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 Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 )

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Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 ) Empty
PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 )   Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 ) EmptyTue Jun 06, 2017 6:56 pm

Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 )

Last time we left off at Revelation 7:3, which says, “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  This verse does not describe what the seal looks like, but it is likely the same as what Revelation 14:1 describes: “Then I [John] looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.”  God writes the name of Jesus and Yahweh on the foreheads of these 144,000 Christian Jews even before Satan actuates his plan of putting 666 on the foreheads of those he is able to deceive to accept his number.  Again, Satan is the great imitator of God.  He often mimics whatever God does and sadly, but often, his imitations are so good that they can creep into the Church undetected.  2 Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light.  His greatest weapon against Christians and even non-Christians is deception.  He seeks to pass off his deceptions and lies as truth.  We are told by John in 1 John 4:1 that we must test the spirits.  We must test the spirits to make sure that they aligned with the Truth of God.  And just as a reminder, we studied already that Jesus said that the overcomers will be given a seal.  Jesus says in Revelation 3:12, “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will he leave it.  I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of Heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.”  And Revelation 22:3b-4 says, “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him.  They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”  So if you and I are overcomers in this life, then we too will have special divine words written on our foreheads by God.

The seal for the 144,000 is designed to protect them.  When Satan opens the cell door to the Abyss, and the demons come out, God commands them in Revelation 9:4, “They were told not to harm the grass of the Earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”  God gathers these 144,000 from around the entire globe.  Note Jeremiah 23:3-4, which reads: “‘I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.  I will place shepherds over them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,’ declares the LORD.” Please note that it is God who scattered them.  And I like how it says that “none will be missing.”  We know this will be true of the 144,000.  The 144,000 introduced in chapter 7 of Revelation will still be 144,000 when they get raptured away in chapter 14.  It will not be 143,999.  Not a single one will die or be missing.  Jesus says a similar thing regarding Christians in John 6:39: “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”  Let’s go back to Jeremiah 23, which speaks about the 144,000.  Picking up at verse 7, it reads, “‘So then, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the North [Babylon] and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’  Then they will live in their own land.’” Throughout the entire Old Testament, the prophets often remind their readers that God brought Israel out of slavery from Egypt and split the Red Sea.  Over and over again, God mentions His hand in freeing Israel from Egypt.  But this passage in Jeremiah says that something new will one day usurp God freeing Egypt and replace it in importance and remembrance: the day when God gathers the scattered of Israel from around the world and bring them to their own land.  Revelation chapter 7 is the inauguration of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 23:7-8 (and 3-4).  God will give Israel, through the descendants of the 144,000 their own land during the Millennium, and also throughout Eternity on the New Earth.  After all, the Millennium and the New Earth will be the true fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.

Revelation 7:4 says, “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.”  Some Christian teachers teach today that there are lost tribes of Israel.  Due to that, they come up with a different interpretation (than what I am presenting here) of who the 144,000 are referring to.  I’m not going to get into their interpretation because the text specifically says that these are 144,000 from all of the tribes of Israel, and so what that means to me is that these 144,000 are from all of the tribes of Israel, no matter how lost they may seem to be today.  Does one really think that what is lost to man is also lost to God?  It may be true that at some point, the Jews stopped documenting their heritage so each individual Jew does not know which tribe he or she derived from.  But God is still keeping tabs on who’s who.  There is no such thing as the lost tribes of Israel because God cannot lose anything, and He still knows each person’s descent.  Remember, it is God who gathers the 144,000 Jews from every tribe of Israel.  This is not something that the Jews will set out to do outside of His inspiration, will, and guidance.  The Jews themselves do not need to know their own tribal descent.  The 144,000 Jews that God calls will be split evenly between each tribe.  There will be exactly 12,000 from each tribe that God will personally select and put a seal on their foreheads.  These 144,000 are not Gentile Christians.  They are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They are exactly what the text says: 144,000 people from all of the tribes of Israel.  If a Christian today says that he or she is of one of the 144,000, simply ask that person, “Which tribe are you from?”  Even if they lie and state which tribe they are from, ask them, “How do you know you are within the 12,000 from that tribe that God is calling and not an outlier at 12,001?”  The so-called “lost tribes of Israel” reminds me of Elijah who thought that he was the only prophet of God left, but God said to him, “Nevertheless, I have reserved 7,000 in Israel who have neither bowed their knees to Baal nor kissed him.”  God keeps tally even when we’ve lost count.  

