The book of Revelation prods the reader to view the events from Jesus Christ death to the end of this age. John records the words of an angel who announces when the final events of the Lord's day should begin. John says the book contains: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place" (Rev. 1:1).
Again John urges, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it: For the time is near" (Rev. 1:3). To be sealed is a symbolic way of saying that these people are identified as belonging to God. The servant’s mark or seal is also to be contrasted in a vision; John will shortly see with the mark what the followers of the beast will receive. They are branded with the mark of the beast (Rev. 14:11, 16:2, 19:20). This singles out and labels such people as the enemies of God.
The 144,000 that were sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel consecrating the persons from each tribe in a more special manner to God, and showing by this mark of God upon him, that they were under his more immediate protection, and nothing should hurt them. Those who were sealed and became the firstfruits came from the people of Israel that turned to Jesus and repented from the day of Pentecost to the time of the destruction of their Government, Temple, and Jerusalem. The Temple was burned Aug. 10th, 70 A.D. The city was destroyed by Titus, the General of the Roman army on Sept. 8th in 70 A. D.
Since the beast is symbolic, why aren’t the sea, wind, and trees symbolic? God uses the sea, or "many waters" to symbolize people, multitudes and nations, (Rev.17:1-2,15). In Isa.8:7-8 God symbolizes the King of Assyria and his invading armies as rivers that overflowed its banks. Daniel spoke and said: "Behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the sea;" wind symbolizes destruction; sea symbolizes people (Dan.7:2-7,17). Also, in Daniel he used Belteshazzar symbolically as a tree that was hewn down (Dan. 4:20-23). Wind (destruction), Sea (people), Trees (kings or rulers).
As the seventh chapter of Revelation begins, we find that the wrath of God--the day of the Lord--is temporarily being held up. John sees "four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth" (verse 1). Until the 144,000 are sealed. The 144,000 is the first group to be sealed and protected from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Who are these individuals? They are the servants of God, all Jews converted to Christianity, 12,000 out of each of the 12 tribes. John says of this group: "These are the ones who were not defiled with woman, for they are virgins." (They are pure from idolatry). In their mouth was found no guile. When brought before kings and rulers they did not dissemble, but boldly confessed the Lord Jesus Christ. This group, however, is only the first to come under God's grace. They are the "first fruits," as Revelation 14:4 points out of a much greater spiritual harvest to come.
Rev.7:1 Holding the four winds of the earth. Dan.7:2-7 Behold the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. (winds) They are, alternative symbols for the four horsemen. (Destructive energy, terrible punishment) (sea) people). Eze.13:13 In my fury to consume it. (destruction) Psa.1:3-4 He, Man shall be like a tree.
John shows us four angels restraining all the forces of chaos and ruin until 70 A.D., the earth, sea, and trees, which they temporarily protect and stand for the world of men. Rev.7:2 Seal of the living God. Eze.9:4-6 A mark upon the foreheads Eph.4:30 Whereby ye are sealed. 2 Tim.2:19 The lord knoweth them that are his. The Christians bear a mark upon their foreheads; a sign visible to God and His agents alone because they are under His protection, singled out from the wicked on whom His judgment shall fall.
Rev.7:3 Sealed, the servants in their foreheads. Deut 6:1-8 Sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. Deut.11:18 Lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul. Rev.14:1 Having His Father's name written in their foreheads. The mark, or seal in their foreheads hinted that they must act prominently in God's service: the mark is invisible to men, yet its possession is eventually to be recognized by all men. And this prominent service of God is to hearken diligently unto His Commandments which He commands you this day, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deut. 11:13). His Commandments shall be for a token upon thine hand (working with your hands for the Lord), and for frontlets between thine eyes (with your mind) (Ex. 13:16). For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not (2 Cor. 8:12).
Rev.7:4 There were sealed 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Acts 3:22-26 His Son Jesus, sent him to bless first the house of Israel. Matt. 10:5-6 Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt. 15:24 I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Acts 13:46 That the word of God should first have been spoken to you.
These people were being made aware that the meaning they had known as pertaining to the first of the harvest, was now being applied to them. James, in writing to the believers among the twelve tribes, said they were a kind of first fruits.Rev.7:5-8 Jews converted to Christianity. Rev.14:1 144,000, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Gen. 29:32 Jacob's children Gen. 30:6-24.-Gen. 35:18-19. First, we are to observe that the tribe of Levi is here mentioned, although that tribe had no inheritance in Israel; but they now belonged to the spiritual priesthood. Second, the tribe of Dan, which had an inheritance, is here omitted, as also the tribe of Ephraim Thirdly that the tribe of Joseph is here added in place of Ephraim. Ephraim, being the principal promoter of idolatry, is left out of an inheritance.
Rev.14:1 Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him a 144,000. John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world I Peter 1:19 A Lamb without blemish and without spot. Rev.7:3 Sealed the servants of God in their forehead. Rev.14:2 Voice from heaven. Rev.19:6 Voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering. Voices of the multitudes from the twelve tribes of Israel. Rev.14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne. Rev.5:9 And they sung a new song. Rev.15:3 And they sing the song of Moses. No man could learn that song. As none but genuine Christians can worship God acceptably, but the Jews who were converted to Christianity from among all the Jews being the firstfruits, are privileged to sing this song. None but they can learn it, for it is a song whose deep mysteries are concealed from all except those of the twelve tribes.
