Has there ever been a time when you see something that seems out of place? Is it merely a curiosity? Or was it there for a purpose? Possibly no greater debate of “out of place” passages of Scripture is that of Revelation 7:1-8. The question of interpretation arises in one’s view of Israel and their future as a nation in the plan of God. It will determine whether the last book of the Bible is to be viewed as an allegory, or as real history, in part, of the children of Abraham beyond the first century A.D.
The importance of the existence of the nation Israel goes all the way back to Genesis 12:1-3. Without a biblical understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant and the events that preceded it, the rest of the Bible will make no sense.
The Biblical Preview of Earth History
For any credibility and authoritative addressing of the human dilemma, some of the following important themes must be addressed and answered:
- What is the origin of man and, for that matter, all of creation?
- To what does one attribute human behavior as so degrading even to the casual observer?
- Is there any solution to this problem of corruption in the human race?
- Would there be a God devising such a plan, and if so, what is that plan?
- Is the Bible accurate in all that it records—view of God Himself, origin of creation, the fall of man, the recording of history, geology, titles, offices held, geographic locations/names, personages, etc.
- Is there a finality that gives any hope to mankind?
The Bible is just such a record of human affairs, divine standards, redemptive answers to the human condition, and an overall plan which this Book describes this way:
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ 1 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not welcome the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
One of the 40+ human scribes adds this interesting record of the total inerrancy and method of inspiration of God’s revelation:
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private origination, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were carried along 2 by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21, my rendering from the original text)
This is why Paul the Apostle underlines the Bible as authoritative when he says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
1The quote is from the Old Testament in Isaiah 64:4.
2cf. Jeremiah 1:4-5 as an example.
Job on why people suffer and God’s remedy: Possibly the very earliest book of the Bible deals with the greatest objection raised as to why God allowed suffering and the personage behind all suffering, Satan the destroyer himself. It is the book of Job. Its postscript offers hope in an otherwise inextricable course of events.
Genesis, the book of beginnings: 3 The first book of the Bible provides what no other source in history could unless that person was there to observe or originate the creation of God of all things in six days.
- Creation (1-2)
- Fall of man (3)
- Genealogy of the human race (4-5)
- The Genesis Flood (6-9)
- Genealogy of the Hebrew race (10-50)
- The Abrahamic Covenant (12)
It is at this juncture that the purpose of this essay would be sidetracked unless from the book of beginnings the most significant event of the whole O.T. be placed in proximity to the culmination of God’s revelation in the last book of the Bible. The bulk of this paper will now address the singular factor that makes all of God’s revelation make sense.
Why Genesis is Important to the Whole Bible
- Creation was “very good” in its inception.
- Satan’s fall and temptation of perfect man and its results
- The curse that followed in man’s disobedience to God & submission to the serpent
- God’s promise of a redeemer in Genesis 3:15
- Satan’s corruption of humanity leading to the judgment of the Flood
- The formation of new nations following the Flood
- The further corruption at Babel and dispersion of humanity
- The confusion of languages
The Abrahamic Covenant
Out of a pagan background, God called Abram to begin a new program through a nation that would issue from him with three important outcomes of God’s unconditional one-way promise (cf. Gen. 12:1-3 w/ 15:10, 17-19; 17:8):
- Personal blessings – “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great” (Gen. 12:2)
- Land blessings (Gen. 12:1b, 18; 13:15; 17:8)
- Blessing on “families of the earth” (Gen. 12:3; this involves a twofold outcome of blessings and curses on those who treat Israel with favor or reject their right to exist.)
Dr. Thomas Ice gives this summary – “The Abrahamic covenant is directed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants and focuses on God’s promise to give the land of Israel to the Jews. It is repeated to them at least twenty times in Genesis alone (12:1-3, 7-9; 13:14-18; 15:1-18; 17:1-27; 22:15-19; 26:2-6, 24-25; 27:28-29, 38-40; 28:1-4, 10-22; 31:3, 11-13; 32:22-32; 35:9-15; 48:3-4, 10-20; 49:1-28; 50:23-25).”
