Summary: The sixth seal had been opened, and the people of the earth tried to hide from God, asking who would be able to survive God’s judgment. Just when destruction seemed sure, four angels held back the four winds of judgment until God’s people were sealed.
By: Tom Lowe Date: 12/10/2015
Series: Verse By Verse Through Revelations
Title: #20: Sealing of the 144,000 on Earth (Revelation 7:1-8)
Revelation 7:1-8 (KJV)
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
The sixth seal had been opened, and the people of the earth tried to hide from God, asking who would be able to survive God’s judgment (6:17). Just when destruction seemed sure, four angels held back the four winds of judgment until God’s people were sealed as His own. This sealing occurred in this interlude between the sixth and seventh seals. An interlude also comes between the sixth and seventh trumpets (10:1-11:13), but not between the sixth and seventh bowls (16:12-21). God did not open the seventh seal until he had marked His people as His own (v. 3).
This chapter answers the question in 6:17, “Who is able to stand?” Those described in this chapter will stand in the sense that they will be spared to enter the Millennium with Christ. The faithful believers would be kept safe. This chapter contains two pictures: first, the sealing of the 144,000; second, the great multitude worshipping before God’s throne.
The seventh chapter of Revelation explains and expands the horror unleashed at the breaking of the fifth seal. Persecution develops into the full-blown horrors of the great tribulation. The events described do not take place until later in the book, when the beast comes to power and puts down all that stands in his way. Once the seals are broken and the restraints removed, it can only be a matter of time before such wickedness comes to a head. Here the ultimate, inevitable collision between holiness and inequity is described. God wants us to know what lies ahead for His people in the terrible period of trial which follows the rapture of the church. They will go through almost seven years of hell on earth—especially the last 3 ½ years of the reign of the Antichrist. To the nations who have rejected Antichrist and refused to receive his mark, and the people of Israel (those who have not been butchered or beheaded), the message of swift judgment and holy fury against the Antichrist and his armies will be good news indeed. The announcement of the everlasting Gospel will be made to those who are saved during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-17; Luke 21:28; Psalm 96:11-13; Isaiah 35: 4-10). How are they going to be saved? They are going to be sealed. The Holy Spirit is going to be here, not only to regenerate them, but he will also have a special ministry of sealing during this period. The Holy Spirit guarantees that they will make it through the Great Tribulation. If it weren’t for the seal, they wouldn’t make it through. If you really want to know the truth, Tom Lowe would not make it through today if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 24:22 we read, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s (Israel’s) sake, those days shall be shortened.” In my heart, I believe the message of the everlasting Gospel is the message to Israel, that final judgment is about to be meted out to the Antichrist and his henchmen, and the days will be shortened assuring them that judgment will come upon their enemies before those enemies are allowed to annihilate the elect of God.