tribulation) of believers in Christ. See 7:15.

15 For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.

* 7:15 His temple. This refers to the “heavenly throne” of God (see note on 11:19). During the Millennium there will also be a temple on earth—a special holy place where God dwells in a partially restored, but still fallen, universe (see Ezek. 40–48). In the final, eternal state with its new heavens and earth, there is no temple; God Himself, who will fill all, will be its temple (21:22). dwell among them. The preferred reading is that He “will spread His tent over them.” God’s presence will become their canopy of shelter to protect them from all the terrors of a fallen world and the indescribable horrors they have experienced on the earth during the time of tribulation.

16 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

*** 7:15-17 Having died or been martyred during the Tribulation, this great multitude are seen in heaven enjoying its blessings.

* 7:17 shepherd. In a beautiful mix of images, the Lamb has always been the Shepherd (Ps. 23; John 10:14ff.; Heb. 13:20).

As previously stated, God’s promise to Israel is “the Kingdom” which will be fulfilled after the time of tribulation. The promise that has been made to born again believers in Christ of the church age is that we will be taken to heaven to dwell with Christ forever, “prior to the tribulation” (John 14:2-3); wherever Christ may be, “His raptured born again believers will be with Him.”

Consider the following video that discusses the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of the tribulation.

Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them?
John Ankerberg Show Published on Sep 28, 2018
From the series “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and, Dr. Mark Hitchcock. To obtain this entire series, please visit https://www.jashow.org/resources/the-…

Consider the following video that discusses the martyrs of the Tribulation.

Who are the ones who are martyred during the Tribulation period?
John Ankerberg Show Published on Oct 30, 2015
How much prophetic material did God put in the Bible? How many times does the Bible mention Christ’s Second Coming? Where does the Bible teach the doctrine of the Rapture? Where is Imminence (that Christ could return any moment) taught in Scripture?

* MacArthur Study notes.
** Walvoord Study notes.
*** Ryrie Study notes.
**** Unger Commentary notes.

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