Why has God given us a glimpse of the things to come?
They are to warn us to turn to His Son. Christ alone is the only one who can save us from the judgment to come. We have just seen Jesus Christ break open 6 of the seals that bind the book. We have seen how the four horsemen represent the wars and killing, famine and pestilence, hunger and starvation, death and hell that the antichrist will unleash upon the earth. We have seen how evil will mass together every force of demonic power it can. We have seen that the destructive devastation will kill 1/4 of the world's population. The fourth of the population will be killed by the devastation of evil unleashed on the earth. This is just the beginning of sorrows and woes. But yet this is nothing compared to what is yet to come. When all the judgments have fallen, the earth and the world will be utterly destroyed. When the seventh seal is broken, the great tribulation will be launched. There will be seven trumpets of judgment, and seven bowls of judgment poured out on the earth. The question is asked: Will anyone be saved through such terrible days? Can anyone survive such terrible happenings? Will anyone turn to the Lord and be delivered through this time? The answer is yes, but it will be a remnant of Israel: 144,000 jews will be saved. Verse 1 Chapter 7 is an interlude between the 6 and 7th seals And interlude is anything that fills time between two events. How long this time that God has chosen to wait the Bible does not say. The winds of judgement are in the hands of God and His angels, not in the hands of evil. Four angels stand at the four corners of the earth holding the 4 winds of judgment so that they cannot blow upon the earth. This is the calm before the storm! The four corners of the earth are the four main points of the compass: North, East, South, and west. The picture is that God is in control of the whole earth, of every direction on the earth. He is merciful. He has not as of yet unleashed His avenging angels of wrath on the earth. Why not? Verses 2 and 3 Then John see's a fifth angel coming from the east or "from the rising of the sun." Why is the East so significant? Solomon's Temple faced the east. East is the original meaning of the "orient." It was the custom of the Israelites to face the west toward the Holy of Holies as they entered the temple court. But Ezekiel saw the glory departing from the temple by the Mount of Olives on the east side of the city. Ezekiel 11:23 In a later vision he saw the glory returning again from the east. One other thing was the Star that the Wise men followed to the Christ child was in the east. When Christ comes back after the tribulation He will come from the east. Matthew 24:27 John see's another angel coming from the east, this angel carries the "seal of the living God." And because he does he has the authority to command the angels to hold back the winds. This seal is greater than any of the kings seals in John's day. This is the seal of the living God. There is not higher authority. We are not told what this seal looks like but it suggests it will be visible. In a loud voice this angel tells them until "we have sealed the servants of our God," they were not to injure or damage the earth, the sea or the trees. It is not clear who is meant by "we" unless the angel giving the command is the angels he is talking to. 144,000 JEWS SEALED Verses 4 - 8 John hears their number, 144,000, and where they come from. There will be 12,000 out of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Not every person who claims to be from one of the 12 tribes is sealed. Some commentators try to symbolize this list and say this refers to the church as the true Israel. Christian believers are spiritual sons of Abraham, but the church is never called sons of Israel, nor is it ever divided into tribes. Acts 26:7 speaks of the Jews as "our 12 tribes." So these 144,000 are believing Jews sealed for service. This 144,000 are a special body of Jewish believers who are dedicated to serve the Lord Jesus Christ totally and wholly during the tribulation of the last days. There is some controversy as to who the 144,000 are. Tim LaHaye believes In Elijah's day God had kept for Himself 7,000 prophets who had not bowed their knee's to Baal. 1 Kings 19 No one seems to question the fact that He had 7,000 prophets. Why should there be any difference regarding the 144,000? It simplifies the Bible interpretation greatly if we accept God's Word at face value and do not try to force upon it any other meaning than that which it naturally conveys. This 144,000 will be Jewish virgin men that have never married. Rev. 14:4-5 A special commitment will be needed to stand up for Christ. They vow to commit their lives to the end to never deny Christ. They will be ministering, witnessing, and encouraging the believers and the Jews who are having to flee into the wilderness and hiding places of the world to escape the holocaust. This 144,000 will have a great part to play in the turning of Israel to Christ, their true Messiah in the end time. After the Antichrist instigates a wave of persecution against the Christians (fifth seal), and after he sets himself up as God in the midst of the Tribulation period, there will be few on the earth who are uncommitted, one way or the other. What will this 144,000 witnesses preach? They will be preaching the same message that Paul or Peter preached, the same message that we preach. Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, today, and forever. They will preach that Jesus Is the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me. John 14:6 That is what they will preach. Tim LaHaye again makes this statement: This so-called sophisticated society in which we live must bear in mind that the Church of Jesus Christ dare not alter its Gospel one iota nor try to adapt it to the traditions of men. He goes on to say like the 144,000 witnesses, we will one day stand before God to give an account of how we have preached the gospel. Who is going to be saved during the tribulation? The JEWS! Chapter 7 Verses 9-17 We see that 1/4 of the population will be destroyed by war, famine, pestilence, hunger, and starvation. But these things are just the beginning. Where are these people coming from? Verse 9 These people are from all nations, tribes, people, tongues. There will be some, not all, but some out of each of group of these people who will be saved. People will turn to Christ by the millions. This means that this will be the greatest revival in the history of the world. We talk about an end time revival, this is it. And it takes place during the tribulation. A great multitude which no man could number. Tim LaHaye in his commentary believes that more people will accept Christ during the early months of the tribulation, before the Antichrist really has a chance to consolidate his one world government and set up his one-world