144,000 Sealed. The Great Multitude in White Robes. Revelation 7:1-17

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1 ,000 Sealed The Great Multitude in White Robes Revelation 7:1-17.

2 2 Text: Revelation 7:1-17, 144,000 Sealed The Great Multitude in White Robes 1. And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

3 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12. Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (AKJV) Introduction: I. Chapter 6 ends with the question, Who is able to stand? A. How can anyone stand before the monumental judgment scene of 6:12-16? 1. Revelation 6:12-16, And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when

4 4 she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (AKJV) 2. Of course no one can! 3. However, in chapter 7, some do! 4. Who are these who can stand that judgment scene but those who have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb? B. Chapter 7 is often interpreted as an interlude. C. In chapter 6, the first six seals are opened. 1. One would expect the seventh seal to follow closely behind the sixth, but the seventh seal is not opened until chapter Chapter 6 asks the question and chapter 7 answers it. II. David Roper has a good section on the time frame of the occurrences in Chapter 7. A. Chapter 7 follows chronologically the events in chapter 6 or does the interlude bring to light something that occurred beforehand?

5 5 B. David Roper argues for the latter (see his introduction in chapter 7). Commentary: The Angels of God Revelation 7:1-8, And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (AKJV) I. The Four Angels:... A. Standing at the four corners of the earth. This is accommodative language that only a misguided person will abuse.

6 Isaiah 11:12, And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (AKJV) 2. Ezekiel 7:2, Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. (AKJV) 3. Matthew 24:31, And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (AKJV) B. Holding back the four winds. These winds have been destructive winds. 1. Zechariah 6:5, And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the LORD of all the earth. (AKJV) II. Another Angel:... A. The Seal of the Living God. 1. He ascended from the east. 2. The significance of the east in Jewish thought is that God s glory came from that direction. a. Paradise was set in the east. i. Genesis 2:8, And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (AKJV)

7 7 b. The glory of God came to the Temple from the east. i. Ezekiel 43:2, And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (AKJV) c. The Messiah was expected to come from the east (Roper, p. 295), hence our burial patterns. B. Those Who Were Sealed. 1. The significance of being sealed. a. To verify ownership. b. To assure genuineness. c. To protect the contents. 2. Christians are not protected from trouble, but rather they are protected as they go through it (Roper, p. 299). The mark of the beast would protect those who receive it from the wrath of Rome, but the seal of God would protect those who receive it from the wrath of God. a. Revelation 13:16, And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (AKJV) 3. The 144,000 refer to Christians. a. John wrote (not authored) the Revelation to Christians.

8 8 i. Revelation 1:1, 5, 20, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (AKJV) ii. Revelation 7:3, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (AKJV) b. The number 144,000 represents all Christians who are still on earth. i. Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (AKJV) c. The symbolism of the Jewish tribes is compatible with what else is said in the Revelation. d. The church is the spiritual Israel.

9 9 i. Romans 9:6, Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (AKJV) e. And the church is fulfilling God s original purpose for Israel. i. 1 Peter 2:9, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; (AKJV) C. What follows is a scene in heaven. David Roper said: The 144,000 thus represent God s people before the battle, while the vast multitude represents God s victorious people after the battle. (p. 307) 1. The church is militant.... The church is triumphant. 2. Christians are being rescued.... Christians are being rewarded. 3. Present security.... Ultimate salvation. The Great Tribulation Revelation 7:9-17, After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and

10 10 power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (AKJV) I. Those Before the Throne:... A. A great multitude, which no one could number. 1. Premillennialists insist upon the literal application of the 144,000 and the 12 tribes, though they struggle with two original tribes being excluded. 2. Premillennialists say this great multitude must be non- Jews who were converted at the preaching of the Jews (144,000). 3. Premillennialists bemoan what they call mental gymnastics at spiritualizing the text when it should, they understand, be understood as literal. Is Jesus actually a fourlegged animal (lamb)! B. Clothed in white robes. Those clothed in white robes would be those victorious over this world s threats. 1. Revelation 3:4, 5, 18, Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that

11 11 overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (AKJV) C. Praising God. 1. Salvation belongs to God and the Lamb. 2. ALL created beings fell before the two and sang. 3. Similar words to Revelation 5:12, Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (AKJV) II. John s Uncertainty. A. A question asked by one of the elders: Who are those clothed in white robes? B. The same elder answered: The great tribulation. 1. A favorite of the premillennialist. This great tribulation is interpreted as the entire 7-year period of tribulation after the church has been raptured (Biblically-Inept, p.112). 2. What is this great tribulation? It is the one John was already in! However, they attempt to make a distinction. The article that precedes tribulation here also precedes tribulation there. This will be neutralized by the word great, thereby making a distinction between the two.

12 12 a. Revelation 1:9, I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (AKJV) 3. Translation: III. In the presence of God: 1. A.T. Robertson said: Present middle participle with the idea of continued repetition. The martyrs are still arriving from the scene of the great tribulation (Charles). The point of this is that from the tribulation, saints are continually coming. 2. Charles Williams translates: These are the people who are coming through the great persecution... A. Hebrews 4:9, There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (AKJV) B. Those who have rest from their work will be before the throne of God day and night, serving Him in His temple. C. The physical burdens of man will be no more. D. The spiritual blessings of God will be enjoyed eternally.

13 13 Questions Revelation 7: The earth is round. How can it be said in 7:1 that four angels stood at the four corners of the earth? 2. Another came up from the having the of the. He called out in a to the who had been given to the and the : Do not the or the or the until we put a on the of the of our. (NIV) 3. How many servants of God were sealed? From where did these servants of God come?

14 Why were no servants of God sealed from the tribe of Dan in Revelation 7:5-8? 5. A great that no one could from every,, and stood before the and in of the. They were wearing and were holding in their. (NIV) 6. What do the white robes signify? Who were those in white robes? 7. How could those people serve God day and night in his temple? Remember the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and Revelation was not written until much later.

15 Never again will they ; never again will they. The will not beat upon them, nor any. For the at the center of the will be their ; he will lead them to of. And, will wipe away every from their eyes. (NIV). 9. What is the answer to the question, Who is able to stand? 10. What is the significance of being sealed? 11. The were of all the of the of. The were of all,,, and. 12. What is the the great tribulation of which Revelation 7:14 speaks?

16 Those who have from their will be before the of and serving him in his. 14. The of man will be no more. The of God will be eternally. 15. What does Zechariah 6:1-8 say? How are Zechariah 6:1-8 and Revelation 7:3 related?

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