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Lyn Mize

Rev 7:1-8 (KJV) 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. 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, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

The first half of the tribulation period is coming to an end, and the Day of the Lord is near.  There is a period of calm in the middle of the tribulation period before the wrath of the Lord is brought to bear upon the earth.  It is during this calm that the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church takes place, and the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits are sealed to protect them from the wrath of the Lamb.  The first eight verses of this chapter describe this sealing of the 144,000, and the last 9 verses describe the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church.  

These 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits are Jews who were saved after the Firstfruits Rapture during the first half of the tribulation period.  They must pass through the time of Jacob's trouble, which is the last half of the tribulation period, but they will be miraculously protected from the wrath of God during this time.  Conspicuously absent from the tribes of Israel are the tribe of Dan and the half-tribe of Ephraim.  It is believed that Dan is missing because the Antichrist comes from this tribe, and the world will not know that the people of Antichrist are actually Jewish until the end of the tribulation period.  

The people belonging to the half-tribe of Ephraim are also not grouped with the remainder of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.  The people of Ephraim will not be known as Jews until the end of the tribulation period.  Jesus himself will bring these two tribes back into the fold of the nation of Israel at the end of the tribulation period according to the following Scripture:  

Isa 56:8 (KJV)  The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith,  Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.  

Other than Dan and Ephraim the remainder of the 10 lost tribes of Israel are in the area of the world known as Kurdistan, and they are known as Kurds.  Just as the Scriptures state about the Diaspora, the Kurds do not have a country of their own and they have no king to lead them.  They are also severely persecuted by the Arab nations.  The Kurds do not know that they are part of the lost tribes of Israel, but they will discover this in the very near future, and they will be gathered back to the nation of Israel where they will be reunited with the tribes of the southern kingdom of Judah.  The tribes of Judah are the ones in the world who are known as Jews.  

The tribe of Dan is known in the world as Celts.  The relatively small number that remain today are known as Welshmen, Cornishmen, Bretons, Scottish Highlanders, and the main group known as Irish.  The Antichrist is Irish, and he probably does not know that he is of the lost tribe of Dan.  King Authur was Celtic, and the Antichrist has already duplicated the life of King Authur, which has been handed down in the Arthurian legends.  Antichrist is on the verge of revealing himself to show that his mortal head wound has been healed.  There will be a brief return to Camelot, but it will end in mass destruction and the judgment from God Almighty.  

It is not absolutely certain, but it appears that the lost tribe of Ephraim is known to the world as American Indians.  The remnant that survives the tribulation period will not be reunited with the tribes of Judah until the end of the tribulation period.  They will be regathered along with the tribe of Dan.  

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.

a. These are the four angels who are to hurt the land and the sea in judgment, but the wrath of God cannot commence until the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits are sealed (i.e., Vs 1-8), and the Church is raptured (Vs. 9-17) and taken to heaven.  This verse describes the period of calm that takes place between the 42 months that Antichrist is given free rein upon the earth and the wrath of God falls upon the earth.

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,

a. This is the angel who will seal the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits, and he speaks to the four angels who will unleash the wrath of God upon the earth.

3. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

a. He asks the four angels to withhold their judgments until 144,000 "servants of our God" are sealed in their foreheads.

b. The seal in the forehead is a symbol of protection and ownership.  The Antichrist will have his seal also, but it will be placed on the hand or the forehead of the people he claims to own.  This is one reason why it is very important not to take the mark of Antichrist.

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.

a. These are 144,000 literal Israelites with 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes listed.  They are not members of the Church, and they are not Jehovah's Witnesses or members of any other cult in the world.  

b. They will come from those who are known as Jews in the world today, and from the Kurds who will be identified early in the tribulation period as members of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.  They are currently being persecuted and killed by Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.  The Arabs hate the Kurds in the same intensity that they hate the Jews.  

c. It is very significant that the film about the life of Jesus has recently been translated into the language of the Kurds, and the organization Youth for Christ has targeted the Kurdish people as ripe for evangelism.  This could very well be the method whereby the Kurds become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and realize that they are part of the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

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.

a. Jesus comes from the tribe of Judah, which received the kingly inheritance from Reuben who was the eldest son.  Reuben lost his double inheritance because he committed fornication with one of his father's concubines (Gen. 35:22).  Judah and Reuben's mother was Leah.  Gad's mother was Leah's servant, Zilpah.  Gad was one of the tribes who settled on the East side of the Jordan along with Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh.  These tribes had large numbers of livestock and the East side of the Jordan was particularly suitable for raising livestock (Num. 32).

b. Judah means "confession or praise of God."

c. Reuben means "viewing the Son."

d. Gad means "a company."

