CHAPTER 7 | Verses 1-8

There are two events that happen before the wrath of God falls: 

1. A sealing of the 12 tribes of Israel. God has not forsaken, or replaced, Israel. The 2nd coming of Yeshua (not to be confused with the rapture, which happens a period of time before Messiah’s 2nd coming) will only happen when Israel repents and comes to faith in Him. (Matthew 23v37-39) 

2. The rapture. [This only takes place after a falling away (apostasy) occurs, and the man of lawlessness (antichrist) is revealed – he who is against the commandments of God. He will go into the Holy of Holies and announce that he is God – this is called ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ (2 Thessalonians 2v1-4, Matthew 24v15, Daniel 9v27)] 

Verse 1: “And after these things I saw four angels standing in the four corners of the Earth and they stopped the four winds of the Earth so that the wind would not blow upon the earth, or the sea or on any tree.” Four is a global number. God’s wrath will affect the whole world. This wind is the wind of God’s wrath. 

Verse 2: “And I looked and saw another angel, going up from the east, and in his hand he had the seal of the Living God. He called, with a great voice, to the four angels – that was given unto them to harm the earth and the sea – saying:” There is a Biblical relationship between the east and God’s judgement (Exodus 10v13, Psalm 48v7, Jonah 4v8 etc.). 

The seal, that this angel has, is a seal that marks ownership or shows possession. There are paradigms in Scripture. God uses a truth/image of things that happened in the past and applies it to bring wisdom and understanding into a new Scriptural context. 

For example, when Cain killed Abel a mark was placed upon Cain, in order that no one could kill him (Genesis 4v13-16). Cain was not righteous. He had not done anything to merit this mark of protection. He was given it because of the kindness and mercy of God. In much the same way, in God’s providence and sovereignty, He created and called Israel, and still has a plan and a purpose for her (see Romans 11v25-32). The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Verse 3: “’Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.’” This angel’s unique proclamation delays God’s wrath from coming upon the globe immediately. The wrath of God will only fall after a sealing of His people, upon their foreheads, has occurred. This sealing protects them from the wrath of God, but not from the persecution that will originate from the antichrist and his empire. God used His judgements in Exodus and, similarly, He is going to use them, in the last days, to bring Israel back into a right, new covenant, relationship with Him. When Israel went out of Egypt they took a mixed multitude with them (Exodus 12v38). In the same way, there is going to be a remnant of the nations that are brought to faith in the God of Israel and Messiah Yeshua.

Verse 4: “I heard the number of those sealed: 144 000. Sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:” There are a few major interpretations of the 144 000. 1. This number can be taken literally. i.e. a literal 144 000 people, from the 12 tribes of Israel, are sealed. They are going to be used by God to evangelize (primarily to the Jewish people) during the tribulation. 42 2. 

Some people say it is not a remnant of the Jewish people (i.e. a small amount), but it is the Jewish people, as a nation, who God is going to preserve – as His wrath and judgement falls upon the world. (i.e. 144 000 is a figurative number standing for a collective sealing of the whole of Israel – The problem with this view is that when the 144 000 are mentioned, in Revelation 14, such an interpretation becomes problematic and most are forced to spiritualize the information in this chapter) 3. 

The 144 000 in chapter 7 do not refer to the same, identical people as in chapter 14. (We will deal further with this in chapter 14) For the purpose of this study we are going to view the 144 000, in chapter 7, as relating to the tribes of Israel in a general sense (i.e. The Jewish people who will be alive on earth during the final 7 years.) The seal shows God’s protection and recognition of Israel as His covenant people. The gospel will be proclaimed to them through the two witnesses and ultimately at the Second Coming of Yeshua. 

Verse 5: “12 000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12 000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12 000 from the tribe of Gad.”


Verse 6: “12 000 from the tribe of Asher, 12 000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12 000 from the tribe of Manasseh.” 

Verse 7: “12 000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12 000 from the tribe of Levi, 12 000 from the tribe of Issachar.” 

Verse 8: “12 000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12 000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12 000 from the tribe of Benjamin.” In relation to the 144 000 this is what we know with certainty so far: 

1. We are dealing with 12 tribes, but there are some changes. The 1st tribe mentioned is Judah, instead of the ‘firstborn’ Reuben. Judah will have leadership and pre-eminence of the tribes in the last days. (Genesis 49v10) 43 2. 

The tribe of Dan is left out of this accounting. When the tribes received their allotments of land as inheritance, Dan was given the territory by the Philistines. He rebelled against this and went up into the North of Israel in order to take a land that he considered better and easier for him to conquer. (Joshua 19v40-48, Judges 18v1- 

2) He was not committed to God’s inheritance or purposes and so many believe that that is why he is not mentioned here. 

3. Manasseh, Josephs firstborn son (Genesis 48v14), is mentioned in this sealing. Ephraim, the 2nd son, had received Jacob’s special blessing. In the Kingdom there is going to be a transition back to what God had always intended. 

A correct ordering. *God has sealed Israel for the purpose of redemption, and to be used mightily in the last days. The “time of Jacob’s trouble” (spoken of in Jeremiah 30v7) happens at a parallel time to God’s wrath falling upon the world. Without the seal of God upon them, the children of Israel would not survive. 

For God to be faithful to His Word, there is going to be a remnant from the house of Israel used by God in the last days. (Zechariah 8 v23 – the hem of the robe/fringe garment represents the commandments of God) The testimony, of many Gentile people taking hold of this robe, will show the desire of many in the nations to serve and obey the God who first revealed Himself to the Jewish people. 

We are not saved by our obedience, but we are saved to obey and submit to God. This picture, of one Jew bringing ten Gentiles into the Kingdom of God, reveals to us that He has a purpose for His people in the last days.


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