Rev14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women. (the false church). Rev.12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman. Rev.17:1-6 Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots. 2 Cor.11:2 As a chaste virgin to Christ. They are pure from idolatry, and are presented as unspotted virgins to the Lord and Savior, Christ. Not the one's with whom the Kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine (false doctrine) of her fornication.
The purity of the Apostolic church could be indicated by the word "virgins" in Revelation 14:4. The doctrines of the early church were pure and unadulterated. Gradually false teachings began to arise and the compromise with paganism produced spiritual fornication. The apostasy grew and false doctrines became common practices in the churches, Rev. 17:2. Kings of the earth have committed fornication. Jer.51:6-7 Nations have drunken of her wine, (false teaching), therefore they are mad. Gal.5:19-21 (Idolatry), worship of idols. Rev. 14:8 She made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
In fact, Catholicism, the fallen church, will resort to all kinds of absurd practices in order to completely keep their subjects in darkest ignorance, which will enable the officials to "deceive" their followers and make them believe anything the official sees fit to teach them. You can take the history of the Roman Catholic Church from the earliest days of its cussedness up to the present time, and you will find that the same heathenish superstition that surrounded it centuries ago still follow it today.
Rev.14:4 The firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. Psa.32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven. Rom.9:4-5 Who are the Israelites? Deut 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. 1 Cor 15:20-23 Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
Rom. 2:9-10 Jew first, and also of the Gentile. Rom.11:1-7 But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Acts 2:38-41 There were added unto them about 3,000 souls. Acts 4:1-4 Many of them which heard the word believed: the number was 5,000. Acts 5:14 Were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both men and women. Acts 21:17-20 Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe.
Rev.7:1-8 The firstfruits unto God which you will find were from each tribe of Israel. The reference appears to be to those Jews who were the first converts to Christianity during the time that Peter preached unto them: "repent, and be baptized," And it was preached until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Rev.14:1, the 144,000 had already had the father's name written in their foreheads. Rev.14:2-8 they are symbolic of the people who have come out of the great tribulation, who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb: So John was told in an earlier vision (7:1-8), when the vistas of the future had been only partially seen until verse 9-14, was illuminated.
After the 144,000 were sealed came the angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people (Rev.14:6). This came about after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., until the return of Christ (Rev.7:15-17: Rev.14:7-20). “For the great day of His wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev.6:17) This group is composed of spiritual virgins. They do not commit spiritual fornication by following false religious and philosophical teachings. They have repented of ungodly behavior. They are true to God's perfect way.
Some claim that they are the 144,000 and others claim that these are Jews who are sealed after the rapture of the church. However, when we look closely at the Scripture, we find that the time element involved in sealing of these people, indicated by the word "firstfruits," rules out these various claims. In order to gain a proper understanding of this subject, we must see how the word "firstfruit" is used in other places in the Bible, and what it means.
In Israel, firstfruits referred generally to the harvest, and meant the first ripened grain; an earnest of the harvest to follow. The firstfruits were holy unto the Lord. Exodus 23:16 is the first reference in the Bible to firstfruits. Here it is associated with the feast of harvest, or as it is also called, the feast of Pentecost. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-5), and the males of Israel had gathered for this feast. How significant then, that at the preaching of Peter, 3,000 Jews were converted on this day. They who had assembled to bring the firstfruits of their labor unto the Lord, now themselves became the firstfruits of the New Testament, holy unto the Lord.
The Bible tells us that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 1:13-14). This sealing is a spiritual act of God, not a physical mark that is visible to the world. In the consideration of sealing, it may be helpful to read Ezekiel 9:4; Acts 10:38 and 2 Timothy 2:19. John in Revelation tell the angels saying: "hurt not the earth, neither the sea (people) nor the trees (Kings), till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
Then it goes on to tell who is sealed, first the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel, then a great multitude which no man could number. There were thousands of Jewish believers in the beginning of the New Covenant Era, brought to our attention in Acts 21:20:..."Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews which believe; and they are all zealous of the law." Bible students believe we are in the end of the age of grace, and the wrath of God is being withheld until the sealing is finished. To say that the 144,000 are yet to be sealed is a misuse of the word "firstfruits." This group, however, is the only ones to come under God's grace. They are the "firstfruits," as Rev.14:4 points out; there is a much greater spiritual harvest yet to come (Rev.7:9-14).
The innumerable multitude (not the 144,000), is made up of individuals "who come out of the great tribulation." If they came "out of" the great tribulation, they must have been in it. It was the old Papal Church whitewashed and called Christian. This great apostasy was foretold, with the rise and rule of this "man of sin" (2Thessalonians 2:1-12, Daniel 7:23-27). This was the great Anti-Christ of the Bible. It was this Papal Church that became the State Church of Rome in 538 A.D. and lasted for 1260 years, with the man of sin, or Popes, at the head claiming powers belonging only to God and Jesus, the Son of God. All who dared to stand for the Bible alone as the authority were branded as heretic and persecuted even to the death. This Papal persecution by the Roman Church drove the true Church into the wilderness for 1260 years (Rev.12:6, 14: Ezekiel 4:6). Rev.13:5-8 also tells of this great persecution. The methods used are given in Rev.13:15-17.
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:12