Temple Baptist Church - 11-29-2020
A. Chapter 7 begins with a parenthetical or interlude. It is the first of several found in the Book of the Revelation.
B. In Chapter 6, we saw the opening of seals 1-6. Seals 1-4 were the introduction of the Antichrist and setting up of his government of socialism.
C. The Fifth Seal was the martyrdom of those Tribulation Saints who stood for the Word of God and held to the Testimony of Christ.
D. The Sixth Seal was a display of God’s power over heaven and earth. Antichrist can only rule as God gives him liberty. God still controls both the heavens and the earth and places the fear of God in all mankind. Instead of repenting and turning to the Lord, they pray to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from “the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the Wrath of the Lamb.”
E. Amid the destruction and a never seen display of the glory of God’s power, Chapter 7 puts everything on hold for a while. The Sixth Seal has been opened but the Seventh Seal will not be opened until we get to Chapter 8:1.
F. The Seals Stayed – Chapter 7:1-3. The Constraint of the Seals.
1. Verse 1 – Four angels holding the winds of the earth. A great silence on earth. The calm before the storm! Not a breath of air stirs and, after the great earthquake and the shaking of the heavens, the silence is deafening. Wind in the Bible often refers to the judgment of God.
Hosea 13:15-16 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. (16) Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
(Here, the angels hold still the judgment of God upon this world until His servants are sealed.)
2. The world receives a reprieve.
Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
3. The world continues to refuse to repent. How many times have sinful people cried out in fear but, during a reprieve, continued down the same path? My mind goes back to 9-11-2001. People across our land flocked into churches because of fear but, when nothing else happened, the churches saw them stop coming to services. I think of Agag in the Old Testament:
1 Samuel 15:32-33 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. (33) And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
G. The Servants Sealed – Chapter 7:4-8.
1. Who are the 144,000? No, they are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult that claims that the 144,000 are “spiritual Jehovah’s Witnesses” and will be the only ones in heaven while the remainder of Jehovah’s Witnesses will inherit the earth.
2. These are 12,000 from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
a) The Gospel to the Jew First.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
b) Tribulation is to the Jew First.
Romans 2:8-9 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (9) Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
c) Glory, Honor, and Peace to the Jew First.
Romans 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
3. The names of the Twelve Tribes are not given in birth order.
a) Judah is mentioned first because it is out of this tribe that the Christ was born.
b) Dan is not mentioned, and I believe that it is clear why. It is probable that Antichrist will be of the Tribe of Dan and will judge Israel in the Tribulation Period or Jacob’s Trouble.
Genesis 49:16-17 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. (17) Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
c) Manasseh is mentioned but not Ephraim. In Judges, Chapter 18, 1 Kings 11:26, Ephraim went into idolatry. Jacob placed the blessing upon Ephraim, but Joseph took his place of blessing in the Book of Revelation. Ephraim and Manasseh were adopted by Jacob, giving Joseph a double portion.
Genesis 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
d) Ephraim’s sin came through Jeroboam, an Ephrathite.
1 Kings 11:26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
1 Kings 12:25-31 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. (26) And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: (27) If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. (28) Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (29) And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. (30) And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. (31) And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
1 Kings 14:16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.
Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
e) There is no reason given for their sealing in Chapter 7 but a further description of the 144,000 who were sealed will be given when we get to Revelation, Chapter 14.
f) What we do know is that they will be servants of God who will receive a seal in their foreheads.
1) These are sealed for Purpose.
Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
2) These are sealed for Protection.