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.

a. Asher's mother was Zilpah.  Naphtali's mother was Bilhah.  Manasseh was the son of Joseph, and Manesseh and his brother Ephraim received the double portion of land that was forfeited by Reuben for unfaithfulness as stated above.

b. Asher means "blessed."

c. Naphtali means "a wrestler or striving with."

d. Manesseh means "forgetfulness."

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.

a. Simeon's, Levi's and Issachar's mother was Leah.

b. Simeon means "hearing and obeying."  

c. Levi means "joining or cleaving to."

Issachar means "reward or what is given by way of reward."

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.

a. Zebulun's mother was Leah, and Joseph's and Benjamin's mother was Rachel.  Saul, Israel's first king, was a Benjamite.  Paul of Tarsus was also a Benjamite.

b. Zebulun means "a home or dwelling place."

c. Joseph means "added or an addition."

d. Benjamin means "a son of the right hand or a son of old age."

NOTE:  All of these names taken together and in the order they are given mean:

"Confessors or praisers of God, looking upon the Son, a band of blessed ones, wrestling with forgetfulness, hearing and obeying the Word, cleaving unto the reward of a shelter and home, an addition, sons of the day of God's right hand, begotten in the extremity of the age."  

E. The Main Harvest Rapture of the Church (Rev. 7:9-17)

Rev 7:9-17 (KJV)  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; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 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, 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. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 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. 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. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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.  

Before the seventh seal can be opened and the Day of the Lord begins, the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church must take place, since the Church is exempt from the Day of the Lord.  Revelation 7:9-17 above is the description of the main body of the Church in heaven around the throne.  

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;  

a. After the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits are sealed for the time of Jacob's trouble, the main body of the Church is now in heaven around the throne.  It is an extremely large group of people from "all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues."  Included in this group are the souls who were under the altar in Rev. 6:11 who were given white robes to wear after their resurrection.  This also includes the ones who were persecuted by Antichrist in Rev. 13:7.  

b. It is important to note that there is no mention of these sitting on thrones or wearing crowns.  They are "before the throne" of God.  They are not joined to the throne as the four living creatures, and they are not associated with its Occupant as one who rules and reigns, but they are in heaven, and they are clothed with white robes.  These are the robes of righteousness and faultless splendor acquired through the Savior's blood.  They were once sinners, but now they are holy.

c. The palm is symbolic of beauty and prosperity, and it is a picture of the glad exultation over deliverance.  It was used to build the booths to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles, and palms were thrown in the path of Jesus when he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey.  Therefore, the Church is in heaven around the throne celebrating the establishment of the millennial kingdom.  The joy of the feast of tabernacles is theirs.

10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

a. The whole body of the Church is worshipping the Lamb who is seated upon the throne.  The Church body is a unit and they cry with one voice.  

b. Salvation is attributed to the Lamb who sits upon the throne.  

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,

a. The picture in this verse is that of the Lamb seated on the throne with the four living creatures connected to the throne.  The 24 elders are seated on thrones in a semicircle behind and around the throne, and the angels are in a semicircle behind and around the elders.  The multitude is standing before the throne on the glassy sea, which symbolizes a fixed state of holiness.

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.

a. The angels are saying this in worship of God.  

13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

a. One of the 24 elders asks John to identify who the new people are in heaven around the throne who are wearing white robes.  The Greek word for answered is apokrinomai (ap-ok-ree'-nom-ahee) and it means the elder is asking a question soliciting a response, but he has already come to a conclusion about the identification of the ones in the white robes.  

b. The ones in white robes cannot be saved Jews or Gentiles who were saved in the first half of the tribulation period because they are God's earthly people, and they will be confined to the earth in their bodies of flesh and blood.  Also, the ones in white robes are clearly of the same class of saved individuals as the 24 elders and the four living creatures with the exception that the ones in white robes have no crowns and no thrones.

