“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 (144,000) of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
I find it interesting sometime AFTER the Rapture of the Believers (referred to in Revelation 4:1) but BEFORE God’s wrath on a sinful world is about to start with the soon coming tumultuous times of the Tribulation on earth (“hurting of the sea, the land and the trees”), John says a total of 144,000 from the tribes of the children of Israel (the Jews) will be “sealed”. This is very important! The Rapture will see ALL Believers, both those who have died previously believing in Christ AND those who are still alive and believe in Him, “snatched” away to Heaven in “…the twinkling of an eye.” Who are left remaining on the earth then will only be the unbelievers, including all Jews who DO NOT believe Jesus was their Messiah.
Although the Rapture will undoubtedly cause much consternation in the world because of the unbelievers who knew about the “claims” of the Rapture. Also, if they knew anything about the Last Days and still did not believe they may with anxiety be fearful of the following Tribulation period and be waiting for the really “bad” stuff to begin. For example, we know (and hopefully they will remember) in the First Half of the Tribulation (3 1/2 years after the Peace Treaty is signed with Israel and her neighbors) the 7 trumpets will be blown bringing hail and fire upon the earth; burning mountains upon the sea; wormwood upon the waters; etc. (Revelation 8:13, 9:1-4). But, these things which will severely hurt the world will not happen until God has first “sealed” the 144,000! As Jesus Himself said in Matthew 24:14 after answering the disciples questions concerning the events of the End Times:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Revelation 7:5-8 then goes on to explain the 144,000 will be comprised of 12,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel (the Jews). While there are some who disagree whether they are truly Jews, I can only go by what the Bible says!
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
They ARE NOT Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons or Muslims who all lay claim of their followers being of this group. The Bible does say these twelve tribes were the sons of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac; and, who was the grandson of Abraham with whom God had made the everlasting Abrahamic Covenant. This Covenant promised the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem to Abraham’s descendants as an eternal home. Basically, without these twelve sons there would be no Jews today! When Jacob called them to his deathbed he said in Genesis 49:1, “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which SHALL BEFALL YOU IN THE LAST DAYS (capitals mine).” Not on the day of his death BUT in the Last Days. So, who are his 12 sons? As outlined in Genesis 49 they are:
- Tribe of Judah
- Tribe of Reuben
- Tribe of Gad
- Tribe of Asher
- Tribe of Naphtali
- Tribe of Manasseh (who replaced Dan because of Dan’s evil ways )
- Tribe of Simeon
- Tribe of Levi
- Tribe of Issachar
- Tribe of Zebulun
- Tribe of Joseph
- Tribe of Benjamin
Therefore, we now know God will instruct His angels, who have been given the task of “hurting” the world during the Tribulation as part of His Wrath in the Last Days, to NOT start until He has first sealed 12,000 from each of the 12 sons of Jacob. Of course once they are “sealed” you have to imagine their calling and subsequent ministry will continue into the first half of the Tribulation period. Remember, once this happens the angels whose purpose from God is to “hurt” the world may then begin their task. So, why would He “seal” 144,000 non-Raptured, unbelieving Jews and for what purpose?
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb (Jesus) stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand (144,000), having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
We are told in God’s Mercy, He will give the world one last chance for redemption. You would think with the Believers now enjoying the Blessings of God in Heaven and NO Christians remaining on the earth there would be no way for those still on the earth to be redeemed. Who would be left to tell the unbelievers about Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice for their sins? But in God’s plan, He will “seal” and then send out these 144,000 (led by the two prophets I wrote about in What happens when these 2 guys come knocking on your door?) to evangelize the entire world. The result will be the largest Christian revival in the history of the world. Only those saved by the 144,000 Jews (who now believe in Jesus) and who survive the Tribulation will be able to eventually enter the 1,000 Millennium rule of Christ on earth after Armageddon. Yes, they will have to go through the trials of the 7 year Tribulation period and some will be beheaded for His Name BUT they will have something wonderful to look forward to!
How do we know ONLY the believers will enter the Millennium rule of Christ? Because in Revelation 19:20-21 at Armageddon we read:
“And the beast (the anti-christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. AND THE REMNANT (capitals mine – meaning the rest of the unbelieving world) were slain with the sword of him that sat on the horse (Jesus), which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
At Armageddon Jesus throws the anti-christ and false prophet ALIVE into a burning hell, while he slays ALL others (“the remnant”) who worshipped the anti-christ and took the mark of the beast. Their ultimate sentencing to hell for eternity will come later at the Great White Throne judgment AFTER the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ. It will be TOO LATE for those slain at Armageddon, slain BECAUSE they did not believe in Christ but instead followed the anti-christ. But, we are also told there will be a lot of people still ALIVE at His Coming who will spend the next 1,000 years with Christ here on earth.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, AND WHICH HAD NOT WORSHIPPED THE BEAST, NEITHER HIS IMAGE, NEITHER HAD RECEIVED HIS MARK UPON THEIR FOREHEADS, OR IN THEIR HANDS (capitals mine); and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
In God’s Ultimate Mercy and not wanting anyone to spend eternity in hell for their unrepentant sins, He holds off allowing His angels to “hurt the earth” before sending these 144,000 converted Jews, who now believe Jesus IS their long awaited Messiah, out into the entire world with the single goal of telling all the good news of Jesus’s sacrifice for THEIR sins. Remember, they will have already witnessed many millions of people “disappear” at the Rapture, a sign I am sure will help awaken them to what God previously Promised His believers.This will result in a tremendous revival of people who will then have to live through the Tribulation (or possibly die because of their faith) but if still alive, to repopulate the earth after Armageddon during Christ’s 1,000 year earthly rule. While none of us would want family or friends to have to go through the trials and tribulation of the last days IF they were not Raptured with us, we should at least take comfort knowing they will still have ONE LAST chance for eternal redemption! Part of my purpose in initially creating this blog was so we can all better understand what God has said in the Bible regarding the Last Days and hopefully, if we agree we are now in fact in those days, we can all “…therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you!