Summary: John writes about a group of people totaling 144,000 that will be witnesses during the great tribulation. We find in this chapter Angels, Jews and Gentiles.
Thousands of Witnesses
When peace is taken away in the middle of the tribulation period there will be one traumatic event after the other that will take place.
These things that will happen is the wrath of God ref. Rev. 6:16 “Wrath of the Lamb”
Chapter 7:1 After these things follows the question in Rev. 6:17 “Who shall be able to stand”
1. The Angels
“Four angels holding the four winds of the earth…”
Fact: What we see here are angels given control over the forces of nature
See: Rev. 14:18 An angel with power over fire
And: Rev. 16:5 The angel of the waters
The angels here are bringing about calm until God seals His servants (witnesses).
See: Vs.2-4 Hurt not the earth…
This is a great assurance for those who are in Christ today because the Bible tell us that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.
See: Ephesians 1:12-14
And: Ephesians 4:30 sealed until the day of redemption
2. The Jews
See: Vs.4 144,000 of all the tribes of Israel
These are Jehovah witnesses but also all Jews! Not to be mistaken for the false witnesses
What we see here is 12,000 sealed from twelve tribes Vs.5-8
Compare to: Ezekiel 48:31-34 There is a difference in the names mentioned concerning the tribes.
Rev. 7:6 lists Manasses
Ezekiel 48:32 Lists Dan
Dan is one of the original 12 tribes but here doing the tribulation period they are not sealed as witnesses.
Speculation: Perhaps because of the past testimony of this tribe they are not used as witnesses
Dan: means judge
See: Genesis 49:16-17 They were call to do so but their achievement fell way short as previously prophesied by Jacob
See: Judges 18:30
And: 1 Kings 12:28-30 Dan was one of the first tribes to go into idolatry
Point: I cannot be dogmatic with this view because only God knows the reason why Dan is omitted in Rev. 7:5-8.
But if this is so what does this tell us about our testimony? Certainly if we are not living for Christ and representing Him it will have an impact on our effectiveness as a witness of the LORD.
Point: Nowhere in here does it mentions these 144,000 as the only ones going to heaven
3. The Gentiles
See: Vs.9 After this I beheld…of all nations
Here we now see a reference to Gentiles
144,000 Not Numbered
Sealed on Earth Before the throne in heaven
Point: during the Great Tribulation there will be people saved (ref. Rev. 7:14) that have never heard and rejected the gospel of Christ (ref. 2 Thess. 2:10-12).
They will be martyred or die of starvation due to their testimony in Christ.
See: Vs.15-17 They shall hunger no more…
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” Rev. 21:4
Question: Can you say with absolute assurance that when you die you will go to heaven?