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1. Read Revelation 7:1-4 2 After the breaking of the first six seals, John saw four angels. Four is the symbolic number for the earth. Standing on the.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Read Revelation 7:1-4 2 After the breaking of the first six seals, John saw four angels. Four is the symbolic number for the earth. Standing on the."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Read Revelation 7:1-4 2

3 After the breaking of the first six seals, John saw four angels. Four is the symbolic number for the earth. Standing on the four corners of the earth is a reference to the whole world (Isaiah 11:12). God is in control of the whole world. In Revelation 4:5, we saw God’s judgment, symbolized by a terrible storm, approaching earth. In chapter six, we saw a brief description of this judgment. In chapter seven, the angels are now commanded to hold back the storm until a special group of people are sealed. 3

4 In the Bible, the word “earth” is often used to refer to the world system or governmental order (Psalms 46:2 and Revelation 10:2). The “sea” sometimes refers to the restlessness and confusion of mankind (Isaiah 57:20 and Daniel 7:23). The “tree” is used as a symbol of man’s culture and achievements (Ezekiel 31:3-9, 14-18; and Daniel 4:10,22). The idea behind this phrase is that God’s judgments have been universally halted for a brief moment. The angel ascending from the east literally means “from the rising of the sun”. 4

5 The concept of the seal was very familiar during Bible days. The king wore a ring which contained a seal. This seal was used to authenticate important documents, etc. (Genesis 41:42). The seal implied two things: possession, and protection. The seal which John saw was not the seal of an ordinary king, but the “seal of the living God”. The angel with the “seal of God”, having just received an order from the living God, relayed it to the four angels who were holding back the winds of judgment upon the earth. The halt in judgment is only temporary. It will soon resume. 5

6 Read Revelation 7:5-8 6

7 “Servants” is the Greek word doulos and means “slave” (Romans 1:1). Those who are about to be sealed are servants of God, and they have a specific service to perform during the Great Tribulation. Therefore, they must be protected from the terrible judgment that is coming. The seal is probably the Holy Spirit (John 6:47; 2 Corinthians 1:22; and Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). It is interesting to note that in Revelation 13:16, the Antichrist also seals his servants. Satan is the great imitator and always counterfeits whatever God does. 7

8 In Revelation 14:1, we discover that the seal placed on their forehead is the “name of God the Father”. Who are the 144,000 referred to here? On this subject, much has been written. Many groups have claimed to be among the select 144,000. A few examples are: the Jehovah’s Witnesses, certain Seventh Day Adventist groups, the Mormon Elders, and Herbert W. Armstrong’s group. Some believe the 144,000 represent the “universal church”. However, a careful examination of this passage reveals that none of the above views is correct. The Apostle John goes to great detail to identify who they are in verses five through eight. 8

9 Those sealed are Jews that will be saved during the Tribulation Period. God is not finished with the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1-2, 25-26). During the Tribulation, many Jews will accept Jesus as their Christ. 144,000 of them will be sealed, and used by God as great missionary evangelists to win a multitude of Gentiles to Christ. We will see in chapter seven that one of the greatest revivals the world has ever known will come as a result of their preaching. It is interesting to note that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are omitted from the listing of the tribes. A possible explanation may be that they were the first tribes to go into idolatry (Genesis 34 and Jude 18). Levi and Joseph are listed in their places. 9

10 Read Revelation 7:9-17 10

11 “ After this” signifies the end of the previous section dealing with the 144,000 Jews who were sealed. “I beheld” signifies a further revelation to John as the scene shifts from earth to Heaven. After the Rapture of the Church, there will only be nonbelievers left on earth. Most of these will not repent, but will become even more defiant against God (2 Thessalonians 2:1- 12). However, even during the dark and terrible days of the Tribulation, God remembers mercy. He will elect 144,000 from the nation of Israel, seal them, and empower them as His servants to preach the Gospel. As a result of their witness, multitudes turn in faith to Jesus Christ and are saved. 11

12 However, there is no evidence that anyone who has had an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ during the church age will have another opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation Period (2 Thessalonians 2). They will believe the “lie” of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Those who will be saved during the Tribulation Period have never heard the Gospel of Christ. Today, one out of two people have never heard the name of Jesus in a saving manner. This innumerable group that will be saved during the Tribulation will be from all nations. The word for “stood” is histemi and means “to cause or enable to stand”. This multitude has been “enabled” to stand before the Throne of God and the Lamb. 12

13 These saints, as those before the throne in chapter 4, are clothed in “white robes”, symbolizing their righteousness. Palm branches were used in the Feast of Tabernacles to symbolize deliverance from Egyptian bondage. This blood-washed multitude has been delivered from the terrible Tribulation that is taking place on earth. They received Christ, were martyred, and now are standing before the throne in Heaven. A shout of praise is heard and they say, “Salvation is from our God”. The word “salvation” is soteria and refers to “an accomplished act of deliverance” on the part of the multitude before the throne. God and the Lamb are praised by the multitude for having accomplished their salvation. 13

