A Study of Revelation - Part Four
(As taught by Andy Neckar at Community Bible Chapel-Hico, TX)
Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
Rev 7:2 And 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 given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
I believe these four angels are four military powers that are restrained not to hurt the earth. This would be a period of peace between "great wars" such as WWI and WWII. This angel rising from the East restrains the military powers because he has the seal to seal a portion of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Let us see just who this angel from the East will seal. The twelve tribes of Israel were the 12 son of Jacob. BUT-something happened to change this.
Rev 7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
Twelve thousand out of twelve tribes sealed. Were they ALL sons of Jacob, the "original" twelve tribes of Israel?
Jacobs sons-- 1-Reuben, 2-Simeon, 3-Levi, 4-Judah, 5-Issachar, 6-Zebulun, 7-Joseph, 8-Benjamin, 9-Dan, 10-Naphtali, 11-Gad, 12-Asher:
The tribes sealed-- 1-Juda, 2-Reuben, 3-Gad, 4-Aser, 5-Nephthalim, 6-Manasses, 7-Simeon, 8-Levi, 9-Issachar, 10-Zabulon, 11-Joseph, 12-Benjamin.
Where is the tribe of Dan in those seals? Where did the tribe of Manasses come from?
These are the sons of Jacob that he prophesied to on his deathbed in Genesis Chapter 49.
1-Reuben, 2-Simeon, 3-Levi, 4-Judah, 5-Zebulun, 6-Issachar, 7-Dan, 8-Gad, 9-Asher, 10-Naphtali, 11-Joseph, 12-Benjamin.
Gen 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
For some reason the tribe of Dan is left out and scripture is silent as to why. The tribe of Manasses is substituted.
Joseph is represented by his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Manasses-NT spelling)
Gen 41:50-52 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
These two sons of Joseph became as sons of Jacob and therefore tribes of Israel.
Gen 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
The two sons of Joseph were counted as "half-tribes".
Josh 14:4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: (Joseph-one tribe and his 2 sons one half tribe each is 2 tribes) therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.
Only 12 tribes of Israel got the promised land. The tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe did not get a land inheritance. This tribe lived off tithes and offerings of the other tribes.
Josh 21:5 And the rest of the children of Kohath had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.
The Bible has 24 references to the two half tribes of Israel.
So counting the tribe of Dan, there was thirteen tribes of Israel. One tribe had to go and according to Revelation Chapter seven, that tribe was the tribe of Dan.
The tribe of Dan never got any land for some reason.
Judg 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.
Dan and the Levites got no land, so that made 10 tribes, and so the two "half tribes" each got a "full share" of cities.
Now back to the sealing of the twelve tribes of Israel. What does this mean?
To get an example, let us go to Ezekiel Chapter Nine.
Ezek 9:1-6 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
The persecution to come will begin at the churches. These 144 thousand Jews- Israelites who are called "the servants of our Lord" are especially chosen to accomplish God's will during the great tribulation. Some say they are Jewish evangelists. Maybe so. These are Christian Jews and they come under God's "divine providence".
I believe this also is a picture of God sealing ALL of His children on this earth against His coming wrath which begins at the trumpet judgments, as in Ezek 9:1-6 above. In prophetic numbers twelve is a number of illustration. So twelve would be a number, but twelve times twelve would be ALL. All of God's children. (all Christians) All of God's chosen out of every Nation, Kindred and Tongue.
This is also a preview of the very near future when all Israel will be saved.
Rom 11:25-26 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
This means that the fullness of the Gentiles cannot be very far away.
Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
After the preview of "all Israel" being saved there comes a preview of the "Rapture" as the fullness of the Gentiles being fulfilled. (above verse)
Rev 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Rev 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Rev 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
This is a "lull before the storm", because the seven angels with the seven trumpets are about to start sounding. The sounding of first trumpet will be the beginning of the wrath of God. I believe this to be the half-way point in the great seven year tribulation. (3 1/2 years).
Seven years are around 2,555 days and 61,320 hours. A half hour then would be around 1277 hours or around 53 days. A little less than two months. A little lull before the storm.
Rev 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Now I believe that this angel is Jesus our High Priest offering the prayers of the saints to God His Father, as it is "through" Jesus that we pray to God. "In Jesus Name we pray".(John 14:13-14)
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
Christians are on this earth suffering at the hands of the One World Government and the One World Church. These are the ones spoken of in Rev 6:9-11 and 7:9-14.
Well God is about ready to answer their requests. He is about to avenge their blood.
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
The golden censer no longer has incense. It has been filled with fire and this fire is cast down into the earth. LOOK OUT BELOW.
Rev 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Next study. The seven trumpets sounding. The beginning of the wrath of God. But this wrath will not fall on His children. Christians will be suffering the wrath of the One World Government & Church and God is avenging His children.