As to the unconditional nature of this covenant Dr. Ice adds – “Confirmation of the covenant is given in Genesis 15 when God sealed the treaty through a unique procedure whereby He put Abram into a deep sleep and bound Himself to keep the covenant regardless of Abraham’s response. Since God is the only one who swore to keep the covenant, then it is clearly an unconditional covenant.
(3For a more complete exposition of the book of beginnings, the reader is strongly encouraged to view the video of Dr. Andy Woods at his website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS_juO9KJXY )
This covenant is dependent solely upon God. Thus, we can be absolutely confident that He will bring to pass every stipulation of the agreement. 4
As a one-way covenant (God’s commitment to bless Abraham and his seed based solely upon God’s passing between the separated sacrifice in 15:10, 17). The recipients (Abraham and his seed) of this threefold blessing did NOT depend upon them for its fulfillment and completion, but upon God alone. That is why the events of Revelation 7 coupled with Romans 11:25-32 reveals the work of God’s grace in causing a disobedient people to have a complete turnabout, illustrated in Zechariah 12:10.
Unconditional Promises vs. Conditional Reception of Them
There is a twist to the fulfillment of all the details of the covenant with Abraham. Strangely enough, this conundrum is best described in Deuteronomy 28:1-30:20. A cursory reading of the opening of this passage reveals a series of “blessings” and “cursings” that will come upon the nation of Israel if and when they “observe carefully all the commandments which I command you today” or not (28:1). This is referred to as the Palestinian Covenant5 (cf. 29:1). Upon their obedience, God would set them high above all the nations of the earth (28:1). Their disobedience would result in their being (1) scattered among the nations of the earth, (2) taken captive by a nation from a distance from them whose language they would not understand, and (3) would be regathered to their land again (28:25, 29, 32-36, 49, 63-64; 30:3, 6-10).
Even after 2,000 years of having been scattered among the nations of the world, their return to the land promised in the covenant with Abraham is restated often as in Deut 30:3; Isa 11:11, 12; 27:12, 13 ; 35:10 ; 49:8-16 ; Jer 23:1-8; 30:8-11 ; 31:8-146. Yes, Israel had been dispersed from their land in the days of the Babylonian Empire, and regathered under Cyrus in the days of Nehemiah. But their rejection of the Messiah Yeshua in the first century A.D. resulted in their being once again scattered among the Gentile nations (cf. the introductions of the N.T. letters of Peter (1 Peter 1:1; James 1:1).
Israel returns for the final time and is predicted—the nation purged and permanent in its results!
- Deuteronomy 30:5
- Hosea 3:4-5
- Joel 2:18-23
- Amos 9:14-15
- Micah 4:6-7
- Isaiah 11:11-12; 27:12; 43:5-7; 60:2-3, 5, 9-12, 18-21
- Jeremiah 3:18; 16:15; 23:3-8; 24:5-6; 30:3, 10-11, 18; 31:8, 31-34; 37-40; 33:6-9
- Ezekiel 11:17-20; 20:34-38 (w/ purging of rebels); 28:25-26; 34:11-12; 36:20-38; 37:21-25; 39:21-29
- Zephaniah 3:19-20
- Zechariah 8:7-8; 13:8-9
Three points of emphasis come out of the Scripture text:
(1) The return of the nation Israel to their homeland the second and final time is not that return under Nehemiah or any post-captivity period of Israel’s history.
(2) Israel’s return to the land will be permanent and possessed by (Ezekiel 37:1-14) a Jewish population initially dead in trespasses and sins, but to be raised to newness of life in Christ in which Ezekiel describes it as “dry bones” taking on flesh and being raised up from the dead (cf. Jeremiah 33:31-33; Ezekiel 36:25-38).
5The Bible never uses the term “Palestinian Covenant,” and Moses certainly never would have called the land “Palestine,” but the term has become common usage. This covenant is also called the Land Covenant because many of the promises relate to Israel’s possession of the land. https://www.gotquestions.org/Palestinian-covenant.html.
6An excellent article at https://bible.org/seriespage/6-fulfillment-abrahamic-covenant written by the late Dr. John F. Walvoord entitled as point 6 in The Fulfillment of The Abrahamic Covenant.
