The Fate of Believers in The Great Tribulation – Part 1;       A Remnant of 144,000 From Israel Will be Saved, Revelation 7:1-8

As we look forward in time, we are looking at the future.  Jesus Christ is holding the great book of Destiny, the book that tells what is to happen at the end of the world.  The book is so important and secretive that God has it bound with seven seals until the time for it to be opened.

As we look forward in time, the events that will be revealed have not yet happened upon earth.  They are things that are to occur in the end time.  But God has given us a glimpse into these future thingsWhy?  To warn earth dwellers to turn to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ while there is still time.  Remember, it is Christ alone that can save us from the judgment to come.

NOTE:  We must follow God’s Son diligently while we walk [live] on this earth.

This glimpse into the great book of God, into the destiny of the world, is given to us in this great book of Revelation.   We have seen Jesus Christ break open six of the seals that bind the seven-sealed book.  To our horror, when He broke them open, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were seen storming across the face of the earth with their terror and devastation.

We have seen that the destructive devastation will kill one fourth of the world’s population.  One fourth of the earth’s population will be killed by the catastrophic devastation of evil unleashed upon the earth. The four horsemen will carry out God’s commands.

  • We have seen how the four horsemen represent the wars and killing,
  • famine and pestilence,
  • hunger and starvation, and
  • death and hell.
  • The antichrist will unleash all this destruction upon the earth to gain control of all earthly nations.

When the seventh seal is broken open, the seven-seal judgments are over; the period of history that will be known as the beginning of sorrows and woes is nothing compared to what is yet to come.

The great Tribulation itself will be launched by the seventh seal.

  • the great tribulation will witness the shattering blast of the seven trumpets of judgment.
  • the great tribulation will witness the wrath of the seven bowls of judgment poured out upon the earth.

NOTE:  This is not all, God’s great book declares that the completed seal judgments are just THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS AND WOES. But this terrible devastation, as horrible as it is, is nothing compared to what is yet to come.

When all the judgments have fallen, the earth and the world shall be utterly shattered.  How it is to happen will be seen when the seventh seal is broken open.  When the seventh seal is broken, the seven seal judgments are over; the period of the history that will be known as the BEGINNING OF SORROWS AND WOES will be finished. 

But the time of the GREAT TRIBULATION itself will be launched by the seventh seal.

  • The great tribulation will witness the shattering blast of the seven trumpets of judgment.
  • The great tribulation will witness the wrath of the seven bowls of judgment poured out upon the earth.

A Couple of questions are important at this point:

  1. Will anyone be saved through such terrible days?
  2. Can anyone survive such terrible happenings?

As Scripture, itself has just asked: 

“The great day of [God’s] wrath is come; who shall be able to stand?”  (Revelation 6:17).

Can anyone stand?  Will anyone turn to the Lord and be delivered through this terrible time?  Yes! There is to be a remnant of Israel saved; 144,000 Jews will be saved.  They are God’s witnesses and many will be saved through their witness.

  1. The winds of judgment are in the hands of God and His angels, not in the hands of evil (Revelation 7:1-2).
  2. God will give the most wonderful command, to delay the judgments until God’s people can be sealed (vv. 2-3).
  3. 3. God will give the wonderful counsel to seal 144,000 JEWS from all the tribes of Israel (vv. 4-8).

(7:1-2) End Time — Israel — Jews — Salvation:

The winds of judgment are in the hands of God and His angels, NOT in the hands of evil.  This is a most wonderful truth, and it is exactly what is being declared.  Four angels stand at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of judgment so that they cannot blow upon the earth.  The four corners of the earth are the four main points of the compass: north, south, east, and west.  (Lehman Strauss).

The point is that the picture is that God is in control of the whole earth, of every direction upon earth.  And He is merciful.  He has not unleashed His avenging of wrath upon earth, not yet.  In mercy, He has chosen to wait a little while longer.

So, He gives the command to delay the judgments until God’s people can be sealed (v. 2-3). Isn’t it great that the winds of judgment are in the hands of God and His angels and not in the hands of evil?

This is the picture that we have.  The picture is that God is in control of the whole earth, of every direction upon earth.  The question for you and me is: “Do we believe that God is truly in control of our destiny?”

NOTE:  Four angels stand at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of judgment so that they cannot blow upon earth–  not until God allows the next judgments to fall upon the people of the earth.

FACT:  This is a most comforting thought, to know that judgment is in the hands of God, to know that it is God Himself who is going  to execute judgment.  It is comforting because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.

FACT:  Every person has the privilege of escaping judgment.  No person must stand before the face of God at the throne of judgment.  Every person who truly wants salvation can be saved and delivered from the condemnation by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior in this life (John 3:16).

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” (Matthew 25:31-32, KJV).

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7, KJV).

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-15, KJV). 

(Revelation 7:2-3)  God will give the most wonderful command.  The command will be to delay the judgments of the GREAT TRIBULATION until ALL the servants of God can be sealed. 

