Showing posts with the label Seal of God

Redeemed of the Earth

In Revelation, the people of God are comprised of the men purchased from every nation by the blood of Jesus .  The book of  Revelation  applies several terms and symbols to the church that is under assault. The men who are redeemed from the earth form a company that transcends all national, social, and cultural boundaries. And “ tribulation ” is not an aberration to be avoided at all costs. Instead, persevering through trials is integral to what it means to follow the “ Lamb wherever he goes .”

Standing Before The Lamb

One of the twenty-four “elders” interprets the vision of the innumerable saints that stand before the Lamb and the throne  - Revelation 7:13-17.  We have reached the point where the two questions have been answered - How long must the martyrs wait for vindication, and “ who is able to stand ” before the “ wrath of the Lamb ” and he “ who sits on the throne .” Having been sealed, numbered, and assembled, John now sees all the saints “ standing ” before Jesus and his Father in victorious worship.

Numbering the Saints

The 144,000 males from the tribes of Israel are numbered and assembled for the journey to the city of New Jerusalem  – Revelation 7:4-8.  The “ servants of God ” have been “ sealed ” against the onslaught of the “ four winds of the earth ,” but now they must be “ numbered ” to ensure that no member of the covenant community is lost in the coming “ tribulation .” The full complement of “ witnesses ” must be assembled to witness the “ day of the wrath of the Lamb. ”

Sealing the Saints

The saints must be “sealed” before the onslaught of the “four winds of the earth”  –  Revelation 7:1-3 .  Before the first four seals and their “ riders ” are unleashed, the “ servants of God ” must be prepared to persevere through the coming trials represented by the first six seal openings. And their “ sealing ” will enable them to “ stand ” before the “ Lamb ” and the “ throne ” on the coming “ day of the wrath of the Lamb ” when the “ sixth seal ” is opened.

144,000 Priests on Zion

The 144,000 males on Mount Zion comprise the first fruit of the final harvest, the priestly company that follows the Lamb  – Revelation 14:1-5.  Previously, John saw the 144,000 “ males ” from the tribes of Israel encamped in the wilderness. Now, they appear together on “ Mount Zion ” as a priestly company, the “ first fruits ” of the greater harvest to come. They stand with the “ Lamb ” in contrast to the “ inhabitants of the earth ” who bow and give total allegiance to the “ Beast from the Sea .”

Mark of the Beast

All men who refuse to follow the Lamb will render homage to the Beast and take its mark  – Revelation 13:16-18.  The “ False Prophet ” uses the power of the first “ Beast ” against anyone who refuses to give full allegiance to it. Its “ mark ” is an economic tool. Commerce is the lifeblood of the  World Empire , and leveling sanctions against nations and peoples is its enforcement mechanism. Economic restrictions mean deprivation and suffering for their victims.

Innumerable Saints

John next sees an innumerable multitude of men from every nation standing before the Lamb and the Throne  – Revelation 7:9-12.  The saints are “ sealed ” before the unleashing of the “ four winds of the earth ,” then they are assembled for the sojourn to the Promised Land and John “ hears ” their “ number ,” 144,000 “ males ” from the “ twelve tribes of Israel .” Next, he “ sees ” the assembly of the saints as it arrives at its destination, a multitude so vast that “ no man could number them .”