(3) There will be a purging out of “rebels” in Israel (2/3’s of them as seen in Ezekiel 20:34-38). Unredeemed Israelites are distinguished from rebels in this picture.
So, how does the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic Covenant harmonize with the conditionality bound up in the “Palestinian” Covenant? Just this way: It is not whether the promises specifically to Israel will be fulfilled, but with what obedient generation will it apply? Dr. John Walvoord states it this way:
“It has already been shown that the promises concerning the land, as well as the other promises, are unconditional. They are not to be forfeited by disobedience. A problem arises at this point, however. Do the provisions of the Palestinian covenant (Deut 28:1-30:20) abrogate the covenant of God with Abraham? Clearly, they do not, both by the nature of the covenant and by the precedence of the Abrahamic covenant.
The Palestinian covenant did not deal with the right to title of the land but the right to enjoyment of it by any generation. They were solemnly warned that disobedience would result in dispersions, fact of history, but it is clear that this dispersion is not the final dealing of God in respect to the land. It is made very clear that the dispersion is a temporary dealing of God. The dispersions of Israel and God’s disciplinary judgments in no wise alter the unconditional title to the land which is given to Abraham’s seed.”
Four Eternal Covenants
Dr. C. Fred Lincoln has written this concise summary: “All of Israel’s covenants are called eternal except the Mosaic covenant, which is declared to be temporal, i.e., it was to continue only until the coming of the Promised Seed. For this detail see as follows: (1) The Abrahamic Covenant is called ‘eternal’ in Genesis 17:7, 13, 19; 1 Chronicles 16:17; Psalm 105:10; (2) The Palestinian Covenant is called ‘eternal’ in Ezekiel 16:60; (3) The Davidic Covenant is called ‘eternal’ in 2 Samuel 23:5; Isaiah 55:3; and Ezekiel 37:25; and (4) The New Covenant is called ‘eternal’ in Isaiah 24:5; 61:8 ; Jeremiah 32:40; 50:5 and Hebrews 13:20.”7
To this it must be noted that the final resolution of who will realize all the blessings of the Abraham Covenant to a redeemed Israel is the importance of the New Covenant in changing the hearts of Jews by the Spirit of God, as described in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36. Is it any wonder why Paul the Apostle warned church saints in Romans 11:15-21 that they (and we) were grafted into God’s blessings by the same unmerited favor shown Israel in their infancy of existence?
7The Covenants (unpublished dissertation presented to the Dallas Theological Seminary Faculty, 1942), p. 181.
One Eternal Principle
All taken together, the following conclusion can be made regarding the identity of who it is that will experience the full blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant in relation to the land God has promised Israel. Through His sovereign grace and goodness to the people of Israel, by events unfolding before us, Jews will continue to return to the land of Israel as predicted. Those, like possibly the George Soros’s of Jewish ancestry devoid of Jewish proclivity, will not be permitted to enter the land given in the AC (Ezekiel 20:38). This does not preclude Jewish unbelievers returning, but those who apparently disassociate themselves from wanting to retain any “Jewishness” in their professed heritage. There is a price to be paid for being hated through anti-Semitism.
With such purging, those who have returned into the land presently called Palestine and its environs will be dramatically born again as the Lord Jesus taught Nicodemus, and will be “set high above all nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). The New Covenant will guarantee this and will be applied to this nation. This explains how present-day Jews can be returned to the land promised them while still being in need of redemption promised by Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the prophets. The principle of humble repentance pronounced by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10 will be a renewed message to a wayward people needing a new heart.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered!
It is evident that a number of Jews in Israel, while still in unbelief of their Messiah, are perverted in their lifestyle in defiance of the prohibitions of Leviticus 18. These may also be among those purged out of the land if they should persist in that defiance when the Lord Himself reveals His glory to them in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
What is still vague in the context of current events are those developments of globalism and the arrival of the antichrist, the arrival of the beasts of Revelation 13, the implementation of an identity system now being considered called “contact tracing” along with its parallel of the “mark” of the first beast of Revelation 13. COVID-19 is just the crisis that has opened the door to a world-changing pandemic.
