In Rev.6, one finds a description of the events of the 70th week of
Daniel, from its inception at the signing of the covenant of apostasy(Dan.9:27), till The Day Of The Lord is about to commence after the breaking of the sixth seal( Rev.6:15-17). It chronicles the events of the first three and one-half years, the beginning of sorrows or the beginning birth pangs(Rev.6:1-6), from the emergence of the false Christ( first seal: Rev.6:1-2), through wars, commotions and rumors of wars(second seal: Rev.6:3-4), to famines, pestilences, and earthquakes( Rev.6:5,6).
Precisely at the midpoint of the 70th seven, the fourth seal is broken, and the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist begins(Rev.6:7-8). It is initiated in the middle of the 70th week by the revelation of the man of sin(2 Thess.2:3,4), the antiMessiah, and the abomination that make the desolate(Matt.24:15). At the breaking of the fifth seal, martyrs under the altar of incense of the Temple in heaven are revealed(Rev.6:9-11). The fifth seal is an heavenly scene, a reflection of the killing of the faithful saints taking place here on earth at the breaking of the fourth seal. The fifth seal does not necessarily advance the chronology of events on earth, but is concurrent with the fourth seal. The souls of the martyred saints here on earth are arriving in heaven. These are faithful saints who are killed for their refusal to capitulate to the authority of the antiMessiah by taking his mark of allegiance. Their souls are keptunder the altar in heaven where they cry out to God for vengeance, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on the that dwell on earth?”(Rev.6:10). There is a complement of the saints to be martyred. When that complement is full, God will
put a stop to the mayhem going on under the rulership of the
At the breaking of the sixth seal, there is cosmocelestial disturbance which is preludial to The Day Of The Lord(Rev.6:12-14). With the cosmic disturbance, God serves notice to the living wicked earth-dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the Dragen-beast that He is about to punish them for theirs evils. At this juncture, the atheists, the evolutionists, the humanists, the false philosophers, the wise men of this age, all the great men, and the mighty men, the high and the low, the poor and the rich, all the kings and nobles as well as peasants shall hide themselves in the caves and the rocks of the mountains, and they shall call on the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them and hide from the glory of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. The humanistic evolutionist will suddenly realize that evolution is a scientific sham, that man was created by God who demands morals of all men. In their consternation, they shall scurry to the caves and the mountains which shall offer
them no protection. The reason for their consternation is that God is about to pour out His wrath on them for their evils: “For the Great Day Of His Wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”(Rev.6:17).
God’s wrath begins with the breaking of the seventh seal. In Rev.8, the seventh seal is broken: ”And when He had broken the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets(Rev.8:1-2). The reason for the silence in heaven is the solemnity and awesomeness of the wrath of God. It is so awesome that heaven can only observe in silence. The prophet Zephaniah prophesied saying, ”Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bidden his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s
sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children,
and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second , and a great crashing from the hills. Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will He do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards , but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteneth, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced
cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon
men, that they shall work like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of them that dwell in the land.”(Zeph.1:7-18).
The whole earth is commanded to keep silence because The Day Of The Lord draws near, and the Lord has prepared a sacrifice for the fowls of the heavens. As touching the sacrifice, the word of God is precise; men are not left in doubt: it is God’s judgment of the nations. The prophet Isaiah added his voice to the proclamation, ”Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world and the things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in the heaven, : behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse to judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with
blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and
goats, with the fat of the kidneys of Rams: for the LORD hath a
sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea…… For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.”(Is.34:1-8).
At the breaking of the sixth seal in Rev.6, and the attendant
celestial disturbances, God’s wrath is about to be poured out on theliving wicked earth-dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the
Dragon-Beast. At the breaking of the seventh seal in Rev.8, God’s
wrath begins to be poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. Between the warning of the outpouring of God’s wrath in Rev.6, and the actual outpouring in Rev.8, is sandwiched Rev.7. In Rev.7, two events of paramount importance occur. The one is the sealing of the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel(Rev.7:1-8), the other is the appearance in heaven of a great multitude which no one could number(Rev.7:9-17). The questions asked are who are these two distinct groups? Who do they represent? And why do they appear at this time?
In Rev.7, John the revelator saw four angels, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. Before these four avenging angels could carry out their duty, another superior angel who emerged from the east, with the seal of the living God commanded them to hold action, saying, ”Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God on their four heads(Rev.7:2-3). Angels
are the messengers of God. Inasmuch as it is God’s wrath to be poured out, it is appropriate the angels of God will be employed(2 Thess.7-8). No angels were employed in the execution of the first five seals which represent man’s ultimate rebellion against God. The identity of the superior angel is debated amongst biblical scholars. Some identify him with archangel Michael, the warrior angel of God that standeth for His people, the children of Israel, and the believers in the Messiah of Israel( Dan.12:1). Some identify him with archangel Gabriel, the bringer of God news( Luk.1:26). Both of these archangels have guardian reletionship to Israel and the believers in the Messiah. The identity of this angel is not particularly relevant to this study.
This angel, whoever he may be, was sent to delay the outpouring of God’s wrath till God’s servants, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel were sealed with the seal of the Living God. There are some biblical scholars, especially of the Pretribulation persuasion who teach that Rev.7 is parenthetical, looking back to the earlier events. But it cannot be demonstrated that it is the seals which hurt the earth, sea, and trees, but the trumpet judgments of Rev.8:7-11.
In Rev.14, this group of 144, 000 are said to have the ” Father’s namewritten on their foreheads”(Rev.14:1). Seals are for protection. They stand for ownership. They are also for the purpose of authenticity and legalization. Shortly before the rapture takes place, these Jews are brought into a saving relationship with the God of Israel. The church is about to be raptured, taken out of the earth as
it were. God will not leave Himself without a witness on earth. Since they belong to God, they must be sealed to protect them from the wrath of God which is about to be poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers, adorers, and worshippers of the antiMessiah.
They are sealed on their foreheads in contrast to the worshippers of the antiMessiah who receive their mark of allegiance on the right hand and forehead(Rev.13:16). The seal of the antiMessiah indicates ownership and protection by the antiChrist. The 144,000 are redeemed from the earth(Rev.14:3). They are not defiled with women, for they are virgins(Rev.14:4). This could mean that they never ever engaged in sexual intercourse with women at all in their entire life or they were celibates in their separation unto God(2 Cor.11:2), though they may have have had sexual intercourse with women earlier on in their life prior to their dedication. Perhaps more appropriately, they did not succumb to the enticement to worship the antiMessiah(Rev.13:15; Is.57:3-4,8). This may be the intended meaning since those who took the mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah are said to have committed, and were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
”And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiest of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF
The 144, 000 are ” the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb”(Rev.14:). They are the forerunner of a host of the children of Israel who survive the great tribulation by the antiMessiah, and came to a saving knowledge of the Lord prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God. There are those who proclaim they are evangelists, but this claim cannot be scripturally sustained. They were in hiding during the great persecution by the antiMessiah. They were not sealed till after the cosmic distances of Rev.6:12-14( sixth seal), prior to the breaking of the seventh seal which mark the commencement of the outpouring of the wrath of God. No where in the entire Scriptures are they declared evangelists. They must needs be saved, would they save others?