We are still looking at the sixth seal.
Yes, chapter six has ended; however, if the look, feel, and amount of information that we covered seems odd, that is because it is English speaking grammarians that have inserted the chapters, book titles, and assorted punctuation, not God.
We covered this information previously, but it is important to your understanding. The Revelation works on a pattern: There are six seals, bowls, and trumpets that indicate some form of God’s wrath being poured out upon the nations and Israel. The seventh occurrence of these seals, bowls, or trumpets; ALWAYS announces the next set of events to be poured out. For example, when we get to the seventh seal, it will be describing what happens under the next event – the bowl judgments. We DO NOT see the seventh seal opened until we get to Revelation 8:1, and we haven’t touched Revelation until now.
So what is next?
Revelation 7:1 NASB “After this I saw four angels standing at the four 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.”
Well, after the destruction we just read about, how bad could this be?
Actually, it is very bad. Lacking wind, evaporated waters will not move through the atmosphere, this will drastically increase surface temperatures globally. Rain will cease and bodies of water will dry up. This change in surface temperatures will cause a immense rise in temperatures near the equator and the polar ice caps will freeze solid. Ocean currents will be severely impacted, which will further change weather patterns. Famine is inevitable. With a lack of wind there will no further wind born seed dispersal, and pollination will cease. Bottom line, it means that life on earth cannot exist; and yet, we know from scripture that there will be those who walk into the millennial era. A bit of a bewilderment, but God is definitely in control.
We now begin to look at Revelation 7: 2 – 4 (or more.)
Revelation 7:2-4 NASB “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, (3) 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.” (4) And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:”
“And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun,”
End of page one.
This is not as puzzling as it seems. The NET translation puts it this way, “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east.” If you consider that the entirety of the Revelation and most of prophecy, is focused on the Middle East; then, “the East,” or “the rising of the sun,” merely represents the angel coming from an area East of Israel. I do not think it matters, but what is East of Israel? Saudi, Yemen, and a little bit of Egypt. Saudi is currently, thanks to the Abraham accords, an ally with Israel.
This angel is NOT Jesus.
“having the seal of the living God;”
Did you know that God has a seal?
Ephesians 1:13 [NASB] “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,”
So, we were sealed in Him when we believed, with the Holy Spirit, which came into you when you received Christ. This theme is also in the Old Testament, and is the basis for the New Testament gospel, as you see above.
Here, in Ezekiel, angels are dispatched to mark in the forehead, those who sigh and groan over the abominations in the city, while the others are struck down.
Ezekiel 9:1-5 [NASB] Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” (2) Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. (3) Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. (4) The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” (5) But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare.
In the book of Esther, it speaks of King Xerxes and how his signet ring was applied as a seal on documents that assured the salvation of the Jews in that region.
Esther 8:8 NLT “Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king’s name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king’s signet ring. But remember that whatever has already been written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can never be revoked.”
Certainly, there is an application to the idea that God will NEVER let us who have given ourselves to Him, escape out of His hand.
Do you think it is possible that Satan has stolen God’s ideas and plans? Absolutely.
“ the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea.”
Since we have already seen four angels turning off the winds of earth and the subsequent damage that does to the earth, then these are clearly the same four angels.
End of page two.
There is an association to the four angels in Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:30-31 [NASB] “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. (31) “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Jesus, in addressing the events that we find in Matthew 24, was speaking to Jewish disciples; and, He was speaking about events from a Jewish perspective. So when He says, “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY,” He is talking about His return after the seven-years of God’s wrath.
How do I know that?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 [NASB] (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
When He comes back, as he does in Revelation 1:7, and every eye sees Him, it will be for battle and He will be with the saints who will be dressed in white, and riding upon horses (Revelation 19:14.) But here in 1 Thessalonians 4, it says the Lord Himself will descend. No one on earth sees Him, and we will meet Him in the clouds.
Revelation 7:3 [NASB] 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.”
We are still dealing with the four angels who are destroying the earth.
From this verse, we can validate the global destruction of the earth and the food chain by stopping the winds. This global destruction will be so thorough that this angel we see in Revelation 7:1 is, at God’s request, stopping the four angels, momentarily, while they (?) mark those Jewish, male virgins that are to be sealed.
