Revelation 7:1-8 - Sealing of the 144,000

 

 1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

 5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,

   from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,

   from the tribe of Gad 12,000,

 6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,

   from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,

   from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,

 7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,

   from the tribe of Levi 12,000,

   from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,

 8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,

   from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,

   from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. 

Revelation 7:1-8

 

The Holy Spirit will blow on the earth, sea and trees creating the winds of strife.  Daniel 7:2; Ezekiel 37:9-10   The hot breath of the Holy Spirit delivers God's four sore judgments to the earth.  Ezekiel 14:21; Revelation 6:7-8      Is He angry?  I believe He is frustrated, but His love moves Him to chastise us with these judgments.  His hope is that through discipline, many hearts will return to Him.  Ezekiel 14:22-23  Of course, most hearts will only become harder through chastisements. 

The Days of Awe (Feast of Trumpets) begin when the winds of strife begin to blow.  It is not coincidental that the trumpet is a wind instrument.   The winds of strife are held back until the Spirit of God breathes a cool, refreshing, life-giving wind upon His own, the 144,000 prophets of God.  When the Spirit of God breathes upon the 144,000 they have the same experience Adam had when God breathed on him.  Adam woke up and the first thing he saw was God's face.  The face-to-face experience with God has been limited to a very few select individuals.  Adam, Moses and the 144,000 final day prophets each had or will have the experience of knowing God as an intimate, confiding friend.  Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10; Revelation 14:1-5

The apostles had an upper room experience after praying for ten days.  The Holy Spirit came in like a mighty rushing wind with fire and moved the apostles to go out and prophecy during a time of duress.  The 144,000 will have a similar but more intense experience.  The church has fallen asleep waiting as the bridegroom tarries.  However, the Spirit of God will wake them from their slumber, and those that receive the full measure of the Spirit of God will know God in a more intimate way than they ever imagined.  They will have an upper room experience after praying for thirty days during the time of preparation.  This is demonstrated by the month of Elul during the Jewish fall festivals.  The month of Elul is a thirty day period where Jewish family members ready their white garments in preparation for the Feast of Trumpets, also known as the Days of Awe.

Jesus prayed in the wilderness for forty days and nights for His people.  He prayed ten days for the apostles and he prayed thirty days for the end time prophets.  To say that the apostles had hardships is such a gross understatement.  However, the end times will be a tribulation like the world has never seen so Jesus prayed for this generation of believers three times as many days.

Armor up believers and remember that you fight for flesh and blood and not against it.  Remember Peter and recall that your weapon of choice is not with the sword of dismemberment, but the sword of the truth.  John 18:  10-11  Violence has no place in this battle since it is the devil's methods.  The earth has been in a spiritual war zone since shortly after the foundation of the world.  This is evidenced by the prevalence of war in various locations of our planet throughout the ages.  Christ is calling you to take your place in the last day line of defense promoting the Prince of Peace. It will require patient endurance from the saints to remember that vengeance is not ours.   Revelation 13:10 

Will we be raptured?  The rapture of the saints it sure, but the timing is greatly debated.  We will not be raptured to shelter us from the fray, but because we volunteered and therefore share in the victory.  Remember that God needs warriors and not worriers; however, I am witness of His willingness to work with even whiny warriors.  Keep in mind that the Israelites failed to enter the Promised Land because they feared the giants, but Joshua and Caleb believed God.  We must believe God.  Even Jesus said, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  John 17:15 

The winds of strife will not blow until God's servants the prophets are sealed in their foreheads by the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1:13; 4:30  Our ability to process information and reason is in the frontal lobes protected by the forehead. By design, our ability to reason separates us from the animals so our God invites only mankind to come and reason with Him. 

Varied information is housed in our brain, but the frontal lobes contain cognitive memory which defines our ability to make good decisions.  Cognitive memory is not fully developed until we reach the age of thirty.  Therefore, a Levite could not assume his priestly duties until he became thirty.  Even Christ, our great high priest, did not formally begin His earthly ministry until He became thirty.  Having the seal of the Living God in their foreheads indicates that they have come of age.  In their midst you may find a mere child, but the 144,000 are mature in the word.  

Each time God's people receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they prophesy.  1 Sam 10:1, 6, 9; Acts 2:1-4  The survivors of earth will fear because of the things that have come upon the earth and will wonder about these events.  The 144,000 prophets, placed throughout the earth, will begin to explain the current events and warn about the events that are still to come.

