On previous post we learned about the 4 first seals or the 4 horses of the Book of Revelation, & that is our Lord Jesus who opens the seals of the scroll. Here we will continue reading the rest of the seals.
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had held. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers should be completed, who would be killed as they were.
12 I watched as He opened the sixth seal. And suddenly there was a great earthquake. The sun became black, like sackcloth made from goat hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when it is shaken by a strong wind. 14 Then the heavens receded like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the commanding officers and the strong and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. 16 They said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of His wrath has come. Who is able to withstand it?” Rev.6:9-17
No doubt that if we are still on earth that we all will notice when the 6th seal is opened, not only we’ll experience a great earthquake, but also the sun will get dark & the moon red, but something that will happen also for everybody to see is the stars of heaven falling on earth. This is a very unique cosmic cataclysm. (Please compare with Matthew 24, the time of the events that happen when the seals are opened, is called ‘great tribulation‘, vs 21 & 29).
After the 6th seal in Chapter 7 we see 144,000 descendants of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel, that are sealed in their foreheads.
The 144,000 of Israel Sealed
7 Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind would not blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
5 Twelve thousand from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Reuben were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad were sealed,
6 twelve thousand from the tribe of Asher were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Manasseh were sealed,
7 twelve thousand from the tribe of Simeon were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Levi were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Issachar were sealed,
8 twelve thousand from the tribe of Zebulun were sealed,
twelve thousand from the tribe of Joseph were sealed,
and twelve thousand from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
The twelve tribes of Israel came from the twelve sons of Jacob (who was later named Israel). His twelve sons were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. This selection of the twelve tribes in Revelation does not include the name of Dan (son of Jacob with Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah), although their names were used for the twelve tribes that settled in the Promised Land. You can notice this tribe is replaced with Manasseh one of the 2 tribes of Joseph. It has been suggested that this could be because of the pagan practices of the tribe of Dan.
Dan in Hebrew means ‘judge’. Rachel (who was childless) named him Dan because she felt that God had judged and vindicated her through the child’s birth (Gen.30:1-8). In Genesis 49:16 says : “16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.” Samson was a judge descendant from the tribe of Dan, also Deborah the prophetess was a judge from the tribe of Dan.
But also in the book of Amos 8:14 God’s declares judgment on Dan for its allegiance to its false gods. For this reason & because Gen:49:16 also says Dan should be a serpent or a viper, it is believed (since Irenaeus & Hyppolytus of Rome wrote about it) that the Antichrist could be a descendant from the tribe of Dan.
Then in Rev.7:9 -10 we read:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations (G1484=ethnic groups), and kindred (race, lineage=G5443), and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
10 They cried out with a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!“
Notice the 144,000 were in the earth sealed for protection, but even if someone believes they were already in heaven, they still could be counted, but there was in heaven so many people from all nations & races (ethnic groups) that no man could count. Which means the dead in Christ where risen & the rapture occurred & the Church is in heaven!!
The 7 years of what many call the Great Tribulation period, or wrath of God (or days of Jacob’s trouble) can still happen during the 7 trumpets & the 7 bowls. “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (3½ years), Rev.13:4-7.
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” He said to me, “These are those who came out of great tribulation (G2347= affliction, persecution) and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
16 ‘They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,’ nor any scorching heat;
17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and ‘He will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Rev. 7: 11-17
Verse 14 says they came out of the big affliction or ‘great tribulation’, but only the 7 seals have been opened & still the worst part or the wrath of God, the 7 trumpets & 7 bowls have not passed yet. Then Revelation chapter 8 talks about the seven seal which starts the wrath of God, & as we explained in previous post the Church cannot be here on earth.
8 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. . . .
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.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Rev.8:1-6
It is important to know that understanding this completely is not one of the essentials for salvation & it’s ok to disagree in some points because the Bible doesn’t give us the exact timing of these events, we only know these prophecies are for the last day, but still it is very important to study this book of Revelation because it was written for a reason & at the beginning says:
“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
I believe we Christians will go through a short time of great persecution & suffering before the rapture of the Church, & that God will allow in order to clean His Church, since judgment begins at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17), but this judgment of the Church will happen before the wrath of God is poured upon the children of disobedience (Eph. 5:6, see also Eph. 2:1-3), what many call ‘The Great Tribulation‘. Many Christians don’t think they will suffer persecution and aren’t prepared for harsh times, so when difficulties come, many of them will have doubts & others will depart from the faith. I hope I’m wrong that we will see difficult times before the rapture, but is better to be prepared.
Therefore watch always and pray that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36