Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Multitude from the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:1-17, Mark 11:6-10, Matt 27:51-54)

Four Angels held the corners of the earth to stop the wind.
“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees
till we have
 sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.

World Map

After the rapture, when believers disappear; the great tribulation will set in.  It's not going to be fun.  I saw on TV that Willie Robertson, one of the Duck Dynasty guys is helping to put out a new movie, Left Behind with Nicolas Cage (link).  The "Left Behind," movie illustrates what it could be like during Revelation 7.  Kirk Cameron was the one who originally made the movie.  I believe what really happens with God will be so amazing, it's beyond our imaginations on earth.  I do enjoy seeing the possibilities in these movies.  I'm happy to see the Duck Dynasty guys contributing to Christian movies (that's very cool)!  There's another new Christian movie called, "The Song."   That's coming out soon too.  The main actor refuses to kiss an actress and said he will only kiss his wife in a scene.  It turns out the Christian movies are box office hits : )  People can sense things aren't right in the world and want to understand.  I remember seeing "The Greatest Story Ever Told," in 1965.  I was 5 then and can still remember it.

Revelation 7

The Sealed of Israel
1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty- four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
The Lord won't allow the time of tribulation to occur until after the remnant (144,000) of Israel are protected.  There will be 12,000 from each tribe.  I noticed that the angels are standing at the "four corners" of the earth.  This is apocalyptic symbolism.  Man didn't know the earth was round until the time of Columbus in the 1600's.  God did of course, but Revelation is written for humans.

5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
Benjamin was the younger brother of Joseph. After the older brothers lost Joseph, Jacob (known as Israel) refused to let them take Benjamin. It has been prophesied that not all of the Jews will come to Christ in the end.  A remnant of 144,000 have the seal to be saved.

John is so blessed to be able to see all of this.  A great and amazing number of people from all the nations, tribes, languages, came to stand in God's throne room!  
9 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, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 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 worshiped God, 12 saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
What this tells me is that after the rapture, those who are left behind will still be able to accept Christ's gift of salvation and be saved.  However, it will be much less painful to do it before the rapture.  John looks and sees a multitude of people wearing white robes and carrying palm branches. People didn't wear white robes when Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, but they did wave palm branches and said, "Hosanna," to Jesus.  The multitude in verses 9-12 are the martyrs from chapter 6.
4 So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. 5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”
6 And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ’
10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David
That comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest."
(Mark 11:6-10 NKJV)
In Matt 27:51-54, after Jesus was crucified dead were also raised:  51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
I love these verses.  Saints who had died before Jesus, went to visit the holy city in Jerusalem.  I'd love to have seen the looks on people's faces!

One of the elders asked John about all these people.  I believe those who go through the great tribulation and become Christians will become martyrs.  The anti-Christ will destroy as many Christians as it can.  These would be people that were not in the Church.  As Chuck Smith noted, John always recognized the Church.  He also saw Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration.
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, 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 anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
(Revelation 7:1-17 NKJV)
These verses are some popular favorites : )  They are so comforting.  This world will end, despair will turn to joy.  Fear to courage and hope.

Here's a song from Third Day, "I need a miracle (link)"  We all need a miracle now and then.

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