Their words should encourage the inhabitants of the world, but those that love this world and have no desire for the kingdom to come will not be comforted.  Instead they will be angry and look for a man-made solution believing it to be the better resolution.  It is natural for a man to want to protect his treasure and since they refuse to invest in the world to come, everything they have is here.  Therefore, they will do all in their power to preserve this planet and their place in it.  

In comparison, the prophets are pilgrims or sojourners passing through this world looking for a home.  Christ promised to prepare a place for us and we have waited for it.  It is our great desire for deliverance from earth instead of preservation of the planet putting the saints at odds with the rest of the world.  However, God has promised a new heaven and a new earth where only righteousness dwells, and it will come in the fullness of the times for those willing to wait.  

Some people wonder if the number 144,000 is a literal or figurative number. People are concerned that the 144,000 represent all the people that are going to heaven.  If it is true that this group is made up of prophets and there is an additional group consisting of a multitude of redeemed saints, than the question of the 144,000 being a literal or figurative number is not so pressing.  I realize that 144,000 literal prophets serving six billion plus people makes the 144,000 a small number relatively speaking, but God can do much with small numbers. 

Each time you see the list of the tribes of Israel in the bible it consists of 12 names; however, these names vary. Jacob had twelve sons that made up the twelve tribes, but he also adopted Joseph's two sons as his own so the list will sometimes include one or both of these sons.  In this list it is Dan and Ephraim (Joseph's younger son) that are not listed.  Joseph's other son Manassas is listed.  The absence of Dan and Ephraim in the list tells us quite a bit about the character of the 144,000.  It lets us know that they are not self-serving or idolatrous.

 

The 144,000 are chosen as prophets because they know their God and will not forsake Him.  Also, they actively encourage others to know God; therefore, they would never draw the people away from truth.  When Solomon died, the nation of Israel split into the northern and the southern kingdoms.  Rehoboam, the son of Solomon became king of the southern kingdom, but Jeroboam, the Emphraimite became king of the northern kingdom as God ordained it.  1 Kings 11:26-40  However, Jeroboam set up false and idolatrous worship in the northern kingdom because he was afraid he would lose his kingdom if the people went to Jerusalem to worship.  One of the main places that Jeroboam established idols and false worship was at Dan.  1 Kings 12:25-33  In the passages describing the 144,000 God is sending us a clear message that the 144,000 are clearly called to serve others even at the risk of hardship to their person.  Also, they worship God the Creator and not another.

 

It is interesting that only twelve tribes can be listed--not eleven, not thirteen, but only twelve.  Just like there had to be twelve apostles.  Acts 1:20-26  Many people read that the 144,000 are described as being of the twelve tribes and see this as proof that the church has been raptured.  The rapture has always been my favorite theory regarding the end time, but each time I think I can embrace this teaching I find that as I dig deeper into the word, it lacks depth so I have an interesting question.  There are only twelve gates to the new city Jerusalem and they each have a name of one of the tribes.  Rev 21:12  Which gate is for the church?  

 

Another thought provoking matter—which gate will Adam, Able, Seth, Noah, and even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob enter through since they do not have membership in one of the tribes?  The answer is that there is really only one gate preceding them all and it is Christ slain from the foundation of the world.  Those that enter in through Him are heirs to the kingdom through Christ which fulfills all the genealogical requirements to be an Israelite in God's family.  John 10:9 

 

Do you remember Nicodemus?  He was a Jew and a descendent of Abraham through Isaac--the promised son; but even Nicodemus had to be born again.  John 3:1-17  My point is that God considers believers that have been born again through the spirit as belonging to Christ and therefore, heirs to the promises made to Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Adam.  Since God is no respecter of persons, I think these people could potentially be from any tribe, nation, gender or age group.  However, the Jews have been chosen to be the protectors of the true revelations from God.  The descendants of Abraham received divine knowledge that has been passed from one generation to the other with very little variations.  Without this information the church will be confused about Godly matters because we adhere to so many of the traditions of men.

