John saw 4 angels standing at the 4 corners of the earth. They were holding back the 4 winds of the earth. Then he saw another angel with a seal of God telling the 4 angels to not harm the land, the sea or the trees until the 144,000 of God’s servants have His seal on their foreheads. Theses 144,000 are 12,000 from each tribe of Israel. (Rev. 1-8).
These winds probably mean violent destructive winds of God’s judgment, which will be released soon. For now there is a clam before the storm. These 144,000 servants were new Jewish believers that live on the earth and will become evangelists to all people. They are about to be sealed. God will seal them with His Spirit marking them as His, just as the church is sealed with His Spirit. They are marked showing God’s ownership. See 2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30. We don’t know exactly what this seal will be, but scripture tells us it will be visible.
How has God held back His judgments that you deserve?
Are you sealed with God’s seal?
If so, how do you know?
How does your life show it?
There are several opinions of who these 144,000 are. I believe these 144,000 will be witnesses of Jesus to the world. Because of their witnessing we see in Rev. 7:9-14 a great multitude from every nation and all tribes of people, Jew and Gentile worshipping the Lord. They were wearing white robes and worshipping God saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” – Rev. 7:10. “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation…” – Rev. 7:14. This will be a true revival.
Are you committed to serving and being a witness for God?
This angel in verse 2 is special and is sent from God and will be entrusted to mark God’s people to protect them in the mists of the wrath that is coming. This group will be on earth during this terrible wrath, but will be protected from it because of the seal with God’s name is on their forehead. Since all believers have been miraculously removed from the earth - known as the rapture, they will be God’s witnesses. God has not and will not ever leave earth without a witness of His salvation. God needs them to tell the gospel to the world.
There are several beliefs on when the rapture will occur. Will it be before, during or at then 7 years of tribulation? The 7 years is broken up into two 3 ½ periods. The first is called the tribulation and the second is called the Great Tribulation. I believe the church will be raptured or taken to heaven before the 7 years starts. I believe He will rescue believers from His wrath. “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” – 1 Thess. 1:10. Whatever you believe about the rapture and if believers will go through it, Jesus is the only way to heaven. (John 14:6) God has the final say and believers have eternal security. We may suffer in this life here on earth, but the pain you suffer is only temporary.
We cannot take credit for our salvation. It is a free gift through the God’s grace. Jesus deserves all the credit, because of His bloodshed on the cross for us. We must praise and worship Him for what He has done.
This great multitude is not the same as the 144,000. The 144,000 are on earth and the multitude is in heaven, who have received their white robes. These are Jews and Gentiles who have accepted Jesus after the rapture and have been martyred for their faith during the tribulation. (Rev. 7:14)
The great multitude is praising God for their salvation. In the presence of God there will be no hunger, thirst, sunburn, heat stroke, or tears. The Lamb will be at the center of the throne and will be the Shepherd. He will be the protector of all believers. (Rev. 7:15-17). It will be a happy time. It will be eternal peace and joy. It will be an eternal life with Jesus.
The whole purpose of this chapter is that God offers protection to all believers. Chapter 6 had relentless punishment of the wicked, but now stand frozen in time and the focus is now on the security of the faithful. God will protect His people. He deserves our praises. He knows everything and has all wisdom. We should constantly thank Him for all He has done for us. Only He deserves honor and glory. He sent His son, Jesus to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners. Jesus has overcome all that is against us.
Do you know where you will spend eternity?
Principle: In the midst of tribulation God’s people are eternally secure.
Next week we will study Revelation 8. We will see the seventh seal broken. The seventh seal includes 7 trumpets and 7 bowls. With each seal broken the judgments increase with intensity. The end of the world comes after the 7 bowls. Hope to see you here next week.
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