Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Revelation of Christ – Part 19: The 144,000 Sealed

The Revelation of Christ – Part 19:
The 144,000 Sealed
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

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The Book of Revelation, or the Revelation of Christ, is the most difficult book in the bible.

Because of this fact, many avoid it, or ignore it all together. Some fear lack of understanding, others afraid to misinterpret, which I guess it is better to avoid than dive in and get it completely wrong.

Many times, when a new believer comes to me for direction, they want to jump right into Revelation and find out what’s to come.

This is equivalent to deciding one day to learn Mandarin and sitting down to author a novel in Chinese that very same day.

Or, a kindergartener learning how to count, and then trying to calculate quantum mechanics calculations.

The words in Revelation have caused much debate on rapture, judgement, even some who claim John was writing about the events in his day in code rather than Jesus Christ revealing to him about the coming events and Judgment.

A special blessing is promised to those who read Revelation.

Although it may be a difficult book, we could all use a special blessing, reading this is good for us all, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will take the Revelation of Christ in small portions and gain understanding, little by little.


THE THINGS WHICH ARE – The Church Age (Age of Grace)
Part 3 – Ephesus The Backsliding Church

Part 4 – Smyrna The Steadfast Church
Part 5 – Pergamos The Immoral Church
Part 6 – Thyatira The Careless Pagan Church
Part 7 – Sardis The Spiritless Church
Part 8 – Philadelphia The Favored Church
Part 9 – Laodicea The Church God Hates

Part 10 – The Throne of God
Part 11 – The Scroll and Seven Seals
Part 12 – The Lamb is Worthy
Part 13 – The First Seal

Part 14 – The Second Seal
Part 15 – The Third Seal
Part 16 – The Fourth Seal
Part 17 – The Fifth Seal

Part 18 – The Sixth Seal

Part 19 – The 144,000 Sealed

Revelation 7:1-8
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

          I.      AFTER THESE THINGS I SAW
a.   Four angels standing at the four corners of the world
                                     i.   This is symbolic, since we know the earth is not flat and does not have four corners

                                    ii.   Isaiah 40:22 reveals to us in scripture that the world is round, and the authors inspired by God’s Spirit wrote about it at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested it in his book On the Heavens.

                                   iii.   By the way, it was another 2,000 years before Christopher Columbus was inspired by Scriptures to sail around the world at a time when “science” said the earth was flat.

                                   iv.   This is symbolic of covering the entire earth.

b.   Holding back the four winds
                                     i.   Of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on any sea or on any tree (vegetation).

                                    ii.   In Zechariah 6 when Zechariah had his vision of the four horses coming out from between the two mountains of bronze, he asked the angel showing him, “What are these, my lord?”

                                   iii.   And the angel said, “These are the four spirits (LIT: WIND) of heaven…”

                                   iv.   The “wind” is the four horsemen, who have “been given” power by God, but God has also sent four angels to hold back the “wind” or prevent the four horsemen from harming land, sea or tree (vegetation)

c.   Preventing any “wind” from blowing on the land, sea or tree (vegetation)
                                     i.   Why does God hold back the devastation of the horsemen He gave power to?

                                    ii.   We are about to see

a.   Having the seal of the living God

b.   He called in a loud voice to the four angels
                                     i.   Loud may mean “powerful” here, or with authority which he obviously has

c.   Do no harm to sea, land or vegetation UNTIL
                                     i.   “We put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

d.   The symbolic seal
                                     i.   God places a seal on those who are His
                                    ii.   This is a seal which is symbolic of the sprinkling of Christs blood
                                   iii.   Visible in the spiritual realm
                                   iv.   Liken to the mockery of the unholy trinity, 666, satan, the antichrist and the false prophet and their “symbol” or marking which is placed on those who belong to satan

1.   Scripture says it is received on the forehead and in the hand, which I believe is symbolic of the mind and deed

                                    v.   Those who are sealed with God’s seal have a “mind” like Christ, and deeds that reflect they are His.

1.   Just as those who receive the mark of the beast will have a “mind” like him, and deeds like his; (John 8:44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”)

                                   vi.   The seal of God – II Timothy 2:19 God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

e.   God Seals His own to protect them from the coming Judgment
                                     i.   God sealed the door of the ark to protect Noah and his family from the judgment upon earth

                                    ii.   God placed seals over the doors of His to protect them from the coming judgment upon Egypt

                                   iii.   God saved Lot and his family before judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah

                                   iv.   And now we see, God is sealing His before pouring out judgment upon the earth

a.   144,000 were sealed
                                     i.   12,000 from each tribe (except Dan who was excluded)
                                    ii.   Why was Dan excluded?

                                   iii.   The tribe of Dan as a whole was guilty of gross idolatry—even to the point of stealing the idols they used to practice their religion (Judges 18:14-31)

                                   iv.   Theirs was the first organized idolatry in ancient Israel, and the longest in duration. It continued "until the day of the captivity of the land," nearly 500 years later (Judges 18:30). Jewish tradition says that Dan was the first tribe to follow Jeroboam into his sin of idolatry, and in their literature, the term "Dan" is often used to represent idolatry.

b.   Could this be?
                                     i.   Right now there are 131,400,000 births per year
                                    ii.   144,000 is a drop in that bucket.

                                   iii.   Is this literal?
1.   Angels standing on the four corners of the earth – Symbolic of control over entire earth
2.   Holding back the four winds – symbolic of preventing the four horsemen of doing damage yet
3.   Seal on the forehead – symbolic of being sealed by God
4.   Is 144,000 literal?

                                   iv.   Probably not…nothing else in the verse is.

c.   Who is able to stand?
                                     i.   The question asked at the end of Revelation 6 after the 6 seals were opened (6 symbolizes man, human weakness, man created on 6th day, men are appointed 6 days of labor) the question asked is, “Who is able to stand?”

                                    ii.   Chapter 7 is answering this question

                                   iii.   Those who have God’s seal!

                                   iv.   They are sealed and will be protected from the coming judgment, just as God has done throughout man’s history.
So, if it’s not literal, but symbolic, 12,000 from 12 tribes must be symbolic of the number 12
22 occurrences of the number 12 in Revelation
12 is considered the perfect number
It symbolizes God’s power and authority
It is symbolic of the perfect governmental foundation (12 tribes, 12 disciples, 12 old testament elders on one side of the throne of God, 12 new testament elders on the other)
God specified 12 unleavened cakes of bread placed in the temple every week.
This must be symbolic of God’s power and authority during the Tribulation (i.e. do no harm to the oil and wine, the Holy Spirit is the oil, and salvation through Christ is the wine, which WILL take place during Tribulation as shown here!)
We are witnessing the sealing of Tribulation saints, the ONLY ones who are able to stand, because they are sealed by God!
Next week we look at the Tribulation Saints

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