An important question is begging to be asked: “What events could (and will) be added to the mix that have yet to be revealed?” The answers might be the catalyst that countermands the efforts of a decadent humanity to control and enslave a formerly free society in America, but an oppressed and enslaved decoupage of a society without meaning or direction.
The apostle John, confined to a small island off the coast of Asia Minor, was led to put together a book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ “which God gave him to show His servants things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 1:1). Ten times in this book a phrase is used to designate a chronology of events as they occur in prophetic fulfillment. It is the phrase Aετα ταυτα—“after these things”— (1:19; 4:1 [2x]; 7:1, 9; 9:12; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1; 20:3).
The importance, dear reader, is stressed for one seeking to interpret the book of Revelation from a historical/grammatical viewpoint. For example, Aετα ταυτα appears in chapter 4:1 designating that the events that follow the historical churches (with prophetic overtones throughout the present age) in chapters 2-3, but not mentioned again until 22:16, occur in a post-church age setting. The English translation of Aετα ταυτα is rendered “after this I saw.” The concept is not that of a chronology of events, but of a thought process. In light of the ten occurrences of this phrase, it does not portray a thought sequence, but an event sequence that will occur subsequent to a previous series of events.
It is necessary to observe this distinction in light of what is to occur four chapters later in Revelation 7. The church is no longer on earth, but at the throne of God.8
8The description of the churches in Revelation 1:20 are designated at seven lampstands. In Rev. 4:5 these “lamps” are not on earth, but in heaven “before the throne” of God (Rev. 4:5).
What is this building up to? Think for a moment who would be presenting the message of evangelism with all the saved of this generation now departed? The Holy Spirit, when taken out of the way of restraining evil through believers today (2 Thess. 2:6-12), will leave a large gap of any godly influence with the inception of a strong delusion (vs. 11) in believing the lie of the man of Lawlessness.
Enter! God’s provision of the most dramatic event of all time to offset the complete breakdown into unrighteous behavior. Revelation 7:1-8 now depicts what this paper has been laying the foundation for—the opening comment on page 2, paragraph 1.
The Greatest Missionary Force in History
God has been preparing a Jewish population to turn to Him at a time when the testimony of the Gospel is desperately needed. 144,000 Jews are saved. This will be almost four times the total missionary force alive today, but ALL with total commitment to all the truths of God’s Word without fear, with God’s seal of approval and enablement. The use of µcra raiira now takes on meaning of a sequence of missionary evangelism and a harvest of the ripened field of individuals. Note these two occurrences of this phrase:
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth….” (Revelation 7:1).
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).
Here is a cause—the saving of 144,000 Jews with 12,000 from each tribe in Israel—with the effect, —the salvation of a great multitude from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues.” The connection of the former with the latter is undeniable. Just as Barnabas and Paul in Acts 13:47 was to bring the light to the Gentile world, 9 so now the restored tribes mentioned here would do the same.
Where are the missionaries from the great missionary societies of Christendom? They are gone. The Lord is now accomplishing something unprecedented, but not unexpected. Question: Is this what God had originally mandated for the nation Israel? Yes. Where the church has failed, and now removed, God’s forming of national Israel will be His instrument in bringing salvation in the Tribulation Period to all nations.
Paul’s Salvation as God’s Illustration of Future Blessing
What this writer is about to articulate is a matter that may have been overlooked in the penning of the chapter of Revelation 7 and the heralding of the good news. One of my professors once referred to Paul’s testimony in 1 Corinthians 15 as a Jewish believer who was “born out of due time,” i.e. one born before the time of arrival. Here is the passage from which it is taken:
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
9Note that Paul quotes from Isaiah 42:6 & 49:6 in declaring the Light (God’s servant, the Messiah) of salvation to the Gentile world. God also called the Jewish nation to be God’s mouthpiece in bring the Light of Christ Jesus to the nations of the world. See also Isa. 11:9-15. The sealed Jews will also proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom while some, in part, are still dispersed in the Tribulation Period (cf. Revelation 14:3)
“8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:1-10).