FACT:  The seal means the mark of POSSESSION, authority, power, protection, and preservation. 

In ancient time, a king’s ring was his seal.  He would stamp the mark of his ring upon all official document showing their possession, authority and power.  This is certainly part of the meaning here.  The 144,000 will be sealed — protected and preserved by God (Genesis 41: 42; Esther 3:10; 8:2; Daniel 6:17; Matthew 27:66).

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4, KJV).

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1, KJV).

“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4, KJV).

“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Revelation 7:3, KJV).

“And the LORD said unto them, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4, KJV).

NOTE:  In the New Testament the believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit of God; that is, the Holy Spirit seals and guarantees that the believer belongs to God.  The presence of the Holy Spirit living within the heart and life of the believer is his seal and his guarantee that he will escape the judgment of God and live eternally with God.

“Which is the earnest [guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:14, KJV).

“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22, KJV).

“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5, KJV).

NOTE:  In contrast to the seal of God upon His servants, the lawless and rebellious followers of the beast (the antichrist) WILL BEAR HIS MARK or SEAL (Revelation 16:2, KJV).

God will seal His servants to identify them and to assure their protection from the wrath and destruction coming upon the earth.  Remember, God does not condemn His followers.  His followers escape the judgment of God.  The judgment and destruction from God’s hands fall only on “those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”  This is clearly stated in Revelation.

  • The demonic forces that are to be unleashed upon earth will not touch God’s people.

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4, KJV).

  • The vial (bowl) judgment of sores will not touch God’s people.  Judgment is poured out only upon those who has the mark of the beast.

“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2, KJV).

This should not seem strange to us that God will judge the unbelievers who follow the antichrist and not judge believers.

  • God does not condemn His people.
  • God condemns and will judge unbelievers.
  • The judgments of the great tribulation are to be upon an                     evil and apostate world.
  • A good example is Moses and the plagues of Israel.  Remember the event: the ten plagues, as terrible and devastating as they were, fell ONLY upon all the Egyptians.
  • They did not fall on nor afflict the believers among Israel. The true believers were sealed from the plagues.

FACT:  It should be remembered that believers, during the great tribulation, will be persecuted and slaughtered by the antichrist during the last three and a half years of his reign, that is, during the great tribulation (Revelation 7:14).

The believers of the end time will not suffer the judgments of God upon the apostate world, but they will suffer the persecution of the antichrist.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV).

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude 1:14-15, KJV).

“Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12. KJV).

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10, KJV).

GOD GIVES THE MOST WONDERFUL PROMISES TO GENUINE BELIEVERS.  No believer will ever be judged and condemned to death and hell.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can separate a genuine believer from the love of God.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH EVERYLASTING LIFE, and SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”(Romans 5:8-10, KJV).

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, no things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is IN Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39, KJV).

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:  therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (I John 3:1, KJV).

(Revelation 7:4-8) – Israel – Salvation:  God will give the wonderful counsel to seal 144,000 Jewish believers, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes.  This is exactly what the passage says. 

NOTE:  This is a clear indication that Israel will be saved in the end time.  This passage should be taken at its face value, that is, that 144,000 Jews will be converted.  This is the subject of chapter seven, to show who is to be saved during the tribulation.  The answer is that BOTH Jews and Gentiles will be saved.

The 144,000 are apparently a special body of Jewish believers who are dedicated to serve the Lord Jesus Christ totally and wholly during the tribulation of the end times.  Note some things that Revelation says about them.

a. They are virgins, that is, they have never been married or committed fornication.

b. The worst holocaust the world has ever witnessed will be launched by the antichrist and millions will be killed.

c.  A special commitment will be needed to stand for Christ. Apparently, these 144,000 form a special body of believers who vow and commit their lives to the end, to never deny Christ.

d. They apparently take a special vow to be the encouragers and ministers to the believers and to others who will be so severely attacked and persecuted by the antichrist.

NOTE:  Let’s remember that in Scripture, a seal indicates ownership and protection.  Today, if you have truly accepted God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (John 3:16), then you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and you belong to God, never to be separated from Him (John 10:27-30).

The 144,000 Jews will receive the Father’s name as their seal (Revelation 14:1), in contrast to the “mark of the beast” that the antichrist will give those who follow him (Revelation 13:17; 14:11; 16:2; 19:20).

The Father’s seal will protect these chosen Jews and others from the judgments that will “hurt the earth and the sea” (Revelation 7:2); this occur when the first four angels blow their trumpets (Revelation 8).  The judgments are intensified when the horrible locusts are released from the pit (Revelation 9:3).   Protected from these awesome judgments, the 144,000 will be able to do their work and glorify the Lord.

In every age, God has had His faithful remnant.  Elijah thought he was alone, but God had 7,000 who were yet faithful to Him (I Kings 19:18).  We trust you will think about John 3:16 and the seal of the Holy Spirit.  God loves you and is waiting for you to join those who have already accepted His Son for Salvation. Good question, “Why would you not want to spend eternity in heaven?????????????????