It is not clear who the “they” are. Since there is an uncountable quantity of angels in heaven, we might assume that the angels are the ones doing to sealing. Remember, it only took one angel to kill off the unprotected of Egypt on Passover night.
We get a detailed explanation of where these young Jewish men are coming from and their tribal names.
Revelation 7:4 [MKJV] And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousands, having been sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.
I used the MKJV as it clearly states that 144,000 will be saved, and that equal quantities will be drawn. This is defined as you read Revelation 7:5-8. I am not sure if the tribes are that important to me, but I give them to you.
Judah, 12,000; Reuben, 12,000; Gad, 12,000; Asher, 12,000; Naphtali, 12,000; Manasseh, 12,000; Simeon, 12,000; Levi, 12,000; Issachar, 12,000; Zebulun, 12,000; Joseph, 12,000; Benjamin, 12,000.
End of page 3.
Again, I remind you that we are still within the sixth seal.
Revelation 7:9 [NASB] 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;
This is the second time John sees the martyred in heaven; however, this time the number is uncountable.
Allow me to crack open a can of worms.
The Monday morning “bible study” teacher would say things like this: no Jews will enter the millennial reign, and neither will anyone who is not a Christian, that “so called” teacher is not alone in his belief. I have also been told that there are no Christians in the seven-years of God’s wrath. This is a deceptive and false teaching; so allow me a moment to explain why.
Start by asking the question, who goes up in the rapture of the church?
The standard, religious answer, is, the Christians. There are a couple of problems with this answer as many think they are Christians merely because they live in America, or, on occasion, sit in a church pew.
As for those who sit in church pews, Jesus threw a wrench in the gears of religious thought when he told the parable of the ten virgins.
Matthew 25:1-13 MKJV “Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. (4) But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. (10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. (11) Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. (13) Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.”
As virgins, they could easily be assumed to be meeting the religious standards for righteousness, and yet, out of the ten, only five made it into the wedding.
Why is that?
Because they did not have enough oil, they did not have enough oil because it wasn’t important enough to check or maintain that oil. The reasons behind that decision can be ascertained from the actions and reactions of the other virgins.
In talking about this over the last couple of years, I made the point that having run out of oil and knowing that there was nowhere to get more, I would have followed closely behind those that had the lights. Do we see any of those five without the oil doing that? No, and so another door of questions now opens.
I have found this scenario more relevant if I think about the digital flashlights most of us now own, as they work just fine until the power level gets low enough, and then they just quit. The wise person would change the batteries prior to needing them and then carry spare batteries. If you think about the process that all of them have gone through, we learn that they all took their lamps; and, they all arose and trimmed their lamps when the cry went out that the bridegroom comes. That trimming of the wicks may have only taken a few seconds, but we don’t see a mad rush.
End of page four.
What we do see is a demand from those without oil, and all five of them, in unison, proceed in their attempts to purchase oil. If the five wanted to be considered attentive, they would have checked the oil level at the beginning of this process and quickly purchased enough and more, assuming it was still daylight. Considering that this was a semi-rural environment, it would be close to impossible to find someone selling oil in the middle of the night.
This opens the door to a rather alarming assumption. The call to come to the waiting point must then be accompanied by the understanding that the call to the wedding could be at any minute, leaving no opportunity for last-minute preparations. All ten faced the anxiety of NOT knowing when the call would come, and they all faced the potential tedium of waiting. The fact that the invitation had come seems to indicate that the moment in which they would hear the call would be soon.
As I write this, I am reminded of the “Christian” brother who tried to humiliate me in a public meeting at church, about how, according to him, Jesus would not be coming for another forty years. Why do I bring this up? Because this man argued that we, as the church, have been waiting for over two-thousand-years, therefore, why should anything change now? His challenge proved that he did not know his Bible as well as he thought. Considering current prophetic conditions, I am convinced that we followers of Christ do not have another forty years left here on this earth.
To put this into a modern perspective, fifty percent – half the virgins invited, are somehow convinced that they are Christians; and, will, in all likelihood, be going through the time of wrath. Since, we as followers of Christ, ARE NOT DESTINED FOR WRATH, and this is precisely what the seven-year period is, how do you explain that when you get to Revelation 6:16, you find many trying to hide from “the wrath of the Lamb.” How fascinating that they understand what is going on while many so-called Christians do not.