The phrase in verse 8, as of one born out of due time, is described in this way: “The literal definition of the word is “an abortion, abortive birth.” The secondary definition, by analogy, is “an untimely birth.” 10 Applications of this phrase could, by virtue of its context, involve Paul’s new birth in Christ as coming (1) after the nucleus of the twelve Apostles had already come on the scene in the book of Acts, thus indicating Paul’s late arrival as God’s spokesman, or (2) a new birth experience coming before the due time for his arrival, i.e. a premature new birth and last days evangelist.
What was this Apostle’s turnabout like in the reading of Acts 9:1-7?
“1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.”
With the catching away of the church saints to the throne of God in Revelation 4:1ff, one is left with no living witness of a saved person on earth after Revelation 4:1. The scene is now “in heaven” with One seated on a throne holding a scroll waiting to be opened (5:1-2). This One is none other than the Lion of the tribe of Judah (5:5), the Lamb of God (5:8) who is about to open the scroll and its seals (chapter 6). Is there no hope for a world about to be judged with the most severe traumas in the history of man on earth?
With all true believers of the church now in heaven, there will be virtually no restraint of evil on the earth coupled with no evangelism of those commissioned to preach the gospel to every creature outlined in Matthew 28:19-20.
Suddenly, without warning, an angel appears saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God” and there are 144,000 of these “servants,” 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel who, like Paul, are confronted by the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, and are sealed for a very special ministry like that of the great Apostle to the Gentiles—a great multitude… of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues… ones who came out of the great tribulation” (7:9, 14). They are found “standing before the Lamb” (7:9b).
It is the conviction of this writer that Paul was the precursor to the Jews of Revelation 7:5-8, and why he was referred to as one born before the time (of Israel’s culminating days of being a light to the Gentiles, telling the good news of the living Lamb of God Who now has become the Lion of Judah. This makes sense when the last book of the Bible turns rapid fire to the Jews numbering 144,000 and the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11:1-14. Therefore, the book of Revelation, and specifically the events of chapter 7, need not be allegorized at all, but taken literally as history to be yet fulfilled.
The question remains: What can be factored in that gave rise to this sudden sealing of 144,000 Hebrew believers? The answer may be found by comparing Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 this way:
There appeared a bright light that shined on him. (Acts 9:3)
He heard a voice speak to him. (9:4)
The Lord identifies Himself saying “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” (9:5)
The One Paul had denied causes the Apostle to immediately turn about (biblical repentance) and seek what Jesus would have him do to which the Lamb/Lion of God gives him directions. (9:6)
Those with Paul heard a voice but saw no man. (9:7)
The result was the salvation of many Gentiles and formation of many churches in locations of Galatia, Thessalonica, Ephesus, Philippi, Rome, Colosse, Corinth, Damascus, and even in Jerusalem.11
|Apostle Paul||144,000 Jewish Evangelists|
|Light appearance||Four Angels appear globally (Rev. 7:1 – “four corners”)|
|Voice speaking||Fifth Angel speaking|
|Jesus identified Himself to Paul||Lamb standing with them (Rev. 14:1)|
|Turnabout sudden & redeemed||Redeemed from all over the earth (14:3)|
|Became missionary to Gentiles||Became firstfruits of a great harvest among Gentiles (14:4; 7:8)|
|Others hear sound but no visual||Others apparently not confronted by angelic appearances|
Like the Apostle Paul, these sealed servants of Jehovah God will complete what the church had begun up to the Rapture. What was left undone was the final stage of God’s unconditional commitment to the seed of Abraham, for all Israel to be a light to the Gentile world. God’s faithfulness to His chosen people will be (1) the obedient enjoyment of the blessings of His Covenant with them, and (2) the dissemination of the good news and its blessings to all those who dwell on the earth. While a great multitude will come to the foot of the cross of Messiah’s payment for sin, (Rev. 7:9) “the rest of mankind. . .did not repent of their works of their hands, that they should not worship demons” nor “of their sorceries (destructive drugs) or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Rev. 9:20-21).
What will be the testimony of the sealed believing Jews? That which comes to mind, keeping the heritage of each of them at the forefront, is the testimony of Paul to the Philippians 3:2-9:
“2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
“7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
11 “There were 121,000 active American missionaries in 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available), down from 127,000 in 2010 (taken from https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/august-web-only/what-majority-world-missions-really-looks-like.html.” The numbers include cults such as SDA’s and Mormons, etc. That is why those noted in Revelation 14 were with guile and faithful to the whole of Scripture with no middle ground of debate of what God has said.
