Today the gospel is being preached all over the world. Some preaching in secret because of where they live, and some in the open. The world has repeatedly heard the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and yet following the Rapture of the Church, there will be multitudes who will go through the Great Tribulation because they rejected the gospel of Christ. Even then and during that time the gospel will be preached and some will still reject Christ.
Verse 1 – After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
First, we know that the earth is round, but the winds are in the directions of north, south, east, and west. The angels will be standing at the four points of the compass. Without these angels holding back the winds, the airborne plagues from the previous seals would spread around the world.
This verse is only one, which proves for all the “nay sayers,” God Almighty controls the weather.
Verse 2 – Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea,
Verse 3 – saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
God’s angels have different ranks, duties, and assignments and this angel, though not named, has authority over the other four angels. These four angels are commanded by this “fifth” angel to hold back their destruction until God’s servants are sealed. This “mark,” seal, will be seen by others signifying they belong to God.
Verse 4 – And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
Verse 5 – of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
Verse 6 – of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
Verse 7 – of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
Verse 8 – of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed;
Yes, there are twelve tribes of Israel, but two mentioned were not of the original. Dan and Ephraim are left out during the Tribulation Period because these two tribes were guilty of idolatry, thus disqualifying them in the end times. They are replaced with the tribe of priests, Levi, and the tribe of Joseph. Joseph was Ephraim’s father.
This is a literal account of who the 144,000 will be. It excludes the Gentiles. Still there are some who will spiritualize who these are. For instance, the Jehovah’s Witness, believe this refers to 144,000 of their members. However, this verse clearly states they will come from the twelve tribes of Israel, which means they are Jews by birth. They will not bow the knee to the Antichrist!
Verse 9 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one can number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
After the 144,000 are sealed, the Antichrist and False Prophet will be furious because these 144,000 will be spreading the gospel and multitudes will believe. They will be martyred for their faith. These standing before the throne, wearing white robes, representing the righteousness of Jesus, will be in God’s presence, safe and sound.
Verse 10 – and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Verse 11 – And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Verse 12 – saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Do you look for opportunities to praise God? Some people have no idea what is taking place in heaven when a person accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior. These verses show us that the joy is overwhelming even to the angels, to be able to praise the Creator of all!
Verse 13 – Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
This elder knows who these in white robes are, but wants to make sure everyone knows.
Verse 14 – And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
I heard a preacher once say that during the Tribulation Period, no one will be saved because when the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be taken from the earth. I guess he didn’t finish reading the book!
These verses also give us an idea of what had been taking place when the 144,000 preached the “Blood of the Lamb”message. People were saved!
Verse 15 – “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
During the Tribulation Period, when people are saved, because of either starving, dying of disease, or being murdered, they will suddenly be in an instant of death, find themselves in the throne room of God, face-to-face with Jesus, surrounded by angels, clothed in white robes, protected by God!
Verse 16 – They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
Verse 17 – “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
These saints that are saved during the Tribulation Period had done a great deal of weeping. They faced starvation, thirst, be-headings, and loss of loved ones. However, our might God, who is full of love and compassion, wipes away every tear!