Click on the image and see the text. Click on the arrow and see the video; details follow.
A. In this article we see a pause between the sixth and seventh seal judgments of the Tribulation. Looking back, we saw the following preceding seal judgments, in order: 1 Antichrist. 2 War. 3 Famine. 4 Death 5. Martyrs’ prayers. 6 Great Earthquakes. We also saw that each seal judgment was released by Christ, the Lamb, on the earth: See Rev 6:1, 6:3, 6:5, 6:7, 6:9, 6:12. Great severity was seen in the fourth seal judgment where one-fourth of the earth’s population died. In the fifth seal judgment we saw the martyrdom of those which were left behind from the rapture, and whom had come to saving faith in Christ. In the sixth seal judgment, we saw great cosmic disturbances.
B. In the opening of this seventh chapter of Revelation we see these words, “after this.” It is at this point in John’s vision, that there is a pause that takes place before the opening of the seventh seal judgment in Rev 8:1. During this pause, John sees the sealing of 144,000 Jews in Rev 7:4-8. The significance of the sealing is that in Rev 14:1 all of the 144,000 Jews that are sealed in Rev 7:1 are still alive; their lives will be sealed from death. These 144,000 Jews are also being sealed for Salvation. In Rev 3:10, we see that the raptured born again believers in Christ will be saved from “the tribulation.” In Rev 14:1, we see that the Jews that were sealed in 7:1 will be sealed and saved “through the tribulation.” The sealing of those that will be raptured (1 Cor 15:50-54) prior to the Tribulation, will take place when they believe in Christ (Eph 1:13); at that time believers are sealed for salvation. Those whom believe in Christ prior to the rapture will be kept “from the hour of testing which will come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on earth,” (Rev 3:10).
C. The opening video shows a discussion of highly acclaimed theologians, Drs. John Ankerberg, Ron Rhodes, Ed Hindson, and Mark Hitchcock. The gentlemen make the point that the 144,000 people that are being sealed are Jews, and that these Jews will preach “the gospel of the Kingdom” (Matt 24:14), throughout the world, at which time the end of the Tribulation will come. Credentials for each of these men are shown in the following link: https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/about-sources/
D. The gospel (good news) of the Kingdom is that of, the Abrahamic Covenant (Rev 12:1-3) and of the Davdic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-16); it is also of the preaching of John the Baptist (Matt 3:2), of Christ (Matt 4:17), of the disciples (Matt 10:7), and of the seventy (Luke 10:1,11). The gospel of the “death, burial and resurrection of Christ” (1 Cor 15:1-8) will also be included in the preaching of the 144,000 Jews, as our Lord will be “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19:16), and will teach and rule and reign from Jerusalem (Isa 2:1-4) for one thousand years (Rev 20:4), which will be for the duration of the Kingdom Age.
II. Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”
III. Text: Revelation 7:1-8.
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.”
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:
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.
IV. Comments. (MSB=MacArthur Study Bible; NAC = New American Commentary; NKJV= New King James Study Bible; RSB=Ryrie Study Bible; WRC= Walvoord Commentary).
The question has often been asked, “Will anyone be saved after the rapture?” The Scriptures clearly indicate that a great multitude of both Jews and Gentiles will trust in the Lord after the church is caught up to glory. Though the children of God living on earth at the time will be translated when Christ comes for His church, immediately a testimony will be raised up to the name of Christ through new converts among Jews and Gentiles. Though these are never described by the term “church,” they are constantly called saints, that is, those set apart as holy to God and saved through the sacrifice of Christ. https://bible.org/seriespage/7-saints-great-tribulation
1. 7:1 The interlude of chap 7 begins with the apocalypticist observing the four angels standing at the four corners of the earth engaged in physically restraining four winds, preventing the wind from blowing on the land, sea, or trees.
1. 7.2 “seal of the living God.” “Seal” often refers to a signet ring used to press its image into wax melted on a document. The resulting imprint implied authenticity and ownership, and protected the contents (cf. 9:4; Ezek. 9:3, 4). In this case, the mark is the name of God (14:1).
2. 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.
1. 7:3 These judgments are delayed until these 144,000 Jewish people can be “sealed;” i.e., protected supernaturally.
2. 7:4 “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” These are Jews from the 12 tribes (12,000 each) who are protected in order to perform some service for God during these days. Perhaps they are evangelists. The omission of the tribe of Dan may be because Dan was guilty of idolatry on many occasions (Lev 24:11; Judg 18:1; 1 Kings 12:28, 29).
1. God has given us a timeline of events that will occur based on His sovereign purposes. The Tribulation is one of those sovereign events that will occur within God’s plan for the ages. God does not wait for anyone’s thoughts, decisions, or actions to affirm, or negate, His sovereign will. God’s calling, for God’s purpose, is clearly seen throughout God’s Holy Word.
a. Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
b. Daniel 9:27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
(1) (Mine) This week is a period of seven years, as opposed to a week of seven days. God’s details can not be overlooked, as they relate to God’s purpose. The seven years of Tribulation can not be lessened, or lengthened; neither can the Tribulation be spiritualized., nor negated.
(2) (MSB) These 7 years constitute the 70th week of Daniel. “middle of the week.” This is the halfway point of the 70th week of years, i.e., 7 years leading to Christ’s second coming. The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel (v. 27a), which has resumed its ancient sacrificial system. Three and a half years of tribulation remain, agreeing with the time in other Scriptures (7:25; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5, called “Great Tribulation,” cf. Matt. 24:21) as God’s wrath intensifies.
2. Consider the following examples of God’s sovereign will for individuals that He has chosen to be instruments of fulfilling His will.
a. Gen 12;1-3. God chose Abraham for salvation and service. Abraham was not seeking God. Abraham was an idol worshiper (Josh 24:2).
b. Jer 1:5. God chose Jeremiah for salvation and service before he was born.
c. Matt 10:1-4. God chose 12 disciples for service; he chose 11 for salvation. (Judas betrayed Christ 10:4).
d. Rom 1:15. God chose Saul (Paul) for salvation and service before he was born.
e. Deu 14:2. God chose national Israel, above all other nations, to be His own possession (God’s chosen people).
f. God will choose 144,000 Jews, whom will be left behind from the rapture, to be sealed for salvation and service.
VI. Additional information on Rev 7:1-8 can be found in a sermon of Dr. Andy Woods (Th.M., J.D., Ph.D.).
A. See YouTube: Revelation Ep. 25 Gods Faithfulness. Revelation 7:1-8
B. Dr. Andy Woods has a law degree from Whittier College and a PhD in Bible Exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a Full-Professor of Bible and Theology at the College Biblical Studies in Houston, TX (2009-2016). He is currently the President of Chafer Theological Seminary and Pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church. Andy also speaks on a variety of topics at Christian Conferences worldwide. Credentials of Dr. Woods can be found on my Equipping Site Page, “About Sources.” I encourage everyone to purchase Andy’s book, “The Coming Kingdom (Andrew M. Woods). Andy’s teachings provide provide a great deal of understanding of the Bible.
VII. Video Details Of This Article.
A. Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them?
B. John Ankerberg Show
VIII. Please follow this site.