Like Paul, each of these sealed servants could proudly identify their tribal descendancy. However, even those from the least tribe of Benjamin listed last in Revelation 7:8, transformed by “the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus,” will permeate each member of each tribe, and will “be found in Him, not having [their] own righteousness, which is from the law [but] the righteousness which is from God by faith.”
Can one imagine this testimony from 144,000 ‘apostle Pauls’ resulting in “a great multitude which no one could number of all nations” on the earth in a time of Great Tribulation, also coming to “the knowledge of Christ Jesus”? It is not surprising that our God would provide us with one “born out of due time” as the prototype of His greatest miracle of all history in a time of an otherwise hopeless and helpless generation of earth dwellers. Israel will, indeed, be a light to lighten the Gentiles (Isa. 49:6)12 on every continent, every island of the sea, and from the highest elevation to the lowest at sea level of human population. All the world will then know that He is he LORD God (Ezekiel 36:36, 38)!
It is the conclusion of this writer that the sealed 144,000 Jews from twelve tribes are the means of God’s fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant to Israel in which all the families of the earth would be blessed on a scale and at a time when the “everlasting gospel” would be preached “to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (cf. 14:6 w/ 7:9). God’s sealing of these believers in Messiah would fill the void of the need for the message of good news in Christ. While the world will soon experience a temporary immense emptiness of the spread of the gospel message, these witnesses will form the most strategic missionary force in history by a redeemed group of whom it is said that “in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:5).
Not one of these “missionaries” will be guilty of compromise, accommodation or reduction of the truth of the gospel.
This will be the scenario at which time Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. It will not be the church that signals Christ’s consummate return to earth, but that generation of Jews called of God with the identical message as that of the Apostle Paul.
Now it can be seen how the Abrahamic Covenant is finally fulfilled with the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph being a blessing to “all the families of the earth.” The keys of worldwide judgment, salvation through the Alpha and Omega, the Lord Jesus Christ, and a coming universal reign of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) to the establishment of His righteousness and peace will come to fruition. “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years… the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are… tormented day and night forever and ever” (20:2, 10). So much for the false views of annihilation of man and fallen angels.
God “signed” his covenants with the blood of His only begotten Son’s death on the cross, “sealed” his saints as a testimony of His grace and offer of eternal life through His Son, and “delivered” it all in a book of 66 books, all in perfect agreement in all areas on which it speaks and verified with over 40 of his scribes delivering His Word to a fallen humanity so that we might be restored to His favor through His Son by His grace alone. May every reader come to see this unparalleled record of God’s promise-keeping nature, “which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory… [for] eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:8, 9).
Nothing is to be added or taken from this delivered package (Revelation 22:18-19) with the warning of the plagues written in the book of Revelation and the possibility of being removed from the book of Life, the holy city (New Jerusalem), and the blessings of God’s book. Have you received the “signed, Sealed and Delivered” blessings of God’s promises through Abraham as your personal possession? That is the message of the 144,000 servants who will appear soon.
12In conjunction with 49:3, it is evident that more than Messiah Yeshua is involved, but “Israel” in its redeemed state. Verse 4 reveals the weakened condition of this “servant,” showing doubts as to his labors. Not only is there dependency, but this same “Israel” is “gathered to Him” and that God is their strength (vs. 5b). They are true servants of THE Servant on Whom they depend. The light of the world (John 8:12) shines through the light reflectors; the two concepts are inseparable.
Paid in Full; It is Finished
The Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in
full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped
away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father;
rather, Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind —the debt of sin.
God the Father offers to any and all who believe in our Lord Jesus, accepting His full payment price for our sin, will have passed from death to life. His Word is His guarantee. To refuse or add to satisfying God’s holiness by human merit of any kind, is the worst decision one could make, and an afront to God’s love, tenderness and mercy. A full pardon is not earned before the Judge of all the earth. It is accepted or refused. The choice is in the hands of the accused. (See: https://bible.org/illustration/george-wilson-refused-pardon)