Last week we saw five reasons for the pause in pouring out the judgments on a sinful and rebellious world.
"And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel". Rev. 7:4 Verse 3 says, " We have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads".
A great number of new believers had been saved in the first half of the tribulation period, "a great multitude, which no man could number", Vs. :9. As we come to the mid-trib point a great change is about to occur, an event takes place which will trigger this change. We read about this event in Rev. 12:7-9, Satan and his demons are cast out of heaven. First he is cast out of heaven, and at the end of the trib. period he is cast down into hell.
Satan, through his man of sin, had been Israel's protector, he was using Israel to reestablish the temple worship, he did that in order to eventually set up his man,(Antichrist) in the temple, so that the world would worship him, and worshipping antichrist they would be worshipping Satan. Satan wants to be worshipped in place of God, but he also wants to worshipped in the very place God has been worshipped. Satan wants to actually replace God. Poor blind Satan.
Now Satan turns on Israel, Rev. 12:13, notice the rage of Satan against Israel, vs.12. Satan's plan 'B' now kicks in, if he can annihalate Israel, Christ can never come and reign over a redeemed and restored Israel as He promised to do, and Satan thinks he can defeat God in this way. so as Satan launches his program to eliminate the Jews, God now counters Satan as He has done through the ages. God's counter measure is to seal His 144,000 witnesses(evangelists) so that Satan can not touch them. As always God's program works, we see the 144,000 alive at the end of the tribulation period with Christ at His coming, they are standing on Mt. Zion with Christ, Rev.14:1.
One of the lessons we learn here is that God has a great purpose and program and that He will carry it out and He wiil use His servants to do it. I am so glad to have the priviledge of being God's servant. I am on the winning side!
Exactly how the seal will be affixed to their foreheads, we do not know. What the insignia will be we are not told. Notice, it was only Jews who were sealed. Great multitudes of gentiles were being saved, and martyred, but it was only Jews who were sealed, thus having their lives spared. Was that fair? It had nothing to do with fairness, it had everything to do with God's purposes. Actually, it seems the eternal reward of the martyrs may exceed the reward of the 144,000?
Notice who the 144,000 are, they are members of the 12 tribes of Israel. The 12 tribes of Israel were not lost, God knows who they are. At this point, before Israel is restored to the kingdom the tribes are restored. The kingdom was promised to the tribes. Not only will 144,000 preach to Israel, they wiil also no doubt play an important leadership role in the kingdom. How clearly God's program for Israel is unfolding in the book of Revelation.
Strange how some believers can say that God is finished with Israel? One of the most serious errors of the church is the spiritualizing of the promises of God to Israel and ascribing them to the church. They claim the blessings but they leave the curses with Israel. Over the years the church has been just as unfaithful to God as Israel was. Thank God he has not cast the church away, even those faithless ones, both in Israel and the church will not inherit the promises.
RULE OF INTERPRETATION...God says what He means and He means what He says. We do find types and figures of speech in the scriptures as we do in all literature. When symbols and figures of speech are present it is easy to recognize them. God has given His Word so that even a child can understand it, it is given for our understanding, not for our imagining and spiritualizing what it might mean.
The sealing of the 144,000 is simply God remembering His covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God wil not allow their annihalation!