 

So what is the point of the 144,000 being represented by the tribes of Israel?   God has secret things that he longs to impart to His own as they come of age.  The people living at the end of the ages will have the greatest revelation because they will have the greatest tribulation.  That is why they have the seal of the living God in their foreheads or frontal lobes representing that God has given them profound understanding of ancient Mosaic teachings represented in Revelation as the utterances of the seven thunders.  Rev 10:1-4  John heard the seven thunders and was about to write it down, but God stopped Him from revealing the mysteries of the seven thunders.  These mysteries will be declared to everyone when the seventh trumpet sounds, but God's 144,000 servants, the prophets will know the mysteries of the seven thunders before the winds begin to blow or the first trumpet begins to sound.  It is their mission to receive and reveal the seven thunders before the seventh trumpet so the world will know God's foreknowledge was imparted to them which proves their testimony was true. 


Many Christian churches proudly proclaim that they are New Testament churches.  I can appreciate that; however, when Jesus said, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me John 5:38-40 he wasn't talking about the New Testament but the Old Testament or what some people call the Jewish scriptures.  In fact, when Jesus or the apostles quoted scriptures, they all came from the Jewish writings.  To better understand the mysterious language that is found in Revelation requires a diligent search of all the scriptures beginning with Genesis.  Everything about the Jewish religion commanded by God and delivered by Moses in the wilderness will become critical to your understanding of end time matters.  This includes the feasts and festivals.  Without an understanding of these things, a full understanding of the mysterious language in the Revelation of Jesus will continue to be veiled from the church. 

 

The 144,000 are prophesying servants that have been chosen and anointed by God to reveal His true character to the world during a time of duress known as the tribulation.  Revelation describes horrific conditions during the tribulation, but God does nothing without first revealing His plans to His servants the prophets before delivering chastisement.  Amos 3:7

 

As a result of the preaching and teaching of the 144,000 a great multitude will come out of a global religion referred to as Babylon by John the Revelator.  Revelation 18:4-5  This is the mercy of God throughout the generations that the faithfulness of a few will result in a harvest of many.  Romans 8:36  This is also the summation of the entire book of Revelation that God is merciful and not willing that any should perish so He sends one last altar call just before His arrival to prepare a multitude to meet Him.

 

The 144,000 are described in Rev 14:1-5 as virgins because they do not establish a relationship with Babylon, the harlot.  God's prophets know about her before the world sees her; therefore, they are never deceived or tempted by her and boldly proclaim to the world that Babylon is fallen.  The irony is that Babylon will be at its zenith when the prophets are proclaiming that she is fallen because while Babylon is very religious, she is blasphemous and has fallen far from the truth of the Word.  It is the role of the prophets to warn Earth's inhabitants of her fallen nature beneath her religious facade.  Come, and I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters.  Revelation 17-18

 

The 144,000 are the wise virgins mentioned in Matthew 25.  There were both wise and foolish virgins, but it is the wise that will enter into the kingdom of God.  Daniel said these wise individuals would be great lights in a dark place leading many to righteousness as the stars of Heaven.  Daniel 12:3  The wise 144,000 virgins will recognize Babylon's falling away from the truth while the leadership of this world embraces her teachings as divine will.  It will be the work of the 144,000 prophets to warn the world.  Some will listen, some will not.  Babylon's falling away from the truth is a predictor of her falling into demise and destruction at the coming of the Lord.   Come   

 

Events of the last days appear to include a great delusion during a time of increasing vulnerability.  Is it not merciful that God would send servants to warn us about the delusion?  Lovers of the truth will hear the warning in the message of the prophets while others disregard them.  The people that embrace Babylon will have the mark of the beast in their hand indicating that they willfully serve the beast, but the ones that have the mark on their forehead are deceived.  God desires to save us from our lack of knowledge so he has a people that will say, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.  Rev 14:7 

 

Rev 7:9-17 describes the redemption of the great multitude that come out of Babylon as a result of the preaching and teaching of the 144,000.  The salvation of these individuals is the express purpose of the tribulation of the last days.  God is patient and long-suffering and not willing that any should perish and this great multitude will include people loved by you and me.  In this group will be our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, spouses and other loved ones.  It is profound to know that the Father loves them even more.  For their sake, we must be willing to settle it in our hearts and minds to declare, "Not my will but thine."  Matthew 26:42   It is humbling to realize that even Jesus had to prayerfully submit His will to that of the Father.  Can we do any less?  If you agree, then please join me in a study of the great multitude as we
learn more. . .   It is  

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