So, if thinking you are a Christian does not make you one, then where do all these martyred saints, before the throne, come from?
In the chronology of the Revelation, we are currently at Revelation 7:9, where the 144,000 have been sealed and protected. The first that we see the martyred saints are in Revelation 6:9-11. None of these can be associated with the Church, as the Church is portrayed as the 24 elders. This definition is highly explainable, but let me point something out. John may not have known, until much later, that his conversation about the Revelation was with an elder, and therefore, fell at the elder’s feet to worship him. The elder responds with one piece of evidence proving that they, the elders, are believers.
Revelation 19:9-10 NASB (9) Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” (10) Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
If this elder was not a follower of Christ on earth, then he would have identified himself differently, but he did not. Instead he said, I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. There is NO DOUBT that many of the Church were martyred, but as believers, they were, in turn, caught up in the rapture as the dead in Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 MKJV “For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.”
Aside from a logical approach, there is the fact, that the elders can be identified by their attire and actions.
End of page 5.
So, NO, there are NO true believers that enter the seven-years of wrath, however, the martyred can be identified in other ways.
Revelation 6:4 NASB “And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.”
Although we have previously covered the second seal, there is a word here that previously escaped me, and it is the word slay. This was brought to my attention by Pastor Billy Crone, as he was interviewed on the Prophecy Watchers program. The word slay is the Greek word spházō and means to slaughter. It is used of animals killed in sacrifice; but Revelation 6:4 is NOT talking about something done to animals, it is talking about people slaughtering people. Pastor Crone said, it is also conveyed as the word butcher, and Thayer’s definitions substantiates that assertion. Suddenly Revelation 6:4 takes on a whole new meaning and has given light to how so many are now standing before the throne because they were slaughtered, for their testimony.
The word testimony is one that I previously covered.
Revelation 6:9 NASB “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;”
To use the phrase “the word of God,” certainly makes it seem as though they are “Christians.” Perhaps the time they spent warming a pew permitted some of God’s Word to permeate their thick skulls. Perhaps, it is the fact that God will lift the veil that has held many captive, and they will NOW see the truth that is in the Word. This tends to mandate that they grab a bible and start reading if they have time.
The Greek word that we used and translated as “the word of,” is the word logos. It means something said or implied during a discourse. The mere fact that you talked about God, Jesus, or what the word teaches and you subsequently believe will get you killed. But doesn’t it strike you odd that you could not be bothered with talking about God before the rapture, and now, here you are, prattling on, as I do, about this life in Christ?
With this sudden realization that you need to catch up, perhaps you could look up YouTube videos on what to do after the rapture. Just know this, the day will come when they will confiscate the bibles, shut down your internet channels, and butcher you because they think you are a “Christian.”
When you read something like Revelation 6:9, it sounds like they were all street preachers and got beheaded, but I do not think it is that intense. Consider this, the most vigorous push for people to deny Christ, take the mark, worship the image of the beast, and worship the beast, primarily happens 1260 days into the time of wrath. This also parallels the Antichrist’s actions, the introduction of the false prophet, and the remainder of Israel fleeing for their lives. Since we have NO clue as to what this “beast” looks like, it is difficult at best to try to tell you what to look for, but one thing is obvious, the slaughter of those who refuse to worship the “beast” will be an uncountable number.
Well, we made to Revelation chapter seven, verse eight, where God halts the outpouring of His wrath to preserve 144,000 Jewish males. Preserved means to protect from damage and to keep for future usage. What a fascinating concept. Could it be, at minimum, that these sealed Jews would be the basis for those who teach others about Shavuot – the feast of booths because He will make all nations come and bow before Him for seven days, as they participate in the feast? Please don’t ask me to explain it, as I am a clueless, adopted Gentile.
If you don’t know Jesus, you can. Ask Jesus into your life. He died on that cross for your sins so that you don’t have to carry the weight of them, and He was buried and rose again so that you can have this new life. He will seal you and one day soon welcome you into the kingdom.
Time is, just that short.