The following verses, verses 5-8, list the 12 tribes of Israel.  It may be tempting to a casual reader to just skim it and move on.  But interestingly, the 12 tribes of Israel list is not the same list every time it is mentioned throughout the bible.  The list seems to change based on the sin of some of the tribes.  In our list in Revelation 7:5-8, the tribe of Dan is overtly missing.  Manasseh is really mentioned twice because they are mentioned directly and again indirectly, which is what replaced the tribe of Dan.  Ephraim and Manasseh are tribes from Joseph.  Joseph is listed, which includes the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, yet, Ephraim is not directly mentioned.  Rueben should be listed first, but he gave up his birthright.  Let’s explore this anomaly some more.  The original list is listed in Genesis 35:23-26.  That passage reads as follows: “Jacob had twelve sons: The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.  The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.  The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.  The sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher.”  Remember, God used Jacob’s descendants because Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of porridge.  We get a summary of Reuben’s folly in Genesis 49:3-4 which led to his losing his firstborn right.  It says, “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.  Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed.”  Reuben slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah.  So in Revelation, Judah is mentioned first instead of Reuben.  That should be expected because not only did Reuben give up his birthright, but also, Judah is the tribe that gives birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Jesus was technically supposed to be a descendant of Reuben had he not given up his birthright.  The book of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is the firstborn and first-place in everything, which includes the lineage He comes from.  

Why is Dan not among the 144,000 listed in Revelation?  Is Dan the so-called “lost tribe of Israel”?  Of course not.  If one Googles the lost tribes of Israel, the result shows that there are 10 so-called lost tribes of Israel—which is, as I mentioned, hogwash and baloney.  Dan is not among the 144,000, but will be restored during the Millennium, which comes after the Tribulation.  There will be a temple built to Jesus during the Millennium, which is described in the last 8 chapters of Ezekiel.  We see in Ezekiel 48:32 that Dan has his own Kingdom City gate.  Even though Revelation is the last book of the bible, the twelve tribes mentioned in Revelation is not chronologically the last listing of the 12 tribes.  The last listing of the 12 tribes of Israel that we have chronologically speaking is found in Ezekiel 48:30-35.  That refers to the 1,000 year Millennial period when Jesus will rule on this Earth for 1,007 years (there is a 7 year period after Satan gets let out from the Abyss and deceives the nations to rebel against Jesus precipitating Jesus wiping them away when the New Earth begins.  The 7 year period is spent mostly cleaning up and burying the dead bodies).  Ezekiel is the last listing of the 12 tribes of Israel chronologically, but not the last reference chronologically.  Chronologically, the last reference to the 12 tribes of Israel brings us to the New Earth in Revelation 21:12, which says, “On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.”  This is the last reference, although the specific tribes are not named.  

Whenever a tribe is not mentioned in a listing, it often is the result of some sin that that tribe committed.  Let’s explore what Dan did.  Dan is called a serpent in Genesis 49:17.  It says, “Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.”  Dan is called “a lion’s den” in Deuteronomy 33:22.  (Lion dens in the bible are associated with pernicious hardship and death.  God saved Daniel from the lion’s den.)  Dan was an idolater.  Their idolatry is depicted in Judges 18:25-31.  We covered these verses closely in the Kingdom of Heaven subtopic of the Works versus Faith series.  This chapter depicts Dan’s brutality as they attack an unsuspecting, peaceful city to take it over.  This city was not one that God had allotted for them.  At this time, Dan did not reach their allotted land, as it was still occupied by the Amorites and Philistines and Dan had not been able to overcome them (confer with Joshua 19:47).  When Dan had taken this peaceful city, they set up idols that they stole from Micah, and they set up Moses’ grandson and his sons as their priests (without God’s permission), along with a Levite who didn’t mind idols and false gods.

The 12 tribes of Israel are mentioned 29 times in the bible.  The way that the 12 tribes of Israel works throughout the bible, where the list can occasionally change, but there still be 12 tribes is that Joseph makes up for whatever tribe is omitted on the list.  If no tribe is omitted from the list, then Joseph will be mentioned, but not his sons.  If there is a tribe to be omitted from a list, then the list can omit up to 2 tribes by listing Joseph, along with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.  We see in our list in Revelation 7 that it omitted only one tribe, which is Dan, and it listed Joseph and Manasseh, but didn’t list Ephraim.  Both the names “Ephraim” and “Joseph” are often synonyms in the bible for the Northern Kingdom, Israel; whereas, “Judah” is the Southern Kingdom.  In fact, all of these are synonyms for Israel: Northern Kingdom, Samaria (its capital), Jacob, House of Joseph, Ephraim, and Jeshurun, and occasionally, Vineyard.  All of these are synonyms for Judah: Southern Kingdom, Jerusalem (its capital), House of David, and Zion.  Jerusalem was first called Salem, but it was also Jebus (when the Jebusites inhabited Jerusalem), and was previously called Ariel (cf. Isaiah 29:1-Cool.

The last quick thing I want to mention about the 144,000 Jewish Christians is that they will be righteous and will not speak lies.  Zephaniah 3:13 says, “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths.”  Revelation 14:5 says, “No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”  I personally recommend it good practice for the Christian to train him or herself to speak no lie.  I should mention, if one is willing to take up this offer that a white lie is a lie.  Feigned truth is a lie no matter how nice we dress it up.  God loves it when His people speak truthfully.  These 144,000 will have great Christian integrity.  James said that if we are able to control our tongue we will be perfect (James 3:2).  Why?  Because what the tongue speaks is a reflection of the heart within.  These 144,000 will speak truthfully, thus Revelation 14:5 calls them blameless.  
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Revelation Chapter 7 (Part 46) (Verses 4 – 8 )
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