Revelation 7:1-8 | The 144,000
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Behold | Sermons through the Revelation

Sermon #15 | Revelation 7:1-8 | The 144,000 | Dr. Randy White

Revelation 7:1-3 | The Call for the Sealing of the Servants of God

  • In the previous vision (ending in Rev. 6:17), the question was given, who shall be able to stand?
  • In answer to that question, John is shown another vision, which answers the question.
  • The vision of Revelation 7 is not chronological to chapter 6, but necessarily takes place either within or even prior to the events of chapter 6. Nothing of the tribulation is allowed until the servants are sealed.
  • The event of Matthew 24:31 is the gathering of the elect, and the elect are going to be revealed in Revelation 7.
  • The seal of the living God (v. 2) is evidently a visible seal (compare Rev. 9:4).

    Revelation 7:4-8 | The Identity of the Sealed

  • There is a fixed number of the sealed servants of God.
  • The text is clear that 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel are selected for the seal of God.
  • this section of scripture has been abused by many sections of Christianity, and by non-Christian cults, perhaps as much as any passage of scripture in all the Bible.
    • The words of the passage are so plain that any attempt to change their clear meaning can only be done by those who have an utter disregard for scripture.
    • It would be virtually impossible to have any kind of Christian fellowship with individuals and groups that do not interpret these words in their plain and simple meaning. If these words cannot be understood literally, then it is doubtful that any words in the scripture could be interpreted in such a way.
    • The 144,000 are not “all the redeemed.” Nor are they “all the citizens of New Jerusalem.” Nor are they “everyone whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Nor are they dozens of other made-up interpretations of man.
    • The 144,000 are those who are sealed with the seal of God on their forehead and are totally protected from the events of the tribulation.
  • It is notable that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are omitted from the list of 12.
    • To make the 12, the tribe of Levi and of Joseph are added.
    • The search for the reason for this has led to much speculation, but the simple answer is found in scripture.
      • Deuteronomy 29:18-21 is the starting point.
      • In Leviticus 24:10-16, we see a member of the tribe of Dan that is the first to experience this curse.
      • In Judges 18:2, 30-31 it is these two tribes that introduce idolatry into the land.
    • Are these two tribes written out of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants?
      • Absolutely not! See Ezekiel 48:1, 5.
      • God has given promises to all the tribes of Israel. He will (and must be) true to those promises.
      • The sealing is for protection through the tribulation. It says nothing about their future blessings and presence in the coming Kingdom.

        The Total Protection of those Sealed of God

  • Numbers 31 is a type of this protection.
    • Verses 1-5: 1,000 from each tribe are selected.
    • Verses 48-49: there lacketh not one man of us.
  • Psalm 91 is a description of this protection.
    • Psalm 91 has been abused about as often as Revelation 7.
    • Psalm 91 is a Psalm of TOTAL protection.
      • With all that takes place among the one described in the Psalm, in the end, there shall no evil befall thee (v. 10).
      • Is this Psalm hyperbole? Or “feel-good-ism?” If we apply it to ourselves, it has to be such (or simply a total lie).
    • Psalm 91 is to a specific audience, named in verse 1-2.
  • The events of the tribulation are so destructive that there is a chance that no Jew would survive without the protection of God. God provides this protection because He has promises to the Jews.
  • See Romans 11:29 – the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
  • You and I do not have the seal of God on our foreheads. We may experience sickness, plague, financial loss, humiliation, and even death. However, we do have a Blessed Assurance that our salvation is secure, because we are sealed with the Spirit.
KJV: Genesis 1