religion of self-worship than have been converted in the 1900 + years of the church age. The majority will believe the lies and deceit of the Antichrist. In Joel 2:28-29 this part of this passage was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. But Verses 30-31 of that same chapter will not fulfilled until the tribulation which will end with these events. They will be right before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come. This multitude stands before the throne of God and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes showing that they are redeemed ones from the earth who now are in the presence of the Lord. The palm branches in the hands symbolize celebration, victory, deliverance, and joy in Christ. They share in Christ�s triumph. The palm branches also acknowledge Jesus as the Lord and Messianic King. The palm branches may also speak of the Feast of Tabernacles as a type of pointing to our dwelling forever with the Lord. This great multitude cry out in unison "Salvation to our God, and unto the Lamb." In essence what they are saying is salvation belongs to our God as the only Source and to the Lamb as the only one who could pay the price and make salvation available to us. This multitude understands that only from God and the Lamb has come their salvation from sin, guilt, and the wrath and judgments that are soon to fall on the earth. They are so full of joy that they keep crying out their praise. Revelation 7, Verses 11-14 John see's an outer circle with thousands of thousands of angels. Inside this circle are the 24 elders, and then the four living creatures or beings. The angels prostrate themselves before the throne, joining the elders and living creatures as the worship God. These angels area created beings who have never sinned, who have always served God. Yet they are in the outer circle. It is the multitude of people, everyone of whom has sinned and has come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 Who are before the throne, inside the circle. But it is because they have white robes and possess the righteousness of Christ that they have this intimacy and the angels do not. Though these angels are not able to join in the song of the redeemed, meaning that they cannot apply it to themselves, they are full of praise to God and recognize his wisdom, power, and grace. They too are full of joy, (Luke 15:10 says "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents. If they can rejoice over just one sinner that repenteth they really have more to rejoice over with this multitude of redeemed sinners who have found salvation through Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. This is one song they are able to join in on. Verse 12 The angels join in the worship saying blessing, praise, and wisdom, giving glory and thanksgiving to our God for ever and ever. All praise, all glory, all wisdom, all these things belong to God, they always have and always will. Verses 13-14 One of the elders comes over to John. He asks John who these clothed in the long white robes are and where they came from. This elder seems to think John ought to know who they are. But John says Sir Thou knowest. It is then that the elder tells John what he is witnessing. God is giving John a vision of things that are to happen in the future. The day would come when a numberless multitude would stand before God having just entered heaven. They would be the multitude that came out of the great tribulation. John see�s this multitude in heaven which mens that the antichrist has killed them, attempting to wipe every believe off the face of the earth. Daniel even predicted this terrible time of trouble. Daniel 12:1 & Matthew 24: 21-22, Revelation 13:15 During this great tribulation the government of the Antichrist will launch an all out attack against the followers of Christ. A believer will have to deny Christ or else by put to death. If you believe that the Christians of the church age have been raptured before the tribulation then these have to be the ones killed during the tribulation. Revelation 7, Verses 15-17 This multitude serve God continually, day and night. The temple spoken of here means the very presence of God. They have direct access into the presence of God anytime, any place. One commentary made this statement which I thought was interesting. It said they have become the fulfillment of what God wanted when He called Israel and then the Church to be a holy nation, a nation of king-priests for Him. Their position before the throne makes it clear that they have just as much eternal blessing as the believers of the other periods. Because God dwells in their midst and spreads his glory over the he will shelter and protect them. They will never have to be afraid of anything any-more. They will never tire, or become weary or need sleep. Praise the Lord for that. They will have all their physical needs met. They will no longer hunger or thirst. They will be protected from the sun & heat, and from their enemies. Verse 17 They will have their spiritual needs met. He will feed them and meet all their needs. They will have the leadership and of the Lord to guide them. He will give guidance and direction. Serving Christ, being directed and guided by Him, will be like drinking from the fountain of living water. The will have all sorrow wiped away from their eyes. God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. No more pain or hurt. Revelation 21:4 & Isaiah 49:10 Although it is impossible to say exactly what is meant by "wiping away all tears" Tim LaHaye makes this statement. I am inclined to believe it relates to removing our capacity to recall unpleasant things, including those eternally lost. If we could remember our loved one�s suffering the torments of hell, the joy of heaven would be extinguished unless God in His marvelous grace removed the capacity for suffering. This further points out the seriousness of man�s need of salvation and the blessings God has prepared for them that love Him. Men must choose individually to accept or reject Jesus Christ. Regardless of the time period in which a man lives, he must make his own choice. When man is willing to come to God by the blood of His Son, acknowledging his personal sin, then his filthy rags are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, & he is made white as snow. SALVATION ONLY in JESUS CHRIST, YESHUA MESSIAH Revelation 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the 4 corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000 (JEWS) sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat, for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
THIS IS THE JUDGMENT that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. GOD so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have Eternal LIFE. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-19
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