Prophecy – Part 97 – Fate of Believers; A Remnant of 144,000 From Israel; Revelation 7:1-8
We have been through several studies dealing with the protection that God will provide for believers in the Tribulation Age. This protection is also appropriate for believers in the Age of Grace. During this time we have been involved with studies outside of the book of Revelation. However, the principles apply to the study of our time in the Age of Grace as well.
Now we will return to the Revelation and move forward with our study of the book. There will be some things that will be repeated, areas that we have studied in a different setting. We are picking up on our study in Chapter Seven. It has been a while since we were looking specifically at sections of Revelation. However, repetition can be a help in refreshing our study.
- The winds of judgment are in the hands of God and His angels, not in the hands of the evil agents of Satan.
- God will give the most wonderful command to delay the judgments until God’s people can be sealed.
- God will give counsel to seal 144,000 Jews from all the tribes of Israel.
NOTE: Remember, Jesus Christ is holding in His hands the Book of Destiny, the Great Book of God. This book contains and makes clear what will happen at the end of the world. How exciting is that! Why? Because we can read and study it. We can see it happening thru John’s eyes.
The book is so secretive that God has it bound with seven seals until the time for it to be opened. God is giving us a little glimpse of the future. Why? To warn us to turn to His Son. Christ alone can save us from the judgments to come (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13). Therefore, we must follow Him ever so diligently while we walk on the face of the earth.
This glimpse into the great book of God is given to us in the Book of Revelation. It reveals certain events of the end time that we would otherwise not understand, and God wants to help us. We have just seen Christ begin to break open six of the seals that bind the 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 how evil will amass together and bring about the awful circumstances that will cause wars and killing, famine and pestilence, hunger and starvation, death and hell that the antichrist will unleash upon the earth.
We have seen the destructive devastation that will kill one fourth of the earth’s population. Shocking! One fourth of the population will be killed by the catastrophic devastation of evil unleashed upon the earth.
But what we have seen so far is little, almost nothing, when compared to what is coming. When all the judgments have fallen, the earth and the world will be destroyed. How this is to happen will be seen when the seventh seal is broken open. When the seventh seal is broken and the seven seal judgments are over, this period of history (that will be known as the beginning of sorrows and woes) will be finished.
NOTE: The great tribulation itself will be launched by the seventh seal…
- the great tribulation that will witness the shattering blast of seven trumpets of judgment.
- the great tribulation that will witness the wrath of seven bowls of judgment, which are going to be poured out upon the earth.
Now note a critical question that is constantly asked: Will anyone be saved through such terrible days? Can anyone survive such terrible happenings? As Scripture itself has just asked:
“For the great day of His (God’s) wrath is come; who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17).
So, can anyone stand? Will anyone turn to the Lord and be delivered through this terrible time? The answer is YES! There is to be a remnant of Israel saved: 144,000 Jews shall be saved.
- The winds of judgment are in the hands of God and His angels, not in the hands of evil (Revelation 7:1-2).
- God will give the most wonderful command to delay the judgments until God’s people can be sealed (Revelation 7: 2-3).
- God will give the wonderful counsel to seal 144,000 Jews from all the tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:8).
7:1-2 End Time – Israel- Jews – Salvation: 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 here. 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 Book of Revelation, page 170); this pictures that God is in control of the whole earth, of every direction upon earth. God is merciful. He has not unleashed His avenging angels of wrath upon earth, not yet. In mercy He has chosen to wait a little while longer.
- This is a most comforting thought: to know that the judgment is in the hands of God. To know that it is God Himself who is to execute judgment.
- It is comforting because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13) Just think! Every person has the privilege of escaping judgment. No person has to stand before the face of God at the throne of judgment. Every person who wants salvation can be saved and delivered from condemnation by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
- But note: the winds of judgment are to be unleashed upon the earth. Every person will face these awful times unless he has surrendered his life to Christ. And then, most tragic of all, he will have to face the eternal judgment and condemnation from the presence of God forever.
“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).
“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).
“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).
(7:2-3) Seal – Israel – Salvation of: 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. The seal means the mark of possession, authority, power, protection, and preservation.
- In ancient times a king’s ring was his seal. He would stamp the mark of his ring upon all official documents, showing his 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 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; emphasis added, 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).
“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).
“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).
“And the LORD said unto him, 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).
- In the New Testament the believer is sealed with THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THAT IS, THE HOLY SPIRIT, who 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).
“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22).
“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).
In contrast to the seal of God upon His servants, the lawless and rebellious followers of the beast (the antichrist) will bear the beast’s mark or seal (Revelation 16:2). 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 in 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).
- The bowl judgment of sores will not touch God’s people. Judgment is poured out only upon those who have 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).
This should not seem strange to us that God will judge the unbelievers who follow the antichrist and not judge believers. As stated, God does not condemn his people; He condemns and judges unbelievers. And the judgments of the great tribulation are to be upon an evil and apostate world.
NOTE: 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, but they did not afflict the believers among Israel. The true believers were SEALED from the plagues.
However, it should be remembered that believers will be persecuted and slaughtered by the antichrist during the last three and 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 persecution at the hands of the antichrist.
“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.”
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).
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