14 The only way we can ever be a part of the throng before the throne is to have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (John 14:6). These martyred Tribulation saints have been made “priests” unto our God (Revelation 5:10) and will spend eternity serving Him. The angels, in reverential awe, bow and worship God for His accomplished act of saving the multitude. Verses 15- 17 describe the literal fulfillment of the great Shepherd Psalm (Psalm 23). Jesus is the “water of life” (John 4:13- 14). Just as Jesus nourishes our bodies, He comforts our hearts. No one weeps without a cause. In Heaven, there will be no cause to weep (Isaiah 25:8 and Revelation 21:4). 14

15 Read Revelation 8:1-5 15

16 After the interlude of chapter seven, the seventh and final seal is broken. The seventh seal contains seven trumpets of judgment. Literally, “there came silence”. This is the only reference in the Bible to there being silence in Heaven. Heaven is always portrayed as a place of perpetual praise unto God. When the final seal is broken, all of Heaven is filled with awe and suspense waiting to see what will happen in this final outpouring of God’s judgment upon earth. The picture here is that of the “calm before the storm”. This is the only time this phrase occurs in the New Testament. It refers to a brief period of time. For a brief moment, there will be silence in heaven as they await the final judgment of God. 16

17 These seven angels are referred to as the “Angels of the Presence”. They are also called archangels. The word “arch” means “first”. These angels are first in access to the presence of God. They enjoy a special place of privilege and honor. Two of this select group are named in the Bible. One is the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:19) and the other is Michael (Jude 1:9). The seven Angels of the Presence are given seven trumpets. During Bible days, the trumpet was used to get the attention of the people when an important event was about to take place. Another angel came and stood at the altar. This angel is not one of the seven Angels of the Presence. This is another angel that came and stood before the altar of incense. 17

18 Incense was burned in the Tabernacle, and was prepared from equal amounts of stacte, onycha, galbanun, and frankincense. These ingredients could not be imitated. In Bible days, as the priest offered the incense unto God, the people prayed, and their prayers ascended along with the incense unto Heaven. (Luke 1:9,10). All the prayers of all the saints will one day come before the Throne of God. The prayer for God’s Kingdom to “come on earth”, will one day be heard and answered. In Revelation 6:10, the martyred saints cry out “How Long?” God is about to answer that question as He commands the angels to sound the trumpets of judgment. 18

19 After offering the incense and prayers unto God, the angel turns to the brazen altar, the altar of sacrifice, and takes live coals from it. The live coals are then cast down upon the earth. This is symbolic of the fiery judgment that is about to come upon the earth. There were voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. This is the same picture that we saw in Revelation 4:5. It symbolizes an approaching storm. In chapter four, the earthquake is not mentioned, here it is to add intensity to what is taking place on earth. The same angel that released the prayers of the saints along with the incense unto God, filled his censer with the fire of judgment and poured it out upon the earth. 19

20 Read Revelation 8:6-7 20

21 The angels await the command of the Lamb to proceed with the judgments. The first trumpet is similar to the seventh plaque that fell upon Egypt in Exodus nine. We have no reason to believe that the trumpet judgments in Revelation eight are not literal as were the judgment of the plagues in Exodus nine. Hence, literal fire and hail will destroy much of the vegetation on earth. This will result in famine and a lack of oxygen production. The major difference between Egyptian plagues and the trumpet judgments is that the plagues were limited to Egypt, the trumpet judgments will be worldwide. However, in the midst of God’s judgment, He remembers mercy (1 Chronicles 16:32, and Psalms 100:5). 21

22 Read Revelation 8:8-9 22

23 This judgment is similar to the first Egyptian plague. Several suggestions seem possible as to the identity of this burning mountain. H.A. Ironside believes it could possibly be a volcano. It is not necessary that we identify what it is, since John does not say that the judgment that came was a burning mountain, but rather that as the judgment came, it was “as it were”, or similar to a burning mountain. The result is clear. One third of the oceans of the world became blood. Much of the world’s population depends upon seafood for the their livelihood, and existence. This judgment is similar to that of the black horse which depicts the great famine that will sweep the earth during the Great Tribulation. 23

24 Read Revelation 8:10-11 24

25 This is probably a reference to a great shower of meteorites that will fall to earth. This judgment is upon the fresh water, making it undrinkable. This will be catastrophic, since water is necessary to life. However, again, God remembers mercy in the midst of judgment as is evidenced by the fact that only one third of the fresh water is smitten. Wormwood was a plant that was very bitter and often poisonous. In the Old Testament, it is often used to refer to “bitter sorrow” (Lamentations 3:19, and Jeremiah 9:15). 25

26 Read Revelation 8:12-13 26

27 This judgment corresponds to the ninth Egyptian plague in Exodus ten and is upon the heavenly bodies. The hours of light will be reduced by one third. John heard an angel flying through the midst of Heaven. The word “angel” here should be correctly translated “eagle”. The eagle is often used in Scripture as a symbol of majesty and power. The eagle cries out with a loud voice so that all can hear. The word “woe” was the customary was of expressing “grief”. The grief is compounded in that there are three trumpets yet to sound. The judgment is progressively getting worse. 27

28 The first trumpet sounded, and the judgment was against the trees and grass. The second judgment was against the marine life. The third judgment was against the fresh rivers and streams. The fourth judgment was against the heavenly bodies. As horrible and as terrifying as these judgments were, they are nothing compared to the three that remain. 28

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