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.

a. John answers the elder by recognizing that the elder knows who they are in the white robes.  The elder's response is a clear identification that the ones in the white robes are Christians who went through great tribulation.  This one verse establishes that these Christians are the Main Harvest Rapture Christians who were members of the churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea.

1. In Rev. 2:22 Thyatira was told that she would be cast into "great tribulation."  These Christians came out of "great tribulation."

2. In Rev. 3:4 the main body of Sardis was told that they had "defiled their garments."  They have now "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

3. In Rev. 3:18 Laodicea was naked and ashamed, but verses 9 and 13 confirm that they now have white robes to wear.

b. It is not enough to identify these in white robes as tribulation saints since there are three classes of tribulation saints.  

1. The first class of tribulation saints includes all Christians who were rejected as the Bride and her court.  This includes those in the churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea who were "cut asunder" or separated from those Christians who were found as faithful.  These are Christians who did not attain unto the out-resurrection, the better resurrection, the abundant entrance, or the open door into heaven.

2.  The second class of tribulation saints includes all Jews who are saved after the Separation takes place.  If they were saved before the separation, they would be among the first class of tribulation saints.

3.  The third class of tribulation saints includes all Gentiles who will be saved after the separation takes place.  If they were saved before the Separation took place, they would also be among the first class of tribulation saints.  In the Church there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, but there is a difference outside of the Church Age.

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.

a. The Greek word for before is enopion, (en-o'-pee-on), and it means to be in the presence of or in the sight of the throne.  This is substantially different from being connected to the throne itself, as is the case of the four living creatures, or to have a throne, as is the case with the 24 elders.

b. They serve God night and day in his temple.  This is further confirmation that these are members of the Church, since the Church is a royal priesthood according to the following Scripture:

1 Pet 2:9-10 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a  royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

c. The word “serve” is the Greek word latreuo, (lat-ryoo'-o); from latris (a hired menial).  It is clear that these individuals are in a blessed position, and they are no longer subject to the vicissitudes and weariness of mortal life.  However, theirs is an inferior position in heaven, as there are higher dignities and sublimer joys for those who occupy the positions of rulership from the throne of Christ (the four living creatures) and from other thrones (the 24 elders) directly accountable to the throne of Christ.  

d. Christ himself shall dwell among these Christians, and their home will be the New Jerusalem.  This is further confirmation that these are not Jews or Gentiles who will become believers during the tribulation period.  Their dwelling place will be upon the earth in bodies of flesh and blood.  Their inheritance will be earthly and not heavenly.

e. In addition, everything in this passage of Scripture in chapter 7 is taking place in the middle of the tribulation period, and the judgments of Israel and the saved Gentiles who are saved during the tribulation period do not take place until the end of the tribulation period.  

16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

a. These Christians have been delivered from the straits, wants, and painful necessities of mortal life.  They have now reached their blessed home where earthly burdens, vicissitudes, and deaths are no more.  They have now been delivered from their aching, wasting, dying natures, and they know what it is to have abiding rest.

b. There is no more sunburn or heat stroke, which accompanied the curse under which man was to work by the sweat of his brow.  Work will still be accomplished, but it will not be toilsome and unpleasant.  These Christians now have glorified bodies that will not tire or suffer pain.

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.

a. This verse states the reason that these Christians fare so well in verse 16.  The Lamb or Jesus Christ who is at the very center of the throne shepherds or feeds them, and He guides them into fountains of living water.  The living fountains of waters are a picture of the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit, and the perpetual state of cleanness.  There will be no more washing of feet and hands (i.e., confession of sin), because these saints will remain cleansed.

b. The change in subject from the Lamb to God, who "shall wipe away all tears from their eyes," is an allusion to the future time after the millennium when Jesus Christ turns the kingdom back over to the Father, and everyone enters into the eternal ages.  All tears are not wiped away until the end of the millennium.