|-- INTERLUDE ON WHO WILL BE SAVED --
|SAVED MULTITUDES DURING TRIB
(OUT OF ISRAEL)
7: This chapter tells of the relationship of the activities with Israel. It also deals with other activities apart from the seals of chapter 6. Some commentaries call these interludes "parenthetical visions". That use is effective if one wishes to give further information in parentheses. God often interupts the chronological process of scripture with some scripture that might explain something that is concurrently going on. Chapters 7, 10-14, and 17-18 are those chapters of scripture. Chapter 7 will show that others will be saved. While experiencing the wrath of God, He remembers on certain persons mercy. In verses 1-8 God deals with the saving of Israel. Of sigificance is the obvious location of the Jews. They are still on the earth. Verses 9-17 seem to change John's location of sight to heaven.
v1: "After these things" tells us there is a connection to the previous chapter. However, since one would expect the seventh seal, there must be something that God is trying to expound on before going further.
This show the symbology of Revelation. John "sees" the four angels. This is the representation of total control of God from all directions (north, south, east, and west). Four angels are standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth. The four angels represent God's host (army) holding back the four winds. The four winds represent the problems the earth is experiencing in the wrath of God from every direction. So it appears that God is halting (having the angels prevent) further wrath for a period of time. The "winds" are not to blow on the earth or sea. The tree being mentioned refers to dead stillness such as to not rustle a leaf. There is dead still on the earth because God is stopping all action.
vs2-3: An angel from the east seems to rise out of the rising sun. This angel may very well be Jesus. There are references to Jesus as a Sunrise to shine upon us ( ). Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesies about Jesus while John is but a baby getting circumcised. This mighty angel or Jesus cries out to the four angels holding the four corners.
It is decreed not to hurt anybody or anything until God and others (scripture says "we") have marked or sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. Who are these to be selected and what does the marking mean?(Ezek. 9:4).
vs4-8: In Revelation, there are a multitude of symbols. Numbers, however, are treated differently. When a number is used with "days", "times", or other similar items, the number may be for direction or emphasis. However, otherwise, numbers should be taken literally.
Numbers are very important in the BIble. God knows the number of hairs on our heads. The study of numerology in the Bible is very intense and is a course in itself. The number with multipliers and divisors are used. You can recall that the numbers 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 12, and 40 are just a few of the "standard" numbers. The number one represents unity; a number that is not divisible and not made up of other numbers. In most cases it refers to the one and only God. The number two adds one more or another. The number can be related to good opposed to evil or evil opposed to good, depending on the context used. The number three you probably can guess. It signifies perfection. In the Bible, three represents divine perfection (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The number seven denotes spiritual perfection. As an exercise, think of the number of things that come in sevens and what they might represent. The number ten denotes Divine order perfection (10 commandments, tithes, Lord's Prayer has 10 clauses, 10 plagues, 10 nations, 10 trials or tests of Abraham, etc.).Twelve is considered a perfect number signifying perfect organization. Recall that Jesus had 12 apostles. A study was made some years ago to find ideal sizes of departments and the number of people managers should lead. The number of 12 was the ideal number of workers. Anything less could lose efficiency; anything more is not manageable. The number forty denotes a period of probabion, trial ,a d chastisement (not judgment). Look at the Israelites wondering in the wilderness for 40 years, Moses on the mountain for 40 days, Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days, Jesus was on the earth after His resurrection for 40 days, etc.).
Iin this verse, the number of 144,000 is exact. It is a multiple of the number 12. The number tells us that there are 144,000 people to be marked or sealed. These people are Jews representing the twelve tribes of Israel. There is an equal division of Jews represented in the marked people (12,000 from the 12 tribes- Judah, Reuben, Gad, Ahser, Hephtall, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, lssachar, Zagulon, Joseph, and Benjamin). Since God does not waste words, there had to be a reason why each tribe was mentioned in the detail of these verses. It is apparent that God wanted to be very explicit about the people and the distribution of the people.
If you compare the 12 tribes designated in the Bible as the sons of Jacob (Israel), there are differences. Dan is not mentioned. The tribe of Levi is mentioned, although, sometimes in the listings in the Bible Levi is left out because of its status of priests and caretakers of the temple (they did not partake of the golden calf activities). They have no inheritance in Israel. Joseph replaces Ephraim. It appears that since Ephraim and Dan were principal promoters of idolatry, they were left out of this enumeration.
There are some persons that think, because the number is such a round number, it may well be just a large number. However, most feel the numerology indicates a perfectly divided number of people. The sealing or marking is something that will be in the foreheads of these people for identification. These people will not be able to die because they will be protected by the mark.
Zech 6: 1,!5; Eph 1:13; 4:30
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