Summary: Study of the Book of Revelation
Revelation, Part 11
Revelation Chapter 7:1-10
Chapter 6 talked about the four horsemen, and the importance of their duties to release the Anti-Christ and bring about death and destruction upon ¼ of the Earth as the beginning of God’s Judgment.
We also witnessed a great earthquake that shook the very foundations of the Earth, sending the inhabitants of the Earth to the mountains to flee. Each who went into hiding had one prayer: that they would be allowed to die for the judgment is too severe.
In this time, we see the beginning of what God has planned on this Earth, for our disobedience is what has brought this upon the Earth.
Read Revelation 7:1-10
I. The Four Angels (V 1-3)
At this very moment, there are angels waiting for the word from God to unleash His judgment upon this Earth. If you remember the story in the city of Sodom, angels were sent there to destroy the city, but not before they removed Lot and his family from the area (Genesis 19).
These four angels are granted the authority to hurt the land and the sea – but we see here that they are held back until God’s servants who remain on the Earth are sealed to do the work of the Lord
Once these servants are in place – once they have received the protection of God, we will see the trumpet judgments begin.
The four winds mentioned here talk about the whole Earth, but they are given specific orders to hurt only the land and sea. The bowl judgments which will come later are the judgments on man, specifically.
In Heaven, God has ultimate authority, and I believe that John is getting a glimpse of a chain of command effect in place. Note how another angel comes forward to hold back these angels – I believe this is an arch-angel – someone in greater authority than these four angels.
We will see that a number of persons will be sealed first, and these are the 144,000. The word ‘sealed’ means protected – and I believe they are sealed with the Holy Spirit. What is important to note here is that God knows who is faithful to Him – He knows who His workers are – and John is being given a confirmation that just as they are sealed, those who are saved are also sealed from this judgment.
Again, this strengthens in my eyes that the rapture of the church happens before the Tribulation begins, because God’s promise is that we shall be saved if we call upon the name of the Lord (that is Jesus) – and this sealing is sealing those following the rapture for their service.
II. Who are the 144,000 that are sealed? (V 4-8)
Many people have mixed up, or tried to assume who the 144,000 are. One of the biggest, false doctrines is that shared by the group called the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let me start by saying this is a cult – from beginning to end.
They believed when they formed their group that they were part of the 144,000 who would not see death and they were here to do God’s work. The problem with their logic is this: most of those who called themselves part of the 144,000 are now dead and in their grave. And so, they are forced to changed their beliefs and doctrine – which since Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow … why would they have to continue to modify their beliefs if they were truly following Jesus? They’re not, they are a cult.
I will bring another sermon series about cults at a later time – and we will fully examine this group but I can tell you without any doubt, they do not serve the Lord Jesus, they’re purpose is to confuse God’s people, and you should not entertain them on your doorstep.
(Tonight will be more opportunity to hear about the distractions in this world at OABC.)
Since John is being shown the nation of Israel here, it is important to observe that the literal application of Israel’s importance cannot be avoided. Those who remove literal Israel from scripture will never be able to grasp the book of Revelation and God’s plan for the end times.
Here, we see the role of 144,000, from the 12 tribes of Israel.
Twelve thousand from each of the 12 tribes of Jacob (Israel) represent a select group, descendents of Jacob who will fulfill the role planned for Israel, to be a light to the nations.
Out of all the nations of the Earth, God had chosen the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be a light to the nations, to be his witnesses.
Isaiah 43:10-12 says "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.”